Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

Parker and Lane: Criminal Justice (Gamehouse)

Parker’s a rookie detective with a temper like fire.  Lane’s a seasoned attorney with a laid back attitude.  When the latter’s clients start dropping like flies, he has to team up with the former to figure out who the killer is.

I’ll admit, I’ve never seen a procedural cop show, but I have played a Choices story called Most Wanted, which has similar plot devices.  The main difference is that Most Wanted felt more self-aware and actually managed to make the characters likable.  Unlike Most Wanted, these characters are exactly as they appear to be on the surface, with no depth to flush them out.  Parker’s the hot-headed detective, Lane’s the relaxed lawyer and that is it.  Even the side characters are little more than plot devices, with the coroner functioning as more of an implied romantic obstacle when not doing her job.  The tech guy is the guy with the crush on Parker and that is it.  I’ll admit, there is one attempt to flesh out Lane by making him a single father, but it feels like something the writers hacked on in a desperate attempt for sympathy.  In other words, this game is Most Wanted without the personality.

Unfortunately, those weren’t my only problems with the game.  Do you remember my review of Maggie’s Movies, where I praised the game for addressing sexism in Hollywood?  Well, this did the exact opposite and, I warn you, there are spoilers in this paragraph.  One of the first warning signs is when one of Lane’s clients assaults Parker in a way that could have possibly turned sexual were she not able to defend herself.  No one calls attention to this and Lane even defends this man and calls Parker out for being judgmental.  Yes, you read that right, Lane gets angry with Parker for defending herself against a potential rapist and coming to the conclusion that Lane defends horrible people.  Are these writers stuck in the seventies?  To make an already awful situation worse, when the precinct forces Parker and Lane to team up, Lane makes a sexist remark and the game brushes it off as a joke with the boss laughing along.  However, Parker makes her distaste for Lane clear, yet her boss practically orders her to work with him and doesn’t listen to her feelings.  If the game had the goal of drawing attention to sexism in the workplace, this wouldn’t bother me so much.  Instead, the message of the game is that Parker is excessively uptight and needs to loosen up.  While Lane is the relaxed life force that can do just that.  Again, I ask if these writers are stuck in the seventies.

Unbelievably, this game is actually part of the Delicious series and the style supports this.  Usually games like this have a hidden object style, which is exactly what it says on the tin.  This game decided to bring a time management style to a murder case, which I admit is something that’s never been done.  However, just because something’s new doesn’t automatically make it good. You send different investigators to check on different areas, bring them the required items and then send them on their way.  In some instances, you have to play a mini-game and believe me when I say that they will pop out of nowhere to the point of frustration.  Then you send the investigators on their way and have to meet the minimum goal requirement to get to the next level.  Every level comes with an optional side quest that you can complete for a diamond, and you get to play special challenge levels in-between.  You spend these diamonds on evidence for your case file.  You also have to catch the mouse every level, as usual, and get to partake in the daily challenge.  Like other games in the series, you also have the option of collecting all of the achievements.  Just don’t expect to see any cameos from Emily and the gang.

This game is dull to the point of being a chore.  I give it 3 out of 10; the one Delicious game where I didn’t even bother to collect all of the achievements before calling it quits.

The Breakfast Club Episode 5 Recap

A/N: After a long hiatus, I’m back with another chapter of The Breakfast Club recap!  Last time, Jasmine not only kissed Bender but got locked in a closet with Andrew.  How will this pan out for her?  Feel free to also check out Jasmine on TUMBLR!

Requested by bloodrosered

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Dear Diary,

I recently kissed Bender, had to fend off advances from a drunk Brian and now I’m locked in a closet with Andrew against my will. While I was speaking to Allison, no less. The popular kids wanted to play Seven Minutes in Heaven and threw Andrew and me in a closet together before I could even say no! I even heard one of the jocks call out that our seven minutes start now! This is not seven minutes in heaven, it’s seven minutes in hell. Then he told Andrew not to waste precious time with dirty talk and rattled the door as everybody outside laughed! Can I go back to being in detention? All Andrew and I could do was stare at each other while cramped among coats, boots and umbrellas with our faces only inches apart. Andrew said exactly what I was thinking, that this was kind of awkward. Actually, I told Andrew that “kind of” is an understatement. Andrew asked what we do now and I said that we should just talk, since Allison’s right outside. I am not kissing someone else’s boyfriend! Okay, I’m not kissing someone else’s boyfriend again. Andrew panicked and said that Allison is going to kill him when we get out of here. I said that Allison saw what happened and knows this wasn’t our fault. At least, I hope she does. Andrew shifted uncomfortably in the narrow space and I said that it felt like the time I got shoved in a locker in sixth grade, courtesy of Tanya and her friends.

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Andrew said that he wouldn’t know. Why am I not surprised? Then his face fell as he said that he’s usually doing the shoving. Andrew gave a nervous cough as he quickly changed the subject. He said that he knows that we haven’t known each other long, but I seem pretty open-minded. I thanked Andrew and told him that I try my best. Andrew said that he’s kind of happy we’re stuck in here… if he’s honest. Please tell me that I’m not going to have to fend off another guy’s advances. I asked him why, hoping he meant that in a different way than I thought he did. Thankfully, Andrew told me that there’s something he wanted to ask me… advice about dating. I told Andrew that he might have to look elsewhere, because that’s something I have no experience in. Andrew told me to humor him. I said that I would and asked if he meant him and Allison. Andrew said that it’s more complicated than that as he rubbed the back of his neck a little nervously. Andrew told me that he’s been thinking about it a lot and he wanted to know if I think he should stay with her, or if there’s a reason that he shouldn’t. This caught me completely off-guard as all I could say was… wow! Andrew stepped closer to me and I stepped away as he explained that he didn’t want to hurt anyone because he’s not one of those dick-jock people Bender makes him out to be, but he’s confused and, according to him, I’m the only one who can help him figure it out. Andrew asked me to be honest with him. First Bender’s having second thoughts about Claire and now Andrew’s having second thoughts about Allison? I’m starting to wonder if Claire was right about us not staying friends on Monday. Though, if Claire stopped being friends with me, I wouldn’t blame her. I told Andrew that he’s putting too much faith in me because I’m going through my own romance crisis right now. Andrew said that it sounds like I met someone and asked me who the lucky guy was. I told him that it was Bender. That’s when the closet door flew open. The prep girl told us that time’s up and we needed to get back out here, calling us love birds! Everyone outside was cheering and I saw jealousy in both Bender and Allison’s eyes but, at the same time, I saw Andrew give me this startled look. He said that I can’t leave him hanging like this after dropping a bombshell like that.

I told the jocks and preps that Andrew and I are NOT done in here and met Bender’s eyes, mouthing that I’d explain later but he just glared at me. So I grabbed the door and slammed it shut. The crowd went nuts outside and I really hope that Bender and Allison didn’t get the wrong idea. Meanwhile, Andrew looked almost surprised. I asked Andrew to finish what he was saying. Andrew said that Allison’s going to think something’s going on in here. I told Andrew that so was Bender. Andrew told me that I still needed to explain that. I told Andrew that I kissed Bender in the kitchen. Andrew gave me a judging look and said that I did that even though Bender was with Claire. I explained to Andrew that Bender and Claire were having problems, so I thought that I would talk to Bender about it. Then I told Andrew that Bender looked so vulnerable that I ended up kissing him. I explained to Andrew that I know what I did was wrong, but I just couldn’t help myself and then Bender started kissing me back and he… Andrew assumed that Bender planned on dating Claire while keeping me on the side, but I quickly told Andrew that it was nothing like that! Then I asked him if he learned anything in Saturday detention. Andrew apologized and said that he might be getting along with Bender now, but this is still the same guy that said he wanted to get Ginger and Mary Anne in one go. I defended Bender and told Andrew that he said picking Claire over me was a mistake! Andrew said that he found it hard to believe that Bender was going to leave Claire for me, which earned him a death glare from me! Andrew said that he’s sorry and he didn’t mean it that way. I told Andrew that I get it, why would anyone pick new girl Jasmine Ross when they have the school princess as their girlfriend? Andrew explained that what he meant was that Bender’s not known for his monogamy and, if he’s already switching from Claire to me this fast, it won’t be long until he’s got his eye on another girl. I told Andrew that he’s saying that I might have ruined my friendship with Claire over nothing. Andrew sighed and asked me if I was serious about Bender myself, or if I’m just taking pleasure out of potentially stealing a boyfriend away from Claire. I told him that it’s only slightly the former, but I really would like to have a genuine relationship with Bender and he seemed just as genuine about me. I added that, at this point, I’ve already crossed the point of no return. Andrew warned me to be careful because Bender doesn’t seem like a one-woman man, and this hasn’t exactly proven that he is. I told Andrew that, right now, someone’s probably saying the same thing to Allison about him. Then Andrew remembered what he wanted to talk to me about in the first place.

I told Andrew that he might as well get whatever’s bothering him off his chest. Andrew nodded and shook himself off, like he’s preparing for a wrestling match. He admitted that going out with Allison is kind of proving to be… a challenge. Andrew explained that there’s this expectation of him as an athlete, they date the popular chicks. I joked that it’s practically a law of nature. Andrew said that, until now, he’s only dated girls like Claire and her friends, but Allison’s different. Andrew talked about how Allison’s smart, creative and doesn’t give a shit about what people like that think about her.

I immediately guessed that those “people like that” are Andrew’s friends. Andrew said that I was exactly right and said that, when he told the gang about her, Rogers called her an ice queen. All I could say was… Yikes! Then I told Andrew that it doesn’t sound like group dates are in his future. Andrew thunked the back of his head against the wall and said that he usually figures out how to win at anything but, with Allison, he’s at a total loss. Andrew said that maybe he didn’t think the dating thing through. I told Andrew that I can’t tell him how to fix his love life and that he and Allison need to figure this out for themselves. Andrew admitted that I was right and said that Allison’s really interesting but they have almost nothing in common. All I could do was shrug. I said to Andrew that Allison’s a cool girl, but he’s his own person and he’s not obligated to be with her but that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth trying. Andrew slowly nodded his head as I told him to talk to Allison and do what feels right for the both of them. Andrew admitted that it’s all he can do and gave me a big smile as he thanked me for listening. Andrew told me that, normally, it’s hard to talk about this stuff but I’m pretty easy to talk to. I returned Andrew’s smile and told him that he’s pretty easy to talk with too. Then I said to Andrew that I think he and Allison are really good together and reached forward to give him a friendly jab on the arm telling him that Allison’s lucky to have him. I even joked that not many guys could last this long without going full horndog. Andrew just muttered “yeah” and looked down at the spot where I touched his arm. I told Andrew that I’m glad I got to know him better today and I hope that we can keep being friends, him, me and Allison. Andrew said that he’d like that a lot and stole one last look around the closet. Andrew joked that, if this is heaven, he’d sure hate to see what Seven Minutes in Hell looks like and I laughed as I remembered making the same joke earlier.

I told Andrew that we shouldn’t keep the people waiting and he opened the door to the cheers of his wrestling pals. That guy who I guessed was Rogers asked Andrew how it went. Andrew just shot me a quick glance and he said that it was all good. Then he spotted Allison across the party and went over to talk to her as I smiled, glad that I didn’t break up another relationship. I saw Allison nod along as Andrew explained what happened. Allison smiled as they walked out of the room, holding hands. I just watched them go as I took a moment to collect myself.

I stepped out of the backyard to find Bender. There he was leaning on the wall and lighting a cigarette. I tried to explain what happened but he said that he saw! I responded to him by saying that he knows that Andrew and I were forced into the closet against our will. Bender remarked that he also saw me slam the door shut after our seven minutes were up! Then he accused me of not being enough for me, I had to have Andrew’s jock too! I told Bender that Andrew was having some trouble with Allison and he wanted my advice! Bender scoffed that it’s just like how he wanted my advice with Claire, who he broke up with which, according to him, didn’t really matter now! I said to John that it does matter because I care about him! John seemed a little taken off-guard that I called him by his first name. I explained to John that I feel nothing but friendship for Andrew and spent the whole time in the closet talking about John and Allison. John seemed a little suspicious and asked what Andrew had to say about him. I told John that it didn’t matter. What matters is that nothing happened! John got all pissed and claimed that it does matter, so finally I told John that Andrew said that he’s not a one woman man and that, if he’s already switching from Claire to me this fast, it won’t be long until he has his eye on another girl! I made it clear to John that I didn’t listen to Andrew and said to him that John’s not that guy anymore, that he actually does care about me! John was silent for awhile, remarked that I should’ve listened to Andrew and then he fucking leaves!

I was about to go after him until I heard someone behind me give a slow clap. I turned around to see that it was Donna and I told her that I’m not in the mood. She apologized said that she’s always loved a good pot stirrer and I’ve been stirring every pot I can find. I told Donna that I only have the vaguest idea of what she’s talking about. Then she explained that I just played Seven Minutes in Heaven with Andrew Clark! Oh dear God, that actually got around. I remarked that news travels fast in this town. Donna just smirked and said that it looks like that unlikely match will live to see another day. Then Donna added that they stayed together, despite my best efforts. I immediately held up my arms and cut Donna off, explaining that she’s got things all wrong! Donna said that she’d love to hear my side of the story and pulled a small notepad from her back pocket, flipping it open! I demanded to know what Donna was doing and she said that she was taking notes! Donna explained to me that it’ll be good for my new student profile! Great, I’m barely here for a week and, already, I’m about to get a reputation as a boyfriend stealing slut. Then Donna said that she asked around about me and she’s collected quite a few crazy rumors. I asked what Donna heard, wondering if it would be better or worse than what I think. Donna consulted her notebook and she said that John wasn’t lying, I broke up him and Claire Standish, jokingly accusing me of not being able to keep my hands to myself! I told Donna that it was different, John and I had chemistry in detention and, from the look of things, he and Claire were already on the outs! God, it’s not like I don’t feel bad enough!

Meanwhile, Donna was talking to me about the rumors she heard, two of them being that I got stoned in detention and got into this weekend’s hottest party. She actually praised me for it and said that it wasn’t bad for still being the new kid. Donna asked me if I cared to comment and I got so mad that I called her out on her invasion of privacy! I made it clear that I wasn’t comfortable with her digging all of this stuff about me up and she just laughed! According to Donna, she didn’t have to dig because it’s all out there, she just had to listen! Then Donna fixed me with a piercing gaze and apologized for coming off a little strong. She stuffed her notepad back in her pocket and said that she knows what it feels like to feel scared and alone at a party. I told Donna that it’s a little hard to believe. Donna insisted that it was true and she wasn’t always this confident, but she wanted to make sure that I’m having a good time. I told Donna that, in the last few minutes, she practically accused me of being a pot-smoking, party crashing, boyfriend-stealer. How good of a time did she think I was going to have? Donna said that she didn’t mean it like that and she promises to not write anything incriminating about me in the paper. Then she stepped so close that I could feel her breath hot on my cheek. Once again, Donna asked me if I was having a good time yet! I told Donna to slow down and pump the brakes a little. Once again, Donna laughed. Then she admitted that she tends to work fast, blaming it on journalism and took a step back. Donna said that she was thinking about leaving but, if I haven’t seen the upstairs of Stubbie’s house, I should take a peek because his parents have some incredible art up there. She told me that she might be persuaded to give me a private tour. I asked Donna if she was trying to trick me into spilling more gossip for the paper. She just shook her head and held up her hands, saying that it was strictly off the record, cross her heart. After what just happened, I could use a distraction. So I agreed to let Donna give me a private tour.

I followed Donna into the upstairs of Stubbie’s house and, surprisingly, it’s actually quieter up here. Not a single person in sight and the walls are actually covered in paintings. I said that it was fancy stuff. Donna told me that I should see what his parents have hanging in the master bedroom. She lead me down the hall into Stubbie’s parents’ bedroom. Then Donna pointed at a large-scale painting hanging on the wall over the bed, telling me to check it out. She remarked that they must spend a fortune on art. I asked Donna how she knew so much about me, about everyone. Yes, that still makes me uncomfortable. Donna said that it was simple, she keeps her eyes and ears open. Then she sat down on the bed and gave me a look. Donna told me that it’s amazing what I can learn when I pay attention. Then she patted the bed next to her. As I slowly walked closer, she grabbed my hand and pulled me to her. Donna said that she had a pretty good sense of people and she knew from the minute we met that I was definitely her type! I told Donna that I’m flattered but, unfortunately, she’s not my type. Then I leaned back from her. Donna looked around the room and joked if I meant that middle-aged yuppie decor doesn’t turn me on. Donna laughed and teasingly punched me. I explained to Donna that I meant she’s very beautiful, but I’m just not into women. Donna laughed and said that it’s all right, she gets it. She said that sometimes she likes to strike while the iron’s hot and her senses can get a little messed up. Donna looked toward the bedroom door and we could sense that something was wrong because the music downstairs stopped and it’s been replaced by angry shouting. I said that it sounded like two drunks got into a fight. Donna asked me if I wanted to see what was happening and I said that I might as well watch the show. Donna told me to let her know if it’s news. I leapt off the bed, smoothed out my clothes and told Donna that I would as I hurried downstairs.

I entered the living room to see that a circle of people have formed and in the middle of it was Stubbie standing off with Brian. Wait, Brian? Stubbie angrily told Brian that his party wasn’t for dorks and told him to hit the bricks!

Brian stupidly shouted that there’s no dork here and, while Brian was drinking some more of Bender’s spiked punch said that this stuff was making him cool! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I am going to kill Bender. Stubbie got himself ready to punch Brian and said that it was his last warning! He briefly locked eyes with me in the crowd and told Stubbie that, if he messes with him, he messes with his friends and then pointed at me. Stubbie sized me up as Brian told him to watch himself. I really shouldn’t have left Brian alone. I went to talk to Stubbie and told him to back up a second as I positioned myself squarely between him and Brian. I told Brian to take a breath and play the quiet game. He tried to act cool and said that he’d do whatever I’d say, calling me gorgeous. One problem at a time, Jasmine. I asked Stubbie what the problem was and he explained that Brian was crashing his party! I told Stubbie that someone invited him along and forgot to tell him. Then I told Stubbie that he’s already here and not causing trouble, so we can all get back to partying! Stubbie’s tense stance started to soften and I let out a breath I didn’t even know I was holding. He said that yeah, maybe and Brian said that he wasn’t going anywhere until that asshole apologized to him! Well, Stubbie went back to being angry and I told Brian dammit! Stubbie said that we both needed to get out of here! Brian glanced around at the crowd, trying to keep himself steady while Claire watched with her friends on one side and glanced away when Brian looked at her. I spotted Bender sitting alone on the stairs, lighting a lighter with his open palm. Then Brian turned back to Stubbie, and said that he knows what… Stubbie shoved Brian before he could finish and he landed right on his ass! Stubbie seemed all happy that he could beat up Brian and told him that he warned him! Then Stubbie told Brian to get the hell out of his house! Stubbie advanced to Brian while he tried to scramble to his feet, but kept stumbling midway! He kept laughing like a mad man and said that it’s not a problem, he’ll leave right away. I followed Brian as he headed for the door, making sure he didn’t knock anything or bump into anyone on his way out. As I left, the music started blasting again.

In the foyer, Brian stopped short of the front door. He thanked me for helping him, losing some of his inner spark from before. I asked Brian what happened and he told me that, after I went in the closet with Andrew, he kept drinking some of John’s confidence potion and he tried to mingle, which didn’t exactly go his way. Then he bitterly remarked that it would teach him to try to be cool. I told Brian that no one bothered him, except for Stubbie and everyone knows Stubbie’s an asshole, even me, and I’m new here! Brian shook his head and said that he did learn a valuable lesson, never break out of your shell. I disagreed with Brian, telling him that I’d hate to turn this into an after-school special, but the real lesson is don’t get drunk without supervision. Brian left as he tripped on the parquet floor and ran into an accent table supporting a large blue and white vase which wobbled precariously. I tried to steady the vase, knowing that breaking that thing wouldn’t lead to anything good, and met Brian’s eye. I told Brian to be careful, because he nearly broke that vase. Brian grabbed it and said that it would really ruin Stubbie’s day if he broke his precious vase, taking it in his hands. I told him that I know the alcohol’s killing his brain cells but, even drunk, he knows this is a bad idea. Then I added that, if he smashed that vase, he’s no better than the dumbasses like Stubbie. Brian said that I had a point. I tried to grab the vase from his hands, but he pulled it away saying that he’ll put it back and then wobbled backward, dropping the vase and shattering it on the floor! My heart nearly stopped beating as I stared at a drunk Brian who was laughing his ass off like a mad man! I said that this isn’t funny and, when Stubbie sees this, we’re both fucked! That just made him laugh harder! Brian said that so what if Stubbie’s stupid vase broke, he doesn’t care and neither should I! Then he crushed a porcelain shard right under his heel as he screamed, “Fuck Stubbie!” Brian was about to stomp on another vase fragment until I stopped him, reminding Brian that the vase is already broken beyond repair. Brian ignored me and was about to stomp on it until a voice from the other room cut us short. It was Roger shouting that the cops are here I am with a drunk minor! We are both screwed big time! I even looked out the window and saw the flashing red and blue lights, indicating our doom!

Brian and I rushed out on the lawn to see people scattering into the night. Two cop cars were in the driveway, lights flashing. The officers nabbed a couple of partygoers as they tried to run past them. Meanwhile, I’m trying to escape the cops while keeping a drunk Brian under control! Thankfully, even drunk, Brian was smart enough to realize that we were in deep shit! I told Brian that our friends are still inside but he said that it was too late for them! Now it’s every man, or woman, for him or herself! My eyes fell on the rotating heads of Stubbie’s outdoor sprinkler system and I told Brian that maybe we can slow the cops down. Brian asked if I was crazy and I said yes, I totally am! Then I told Brian to wait for me by the road, I’m going to cause a distraction! Brian wished me luck as I gave him a tight smile and then ran back into the house making him promise me that, no matter what happens, he’ll stay here and stay quiet!

When I went back inside, I had to fight my way through the crowd to the sprinkler control panel. I flipped the switch and set off the sprinklers outside, hearing the cops yell as water sprayed them down! My classmates cheered at the distraction and fled the house. Donna called for me and rushed up to me, clocking my hands on the sprinkler panel. She told me it was a smart move and said that it was definitely going in my article. She winked and nudged my arm, then she told me to scram! I told Donna that I was right behind her as soon as I find one more person! I hurriedly looked around the party, trying to find my friends. I went to the kitchen to find Bender crouched in front of the refrigerator, drawing obscene doodles on Stubbie’s family photos with a marker. All I could say was, “John! Cops!” Then I told him to come with me before he gets arrested. Bender just rolled his eyes and said that he’d like to see those donut humpers try to lay a hand on him.

I told him that there’s about two dozen of them and one of him, not exactly good odds! John looked insulted and told me to never tell him the odds. I stubbornly told John that this is not a time to prove his manhood and that I came here because I care about him! Then I softened up and gently put my hand on his, startling him but he relaxed somewhat. I asked John to please not challenge the cops and come with me. John looked into my eyes and tossed the marker over his shoulder saying, “Fine, let’s jet.”

Outside, John and I snuck past the cops as they tried to figure out how to turn the sprinklers off. I pulled John toward Brian, who waved me down from the side of the road with a goofy grin on his face. John jerked to a halt beside me and I wanted to know what he was doing. Then I saw that a group of John’s burnout friends were calling to him from across the yard. He said that he better make sure all the burnouts made it out alive and then said that he guessed he owed me one. He spun away from us and hustled over to his friends. I waved goodbye to John and continued running towards Brian. As soon as I got back to Brian, I proudly told him that the mission was accomplished! Brian said that we’d better get out of here! So, we hurried onto the dark road and came to a stop as soon as we were out of sight of the cops. I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding and was so happy when I told Brian that we made it! Brian said that it was crazy and he felt like a superhero. Then he screamed triumphantly at the sky! I told Brian that Stubbie’s going to have a rough time explaining the police report to his folks when they get home! Brian said Stubbie’d also have a tough time explaining the vase Brian obliterated, but that ain’t our problem! Brian hooted and beated his chest like a gorilla. I told him to be careful not to wake the neighborhood, calling him Kong. He ignored me and continued his ape impression and I was so happy that we got out of there I joined him. Then I told Brian that, for what it’s worth, he makes a pretty good ape!

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Brian said that, technically, we already are apes. I told Brian that he can tell me all about it on the way home as we went into Grandpa’s car saying, “Let’s motor.” Brian and I ducked around the scattering crowd and dove into Grandpa’s car. Brian said that it was really close and I told him that he better buckle up. Brian said that there was no time, so I slammed on the gas and peeled down the road. The car jerked as it backfired, causing Brian to slam into the dashboard who just giggled it away. I told Brian that, unless he wants a free trip to the Emergency Room, he’d better put his seat belt on now. Brian put on his seat belt and said that he’ll do whatever I say, calling me beautiful! I told him that beautiful is also not okay. He asked me what he can call me and I told him, how about Jasmine? He took this as a sign that I’m not into pet names and I told Brian that, when he wakes up tomorrow, he’s going to realize just how stupid he’s acting. Then Brian asked if this hunk of junk had any tunes and I told him that it had an 8-Track. Brian nodded and cranked up some of Grandpa’s big band music. We bopped our heads to it as we sped off into the night. Then Brian kissed my cheek causing me to jerk the car and, had I not had to pay attention to the road, I would’ve given him an “I’m going to kill you” look! I demanded to know what the hell he was doing and he said that we’re the only two single people left in The Breakfast Club! I wanted to know if that meant that I had no choice but to hook up with him? Brian said that he didn’t mean it like that, to which I told him that he’d better not because, unlike him, I’m not about to hook up with someone out of desperation! Then I took Brian home and told him that, for the record, we are not the only single people in the group because John and Claire brokeup! I slammed the passenger’s door shut and drove back home.

A/N: So, what did you think? If you want, you can also request recaps of interactive stories as well as requesting the love interest and anything else that’s important to the story. For example, if you request High School Story from Choices, you can pick the love interest and the club your character joins!  You can also either RP in the comments by pretending you were there, or saying that you stole Jasmine’s diary, but the latter will make her mad.  I’m just warning you.  RPing as one of The Breakfast Club characters is also an option.

The Breakfast Club Episode 4 Recap

A/N: After a long hiatus, I’m back with the next diary entry for Jasmine Ross, the Rebel!  Check her out on TUMBLR!

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Dear Diary,

It’s Saturday night and I’m feeling sorry for myself. Bender’s with Claire, not me and it’s not that hard to believe. Bender’s probably had a crush on Claire for months and I just recently showed up to school. Besides, he was hitting on Claire all through detention and I’m being an idiot to think that he’d set his sights on me. Maybe it’s better this way. Bender has his dream girl and I don’t have to worry about ending up like Mom. If it was better this way, then why did I feel like I wanted to cry? Thankfully, a phone call from Mom distracted me from my thoughts. First she told me about how sorry she was for yelling at me in the car and that she didn’t mean what she said. I told Mom that I know she didn’t and forgave her for her outburst. She wanted to know how it was going and I told her all about The Breakfast Club and Vernon giving me detention. Except I left out the parts about Vernon locking me in a single room, Bender getting locked in a nearby closet and my thing for Bender, even though he’s dating Claire. Turns out Mom actually knows Vernon, but she won’t tell me how! All she said was that he was this spoiled entitled brat she knew when she was younger and she won’t say exactly what happened. Mom changed the subject by getting all motherly, not happy to hear about why I got detention and wanting to give Vernon a piece of her mind, but I told her that it was okay. I told Mom that I could actually write a novel about all of this. Maybe even a whole series detailing how we struggled after detention. Mom encouraged my creativity but told me not to forget about my grades, since she was really hoping that Grandpa wouldn’t send me to Military School. I told Mom that I’ll be fine and asked her what was going on in Detroit. She said that Tanya got pregnant and had to marry Josh. You think that would bother me but, in all honesty, I don’t care that much. Then she was about to ask me if my bags were all packed and if I forgot anything, until I heard Dad shouting about long distance calls on Mom’s end. First Mom started arguing with him about how she’s only talking to their daughter. Dad’s making it clear that they can’t afford long distance and I’m hearing Mom shout at Dad that they can afford to buy Tanya a pair of earrings from Macy’s. Dad accused Mom of plotting revenge against him for it, saying that they’ll both lose when the phone bill comes in. So Dad won, as usual, and Mom had to hang up. She said that she loved me and I told her the same.

I went back to my room, which smelled like moth balls, and lied on the bed. Actually, calling it a bed would be generous. It’s an uncomfortably thin mattress with springs inside that you can feel which creak obnoxiously with the subtlest movement. I really miss my warm and comfy bed at home. I was watching a rerun of an old cop show on a tiny black and white TV wondering how I could convince Grandpa to shell out some money for color. Actually, I wasn’t really watching it because my mind kept drifting back to the crazy Saturday I had which is not quite over yet and wondering how Mom and Vernon know each other. Grandpa threw open the door without even a knock and barged into my room! He demanded to know what I was doing in here with the door closed. I asked him if he ever heard of knocking. Grandpa said that it was his house and his rules. Then he said that he’ll knock when he’s at my house! I said that, in the mean time, I’m going to have my rights as a human being violated. Grandpa told me to cut the liberal crap and pointed to the phone in the hall just outside my room. He told me that I had another phone call and right after I just got done talking to Mom. He raised an eyebrow at me and said that it was a little late for calls, so I’d better make it quick. He went back to the living room and watched some old war documentary while I took my call. I guess I’ll ask him about Vernon after I take this call.

It turned out to be Bender on the other line!

At first, he asked who this was and why I was calling him, which made me grin. I just said hey to him and he asked me if he was interrupting a wild Saturday night at my gramp’s house. I teased Bender that maybe I like being bothered and asked if he ever thought of that. Bender said that he’s thought of everything, which is why he called and said that bugging me is my business. I couldn’t help but laugh and admitted that, after detention, nothing interesting happened except for a call from my mom. Bender asked me if she called to scream at me some more and I said that she actually called to apologize, but the real kicker was that she knows Vernon. Bender asked if there was some secret affair going on between Vernon and my mom, meeting at sleazy motels, secret calls behind my dad’s back. Seriously, ewww! I told Bender my disgust and said that it didn’t sound like my mom liked him. Bender suggested that maybe my mom ended the affair and went back to my dad! I sarcastically thanked Bender for putting that mental image in my brain. Then I admitted that my mom didn’t really tell me what happened because “the lord and master” made her hang up. Bender knew I was talking about my dad with that one and then suggested that I ask my grandpa. I told Bender that I don’t think my grandpa’s going to tell the truth on that one, so he suggested asking my grandpa while he was knocked out cold. That way, he’ll tell the truth and nothing but the truth. I asked Bender if that would just wake him up, but he assured me that, as long as I’m not too loud, my grandpa will think he’s dreaming. I thanked him but said that I’m sure he didn’t call me to give me manipulation advice. Then Bender revealed that the reason he called was to remind me about Stubbie’s party. I told Bender that I didn’t forget. Which he said was good because, according to him, it’s the most important thing happening in my life tonight. I told Bender that it sounds like I can’t miss it. Bender told me that he’ll be going over there right about now. I asked Bender if I’d see him there. Bender just remarked that I catch on quick. Then he told me that Stubbie’s house is the big one on Lakewood and I can’t miss it. I told Bender that I’d see him soon and then hung up the phone. I really don’t get Bender sometimes. First he gives me his number, then he kisses Claire and now he’s calling me asking if I can make it to Stubbie’s party. I don’t know if Bender’s friend zoning me or the master of mixed signals. Not to mention that Claire will definitely be there and I don’t know if I can stomach seeing them together. Now that Bender’s called me, I feel like I have to stomach it and go. Besides, Bender’s not the only cute guy at Shermer High. Maybe if I go there looking all hot, I can find someone else who’d be interested in me. If Allison can get Andrew, then there’s definitely hope for me even if she did have to change her image.

Then I realized that I don’t know how I’m going to get to Stubbie’s party. I don’t have a car, but Grandpa does and he’s snoring in the Barcalounger, fast asleep. It was time to put Bender’s advice to good use. I told Grandpa that Mom says that she knows Vernon. Grandpa told me that Vernon had a thing for her back when Mom was dating Dad! Grandpa said that Vernon seemed like a nice respectable young man unlike Dad, who was some sneaky man from Detroit but Mom kept insisting that Vernon was a spoiled stuck up asshole. Good, she saw right through him. Then Grandpa said that Mom would’ve been better off with Vernon instead of disgracing herself by going to Detroit with Dad. Needless to say the conversation ended after Grandpa insulted my mom again! So I snuck into the room and spotted his keys lying on the coffee table. You’re probably wondering if I’m the kind of girl to steal my grandpa’s car just to go to a party hosted by a guy I’ve never even met. Well, you can stop wondering because that’s exactly the kind of girl that I am. Though I’ll make sure that I’m back before Grandpa realizes that I’m gone. Don’t look at me like that, waking Grandpa up is way too risky and there is no way in hell he’s driving me to an unchaperoned party. Besides, he’s sleeping like a baby and something tells me he’ll be there until dawn. I grabbed the keys and snuck out the front door, managing to navigate Grandpa’s gas guzzler across town. I steered it to a spot in the long driveway of a mansion. You read that right, the party’s in a mansion! I stepped out of the car and some giant ox with a mullet approached me. He asked me who I was and I told him the truth, I’m Jasmine. He looked me up and down and asked if I was the new girl, to which I said yes. Then this guy told me to listen up. He said that this is his place and his party. I remarked that he must be the famous Stubbie and he told me that I better not forget it. Then Stubbie said that this place isn’t open to just anyone.

Lucky for me, Andrew passed by and told the bonehead to relax, saying that I’m cool. Then Andrew explained to Stubbie that I started at Shermer yesterday. Since I got the Andrew seal of approval, Stubbie agreed to let me in and headed back to the party. I saw a group of guys wearing matching letterman jackets hanging out on the porch who must be Andrew’s crowd because, as soon as they saw him, they called him over. Andrew waved back to them and turned to me. He told me to go check out the party, which is the reason why I’m here in the first place. Then Andrew said that he saw Claire inside, which made me a little angry but I kept it at bay. Andrew’s friends called for him again and he went off to join them.

I was about to go inside, until I heard a whisper from the bushes. The whisper came from Brian who was hiding behind the azaleas. I asked Brian what he was doing back there and he explained that he was having second thoughts. I asked him if he was having second thoughts about hiding behind a bush. He explained that he was talking about going into this party. Brian admitted that, technically, he wasn’t invited. I told Brian that neither was I, so we have that in common. Brian said that I’m a pretty girl, so Stubbie would forgive me. I said that Stubbie seemed pretty hard on me when I arrived and then explained to Brian that I had to get the Andrew seal of approval to get in. I suggested that Brian and I walk in together, bask in our status as party crashers. Brian seemed shocked but in a delighted way as he asked if I would really do that for him. I told him that of course I would, we’re friends and, after today, we’re all in the same boat, him, me, Claire, Andrew. I said to Brian that, as far as I’m concerned, if they’re welcome here, we’re welcome here. Brian warmed to this idea and said that yeah we are, aren’t we? I agreed with Brian that it really sucks being the outsider. Brian started to step out from the bushes, but then spotted Stubbie and the other wrestlers crowding around the front door. He ended up slinking back behind the bushes again. He said that he appreciated it, but told me to go on ahead and he’ll see me inside. I told Brian that I’m going to hold him to that and climbed the front steps of Stubbie’s house, joining the crowd pressing through the front door.

I pushed my way into the crowded house and saw Shermer kids everywhere standing and talking, dancing, sprawled out on the couch. The music was throbbing so hard that I could barely hear anything. All I did was stand still among the throng of unfamiliar faces starting to understand why Brian didn’t want to come inside. Something large shoved into me from behind, nearly knocking me off my feet. I told the guy to watch where he’s going and it turned out to be Stubbie who called me the new girl and told me that he’s sorry about what happened at the front door, but he’s got to be tough on the new ones. Then asked me how I knew Andrew. I told Stubbie that I knew Andrew from detention. Then Stubbie asked me how well I knew Andrew. I wanted to know what it mattered to Stubbie, keeping my guard up around him. Then the asshole told me that it’s his job to break me in! I scoffed and said that I suppose that makes me a new pair of shoes! Stubbie said that it’s Shermer tradition and was about to go on about how flattered I should be! A loud whistle drew the moron’s attention away from me and another one of Stubbie’s jock pals waved him down from the next room. Another meathead talking about how some of the guys ripped up the rose garden in the backyard. So far I am not impressed with the bachelor selection at Shermer High. Stubbie got mad and called them idiots, saying that his mom loves those flowers. Boy would I love to see Stubbie trying to explain this to her when she gets back. Anyway, Stubbie lurched right past me and scrambled after the other guy with his wrestling buddies in two. Honestly, I was just happy to be rid of him. Now I’m back to the smiling strangers brushing past me and barely saying anything while I’m standing on my toes, hoping to see at least one familiar face. Instead, I got elbowed by a girl I’ve never even met.

She mockingly told me to look at all of these assholes while I’m giving this stranger a double-take. Then she said that she bets half of these people don’t even know Stubbie, but that doesn’t stop them from showing up to trash the place. I said that this must be her first time at a house party, it’s like the standard rule. The girl grinned at me and said, “touche!” admitting that she saw my point. She offered me her hand and I shook it. Then the girl introduced herself as Donna Page.

I told her my name was Jasmine Ross and she realized that I was new here, which I confirmed. I praised Donna on being observant but she just gave a shrug of fake modesty. Donna admitted that she was good with faces, plus she spotted me drive up in that boat. She said that she’s definitely never seen that car at a Shermer party. I have to admit, it made me a little embarrassed. I told Donna that it’s my grandpa’s. Donna told me that it’s a classic car. Then said that anybody with wheels at Shermer is going to be popular. Donna said that, since I’m new and all, she wanted to know if I had any questions about Shermer she can answer. Then she said that I can consider her the welcoming committee. She asked me what I wanted to know. I asked Donna about herself. She asked me if I wanted her bio and then told me that her parents are divorced, which happened last year. Donna claimed that her parents should never have gotten married in the first place. She said that she had a cool older sister and a brat of a younger brother. She told me that her parents are at that phase where they’re fighting for their children’s affection. Donna admitted that it’s stressful, but there are some decent gifts involved. We both shared a laugh. Then Donna told me that it was my turn.

I told Donna that I’m technically an only child, save for two older half-siblings on my dad’s side named Tanya and Ken. The former a white trashed psycho and the latter a deadbeat. My parents are together in Detroit, where I grew up, but I don’t know how long that will last, leaving out the part where I wish it would end in divorce. Then I finished by saying that now I live with my grandfather. Donna asked why my parents didn’t move with me. I said that my dad didn’t want to leave his cushy job in advertising and, in my family, what my dad wants my dad gets. So I ended up leaving alone. Donna gave me a sympathetic look and said that I’ve come to the right place.

Somebody cranked up the music even louder and it was hair metal at its shriekiest. Donna rolled her eyes and remarked that there was no accounting for taste around here. Then she said that she needed some fresh air, but she and I should find time to talk more, someplace not so overrun with… dum-dums (her word, not mine). I told her that I was about to suggest that we head to the dum-dum farm. Donna just laughed and asked me if this isn’t the place they grow dum-dums? Then said that she saw some pretty ripe specimens on the way in here.

Unfortunately, my conversation with Donna got interrupted by Claire and Bender storming past me deep in a heated argument. Did that mean that there was trouble in paradise? Anyway, Bender told Claire that she was being ridiculous. Claire wanted to talk about this later. Bender only told Claire that he doesn’t care what his stuck up friend, Becky, thinks about him. Claire said that he might not care, but she does because she’s known Becky since kindergarten. Bender joked that she probably still eats paste and momentarily met my eye as we both smiled. Claire told Bender that he’s being a jerk again and stomped off to join her preppy friends in the living room while Bender yelled after her! He said that he’s right, she does eat paste. Then he stomped off to the kitchen. Donna remarked that Bender and Claire don’t look happy. I told Donna that they started dating earlier today and are already fighting while thinking to myself that maybe Bender and Claire won’t last. A small part of me hoped that would be the case. Donna thumped the back of her hand against my arm, sounding shocked that Claire Standish and John Bender are an item! Yeah, way to rub it in Donna. Then said that something pretty major must’ve happened to drive those two together. I bitterly told Donna that I don’t know what brought them together, saying that love’s a mystery. Donna told me that I should know because I spent practically an entire day with them in detention, so I must have some idea what made them hook up. Is this girl fucking oblivious? Finally, I told Donna that, even if I did, it’s not really my place to say. Donna just stepped back and regarded me thoughtfully. Donna took that to mean that I’m not a gossip monger to which I responded with a harsh “Yeah, so?” She told me that it’s a good thing and it’s no wonder I was able to earn everyone’s trust so quickly. I heard some angry muttering and boot stomping coming from the kitchen, which definitely sounded like Bender. I remarked that he sounded really pissed and said that maybe I should go talk to him. If I’m lucky, maybe he and Claire broke up. Out loud, I said that whatever’s going on between him and Claire isn’t good, while silently thinking in my head, “for them.” I said out loud that maybe I could help. Donna said that I could help myself because I’m good looking. Then she suggested that I make a bold move now and I’ll get to know him better. She even bet that I could get a kiss. I guess she’s not as oblivious as I thought she was. I know I don’t stand a chance next to the princess of Shermer High but, if Bender and Claire really are that incompatible, maybe he’d realize that he’s better off with me. Besides, when you’re in private, good things always happen and a kiss with Bender certainly sounded intriguing!

I told Donna that I really should catch Bender before he leaves. I started to make my way through the crowd as Donna gave me a thumbs up and told me to have fun. I found Bender in the kitchen with a punch bowl that looked like it had been recently filled and saw him pour his flask into it. I asked Bender if he was spiking the punch. He remarked that he was slipping everyone some medicine to make them act more fun. Then he started raiding the pantry as one of the people grabbed the punch bowl and took it to the main room. He asked me what I was doing there. I cut to the chase and told Bender that I saw him and Claire fighting. He just wanted to know if it was fun to watch. I asked Bender to define “fun,” and he just shrugged. Bender said that he gave her a chance, but all her stupid little judgy, snotty, shitty little friends just couldn’t keep their mouths shut. I told Bender that he may not like to hear this, but he can be a little difficult. Bender got confrontational and wanted to know if I wanted to start something with him. I told Bender that I didn’t but, since we’re friends, I hope I can be honest with him. Bender laughed it off and said that he’s not difficult, he just tells the truth.

I asked Bender if he ever heard of tact and he told me that tact was just bullshitting people. I admitted that he did have a point. Bender then told me that, if dating Claire means he has to put up with those harpies, he might have to reconsider. There was a small part of me screaming, “Yes, reconsider!” Instead, I told Bender that there’s not a guy in Shermer who wouldn’t kill to be in Bender’s position. Bender said that it’s why he carries a knife. I elaborated by telling Bender that he can buy her a flower, or something, since I know he can do that. Seriously, what am I doing? This is my chance to be with Bender and I’m actually encouraging him to stick it out with Claire? Bender told me that this isn’t one of those sappy teen movies where the couple fights, the guy gets the girl a flower and everyone rides off into the sunset. I admitted that I know that, but I’m not sure what else to tell him. Bender just gave me a sneer and asked if this was the part where he was supposed to sob and thank me. I didn’t know what else to say, so I muttered an insincere sure. Bender did a mock cry and then just said hug. He fell silent and, for just a moment, he actually looked thoughtful and a little bit vulnerable. I know Bender would kill me for saying this, but it was actually kind of… cute. I don’t know what came over me, but I leaned over and planted a kiss on his lips. At first, he was tense but then he relax and returned the kiss. Forgive me if I sound cliche, but I swear that fireworks were going off inside of me! Then I finally came up for air and I looked up at him and remembered Claire, unable to believe what I’ve done! I told Bender that I’m sorry and was about to leave until he grabbed my arm and forced me to look him in the eye, telling me that he’s not sorry! He kissed me and I pulled away from Bender and slapped him. Then I returned the kiss, feeling this pang of guilt in my stomach. After the third kiss, I said that this was wrong, Bender’s with Claire. Bender scoffed and said he made a great choice picking the spoiled princess over me. Then he told me that he knows that I don’t have any bitchy friends. I responded to Bender by saying that I don’t, just some misfits that I met in detention. I warned Bender that I do have a bitchy sister. Bender said that she’s in Detriot and he actually smiled at me! He tried to kiss me again, but I stopped him. I told Bender that I don’t want to be his side chick or a notch in his bedpost. Then I explained that he has to make a decision, me or Claire. He said that he’s got a lot of stuff in his head right now and that he needed some fresh air. Then he excused himself from the kitchen while all I could do was contemplate what just happened. Did I really steal the princess’s boyfriend away from her? I never thought I’d even see the day! Then I felt the guilt come back tenfold. It’s one thing to fantasize about stealing someone’s boyfriend away but actually doing it just felt wrong. Besides, Claire’s been nothing but nice to me and I stabbed her in the back over a guy. Am I a horrible person?

I wandered through the party, trying to get my mind off of what I just did and saw Brian standing near the refreshments and looking awkward. So I went over to him. I said hi to Brian and was happy to see that he made it inside. Brian told me that he really appreciated what I said earlier, trying to give him a boost. Then he said that he finally worked up the guts to come in. I told Brian “Anytime,” as he still looked like he needed a boost. Brian gave me an awkward high five and poured himself some punch. I tried to stop Brian but he drank the whole glass as I explained that it was the punch Bender spiked. Brian said that he didn’t feel any different. Then he started bobbing his head to the music, grinning as he pointed finger guns at a group of passing girls shouting, “Looking good, ladies!” The girls responded with a mixture of giggles and eye rolls. I asked Brian if he felt any different now. Then he said that he was just picking up chicks like he was the Fonz. Brian refocused his attention and pointed at a different approaching girl asking if she came here often. The girl recoiled and made a quick 180. Honestly, I don’t blame her. Brian loudly proclaimed that the punch was amazing, thanking Bender for adding this magical confidence potion and was about to get another glass when I stopped him. I told Brian that it’s also a bad decision potion. Then Brian put two thumbs up and said “Ayyyyeeeeee.” I started thinking that Brian’s going to get his ass kicked if he keeps this up and how much I wanted to kill Bender. Right now, I needed to put a stop to this before Brian tried to get the TV running by hitting it. I tried to distract Brian by attempting small talk as he nodded to the beat. At first, I thought about talking to him about Star Trek or The Twilight Zone but I knew that neither he nor I wanted to advertise our geek sides at a popular kids party. So, instead, I asked him if he goes to a lot of parties and he finally holstered his finger guns and relaxed. Brian said that of course he does, he’s not a loser. Brian told me that he’s been to birthday parties, slumber parties and one time he went to a bar mitzvah. I told Brian that I meant house parties. Brian said that most of them were in houses. Then he asked me if I’ve ever been to a house party and I admitted that I haven’t, but I have an uncle who throws parties like a high school jock. Brain pointed out that it sounds like I have been to a house party. I tried to explain what I meant, but gave up. Definitely not one of my greater conversations but at least I’ve saved Brian from further embarrassment… I hope.

I heard some movement near the front door and looked over. There was Allison in her new get-up arriving at the party and, let me tell you, I wasn’t the only one staring at her. Everyone at the party looked at Allison like she was a different woman, which she probably was. I’ll admit, I will miss the basket case but, if this is what Allison wants, who am I to stand in her way? Brian said that everyone’s really into Allison’s new look and that he’s sure people are staring at me too because of my rad makeover. I made Brian promise to me that he’d never drink again. Brian said that he’s adorable like this and put his arm around me, calling me “babe!” I pushed his arm away, giving him a warning glance, and told Brian that no, he’s not. Andrew appeared beside me and also stared at Allison, distracting me from the drunk mess that was Brian. Then said “damn,” and asked me if I would look at her. Allison walked toward us, painfully aware of the eyes on her. Andrew was really happy that Allison showed up and so was I. Allison said that it’s not like she was doing anything else. Andrew said that she’s glad Allison’s here and said that this was awesome. Then Andrew stepped forward and gave Allison a light kiss. At least one couple that hooked up in detention will live happily ever after. Andrew asked Allison if she wanted a drink and offered to get her one. Then he hurried off to the kitchen before Allison could even respond. Allison just stood there, looking awkward. I asked her if she was loving her makeover. She said that everyone was staring at her and she felt like a freak. I asked Allison who cares if they think she’s a freak. Allison said that she does. I told Allison that it’s not true. Allison angrily said, “Excuse me?” I explained to Allison that, normally, she wears all black, tells crazy sexual lies, and brings cereal sandwiches for lunch. Then said admirably that most people find that stuff freaky, but she does it anyway. Allison said that she did that stuff because she wanted to. I told Allison that she’s right, because she doesn’t care if they think she’s weird. Allison said that she guessed not. Then I explained to Allison that they’re staring at her because she doesn’t look weird, which in itself is weird. Allison said that she already doesn’t care if they think she’s weird. I finished by telling Allison that it’s like I said, who cares? Allison sighed and said that I was impossible, asking if I knew that.

I looked around and noticed the crowd was pressing closer to me and saw Andrew’s wrestling buddies in the crowd as well as Claire’s preppy friends, unable to look Claire in the eye. Thankfully, I didn’t have to see Claire for too long because one of the dumb jocks shouted if we wanted to play “Seven Minutes in Heaven.” One of the preppy girls said that they needed a couple of volunteers. She looked me up and down and said that we got a volunteer right here. No way, count me out! When you play games like this, more often than not, you get paired with some gross guy who’s never known the touch of a woman in his life. No, I’ve never played before and that is exactly why I don’t want to. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to tell them that as the jock immediately wondered who was going to go with me and that’s just when Andrew returns. He asked what was going on and the prep girl said that Andrew’s a good choice. He asked what he was a good choice for but, before anyone could explain, Andrew’s wrestling buddies grabbed us and threw us both in a coat closet, slamming the door right in our faces while Allison watched with a shocked look on her face! Dear God, I hope she doesn’t think that I’m going to steal her boyfriend. I’ve already ruined one relationship over a guy and that is my limit! What’s worse is that Bender just walked in and I really hope he didn’t see this!

A/N: Uh-oh, Jasmine just kissed Bender.  Will that end in her favor or blow up in her face?  If you want, you can also request recaps of interactive stories as well as requesting the love interest and anything else that’s important to the story. For example, if you request High School Story from Choices, you can pick the love interest and the club your character joins!  You can also either RP in the comments by pretending you were there, or saying that you stole Jasmine’s diary, but the latter will make her mad.  I’m just warning you.

The Breakfast Club Episode 3 Recap

A/N: I usually post reviews on Fridays, but I was really excited about ending the movie part of The Breakfast Club before getting to what happened after.  I also wanted to announce that Jasmine Ross now has her own TUMBLR account here!  Be sure to follow her and ask her any questions you want!

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Dear Diary,

I’m back and Allison’s waving the very piece of paper that can either make or break me. Andrew asked what it was and Allison answered that it was my transfer letter! I told Allison that it was mine and demanded that she give it back! I even tried grabbing the letter, but she held it out of my reach! I didn’t find this funny and I made sure to tell Allison that! Allison only muttered an uh-huh and you have no idea how badly I wanted to scream at her! Fortunately, my mom always told me that it’s white trash to scream in public, so I decided to appeal to Allison’s better nature and beg her not to reveal my secret, saying that I would never do that to her. Allison had a change of heart and extended the letter to me. Bender said that there needed to be less talking and more reading. He snatched the letter out of Allison’s hands and quickly scanned it over! Bender sounded almost impressed, but that doesn’t excuse him for reading my transfer letter! Claire wanted to know what it said, so Bender explained that, according to the letter, I didn’t come to Shermer by choice, I got expelled from my last school! Brian said that even Bender hasn’t been expelled, which Andrew and I both remarked “yet.” Hey, I was angry, don’t judge me! Then Bender, that fucking asshole, starts to read my letter out loud! “Jasmine was expelled from Dewey High, on the grounds of…”

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They didn’t get to hear why I was expelled, as I told Bender to look out and pretended to point to something behind him. He turned around and fell for the oldest trick in the book as I snatched the letter out of his hand! I even told Bender that I can’t believe he fell for that. Bender said that at least the rumors were mostly true and was happy to know that I’m not a poser. I asked what Bender meant by mostly and he explained that he heard that I was a bitch, but it seems like I’m more of an asshole. I told Bender that I’d take that as a compliment. Brian asked what the difference was and Bender said that there’s a fine, but definite, distinction. Brian wanted to know what that distinction was. Bender called Brian a dweeb and told him that he doesn’t have time to get into the subtleties of derogatory diction with him right now because we’ve got bigger fish to fry! Then Bender asked me what my story was, practically demanding that I spill it! I told Bender the truth, if I screw up here, my next stop is military school. Brian seemed shocked and even said, “holy shit!” Claire asked if I was serious. Andrew agreed that my situation sucks. Bender said that it was better than prison. Andrew remarked that Bender’s never been to prison. Bender asked Andrew if he wanted to bet. I said that, whatever Military School is like, I don’t want to go and even said that it’ll be the end of me. Allison said that she knows why I got kicked out of my last school!

Andrew told Allison to give it a rest. Claire said that I’ll tell them if I feel like it. Brian asked Allison why she’s so freaking weird. Allison said that to conform is to die a slow death. I have to admit, even if Allison is grating on me, I kind of like that line. Claire asked Allison if she’s weird because she thinks not being weird is a slow death. Allison asked if we really want to know why she’s so weird. Brian said that he thinks it might shed some light. I told Allison that I like to think of it as finding out what makes her tick. Allison asked me if this was research for my next writing project. I finally just asked Allison what’s going on and if she’s okay. Allison jerked her head away and her eyes filled with tears. Then said that, if we really want to know why she’s so weird, then we can empty her bag on the table. I took the bait and emptied the bag, saying that this should be fascinating.

Allison handed me her bag and I dumped the contents onto the table seeing tons of stuff spill out like socks, underwear, a shirt, shampoo, toothpaste, tampons, a bus pass, a tarot card, a 45 record. I asked Allison if she always carried this much shit in her bag. She said that she does. I examined the bus pass, which was a one-way ticket to New York. I asked Allison if she wants to go to New York. She said maybe and that it depends. I asked her what it depends on. Allison said that it depends on how far she wants to get away from here. I looked at the tarot card, which was the death card. I asked Allison if she was trying to tell us something. Allison told me that it’s not what I think it means. I asked Allison what it means and she explained that it signifies endings, beginnings, transformation, and transition. Finally, I checked out the 45 record, which was a song called “Gotta Get Away” by The Blue Balls. Seems like everything in Allison’s bag is about getting away and I even pointed that out, asking Allison if that’s why she has all this stuff in her bag. She explained that you never know when you may have to bolt. Brian asked Allison if she’s going to be a shopping bag lady, sitting in alleyways and talking to buildings wearing men’s shoes and that kind of thing. Allison said that she’ll do what she has to do. Brian asked Allison if she’s saying she’d subject herself to the dangers of the Chicago streets. Allison said that she doesn’t have to run away and live on the street, she can run away and go to the ocean, she can go to the country, she can go to the mountains, she can go to Israel, Africa, Afghanistan and then she turned to me. Then she asked me where I would run away to. I told Allison that I run away every day in my head to lands I create or other people created for me. I said that, considering the stories my mom told me about runaways, it’s the safer option. Allison told me to imagine running away from home forever, where would I go. I told her that, off of the top of my head, I’d probably take my mom with me and go somewhere fun like the circus or the amusement park. Allison asked me what job I would want and I said that I’d probably want to be an acrobat. Allison said that she would’ve guessed a clown. I told Allison that I’ll keep that in mind if I ever want to be Batman’s arch nemesis. Brian perked up at the mention of Batman. Then I asked Allison how bad her life can be if she’s seriously thinking about running away. She said that her home life is unsatisfying. I told Allison that everyone’s home lives are unsatisfying because, if it wasn’t, people would live with their parents forever. Though, now that I think about it, there are people who live with their parents forever, but I kept that to myself. Brian said that he thinks it goes beyond what we might consider normal, everyday unsatisfying. Allison seemed to take offense to what we said and told us to forget it, because everything’s cool! Then she wiped a tear for her face and started shoving everything back into her bag. What did we say that was so offensive? Whatever it was, I feel guilty about it. So I decided to be sympathetic and walked over to help Allison put stuff back in her bag. I asked Allison what was wrong at home, and if it was really that bad. Allison nodded and I guessed that it has something to do with her parents, which she admitted was the truth. I asked Allison what they do to her and she said that they ignore her. I told Allison that I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make light of her problems like that. I just squeezed her shoulder as tears filled her eyes. Allison just sighed and clutched her bag to her chest. Then she said that she has to get away, somehow, because, if she doesn’t, she’ll end up just like them. Andrew asked if we’re all going to end up like our parents. Claire said that she wouldn’t, not ever. Allison said that it’s unavoidable and it just happens. I said that maybe we can still fight this by being what our parents could have been instead of how they ended up. Allison said that it doesn’t work that way because, when you grow, your heart dies.

Bender just scoffed and said, “Who cares?” A mix of emotions passed Allison’s face as she said that she cares and then looked at me while she was crying her eyes out. I chose to be sympathetic to Allison and said that I care too. Bender gave a sarcastic “Oh please,” and asked what that even means! I tried to explain that it means and Allison finished by saying that our lives are going to suck, but at least we don’t have to go through that suck alone and then gave me a friendly smile. I told Allison that she’s wrong, we don’t have to end up like our parents if we don’t want to. I said that I know that I’m not going to end up like my mom.

It’s 2:53 pm and we’re all seated on the floor in a circle. Claire asked us what we would do for a million bucks. Andrew said that he’d do as little as he had to. Claire responded by saying that his answer was boring. Andrew asked Claire how he was supposed to answer. Claire explained that the idea is to search his mind for the absolute limit. Then Claire turned to me and asked if I’d drive to school naked. I told her that I’ve dreamed about driving to school naked, which perked Bender up. Claire then explained to me if I would drive to school naked in real life for a million bucks. I said that I would, but only if I was sure whoever offered the deal wouldn’t back out at the last minute. Claire said if the person was sincere, would I do it in winter? I said that a little frost bite is nothing compared to living in a giant mansion with servants to do everything for you. Then I told Claire that I’d even do it on school picture day. Bender asked me to prove it. I told him that as soon as he shows me a case with a million bucks, I will. Bender gave me a perverted grin. Well, he doesn’t find the idea of me being naked disgusting, so he must be somewhat attracted to me. Allison agreed with me but then said that she’d do anything sexual and she wouldn’t need a million dollars to do it either. Claire rolled her eyes and accused Allison of lying. Considering how little Allison’s parents pay attention to her, it’s not hard to believe that she might do some… questionable things for just the slightest bit of acknowledgment. Allison told Claire that she’s done everything there is, except for a few things that are illegal. Then Allison claimed that she’s a nymphomaniac. Claire called it a lie and Brian asked Allison if her parents were aware of this. Honestly, I doubt they even care. Allison said that the only person she’s told is her shrink. I asked Allison what they did when she told them and all she did was grin and say that he nailed her! I found myself proclaiming that her shrink is a fucking sicko! Claire agreed with me as she said it was gross because he’s an adult! Allison said that he’s married too, but I don’t care if he’s single. He should not be fucking a teenage girl! Claire asked Allison if she’s crazy, but I told her that the one we should be disgusted with is the shrink, not Allison! Brian said that she must be crazy if she’s screwing her shrink! Allison then turned to me and asked if I’ve ever done it! I told Allison that I don’t have a psychiatrist, but I did see a school counselor once. I explained that all that happened was I burst into tears and he handed me tissues. Then Allison clarified that she meant if I’ve ever done it with anyone. Allison said that it’s a double-edged sword, and I asked her what she meant. Allison said that, if you say you haven’t, you’re a prude, if you say you have, you’re a slut. Then Allison asked me if I’m a tease. I said that I don’t see why we have to be defined by whether we have or haven’t done it. Bender said that it means I’m a slut! I angrily told Bender that I’m not! Then he remarked that he’d say I’m a prude but I did say that I’d walk to school naked, so I’ve got to be a tease! I insisted that I’m not a tease but I’m not a prude either, I’m just me! Bender said that I’ve gotta be a tease, I just said that I haven’t done it with anyone and, the way I look, I’ve got to be a tease. I felt my face turn red, but I don’t know if it was from anger or embarrassment. I admitted that I can’t be a tease because no one at my old school even looked at me, all of their eyes were on my sister and the guys that did were more interested in using me to get to her! Bender scoffed, accusing me of lying, but I told him that I wasn’t lying! Then he remarked that my sister must have been one smoking hot babe if they were ignoring me for her and now I’m back to wanting to punch Bender’s lights out! Bender then remarked that I would be a slut if anyone gave me the option. I told Bender that it depends on who’s giving me the option! Allison got bored with me and turned to Claire, asking about her. Claire turned the question around to Allison, asking her if it bothers her to sleep around so much without being in love.

Then she asked Allison if she wants respect. Allison said that she doesn’t screw to get respect, claiming it’s the difference between her and Claire. Bender then turned to Claire and called her a tease, to which Claire angrily said that she’s not a tease! Bender said that Claire is because she said it herself, sex is a weapon and you use it to get respect. Claire said that she never said that and Allison twisted her words around. Bender asked Claire what she uses sex for and she screamed in frustration. Claire then said that I’m right, we shouldn’t have to be defined by whether or not we’ve had sex. She admitted that she doesn’t use it, period and she’s never even done it! All of us exchanged a silent look and I’ll admit that I couldn’t believe it! The Princess of Shermer High was a virgin? Tanya was the princess at my last school and she was far from a virgin as can be, though I’ve heard her admit that she hates having sex so I think she actually does use sex as a weapon. Allison finally admitted that she’s never done it either and she’s not a nymphomaniac, she’s a compulsive liar and she grinned again. Claire and I both got angry at Allison and called her a bitch! Claire added that she did that just to screw us over! Andrew said that we’re just pissed off that she got us to admit something we didn’t want to. Brian admitted that he hadn’t done anything either. I told Brian that it’s cool and there’s nothing wrong with being a virgin. Brian said not to get him wrong, because he totally wants to do stuff, he just hasn’t exactly had a ton of opportunities. I told Brian to just give it time, it’ll happen. While silently thinking that I hope it will also happen for me one day. I didn’t say that out loud for fear that Bender and Allison will tease me again, the former volunteering himself. Bender told Brian that he’s sure there’s some nerdette out there just waiting to tickle his fancy.

I remarked that there are worse things in the world than being a virgin. Bender scoffed and asked me what I meant by that. I asked Bender if it’s better to be buried alive, but he said that my remark sounded a bit more personal like it was something that happened to a member of my family. I asked Bender what he could possibly know about my family that wasn’t in my sketch. Bender explained that, when Dick came over to tell them why I wouldn’t be in the library, he said that I came from bad stock but wouldn’t say what it was. I gave a frustrated sigh, of course Vernon would hold something like that against me. Bender asked me what it was and I told Bender that I’d make a deal, as soon as I die I’ll haunt him at night and tell him what it is. Bender remarked that he’s never fucked a ghost before and I’m giving this guy a look asking him how it was that he could find the perversion in everything. Bender shrugged and told me that it’s a gift. I rolled my eyes and said that I’m not sure if I’d call it a gift. Bender said that it must be one terrible secret I’m keeping if I’m that determined to keep it, even speculating that it might be in my diary! I told Bender that, if he reads it, he dies! Bender said that it’d be worth it and I responded that it wouldn’t because I didn’t write about the incident in there! Bender smirked and said that there’s no reason for me to not let him read it then! It’s bad enough being on the receiving end of Bender’s perversion now, imagine how much worse it will be if he found out what I wrote in there about him! I finally said that my half-brother, Ken’s, a registered sex offender, hushing everyone in the room, even Bender! I quickly explained that it’s not as bad as they think, the girl had a fake ID of 21 but it was still embarrassing and it broke up Ken’s first marriage, or one of his many engagements, I can’t remember.

Andrew just gave a shy look around the group. Then he asked us if we know what he did to get in detention. Andrew admitted that he taped some guy named Larry Lester’s buns together. Claire laughed while Brian asked if that was Andrew. Then he asked Brian if he knew how hairy this Larry guy was. Then Andrew explained that, when they pulled the tape off, most of his hair came off and some skin too. I cringed at the mental image that gave me and Claire sounded just a horrified as I was. Andrew just shook his head as I asked him why he did it. He explained that he did it for his old man, torturing that poor kid because he wanted his dad to think he was cool. I asked Andrew what his friends thought and he said that they just laughed and cheered him on, like it was some high school movie where the nerdy hero gets tormented by the jerk jocks but, the way Andrew said that it was for his dad, I had to know what he meant. So I asked Andrew what was up with his dad and why he wanted him to hurt that poor kid. Andrew explained that his dad’s always going off about when he was in school and all the wild things he used to do. Andrew said that he always got the feeling that his dad was disappointed that he never cut loose on anyone. Then Andrew started getting really emotional and explained that he wailed on Larry because his father hates weakness and Andrew admitted that he hates his father and then started mimicking him! He did this imitation of his father as this asshole pressuring Andrew into being number one and how he won’t tolerate any losers in their family!

Andrew admitted that sometimes he wishes his knee would give and he couldn’t wrestle anymore so his dad would forget all about him. Bender clapped his hand on Andrews shoulder and suggested that their dads get together and go bowling. I remarked that my dad could join them, fuck with somebody’s else’s heads for a change. Then I started thinking about the high school movies the situation reminded me of, how we’re all supposed to sympathize with the skinny nerd while wishing the jerk jock would jump off of a cliff. We never stop to ask ourselves what made the jock a jerk in the first place, how they can be so mean to that poor nerd and how they manage to sleep at night.

I changed the subject by asking Bender what he did to get detention. He asked me which one I meant and I realized that I had to be more specific. So I told Bender that I’m talking about the one we’re having right now. Bender asked me if I remembered that fire alarm that we had on Friday. Brian asked Bender if that was him. Bender said that he thought that he’d try to start the weekend a little early and he didn’t think that those freshmen dweebs who saw him were going to narc. Bender joke that, maybe next time, he’ll just start a real fire. I snarked to him that I think that’s the lesson to be learned here. Though, honestly, I wonder if he wants to get Saturday detention so he doesn’t have to stay at his awful house.

Then I asked Claire what she did to get detention. She told me that she ditched class to go shopping. Andrew seemed disappointed and, honestly, I’m with him on that one. Though, in all reality, what I did to get detention isn’t exactly a hair raising story either, not like Andrew’s. His will be a tough one to top. Anyway, Claire said that she shouldn’t even be here. Bender snarked that the rules don’t apply to Queenie. Claire told Bender to shut up.

Next, I asked Allison what she did to get detention. It must be something awesome, enough to give Andrew’s story a run for his money! Allison admitted that she didn’t do anything, she just didn’t have anything better to do. Okay, I take that back but it did make everyone laugh. Allison accused us of laughing at her but I explained that we were laughing with her. At least, I tried to, but I burst out laughing mid-sentence and Allison ended up laughing with us.

Finally, I asked Brian what he did to get detention. No offense to Brian, but he seems too… rule abiding to be here. Maybe he got pressured into doing something he didn’t want to do? Turns out everyone else was wondering the same thing. Brian said that it’s because he’s stupid and he’s failing shop. He explained that they had this assignment to make this ceramic elephant lamp. Then said that, when you pull the trunk, the light was supposed to go on but his light didn’t go on. Brian admitted that he thought shop would be an easy way to maintain his grade point average. I remarked that I always saw Shop as an easy way to lose a limb. He said that he turned out to be wrong, because he got an F. Bender asked Brian why he thought it would be easy in the first place. Brian asked us if we’ve seen some of the dopes who take shop. Bender angrily said that he takes shop and, in all honesty, I don’t blame him for being angry right now. Bender then told Brian that he must be a fucking idiot. Brian asked if he was a fucking idiot because he can’t make a lamp. Bender remarked that he’s a genius because he can’t make a lamp. Brian asked Bender what he knew about Trigonometry and Bender said that he could care less about trigonometry. Brian said that, without trigonometry, there’d be no engineering. Bender responded by saying that, without lamps, there’d be no light. Claire said that neither one of them is any better than the other one. I added that Claire’s right, they both make good points. Then I told Brian that I still don’t get how he got detention. Brian hid his head in his arm and then explained that he got detention because Mr. Ryan found a gun in his locker!

Oh my God, he was either going to murder someone or commit suicide! I immediately dismissed the former and asked if he was going to hurt himself with that gun. Brian actually had to think about it and he was silent for a long time, confirming my worst fears as he started to shake and wipe the tears from his eyes! He said that he tried, you pull the freaking trunk and the light’s supposed to go on but it didn’t. Again, I asked Brian what the gun was for. Brian explained that he can’t have an F and he knows that his parents can’t have it! He said that, even if he aced the rest of the semester, he’s still only a B and everything’s ruined! I didn’t know what to think about this! Claire shared my horror as Brian bashed his arm against a chair! Brian said that he considered his options, but killing himself is not an option and Claire agreed with me! Brian said that he didn’t do it, but the thought that he nearly did! I asked Brian if it was a hand gun. Brian explained that it was a flare gun and it went off in his locker. Honestly, I felt relieved and I think Andrew felt the same way as he started laughing. Brian said that it wasn’t funny but we all laughed, probably thinking that it’s lucky that the gun went off in his locker before he had the chance to use it. Brian even agreed that it was funny and admitted that the fucking elephant was destroyed and he laughed along with us.

Now it was my turn as Brian asked me what happened at my last school. I told them that nothing could be as bad as having a sex offender for a brother, so it’s time to come clean. I admitted that I got kicked out because I spray painted something on the school wall. Brian asked me what it was and I said that it was a smiley face. Bender found it hard to believe that I got kicked out for a smiley face. I explained that it had the principal’s name underneath and a dick coming out of its mouth. Bender said that it’ll do it. I said that the principal totally deserved it. Then my face fell as I admitted that it’s what my so-called friends told me. Claire said that I thought I was a loner at my last school. I admitted that I was, but it wasn’t by choice and admitted that my sister, Tanya, was the princess at my high school and she went out of her way to make my life miserable. No one wanted anything to do with me so that they didn’t piss off Evil Queen Tanya. Then I explained that, finally, a group wanted to hang out with me who hated Tanya as much as I did. I said that I was so excited to belong that I did whatever they say, whether I was for it or against it I looked Bender in the eye and told him it was how I’ve tried tofu and soy beans. Then I bitterly told them that, when I got caught, they bailed on me and I had to face the Principal alone. Andrew asked me what she did to make me and my friends hate her so much, and I said that she took away our off-campus privileges just to be a bitch. I told them that it’s what happened and now this is my last chance because, if I screw up here, it’s off to Calvin Military Academy. I admitted that wasn’t even the worst part. Claire asked me what was the worst part. I said that my mom was driving me home after I got expelled. She screamed at me and I remembered what she said. I imitated my mom as I remembered what she said to me in the car, my eyes starting to water. “How the fuck could you do this, Jasmine? I’d expect something like this from Ken or Tanya, but you were supposed to be the white sheep! Do you have any idea how much shame you brought to our family? No, I don’t want to hear a fucking peep out of you! Your father’s always said you were a lost cause, your grandfather said I was too lenient with you and now I’m starting to think they’re both right! So here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to live with your grandfather, go to Shermer High and get your fucking life together or, so help me God, you’ll be at the Calvin Military Academy! No, you don’t talk to me and you don’t even look at me! I don’t want to see your face!” Bender remarked that it didn’t sound like my mom loved me all that much. I told Bender to shut up and he doesn’t know what the fuck he’s talking about! Bender said that my mom didn’t even fucking listen to me and sent me to my grandpa the first chance she got! I said to Bender that my mom trusted me, believed in me and I let her down! I quietly adding that I fucking let her down. Then I told them that my asshole dad had to rub salt in my wounds. I imitated Dad with a loving voice and recalled every word he said to me, the tears falling out of my eyes. “Jasmine, I say this because I care about you. You might as well sign up for Calvin Military Academy right now because you will fuck up at Shermer High just like you fuck up in life.” I admitted that I still hear my dad right now, loud and clear and he’ll never fucking go away. Then I started saying that maybe Allison’s right, we do end up like our parents. Allison asked me what made me change my mind and I said that, before my mom met my dad, she had dreams, ambitions but then she fell in love with my dad and, everytime my mom wanted to pursue something greater, my dad would say the same thing to her that he says to me, “I say this because I love you, don’t try because you’ll fuck it up.” I said that, little by little, my mom got manipulated like that but she was so in love she couldn’t even see it. Now he’s fucking silenced her and he’s silencing me. Then I’ll end up married to some manipulate asshole just like him, getting my spirit crushed until there’s nothing left. Andrew and Brian both looked at me, as if they could understand what I was going through. I suppose they could, they both had manipulative parents that were controlling them and, in a way, the same thing was happening to them. Bender said that I should just fucking silence my asshole dad! I told Bender that it’s not that easy because, in case he forgot, my head is my dad’s summer home! Bender told me to just kick him out! I asked Bender if he knows what it’s like to have someone mess with your mind like a toy? Bender snapped at me and said that he’s only a punching bag, what a relief! I told Bender that I’m not saying my life is worse than his, I’m just saying that he has no idea what it’s like to have someone constantly fucking with your head to the point that you don’t know what’s real anymore! Bender said that he’ll tell me what’s fucking real, my asshole dad’s in Detroit and I’m in Shermer! I told Bender that my dad’s not the only one silencing me, there’s also the teachers who gave me Fs because they didn’t think Carrie was a real book or I gave answers to essay questions that they didn’t like! I said that I once got an F on Hamlet because I suggested that the king that died was the evil king instead of his brother! Bender asked me why I give a fuck what they think! I said that the hippie group gave me the illusion of freedom, but made me do everything they did and then bailed on me! Bender said that they’re fucking assholes! Then I pointed out that my grandpa plans on sending me to Military School if I fuck up at Shermer, which would destroy everything unique about me! Bender told me not to fuck up here! Finally, I pointed out that Vernon was doing the exact same thing, destroying each of our voices and leaving us as empty shells, pointing out that he’s even silencing Bender! Bender seemed taken back by what I said and I pointed out that he’s the one who told me we can’t go to the Principal about Vernon! Bender said that it hasn’t stopped him from showing Dick up and he thought that it didn’t stop me! Andrew told Bender to leave me alone, but I told Andrew that Bender’s right. If I don’t want to end up speechless like my mom, then I can’t let people run me down like this. I looked around at the rest of the group realizing that their situations might be different but we all had one thing in common, we were trapped. Claire with her rich narcissistic parents who used her as a pawn in their games. Allison with neglectful parents who didn’t care if she existed. Brian with parents who had standards so unreasonable that they’d drive the poor boy to suicide. Andrew with his stage dad using his son to relive his glory days. Then there was Bender, who was trapped worse than any of us with parents who criticized him and used him as a punching bag, Saturday detention being his only means of escape. Last but not least was me, ruled by a narcissistic asshole who manipulated his own family into becoming extensions of himself. I told the rest of the group with a newfound determination that none of us can.

3:15 pm and we’re all still lounging on the floor, counting the minutes until four. I asked if anyone had a weird skill. Allison said that she can write with her toes and she can also eat and brush her teeth with them as well as play Heart & Soul on the piano. Brian said that he can make spaghetti. I asked Andrew what he can do and he said that he can tape all of our buns together, something we all laughed at. Bender said that he wanted to see what Claire can do and she said that she can’t do anything. Bender told her that everyone can do something. Claire said that there’s one thing she can do, but we have to swear that we won’t laugh. Then remarked that she can’t believe she’s actually doing this. Claire took out a tube of lipstick and put it between her breasts, applying the lipstick from her cleavage. She lifted her head to show us that the lipstick was perfectly applied. Andrew asked Claire where she learned to do that and she said that it was in camp in the seventh grade. Claire turned to me and asked what I can do. I told them that I can stay up for twenty-four hours straight. Bender said that I must have some good shit. I said that the only drug I have in my house is caffeine.

Then Brian asked what’s going to happen to us on Monday. I asked Brian what he meant and he explained that, when we’re all together again, he considers us his friends. Then asked if he was wrong. Andrew said that he wasn’t, but Brian still asked what happens on Monday. Claire asked if Brian meant that we’ll all still be friends, which Brian confirmed. There was an awkward silence but I chose to be optimistic by saying that, after today, how could we not be friends? I said that’s usually how it works out in the movies. Then I asked if we can really go back to the way it was. Claire said that we could. I told Claire that I don’t think so! Andrew even called Claire out on her bitchiness! Claire defended herself by asking Andrew what he would do if Brian walked up to Andrew in the hall on Monday! Then finished for Andrew by saying that he would say hi and, when Brian left, Andrew would cut him up so his friends wouldn’t think that he really liked him! Andrew said that he wouldn’t do that! Allison asked Claire what she would do if she came up to her! Claire said that she’d do the exact same thing! I asked Claire if she would treat me just like Tanya did at my old school. Claire said that she wouldn’t go out of her way to single me out, but the principle would still be the same. Bender called her a bitch and I agreed with him! Claire asked why she was being a bitch, because she’s telling the truth? Bender told Claire that it’s because she knows how shitty that is to do to someone! Brian said that he wanted to tell each one of us that he wouldn’t do that, he wouldn’t and he will not! Claire said that his friends wouldn’t mind because they look up to her! I got so fed up with Claire’s bullshit and stuck up for Brian by telling Claire that she’s a conceited bitch and asked why she’s so fucking full of herself!

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Claire claimed that she wasn’t saying that to be conceited and that she hates having to go along with everything her friends say! I told Claire that the whole reason I got expelled was because I went along with whatever my so-called friends said! Then I asked Claire why she would want to keep her fake friendships when she has real friends right now! Claire said that it’s the rules of cliques and I told her that the rules are wrong! Claire remarked that it was so easy for me to say because I just moved here and didn’t have an established clique!

3:33 pm and we’re all worn out from the day and watching the clock tick towards four. I asked Brian if he was going to write his paper. He said that he was and asked me why I asked him. I told Brian that it’s a waste for all of us to write our paper. Brian said that it’s what Vernon wants us to do. I admitted that Brian was right, but I think we’d all say the same thing. Brian accused me of not wanting to write my paper and I gave him a mischievous smile, admitting that my writing is more creative than academic. Then I told Brian that we trust him. Brian glanced at the rest of us who just gave him a nod of approval and he beamed with pride. Brian agreed to write the paper and I thanked him for it. Then Claire stared at me, as if she was sizing me up. I asked her what she was doing and Andrew explained that Claire’s in makeover mode. Claire said that she can work wonders with anybody’s look but she does her own styling. Claire bragged that she also came up with Andrew’s new hairstyle. Bender asked what it looked like before. Andrew told Bender to shut up. Allison told Andrew that she thinks his hair looks great, which Andrew thanked her for while Claire and I gave each other a knowing look. She still kept her focus on me and said that I’ve got a solid foundation but she has some great ideas on how to make me look even hotter than I already am. Then asked me if I wanted to upgrade my look.

The princess of Shermer High wants to give me a makeover? How could I say no? Claire was really excited and said that it would be so much fun! Then she told Allison that she’s coming too! Allison was a little confused, but Claire insisted that she join us! She grabbed Allison’s arm and the three of us headed off to the restroom! Claire applied eye makeup to Allison, telling her not to be afraid. Allison told Claire not to stick that in her eyes. Claire said that she’s not sticking it, then told Allison to close her eyes and demonstrated. Allison followed Claire’s lead and, after Claire was done, she admired her work and continued with the makeover. I told Allison that she looks great either way, but her new style is wow! Allison thanked me and said I was sweet but she still liked her old style better. Claire told Allison that Andrew doesn’t and we exchanged knowing glances. Allison asked what Andrew had to do with this and Claire told Allison not to play dumb because she’s seen the way she looks at him. It pained me to say it, but I asked Claire about the sexual tension between her and Bender and how you can cut it with a knife. Claire asked me what I was talking about and Allison teased Claire that she knows exactly what I’m talking about. Claire’s face turned bright red as she insisted that she can’t stand him and then asked if we think he likes her. It was Allison’s turn to exchange a knowing glance with me. Claire just said “What-ever,” and shifted her attention to me, saying that it’s my turn. She told me that the secret is not to go overboard and that less is more. Claire worked her makeover magic on me and I asked her where she got those awesome outfits! Claire told me that she found out where the drama department keeps their extra costumes. After changing clothes, I decided to show off my new look! Allison said that I look amazing! Claire said that it could be her most successful makeover ever! Then she said that we should do see what everyone else thinks.

3:50 pm and I feel great! I made a grand entrance and unveiled my new look to the rest of the group!

You wouldn’t believe this, but I made all of the guys’ jaws drop! Brian said that I look amazing. Andrew agreed with Brian. Even Bender, who said that he’s not really in the compliments business, said that I look smoking! I thanked them all and said that it was all Claire. Claire said that an artist can’t work her magic without a great subject. Then Allison made her entrance from the back room and Andrew looked stunned! It’s still Allison, but she’s no longer the dark, moody, closed-off girl. She seems light and, dare I say it, more open. Allison walked past Brian and the look of shock on his face earned a glare from her. Brian just changed his expression to a big grin, letting Allison know the makeover was a success. Allison smiled and silently mouthed the words “Thank you.” Andrew asked Allison what happened to her and she said that Claire did it. Then Allison asked Andrew what’s wrong, probably worried that he didn’t like her new look. Andrew told Allison that nothing’s wrong, it’s just that her new look’s so different. Andrew remarked that he can see Allison’s face. Allison asked if that was good or bad. Andrew just laughed and said that it’s good. Allison smiled at Andrew as their hands brushed together.

Over at the table, Brian tapped his pencil as if he were in deep thought. I asked him how it’s going and he said that he’s almost done, but there’s just one more thing. Brian told me that he came up with a description for each of us, kind of like the way Vernon sees us without really seeing us. Brian said that he’s the Brain, Andrew’s the Athlete, Allison’s the Basket Case, Claire’s the Princess, and Bender’s the Criminal. Brian then claimed that the only one he has left is me, so he thought that he’d let me decide what I wanted to be called. I thought about how Vernon saw me as this rebellious good for nothing troublemaker and I thought “why not give him what he wants?” So I told Brian to call me The Troublemaker and then remarked that it was too lame. I remembered Bender’s words from earlier when I told them about my dad and told Brian to call me The Rebel because I’m not going to let society, or the people around me, define who I am. Brian nodded with approval and went back to work. Then I remembered what my counselor said about finding opportunities all around me and I realized that I’ve been living one! Five high school stereo-types holed up in one room, each of us slowly revealing that we were more than our labels! I asked Brian if he could make a copy of that essay for me. Bender told me to get back to the classroom before Brian could ask why I wanted to see the essay. Bender explained that Vernon’s going to be coming for me soon. I reminded Bender that he needed to get back to his closet. Claire thanked me once again for saving all of them. Andrew said that they all owe me one. Allison agreed with Andrew. I told them that I’ll see them on Monday with the exception of Brian and said that I would explain the essay to him later. Bender asked me if I needed a boost back into the vent and I said that I did, thanking him for it. Bender and I headed back to the second floor and took one last look at the library before leaving. I said that it was a pretty good day, which Bender found weird. Bender helped me onto the bookshelf and, from there, I pulled myself back into the ceiling vent.

4:07 pm and I’m back into the empty classroom, waiting for the dragon to release me. He finally entered and asked if that was what I was wearing earlier. Yay, now’s my chance to gaslight him! I insisted that it was and Vernon said that he’s sure that I wasn’t. I told Vernon that I’ve been wearing this all day and said that he might want to take some vacation days because it sounds like he’s overworked. The dragon gave me a confused look and told me that I was free to go and that Brian wrote an essay for us. Then he said that he hoped I learned something today. I told Vernon that I learned a lot and he asked me what exactly I learned. I told Vernon that labels are for clothes, not people and that I won’t be silenced. I got up and walked past Vernon, free of him and his prison. I left Vernon standing alone with the essay while wondering if Brian managed to make a copy. As I headed down the hall, I saw the rest of the gang standing in front of the library. I asked them if they really waited for me. Claire said that of course they did. Andrew asked if I thought they were animals. Brian said that, technically, we are animals, but he did promise that he’d hand me a copy of the essay. Allison called Brian a nerd. Bender told Allison not to call him that, which Brian thanked him for, but Bender said that Brian’s a dork not a nerd and gave Brian a playful smirk. Andrew said that we should get out of here. I grabbed my copy of Brian’s essay and thanked him for this. Then told everyone that I’ve got to grab my stuff and I’ll see them later. I stepped into the library as the rest of the crew headed outside. I started packing up my stuff when I heard the sound of footsteps outside, causing me to look up. I was expecting Vernon but, thankfully, it was Bender. He told me not to get up on his account. I told Bender that I was just getting ready to leave. Bender told me not to rush and it’s not like I’ve been in this school all day. I asked Bender why he was here and joked if he missed me. Bender made a big show of shrugging and said that maybe he did and maybe he was hoping that we could see more of each other. I told Bender that I’d like that. Bender said that he figured I would, so that’s why he stopped in here, since he’s all about giving the people what they want. I told Bender that we have that in common and laughed. He took out a piece of paper and a pen and said that he wanted to give me his phone number! Then Bender told me not to worry about calling since his old man never answers the phone. He wrote his number on the paper and handed it to me! I felt my heart pounding like mad but calmed myself down long enough to give Bender my number, which he tucked into his wallet! Bender said it was cool and then asked me what Brian handed to me. I told Bender that it was a copy of the essay, nothing all that huge. Bender just shrugged and asked if I heard about Stubbie’s party tonight. I told him that I did and he said that he might be there, just to check it out and see if it’s as crazy as everyone claims! Then he said that maybe he’d see me there! Okay, did I just get asked out on a date, a real date? I thought Bender liked Claire! Anyway, I grabbed my belongings and left.

I walked down the steps in front of the school and caught sight of Claire and Bender sharing a kiss, causing a little pang in my heart but I knew I didn’t stand a chance against her. Though, for a moment, I locked eyes with Bender and I could’ve sworn I felt a connection. No, I got friend zoned again and I have to live with it. I turned away and saw Andrew and Allison kissing too, that actually bringing a smile to my face. I stood in the parking lot, waiting for my grandpa to pick me up and reflected on the day. I admit, it was definitely not what I expected. Though I couldn’t help but wonder if Stubbie’s party will be as crazy as they say. I knew that there was only one way to find out. I read the essay Brian wrote and thought about how this whole day could be a novel, or maybe a movie. One that actually challenged the stereo-types of high school rather than following them and this essay was the perfect ending. So it’s only natural that I put it in my diary.

Dear Mr. Vernon,
We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But, we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us… In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is… A brain… and an athlete… a basket case… and a princess… a criminal… and a rebel. Does that answer your question?
Sincerely Yours,
The Breakfast Club

I saw Bender punch his fist up in the air and I smiled to myself, imagining the look on Vernon’s face when he reads this.

A/N: So ends the movie and, next chapter, we’re going into what happens after the movie.  Believe it or not, I was inspired by Speechless from the live-action Aladdin when I wrote some of this chapter.  I think of it as Jasmine Ross’s theme song, which is why I changed her name to Jasmine.

The Breakfast Club Episode 2 Recap

A/N: Here it is, the second chapter of my Breakfast Club recap.  Shout out to BloodRoseRed, who this recap is a gift for.  If you recognize it from The Breakfast Club, I don’t own it.

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Dear Diary,

Last time I wrote in here, I was holding Bender’s knife and Vernon was looking at me like he wanted to kill me. Now I’m back, I’ve still got the knife in my hand and Vernon’s still looking at me that way. He demanded that I give him the knife and ripped the switchblade right out of my hand, meaning I didn’t really have a choice. Then he told me that I may have just set the record for fastest expulsion in the history of the district unless I can come up with a reasonable explanation for why I’m standing there with a knife in my hand! I didn’t want to rat Bender out, but I couldn’t just stand there not saying anything! So I told Vernon that we found it in the library which, unsurprisingly, he didn’t believe. Then he asked me if I really thought he was stupid enough to believe that there was a switchblade lying around in the library. No, but I hoped he was. Guess I was praying for a miracle. Out loud, I told Vernon that it was the truth. Vernon asked me how I found it and I invented this story about how I know I wasn’t supposed to get up but my foot got a cramp and I had to walk it off. Then, as I was pacing down the aisles, I started thinking about the essay assignment and how I was going to complete it. I found the knife in one of the aisles sticking out of Moby’s Dick (yeah, I was really nervous).

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Brian, Andrew and Claire were trying to hold back their laughter while Bender just cracked a smile. Vernon angrily corrected me by saying that the book’s called Moby Dick. I finished my story by telling Vernon that I was just bringing it to him and that’s when he walked in. All the while my heart’s pounding like mad as I’m praying to a God that I’m not even sure exists that Vernon doesn’t expel me! I asked everyone else to verify my story and they all nodded. Vernon just narrowed his eyes and looked around, then he told me it was a nice try, but possession is nine-tenths of the law! He said that I was expelled and grabbed me by the collar, pulling me towards the library door and I went from agnostic to full-blown atheist! Thankfully, Bender spoke up and called Vernon Dick before correcting himself to call him Rich. Vernon stopped to face Bender, who asked Vernon if he was really dumb enough to believe that’s my knife. Vernon let go of me and told Bender that he just bought himself another Saturday. Bender told Vernon to eat his shorts, really pissing him off to no end. When Vernon asked Bender what he said, he repeated it slowly in a scene that had to be seen to be believed. Vernon told Bender that he bought himself one more Saturday detention! Bender just responded by telling Vernon that he’s free the Saturday after that but, beyond that, he’s going to have to check his calendar. Vernon said that was good because it was going to be filled. I felt really grateful to Bender for saving my ass and making me agnostic again and he shouldn’t have to suffer through so many Saturday detentions because of me, so I decided to take the heat off of him. I was about to speak, but Vernon told me to stay out of this. Again, I tried to speak but Vernon told me that I was walking a very thin line. Finally I told Vernon that the phone in his office is ringing. Vernon claimed that he didn’t hear anything. Claire said that she heard it too. I told Vernon that it was loud and clear and suggested that he get his hearing checked after detention’s over. He shot me a glare but was listening to the made up phone ringing and then started to head towards the door. Before leaving, he threatened Bender by saying that he’s his, which Bender responded to by saying that he’s thrilled. Vernon challenged Bender by saying that he’s sure that it’s exactly what Bender wants us to believe. Then he told Bender that he ought to spend a little more time trying to do something with himself and a little less time trying to impress people! Vernon finished by telling Bender that he might be better off. Then Vernon finally walked out of the library and let the door slam shut behind him. Bender screamed “FUCK YOU!!!” at Vernon through the door. All I could do was stand there, thinking about how I was nearly expelled and Bender saved me! Brian asked me if anything was wrong and I just smiled and told him that I just faced the dragon and lived to tell the tale!

It’s 11:59 am and I’m bored, the exhilaration from the knife incident wore off big time. Now we’re all just hanging around the tables, staring into various points in space until the alarm on Brian’s watch went off. Brian told us that it meant that it was time for lunch. Not a moment too soon, I am starved. Everyone settled into their seats as Claire pulled out sushi (seriously, ewww!), Andrew pulled out a grocery bag with a lunch big enough to feed a small country, Allison took the meat out of her sandwich and poured sugar from her pixie sticks on the bread as well as Captain Crunch (original, but double ewwww!), Brian just pulled out a regular lunch bag and Bender had nothing! I, once again, sat with Bender. I thanked him for owning up about the knife, telling him that it was a cool thing he did. Bender said that it was his knife and then thanked me for trying to take the heat off of him. Bender told me that he knows that Vernon’s phone wasn’t ringing. I told him it wasn’t a problem, but I think I might have made Vernon worry that he’s going deaf. Bender said that would suck, because he wouldn’t be able to piss off Dick, if he couldn’t hear him which made me smile. I told Bender not to worry because, even if Dick was going deaf, Bender would find a new way to piss him off.

Then Bender sat down and checked out Brian’s lunch bag. Bender asked Brian what they were having and I really hope that doesn’t mean he’s about to steal Brian’s lunch! Brian said that it’s just your standard regular lunch and asked Bender where his lunch was. Bender admitted that he didn’t have one. I asked Bender if he didn’t bring his lunch to which he said no. Then he started inspecting the contents of Brian’s lunch bag, soup, a peanut better and jelly sandwich with the crust cut off and apple juice! He told Brian that it’s a very nutritious lunch with all of the food groups represented! Then he asked Brian if his mom married Mr. Rogers! Brian cluelessly answered that she married Mr. Johnson. Then Bender did this unfair impression of what Brian’s family must be like, pretending to be Brian’s dad calling for his son! Then he switched to Brian saying, “yeah, Dad?” giving him exaggerated dimples! Then Bender switched to Brian’s dad asking Brian how his day is and calling him “Pal!” He switched back to Brian and said, “Great, dad!” then had Brian ask his dad how his day went! Bender went back to imitating Brian’s dad saying that it was “super,” and then asking Brian how he’d like to go fishing this weekend! Then Bender went back to imitating Brian telling his dad that it would be great, but he’s got homework to do! Bender switched back to Brian’s dad, saying that it was all right and he can do it on the boat! Then Bender switched back to Brian going “Gee!” Bender imitated Brian’s father talking to his mother asking if their son was swell and then calling her dear! Then Bender finished this skit off by imitating Brian’s mother telling his father that Brian is and then asking if life is swell! Then he imitated them both kissing each other and punched the air! It was like Brian’s family was a modern day version of the Cleavers! Though, if you ask my mom, Ward Cleaver was beating his family behind the scenes. Still, it didn’t make what Bender did less disgusting and what made it worse was that Brian looked like he wanted to cry! How can Bender be so cool one minute and act like a complete asshole the next?

I finally asked Bender what his home life is like to put a stop to this. Andrew joined me by asking Bender what it’s like at his house. Bender said that it’s real easy. Then he did this impression of his father calling him a stupid, worthless, no good, goddamned freeloadin’ son of a bitch, big mouth, know it all, asshole jerk! He switched to an impression of his mother telling his father that he forgot ugly, lazy, and disrespectful! Then he switched back to his father slapping his mother and telling her to shut up, bitch and to go fix him a turkey pot pie! Bender shifted back and forth between playing himself and his father. Bender asked his dad “What about you?” and his dad responded with “Fuck you…” Then, as himself, asked his dad again, “What about you?” His dad once again responds with “Fuck you!” Then he more passionately asked, “No, Dad, What about YOU?!” getting another “FUCK YOU!!!” Then Bender mimicked his father beating him! It made me and everyone else feel uncomfortable as all we could do was stare in silence! I asked Bender if that was for real. Bender asked me if I wanted to come over sometime. Andrew accused Bender of spouting bullshit, saying that it was all part of his image and he doesn’t believe a word of it!

I told Andrew that I think Bender’s being honest! It would explain why he pretty much lives in Saturday detention. Andrew still didn’t buy it, to which Bender challenged by pulling up his sleeve to show us a circular shaped burn! Then Bender asked Andrew if he believed this and explained that the burn’s about the size of a cigar and made Andrew look at it up close! Bender said that it’s what you get in his house when you spill paint in the garage! I couldn’t believe it! I’ve heard stories about screwed up families, but hearing about this still sent me into shock!

Bender noticed how upset I was and then asked if it was too much for Little Miss Perfect to handle! I told Bender that my family’s not as bad as his, but they are far from perfect! Then he did an impression of my family with me skipping inside my house and proudly proclaiming that I’m home! He switched to an impression of my mom, or what he thinks is my mom, saying welcome back sweetie and how it’s oh so wonderful to have me home! Then he switched back to me and said that it’s oh so wonderful to be home and then mimic giving my mom a paper and then said, “guess what, Mommy? Another A!” He switched back to my mom, who gave a smile that made her look like a Stepford Wife and said, “I’m so proud of you!” Then he switched into what he thought was my dad coming home from work and saying, “Well, if it isn’t my favorite daughter?” He switched back to me and said, “But Daddy, I’m your only daughter!” Then he switched back to my dad and said that it makes me his favorite one and told me that he had a surprise for me! He switched back to me and gave an imitation of a girlish squeal and repeatedly asking what my present is. Then he switched back to my dad who presented me with an imaginary book saying that it’s my own personal diary! He finished the skit by changing back to me and jumping up and down like a five year old on a sugar high and saying that I love my new gift and I’m going to write in this as soon as I finish my homework! I burst into this crazy “I’m going to kill you” laughter, earning me a stare from everyone in the room, including Bender. Then I asked Bender if that’s seriously what he thinks my family is like. Bender challenged me to prove him wrong, which I did.

I did an imitation of Dad shouting at Mom about how I could get another F and then switched to Mom shouting at Dad that, this time it wasn’t my fault and explained that the teacher gave me an F because she said Carrie wasn’t real literature. Then I went back to Dad mocking Mom for actually believing me, claiming that it’s because, once again, I was off in la-la-land while the teacher was giving instructions. I turned into myself trying to watch TV until I insisted that the teacher said we could pick any book we wanted. I went back to Dad scoffing at me and saying that, once again, I daydreamed in class and didn’t pay attention and insisting that there’s something wrong with me and then switching the channel. I went back to me telling Dad that I was watching that and then back to Dad who said that it’s the same episode of Cheers that I’ve seen a million times. I went back to Mom saying that I was at the TV first. Then I imitated Dad giving the remote back to me and saying that I can have whatever I want, like I always do, and how he has no control in his own house. I went back to Mom who sighed and told me to let Dad watch TV. I went back to Dad telling Mom that Tanya’s going to be staying over for the weekend and Ken’s going through another divorce, so he’s moving in tonight. I switched back to Mom, yelling at Dad for springing this on her without even asking. Then I went back to Dad, acting all hurt and accusing by telling Mom that she thought she would say yes to his kids visiting, but she seems set on being an evil stepmother. I switched to Mom acting all guilty and apologizing, then asking how she’s going to switch everything around on short notice. I went back to Dad, telling me that Tanya’s sleeping in my room and I get the couch. I switched back to me, asking Dad if he’s fucking serious. I went back to Mom, suggesting that Tanya sleep on the couch. Then I went back to Dad, asking Mom if she’s seriously going to let his daughter sleep on the couch. I went back to Mom, reminding Dad that I’m his daughter too, even if he does forget that. Then I switched to Dad, once again, accusing Mom of being an evil stepmother who values me more than his children. I switched to Mom apologizing to Dad and then saying that I’m sleeping on the couch. Then I went back to me trying to protest and then turned into Mom telling me not to be selfish and then Dad giving me an accusing look.  I ended the skit with me caving in.

Brian said that my teacher did have a point, Carrie isn’t real literature. I told Brian that, back in ye olde days, people were probably saying the same thing about Shakespeare. Bender turned to Andrew and asked if he believed my story, to which Andrew admitted that he did. This just made Bender angrier as he went to the book-covered table in the back and threw all the books onto the floor in a rage. Then he said that he was done sitting here with us fucking dildos. He jumped onto the table and grabbed the railing on the stairs to the second floor and then pulled himself up and took a seat on the stairs facing away from the rest of us. He looked like he wanted to cry! Maybe I shouldn’t have done that, but I was so angry with Bender for implying that my life was perfect I just wanted to show him differently. Besides, it’s not like I said that I didn’t believe him, unlike Andrew. Claire told Andrew that he shouldn’t have done that, to which Andrew replied that Bender lies about everything else, so why wouldn’t he lie about this. I asked Andrew if it was really that hard to believe that Bender’s home life was like that, to which Andrew had no response. I went to go share my lunch with Bender and he looked up at me as I took a seat next to him. Bender demanded to know what I wanted. I just told him that I hate eating alone and asked if he was hungry.

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Bender told me that he doesn’t take charity, so I told him to consider it more of a thank you for helping me with Vernon earlier. Bender pointed out that I didn’t rat him out, so we’re even. I told Bender that I’d take it as Bender-speak for “thanks for covering for me with the knife.” Then I argued that he’s the one who best knows how to handle Vernon and he needs to keep his strength up. Finally, Bender caved in and said that, if it would shut me up, he’ll take half of my fucking lunch. I considered it a victory and let Bender have half of my turkey sandwich and chips. He immediately took a bite out of my sandwich and was surprised that there was no mayo. I explained that my grandpa made it and he doesn’t really believe in condiments. Bender said that condiments aren’t like God, you don’t really have a choice to believe in them or not. I explained to Bender that my grandpa thinks condiments are a luxury. I joked that it could be worse, it could be tofu burgers and soy beans. Bender asked me if I seriously ate that hippie crap and I told him that it was a long story. Bender still gave me a look and I promised him that I’d tell him later.  Then I asked Bender why he didn’t bring his lunch. Bender told me that he was out of cash. Then said that he’d rather spend his money on other things. I asked Bender what he’d spend his money on over the basic necessities of life. Bender answered that he’d spend it on extracurricular activities. I joked if he meant the Physics Club, which made Bender laughed as he quickly said no. Then I asked Bender what he was talking about and he explained that he meant sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. I smiled and said that I really shouldn’t be that surprised. Bender asked me if I expected anything else from the walking bad boy cliche who can’t read words that are more than two syllables. I felt guilty for that false diary reading I did earlier and told Bender that, for what it’s worth, I don’t think he’s a total cliche and I’m sure he can read words that are more than two syllables. Bender admitted that he thought my diary was a gift from my dad, so we were both wrong. I told Bender that it’s actually from my counselor, I said to him that I wanted to be a writer and he gave me a journal, telling me to record everything I see because it might make a worthwhile story. Bender remarked that I’m a dweeb. I admitted that I pretty much was.  Then he said that I look pretty hot for a dweeb and I had to turn around so that he didn’t see me blush.  I even joked that, maybe one day, I’ll publish books that will be destroyed by him. Bender told me that, if they become movies, he’ll sneak in and see them, like he does for that Stephen King guy I mentioned. I asked him if he was talking about Carrie. Bender told me that he also saw the one with Jack Nicholson chopping the door up and shouting, “Here’s Johnny!” I chuckled and asked if he meant The Shining and that I guess there is some literature he likes, even if he never read the books. He told me that they’ve got people going psycho and killing everyone, so what’s not to like? I told Bender that I can’t argue with that. Then Bender asked me what I was into other than writing and horror movies. I told Bender that I like music. He asked me what kind and I admitted that I like any kind of music I can dance to, but my favorite is rock like Joan Jett, Simple Minds, Bon Jovi. Bender thought that was awesome and I suggested that we could check out a show sometime. Bender gave a suggestive maybe and then asked me what made me come over here. I told him the truth, that hearing that story really got to me. Bender said that my family wasn’t exactly the Bradies, something I actually agreed to. Then Bender added that at least my mom gives a shit about me. Which I muttered sadly that she does, remembering my last conversation with her that didn’t exactly end well. Bender asked me why my mom puts up with my dad’s bullshit. I said that my dad has a way of getting into your head and added that mine and my mom’s heads are my dad’s summer home. Then I asked Bender why parents like his would even have a kid and quickly added that I didn’t mean that he shouldn’t exist. Bender said that his dad got his mom knocked up in a crack house, causing me to cringe. Call me crazy, but it’s actually quite nice eating with Bender and talking like civilized people. It’s almost like a date. Hey it’s the first time I’ve ever shared lunch with a cute guy and we’re talking to each other, so I’m calling this a date in the loosest definition of the word. Then he said that I can actually be fun to hang out with, when I’m not acting like an uptight bitch. I told Bender that he can actually be good company himself, when he’s not acting like a perverted asshole. He remarked that this perverted asshole feels my hand on his! I quickly removed my hand and blushed, apologizing and explaining that I didn’t realize it was there. He just asked me if I wanted to touch his dick next! I rolled my eyes and said to Bender that the perverted asshole’s back. He responded by saying that so’s the uptight bitch and I turned around so that he wouldn’t see me blush.

12:50 pm and Bender slid out of his chair and jumped to his feet, suggesting that we blow this pop stand. Brian told Bender that Mr. Vernon said we should stay in our seats. Bender said that he needs to stretch his legs and then marched over to the door. Claire asked Bender where he was going to go. Bender casually said that there’s something he wants to get. Andrew asked what it was, but Bender said that it was a surprise. I asked Bender if it was a “yay, I feel so good to be a part of this” kind of surprise, or a “I can’t believe this is happening to me” kind of surprise? Bender said that, if he told us, it would ruin the surprise. Somehow, that does not ease my nerves. Then he asked me if I was up for a field trip and called me, hotshot. I’ll admit, I was curious about what this surprise was, so I said that I could use a walk and told Bender to lead the way. Claire asked if I was serious and I asked her if she was bored. Bender said “That’s the spirit!” and then asked if the rest of us are paying attention. Allison went to Bender’s side and then Claire joined us reluctantly. Andrew shook his head, but he succumbed to peer pressure. Bender just cracked a smile and turned to Brian. Bender called Brian Wonder Worm and asked him if he was ready to blossom into a butterfly. Brian clarified that it’s actually caterpillars that turn into butterflies. Bender just called Brian Captain Caterpillar and asked if he was ready to grow some balls. I told Brian that, if he doesn’t want to come with us, he doesn’t have to and said that no one would judge him. Bender said that he would judge Brian and I explained that I wouldn’t judge him. Brian said that he’ll go and got up, ready to join us. Bender flipped up his collar and checked the hall to see if the coast was clear. Then he told us that Vernon’s gone, gave us the all-clear and disappeared out of sight. The rest of us followed him as he strutted down the empty hallway. Claire asked Bender how he knew where Vernon went. Bender admitted that he didn’t. Claire asked Bender how he knows when Vernon will be back. Bender admitted that he didn’t and said that being bad feels pretty good, huh? I admitted that you can’t say Bender doesn’t keep things interesting, which unnerved and intrigued Claire at the same time. Brian asked where we were going, which Andrew answered with “Beats me.” Brian said that this was stupid and asked why we were risking getting caught. Andrew admitted that he didn’t know. Brian asked what we were doing. Andrew told Brian that if he asks one more question he’s beating the shit out of him. Brian then turned to me and asked if I was worried about what Vernon would do if he catches us. I told Brian to think of it as a video game with Vernon being the final boss. Brian asked if we can defeat Vernon in a way that wouldn’t involve him getting a suspension on his record. I explained that, if we play by Vernon’s rules, he wins. Brian said that, if he got a suspension, he’d lose. Then said a sad goodbye to Yale and a sad hello to community college. I told Brian that, if Vernon catches us, I’ll tell him we took Brian against his will. Brian happily asked if I would do that, which I said that I would and I will. Brian’s going to be a famous scientist making all kinds of breakthroughs that can change the world, but I’m just going to be a writer. You can go to community college for that. Come to think of it, you don’t really need college to be a writer… or high school. So why do my parents and grandpa insist that I get a diploma? Bender distracted me from my thoughts by holding up his fist, signaling us to halt in front of a row of lockers. He sarcastically asked us if we wanted to guess which one was his. I rolled my eyes and pointed to the one that had “Open this locker and you die” graffitied in marker with an actual noose hanging from the top and then sarcastically told Bender that he could’ve made it a bit more difficult. Bender said that he wouldn’t want to hurt my brain and I told Bender to just open the locker because I want to know what I’m risking suspension for. Bender told me not to kill the suspense and acted like a game show host by saying “Ding ding ding. We have a winner folks.”

He said that he’d show us what we’ve won and opened his locker. You wouldn’t believe this, but an actual guillotine came slicing down and chopped one of Bender’s gym sneakers in half! He rifled around through piles of moldy food and stinky clothes, making me cringe. I asked Bender if his maid was on vacation. Bender said that he’d just rather spend his money on this and grabbed a paper bag, pulled out an even smaller paper bag inside which had an even smaller paper bag. It was like I was watching one of those dolls that, when you open the top half, there’s something smaller and smaller and it just goes on and on until it gets to the smallest one. What are those dolls called? Anyway, inside the last paper bag was a small plastic bag which Bender shoved into his pocket and I have a strong suspicion of what’s inside! Claire asked if that’s what she thinks it is. Andrew told Bender to put it back. Brian said that we should forget detention, because we’re going straight to juvie. Then Brian turned to me and was really shocked to see that I was smiling. He asked me if I really approve of this. I said that I’m always down for some extracurricular activities, remembering my conversation with Bender from earlier.

I heard some footsteps nearby and guessed that it was Vernon, saying that we really need to go. Andrew told Bender to put his dope back but Bender said that it was too late. Bender slammed the locker shut and walked away with the rest of us following. Just as we turned the corner, there was Vernon heading back towards the library! We quickly changed direction and ran the other way. Bender told us that we have to go through the cafeteria. Andrew said that we should go through the Activities Hall. Bender told Andrew that he didn’t know what he was talking about. Andrew countered by saying that Bender didn’t know what HE was talking about as Allison squealed. I told them that, if they want to thump their chests, they can do it some other time! Right now, we have a dragon on the loose who’s going to scorch us alive if he catches us! Andrew and Bender looked to me and the latter dared me to tell us where to go. I said that we should go with Bender because he practically lives here on Saturday. Andrew said that we’re through listening to Bender and that we’re going through the Activities Hall. Andrew ran down the hall and everyone, except me and Bender, followed him. I told Bender that we either live together, or die alone. We ended up following the rest of the group rushing down this huge flight of stairs and down a long hall. We turned a corner and ran right into a gated corridor. So now we’re trapped and Vernon will win. Bender slammed the bars with his fist. I only pointed out that we should’ve listened to Bender. Brian panicked by saying that we’re dead. Bender said that we’re not all dead, just him. Then he ordered us to get back to the library and stuffed his dope in Brian’s underwear. I told Bender that, if he gets caught, he’s going to get expelled. Bender told me that, as Sporto said, if he disappeared forever, it wouldn’t make any difference, and someone’s going to have to take the heat for this, or we all will. Andrew sarcastically asked if Bender was going to try and be a hero. I said that I kind of like it, the bad boy with a heart of gold sacrificing himself to save people he’s actually starting to care about. Bender said that he’d love it if one of us dipsticks stepped up to the plate, might make him actually respect us for once. I told Bender that I’d do it. I said to Bender that he’s already in enough trouble as it is. Bender looked at me like I’d grown a second head and said that he guessed he owed me one now. I told Bender that I’ll handle Vernon and that he needed to go. He was about to leave with the rest of them but looked back at me and said that it was my last chance to back out. I responded by saying that I’m not taking it and told Bender to go! He finally left with the rest of the group.

I danced down the hallway, banging into the open locker doors and singing “Bad Reputation” at the top of my lungs in an imaginary microphone. I did this for only a few more minutes until Vernon finally took the bait. I always read about this part in stories, but I never thought I would actually live it! I’m definitely using this as writing experience, might even thank Bender in the acknowledgments, even though he’d never read. He’d probably just rip the pages up, but he did say that he’d see the movie version. Anyway, Vernon spotted me in the hallway and shouted, “Ross!!!” Then he demanded to know what the hell I thought I was doing. I told him that I was practicing for my future rock star debut and asked him if it was too much. He snagged me by the collar and dragged me into an empty classroom! Then he pushed me into one of the desks and ordered me to take a seat! I fell into a chair and braced myself for Vernon’s wrath, knowing it couldn’t be anywhere near as bad as when I got caught with the knife. Then Vernon acted like an old man as he said that he didn’t understand us kids today. I told Vernon that maybe he should’ve chosen a different career. That really pissed the dragon off as he leaned in close and thrusted a finger in my face. Vernon told me that, if I don’t change course, I’m going to end up just like John Bender, a waste of space! I am so sick of this asshole making assumptions about everyone! I told Vernon that Bender’s got a rough life and he’s just trying to figure things out!

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Vernon asked me if that’s what he’s got me believing. I told Vernon that it’s the truth but it’s not like he gives a fuck! Then I added that, even if Bender did turn over a new leaf, he’d be saying that it wouldn’t be long until he’s back to his old ways! Vernon said that this isn’t about Bender, this is about me! What the fuck does this asshole know about me? Then he told me to take some time to think about that essay I’m supposed to write! As Vernon was leaving I told him that I had two ideas for the essay, one that says I’m a delinquent with no hope of redemption whatsoever and Shermer High was wasting it’s time on me and another that says I’m a dutiful student who smiles and does whatever she’s told, never questioning the great Vernon. He turned around and glared at me as I said that maybe I’d combine the two, talk about what a worthless delinquent I was at my old school until he straightened me out with a Saturday detention and harsh punishment. Vernon, once again, leaned in close with a look that said he wanted to punch my lights out. I told Vernon not to worry, I won’t write anything about how his “harsh punishments” are borderline torture. Vernon demanded to know if the essay was a joke to me. I innocently explained to Vernon that I just wanted to know what he wanted me to write. Vernon harshly told me that what he wants is for me to take my essay seriously and not treat it like a joke like I have with some of my essays in the past. Then he marched through the doorway and pulled the door closed behind him, locking it and keeping me prisoner, yet I couldn’t help but smile. Vernon may have me locked in Shermer High’s version of solitary confinement, but I won this round.

1:40 pm and I’m alone in an empty classroom trying not to let my mind wander and failing big time. I tried to at least picture myself on the Enterprise serving Captain Kirk, as part of the Rebel Alliance fighting alongside Luke Skywalker, or even a customer at Cheers chatting about my awful day with Sam Malone. Unfortunately, I kept picturing my last meeting with Mom after I got expelled, how she screamed at me and how she told me that maybe Dad’s right, I am a lost cause. Then I heard a door shut nearby and put my ear up to a wall hearing Vernon tell Bender that it’s the last time he ever makes him look bad. Right, because you really needed Bender’s help for that. Then asked Bender if he thought that Vernon couldn’t figure out that he put me up to my little rock show. Vernon kept picking on Bender by telling him that he makes $31,000 a year and he’s got a home and he’s not about to throw it away on some punk like him but someday, when he’s out of here and he’s forgotten all about this place and they’ve forgotten all about him and he’s wrapped up in his own pathetic life, Vernon’s going to be there and he’s going to kick the living shit out of Bender and knock his dick in the dirt! Bender just calmly asked if Vernon was threatening him and, maybe it was my imagination, but he sounded a little scared! Vernon asked Bender what he’s going to do about it, almost taunting him and then asked if anyone would believe him, if anyone would take Bender’s word over Vernon’s! Vernon said that he’s a man of respect around here and they love him while Bender’s a lying sack of shit and everybody knows it! Then I heard something click and Vernon shouting at Bender to get on his feet and show him just how tough he really is, even offering to give Bender the first punch! I couldn’t take it anymore! I just shouted through the wall at Vernon to leave Bender alone! Vernon just remarked that now Bender’s got the expelled delinquent for a witness! Bender told me to stay out of this! Vernon then made it clear to me that no one’s going to believe me either and he’s right. Grandpa’s not going to take my word over that asshole’s. The only one who’d believe me is Mom, even if we did have a bad falling out, and she’s back in Detroit. Why did she have to send me away? Why couldn’t she have divorced Dad and come here? Bender then told Vernon to leave me alone! Vernon asked Bender what he’s going to do about it and then demanded that Bender hit him! I shouted at Bender not to, telling him that Vernon’s not worth it! I felt the tears roll down my eyes as I heard Vernon say that it’s what he thought and called Bender a gutless turd! Then Vernon shouted at me that he hoped I heard that because, if I don’t straighten out, it’s going to be me in there! I expected some sarcastic remark from Bender but, instead, there was silence. I remembered how sad and vulnerable Bender was when Andrew said that he didn’t believe his story and to think that Bender’s alone with no one to comfort him! Bender didn’t even have anyone to comfort him at home, or even a small memory of someone who loved him! All I could do was go back to my desk and cry in my arms with only one thought in my head, Vernon won.

I buried my head in my arms, continuing to bawl while wishing Mom was here or that I was back home and this was all just one bad dream. Then I found myself startled by a noise that came from the ceiling. Guess who it was, Bender coming to my rescue! I saw his head dangling down from an open square in the ceiling tiles! He casually asked, “Mind if I drop in?” I smiled at Bender and asked if he was okay. Bender told me that it was nothing he couldn’t handle. Then he climbed down from the ceiling vent and took a seat next to me. I asked Bender what he was doing here. Bender said that he owed me one, like he told me earlier, and this is my payback. I turned to face Bender and he noticed that my eyes were red. He asked me what was wrong and I told him that it’s nothing, just pissed that the asshole gets to keep his job. Bender said that there’s really nothing we can do about that and, as much as he hated to admit it, Dick’s right, no one’s going to take our word over his. I angrily asked Bender if that meant that Vernon’s just going to keep doing fucked up shit and getting away with it! Bender responded by mocking me and saying that we’re in a Disney movie where the good guys always win and the bad guys always lose! I told Bender that I’m not some naive child and I’m well-aware that, in real life, the bad guy wins but he’s just the Vice Principal! I pointed out that the Principal can’t be letting him get away with this! Bender scoffed and said that the Principal’s a lazy fuck who gives Vernon most of the heavy lifting. He told me that, even if he did believe us which, according to Bender, was a big if, he won’t do a fucking thing and Dick will be ten times worse. I bitterly remarked that we just stay silent and, from the tone of my voice, Bender must have figured out that I had quite a bit of experience with that. Then Bender told me that I wasn’t silent when I was talking to Vernon earlier. I told Bender that I was just being honest. He remarked that I was also committing academic suicide. I acted nonchalant about the whole thing and said “What can I say?” Bender said that, as much as he’d love to stay and chat, we should probably get this show on the road. I asked Bender if we have to leave through the vents. Bender sarcastically responded by saying that we’re leaving through the locked door. Then said that of course he meant the vents, they lead straight back to the library. Bender told me that we need to get the hell out of here, which you don’t have to tell me twice. I crawled through the vent and slowly inched forward as Bender led the way. It was a little dark and cramped in the vents and I swear I heard a few creaking noises. Not to mention that I’m right behind Bender and getting a great view of his ass. Dear God, did I really think that? One thing’s for sure, if Bender reads this diary, I’ll die. I asked Bender if he really thinks this is going to hold our weight. Bender told me to relax and just keep moving. So, I continued following Bender through the vent and he started telling a joke to ease the tension about a naked blonde walking into a bar with a poodle under one arm and a two-foot salami under the other. Bender said that the blonde lays the poodle on the table and the bartender says, “I suppose you won’t be needing a drink,” the naked lady says… What the naked lady said, I never found out as the bottom of the vent broke right under us! We fell through the ceiling and landed on the top floor of the library while everyone else just stared at us with their mouths agape like we were animals at a zoo. Bender and I walked down the stairs and dusted ourselves off. It’s just our luck that it was the same moment Vernon busted the door open and ran into the library. I saw Bender head for Andrew and Claire’s table and followed him. I heard Vernon demanding to know what in God’s name was going on in here and what that ruckus was! I wish I wasn’t hiding from Vernon, because I’d really love to gaslight him right now. Unfortunately, Bender and I had to stay quiet under Claire and Andrew’s table while everyone else pretended like they didn’t even know what Vernon was talking about. Andrew asked Vernon “What ruckus?” Vernon said that he was just in his office and he heard a ruckus as Bender tried to look up Claire’s skirt. Brian asked Vernon if he could describe the ruckus. Vernon told Brian to watch his tongue as I was crouching nervously under the table pushing Bender away from Claire. I inhaled a puff of dust and started to choke! Thankfully, Claire started coughing to cover it up. Then she asked Vernon if that was the noise he was talking about. Vernon said that it wasn’t and that he might not have caught us in the act this time, but we can bet that he will. Yeah, good luck with that. Allison started giggling and Vernon told her to mark his words, he will not be made a fool of. Too late, Vernon. Then he finally left and Bender and I got out from under the tables as the others laughed at who knows what while Bender glared at me, saying that I didn’t have to spoil his fun. I told Bender that I wasn’t about to let him look up Claire’s skirt. Claire thanked me for keeping the pervert away from her while Bender smirked at me and accused me of being jealous to which I sarcastically responded that it’s been my life long dream to have John Bender stick his head between my legs. He told me to say the word and he’ll make it a reality. Again, there goes my stupid heart pounding but I’m better at covering up my blushes. Still, I can’t help but wonder what the hell is wrong with me. Finally, the other students looked at us, no doubt waiting for an explanation. I decided to be cool about this as I leaned against a bookshelf, catching my breath. Okay, the last part wasn’t exactly cool but I covered it up by saying “Come on… you know I couldn’t leave you guys.” Claire told me that what I did was really cool. I asked her what was cool and she said that it was how I sacrificed myself for the rest of them. Brian said that he wouldn’t have had the nerve to do that and that my legend continues to grow. Andrew agreed by saying that I really helped them out, but I’m also kind of crazy. Allison said that crazy is just a higher level of consciousness. All I could say was… your welcome. Bender headed over to Brian and stuck out his hand saying, “So, Ahab… Kybo mein doobage?” Brian was a little confused, as was I, but then he explained that he was talking about the package in Brian’s underpants. Brian dug around his pants and handed the plastic bag to Bender. Andrew told Bender that he’s not doing that in here. Bender said that we should put it to a vote. Then he asked me if I felt like taking a “study break.”

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Let me tell you a secret, I’ve always wanted to try dope and, now that I’ve finally got a chance, I’m taking it. I told Bender that I am a creative type, so it’s only natural that I smoke some pot. I added that I didn’t take the risk not to reap the rewards. Bender said that now I was talking and started toward the back of the library. I followed after him, Claire got up to join us, then Brian, Andrew gave into peer pressure once again and only Allison stayed behind.

2:05 pm and I am so fucking high right now. The whole room’s surrounded by a think haze, kind of like a smoke machine at a rock concert. Except, instead of singing to a cheering crowd, we’re chilling on the couches in the back of the library. Brian’s wearing sunglasses and he looks like a detective from one of those procedural cop shows. He said, “You’re crazy, man. Crazy,” and fell back into a giggling fit. Claire kept rambling about how popular she is and how everybody loves her, which Bender laughed along to. He’s so chill when he’s not acting like a total douchebag. Claire asked me what I was like back at my old high school. I told her that I kept to myself, mostly, like a lone wolf. Claire said that she didn’t get it, because the whole point of school is to make friends. Brian said that the whole point of school is to get into college so you can get into graduate school so you can get a good career. Then Bender chimed in by saying that you spend the rest of your life behind a desk until you’re old and grey. Which he said a quick “No, thanks,” to. I said that they were both wrong. I explained that the whole point of school was to suck out everything unique about you so you can be a mindless robot just like everyone else. Bender said that it’s what he meant by spending life behind a desk. Then I looked around and noticed that Andrew wasn’t here. I asked where the pretty boy jock went and I think I saw a jealous look in Bender’s eyes. I was about to comment on that when a rock song blasted from a smaller room inside the library! The door whipped open and there was Andrew emerging through a wall of smoke like a rock star! I said, “speak of the Sporto,” as Andrew unzipped his sweatshirt and pumped his fist to the music! He took off running through the library, dancing at a million miles an hour! Then he executed a series of acrobatic moves like cartwheels and… other stuff over the bookshelves! I jumped out of my chair and screamed “Wooooo! You’re a regular Mary Lou Retton!” Andrew jumped on a bench, pulled off his sweatshirt, and beat his chest while the rest of us hooted and hollered!

Now if he could only take his top off and give us all a real treat! I asked Andrew who taught him to dance, John Travolta’s grandma? Everyone laughed like the high goofballs we are while Andrew danced back into the music room and slammed the door, pumping his fists and screaming! He even managed to break the glass door, shattering it into a pile of shards! Allison observed Andrew and, if I didn’t know any better, I’d think that she had a little crush on our resident jock. Andrew called out to me through the broken glass. He asked me if I think I could do better and challenged me to a dance-off! I asked Andrew what the winner gets. Andrew said that, if I win, I get his varsity jacket but, if he wins, I have to write his essay. I told Andrew that I accept his challenge as everyone else shouted their approval. Andrew said “Let’s do this.” I only had one condition, I get to choose the music. Andrew agreed to it and asked me what it’s going to be. I said that I wanted Kansas, Carry On Wayward Son! Andrew agreed to this, cued up a rock track and hit play. The beat pumped through the speakers as I got on my feet and faced off against Andrew! Andrew told me to show them what I’ve got and I did, launching into some power rock moves and ending with some nasty air guitar playing! I dared Andrew to top that and he looked a little nervous, like he didn’t even know who he was fighting against. I told Andrew that I’m not a dancer, which he agreed with. So I told Andrew “let’s see what you got.” Andrew launched into his own routine, which was decent but nowhere near as good as mine! I turned to the rest of the crew and asked them what the survey says. Brian voted for me, Allison voted for Andrew, Claire apologized to Andrew and voted for me and last, but certainly not least, Bender voted for me! Brian said that it was 3-1, so I win! I told Sporto to hand the jacket over and reached my hand towards him. Andrew passed the jacket to me, saying that I won it fair and square, but he seemed sad to part with it. He looked like he was parting from a dear friend he’d known since childhood. So I gave the jacket back to Andrew and told him to never make a bet when you’re on a “study break.” He thanked me and said that it was pretty cool of me, but I told Andrew that I’m keeping the title, which he agreed to. Andrew raised my hand in the air as I shouted “Jasmine! Shermer High Dance Champion 1985!” I raised both hands in the air like I was Rocky as the others cheered me on!

2:23 pm and the pot’s wearing off. We’re all winding down after our “study break.” I asked Brian if he had a middle name and he told me to guess. Allison approached us and sat next to Brian. She said that Brian’s middle name was Ralph… as in puke. Then she said that Brian’s birthday is March 12th, he’s five-nine and a half, he weighs a hundred and thirty pounds and his social security number is 049380913. I remembered that Allison was the one who stole his wallet in history class and asked if that’s what she did. Guess what, she did steal Brian’s wallet. Then she showed it to us as Brian weakly demanded that she give it back to him. Allison refused, despite Brian’s insistent demanding. Allison tossed the wallet to me and I checked Brian’s ID. I told Brian that it was the worst fake ID I’ve ever seen, because he made himself 68! Brian admit that he goofed it. I asked him what he needed a fake ID for. Brian said that it was so he could vote, which we all laughed at. I’ve heard of people having fake IDs, but usually it’s to buy alcohol or get into clubs, not so you can vote. Then I said that this is probably going to sound really weird, but today has been the best day I’ve had in a long time. Brian said that he felt the same way. Claire laughed and said that it was the saddest thing she ever heard. I told Claire that I’m serious. Andrew said that he agreed with us. Bender pointed out that he’s going to be here every Saturday for the next two months, so we’re all welcome to join him. I told Bender that, best day or not, I need to catch up on my meetings with the stay home and sleep club. Claire turned to me and pointed out that we’ve been stuck together all day but none of them really know anything about me. Bender agreed and said that I should tell them something weird about me. I told them that my brother once tricked me into drinking a glass of fat. That grossed everyone out, even Claire who I saw eating raw fish at lunch. Allison just smiled and asked me how my brother tricked me. I explained that he told me it was cider. Then I admitted that I threw it up right after tasting it. Then Allison said that she knows something about me that I’m not telling them! She pulled a crumbled piece of paper from her bag and dangled it in front of the group! Now I’ve got a situation to resolve that could either make or break me.

A/N: Hope you like this chapter!  You can RP in the comments, if you can figure out how to RP as this is a private diary.  Unless your character is the type to steal someone’s else’s diary.

The Breakfast Club Episode 1 Recap

A/N: This is a recap of The Breakfast Club from Series: Your Universe, which will be closing down in December.  It’s a gift to BloodRoseRed, who loved the series and even wrote her own fanfic for it called Beauty and the Brain.  If you recognize it from The Breakfast Club movie or from the story on Series: Your Universe, I don’t own it.

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Dear Diary,

Jasmine Ross here and I just got transferred to Shermer High, my new school that my dad forced me to go to while my mom was too chicken shit to stand up to him. The counselor from my last school gave this to me before I left and said that I should write anything that happens to me. He told me to think of it as less of a diary and more of a writer’s journal, that there are interesting stories all around me and, if I record my life, I might find something worth publishing. What a joke. Nothing that interesting happened to me at my old school and my new school will be exactly the same. On my first day, I met a cute young blond boy who said he liked my outfit. I told him that I wanted to make a good first impression. He said that I succeeded, making me feel happy about my outfit choice. He remarked that it sucks to be the new kid. I admitted that I was a little nervous. Then he told me that all I really need is one good friend, which sounds a bit after school specially and I pointed that out. The boy was a little confused about my words, but admitted that it’s from a motivational poster he has in his bedroom.

I told him that would explain it. Then I introduced myself to him and he told me his name was Brian. He said that, if I like history, then I’m in for a treat. According to him, Mrs. Russell keeps class pretty interesting and he claims that I’ll love her. I told him that any history teacher would be better than my last one, he droned on in monotone and made even the most brutal facts sound as dull as reading off the ingredients of a candy bar. Brian gave a nervous chuckle when we walked in.

Unfortunately, unless Mrs. Russell got a sex change operation, it wasn’t her. It was a man in a dated suit filling in for her and boy did he look pissed.

I told Brian that it definitely wasn’t how I pictured Mrs. Russell, leaving out the part about the sex change operation. He explained that the man is Vice Principal Vernon. Brian didn’t have time to go into further detail as Vernon immediately ordered us to listen up. He explained that our “beloved” Mrs. Russell is out for the rest of the semester. Hey, I didn’t even get to meet Mrs. Russell, so she wasn’t really “beloved” to me. Apparently, she was exhausted and had to go on holiday for the rest of the semester. Unfortunately, that means Vernon’s filling in and I can already tell I’m not going to like this guy before everyone in the class gave disappointed sighs. Vernon claims that we might actually get an education for a change, but I get the feeling he’s going to be like my last history teacher, only meaner. A cute guy in a letterman jacket must have read my mind, because he remarked that we’ll only get an education if it’s a course on how to be an asshole.

Vernon called the boy Andrew Clark and asked if he’d care to repeat that while I couldn’t stop the small chuckle that emerged, earning a glare from Vernon which I quickly covered up with a cough. Then his attention returned to Andrew, who he stared at for a painfully long time. Finally, Andrew gave in and looked down at his desk. Vernon took it as a victory, but I don’t think winning a staring contest is something to brag about.

Then Brian’s wallet fell out of his pocket and onto the floor. This strange girl with shaggy hair stepped on it and slid it under her long skirt.

Vernon turned his attention back to me and introduced me as the new student joining us today. Great, my first day and I’m already in the spotlight. He welcomed me which, in all honesty, was the nicest thing he’s done in the few minutes I knew him. Then he asked me to tell everyone why I’m at Shermer with this deadly glare as if he already knew. I take that back, he is 100% asshole. I said that I needed a fresh start and Shermer’s as good a place as any. Vernon told me that it certainly sounded like I could use one. Great, I try to be nice and all I get is a metaphorical slap in the face. I wanted to know what Vernon meant and he explained that he read my file, like I’m some kind of criminal! Thankfully, a girl with red hair dressed in pink sort of came to my defense and asked if that was kind of… private. Hell yeah! Isn’t invasion of privacy against the law? Then the asshole hones in on the girl, who’s name he said was Claire, and says that it’s none of her concern! Considering she’s one of your students, I think that is her concern! Claire suggested that we just get on with class, since it’s getting late. Vernon picked on Claire some more and asked her if she of all people should talk about being late for class! Claire only looked down and took his abuse. Then Vernon talked about how he controls the time in this class! Brian politely told him that time manipulation is a physical impossibility. Yeah, way to stick it to the man, Brian. He ended up getting Vernon’s unwanted attention. Brian explained that he did a paper on time and got an A. Vernon just told Brian to watch himself unless he wants detention NEXT Saturday, too! This guy needs to use his holiday time for a trip to the hospital so that a doctor can surgically remove the stick up his ass. Claire and Andrew snickered, getting Vernon’s unwanted attention as he told them both to keep their mouths shut. Then said that they’re both already in enough trouble as it is. I swear, I’d give this guy a piece of my mind if I could just find the courage. Then, for no reason, he rounds on me and says that the same goes for me! The nerve of this asshole! As if he read my mind, he told me that this “asshole” is starting to get agitated. There were so many things I wanted to respond with, like how they make ointments for that kind of agitation or how pathetic it is for him to pick fights with kids. Instead, I chickened out and said that Claire’s right, maybe we should just start class. Then I claimed that everyone’s just excited to get class started. Because the sooner we get this class over with, the sooner we can leave. Claire said that I was right and claimed that she loves history. Vernon’s still picking on me as he told me that he doesn’t know what kind of crap I got away with at my old school, but brown-nosing won’t get me anywhere with him. Hey, I wasn’t trying to brown-nose! I was just trying to avoid conflict, which didn’t work in my favor. I told Vernon that it’s like he said, we’re going to learn something… for a change. Vernon glared at me and said that he didn’t buy it. He called me Miss Not-So-Goody-Two-Shoes and said that I just bought myself Saturday detention!

Can you believe this guy? I’m getting detention for doing absolutely nothing! Then he welcomed me to Shermer High, which is apparently run by an evil dictator. Believe me when I say that’s the nice way of putting it. He slammed a detention slip on my desk and said that he’d see me Saturday. Then he called me Sunshine! Great, not only does he make me get up early on a Saturday, he also has to give me a crappy nickname.

Now it’s seven am on a Saturday and, not only am I up, but I am in the car with Grandpa stopped in front of the school. He gave me this lecture about how he promised my parents that he’d make sure I’d get my diploma. I told Grandpa that Dad doesn’t care if I get a diploma. Hell, I could drop out and spend the rest of my life stripping in Vegas and he wouldn’t raise an eyebrow. Grandpa responded by telling me that my mom cares, asking me if I really wanted to disappoint her. I told Grandpa that, if Mom heard this, she’d march right over to the school and give Vernon a piece of her mind. Grandpa ignored me and told me to keep my head down and my nose clean. He claimed that he loved me but, if he must, he’ll make life very unpleasant for me. Then said that, if I screw up here, my next stop is Calvin Military Academy. I know Mom’s not good at standing up to Dad or Grandpa, but I’d like to think that she’d put her foot down on me getting sent to a military academy. She’s the only reason I got sent here instead. Finally I just told Grandpa “Yeah,” in case I was wrong about Mom having enough courage to stand up to the men in her life. Grandpa gave me unsolicited advice about being mindful of who I make friends with. According to him, the people I surround myself with define me and he’s hoping that I surround myself with better people this time. I just thanked Grandpa, wanting to get this day over and done with. I got out of the car and, just as Grandpa started to pull away, he nearly ran over this surly-looking burnout who looked rather scary but also cute!

Thankfully, Grandpa stopped the brakes before he could send anyone to the hospital. The burnout shouted to Grandpa to watch where he’s going, calling him a jerk-off, and shouted that he could’ve killed him! Then he caught my eye and flashed me a grin, causing me to turn away and blush.

I walked into the library and who should be there but the four kids that I somewhat met in History Class, the burnout Grandpa nearly ran over and the evil dictator himself, Vernon? My only consolation is that he looks as miserable as I feel. He checked his watch and said that I was late, which I have to make up for at the end of detention. He ordered me to take a seat and said that I’ve got quite a cast of characters to choose from. There was Brian, the cute geek, that girl who took Brian’s wallet and seems to be a bit of a basket case, Claire who seemed to be the princess of Shermer High and tried to help me out sitting with Andrew, the cute athlete who made me laugh and last but not least was that cute guy who smiled at me earlier and Grandpa nearly ran over with the typical bad boy look, almost criminal. It’s like Vernon collected all of the high school stereo-types and gathered them into one room. For some inexplicable reason, I found myself drawn to the bad boy. So, I took a breath to calm my beating heart and sat with the guy Grandpa nearly ran over. At least, I tried to but he just sat with his feet up on the other chair and blocked any chance I had of sitting with him. I was about to move but I found myself cracking a joke to calm my nerves. I told the bad boy that I heard it’s not healthy to keep his legs up like that. He just nonchalantly asked why that is and, once again, my mouth was running like a nonstop car engine because I told the bad boy that his balls would shrink, permanently. Dear God, why did I say that? What possessed me to say something so stupid? I earned a glare from Vernon, who warned me that he heard that. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes as the bad boy cracked a small smile at me and swung his legs off the side of the desk. Okay, so maybe what I said wasn’t that stupid if it got me a smile from him. Either that, or he’s mocking my pathetic attempt at humor and letting me sit next to him out of pity. Okay, Jasmine, your thoughts are going in a negative direction again. Don’t over-analyze the situation and just roll with it. I took the seat next to him and watched Vernon.

Vernon told us that we’re going to try something a little different today as he placed a sheet of paper and a pencil in front of each of us. He told us that we’re going to write an essay about everything good about the other people here as if we were in Kindergarten. Actually, we’re writing a thousand word essay describing to him who we think we are. Really, we need a thousand words to accomplish that? I’m Jasmine Ross, a closet geek who wants to be a famous writer and easily gives into peer pressure. Really don’t need a thousand words to describe that. Vernon claimed that we might learn a little something about ourselves, but what could we possibly learn from this? Then he threatened us by saying that maybe we’ll even decide whether or not we care to return to detention. I never wanted to be in detention in the first place. Brian rose his hand and then stood up, saying that he could answer that question right now. He said that it would be no for him because— I didn’t get to hear why as Vernon made him sit down, which Brian actually thanked him for and sat back down! Vernon told us that his office is right across that hall and any monkey business is ill-advised. Then he asked the rest of us if we had any questions. The sooner this guy gets out of here the better, so I stayed silent as Vernon kept looking at us as if he expected one of us to pull out a gun and start shooting up the library. Then he, once again, asked if anyone had any questions. That’s it, I’m through being Miss Nice Girl. Next time he looks for trouble like this, I’ll give it to him. The guy next to me answered before I could and asked Vernon if Barry Manilow knows that he raids his wardrobe.

I couldn’t help but snort a bit as Vernon angrily told Mr. Bender, which I guess is his name, that he’ll give him the answer to that question next Saturday. Then Vernon told Bender not to mess with the bull or he’ll get the horns. I thought to myself that, even if we don’t mess with the bull, we’ll still get the horns. Vernon glared at me and, for a minute, I thought he read my mind. Then he said that, if I think I’ll get away with the same crap I pulled at my last school, I’d be sorely mistaken. Then he finally left, which was what I wanted him to do earlier.

Bender turned to me and asked what I did to become the apple of Vernon’s eye and I felt my heart pound a bit. Dear God, why does this guy make my heart pound? I told Bender the truth, that I got into a bit of trouble at my old school. He wanted to know what kind of trouble and Claire told me that I don’t have to tell them if I don’t want to. Bender demanded to know what I did that’s got Vernon’s panties in such a bunch. I told Bender that I tried to stay on Vernon’s good side, but he kept treating me like I was some sort of trouble maker, which made Bender scoff at me like I was some naive child! Andrew told Bender to leave me alone, because I just got here. Bender turned on Andrew and wanted to know if he was in love with me or was just looking at anyone with a pulse so he can finally lose his virginity. It was my turn to scoff, because a cute jock that can have any girl in the school he wants isn’t going to be wasting his time on me and something tells me that his virginity is long gone by now. Bender remarked that it looked like the new girl thinks she’s too good for him. I blushed and tried to explain that it’s not why I scoffed and, when Bender wanted to know what else it could be, Andrew told Bender to stop harassing me and, just because he lives here doesn’t give him the right to be a pain in the ass. Bender told Andrew that it’s a free country and Andrew just kept glaring at Bender who turned his attention back to me. Then said that they’re waiting. I tried to explain that I don’t think I’m too good for Andrew, but Bender said that he was asking about my expulsion. Claire told me to just ignore Bender, but he told Claire that she couldn’t ignore him if she tried. Of course, he has his eye on Claire. I said that I didn’t know about Claire, but he definitely has my attention. I’m just a motor mouth today. Bender narrowed his eyes at me as everyone else stared and I wanted to crawl into a corner and die. Bender asked me if that was so, making me feel even more embarrassed. Then he told Claire that I think he’s charming. I told Bender that I never said he was charming, just that he had my attention. Then added that, until today, I always thought that walking bad boy cliches like him only existed in formulaic high school movies. Bender responded by asking me if I wanted to play the sweet innocent girl who thinks they can “change the bad boy” which made Claire gag and me blush, but I turned away before anyone could see. At least, I tried to. Andrew saw and told me that, if he was me, he’d stay away from Bender. Andrew’s right, the last thing I want to do is get hung up on a guy who’s got the hots for the school princess. Bender told Andrew that, if he was him, he’d jump off a bridge. Andrew responded by telling Bender that if he disappeared forever, it wouldn’t make any difference. The strange girl I still didn’t know the name of picked her head off the desk and leaned in. Bender joked that he could just run out and join the wrestling team, maybe the prep club too. Andrew told Bender that the wrestling team wouldn’t take him. Brian said that he’s in the Math Club. Claire asked Bender if he knew why guys like him knock everything. Then said that it’s because he’s afraid that they won’t take him. Brian then said that he’s in the Latin Club. Bender sarcastically asked if it had anything to do with activities people like them being assholes. Claire said that Bender wouldn’t know because he doesn’t know any of them. Bender fought back by saying that he doesn’t know any lepers either, but he’s not going to run out and join one of their freaking clubs. Then Brian said that he’s in the Physics Club too. Bender noticed Brian and said to excuse him a sec and asked Brian what he was babbling about. Brian again said that he’s in the Math Club, The Latin Club and The Physics Club. Bender turned to Claire and asked her if she belongs to the Physics Club. Claire snobbishly said that academic clubs aren’t the same as other kinds of clubs! Bender pointed out that, to dorks like Brian, they are. Then he asked if I was joining any clubs. I told Bender that, today, I was supposed to have a one-woman meeting with the stay home and sleep in club, but detention made me cancel it. Bender mocked me by asking me if getting detention got it the way of my perfect life! I told Bender that my life is far from perfect. Andrew warned us that, if we keep on talking, Vernon’s going to come right in here. I agreed with Andrew and said that, I don’t know about the rest of them, but I don’t want a visit from our own personal leper. Andrew added that he’s got a meet next Saturday and he’s not missing it on account of us acting like boneheads. Bender said that would be a real bite, missing a whole wrestling meet. Andrew told Bender that it was easy for him to say as he doesn’t have any goals. Bender sarcastically remarks that he does, he wants to be just like Andrew. Then added that all he needs is a lobotomy and some tights. Look, I’m not deluded. I know I don’t have a chance with either one of them, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let Bender pick on Andrew when he’s been nothing but nice to me! I told Bender that I think it’s cool Andrew’s so committed to the wrestling team. Andrew used that against Bender by saying that I understand the value of competition. Bender countered by saying that it sounds like I’m more interested in Andrew’s jock than he is and Andrew looked like he wanted to punch the satisfied smirk off of Bender’s face! I explained nervously that I have relatives who’s number one goal is to see how much TV they can marathon in one day and they usually come to my parents’ house to achieve that. So I told them that I admire anyone with ambition. Claire asked if I really had loser relatives like that. Before I could answer, I saw Vernon exit his office and head down the library through the open library door and quickly pointed it out.

Bender suggested that we close that door, since we can’t have any kind of party with Vernon checking us out every few seconds. Brian asked if we should be getting started on our essays. Bender rolled his eyes at Brian and turned his attention to me. Then he asked me if I was going to help him close the door and called me hotshot. I told Bender that I would be his lookout. I said that Vernon will get pissed no matter what we do, so we might as well go that extra mile. Bender told me that he’s glad that I finally got some common sense and told me to come on. I followed Bender towards the library door, wondering if I was doing the right thing. Especially since following a bad crowd was what got me expelled in the first place. He told me to look out for Vernon while he gets the door closed. My heart started pounding again, so I quickly turned away as I tried not to think about how I was, once again, letting myself go along with what other people wanted. No, this is different. I’m doing this to get back at Vernon and no one’s pressuring me into doing anything I don’t want to do. That strange girl from earlier looked up from her drawing and kept staring at me and Bender, making me a little uncomfortable. Andrew told us not to mess around right when the screw came out and the door slammed shut. Andrew remarked that it was very funny and told us to fix it. Bender and I just returned to our seats and I told Andrew that we already did. Then we heard Vernon walk down the hall. He jerked the door right open and rushed into the library. Let me tell you, he did not look happy. Vernon demanded to know who closed that door. Bender told Vernon that he thinks a screw fell out of it. Yeah, with Bender’s help. Vernon just stuck out his hand and demanded the screw from Bender, who told our reigning dictator that he didn’t have it. Then Bender said that screws fall out all the time, the world’s an imperfect place. Vernon turned to me and demanded to know why that door’s closed. Forget it, Vernon, you had a chance to be on my good side and you blew it. So I told Vernon that a screw fell out and the door slammed, just like Bender said.

This just pissed Vernon off as he said, “my ass it did!” Bender joked that Vernon’s right, maybe the screw is up his ass which made me chuckle which I, once again, covered up with a cough. Vernon told Bender that he just scored himself another Saturday in detention. Bender told Vernon to add it to his tab. Vernon said that he’s going to be right outside those doors and, the next time he has to come in here, he’s cracking skulls. Vernon opened the door and it slammed shut behind him.

9:30 and I’m bored. Bender managed to find something to do by tearing the pages out of a book and tossing them around the room. Andrew remarked that it was real intelligent. Bender said that Andrew’s right, it’s wrong to destroy literature because it’s such fun to read. I told Bender that it depends on what you read. Bender stared at my diary and said that he’d love to read that sometime! I told Bender that, unfortunately for him, the only one allowed to read it is me. Bender talked about how sad he was that he won’t get to read about my crush on Sporto and how he doesn’t know I exist! Then the asshole mocked me by trying to imitate me, or this weak pathetic version of me, and went “Dear Diary, I just saw Andrew leave from wrestling practice! He’s such a dream boat with that wind swept brown hair and perfect abs! I just wish he would notice me!” Andrew told Bender to leave me alone and was about ready to punch him, but I countered by telling Bender that he couldn’t be more wrong. I don’t know why I did this, but I pretended to read my diary and said, “Dear Diary, Bender’s tearing up the literature, probably out of frustration that he doesn’t know how to read any words that are more than two syllables. It’s a shame that he can’t be more than his stereo-type, but I guess some people are just simple minded like that.” Bender interrupted by pretending to be flattered that I wrote about him. So I finished by saying, “He keeps harassing me and Claire but, after he made that comment about Andrew’s perfect abs, I wonder if he’s not secretly hiding his true feelings for our resident jock.” Claire laughed while Andrew looked at me like I had gone insane. Bender responded by inviting me to the broom closet to show me just how “gay” he is. Claire asked Bender if he’s sure he doesn’t want to invite Andrew. Bender retaliated by asking Claire to come with us so he can get Ginger and Mary Anne in one go.

Brian nervously changed the subject by saying that what I did yesterday was really cool. Bender asked Brian what I did yesterday. Brian explained that Vernon was giving Claire a hard time in history class. Bender faked panicking by saying not dear sweet Claire. Claire told Bender to knock it off. Brian continued his story by saying that Vernon was really laying into Claire and Andrew. Claire finished Brian’s story by saying that I handled Vernon brilliantly by having the perfect response. I never thought I would see the day when the school’s princess actually complimented me in a way that wasn’t a secret insult. Brian explained that it’s why I’m in detention today. Andrew even said that it was pretty ballsy. I told them that it was nothing and I’m sure they would’ve done the same thing. Bender remarked that he wouldn’t have. Andrew told Bender that of course he wouldn’t have. I admitted that I hope that I don’t get grounded over it. Mom wouldn’t ground me over it but Grandpa on the other hand. Andrew sympathized and said that he knows how that would go and then looked over at Claire. He asked her if she was grounded tonight. I’m guessing that Andrew and Claire are the It couple of Shermer High. Claire explained that her mom said she was, but her dad told her just to blow her off. Andrew said that there’s a big party at Stubbie’s and his parents are in Europe so it should be pretty wild. Then asked Claire if she’s going to go. In other words, he’s asking her out so maybe they’re not a couple and Andrew was trying to correct that. Claire said that she doubts it. Andrew asked why, so Claire explained that if she does what her mother tells her not to do it’s because her dad says it’s okay and then it’ll cause a major fight. Then explained that, with her parents, it’s like any minute divorce which is a total drag and said that she doesn’t think either one of them gives a shit about her. The sad thing is I know how she feels. Bender mocked Claire for being a poor little rich girl and the strange girl laughed with him, which shocked everyone in the room. Claire gave the strange girl the finger and told her and Bender to shut up. Bender just mocked her further by being surprised at obscene finger gestures from such a pristine girl. Claire said that she’s not THAT pristine and then Bender asked Claire if she was a virgin. Claire just looked down at her feet and stayed silent. Bender kept harassing Claire by saying that he bets a million dollars that she is! Okay, that’s it! I don’t care how cute Bender is! He is out of line! I snidely told Bender that it sounds like he’s just projecting, which caught that smug asshole off guard. I explained to Bender that maybe he’s insecure about his own sexual scorecard. He only scoffed at me by saying that I don’t know anything about him, which he’s right, and then turned his attention back to Claire. Then said that we should end the suspense by asking Claire if it’s going to be a white wedding! Claire told Bender to just shut up and she started crying. Andrew told Bender to leave her alone as he continued staring at Claire. Andrew got even angrier than before, as he once again told Bender to leave Claire alone. Bender challenged Andrew by asking if he’s going to make him. Andrew just told him “Yeah,” like a badass! Bender refused to back down and stepped on top of the table, onto a chair and right into Andrew’s face. Andrew told Bender that, if we weren’t in school right now, he would waste him. Claire demanded that they stop it and that they need to be more like me! Okay, that came out of nowhere. Bender laughed at this by asking if he should be more like a screw up who had to transfer schools! Claire explained that he should be a person who stands up to assholes instead of being one, which totally caught me off guard!

Claire ran to the back of the library sobbing.

After Claire complimented me like that, I had to go console her. I found her in the library stacks, crying her eyes out. All I could say was “hey,” and give her a tissue. It’s what the school counselor did when I started bawling. She took it and used it to dab her eyes. Claire said that her mascara must be a mess. I told Claire that she even looks good when she’s crying.

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She thanked me for saying that, then accused me of lying. I assured Claire that I’m not lying and admitted that I wish I looked half as good as her, which made Claire smile. Then I apologized for what happened back there. Claire said that it was okay and it wasn’t my fault. I said that it’s not fun being ganged up on. She just wiped away her tears and smiled at me. Claire said that, in a way, she gets where Bender and Allison (who must be the strange girl) are coming from. Then said that she knows she’s not some starving kid in Africa, she’s a rich girl from Shermer. I told Claire that just because she grew up with privilege doesn’t mean that her problems aren’t real. Claire thanked me for saying that and admitted that it does get hard sometimes, since it’s not fun for her being a pawn in her parents’ game. I joked that I thought she was the Queen, which got me a smirk from Claire. I admitted to Claire that I know what she means about her parents getting a divorce and told her about how my parents fight a lot. I even told her about the night my mom got drunk and asked me how I felt if she divorced my dad. Claire said that at least my parents care about me. I told Claire that my mom cares about me while my dad wouldn’t care if I lived or died. Claire reassured me that at least one of my parents care about me, which is one more than she has. It was my turn to smile. Then I asked Claire what the deal was with her and Bender. She asked what I meant and I explained that he’s always singling Claire out. Claire said that it’s because he’s a psychopath. I said that it could be because Bender likes her and felt a bit hurt. It grossed Claire out and she said that the very concept makes her retch! Hey, Bender’s not that awful! He might be a jerk but he’s still cute and I think I’m crushing on him. Dear God, I’d better not be crushing on him! Claire claimed that the only person Bender’s interested in is himself and maybe me. Then she gave me a teasing grin, which made me laugh. I told Claire that he’s not looking at me with her in the same room. Claire said not to be so sure and that I shouldn’t put myself down like that. Then she said that she knows we don’t really know each other, or anything, but she feels like we could be friends. I told Claire that it would be nice to be friends with the school’s princess rather than being the object of ridicule and then quickly added that I’m not using her or anything. Claire told me that it’s okay, she knows what I meant. Then thanked me for coming over to cheer her up and gave me a hug. I asked Claire if we should head back to the group. Then explained that, the way Bender and Andrew were going at it, we might have one less student by now. Claire agreed with me.

We returned to the group where, guess what, Andrew and Bender were still fighting. Andrew said that they should end this right now and told Bender that he doesn’t talk to Claire, he doesn’t look at her and he doesn’t even THINK about her.

Then asked Bender if he understands him. Bender claimed that he’s trying to help Claire. How, by harassing her and making her feel like shit? Andrew told Bender that he can help this and called him a brain-dead burnout! Bender was about to smack Andrew across the face but Andrew got the better of him and pulled Bender to the ground with a wrestling move, which Bender couldn’t break free from. Bender told Andrew that he didn’t want to get into this with him, but Andrew just shoved Bender further into the floor and then jumped to his feet. Andrew asked Bender why not and Bender got up and wiped his mouth and said that it’s because he’d kill him. Andrew shook his head. Then Bender elaborated further by saying that he’d kill Andrew and his parents would sue him and he doesn’t care enough about Andrew to bother.

Andrew called Bender chicken shit and turned and walked away. Then Bender pulled out a switchblade and stabbed it into a chair! What the fuck? I saw Allison eyeing the knife and pulled it out of the chair without even thinking! It’s just my luck that the library door opened and there was Vernon staring at me with a knife in my hand demanding to know what I was doing and I don’t know how the fuck I’m going to explain this one! Well, diary, it was nice knowing you but I think I just signed my death warrant.

A/N: So, what did you think?  If you want, you can also request recaps of interactive stories as well as requesting the love interest and anything else that’s important to the story.  For example, if you request High School Story from Choices, you can pick the love interest and the club your character joins!  The only exception is Series: Your Universe for reasons I mentioned in the first author’s note.  You also can’t request stories Titanic from Storyscape because I can’t change the name of the character or change her appearance.  You can RP in the comments, if you can figure out how to RP as this is a private diary.  I’m open to constructive criticism and, as this is my first time writing The Breakfast Club characters, I think I’m going to need it.

The Lion’s Song Episode 3 Derivation (Steam Store)

When an elite group of mathematicians won’t take Emma seriously, she disguises herself as a man to gain access and talk about her theory.  Can Emma successfully lead a double life?

Like the last two episodes, this one takes place in early 20th Century Germany.  We’ve already met Emma in the last episode, disguised as Emil when Franz wanted to paint him.  We also get to meet Nikol, who is the niece of Leos, a character who accidentally calls Wilma in the first episode.  In this episode, we finally explore the gender issues of early 20th Century Germany. With Wilma, we only get a small hint about the roles expected of men and women.  With Franz, no one told him that he couldn’t be a painter. With Emma, she is an aspiring mathematician who tries to become part of the Radius, an elite group of men with the same job, but they won’t take her seriously because of her gender.

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I’ve already explained that Emma is working on her theory of change, but the men won’t recognize her as a genius.  According to them, a woman’s mind is more domestic than it is logical. However, Emma herself works more on math equations and admits that she’s not suited for the domestic.  In order to prove herself, she has to take up cross-dressing so that men will take her seriously.

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I remember watching an episode of Sherlock BBC set in the Victorian Era when one of the already established female characters, Molly, disguises herself as a man.  My mom told me that such ruses were quite common for women who wanted to be more than what society would allow them to be. While women don’t have to go to such extremes today (at least in my country), sexism still exists today which I will talk about later.

I’m sure many of you are wondering why Wilma never took issue with the traditional gender roles of society as Emma did.  This is because Wilma’s dream is to be a composer, which is a field women have an easier time entering. She has to isolate herself from society in order to write the great composition that could make or break her career, something the people around her encourage.  However, sexism still exists in Wilma’s chosen profession. Emma herself claims that, while Wilma has a dream society allows women to have, only men can sit first chair in a concert hall. Whether Wilma will take issue with this in the future is a question that the game won’t answer.  Emma, as I demonstrated earlier, has talents and a dream that society discourages her to have but, thanks to the words of her father, chooses to go against what society wants from her. Even when the men of the Radius mock and humiliate Emma, she doesn’t give up on her dream.

As I said, sexism still exists in both professions today, particularly in the world of math and science.  While women have the same opportunities as men, society will deny them these chances because of their gender.  I don’t know how it is in Germany but, in today’s American society, women often dominate the soft sciences, such as biology, while men dominate the hard sciences, such as physics.  I know one woman who’s majoring in a physics career yet considered changing it when her jealous boyfriend didn’t like her working in a male-dominated field. Even today, many men claim that women don’t have a gene for math and science.  Take the Big Bang Theory; the men each have a job in the physicist department, with the exception of Howard who’s an engineer. Meanwhile, the first woman character is an aspiring actor down on her luck who eventually makes friends with two other women, both working in a separate field of biology.  The theoretical physicist, Sheldon, often mocks his girlfriend, Amy, for having a job in biology. At one point, he tells a woman physicist that she needs to give up science for laundry and childbearing, even going so far as to slut shame her. Pop Culture Detective himself addresses the “adorkable misogyny” of the Big Bang Theory.  I will give credit to the Lion’s Song for not treating the misogyny as adorkable.

Sexism also exists in classical music today, with one man claiming that women can’t be conductors because they’ll distract the men to the point that they can’t concentrate on their performance.  Apparently, men have no willpower, sarcastically speaking. Classical music also shares one sexist aspect in common with math and science professions in that society rewards women in both areas based on how they look rather than their skills in said professions.  I’ll admit that I’m not that knowledgeable about classical music, but the Big Bang Theory had an episode about Bernadette getting a feature in a magazine about being one of fifty of California’s most beautiful scientists. My mom once again explained the truth of this to me about how magazines tend to talk more about how women scientists wear their hair than they do about what they accomplish.  On the other hand, society rewards men for their accomplishments rather than how they look.

The game play itself only slightly deviates from the last episode.  Like Franz, Emma can go as she pleases around town. Unlike Franz, she also has the option about whether she wants to go somewhere as Emma or as Emil.  Whether she’s transsexual or not depends on your dialogue choices, which you get to pick for her. You can also pick dialogue choices for Emma that determines whether she can prove herself as a mathematician.  This episode also comes with one unique play style that represents Emma’s chosen profession. You know how Wilma can hear music from various sounds and Franz can see the different personality layers of people that helps him paint?  Emma sees the world through equations, which helps her to calculate her theory about change.

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However, this game still has that retro style which gives it the unique historical fiction experience that makes it great.

This game is insightful and unique.  I give it 9 out of 10; it really makes you think about sexism in the past versus the sexism of today.

Home (Star Trek Online)

A/N: I know, it’s been awhile since my last post and I’m sorry about this.  I recently started school, so I’ve had to juggle that, my job, my volunteering, my writing and my blog.  Trust me, it hasn’t been easy.  Anyway, Candy’s back and she’s here to talk about when she had to team up with Rush (hashakgig1106‘s character, who also provided some of the screenshots) to save the Dominion from the Hur’q!

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Fleet Admiral’s Log Stardate 96229.49

This is Candy Marino and I just got a call from Odo.  He said that Empersa, the homeworld of the Founders, is under attack by the Hur’q.  Odo told me that this is our darkest hour because, if Empersa falls, the Dominion will come to an end.  He asked me to join in the defense efforts as soon as I can. Then Odo told me that a task force will assemble at his fleet’s location in the Gamma Quadrant and warp to Empersa from there.  Odo reminded me that, if we fall, the AQ is next. So, it’s time to make a stand. He said that he hopes I join in the fight. I told Odo that, considering the circumstances, I don’t really have much of a choice.  So I went to Odo’s fleet and guess who else was there, Rush. Apparently, Odo needed all the help he could get, so he called the pirate. Great, this is the last thing I need. Not only is Rush part of a past that I would like to forget, but I’m about to fight man-eating bugs!  She’ll see me freeze up and never let me live it down! Just like that time her chef placed gagh on the table and I screamed loud enough to wake the dead! I suppose she found it amusing, Galaxy’s Greatest Detective afraid of small worms. I really hate Tanya right now. Unfortunately, the fate of the galaxy depends on us defeating the Hur’q, so I need to put my personal feelings aside and remind myself not to give Rush anymore fodder.  Besides, maybe she’ll bring Tike along and it’s always great to see him.

I got a call from Odo, who said that he arrived here ahead of us and he’s already engaged the Hur’q near the planet.  Then he told Garak that he’s made his point and to deactivate the Hur’q Lure device he placed on the homeworld before this gets out of hand. 

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I have to say, I’m on Odo’s side about this and I let that be known. Then Garak told us that he deactivated it several minutes ago! God damn it, I should’ve known it wouldn’t be this easy!  Odo asked why the Hur’q were still attacking and told Garak not to play games with him. Garak said that they might still be attacking due to a deep hatred of Odo’s people. Then claimed that it was The Founders who were directly responsible for their state of mind, body and soul.  Garak tried to finish by saying that he doesn’t blame them for—, but I told them to stop their male chest pumping and help us figure a way out of this mess. Kira called and said that I’m right, because we don’t have time for this. Then Kira told us that there’s a bigger problem to deal with here, starting with that swarm of Hur’q vessels nearby.  Rush phoned in her own comment about how, after that, Garak and Odo can wipe their dicks out and measure them. Why does that pirate always try to one-up me? Anyway, Odo agreed with us and said that his fleet is already engaged near the planet, but Hur’q reinforcements keep arriving. Odo told me and Rush to try to punch through the swarms so they can join up.  I ordered the helm to take us in and got a call from Garak. He told Bashir that we may be needing his solution to this problem soon. Bashir agreed, since Garak’s failed in a spectacular fashion. Garak asked if it really has, because some might argue that it succeeded beyond expectations. Great, more male chest thumping. Men are all the same, no matter what the species.  Rush and I both ignored this and continued shooting the Hur’q, dealing with the problem at hand. It wasn’t until we both got rid of some Hur’q that Nog showed up with the Chimera and a fleet ready to help! Then that Tzenkethi admiral, the real one, showed up and said that the C.S.S. Steadfast is ready to assist us as well! Maybe this will turn out like Avengers: Infinity Wars, when The Avengers, Dr. Strange, Spiderman and the Guardians of the Galaxy all teamed up to take down Thanos!  Hopefully, it won’t end the same way. Rush and I continued fighting off the Hur’q with the added assistance. Odo called in and said that his ship won’t last much longer, so we need to deal with the swarm attacking it immediately. Then another wave of Hur’q came in and, let me tell you, these guys are unstoppable! If there’s any time for the Klingons to make their Big Damn Heroes moment, it would be now. After defeating them, we had to deal with another swarm and the Klingons better get here quick.  Turned out we didn’t need the Klingons as we got rid of the Hur’q ourselves. I hailed Odo, who congratulated me and Rush and then told us that his ship’s taken heavy damage, but she’ll survive. What is it with guys calling their ships she? Kira said that we’ve bought ourselves some time, but let’s hope it’s enough. Then asked Bashir if his plan’s ready, because it may be our best hope to end things now. Bashir said that it’s as ready as possible because the challenge of “frontier medicine” is that there is never enough time.  Honestly, this sounds like an inside joke between the two of them. Then Bashir said that he created a program that will enable the Hur’q to synthesize the compound they need to come to their senses. After that, Bashir told us that he’s also put together a core sample of the compound for them to utilize in mass production, which is actually the easy part.

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Kira asked Bashir about the hard part and what he needs to make this happen. Bashir answered by saying that, from what we’ve learned about the Hur’q, the best way to make this happen will be to enter the data in one of their core computer systems.  Then Bashir said that it’ll need to be a command-level system with fleet-wide override authority. He told us that systems of that caliber are only found on Hur’q dreadnoughts. I voiced my displeasure at having to actually beam on one of the ships and face those things again. Rush teasingly asked me if this was going to be too difficult for me and mockingly offered to hold my hand. I told Rush that I’d rather have Tike do that. Then we disabled the giant Hur’q ship and got a call from Kira. She told us that the Dreadnought’s disabled, but that ship is still crawling with Hur’q. So, we’d better make sure our away teams are ready for a fight.  Odo said that he’ll send some of his best, meaning Rex and Loriss. The former will lead a Jem’Hadar away team while the latter will assist Bashir. Rush said that she’s taking Tike and Jinnie with her and I said that I’ll be taking Chris. Kira said that we need to get our away teams on that dreadnought before it calls for backup. Bashir called us and said that he and Loriss have all they need. Then he told us that they’re ready to beam over when we are. I took a deep breath and said that we might as well get this over with, which is also my attitude about gynecology exams.

I beamed down with Chris while Rush beamed down with Tike and Jinnie, the former being the only one happy to see me.  Bashir greeted us and said that we need to find their central computer core. He told us that, once we’re there, he’ll begin the override process that will allow him and Loriss to transmit their data on the cure.  Bashir then said when that’s done, he and Loriss can instruct each ship in the fleet to replicate the cure and distribute it to every Hur’q onboard. Of course, they’ll need to reach the command center in one piece to do so. 

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Rush arrogantly said that she and her team can clear the way, but I told her that Chris and I aren’t slouches either. Chris said that we can fight about it later. Right now, we need to get to the control room. So, we both went through the corridor with Rex warning us about enemy lifesigns ahead and that we need to get ready to fight.  Jinnie got her weapon ready and I heard her mumble “let’s get this over with.” Then Rex told us to proceed with caution, because he’s reading numerous hazards in the area. Apparently, this section of the ship has taken heavy damage. Jinnie immediately started shooting at the giant bugs that came lunging at us and I’m supposed to believe that these things were peaceful?  I channeled all of my fear into my phaser and started shooting, screaming at the roaches to die! After they were gone, I remembered that Black Mirror episode and said aloud that I should’ve used a different metaphor. Anyway, we fought through swarms and swarms of Hur’q until we got to the control room which, surprise, had more Hur’q we had to get rid of. Where’s a giant hypospray of bug repellent when you need it?

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We finally killed the Hur’q and checked in with Bashir.  He praised us for excellent work and then warned us to keep our weapons handy because we’re breaking into a secure computer system here and the Hur’q are bound to take offense.  Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in. He told us to keep them busy while he and Loriss do their work, or this’ll be a wasted trip. Next thing you know we have to deal with more Hur’q and then Loriss was screaming at Bashir like a stereo-typical shrew about how this one goes here and that one goes there.  Bashir explained that he was saving time by inverting the feed now instead of later. Then Loriss starts screaming at Bashir about how he’s supposed to be Starfleet’s best and brightest, which got my attention! I repeated, with tranquil fury, that he’s Starfleet’s best and brightest? Bashir said, medically speaking, he’s the best and brightest and he wouldn’t even be in Starfleet if it weren’t for this Hur’q nonsense.  Okay, I can accept that. Then Loriss screamed to Bashir about how we’re running out of time. Bashir asked Loriss sarcastically if she knows a faster way to translate Hur’q language and reverse-engineer their technology. Jinnie told them to hurry up because she doesn’t want to stay in bug city any longer than she has to. One of the Hur’q tried to attack me from behind while I was dealing with other Hur’q, but Tike pulled me out of the way before the explosion could do any damage and then I repaid him by yanking my arm away and stomping on his foot.  Tike only laughed it off and said that he sees that I still haven’t gotten over my touch phobia. I told Tike that it’s the golden rule, don’t touch me unless I allow it. Then I told him that I’ll make it up to him later and called him tiger. Rush told us that we can flirt after we try to prevent the end of the galaxy as we know it. Chris said that he hates to say this, but he agrees with Rush. Finally, we took care of the Hur’q and checked in with Dr. Bashir. He told us that the cure’s almost ready, but the system still needs the physical samples of the cure for final analysis and processing.  Then Bashir asked me if he should proceed! Hell yeah, he needs to proceed! The sooner we get this bug nightmare over with, the better.

Well, unfortunately, we don’t have that kind of luck.  Weyoun came in out of nowhere and shot the machine!  Bashir asked Weyoun if he was insane, because that was our last hope!  Loriss wanted to know how it’s possible, because Weyoun was in prison. Weyoun said that he was liberated by those who still serve the true Founders.  Then claimed that not everyone is a traitor to the Dominion, after all. I sarcastically remarked that the Founders treated them like shit and they’re still willing to destroy the galaxy for them.  Chris said that, psychologically speaking, it’s not that uncommon. I told Chris harshly that I’m well-aware of that. Loriss told Weyoun that there is only one traitor here, and it’s time he paid the price.  Loriss shot Weyoun in the shoulder, who called her pathetic because she can’t even kill someone properly. Then tried to order Rex to kill us all but, unlike Weyoun, he turned on his abuser and shot him in the head! 

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Bashir scanned Weyoun and said that he’s gone. Loriss added that it’s not a moment too soon. I told Loriss that she’s preaching to choir. Bashir contacted command and said that we have a problem. Rush beamed back to the Jimeck with Tike and Jinnie while I beamed back to the Winchester with Chris.

Odo contacted us and said that the Hur’q fleet is about to attack our position.  Then he told us that we need to give the doctor the time he needs to transmit the data on the cure.  My grandpa once told me to never speak ill of the dead, which just makes me want to do it more. God Damn Weyoun and his fucking martyr complex!  If there’s a hell, I hope he’s rotting in it! So, we have to survive a swarm attack and, even with all of us working together, we still can’t beat these guys.  Dear God, this is going to end like Avengers: Infinity Wars. Then Quark showed up and took some time to brag about how Odo was in quite a fix. Odo sarcastically replied that it’s a brilliant observation and demanded to know what Quark wanted.  Rom asked Odo to forgive Quark and explained that they’re here to help. Odo scoffed at a Ferengi cavalry and said that now he’s seen everything. Quark bragged about how the best is yet to come and I know he’s talking about his Klingon friends. I’m fighting the urge to point that out because I know it will be much cooler when they arrive right next to Quark’s ship.  Then he told Odo to say hello to his dangerous friends. Sadly, the Klingons didn’t show up and Odo smugly said that we’re waiting. I told Quark that it looks like his Klingon friends are late. Quark sarcastically thanked me for ruining the moment, but Rush pointed out that the moment was ruined when they didn’t show up. Then Quark asked Rom where they were. Odo kept bragging about how Quark lost his nerve and then Rush told Odo that we’re all about to die, so this isn’t the time for he and Quark to get into a pissing contest.  I only rolled my eyes and said that it’s typical of men to measure their dicks even when their life is in danger. Then the Klingons finally showed up! 

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Martok even gave this great speech about how, long ago, T’Kuvma the Unforgettable lit the beacon of Kahless to restore glory to the Empire. Martok then explained that, today, a new Torchbearer, Worf, son of Mogh, does the same. Martok said that, united, we now go fight the enemy of our ancestors. He claimed that, today, we will fight the Hur’q. Then he proudly proclaimed about how he now holds the weapon they fear most, which was the Sword of Kahless.  I remarked that I bet a certain Ferengi helped him get that. Martok said that we should join him now, in honorable combat, and show the Hur’q what it truly means to be Klingon. Then he finished it up by shouting “For Kahless! For the Empire! Qapla’!” After that I was beaming and shouted that it’s time to kick Thanos’s ass! So, that’s what we did! Just replace Thanos with the Hur’q. After defeating them, Rush and I got a call from Odo. He told us that the arrival of the Klingons has given us more time in space, but the situation on the surface is dire. Odo said that Hur’q forces are breaking the Jem’Hadar defense lines and we need to do what we can to help.  Odo told us that he’s beaming directly to the Great Link to aid his people. Then Martok contacted us after and said that the time has come. He told us that the Hur’q mean to ravage everything in their path, but we will not allow it. Martok gave a speech about how we still stand against them, as Kahless once stood, defiant and proud! He told us to fight well and, if need be, die well!

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I said that this might be like Avengers: Infinity Wars, but there’s no way in hell it’s going to end the same way. Rush and I had to move our ships within range of the planet. As soon as we arrived, Chris asked me if I was ready to beam down, giving me a sympathetic glance, but I said that I’m as ready as I’ll ever be and beamed down to the Founder homeworld with Chris.

Rush already beamed down with Tike again but, this time, Turel joined us.  Guess Rush decided to bring in the big guns. We both saw Martok doing the Kahless ritual with his fellow Klingons.  Odo said that it’s worse than we thought because most of the Jem’Hadar lines have been broken, so even the Great Link is in danger.  He told us that he’s going to coordinate our defenses at the Link and said that we should meet him there. Kira responded by telling Odo that we’ll meet him there as soon as we can and to be careful.  Martok said that the Jem’Hadar have come to our aid, so now we return the favor. We walked through the pathway, found the bug people and did exactly that. This time, it was my turn to save Tike when one of the bug people tried to get the drop on him.  I only smirked and told him that now we’re even. After defeating that section of Hur’q, we went to talk to the Jem’Hadar, who congratulated us on fighting well. He told us that there are many Hur’q between us and the Great Link. Then talked about how we go there now to reclaim our lives for we are already dead.  Rush said that talk like that is what will get us killed. As much as I hated to admit it, Rush does have a point. So, I said to the Jem’Hadar “May the odds be ever in our favor.” When he asked what that meant, I translated it to victory is life.  

After that, we went further down the path to the Great Link and Kira said that we won’t last long out in the open like this.  I told Kira that we definitely won’t with that attitude. Odo contacted us and said that they’re fortifying their position near the Great Link.  Kira responded to him by saying that we’re on our way. Then we ran into a Vorta commander, who told us that he had to confess his surprise at seeing us here on the homeworld of his gods.  He said that we really were living in strange times and I loudly admitted that I never thought I’d see the day when I’d be saving the Great Link. Then the Vorta asked us to forgive his boldness, but there are still Founders under attack nearby.  The Vorta then asked if he can count on us to aid them, and destroy the wretched creatures who would do them harm. I told him that we don’t exactly have a choice.

So, we go down the road, defeat a few Hur’q and rescue a few changelings, who were actually grateful for it. 

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Well, some of them were. Others accused us of invading but, after a Hur’q takeover, what would be left to rule?  It was Chris’s turn to get attacked by Hur’q, but Turel saved him. When Chris thanked Turel, he acted like a complete ass and said that he didn’t want to get in trouble for getting the golden boy of the Federation killed!  I made it clear to Turel that he doesn’t get to talk to Chris like that! Only I get to talk to Chris like that! It wasn’t long until we finally got to Odo and the Greak Link. Odo was happy that we made it in his usual stoic way and said that they’re going to need all the help they can get out here.  He told us that it looks like the Hur’q are focusing their attacks on the Link. Odo said that he called for reinforcements, but most of their lines have been overrun. He claimed that we’re going to make a stand here, and hope the doctor’s plan is successful. Then Odo finished it up by saying that, if we fail, this may be the day the Dominion dies.  I told Odo that Dr. Bashir is the smartest medical mind in Starfleet, so he’ll come through. Rush noted that I made sure to add medical. We didn’t have time to argue about it as more Hur’q came our way. While we were fighting, Kira asked Odo if he has more Jem’Hadar coming to help. Odo told her that the call’s been sent, but they may not arrive in time.  Kira just responded by saying that we’ll do what we can with what we have. Odo got a little morbid by adding “until the end,” which I pointed out. Kira agreed by saying that she’s not sure she liked the way he said that. Odo started his own goodbye to Kira by saying that, if they don’t make it, which Kira interrupted by saying now is not the time for this discussion.  Odo told Kira to look around, because there may not be a better time. Kira agreed and said that he’s right and she understands what he did. Odo then told her that he’s sorry… for everything. Kira said that she forgives Odo, but I’m not quite sure if I forgive him yet. Odo told Kira that he knows and that he feels the same.

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Chris was about to talk to me, but I told him that we’re not doing the whole sappy last words deal.  Rush said that she is and told Turel that he may be an ass, but it’s been great having him on the ship. Turel only responded to Rush by saying that she’s one of his better bosses. Tike said that the day he joined the Jimeck was the happiest day of his life, to which Rush joked that he’s getting a little too mushy. Then Tike was about to talk to me, but I told him that I’m not doing this. Tike asked me to humor him and then he asked me if I remembered when they first met and I was with Joey.  Chris asked who Joey was, so I told him that he’s my ex. Tike asked me what I saw in the guy and I told him that, when we make it out of this, I’ll tell him. 

The Hur’q overwhelmed us and took out Turel and Tike!  It was just me, Chris and Rush fighting the Hur’q and Kira got shot!  Odo wanted to know if she was all right, but she insisted that it’s just a scratch.  Chris started talking about how he sees me as more than just his friend, how I was his sister.  Then he said that abandoning me in high school was the worst mistake he ever made. I told Chris that we’re not dying right now!  Chris got angry with me and told me to look around, the Hur’q are surrounding us and we have virtually no chance of getting out of this alive and he can’t even tell Siket that he loves him!  I started crying and told Chris that at least Siket knows he loves him! I finally exploded and told Chris that Rose doesn’t even know I exist! Before Chris could even ask who Rose was, I started crying about how I can’t die knowing I missed the one chance to finally meet my daughter!

Thankfully, the fighting stopped and Bashir and Loriss pulled a big damn heroes moment.  One of the Hur’q showed up with Rex’s corpse and, against my instinct, I walked up to the giant bug. 

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The bug actually stood there, looking at me and then talking to me in clicks that I think meant thank you and transported away.  You know, these guys aren’t so scary. In fact, they’re actually quite cute, when they’re not trying to eat you alive. Odo said that it seems that the battle is over, but asked Bashir how and wanted to know what happened.  Bashir said that he believes Dukan’Rex realized that his own body contained the ketracel material he needed to finalize the cure. Then Bashir told us that Dukan’Rex extracted what we needed at the cost of his own life. Bashir explained that, once the Hur’q were able to synthesize the cure, they came to their senses and called for an immediate cease fire.  Bashir said that the Hur’q forces are withdrawing as we speak. Bashir finished up by telling Odo that it’s over, though he wouldn’t say we won. I got my flask out and toasted to Rex, taking a drink and then passing the flask to Chris, who took a drink even though he hates hard liquor. Chris passed it to Rush, who took a drink and passed it to Tike and then he took a drink and passed it to Turel.  Then I got a call from Elisa who told me that we’ve received orders from Alliance Command. We’re to report to Deep Space Nine as soon as possible for debriefing. Rush got the same call from her ship and we got asked if we’re ready to return to the Alpha Quadrant. I told Elisa after taking a deep breath that I’m ready to beam up. After that, Chris left to contact Siket and I went to my ready room and called Tike.  

I said that I told him that, when we survive, I would answer his question.  I explained that Joey was my dad’s guest in an attempt to boost his status on Earth, despite my mom’s objections.  Joey took an interest me when no one else would. Tike laughed and told me that he found that hard to believe. I explained to Tike that I was still in high school when it happened and, at that time, it was all about the pecking order.  Tanya was on top and I was at the bottom. Then dad left to captain a freighter and Joey moved to a nearby hotel room. My mom was too busy dealing with the shit dad left to notice that I was still seeing Joey. Then he abducted me and I was stuck under the radar with Joey as my only protector.  Tike said that he couldn’t imagine a worse fate. I told Tike that I could, have ended up with some Joe Carroll type sadist. Tike asked me who Joe Carroll was and I explained that he was a character from The Following, serial killer who targeted young women and removed their eyeballs, huge Edgar Allen Poe fanboy and he created his own cult with psychotic and devoted followers.  Tike pointed out that the guy had the same name as my ex-boyfriend, to which I jokingly pointed out that it could kill my interest in the program. Then I invited Tike to stay on my ship, but he turned me down. Tike said that I was too emotionally vulnerable right now and it wouldn’t be right. I only laughed and said that it seems like entities have better moral values than humanoid men.  Tike responded by saying it’s only the humanoid men I hang around who have such low values. Chris showed up and told me that we just arrived on Deep Space Nine, so I had to cut my conversation with Tike short. 

Rush and I went back to DS9 and found Bashir treating Rex in Sickbay, or trying to treat him.  Bashir said that there was nothing he could do for Rex on the Hur’q dreadnought. According to Bashir, the ketracel extraction process was too devastating.  Then Bashir talked to Odo about how he treated him like a son when they first found him on DS9 and Bashir told Odo that he’s truly sorry. Odo added that Rex didn’t even have a name when he left them, so he’ll make sure the name Rex found is never forgotten.  Odo reminisced about Rex’s first days on the station, when all he wanted to do was fight and it didn’t matter who. Odo then talked about how, when Rex left, Odo thought that he’d never see him again or, if he did, it’d be as enemies. Odo said that the man he met years later still knew how to fight, but his reasons for doing so had changed dramatically.  Odo then talked about how he’s proud to have known Rex and how he wish he could’ve done more in the end. I told Odo that he’s done more for Rex then a lot of fathers do for their kids, while adding in my head, mine included.  Rush agreed by saying that Odo did make a difference in Rex’s life.  Odo said that he supposed that we were right and then told us that Kira was looking for us.  Apparently, she’s at the temple or at least she was the last time Odo checked. Then Odo excused himself to pay his respects and said that we’d talk more later.

Rush and I went to the temple to see what Kira had to say only to be stopped by Loriss.  She said that it pleased her to see us and that she has interesting news. I admitted that I hope it doesn’t involve the Hur’q, which only intrigued Rush.  Loriss said that it doesn’t, but it does involve the Orb of Peace that I returned with Kai Opaka. Loriss talked about how the Orb spoke to her and that she’s been exploring the meaning of that experience with the Kai and Captain Kira.  After all, they are the experts in such matters. Loriss admitted that they all find it curious that an Orb of the Prophets would speak to a Vorta, they also agree that it would be foolish to ignore it. I asked Loriss if she’s a born again Prophet believer now.  Since Loriss didn’t know what that was a reference to, she didn’t get the joke. Rush got it and told me to retell the joke when she’s on blitz. Then Loriss told us that, with the blessings of Founder Odo, she has been transferred to this quadrant to continue her studies of the Orb and the Prophets.  Loriss claimed that she’ll serve as Founder Odo’s representative, since diplomacy is her specialty. Loriss told us that she’s sure we’ll be seeing one another again and said that may the blessings of the Founders and the Prophets be ours. Rush said that she didn’t need them, but I told Loriss that I’m going to repeat this to my grandpa because, being a strict Catholic, hearing this would really piss him off.  Loriss apologized for that, but I told her that it made my day. After that, Opaka wanted to talk to us and said that it was good to see me once more. Opaka told us that she was hoping to speak to us about an important matter before our duties take us back to the stars. She talked to us about how her thoughts often return to the Orb of Peace and that it was no coincidence that it was found in the Gamma Quadrant, in the midst of two warring tribes.  Opaka said that she believes it to be a message from the Prophets, one of guidance in troubled times. Then she went on about how the conflict with the Hur’q has ended and she feels that it’s time to explore this omen more thoroughly. Opaka talked about the recent vision Loriss experienced and how it’s truly remarkable that the Prophets would speak to a Vorta. According to Opaka, this can’t be a coincidence. Opaka believes that the Orb is meant to broker a lasting peace between the people of our quadrants and the Dominion.  I said that it would be the first time in history religion brought peace instead of war. Opaka only responded to that by saying that it’s not religion that causes war, it’s humanoids. Rush said that she’s got a point. Finally, we got to talk to Kira. She said that here we are again and it’s been quite a journey. I asked Kira what’s next for her and she told me that, after she got back, Starfleet Command offered her a number of postings—even the center chair on one of those shiny new cruisers. Kira admitted that it was tempting, but she chose to join the command staff on DS9.  She said that Bajor and the Celestial Temple mean a lot to her, and this station is a good place to keep them both safe, which Kira said also includes my daughter. Rush told Kira that it’s also close to our mutual friend in the Gamma Quadrant.

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Kira said that Rush was subtle, but she’s not wrong. Kira claimed that she and Odo have a lot to work out before they’re back to where they were, but they’ve taken a few good steps in that direction. However, Kira still thinks it will work out… eventually. Kira admitted that Odo’s a hard man to read sometimes. I said that I actually find Odo very easy to read.  Kira then told me that he’s a hard man for normal people to read. After that, Kira thanked us for coming to visit. She said that, after all we’ve been through, it means a lot to have friends, even if it reminds her of the ones we miss. Then Kira told us that General Martok is leading the charge against the bloodwine at Quark’s. Kira said that she’s sure that Martok would want to congratulate us on another glorious victory. I told Kira that I’d take any excuse to drink. Rush agreed with me, though I admitted that I’d also like to reserve a holosuite, even if I’m not sure what program I’m in the mood for.  Kira told me that I might not have time to reserve a holosuite, which really disappointed me.

Rush and I went to Quark’s to find not only Martok and Quark, but Leeta, Rom, Nog and Neth Parr.  It was the last one who wanted to talk to us first. Neth Parr told me that she’s forever indebted to me because, without my efforts, she would’ve walked the Path of Exile for the rest of her days.  Now, she will help make amends for all that has happened during Tzenketh’s terrible crusade. Then I talked to Nog who said that we need to stop running into each other when the fate of the galaxy is on the line.  He suggested drinks at Quark’s or some baseball on the holodeck. I told Nog that I’d meet him halfway and just have drinks, but I’ll send Chris to play baseball with him. Rush said that, unlike me, she’s not too lazy to do both.  Why is she always trying to one up me? Then Nog said that he can’t think of too many people he’d trust when everything’s on the line. Nog said that he was glad I was here for this. Then he told me that Starfleet’s assigned the Chimera to peacekeeping duty in Hur’q space and they’ll be working with a joint task force to help the Hur’q get back on their feet again.  Rush said that it sounds like he got assigned to Hur’q rehab. Nog said that she’s not wrong, but there’s a lot to be done. Nog claimed that he’s happy to help the Hur’q rejoin the galactic community. I wished Nog luck with that and told him that he’s going to need it. Nog laughed and said that I might be right about that, but his crew’s up for the challenge because they’re some of Starfleet’s best, like my crew.  He told me and Rush to take care of ourselves out there and not to be strangers. After that, we talked to Leeta who said that she’s glad to see this all come to an end, but not as glad as everyone on Ferenginar. She claimed that it’s a celebration of Rule 35 like no one’s ever seen before. Leeta said that peace may be good for business, but things are really getting out of hand. Leeta told us that, when word got out that the Gamma Quadrant was open for business, the “New Latinum Rush” was on.  Then she talked about how with open borders and free trade policies her husband was practically weeping with joy. However, she felt sympathy for Odo because, if he thought he had his hands full with Quark on DS9, he’s going to have an even tougher time now that he has an entire quadrant of Ferengi to deal with. Rush and I both laughed about this, with me admitting that I would pay to see how this plays out. Rush asked me how much I would pay. I ignored that and talked to Rom, who said that he’ll be here until his ship is repaired.  However, every cloud has a silver lining because he now has exclusive rights to the holosim of the battle. Rom claimed that the sales alone will cover the cost of repairs. He finished that up by saying that, some days, it’s good to be the Grand Nagus. I told Rom that it sounds like too much responsibility for me, to which he somewhat agreed. Then Rom talked about how he doesn’t like to think about how close to disaster we were and was fortunate that there were people like me and Rush out there to bring us all back to the brink. Rom claimed that we both have quite the stories to tell with all of our adventures.  Then he asked if either one of us considered making a holobiography, because our life stories would be quite popular and profitable. Rom said that he’d make me and Rush a very generous offer for the rights and cut us both a share of the profits, 25%.

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Rush said that writing her life story would do more harm than good. I told Rom that, if anyone’s writing my life story, it’s Chris because he’s my Watson. Rom said that the offer still stands if either of us change our minds, which is not happening anytime soon. After that, we talked to Quark who welcomed us and offered both of us a VIP discount on our drinks because it’s a private party and he’s in a generous mood.  Rush asked him if he really means that our drinks are not on the house. Quark asked Rush if she took a hit in the head in that fight, because he’s in a generous mood but he’s not insane. Quark told us that we get half off, so we either take it or leave it. I told Quark that I’ll take it and the same goes to Rush. Quark made a comment about how, with two alcoholics, he’s not surprised in the least. However, he was still happy we agreed and told us not to take it personally, since we could be Odo and he gets a 50% markup on his drinks. Rush pointed out that it’s rather useless because Odo doesn’t drink. I asked Quark about the Sword of Kahless and he said that there wasn’t much to tell because Lek saw the error of his ways and gave it back.  Then he let Grilka, Martok and Worf know they’d recovered their precious relic. Quark said that, a quick handoff later, and the Klingons were off to war. He claimed that he and Rom tagged along, mainly to see the look on Odo’s face when Quark rode in with the cavalry. Quark said that it was priceless and, if he dies tomorrow, he’ll go to the Exchequer with a smile on his face. Rush asked Quark sarcastically if he made a profit on that job. Quark responded by asking if he looks like Nog to us because, unlike the Federation, the Klingons know the value of latinum. Rush agreed with that, saying dealing with the Federation doesn’t do much in the way of profit. I said that the Federation has a different system from the rest of the galaxy, what you get is based off of how much you contribute, which is why my dad agreed to let Joey stay with us when his ship crashed on Earth, against my mom’s wishes.  However, I didn’t mention that part out loud. I did say that, If you contribute a great deal, or your status is high enough, you can extend your privileges to friends or relatives, like how Chris’s dad is a high-up Federation official.  It’s why he’s the golden boy of the Federation. Quark said that it sounds interesting, but he’s thinking about spending his cut on a smaller moon to orbit the one he already has, then speculated that he might even name it Odo. I told Quark that he’s taking a huge risk with that one. Finally, it was time to talk to Martok and he bragged about how it was a hard-fought battle and a well-earned victory, but was disappointed that the Klingons almost missed it. Martok admitted that their fleet would’ve never left the Empire if it weren’t for the Sword’s return. He claimed that Grilka told him that her former mate, Quark, had something to do with that. Martok said that the sacred blade of Kahless being returned to the Empire by a Ferengi was madness. I pointed out that it’s not that hard to believe and Worf also played a part in all of this.  Martok admitted that it was Worf’s idea to ignite the Beacon of Kahless. He claimed it was a bold move, but it paid off because only a coward could refuse such a call to arms. Martok bragged about how the legend of Kahless was stronger than ever, and it would not surprise him if the High Council moved to create a new clone of the Emperor. After all, there is great power in legend. Rush was still confused about Grilka and Quark being an item, but she wasn’t schooled in the adventures of Deep Space Nine like I was. I told Rush that it’s a long story and then Quark interjected by telling us that there’s a message from Garak on his monitor, text only. Quark said that Garak wants us to meet him at his old tailor shop. Then Quark speculated that maybe Garak’s had enough of politics and wants to get back in the fashion game. Quark claimed that it would be more profitable in the long run and easier on the nerves. Rush and I both doubted that. Then Quark warned us not to keep Garak waiting because he looks for secrets when he gets bored, and he’s not the person anyone wants poking around in their business.  I told Quark that my life’s an open book, even if I won’t always read it to people. Still, I was happy that I would get to see Garak one last time. Unfortunately, so was Rush.

So, we made our way to Garak’s Tailor Shop, where Rush decided to sit on the table, near Garak I might add.  Kuumaarke talked to us before I could say anything about it, claiming that the conflict may be over, but there’s still plenty of work to be done.  She told us that the Lukari have offered to help the Hur’q restore their homeworld’s ecosystem, and they’ve accepted. Then Kuumaarke said that Doctor Bashir will be working with them on this and it’s their goal to ensure that no Hur’q will ever go hungry again.  Actually, she said that no Hur’q will go without nourishment again but I couldn’t resist quoting Scar. Kuumaarke told us that, some time ago, she hoped for a path to peaceful resolution to their troubles with the Hur’q. Now she’s happy to be part of such a solution, at last.  Then she thanked both me and Rush for our efforts in getting us all to this point… to peace. At that point, Rush took a seat on the table, so I told her that she shouldn’t be sitting there, because she’ll break it. She asked me if this was supposed to be a crack about her weight.  I told Rush that I was just saying that the table’s very fragile and I wouldn’t want Garak’s former shop ruined. Garak told me that I didn’t have to worry about that, and then he turned to me and thanked me for agreeing to meet him here. That’s right, the great exile and former spy that I read about in the Academy thanked me!  This is so cool! He also thanked Rush, but he did ask for the both of us. Garak said that, strangely, he finds it easy to center himself in this shop, even relax. I asked Garak if it was because of memories of a simpler time in his life. He told me I was right (my three favorite words), and that Cardassia is about to begin a new journey, as it were, and he’ll be going along for the ride.  Rush told Garak and it sounds exciting to her, to which he admitted that it is. Apparently, Cardassia has been offered membership in the Alliance, and they’ve accepted. Garak said that their seat at the table was hard-earned, but they’re ready — and grateful — to join the ongoing efforts. Then Garak told us that officer-exchange programs have already begun, in fact. Garak suspected that I’ll be seeing more Cardassian faces in the future, and he hopes that I show them the same courtesy as I’ve shown him in their shared adventures.  I detected quite a bit of sarcasm from him, because we both know that I don’t do courtesy. I asked Garak where he falls into in all this.

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He told me that he’ll be spending time on Earth, Qo’noS, and New Romulus… the life of an ambassador is never dull after all. I snorted and told Garak that I beg to differ on that one. Garak sarcastically asked why no one offered to make me a diplomat. Rush said that, if I were a diplomat, I’d cause an intergalactic war. I told Rush that she actually makes a good point. Hey, I wouldn’t be dishing if I couldn’t take.  Garak then said that someone needs to make sure the Alliance doesn’t forget about Cardassia, and he supposed that someone is him. He said that he’ll be sure to follow both of our exploits, of course. Since either one of us will be far more entertaining than economic forecasts and state functions, to be sure. I said that The Last Jedi would be more entertaining than that, something Rush begged to differ on. Garak told me that he looked up my daughter, Rose, and she’s doing rather well, unscathed in the Hur’q attack. I hesitated and then asked Garak what she was like.  He told me that she’s very happy, energetic and very polite. Then added that, if it weren’t for her striking resemblance to me, he’d have a hard time believing she’s my daughter. I stayed silent for a minute until Garak told me and Rush that our fearless leaders want to have a word with us next. Neither one of us even asked him how he knew that.

We left Garak’s Tailor Shop and found the Alliance leaders waiting right outside for us. 

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Rush caught D’Tan’s attention, who told her that he’s initiated a dialogue between the Dominion and the Karemma.  He claimed that, in light of recent events, he felt that it was imperative that their conflict be resolved peacefully.  D’Tan said that whether that results in an independent Karemma or not remains to be seen, but he shall endeavor to help them reach a result that is beneficial for both parties.  Rush told D’Tan that he’s got himself a real challenge. After that, Admiral Quinn talked to me and said that there have been some significant diplomatic events since our return from the Gamma Quadrant.  Quinn told me that, first, the Dominion is joining the Alliance and having them as allies will take some getting used to, but the opportunity was too great to ignore. I told Quinn that I always thought Quark would become a Bajoran Vedek and take a vow of celibacy before that ever happened.  Quinn then said that, as a condition to joining the Alliance, they requested that the Founders take steps to free the Jem’Hadar from their addiction to ketracel while. Quinn was happy to say that Ambassador Odo was inclined to comply with that request. Quinn said that it will make things… interesting in the Gamma Quadrant, to be sure.  Still, it’s been a long time coming and the Jem’Hadar should be able to live their lives freely. I told Quinn that, now that Thanos isn’t a threat, the Avengers, Spider-Man, Dr. Strange and the Guardians of the Galaxy can all go back to their normal lives. This time, it’s for the better. Quinn told me that I really need to stop comparing reality to fiction.  I told Quinn that he’d have to erase all my knowledge of fiction from my brain to make that happen. Finally, it was J’MPok’s turn to speak. He told both me and Rush that the Havas-kul sector has been designated as independent from the Dominion, and a “Hur’q Neutral Zone” has been established around it. Then he said that the Empire will join the Federation and the Republic in keeping the peace with the Dominion and the Hur’q.  J’mpok finished it up by saying that they have experience in enforcing a neutral zone after all. Then J’mpok proudly proclaimed that Martok’s use of the Beacon, and the return of the Blade, has led to a renewed interest in Kahless throughout the Empire. J’mpok said that some say Martok stands with honor next to great heroes like T’Kuvma, Voq, L’Rell, and Kang. J’mpok joked that getting along with Martok is difficult enough, now his ego’s going to be larger than Mount Hamar.  However, J’mpok’s grateful that Martok has very little in the way of political aspirations, otherwise he’d have to kill him again. J’mpok laughed at his own stupid joke, something that made me and Rush roll our eyes. Rush told J’mpok to watch out, because Martok might want revenge for his previous death, and she said this with a smile. J’mpok said that he’ll keep an eye on Martok so that it doesn’t happen. I told J’mpok not to abuse his power, because that was Gowron’s mistake. 

After that, I got a call from Chris who told me that Odo and Bashir would like a word with me and Rush in Sickbay when we have a moment.  Well, we’ve got nothing but time so we went to Sickbay and talked with Bashir. He told us that things are finally settling down around here…  well, as much as it ever settles down, that is. I asked Bashir why he’s still in uniform if that’s the case. Bashir explained that there’s a lot to be done with the Hur’q and being a part of Starfleet will help him make things happen in that regard.  Bashir said that, when he’s not on DS9, he’ll be working with the Lukari and the crew of the U.S.S. Aventine to help the Hur’q get back on their feet. Rush told Bashir that Havas-kul is a long way from home for him. Bashir explained that he’s married to the captain of the Aventine, so it won’t be too bad.  Then Bashir said that the kids won’t be joining them until Kuumaarke and her team restore Havas-kul to a more habitable state. Just the mention of kids sent a pang through my heart as I thought of my own. Bashir told us that he’s sure we’ll be seeing each other soon but, until then, stay safe and said it was an order from our Doctor.  Finally, we talked to Odo who told us that the Dominion is about to go through a number of changes. They’re liberating the Jem’Hadar from the White, phasing out the Founders’ “benevolent dictatorship,” establishing a safe haven for the Hur’q. Needless to say, Odo’s going to be busy for a very long time. I told Odo that won’t be easy, because if there’s one thing no one likes it’s change. 

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Odo agreed with me and said that many Founders are still resistant to it. Though he likes to think that they’re outnumbered by those willing to take a more diplomatic approach. After all, the last thing the Dominion, or anyone, needs is a civil war. Odo then told us more bad news by saying that not all of the Hur’q were cured, so we’ll be dealing with rogue swarms for quite some time. However, he hopes that they can call on either one of us in the future if they run into that special kind of trouble that we have a talent for dealing with.  Rush said that she’d be happy to help for a price while all I could do was stand there like an idiot and give a high pitched sure. Then Odo warned both of us to keep an eye out for Quark, because that little act of “heroism” with the Sword of Kahless will make him bolder than ever. Odo asked me how my daughter was, and I told him that I heard from Garak that she survived the attack. Odo then apologized for putting my daughter in harm’s way and all I responded to that with was that he’s lucky that she wasn’t hurt. Chris told me that the Winchester’s been clear for departure, so they’re ready to leave when I am.  Rush got the same message from the Jimeck, who said that she was ready to clear out.

As soon as I got back on my ship, I got a call from Odo before I could visit Bajor.  He told me that the future of the Dominion is uncertain for the first time in many years.  According to Odo, without the Wicked Witch of the Gamma Quadrant and her unbreakable will at the center of it all, the GQ will undoubtedly go through a great deal of turmoil.  Odo said that he’ll do what he can to maintain order and keep the peace, but it’ll definitely be a challenge. For now, what matters to Odo is that we fought for the Dominion when they needed it the most.  Odo told me that he won’t forget that and, thanks to the Great Link, neither with the Founders. Odo thanked me and said that he hoped that we can meet again under much better circumstances.

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Elisa asked if I was ready to leave, but I told her that I want to stop by Bajor first.  I faced one fear, now it’s time to face another.

A/N: So, what did you think of Candy’s team up with Rush and her take on the epic battle?  Once again, I’d like to thank Hashakgig for agreeing to do this mission with me not once, but twice after I lost my screenshots.  Considering that I got to take better ones with Bandicam, maybe it was for the best.  Anyway, let me know what you think in the comments and feel free to role-play or make requests.

American McGee’s Alice (Amazon Store)

Requested by BloodRoseRed

After surviving a house fire that murdered her parents, young Alice finds herself locked up in an asylum.  

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Her only escape is through the mythical Wonderland, corrupted by her own experiences. Now she must fight her way through an evil land in order to reclaim her own sanity.

Those of you who’ve watched the Disney movie will be in for quite a shock.  It’s definitely not the Alice in Wonderland from your childhood. However, the game is also not a darker re-telling.  It takes place after the events of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Therefore, it’s more of a sequel to the original events, which I think works in its favor.  In the past, Wonderland has always been a place of mythical adventure that Alice could escape to when life became too much for her. Which, considering the first book ends with the Queen of Hearts wanting to chop off Alice’s head, wasn’t that happy go lucky either.  Now that tragedy struck Alice and she’s in a Victorian Asylum, which was not a place you wanted to be sent to, she needs this one escape to cope with her situation. The beautiful Wonderland she knew and loved transformed into a twisted nightmare due to her own experiences.  However, even in this hell Wonderland transformed into, Alice still has friends in the form of the Cheshire Cat, The White Rabbit and The Griffin.

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They’re the ones that help her through this nightmare world and guide her on her quest.

As I said, the game is a gritty sequel to the Alice in Wonderland books.  I first saw it at a store when I was in Middle School but, since I wasn’t old enough, I couldn’t get the game. I’ll admit, I thought that it was just a tale of needless violence thrown in to make a beloved children’s classic cooler and more adult.  Then BloodRoseRed requested me to review both this and Alice: Madness Returns and, I’ll confess, I was happily wrong. Yes, this is more violent than what you’d expect from something set in the Alice in Wonderland universe.  However, it’s not needless violence thrown in to make the game cool, as is often done in these situations. The game explores deep elements such as mental illness, trauma, and survivor’s guilt. When Alice was seven years old, she witnessed her family die in a fire and was too busy having a make believe tea party to pay attention to what was going on.  Minor spoiler alert, her guilt manifests in Wonderland as villains, such as the Jabberwocky and the Red Queen, as they call Alice a selfish and spoiled girl. According to them, she didn’t deserve to survive and, if she had paid attention, she could’ve warned her parents and saved them. These are feelings Alice has herself echoed through the words of the game’s villains and, in order to conquer them, she has to kill the villains that represent her guilt.  This is actually very symbolic of her fight to keep her sanity and it’s something that the game play reflects, which I will discuss in a later paragraph.

The game comes with an instruction manual that has a diary of one of the doctors of Rutledge Asylum giving his accounts of treating Alice in the real world while she battles her own metaphorical demons.  Unfortunately, the copy of the game I bought didn’t come with a casebook, so I had to look it up on the game’s wiki, which you can read here. I’m sure many of you who know the history of Victorian Asylums think the doctor is some sadistic man deriving in the torture of an innocent young girl.  I actually have a book called Women of the Asylum and it documented cases of women who refused to submit to the patriarchy finding themselves committed to the asylum for a mental illness.

However, this is not the case.  The doctor is actually a caring man not sure what to do about Alice’s condition.  He talks about how he had to treat other patients and seems remorseful that the treatments result in death far more than they do in curing mental illnesses.  Little by little, this becomes normal to the doctor but he still wants to do his best to help the people in his care, even if the “treatments” are barbaric by today’s standards.  Yes, Asylums in Victorian London were hell on Earth, but the Asylum was a recently introduced concept to curing the mentally ill. Many of the horrors were less from evil and more from the ignorance of the time.  It doesn’t make it any better and I’m sure it’s making Alice’s mental illness worse, but it does make us more understanding. In addition, you can tell that the makers of the game did their homework when writing the book, even if they did get one detail about Victorian London wrong in the game, which I’ll discuss later.  You also get to see the difference between Alice in Wonderland who, in this version, is a real badass you don’t want to mess with, and the Alice in the real world, who’s a passive patient. The doctor is actually rooting for Alice, even if a part of him wants her to stay in the Asylum with him.

The game takes place entirely in Wonderland with only a few mentions of the real world. In it, you take control of Alice who must defeat the corrupted and nightmarish versions of the Wonderland characters we know and love.  These enemies represent Alice’s insanity trying to consume her and she must destroy them to keep what sanity she has left. Like many games, this one has an HP bar and an MP bar.  The HP bar represents her sanity, which she regains by killing enemies such as the playing cards that attack her and must consume the essence they leave behind. Try explaining that to a psychiatrist and see if they don’t put you in a home.  The MP bar is for magic you need to defeat the enemies but, thankfully, the essence found throughout the game to restore HP also works for MP. Boss’s have their own level and they must be defeated if you want to advance through the game.

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However, Alice is not alone as she has friends who guide her throughout her journey that represent her sanity.  One conversation she has with the Cheshire Cat about taking Gym Class contradicts schooling in Victorian London, due to not having Gym Class back then. They had Drill Class, which was the closest you could get, and it was for boys. Girls whose parents were rich sent them to Finishing School to learn how to become proper ladies and there was no Drill Class for them.  Still, historical inaccuracy aside, these conversations and help she has from those few friends represent what little sanity she has left. Spoiler alert, these characters die trying to help Alice, which feeds into her own survivor’s guilt about how she should’ve died in the fire with her family. It also shows that, for a brief moment, Alice’s insanity is winning. Having the Jabberwocky and the Red Queen accuse Alice of being selfish and spoiled represents the most powerful obstacle that Alice has to overcome if she wants to rejoin society, her guilt.  So, in many ways, the game play is made almost entirely of symbolism, which is actually very creative. You can also collect weapons throughout the game and complete puzzles in order to advance through the storyline. The most powerful weapon is the Jabberwocky eye staff, which you can use to beat the final two bosses, but my favorite for dealing with the regular enemies is the Ice Staff.

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It knocks them out just like that. The puzzles can also be difficult and, more often than not, you’ll find yourself consulting a walkthrough.

As for the horror element the game tries to represent, I admit that I didn’t really find it that scary.  I found it interesting from a psychological perspective, as I already discussed, but I wasn’t really trembling in my seat.  I did find myself on edge when I managed to play it at night but the only incident that made me slightly jump out of my seat was when a fish pops out of the lake and eats you.  Then again, I am a tough sell and I haven’t been properly scared since the recent IT movie.

This game is intriguing and fun.  I give it 9 out of 10, a creative take on a classic story and mental illness that really made me think.

Tenebris Torquent (Star Trek Online

A/N: Candy’s back and, this time, she’s recounting when she had to visit the Hur’q homeworld and got separated from her away team while traveling dark corridors, praying that she doesn’t become the Hur’q’s next meal.

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Fleet Admiral’s Log Stardate 96225.23

This is Candy Marino and I just got a call from Garak.  He told me that researchers led by his friend, Doctor Bashir, have isolated several fascinating aspects of Hur’q biology.  Garak said that he’s told this data provides insight on their native environment; specifically a metallic planetoid orbiting a pulsar within a nebula.  Garak claimed that there’s only one system that meets these requirements: Havas-Kul, in the Gamma Quadrant. Garak told me that he’s going to investigate, along with Captain Kira in the Defiant.  Then he said that Doctor Bashir will accompany us as well, since his insight will be critical to the mission’s success. Garak claimed that the doctor believes we’ll find what we need to end this conflict on Havas-Kul.  Garak said that if Bashir’s right, and he often is, Garak’s willing to go to the heart of enemy territory. Then asked if I would join them. I told Garak proudly that I never back down from a challenge. Garak only challenged this by pointing out how I acted the last two times, barely able to contain my fear of the Hur’q.  I countered back by pointed out that I still managed to do my job. Garak then had the nerve to say that he hopes I can still manage this time and then cut the connection with a smile on his face! The nerve of that man! I set course for Havas-Kul, determined to prove him wrong.

As soon as I arrived, which was a long flight, I met with Garak and he talked about how the survey reports don’t do this system justice.  After all, it’s got a nebula, a pulsar, dark energy and the Hur’q homeworld. I said that it’s like a haunted house in space and then pointed out that I’m not reading any Hur’q ships on sensors.  Garak said that he didn’t either, something he found strange. Garak claimed that one would think that they’d place a heavy guard on their home system, something we both found peculiar. Garak wants to use the opportunity to look around quietly, but I suspect a trap.  I still conducted a system scan, which Garak said picked up a number of interesting phenomena, despite interference from the nebula.

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We found a plethora of heavy metallic compounds, and a hotbed of tetryon and thermobaric energy throughout the nebula. Kira contacted us to say that there’s a moon nearby.  She claimed that the preliminary scans aren’t showing much, but it’s just the kind of place the Hur’q could be using to hide a base… or a fleet. Kira said that she wanted to take a closer look, something I agreed to. After all, the bug people are much less scary when they’re flying around in ships.

I headed for the dead moon and got another call from Kira about how the pulsar’s throwing off a lot of hazardous energy.  Garak complimented her on being astute and then suggested that we make the appropriate shield adjustments. Meanwhile, I scanned the dead moon and got another call from Kira.  She told me that she didn’t like that scans were showing a lot of bare rock, but no metals or compounds. She and Garak said that it’s a lot like it’s being stripped of anything remotely useful, which is the calling card of the Hur’q.  Garak suggested sending down a probe just to be sure. He said that there could be some Hur’q down there, hidden by the nebula’s effects on our sensors.

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Hey, anything that prevents us from running into the Hur’q is all right with me. I immediately sent a probe and got a call from Kira right after.  What can I say, she works fast. Kira told me that the moon is barely Class-D; no metals, complex compounds, liquids, or atmosphere. Garak said that the interior is a complex maze of tunnels-thousands of them. Bashir told me that this matches Hur’q patterns they’ve seen elsewhere, so you can bet that the Hur’q have been here.  I was about to set course for the dead planet until Garak contacted me. He told me that the probe is online and transmitting and their science teams are taking a close look at the incoming data, but it doesn’t look terribly promising. Then asked if we should forge on, since there’s a lovely planet nearby, no doubt filled with a bounty of toxic rocks and metallic salts, which he was being sarcastic about, of course.  I set course for the planet and got another call from Garak about how I’m entering scanning range.

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Bashir contacted me and said that the astronomic readings are strange. He said that the planet has a highly eccentric orbit and it looks like it collects matter from the nebula as it sweeps around the pulsar, all while being bombarded with radiation. Bashir concluded that it’s definitely not habitable by most standards, but not quite Demon-class.  Bashir went on about how the planet has an orbital period of several thousand years, which explains the Hur’q lifestyle. Bashir claimed that they must hibernate while the planet is at the far range in its orbit. Bashir talked about how this orbit coincides with the previous emergences of the Hur’q. Then he said that the thousand-year-cycles explain why they appear suddenly, then vanish just as quickly. Garak contacted us and put in his two cents, about how we’re reading complex structures here, along with power systems and technology.  Then said that this could be a base of operation for the Hur’q. Garak told us that it appears to be deserted and suggested that we look around, since this is a prime opportunity. Great, I have to beam down and face the bug people, again. I sarcastically asked Garak if I have a choice. Garak only responded by saying that I actually do, I can help them stop the Hur’q now or I can lay back and wait for them to devour everyone I know and love, including myself. Damn, he’s good. Kira contacted us and said that we need to meet on the Defiant.  After all, we’ll need to make preparations before we send an away team down there.

Me and my team immediately beamed on the Defiant and met with Kira.  She told us that she’s sent a team down to establish a secure zone. Apparently, they’re ready for us, but we’ll want to put on EV suits before I beam down.  Kira said that they have some in that container for me to use. She told us that, once we’re suited up, they’ll beam us down to the planet’s surface in a large cavern area.  So, we got the EV suits and beamed down to the caverns.

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As soon as we beamed down, Chris told me that this chamber appears to be a natural cavern, but the readings show unusual energy and a lot of magnetized metals and salts not far from here.  He said that some of the caves near here have a regular structure, like they were dug out rather than naturally occurring. Chris suggested that maybe the Hur’q have something like an ant hive.  I sarcastically told him that he’s telling me that the Hur’q have something in common with Earth’s most vicious species. Chris looked at me like he thought he was joking, until Elisa chimed in asking about that famous saying. Then said that, if ants had photon torpedoes, they’d end the galaxy in a week. Chris thought it was crazy and asked me if I really believed that. I told Chris that I don’t think it would take them that long. This was more than enough for me to take, so I said that we need to check in with Kira’s away team and see how they’re progressing.  First I went to Williams, who said that he should have a habitation area set up soon. Williams told me that we can replace the reducing atmosphere in this cavern with standard oxy-nitro and warm things up a bit. He said that Kane’s keeping watch and Weir’s looking into other connected areas. Then Williams told me that we should have a perimeter field up within a few minutes.  After that, I went to Ishimura who told me that she’s reading a lot of background radiation and some wild magnetic fields. Ishimura claimed that it’s like the pulsar and the nebula are supercharging the metallic crystal compounds here. Then she proceeded to tell me what I already know, about how the environment’s very different from anything we’d consider a habitable planet. Ishimura said that it explains why the Hur’q are so alien.  Then she said that it’s quite a treasure for a geologist like herself. I told her to just ignore the fact that we might get eaten alive by a giant ant colony and it’s a real picnic. Chris suggested that we hail the Defiant and explain our situation, which I agreed to. Bashir asked the Defiant if they still have a lock on us. Thankfully, Kira replied with an affirmative but, if we need transport, there might be a slight delay due to pulsar emissions.  Ishimura said that she’s getting something odd on her tricorder and I’ve played enough horror holo-programs to know that’s never a good sign. Turned out I was right because we heard something sneaking around us and I’d bet the Winchester it was the Hur’q. Ishimura yelled that she saw something nearby, that “something” being a Hur’q hiding like a horror movie monster in the shadows!

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That thing blasted us with a shockwave like it was a Final Fantasy monster and knocked me out big time!

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Thankfully, I didn’t need a Phoenix Down to get back up again, because I woke up in a series of underground tunnels.  Not so thankfully, my entire crew didn’t wake up with me. Before I could contemplate that, I got a call from Kira. She told me that she was glad that I was still with them.  Then said that whatever it was must’ve left me for dead. Kira said that I’d better get moving in case it comes back to make sure. She also explained that I’m in a series of tunnels that connect to a larger cavern.  Then said that Garak and Bashir are close to my position and they’re moving into a large open chamber. Kira told me to try to make my way to them. I told Kira as I was trying to regain my senses that I’ll just get my away team and then I looked around and realized that I had no away team. After that, Kira told me to be careful. She said that some of the crystal formations down here are emitting intense amounts of energy. Then said that they can’t lock onto anything with transporters, and the others are reporting that directed energy weapons won’t work. I cut the communication with Kira and got another one from Bashir, saying that he and Garak are alive but they’re a little lost.  Thank God for small favors.

I wasted no time and immediately started walking through the caves.  It didn’t take long for me to get another communication from Kira, who told me to keep moving because I should head up to another chamber.  I’ll admit, I’m hoping to find my crew ASAP and get out of here before any of us becomes that creature’s next meal. Then I got worried that my crew might’ve already become its next meal.  No, I can’t think like that! Each member of my crew is alive until proven dead! Kira contacted me to tell me that the creature’s in a passage near my location and I need to stay sharp. I got my weapon out and kept moving, which wouldn’t really do any good against the creature but it makes me feel better, like a security blanket.  I got another call from Bashir, who told me that he and Garak are moving into a very large, oblong chamber. Garak called in with his own commentary about how he was hoping that those cozy, cramped little tunnels would make a nice vacation spot. I said that it might make a decent theme park ride. Come one, come all to a tour of the great underground.  Run for your life from giant man-eating bugs while fearing for the lives of your friends. Caution: chance of getting eaten alive. Those with claustrophobia or a deathly fear of bugs need not apply.

Before anyone could respond to my little joke, I found a door up ahead that Kira told me was locked.  I examined the door and got a communication from Bashir. He told me that those readings I’m getting from that crystal node are interesting.  Then he explained that it’s generating a localized magnetic field. Bashir said that manipulating that field could cause a response, similar to pushing a button or flicking a switch.  Then Bashir asked me if I think Hur’q can sense magnetic fields, similar to sharks on Earth?

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I told Bashir that, right now, I’d much rather be dealing with sharks. Bashir seemed surprised by this, but I told him to get to the point.  Then he told me that I might find a way to manipulate that magnetic field to open the door. Bashir said that the morphogenic crystals are probably the “keys,” so look for one nearby that has a similar output to the door nods. In other words, we just went from Final Fantasy to Legend of Zelda.  I said out loud that maybe, if I keep looking, I’ll find a weapon that can help me defeat the Big Boss. I turned around as if expecting one of my crewmembers to respond, but found no one there to appreciate my pop culture references. Then I went to get one of the crystals Bashir told me about and got another communication from Kira.  She told me that the readings she’s getting on that crystal are weak, so it’s probably not usable. I found another crystal that Kira told me had an odd harmonic and doesn’t seem to match the rest. Then I found another crystal and, apparently, third time’s the charm because Kira told me that it’s the one I need. Then she told me to use it to open that door.   I wasted no time because, the sooner I get through this dungeon, the sooner I can find my crew and get out of here. I must’ve said it out loud, because Kira told me that this was a cavern, not a dungeon. I told her to play a Legend of Zelda holosuite program next time she’s at Quark’s and she’ll see what I mean.

Before Kira could respond, one of the bug people beamed in right behind me!  

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Kira told me not to fight that thing and run, which I was already doing anyway!  Then she said that there’s a deep crevice ahead of me and told me to see if I can get across.  I told her that it doesn’t look like I have much of a choice, and ran and jumped through the thing with a speed and strength I didn’t even know I had!  After that, Kira told me that there was hazardous energy and anti-gravity ahead, and to use my thrusters. I wasted no time turning them on while praying to every religion in existence that the energy’s also hazardous to the giant Hur’q that’s chasing me.  Thankfully, the creature turned back and Kira said that it might not like anti-gravity. I stopped and took a deep breath, thankful that this Indiana Jones boulder chase was over.

Then I found myself in an underground anti-grav labyrinth when I had to go down at the end of the hallway.  Kira told me to be slow and steady and to not get lost. Then she said to try to head up when I can. The good news is that the monster can’t get to me here.  The bad news is that this labyrinth doesn’t have any 80s rock stars ruling it, and I still haven’t seen any sign of my crew. I told Kira that, with my brain, I’ll be out of this maze by dinner time, hoping I sounded more confident than I felt.  Then we got another call from Dr. Bashir who said that he and Garak have a breathable atmosphere and that we need to try to reach their location. After that, Williams called and said that he’s stuck in some kind of tunnel maze and not sure how to get out.  Then Ishimura called and told us that her nav system’s useless, but she’ll keep trying to find us all. Meanwhile, I found a console nearby and operated it. That’s when Kira called and said that this one looks like technical data. Then she said that it was interesting that none of their starships had weapons until two thousand years ago.  Apparently, their first designs were way ahead of most species at that time. Then Kira asked aloud how they went from the geniuses to the ravenous eating machines we’re dealing with now?

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Honestly, I have a hard time believing that those creatures ever had the slightest form of intelligence. I left the room and then heard screaming from Kane on my comm that got cut off.  Please don’t tell me the bugs are back! They’re supposed to hate anti-gravity! Kira told Kane to report in and then said that she just lost his vitals. Great, what if my crew suffered the same fate and I don’t even know it? I came across another console in this labyrinth and activated it as Kira told me that Weir’s comm signal is down, but he’s still alive. Then she told me to keep an eye out while I’m trying to keep an eye out for my own crew.  It wasn’t long until I found more tunnels I had to go up and down in. Then I found another console and sent the transmission to Kira who told me that there’s a lot of historical data and cultural references in there. She gave me the short version, which was that they used to be a peaceful species. I interrupted by asking Kira if she was seriously telling me that a race of humanoid consuming bugs used to be peaceful! Kira angrily responded by saying that, if I’d let her finish, the information talks about a “great betrayal,” and some kind of epidemic.  Then I sarcastically responded by saying that it’s not their fault that they devour people alive, they’re just sick. I finished up by asking Kira if their daddy also didn’t give them enough hugs and, I’ll admit, I got a little on edge. Actually, I got way on edge. Kira responded by asking me how many hugs my father gave me. All I could do was stare and blink and tell Kira that she’s good. Then I followed up by asking Kira what else she found out about them. She told me that the rest of it is gibberish. I asked Kira if she’s located my crew yet and, when Kira answered no, I hung up on her.  Then I went deeper into the labyrinth, found another console to turn on and kept going. Yeah, this whole thing is getting redundant, even if this console actually opened a door for me that pushed me deeper into the labyrinth. Then I found another console to open a door, went past two consoles that did nothing and then went into a room that finally looked like the exit. Kira contacted me and told me that Bashir and Garak are just past this chamber.

Finally, I got out of that labyrinth and Kira told me that they’re picking up some interesting tech on sensors.  She said that it was interesting and old, very old to the point that most of it predates the Federation by several centuries.  She asked me if I was reading those energy patterns on the other side of that opening. Then Kira said that the patterns are far more intricate than the others we’ve seen.  She claimed that they think there’s some kind of ship ahead of me. Then said that it shows signs of damage and I might be in some sort of drydock or repair facility. Kira told me that there are large gaps in tech level between each section of the facility, as if the Hur’q learn as they hibernate. Then Kira elaborated by saying that they wake up with a thousand years of advancements at hand and get ready to work. Okay, this I’ve got to see. I told Kira that I found a console that looks like it can operate a door here.

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So I opened the door, went through the hall and came across another big giant door that opened on its own.  Then I finally ran into Chris and I was so happy that I did something completely against my character, I hugged him! Chris was quite shocked, but eventually hugged back. Then I regained control of my senses and ended the hug, telling Chris that it would be hard to find another doctor who has the stupidity to put up with me. Chris responded by telling me that, what I call stupidity he calls patience.  Then I said that, if he’s okay, then the rest of my crew should be fine and I don’t have to go through any hassle trying to get a new one. Chris told me that we’ve got a safe area set up here, so it should be fine. Garak interrupted us by saying that he’d hate to break up this touching reunion, but we’ll need all the help we can get if we’re to leave this world alive. Garak claimed that he and Bashir have started to make sense of our surroundings.  Garak explained that we seem to be in some sort of Hur’q command center. He told me that, from here, we can begin to restore power and critical systems. Bashir then explained that Hur’q technology is driven by electromagnetic manipulation of morphogenic crystals, doors, life support… everything, even their central computer. I said that this feels like a huge design flaw, to which Chris said that it’s a design flaw that works in our favor. Bashir agreed and told us that, if we can find the right crystals, he can bring things back online.  Then we can look for information on Hur’q biology within their data system. Then he said that we might even find a cure to what’s ailing the Hur’q. Then Bashir went on about how this planet used to be rich in a type of fungus and it thrived in the harshest of environments, even areas high in pulsar radiation. He said that it used to be a staple of the Hur’q diet until it disappeared from the ecosystem. I sarcastically remarked that I wondered who was responsible for that. Bashir just kept on talking about how, without the fungus, the Hur’q began to suffer a severe type of malnutrition. Apparently, it led to a number of neurological disorders, many of which we’ve seen firsthand. Then Bashir said that, based on these readings, there should be more data storage units in the tunnels beyond this chamber. He told me that they’re the ones by the door with the blue glowrods. I told Bashir that I’ll get the spiritual stones and help him get the Triforce before Ganondorf. I was about to leave, until Bashir told me some parts of the tunnels still have malfunctioning gravity systems. He said that I should be able to navigate through them, but the energy fields in there will nullify my weapons, so I need to be careful.  I made a remark that it sounds like I’ll be going through the water temple. Bashir asked if that was going to be a problem, to which I told him that I got through that temple… eventually. What I didn’t say was that I had to consult walkthroughs on my PADD. Even for someone of my intelligence, that temple is a real pain in the ass.

I equipped some knives I got from Lek who, in return, got to copy my music playlist. Even if phasers and disruptors are nullified, physical weapons always come in handy and I’m going to need more than my fists.  I went through the tunnels and found Kolez waving to get my attention, so I went to get him. There Kolez was with Ishimura, who was really happy to see me.  That’s when you know the situation’s bad. She said that they were about to leave and then got cut off by getting grabbed by one of those bugs!

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I’ll admit, that made me jump and I nearly threw my knife at the thing until it disappeared! Then I got a call from Kira, who demanded to know what was going on because Ishimura’s vitals just flatlined. The thing attacked me and Kolez before I could answer, so I immediately started attacking with my knives while Kolez shot and threw bombs at it, his weapons working just fine.  After a while, the thing moved away from me and shrouded itself, which Kira was kind enough to tell me. Bashir told me to send Kolez to him so he can address any injuries.  I ordered Kolez to do so and then told Bashir that my weapons are working just fine, to which he immediately corrected that he meant that going through the malfunctioning gravity system would nullify my weapons. Ordinarily, I would fight that but I’m still trying to compose myself after that random encounter.  Knowing that the thing I’m so afraid of is still cloaked and lurking around is not helping. Anyway, Kolez went back to Dr. Bashir and I got one of the storage crystals from the room. Dr. Bashir told me that it covers the first peaceful meeting between the Hur’q and the Founders over three thousand years ago.

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Honestly, it’s still hard for me to believe that there’s anything peaceful about this species, no matter how much information I come across that says they were. However, I’ll admit that, thanks to my half-sister, Tanya, sticking bugs in my hair when I was a kid, I’ve got a huge fear that makes me somewhat biased. Maybe if I went back in time and told Tanya that I would face giant man-eating bugs in the future, she wouldn’t have done that and I could actually get through this with my senses intact. I take that back, that would only encourage her.  

As I was thinking about all this, I got a call from Garak telling me that Kolez is with them. Then I finally saw a pile of rocks and activated the anti-gravity machine before going through that.   After that, I found Zarva lying on the floor injured. I gave her some first aid and she thanked me, explaining that the thing ambushed her and Weir.  Said thing tried to ambush us again but, after a few rounds of shooting at it, Kira contacted us to say that it moved away from us and shrouded itself again.  This feels less like Legend of Zelda and more like trying to get away from Pennywise in Neibolt House, or when Batman went to the sewers in Arkham Asylum and had to evade Killer Croc.  Once again, Bashir told me to send Zarva to him so he can address any injuries. Zarva told me that she’ll head to the central area now and wished me luck before leaving. I went through the tunnel and came across the last member of my away team, Elisa.  To say she was happy to see me was an understatement. Crewman Williams told me that I’m a sight for sore eyes, again something people only say in the most desperate circumstances. He said that we need to get out of here before— and then got killed by the thing he wanted to avoid.  

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The thing dragged him back and, if I can make an educated guess, ate him. Seriously, do the Hur’q have bottomless pits for stomachs? They’re like those dinosaurs in Jurassic Park whose only purpose is to eat! Which is actually quite fitting, considering how the Hur’q came to be in the first place.  Then Elisa and I had to, once again, fight off the Hur’q. After the Hur’q shrouded itself, Bashir told me to send Elisa his way, who was a little wary about following his orders, but I told her that I’ll be fine. It wasn’t long until Garak contacted me and told me that one of my officers has arrived there.

While I was exploring the area looking for more crystals, I found a helmet that belonged to Kane and Kira said that she doubts we’ll find the rest of him.  

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It wasn’t long until I found the second storage crystal and got a call from Bashir. He told me that the Hur’q tried to synthesize the enzyme they needed for cognition but failed. After exploring the bottom, there was nowhere to go but up. So I hummed the Song of Time and went up one of the anti-gravity beams. Then I went up one of the beams and I have good news and bad news.  The good news is I found the crystal. The bad news is it’s behind metal bars and I can’t beam myself past them. So, I had to go back down and find another anti-gravity beam to go up. Unfortunately that led to another set of bars and, even worse, I saw one of the Hur’q behind it!  Please, whatever deity runs this universe, don’t make me fight that thing again!  Guess what, I had to fight that thing again and, let me tell you something, Lek’s knives suck!  At least they do against the Hur’q.  Then I remembered that Kolez managed to use his bombs, despite Bashir’s claims that weapons wouldn’t work and re-equipped my original weapon of choice.  Guess what, it does work and I’m going to have a fun time pointing this out to Dr. Bashir later on!

After quite a bit of backtracking and error, I finally found a way to the third shard.  Yep, this is definitely the Water Temple. Except, this time, I can’t consult my PADD for walkthroughs.  Anyway, I got the third shard and Bashir told me that the enzyme the Hur’q need is a precursor to Ketracel White. I didn’t have time to contemplate that, because the Hur’q attacked me again!  If there are any deities controlling the universe, they hate me. I didn’t even fight that thing, I just got the hell out of there and went back to the Central Room! Then I talked to Bashir, who congratulated me on a job well done.   He told me that we should be able to translate the Hur’q data files and run a detailed analysis of them at a greatly accelerated rate now. Bashir told me that he has a good friend in Starfleet Engineering that’d love to spend some time with this technology, who I’m guessing is the great Chief O’Brien I read about when I was learning about Deep Space Nine history at the Academy.  It was one of the few times I willingly paid attention in class. Then Bashir said that the Hur’q have made some remarkable advances in their time. Bashir practically celebrated when the first results came in, and then told me that he has access to a few critical systems, including gravity and power generation. He brought them back online and claimed that doing so should make things a little smoother.  I’m all for anything that gets us out of this hellhole ASAP. Bashir told me that he got some historical records and, guess what, it was the Dominion who removed the fungus from the ecosystem during a Hur’q hibernation cycle for military conquest and it drove the Hur’q to madness.

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I sarcastically asked Bashir if he really needed to risk all of our lives to get files that say something I could’ve deduced in two seconds and, I’ll admit, my voice got a little higher than it should’ve.  Chris responded by telling me to calm down, but everything I’ve been holding in during this nightmare just came pouring out! About how I had to deal with man-eating bugs, actually worry about the lives of my crew and nearly turning into a sap and, to top it all off, Odo nearly got my daughter killed when he planted that device on Bajor! After that, I took a deep breath and, if it weren’t for my E suit, I would’ve drank from my flask. Everyone stared at me, except Garak who only gave me a smirk.  Then Chris asked if I really had a daughter. Before I could respond, a Tzenkethi beamed in with Vorta and Jem’Hadar.

I said to look at this, Vorta and Jem’Hadar slaves everywhere, but their master is nowhere to be found.  Garak noticed this and said that it appears we have some uninvited guests. Bashir told the “Admiral” that he’s a long way from Tzenketh.  Garak agreed and asked what we owed the pleasure to. Turned out the Tzenkethi was actually the Changeling bitch herself, to the surprise of no one.  Bashir asked if she was traveling incognito, and Garak said that it was one of her many covert identities, he suspects. The Changeling bitch told us that this expedition of ours has gone on long enough.  Bashir then asked the Changeling if we touched a nerve and she told us that we found a secret that she’s kept for a millennia, even from Odo and the Great Link, which Garak guessed was the origin of the Hur’q infestation, and Bashir finished the sentence for Garak like they were an old married couple by saying “And your role in it.”  I told the Changeling Bitch that I’m guessing she’s not here to give us a medal. Then she said that she needed soldiers to realize her dream of Dominion, enforcers willing to obey without question.

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I responded by saying here comes the evil villain monologue and she only told me to be quiet as if I were a child!  I was about to grab my phaser and blast that inconsiderate bitch all over the cave, but Garak gave me a look that said he had a plan that might be better than a simple phaser shot. Anyway, the Founder went on about how, physically, the Hur’q were perfect candidates but their peaceful free-thinking nature was an obstacle.  Fortunately for her, and unfortunately for us, she found the key to the Hur’q’s loyalty by studying their biology. Bashir said out loud that it was the Ketracel precursor. Then the female Changeling went back to her evil villain monologue by admitting that she extracted that from the Hur’q ecosystem so that they had no choice but to obey or die.  

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All that’s missing is some cookie dough chips and a cherry Dr. Pepper with vodka in it and I can really enjoy myself. Garak said that he took it things didn’t go according to plan. The changeling said that it didn’t because they became savage, incoherent, volatile and, with each cycle, the swarm grew larger, wilder, and her ability to control them diminished. So, all she could do was point them to the direction of her enemies.  The Changeling told us that she would let them rampage and await their eventual hibernation, which really pissed Chris off as he summed up that she used bullying to get her way. Kolez added that now her victims are fighting back. Bashir quoted Lex Luthor from Smallville by saying “cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.” Even the Changeling bitch herself admitted that they were a failure. I told her that it’s not hard to believe. Then I explained that she tried to control life, but life can’t be contained. Life breaks free, expands to new territories and it crashes through barriers. Life finds a way. The female Changeling insisted that solids might not be able to control life, but changelings can. My phaser trigger’s getting really itchy right now. Then that Changeling Bitch said that some good came from the Hur’q, the Ketracel White, it was a gift that led to a more successful endeavor, the Jem’Hadar.  While the Changeling went on with her monologue, the backpack transformed into Odo and he told her, in a crowning moment of awesome, that he thinks he’s heard enough! Then he said to the changeling that he knew she was involved in this somehow. After all, she built an empire on slavery and now it’s all falling apart.

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Odo told her that, when the Alliance learns about this and was about to say what we would do before getting interrupted by the Changeling insisting that they won’t because we’re not leaving this world alive.  Elisa rolled her eyes and said that we haven’t heard that one before, earning a smile from me. Odo seemed surprised that she would kill another Founder while I sarcastically said, “So much for ape shall never kill ape.” Then the female Changeling explained that there were other Founders who knew the truth, once. Apparently, they had as many reservations as Odo did about building a Dominion on the backs of slaves. So, they tried to depose her, and to expose the truth to the Link. She said that they failed, and paid for their lack of vision, meaning they died.  Then the Jem’Hadar aimed their guns at us and Weyoun ordered all of us against the wall. Garak told Odo that this is getting out of hand and Odo told the female Changeling to stop this now. Predictably, she refused because, according to her, this is bigger than him, bigger than all of the changelings. She went on about how the Dominion must endure, but Garak told her that he’s afraid he can’t allow that. Before I knew it, Garak retrieved a Hur’q remote and said that she forced his hand.

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So, this was what Garak was planning that would be better than blowing her up to smithereens.  He told the Changeling bitch that it was a modification of her own Hur’q lure. Then he said that every Hur’q in the quadrant is homing in on the signal as we speak. The Founder asked Garak if he was seriously calling them here, to their homeworld? Garak explained that, on the contrary, he was calling them to The Founder homeworld. Then he told that Changeling bitch that her chickens, as the humans say, are coming home to roost. I smiled at this, adding that the dinosaurs broke free and they’re eating everything in sight. The Female Changeling lost her shit and called it insanity, but got interrupted before she could say what her people would do by one of the Hur’q themselves.  

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As bad as I was shaking, there was something satisfying about watching the Hur’q murder the Wicked Witch of the Gamma Quadrant. Unfortunately, not everyone was as pleased as I was. Zarva looked horrified, yet couldn’t look away. Weyoun and the Jem’Hadar looked like their lives ended as their God was killed right before their eyes. Unfortunately, that meant we had to clean up the mess and fight that Hur’q before it killed us.

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It took a while, but we defeated that monstrosity and, after that, Garak said that, since we have restored operations here, our ships will be able to lock onto us with transporters. He suggested that we take advantage of this while we can and I agreed. Weyoun collapsed in a heap and got angry at us for killing his god.  He cried about his “beautiful” Founder being gone and how much he loved her. Then he declared vengeance on all of us, ordering the Jem’Hadar to attack.  Odo ordered them to stand down, but Weyoun refused and called Odo a traitor. Then Weyoun claimed that he would carry out her final order. Loriss stood by Odo’s side and told Weyoun that the Founder he’s crying about is no more. Then she pointed to Odo and said that this Founder has given him an order and he will obey. Weyoun kept demanding that Odo is no Founder and the Changeling Bitch was a Founder.

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Then he called Odo a traitor and ordered the Jem’Hadar to shoot to kill every single one of us! Fortunately, Dukan’Rex told the other Jem’Hadar to belay that order and told Weyoun in another crowning moment of awesome that they don’t serve him!  Then Rex pointed to Odo and said that, where this Founder leads, they follow. Odo thanked him for that, but it made Weyoun angry as he declared that he would do it himself. Then Rex knocked that asshole down and Garak clapped while I told him, “Nice punching, Rex!” Odo told Rex to take Weyoun into custody and to return to his ship. Then Odo turned to Garak and said that we have business at the homeworld to attend to.

We beamed up and now we have to deal with a whole swarm of Hur’q.  Great, more giant bugs! Thanks a lot, Garak! Kira demanded to know if it was part of Garak’s plan to draw every Hur’q in the sector to this system.  Because, if it was, it worked with flying colors. Then Kira said that we need to get out of here, and fast. She told me that our only hope is to punch a hole through the swarm so we can go to warp.  I told Kira that I’d do anything to get the hell out of here. While I started fighting the Hur’q, Garak told me to try to hold them off and he’ll see if he can arrange a distraction.

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Then I heard from one of his soldiers that they got a containment breach!  Then another Cardassian said that the structural integrity was failing and that they needed to abandon ship! It took awhile and the Winchester suffered quite a bit of damage but, eventually, Kira contacted me to tell me that the Hur’q are breaking off. Garak said that they received the signal, they’re heading for the Founder homeworld.  Zarva said that it was to commit genocide against an entire species. I told Zarva that it won’t happen if we can help it. After that, Garak contacted me and said that he thinks we’re in the clear. Garak told me that the Hur’q have departed for the Founder homeworld, but it will take them some time to reach it, even at maximum warp. Garak said that we should make the most of that time and bring an end to this madness.  He told me that the information Bashir, who he calls the good doctor, found should do just that. Then Garak suggested that we return to our respective fleets and prepare the next and, hopefully, the final steps of the journey. After that, Odo contacted me and told me that, thanks to Garak, his homeworld is under siege. He said that he realizes that there’s not a lot of love lost for the Founders these days, but if the center of the Dominion falls to the Hur’q, so does the rest of the galaxy.  Odo said that, if I’m willing to stand with them one last time, I should assemble my forces and rendezvous with his fleet in the Gamma Quadrant. He told me that he hopes to see me there, before it’s too late… for all of us. I told Odo that, lucky for him, I don’t judge an entire species based on a few members and, even if I did, I wouldn’t let the rest of the Galaxy go down with them.

I warped out and got a message from Garak, who told me that there’s a certain poetic symmetry at play.  He told me that the Dominion are about to receive their comeuppance from one of the many species they’ve abused.  Then said that, regrettably, his people have experience in such matters. Garak told me that our work is just beginning.  He said that we need to formulate a cure for the Hur’q before they devastate every species in the quadrant. Garak added that, hopefully, we can achieve this lofty goal before they make a meal of the Dominion.  Then he told me that science is often a lengthy, perilous process. Garak said that he’s certainly glad to put Havas-Kul behind him, because small dark passages are not a passion of his anymore than bugs are a passion of mine.  

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Thankfully, he didn’t say that in a mocking way. I cut the connection and prepared to head for Odo’s fleet.

A/N: So, what did you think of Candy’s take on the underground Hur’q mission?  I meant to post this mission before the Mirror of Discovery two-parter, but I ran into an issue with Star Trek Online and had to do the uninstall/re-install method.  Needless to say, a lot of my pictures got deleted, save the ones I took through Bandicam, and I had to replay a few missions.  Anyway, let me know what you think in the comments and feel free to role-play or make requests.

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