The Perfect Plan, Part 11: Pancake Breakfast

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(November 11th)


“Good morning, Lucky.” Amber smiled, raising her hand in a wave as Lucky stumbled into the room, still wearing his suit from the night before. “Nadia made pancakes, and Jhim added an omelette. They're in the dining room.”

“Too much noise.” Lucky grumbled, shaking his head. “What time is it?”

“About 11:45.” Amber answered. “Didn't sleep well?”

“No, Amber, we can't all dilate time before we go to bed to get eight hours' sleep in six hours.” Lucky answered. A moment later, he added. “Sorry.”

“Not a problem.” Amber reassured him, passing him a cup of coffee. “You're feeling better, I hope?”

“Define 'better'.” Lucky said, joining her as they headed into the dining room. “Most of the night's kind of a blur. I just remember a lot of drinks, a lot of mad science, Josh yelling something about a color from out of time, and then a big dark blur until I woke up this morning. What did we do?”

“Oh, the usual. Meddled in the things man was not meant to know.” Nadia answered cheerfully. She passed Lucky a plate of blueberry pancakes. “Unlike some people, Jhim and I weren't partying all night, so we took the morning shift at Malefico. Seems that Lab 6 is off-limits. Forever.”

Jhim nodded with a grin. “The S.E.A.'s installing phase inducers around the lab right now, and they've made it clear that trying to bypass them is a federal offense. Blastwave says they're going to get an occult specialist in as soon as possible to fix the damage, but it'll be a few months. Or maybe years, she was a bit vague.”

“Yeah, you tore a hole through a lot of unpronounceable words.” Nadia added. “Aren't you glad the wedding's not until tomorrow.”

“Endlessly.” Lucky sighed. “Try not to talk so loudly, please.”

“Oh, come on, it can't have been that bad.” Amber shook her head. “You know, I had to fight an army of rampaging robots last night. And I didn't have a fancy luck factor helping me out.”

“The luck factor did nothing.” Lucky riposted. “I was there, wasn't I? Not even a minor coincidence to get me to leave the room. I think horrors from beyond the veil of our reality aren't very beholden to human narrative law.”

“I suppose that would make sense.” Nadia considered, taking several bites of pancake in the ensuing pause. As everyone settled down to eat, she added, “But eldritch abominations can't time travel, can they?”

“No one can time travel, Nadia. It's a nonexistant thing.” Amber answered.

“Right. So how did they mess with your luck before they were there to mess with your luck? And if they hadn't messed with your luck, would it have stopped them from being there to mess with your luck before they were…” Nadia stopped. “My head hurts.”

“Join the club.” Lucky replied.

“Look, you're overthinking this. Obviously, there was no problem before the monsters appeared, and since they're from beyond the world there's nothing to indicate what will happen when they arrive.” Jhim said simply. “Besides which… how many people had their souls chewed off?”

“Uh…” Lucky said slowly. “None, that I know of.”

“There you go. Luck.” Jhim said.

“That's really not how my powers work.”

“How do you know? How often have you tested them against things that should not be seen?”

“Never, but…” Lucky broke off. “No. I'm too hung over, or mind-blasted, or whatever the hell it is to argue this sort of thing. Can we change the subject? Please?”

“Alright, alright.” Amber looked over to the potted plant in the corner. “Ash, are you there?”

“By definition, I am always here.” A pair of green eyes opened on the plant's foliage, and Ash looked around the room. “Good morning, Champions.”

“Good morning.” The others said, and then Amber continued, “And yes, but sometimes you're not paying total attention.”

“I suppose. If you are concerned about the hedge, Amber, I would like to reassure you that I have been given permission to reconstruct it. I will begin in the spring, and it should not take more than three days.”

“Wow.” Nadia said. “Not bad, Ash.”

“Thank you. I regret that I will be less helpful with Lucky's problem.”

“I thought we weren't talking about that any more.” Lucky sighed.

“Not that problem, Lucky. I was referring to your need to be at the Malefico building in the next four minutes, in order to return the keycard that you promised Josh you would have for him by noon.”

“Keycard? What… ohcrap I've got to go I'm borrowing your jetpack Jhim see you guys later!” Lucky raced from the room, a fork with a piece of pancake still in one hand. The others watched, impressed.

“I thought you were the one who could dilate time.” Nadia said.

“Panic is a sort of super-power.” Amber answered.


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