"I can't Brandon. Gary and I really are together and I'm not the type to go out with another man. I'm sorry but I have to refuse." Mitsuko said politely and calmly then softly kissed Gary to prove she wasn't playing along with Gary.
"I.....uh," Brandon just stared at the sight for a second. How in the hell did Gary manage to pull this one off? What's Mitsuko seein' in him that no one else is seein'? Dang, this just don't add up right. I dunno. Maybe Mitsuko's a bit more loco then I thought there. Once the initial shock wore off, Brandon's cocky smile resurfaced. "All right, that's fine, that's cool. Good luck with that you two. Well then, ya'll wouldn't happen to know what slop they're servin' up for lunch today, do ya? I ain't eaten today, havin' to do that dang tour and all. What a waste that was. One kid's dead and the other's off wanderin'. We got some dang geniouses comin' in this year."
"Thanks a bunch, Tex Murphy. Got any more wonderful insights to share this morning?" said Anny, in that very peculiar kind of whisper that isn't really a whisper at all and is perfectly audible even in the middle of a busy day. Anny might be intimidated by people bigger than her, but she wasn't intimidated by people she considered jackasses. Overall, she wasn't too intimidated by Brandon.
The news that one of the newcomers had died was a bit of a shock to her, though she'd had her suspicions eversince Ea led them away from the camp. Cold as it may seem, she did her best not to think about it too much. The most contact she'd ever had with the boy was a single half-hour limousine ride. Beyond that, he was about as emotionally crippling to lose as a toothbrush on holiday.
The fingers of her right hand danced lightly over the hilt of her rapier. She would have to give it a good and proper test-spin later.
"Okay, I think I'm gonna practice it alone tomorrow. I'm a bit winded after today."
Dathne gathered her possessions and walked up to Ruby.
"I just wanted to say thanks. If it wasn't for you training me like you did....I don't think I would have ever gotten as far as I have in the past few months."
With a smile and a nod of acknowledgement, Dathne turned around and headed for the cabins.
I need to relax a bit. Maybe play some music...
Gary flinched visibly at Brandon's offhand statement that one of the newcomers was dead. "Dead? Wha... what're you talking about? I, I just pulled a guy out of the woods a while ago, he got hit up by three hellhounds all at the same time. He's in the infirmary now... I haven't had a message from Amanda saying that he's okay." He fell silent for a moment, thinking over a quick prayer to the gods that the guy would turn out to be fine.
"Also, two things you shouldn't insult. First, the intelligence of our new recruits, and second, the food they serve here. I realise you may have had a bad experience, but all I can say right now is, deal with it. Let's move on, shall we, Mitsuko, Anny?"
"I hate to burst your bubble, Alexandros, but we don't have weapons for no reason," Jessica said with a light laugh as she maneuvered over to him in mid-walk. "Everyone at this camp trains to fight, and will eventually have to put their training to use. No exceptions, so... I guess you've just gotta get over that. Having no inhibitions won't help you when you're staring at Cerberus and your hands are shaking like a leaf in the wind." She lightly clapped his shoulder a couple of times to try to reassure him before retaking the lead. The four of them were almost at the cabins.
"What? Another one? God dang it, what is with these dang kids and that dang forest?" Brandon said angrily shaking his head. "Nah that first one was sure dead, hellhound ate 'im like a pulled pork sandwich. And Gary, you gotta loosen it up a bit. Girls, they ain't fans of ya'll being serious like that all the time, they like the sense of humor n' all that. You gotta laugh, man!
Anyway, you didn't answer my question. What are they servin' up for lunch?"
"I figured as much, doesn't mean I particularly have to come to like the fact. I'm a child of an artist and partier, fighting is one thing that does not flow through my veins." Alexandros said somewhat jokingly.
'Also no reason to willingly go with it either.' He thought to himself.
She was amused by Alexandros's reluctance about combat. While he seemed to be revolted by the idea of fighting, she was excited. The idea of being trained by fellow half-gods to fight the many dangerous monsters of Greek legend, to become an elite warrior unlike any mere human could ever dream of, was absolutely thrilling. More so than when she arrived, Kat couldn't wait to begin training.
"Speaking of training, when do we begin?" she asked, some of her newfound eagerness flavoring her voice.
Mitsuko seemed surprised at the news that a new member of the camp was dead. "Oh god." Mitsuko said gasping not sure what to make of this news. "maybe it was the same hell hounds that attacked the other new camper." she said looking at Gary.
"Couldn'a been," Brandon confirmed. "I helped kill that one that got that other kid. Me n' Ruby took care a that. Them other ones must have been hungry. Dunno why they're all active all of a sudden. Can't be that Al Gore junk. I don't think it'd make them all hungry all of a sudden."
"Maybe... maybe it was. Still, the guy I found killed one and I took out the other two, so hopefully the pack in the forest is too small to pick off anyone else," Gary thought aloud, putting an arm around Mitsuko to comfort both his girlfriend and himself. The idea of getting an early lunch no longer appealed to him; his appetite was gone.
"I, uh... I don't think we should discuss this any further. I'll report the incident I was involved in, you deal with yours if you haven't already," he said, intending to wrap the conversation up.
"I'm not the person to speak to about that. I may be a senior counselor, but as I said, my mother is Aphrodite," Jessica explained to Katarina. "You'll be training with your siblings, and living in the cabin dedicated to Ares, Cabin Four. Remember the guy you may have noticed taking two others around camp? Yeah, he's Brandon Robertson, senior counselor for Ares. He's in charge of your cabin's schedule, and he is... right there," she finished as the group of four walked into the courtyard to find Brandon talking with Gary, Mitsuko and someone she didn't recognise. She was evidently one of the other new campers, judging by her diminutive stature.
Then Jess noticed something new about Gary and Mitsuko. Specifically, the arm around Mitsuko, connected to Gary's shoulder. And the way they stood next to one another, almost as if... as if they were a couple. But they couldn't be, Gary had spoken to Jess about not thinking of Mitsuko in that way... maybe his perceptions had changed. Much discussion would need to take place at a later date. For now, Jessica kept quiet, waiting for the right time, although she couldn't help but smile at the sight of the two of them together.
Mitsuko cuddled to Gary more not really wanting to eat ether. By that time the thought of food seemed unwise. She softly kissed Gary's cheek. "Well I don't know about you dear but I'm not hungry." she said not seeing Jess and her group.
"So who would be leading my cabin?" Alexandros asked, looking towards the others and already liking the fact there were so many new people he could get to know, on the one hand he realized it probably had to do both with his heritage and having a larger pool of people to work from when transforming, but even if that were true he had always been the sort to want to get to know people. Every person was interesting in their own way and it was always fun to figure out how one differed from another and get to know them.
"Already dealt with it. Already killed the bugger. Chiron knows all," Brandon reported. "Don't you worry bout that. All right then, if you guys ain't headin' for food then I will be. See ya round." With that Brandon departed for the mess hall to see what exactly was up for eats. Dealing with idiots worked up an appetite.
"Hmm... That conversation kinda killed my appetite. I might eat later," Gary answered before speaking to Anny. "Of course, if you still want to get lunch, we can come with you, maybe get to know one another a bit better." He made the offer more for Anny's sake than that of himself or Mitsuko; as a new camper who suddenly has a half-sister, it could be safely assumed that Anny would be inclined to do so.
"That would be Lily, your half-sister. She hasn't had much to do recently since she was the only child of Dionysus until you showed up, so... I suggest you go meet her, learn about one another and talk over how much training she'll be giving you," Jessica told Alexandros, looking briefly up and down the cabin rows. Most of the doors were open, indicating that people were inside, including that of Cabin Twelve, the one dedicated to Alexandros's father; Lily was home.
"She's actually in the cabin you'll be sharing right now," Jess noted aloud, indicating the building in question. "Go check it out; that'll be your home while you're staying here. Katarina... the Ares cabin is up the other end, the one with the barbed wire round the top of the walls and the stuffed boar head over the door. The senior counselor for Ares, Brandon, he was the guy that just left, heading for the mess hall. Since pointing people in the direction of their appropriate cabins wraps up the tour, I'll leave you two to it; got some investigating to do. If you ever need someone to talk to about... well, anything, come find me." She winked at Javier cheekily, implying that she was going to find out the details about Gary and Mitsuko - because there was certainly something to say on that subject - and began to walk over to join the two of them and their younger friend.
"Hey, guys," Jess said brightly as she approached the trio. "So... what's going on?" She was trying for an innocent approach, making it seem as if she was oblivious to Gary's arm around Mitsuko's shoulders.
Mitsuko blinked and looked over at Jess. "Hey um Jess, I didn't see you there. Well Gary and I were just making out in the Nxy cabin then I met my half sister Anny." Mitsuko said knowing Jess wanted to know about her and Gary.
"So yea Gary and I are, in fact dating. Well dear looks like the whole camp will know in a matter of an hour." she laughed.
Javier grinned widely at Jess's retreating back. He was tempted to follow her and see what she found out. But he needed to put his gear away. Plus, he could always ask her later. Javier turned toward the new recruits. Their tour was over. Finally. Which hopefully meant the rest of the tours would soon follow. Then the training could begin!
'I wonder if any of the other new recruits would be willing to spar...' Javier glanced around but didn't immediately see anyone new. 'Oh well'. He could search them out later.
"Have fun checking out the cabins." Javier said cheerfully to the present new recruits. He assumed that they could find their way around. The cabins were all rather...unique in their own way. After giving a short wave Javier set off towards Cabin 11. When he was a safe distance away from the others he began spinning his staff in a casual manner.
"Thank you and nice meeting you all." Alexandros said before walking to the open door of the Dionysus cabin, he knocked on the open door before walking in.
"Hello. My name is Alexandros and I was assigned to this cabin because, well, Dionysus is my father." He said to Lily as he confidently walked into the room.
Hunter woke up. He didn't move but instead just opened his eyes. He could tell he hadn't been asleep all that long. Hunter looked down at his body and saw the bandages on his leg, arms, and chest. His shirt was pulled down but you could still through it and his left arm was in a sling, resting on his chest. Hunter breathed in and a pain could be felt at the expansion of his chest, from his skin. He shifted a little before moving his head up and looking at Amanda.
"So can I talk now?"
Anny was about to politely say she wasn't really hungry anymore either, but she was sadly interrupted by her stomach giving a less than dignified roar. Well, maybe not a roar, exactly, but definetly a purr.
Thankfully, she didn't give the awkwardness any time to settle and immediately just admitted, "Yeah, if it's no problem for you, I really haven't eaten since breakfast and I'd appreciate some lunch. And talking is fine too, of course."
Ea left her humble abode and firmly locked it again behind her. She was itching for something to do but knew that with the tour done, her official duties for the day were done. In the end, she decided to go to the archives and sort through the older records. The camp had kept records on its inhabitants since its inception, but a lot of the older work was very poorly filed and archived and until Ea had come along, the place didn't have a dedicated librarian. She turned on the lights, put on a pair of thin cotton gloves and began sorting through the histories of Demigods that had been dead for over half a century.
Jessica pouted at Mitsuko, but giggled nonetheless. "Aww, spoil all the fun, why don't you," she said, amused by Mitsuko's reaction to her approach. So it was true, then; they had gotten together sometime soon. "So... any juicy details you can tell me?" she added, wanting to know more about their relationship.
"There's very little to tell, honestly," Gary answered after waiting to let Anny get her request in. Leading the way with Mitsuko on one side and Jess on the other due to her questioning, he kind of felt like he was leaving Anny out. But she was walking on Mitsuko's other side, so that wasn't a problem. "All that happened was that earlier today, Mitsuko told me she had feelings for me. I thought it could work pretty well and here we are. That's all that you really need to know."
"Oh, come on, Gary, you don't fool me. There's more to it than that," Jessica coaxed. Mitsuko had mentioned the two of them making out in the Nyx cabin; there was obviously more to the relationship. Jess wasn't afraid to play devil's advocate if it meant that she got more information out of someone.
"That's all you're getting, Jess. I know you and your ability to gossip. Aphrodite may have an influence on that, but it's mostly you," Gary noted aloud as they left the cabin courtyard and started down the path to the mess hall. First she would tell her little circle of friends, then they'd tell everyone else over time... As Mitsuko said, it would be all over camp within a couple of hours.
Again, Jessica pouted momentarily, but she had enough to tell her siblings.
Amanda looked up from the form she was filling out to detail the medical report when she heard Hunter's voice. She got up and hurried over to him, saying, "Yes, you can, but don't talk too much at any one time. You are still a bit weaker than normal, but the nectar I gave you will help to get your strength back. Don't try to move your injured arm."
She paused there, a little worried about her patient, and asked, "Um... what's your name? Mitsuko, the girl who told me about your injuries, she didn't tell me."
Lily Anderson looked up from giving her sword its routine clean at the sound of someone entering the Dionysus cabin and introducing himself. A Chinese girl nearing the end of her teenage years, with very dark eyes and identical hair woven into a thick braid, she got up to greet the newcomer. "Lily Anderson, senior counselor for Dionysus," she introduced herself, extending a hand to shake. "A pleasure to meet you, half-brother, and welcome."
"Alexandros Siovas, nice to meet you as well." He replied as he shook your hand.
"So I guess you're the one who's responsible for making sure I eat my vegetables, wear clean clothes, and turn my homework in on time?" He jokingly asked.
"She didn't tell you because she doesn't know what my name is. Considering I arrived this morning not very many people would know it. However to anwser your question my name is Hunter." Hunter answered not saying anything for a few seconds so that he wasn't talking too much, like he was advised against doing. Hunter's stomach growled prompting a question. "Ummm...Would it be possible to get something to eat?"
"Jess I know what you're thinking and I know what you'll do after you leave. You'll gossip like all Aphrodite children. Great by dinner time we'll have the whole camp asking about how we got together." Mitsuko said walking with Gary his arm still wrapped around her. "So what to do after we eat Gary? Maybe go swimming or something like that." Mitsuko said kissing his cheek.
After a minute or so of walking, Brandon arrived at the mess hall. Browsing through the selections that were available at lunch time, he decided to go with a trio of chicken kebabs, on a bed of rice, and he picked up a glass of fruit juice at the fountain at the end of the kitchen line. Looking around, he spotted an empty table and grabbed it, sitting down and immediately going to work on the food. He wanted to get refueled as quickly as possibly so he could go to the armory and acquire some of those special bullets that he had finally been cleared to use.
The cabin dedicated to the fleet-footed god was empty when Javier entered. Well, almost empty. There was a young recruit taking a nap in his bunk. He had one arm thrown over his face, covering his eyes. A common enough sight due to the high windows in the cabin that let in a fair bit of light in the afternoon. Javier approached his own bunk at a casual pace. He spun his staff one last time before tossing it lightly onto his bed.
From a small container underneath his bed Javier retrieved a clean square of plain black cloth and a small bottle of cleaner. Like removing his shoes at the beginning of his set, this too was part of the routine. One that his instructor had been sure to go over every day. Using the items he'd gathered Javier cleaned his staff until the celestial bronze was gleaming. Then the weapon was set back into its normal spot, leaned against the wall beside of Javier's bed. It allowed for easy access in case something happened in the middle of the night. "Be prepared." Javier muttered. A phrase his instructor was fond of saying. So long as he didn't get out of bed while half-asleep and trip, he would save a bit of time.
With his equipment settled Javier spent a brief second deciding on what to wear before changing out of his workout clothes.
"I'm not gonna say yes or no to anything you suggest, Mitsuko, while Jess is here with us," Gary answered, giving the latter a cheeky grin before he lightly returned the kiss. "But once she's off, gossiping away, feel free to make any suggestion you want." If Gary agreed to something, Jess would obviously overhear it, and for all he knew she could arrange for the entire camp to catch them in the act. It had been done before.
"Aww, can't a girl catch a break?" Jess pleaded. "At least tell me the details of what goes on..." She did want to know how their relationship progressed; maybe she could appeal to Mitsuko if Gary wasn't willing to share. "Mitsuko, help a sister out. You'll tell me, right? Promise I won't tell anyone else..."
By this time the group of four had reached the mess hall and were about to walk inside.
"More like keeping your weapons clean, not getting yourself killed and keeping you out of harm's way until you can fend for yourself," Lily answered, casting an eye over Alexandros as she looked him up and down. "I'll be in charge of most of your courses. Judging by your choice of weapons, you'll be learning to fight in both the arena and archery range. Even a knife can be lethal when used properly. Since this is your first day here, I'll let you off the usual schedule of activities; we'll get stuck into it tomorrow."
"I can bring you a dish or two from the mess hall. The fare is fairly widespread, so there should be something you'll like. You may have to wait a while before I get back, so please just stay there. Maybe after you've eaten we'll get you back on your feet," Amanda answered, immediately getting up. Food would help Hunter to regain his strength much faster. "Um... did you want anything in particular, just in case I get something you don't normally eat?"
"I feel it only fair to warn you, I'm not much of a warrior. I tend to be more suited to impersonating others and berry growth if you get my meaning." Alexandros continued to joke.
"Jess all I'll tell you is I've had feelings for Gary for a while and I told him. That's how it started but you're getting nothing else." Mitsuko said walking with Gary to the Mess hall. "I'm sorry but you'll just have to be disappointed Jess. Oh and I'm not your sister, last time I checked you weren't a daughter of Nyx." Mitsuko said.
"I'm not picky. I learned to eat what ever was provided a long time ago, so you can bring me what ever." Hunter replied in complete honesty. Growing up in the foster care system didn't give you the option to be picky. In a house of fifteen children there weren't a lot of things you could make in large quantities and there often wasn't a lot of it to go around. After a while you learned that eating what you got, even if it was beyond substandard, was a lot better than going hungry.
"Hmm. I can do something a little more fancier," Lily said with a rare smile. She held a closed fist into the air above her head, opened the hand and snapped her fingers. A can of Coca-Cola appeared out of thin air, which Lily caught with her other hand. She opened it with the trademark hiss of breaking a can's seal and offered it to Alexandros. "Here you go. I can also do that with our father's specialty, wine, or other alcoholic drinks, but I'm not allowed to use it for that purpose until I'm twenty-one."
After a short pause, she added, "So, um... tell me about yourself, I guess."
"Oh, you know what I mean," Jessica retorted, lightly facepalming. She managed to do even that with some form of grace; it was a natural thing for her and her siblings. "If, y'know, you ever need to pick up some tips or something, come find me." As Gary, Mitsuko and Anny entered the mess hall, she turned and headed back to the cabins. Specifically, the slightly garishly designed pink-and-white Aphrodite cabin.
Inside, Jess found two of her eight siblings; Christophe Rook and Emily Cooper. The latter was writing, as per usual, but she looked up excitedly at Jessica's arrival. "Hey, Jess. What's up?"
"You guys are never gonna guess," the senior counselor answered, holding her tongue momentarily to build the suspense, and a grin on her face. Eventually she couldn't hold it in any more, and blurted out, "Gary and Mitsuko hooked up! Can you believe it?!"
"Oh my gods! No way!" Emily cried, getting up and grabbing Jess, pulling her into a momentary hug. "I'll go find Ashleigh! She loves this sort of thing!" Jess's sister let go and raced out of the cabin, leaving the door wide open. Jessica turned to Christophe and added, "Girly screaming aside, what do you think?"
"Hmm... Mitsuko's a smart girl, she'd know what she's doing. And Gary... well, he bounced back from the whole Karen-Stephan thing pretty well considering he let the two of them carry on. I figure he won't give up on Mitsuko as easily."
"Yeah, but think about it. Gary froze their hands together in a block of ice when he caught Karen cheating," Jess noted aloud.
"One of the setbacks of being a demigod," Christophe stated plainly as he continued twirling his pencil in his fingers.
Gary sighed with relief when Jess was out of earshot. "Well, she's finally out of our hair," he noted, holding the door open for Mitsuko and Anny before entering the hall himself. It was fairly populated; a few people besides the kitchen staff were scattered around the tables, including Brandon at the Ares table.
"Since neither Mitsuko nor myself are particularly hungry, feel free to grab some of whatever you want, Anny," Gary invited, gesturing to the buffet tables. "We'll be at the Nyx table." With that, he slipped his arm from around Mitsuko's shoulders, instead taking her hand in his own, and led the way to the table in question. The couple took seats side by side.
"Alright, I'll be back in a little while," Amanda said, nodding once as she turned and left the infirmary, picking up a tray used for carrying things such as dishes. They were kept in the infirmary because they were commonly used when someone needed to eat and was incapable of getting to the mess hall under their own power. She trusted Hunter to keep to his word and not get up from his bed until he had eaten. The nurse quickly made her way over to the mess hall, passing a couple of demigods going about their business on the way, and entered the hall from the west entrance.
Inside, Amanda collected a plate and placed a helping of stir-fry on it. Today's was comprised of noodles, beef and various vegetables, all coated in a strong honey-soy sauce. After placing the plate on the tray and covering it to keep it warm, Amanda spotted Gary and Mitsuko sitting together. Gary had pulled Hunter out of the woods; maybe he would want to speak with the younger boy. She hurried over to talk to him. "Um, Gary? The guy you pulled out of the woods, he's awake in the infirmary if you want to talk to him," she said.
"Oh! Um... yeah, sure, I'll come with you," Gary answered, getting up. Mitsuko protested his leaving, as expected. "Mitsuko, you know I'm not hungry. Stay here and socialise with your sister. Get to know her. Besides, it'd be weird if we both ditched her, and I want to check up on the guy considering I saved his life."
Thankfully Mitsuko acquiesced to his request. Giving her a brief peck on the lips as a 'see you later', Gary followed Amanda out of the mess hall. The two of them returned to the infirmary a couple of minutes later - Gary filling Amanda in on the basic details of him and Mitsuko getting together, as she questioned him kissing her - and Amanda saw that Hunter hadn't moved, just as she had requested.
"Here you go, this should be good. Help you to get your strength back up. And you also have your first infirmary guest," Amanda announced, setting the tray down on Hunter's bed - it had legs that folded out to elevate it from actually resting on his lap - and backing away to allow Gary to take a seat next to Hunter's bed.
"Gary Alexander, son of Hecate, goddess of magic. Also, the guy who saved your life," Gary said to introduce himself.
"Well this may sound stereotypical, but I'm the son of a traveling theater actress and grew up with the troop. Just before being sent here, I got my gift. I guess it is safe among my brothers to say how." Alexandros held up his hands to show the rings of the dramatic masks before taking the drink.
"My father's gift to me, I'm actually a normal human without these. With both of these however I'm a bit more." To demonstrate Alexandros turned into an exact duplicate of Lily and grwoing the vines on his arm. His voice matched Lily's exactly.
"This is my power, I can become anyone I can remember and match them perfectly from mannerisms, to speech patterns, and even mimick emotion. Basically I am the ultimate character actor, able to get into and out of character at will." He then turned back into himself.
"Sorry if that offended, you were just the first person to come to mind considering I'm right next to you. If I lose even one of the rings the power is useless, fatal weakness in the design. Maybe I'm wrong since I'm still learning these things but it is the way it seems so far. Your power though is amazing I must say, I imagine you come in handy in locations that aren't kind to the unprepared. I can't even thing how many times drink summoning would come in handy on the road."
Mitsuko sighed and looked over at Anny. "Well so much for eating with my boyfriend. Oh well let's get you some food." she said getting up and guided Anny to the food counter. "You can pick what you want, the food is free after all." she smiled softly picking out some sushi, green tea and a sweet bun and moved to sit back down waiting for her sister.
As Amanda returned with the food Hunter hit the control on the bed to raise the back of the bed up so he could properly eat. Some pain was felt but Hunter ignored it as the tray was placed over his lap and he quickly grabbed a fork and spun it around in the noodles before capping the end with a veggie and a piece of meat. "Thank you Amanda." Came from Hunter's mouth as he quickly filled it, and proceeded to chew and swallow the food. While he was eating a tallish man with shortish black hair and neon blue eyes introduced himself in a voice that had a hint of a British accent.
"Hunter Dos Santos, son of a god or goddess that I'm not aware of, god or goddess of something I currently don't know right now. I'm also the victim of a beast attack who had his life saved by you. Speaking of that I'd like to thank you for preventing me from becoming those beasts' lunch." Hunter said before taking another mouth full of food.
Anny immediately grabbed a medium-sized omelet and some baked potatoes to go with it. On impulse, a large pickle was grabbed as well. To drink she got a large glass of blood-orange juice with a slice of lemon in it, and she also got three small plumbs to round it all out. She was glad the food was free, because if it was half as good as it looked, she'd be coming here a lot.
She made her way back to the small, dark table that belonged to the Nyx-cabin and sat down next to her new half-sister.
"Cheers." she said, before biting the pickle in half.
Ea worked alone, her mind only tangentially still processing the records. Most of it was awander now, floating in a river of thought without anything to hold on to. Normally she quite liked the silent isolation of the library, but today it just seemed oppressive. She finished her work on the demigod Majik Thyse (died 1958, choked on a pretzel), marked her progress and got out as fast as she could, hastily stuffing the thin, white gloves in her back pocket. After a moments indecision, she went out the building and headed for the arena. Once there, she began doing one-armed push-ups, relishing the sensation of her muscles at work after the long staticity of the records.