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Wednesday Night Icons: Hari puts his toe into the swimming pool of romance
Hari considers the four girls who seem to be interested in him and

while he suspects the rogue telepath might be an easier choice (because both of them seem to have "privacy" issues [1]), easier isn't necessarily best and so he decided to ask Lenore Loethen to the dance because she seems cheerful to Hari.

Lenore has animal control - reptiles, danger sense and wall crawling, appears to be nicknamed Gecko Girl, loves animals and often has her actual gecko out in her dorm room or the common room. In class she generally stays quiet.

I think I confused her with Tia Tuley but I'm sticking to my choice. Hari's obsessive observation may pick up on subtleties or maybe she's just cheerful around Hari. Or he's deluding himself. It's all good.

Having no experience with dating, he watched a bunch of RomComs on Netflix and took notes, going on the assumption he could pick up on Western dating rules that way. He has copious notes and has composed a checklist.

In retrospect, maybe someone should have explained to him the difference between dating and just asking someone to a dance.

Before he could talk to Lenore, he had to go to tutoring with Serena (all four of the PCs seem to be getting tutoring from her for various things). On the way there, the group saw Serena having a heated conversation with her boy friend Gabe. Gabe was dumping her because she was tutoring the patrol. Glimm has had a crush on her ever since she took part in an attempt to terrorize him and he perked up as soon as he found out what had happened.

I think what actually happened was that Gabe issued an ultimatum and didn't expect it to go the way it did. He decides to deal with his irritation by bullying some of the other students, in particular a girl named Nancy, a spooky girl who belongs to the "Juvies", generally seen as the future supervillains of Canada. Nancy has a healing factor - has come back from the dead twice - and so she makes a good target for bullies becasue you can beat her to death and ten minutes later she's good to go again.

Rumspringa intervenes out of concern for Gabe's soul. This turns into a religious discussion. Hari backs Rumspringa up, being part of the patrol, but contributes little except to speculate what sort of animal Gabe is likely to be reincarnated as if he were to die at that moment and to roll his eyes whenever Rumspringa tries to claim her particular religion is the top domain one.

During the conversation, the two see the librarian and two other adults we do not know; probably alumni. One is wearing an old-style Hope uniform from some time ago. The other is wearing a black suit. They are eating licorice pinwheels.

Sari and Glimm make it to class before the others; Glimm jumps on the chance to ask the newly single and still angry Serena if she'd like to go to the dance with him. She says yes (and then spends the rest of the class clearly regretting this). She's going as a mermaid so Glimm announces he will go as Poseidon.

Sari gets approached by Tyrone Pilot, whose ability is something called Affliction. (checks) Oh, that's as bad as it sounds: he can make someone sick and potentially kill them with a touch, just what one wants in a date. He's tall and athletic with fair skin and blond hair and seems harmless enough for Sari to say yes. They arrange to have coffee first.

Hari has arrived by this point. He takes careful notes of how the pair interact for later on with Lenore, then gives Glimm the thumbs up for his success with Lenore.

Both Hari and Rumspringa were given cultural literacy assignments, essays on celebrities. Hari picked Tenzin Gyatso, Carl Sagan and A.S. Byatt, none of whom are celebrities as far as Serena is concerned. Rumsringa picked Kim Kardashian, Snooky and someone I missed and complained that the school software didn't seem to want to let her look at most of the sites that came up for some reason.

There's a small and noisy group of Juvies in tutoring who the group basically ignored until one of them, a kid named Justin, threw a hissy fit over not being able to sign out reserve texts on demonology and summoning (the school has no trouble with him reading them, just signing them out). Justin, Nancy and the rest of the juvies eventually give up and leave.

Hari is beginning to work out how the school works and he makes a point of keeping an eye on the texts to see when exactly they get stolen. Sadly, thoughts of Lenore and strategery distract him and he misses the swap, which is something that will send him and others off on a wild goose chase.

Neil (the kid from the previous session whose dad was possessed and who is even now working to become a two-fisted occult detective to rescue dad) discovers that the two texts are missing. He has a melt-down at this point because he's afraid he will lose his job at the library - maybe even be expelled - and will lose his chance to save dear old dad. Hari is of the opinion that Neil should confess all to the librarian but Neil is determined to put this off as long as possible in the hope the books can be recovered.

Hari ESPs both Nancy and Justin. No forbidden texts of evil in sight but they could have stashed it. Nancy has a backback and Hari cannot see inside it (well, he can but it's dark). He comments on the pleasant perfume Nancy is wearing, which leads to a discussion of just how creepy Hari is at times.

In a related note, Axe (cologne) sales near the school shoot through the roof as the dance approaches.

Justin and Nancy are heading in different directions. Hari opts to follow Justin and his friends. They turn out to be headed to a storage locker, inside of which is various occult paraphernalia: chalk, human blood (easy to get from Nancy) and such. Hari has not got clue one what all this stuff is for but he sketches the pentagram on the floor and heads back to the library to talk to Neil.

The pentagram is used to summon minor demons.

Hari suggests Neil befriend the Juvies since they all seem to have the occult in common but Neil is reluctant because the last time he met the Juvies in an environment where he lacked authority, they gave him a power wedgie. Hari thought about the situation and had to admit he had no good answers for Neil, at least within the framework of the ludricrous rules the school follows.

Rumspringa hunts down Nancy, who is in the shower at this point. Nancy denies taking the book. Rumspringa, out of concern for Nancy's social isolation, makes a suggestion that sounds a lot like she is asking Nancy out. The conversation in the shower becomes really awkward at this point. Rumspringa clarifies that she is not asking Nancy out, then adds that she will if Nancy wants her to, which doesn't seem to help much.

Hari pops over to Lenore's room (but not inside because he's noticed people hate him teleporting into the room without notice [2] and also the room are shielded). When she answers the door, rather than umming and ahhing, he just asks her if she's got a date and when she says she doesn't, asks her to the dance. She accepts. Having seen Sari and Tyrone chat, he asks her to coffee. She says that she doesn't drink coffee but she will try it if he wants her to. He asks what she does like and they make a date to go drink that instead.

She wants to go as a princess, so Hari proposes to go as a western-style knight. He then explains he has stuff he needs to do or he'd stick around, then he leaves. Because he teleported away, he doesn't her gleeful yell of triumph and she doesn't see his little happy dance.

The quartet head off to Philosphy and Arcane Religions, where there's a pop quizz.

Rumspringa spots Nancy carrying an armload of black robes, getting into a hearse. Rumspringa insists this is an emergency and that Rumspringa has to follow Nancy, which the teacher reluctantly allows. When Rumspringa sees Nancy get out at the storage facility, she panics and calls in the rest of the patrol. The rest of the patrol cuts class as well; the teacher is not happy about this.

It turns out the kids are all pagans, they all have spares and they are in the midst of a legitimate religious ritual, preparing for a fast (Hari gets pulled into a side discussion about this because they are drinking apple juice and he's used to drinking water during a fast. The kids are not used to fasting and are basically training for it). Rumspringa is very weak on the concept of religious choice and is alarmed that the kids are risking their immortal souls dabbling in the dark arts. Hari on the other hand is a bit concerned that they think the summoning circle is a circle of protection; he warns them to make sure they are not being manipulated and then congratulates them on their initiative in seeking out new fields of study.

Hari does his best to work out how the circle works by looking at through the lens of his wizardry skill. However it works has nothing in common with how the Light is used that he can see.

Sari plays bad cop. She takes names and photos. Hari's total lack of understanding of western occult concepts allows him to remain serene about the implications of cell phone cameras and occult symbols.

When the group gets back to school, the sky falls in. Being patrol members does not let the group leave class whenever they like. Also, the egregious disrespect for the pagans' religious rights gets some criticism. At the end of it, Rumspringa is outfitted with a power-dampening neck collar until the next Monday. The rest get to suffer under the knowledge they weren't considered self-motivated enough to punish.

Rumspringa insists that angels don't feel shame (which explains so much about the Fall) but she still wears a scarf to hide the collar.

(I am taking odds on whether Rumspringa is ejected from Heaven before or after Hari's corruption into Western ways of violence bars him from ever going home)

Neil tells Hari he has found the missing books but now two more are missing. Hari expresses the thought that the Juvies are innocent and that something else is at work. The library is shielded from TK, teleportation and ESP but not the Light; Hari illuminates the room with a Light that will make the Unseen Seen. Sadly, Nancy is followed around by a cloud of spirits and they've muddled things enough that if there is something there Hari cannot see it.

Hari and Lenore have a pre-pre-date at the football game. Hari asks about costumes; he could maybe whip up an illusion with the Light. Lenore is clearly not thrilled with this but willing to go along with it if Hari insists. He picks up on how she feels (because Awareness is his best stat and he's obsessive about observation) and he suggests that they check out the costume stores for something she does like. She is sad because probably all the stores near the school have been picked clean and he points out that with the range on his teleport, they can hit every store in Southern Ontario. The pair leave to spent Hari's tiny stipend on matching costumes. The check list works!

Weird stuff starts happening in the stands: people's laces tie themselves together, shoes melt onto the bleachers and so on. Sari gets a glimpse of something blue and hops down the back of the bleachers to check it out. What she finds is an imp, amusing itself by playing tricks on the mortals.

She takes hold of the imp. It turns her purse into a seagull, which is the wrong tactic if it hopes to get away from Sari. It also turns invisible, which would have been a good idea before the determined girl had hold of it.

Glimm is giving Serena space (thus denying her any chance to call the date off). This puts him in the right place to see Sari struggling with an angry seagull (technically, struggling with nothing and tied to an angry seagull, which Glimm points out is protected in Ontario), so he hops down to see what's up. Sari belts him in the head with the invisible imp, proving it exists; Glimm joins in by grabbing another, unspecified part of the imp. It makes rude suggestions about what it is exactly it is being held by.

The imp demands a licorice pinwheel in exchange for leaving. Glimm is ok with this and has an idea where they can get some; the librarian and their two mysterious friends were eating them. Sari is pretty sure cutting deals with imps is a bad idea so she gets a nearby teacher to phone Rumspringa (Sari's phone being inside an angry seagull at this point). Rumspringa uses her tears to send the imp home and to turn the items it transformed back into what they were originally.

When Hari comes back from his outing, he makes it very, very clear to Jade that he is taking a personal day on Saturday; his first priority on Saturday is going to be Lenore. Jade then points out he's not allowed to take "personal days", that one in four Halloween dances are attacked and if something happens, he will be expected to help.

Hari glumly makes contingency plans with Lenore about how to handle this. She wants to play the odds; three chances out of four say nothing will go wrong. She does not believe in the power of the check-list! But her spontaneity is enchanting and so is her gecko.

Glimm corners Gary, Son of Poseidon, about tips on dressing as Gary's dad. It turns out Gary thought he was an only kid and is very annoyed at the revelation that not only is Lorn his half-brother but the pair of them just missed going to school with yet another one of Poseidon's kids, some boy named Percy. In fact, Gary has a lot of half-brothers and he goes on at some length about his dad, the man-whore king of the seven seas. How exactly Glimm will incorporate that into his date is left for the next session.

1: Having someone go through his brain, which on previous occasions he's mentioned is the one place people have privacy back home, might help him learn to respect other people's boundaries.

2: I assume he's practicing Batman entrances and exits.

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comment(s); comment here or there.

It secretly makes me happy that you chose the girl with the LL name. I threw a couple of alliterative names in memory of Lois Lane, Lana Lang, Lori Lemaris, Vicki Vale, Reed Richards, Sue Storm, and so on.

Also, I notice that the longer you make these recaps, the fewer people comment. (Today being American Thanksgiving, I'm sure that's not a fair comment, but I'll make it anyway.)

By the way, as GM for these, I like a nice, complete write-up. And I find them funny and fun to read. Of course, I was there, so my opinion is biased.

I see we've run into one of the problems of having one of the deaf guys record the session.

Hari is convinced the Juvies didn't take the missing book. The imp did. His proof is he didn't see anything in the library and the imp could turn invisible.

Frankly, three of four 14-year-olds getting a date is pretty amazing as it is.

Yeah, but at least one [1] of the pairs is going to end badly: Serena doesn't really want to go to the dance with Glimm, plus there's the whole super strong + clumsy time bomb ticking away. God help Serena if Glimm tries to give her a goodnight kiss.

1: Maybe two. Depends on how Lenore takes to the realities of dating a stalker.

They're 14. They're dating. I expect that all three of the relationships will end badly It's extremely unlikely that the relationships will survive the next four years and beyond. (Though--with a nod to Ian--it can happen.)

Hmmm. Though someone might also want the relationship to succeed because he or she wants to be protected from the buffeting storm that is dating... Have to think about that.

(Me? I think I had three dates, late in high school, and girls asked me out each time. It wasn't until university that I started to really wade in the pool of romance.)

In retrospect, I think I might have been dating someone in high school or at least I now wonder if that's what she thought was happening. What makes it worse is I don't even remember her name. She was really nice, though.

Also, stalkers are romantic. Especially the kind of dysfunctional relationship that Bella and Edward have.

Perhaps Hari can avoid that by not dating someone who thinks of herself as clumsy.

Having no experience with dating, he watched a bunch of RomComs on Netflix and took notes, going on the assumption he could pick up on Western dating rules that way. He has copious notes and has composed a checklist.

Nothing could possibly go wrong there, could it?

In a related note, Axe sales near the school shoot through the roof as the dance approaches.

At first I thought you meant that people were actually stockpiling axes.

And yes, I'm commenting. I hope others do, too.

At first I thought you meant that people were actually stockpiling axes.

I had exactly the same reaction, which made me really wonder about the dance traditions at this school...

I had it too, and I ran the game. It took me a few minutes to connect it to the discussion we had about Axe cologne.

It's a superhero universe. You can never be too careful.

Until an extraterrestrial cyborg takes over the supercomputer in your cave and turns all your plans against you, of course. Then you find out how much you stored on paper.

"Um, Hari? That's not a toe."

Suddenly I'm wondering about ESP and other body parts. I mean, you can position the ESP focal point so you can see or hear--the eyes and ears are fairly well centralized. But it your hand? Or some other body part? "I have kinesthetic ESP but only in this spot on my hip." "oh, I can feel it, but only on my tongue. It'll feel like I'm sticking my tongue on that oil slick."

Which is why so many espers refuse to use the that sense...

This all continues to be quite entertaining. Thanks for posting!


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