“Star Wars was kind of a weird name for the first movie, don’t you think? Really, it was just one war,” Barry Ring said, blathering on the TV set.
Cathect sat on the sofa, bare feet propped up on the living room table.
“Why is that guy always on TV?” Blue asked. “Does he have multiple shows or something?”
“One show,” Cathect said, “but I think whenever they have an empty spot in the schedule, they get him to fill it.”
“Why?” Blue asked.
“Guy’s a social media sensation,” Cathect said. “Ironic, probably.”
She sighed a little, sitting in a chair and looking at her laptop. “Don’t you have anything better to do?”
“Better than watch Barry Ring? What could be better than watching Barry Ring?”
“Figuring out your future, becoming an actually valuable member of society,” Blue said, “There are so many options to choose from.”
“I’m valuable,” Cathect said. “I do things.”
“Oh really,” Blue said.
“Yeah, really,” Cathect said. “I’ve got an arch-nemesis and everything!”
“You’re serious?” Blue asked.
“Her name’s Arcana. Childhood friend turned criminal witch. You can figure out the rest.”
“I’m flattered,” Blue said, “but I really can’t.”
“She’s actually what got me into the whole superhero thing. When we were younger–”
“Oh my god,” Nano said, walking into the living room. “What do you wear on a gay date?”
Blue and Cathect sat there for a moment, looking at Nano, who looked perfectly fine.
“What you would wear on a normal date,” Blue said.
“Is this a trick question?” Cathect asked.
Nano took in a deep breath. Then she said, “It’s not like I’m nervous or anything. I mean, I already know Sotto Voce, you know? We’ve talked. We’ve fought bad guys together. I mean, this has to be better than fighting a guy with a fedora, right?”
“You sound nervous,” Blue said.
“It’s just–” Nano paused, trying to figure out why she felt so nervous. “What if I mess up, you know? Like, she saved my life. More than once! What if I’m boring? What if I say something stupid? It’s like, I feel like I owe her. I feel like… ugh. I don’t know.”
“She wants to go out with you,” Blue said. “Don’t worry about the rest. It’s not important.”
“Besides, if the date goes horribly–”
“Cathect!” Blue said.
“I said ‘if’!” Cathect said. “If it goes horribly, it probably won’t be your fault.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Nano asked, scrunching her face up a little bit.
“I’ve met some egregoric spirits before. They’re always…”
“They’re always what?” Nano asked.
“I don’t know,” Cathect said. “They’re always–”
“SHIT!” Hellfire yelled, shirtlessly bursting into the living room.
“Hey, Hellfire,” Nano said. “How’s your sanity holding up today?”
“My jacket,” he said, holding it out in front of him. “It’s gone.”
“I thought you took it to the dry cleaner’s,” Blue said.
“I just called them,” Hellfire said. “They lost it.”
“Geez, man,” Cathect said. “I’m sorry. But you’ve got others ones, so I don’t see what the big deal is.”
“That was the original jacket,” Hellfire said, “My favorite jacket.”
“Okay,” Cathect said.
“I’m a motherfucking demon,” Hellfire said, storming towards the door. “My jacket will be returned.”
He swung open the door and left the apartment.
“Should someone go after him?” Nano asked.
“I actually have to get ready for my internship.” Blue turned off her laptop.
“I can’t, either,” Nano said. “You know, first date and everything.”
Cathect’s phone buzzed. He looked at it and said, “Arch-nemesis just texted me. Says she’s going to break into some old guy’s tomb and steal this mad-powerful ring.”
“Your arch-nemesis texts you?” Nano asked.
“What, is that weird?”
“That’s pretty fucking weird, Cathect,” Nano said.
Cathect shrugged his shoulders. “Well, we’re all going to be pretty busy tonight, so we’ll let Hellfire figure out his own shit.”
“Works for me,” Blue said.
— — —
“… psychosphere. Mellow Yellow [incoherent Scottish shit],” The Web said, standing outside the warehouse door, his face bathed in fluorescent lighting. He wore a pink fur coat, round sunglasses with purple lenses, and the most obnoxious soul patch imaginable.
Blue stood next to him, utterly confused.
“Understood,” Blue said, nodding her head.
The Web looked at her, pointing at the door. He mumbled some more incoherent Scottish shit. It sounded a little impatient, so Blue decided to make an impatient move.
She grabbed the handle of the large warehouse shutter. Then, using all her strength, she pulled it up. As soon as the shutter was above her head, a swirling yellow mass flew towards her. She heard something that sounded like clicking or chirping — she couldn’t decide which.
The yellow mass circled around her. It almost looked like paint getting brushed against the sky. But it moved of its own volition. Blue got a headache just trying to look at it.
She closed her eyes and punched at the thing. It felt sticky, but she hit it again.
After a few seconds, it stopped encircling her. It darted off into the dark black night.
“[Completely unintelligible Scottish shit] fuckin’ fuck ye shit fuck [more unintelligible Scottish shit] hole in reality that [idek if it was Scottish or tongues it was just really fuckin’ weird].”
“Hear you loud and clear,” Blue said. “We’ll get it next time.”
— — —
I need that jacket, Hellfire thought, standing in line at the dry cleaner’s. He waited impatiently behind a group of four theater geeks, confused by their frantic snapping and general overenthusiasm.
“I am a superhero!” one sang.
“More like a superzero,” the second chimed in.
“And one and two and three and four,” the first one sang.
“Bang!” “Plow!” “Boom!” “Pow!” all four of them sang, trying desperately to be in harmony.
“Four sequin vests,” the dry cleaner said, a thick short man with heavy eyebrows and no noticeable smile.
“That’s us!” one sang.
“That’s us!” the second one sang.
And so on and so forth.
The four of them snapped their way out of the dry cleaner’s, taking all noticeable signs of life with them.
Hellfire walked up to the dry cleaner’s counter, fuming.
“I need my jacket,” Hellfire said, setting his hands on the counter.
“Ah, yes,” the dry cleaner said, standing on the other side of the divide. “You are jacket-loving man-demon.”
“Sure,” Hellfire said. “Where’s my jacket.”
“As I try and explain on the phone,” the dry cleaner said. “We lost the jacket.”
“Any ideas where it could’ve gone?” Hellfire asked.
“Is possible that was mixed up with other man’s clothing. Sometimes happens.”
“Eh, there are several possibilities,” the man said. “I write them down?”
“Sure,” Hellfire said.
The man picked up a pen and notepad. “First there is bronze bunny rabbit. Very disconcerting. I ask him, ‘Why you wear Uggs?’ He say, ‘Bronze bunny get cold, just like everybody else.’”
That went on for a while.
— — —
Cathect waltzed into the tomb, whistling. It was even colder than here than it was outside, which made him glad he’d worn a sweater.
“Hey,” a voice said from behind him.
“Ah!” he yelled whipping out his wand. He spun around. “Abracadabra!”
Arcana leaned against the wall, smiling. “You stole that, didn’t you?”
“I had to give away the Tarot cards. A guy does what he has to to get by,” Cathect said. “But that’s not the point. The point is that you are evil and I am good and therefore I get to kick you butt.”
“Says the thief.”
“Shazam!” Cathect yelled, pointing the wand at Arcana.
“Oh no,” she said unconvincingly, sticking her hands in the air. “You got me. How will I ever survive?”
“What is this?” Cathect asked. “Are you messing with me? I’m a really awesome superhero. So give back the amulet or whatever that you stole.”
“It wasn’t here,” she said. “I’m hoping for better luck next time.”
“Well you’re still obviously a bad guy. Go go Power Rangers!” Cathect said, not really surprised when the wand didn’t do anything.
Arcana shook her head, walking up to him. She grabbed the wand, pointed it at him, and said, “Repellendum.”
Cathect flew back a foot, landing on the back of his head.
“Oh, shit,” he said, head throbbing. He put his finger on the wound. There was some blood.
Arcana walked up to him and put her lips within an inch of his. “Better brush up on your Latin,” she said. She dropped the wand on the floor and walked away.
— — —
Nano realized she and Sotto Voce hadn’t said a word for the past five minutes. She took a sip of water and looked around the restaurant, trying to think of what she could possibly say.
“So,” she said. “Cloaks.”
Sotto Voce sat there, looking somewhat mouseish, wearing her cloak. “Yeah.”
“Doesn’t get, y’know, hot or anything?”
“No,” Sotto Voce said. “Not really.”
“Mhm,” Nano said. “You fight crime?”
Sotto Voce looked around for a second. “Yeah. You know that.”
“Yeah,” Nano said. “I do.” She laughed nervously, taking another sip of water.
As their waitress came by, Nano said, “Ma’am, can I have the check?”
The waitress looked down at Nano. “You guys haven’t ordered anything yet.”
Nano laughed nervously, again.
— — —
“So then I say to the guy, ‘I don’t care if you screw goats. I just don’t want you screwing my goat. Only I can screw my goat,” Barry Ring said, laughing at his own joke on the TV set.
Nano stood in the kitchen, pouring some milk into a bowl. She looked over the countertop and saw Cathect in the living room, feet on the table.
“Hey, Cathect?” Nano said.
“You’ve had a lot of girls break up with you, right?”
“Yeah,” he said. “How’d you–”
“Just a hunch,” she said. “I was wondering. Did anyone ever break up with you in a nice way? You know, like, if you’d saved someone’s life and then you went on a date with them but then they broke up with you it was the sort of break-up that wouldn’t upset you?”
Cathect took in a deep breath of air. “Nope. Not really. Break-ups suck, universally. Date with Sotto Voce didn’t go well?”
“We just didn’t have anything to talk about,” Nano said. “I mean, life-threatening danger is nice, but what about when we actually need to just sit down and understand each other, you know? How’s that supposed to work?”
Blue walked into the living room, fuming. “It’s like Scottish people speak a different fucking language!”
“They do,” Cathect said. “It’s called Gaelic.”
“That’s not what I mean, you stupid dipshit,” Blue said.
“You okay?” Nano asked.
“It’s this internship,” Blue said. “My boss just doesn’t make sense. He has this really heavy accent, and whenever he says something that I can just barely make out, it’s about tears in the universe and psycho-whatevers. I can’t do it! I can’t take orders from a guy I can’t understand!”
“Sounds like a problem,” Cathect said. “Shame Craig Ferguson just stopped doing his show.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Cathect said.
“I’ve been watching Youtube videos of Scottish guys,” Blue said. “But none of them make sense. None of them.”
Hellfire opened the front door, stumbling in.
“Hellfire,” Blue said. “Where were you?”
“Going through a list of names,” he said, bumbling towards the bedrooms. “One of these people has my jacket.”
“It’s noon,” she said. “You’ve been out all night?”
“I’ll find that jacket,” he said. “Just… need… nap.” He opened the door to his room and slammed it shut.
“At least you’re not him, right?” Cathect asked.
“What’s been going on with you, Cathect?” Nano asked. “How’d the battle with your arch-nemesis go?”
“Pretty well?” Cathect said. “She threw me to the floor, but it turns out the amulet wasn’t even there.” He sat for a second, debating whether or not to say the next part. But he had to know: “I think my arch-nemesis wants to have sex with me. Or maybe I want to have sex with her. I’m not sure. Is that normal?”
— — —
Cathect stood in front of the sex shop, scratching his head as he looked up at the neon sign, which glowed with the words, “Good Vibes.”
This feels like a mistake, he thought to himself. At least it’ll be a fun mistake.
He pushed open the door, walking into the sex shop. He was greeted by a massive picture of a naked man, with a thick clump of whipped cream hiding his crotchular region.
Not bad, Cathect thought.
He turned to his left and saw a werewolf standing at the counter.
“Are you guys…” Cathect stopped. He knew this was a mistake, but Arcana was hot enough to make him throw caution to the wind. “Did you guys lose a magic dildo recently?”
The werewolf stood there for a second, side eying Cathect. “Is this a joke?”
“Probably,” Cathect said. “I heard… A source of mine said that a magic dildo was stolen here in the last 24 hours?”
“Get the fuck out of my store,” the werewolf said.
“That’s fair,” Cathect said, shaking his head. “Yeah. I think I’ll do that.”
— — —
Four names left. Hellfire had googled one of them, Burt Dudly, tracking him down to his apartment. Burt stood in the bedroom, donning Hellfire’s leather jacket. Hellfire perched on the rooftop across the way, staring him down.
The half-demon took a sip of black coffee. He winced, crushing the styrofoam cup and tossing it to the side.
“Not good,” he muttered to himself.
He watched Burt. He waited.
The man put on two spiked leather gloves. He donned a ski mask, grabbed a bat, and walked out the door.
Hellfire raced down the fire escape, shoes clacking against the metal. By the time the man walked out the front door of the tenement building, Hellfire was standing there. Watching. Waiting.
Burt stood there, wearing the ski mask and wielding the bat. “Can I help you?”
“Going to a Halloween party?” Hellfire asked.
“I know. Weird time to be having a Halloween party.”
“Yeah,” Burt said. “That would be weird.”
“You’re not going to a Halloween party, are you, Burt?” Hellfire said, snarling.
“I never said I was–”
“That’s my leather jacket.”
Burt pointed at the jacket he was currently wearing. “This jacket?”
“You want it back?”
“You’re already wearing a jacket,” Burt said. “How many leather jackets do you own?”
“Just give me the jacket,” Hellfire growled.
Burt set the baseball bat down, taking off the jacket.
“You into Little League Baseball?” Hellfire asked.
“I’m twenty-six,” Burt said.
“Yeah, well I’m Babe fucking Ruth, Burt. And I don’t like to see guys with baseball bats and ski masks running around my city.”
“Alright,” Burt said. He handed the leather jacket to Hellfire. “It was just cold out.”
“And the bat?” Hellfire asked.
“Big Leagues,” the man said, turning around to walk back inside his building.
Hellfire held one leather jacket, wearing another. He stared at the door, for several seconds. Then, shaking his head, he began the walk home.
— — —
“Minds are webs and [incoherent Scottish shit],” The Web said, sticking another pin into the pinboard. The collection of note cards and pictures was about as coherent to Blue as the man’s accent.
A photo of red Rocky Horror Picture Show lips was pinned to a red string, which led to a note card that said, “Fiction is Real.” The “Fiction is Real” notecard was pinned to a yellow string, which led to a picture of a green vibrator, which had the words, “Men are Irrelevant,” scribbled at the bottom in Sharpie.
“Scotland Coyote,” The Web said, only to drift back into his incoherent Scottish accent.
Blue looked around the room for something to bang her head into, repeatedly.
— — —
“So,” Nano said, sitting on the park bench, moon high in the sky. “This has been fun.”
Sotto Voce sat down on the park bench. “I just got here.”
— — —
Cathect sat on the couch, gazing in horror at the video on his laptop.
“…magic dildo was stolen here in the last 24 hours?” the twelve-second video of him said.
“Get the fuck out of my store,” the werewolf said.
“Oh,” Cathect said, out loud. “Oh, no.”
“What’s up?” Nano asked, walking into the living room.
“Five hundred thousand views,” Cathect said.
“I just checked out that website Blundered Capes. An embarrassing video of me got five hundred thousand views in a single day. I thought Arcana was into me, but really she was just getting me to trust her so I’d say some stupid stuff for her stupid video.”
“Oh,” Nano said.
“Oh, no,” Nano said.
“Cathect, I’m sorry.”
“It’s fine,” Cathect said. “My life’s over, but it’s fine. My porn star clone isn’t even on the first page of Google results anymore. Now the first page is just everyone making fun of what a dumbass I am. They don’t know me.”
“C’mon,” Cathect said. “Don’t kick a man when he’s down.”
Blue walked into the living room, smile on her face. “How are you guys?”
“Socially ostracized, a complete laughingstock,” Cathect said.
“Old news,” Nano said.
Cathect sighed. “Blue, you look really chipper. Are you happy my life’s ruined?”
“I talked to the internship coordinator,” Blue said. “She said I can transfer to have another superhero show me the ropes. All I have to do is stick with The Web for one more night. One more night, and I won’t have to deal with that awful fucking accent ever again.”
Hellfire burst out of his room, making his way through the living room. “Lord, let me be your instrument.”
“Are you talking to Jesus?” Cathect asked.
Hellfire paused for a moment. “No. Satan, Lord of Hell.” He walked out the front door.
“At least he got his jacket back,” Blue said.
“Hey, Nano,” Blue said. “With all the trouble this internship’s been giving me, I forgot to ask about your date last night. How’d it go?”
“Good,” Nano said, voice cracking a little bit as she lied so blatantly. “We had a lot of fun. I think we’re going on another date next week and everything.”
Blue’s cellphone rang. “Crap,” she said, taking it out and answering it. “Oh, yeah? You want me to kill– Okay, yeah. I’m glad that’s not what you said. No, I haven’t ever– Yeah. Okay. I’ll be right over.” She hung up the phone.
“Your boss?” Cathect said.
“Yeah,” Blue replied. “Thinks he’s got a lead on Mellow Yellow. At least, I think that’s what he called me about. Crap.” She walked towards the door.
“You want us to back you up?” Nano asked.
“No,” Blue said. “I’ll be fine. Thanks, though.”
She rushed into her room to grab a coat. Then, she rushed out the door.
Cathect sighed. “So, how are things really going with Sotto Voce?”
“No, really,” Cathect said. “I’m not trying to make fun of you. It makes sense if you guys have problems.”
“In the heat of battle, everything seems sexy,” Cathect said. “But you can’t fight bad guys all the time. That’s not how relationships work.”
Nano nodded her head. “I guess you’re right.”
“It’s hard to be a genius.” Cathect leaned back, putting his hands behind his head.
Nano smirked, leaning over and turning on the Blundered Capes video again.
“A source of mine said that–” the video said. Cathect muted it.
“Point taken,” he said.
“Should we go help Blue out?” Nano asked.
“She said she didn’t want backup.”
“Yeah,” Nano said. “I know. It’s just that she kind of seems like she might need help. I don’t want her to get a bad reputation on the intern scene.”
“What did you just say?”
“I… I don’t want her to get a bad reputation? On the intern scene?”
“There’s an intern scene?” Cathect said.
“I don’t know. I mean, there must be, right?”
“A rumor mill, maybe. But a scene?”
“Whatever,” Nano said. “You want to help her or not?”
Cathect set the laptop aside, fumbling to grab his wand, which he’d left on the floor. “You have Google Translate on your phone?”
“Yeah,” Nano said.
“Find it and look up ‘Find her’ in Latin.”
— — —
No matter where she was or where they were, the wand pointed in Blue’s direction. Nano drove, while Cathect wielded the compass-like wand.
“I guess a magic dildo would be pretty impractical,” Cathect said. “I mean, it might be fun, but why would a supervillain need it?”
Nano kept her eyes glued to the road. “You really need to ask me that?”
“You’re right,” Cathect said. “I just don’t see how the need for a magic dildo could be related to their criminal enterprise.”
“I mean, are criminals smart like that? Does everything they do really have to be related to building an empire? Especially the sort that go and rob sex shops?”
“I guess you’re right,” Cathect said. “It’s just that I wanted to believe Arcana so bad. You know, because she–”
“–had a nice body,” Nano said.
“I was going to say, ‘Seemed nice.’”
“I know,” Nano said. “I wanted to stop you before you lied.”
— — —
Hellfire leaped from one rooftop to the next, his form flying silently through the air. He landed, continuing to prowl.
Burt walked on the sidewalk below, baseball bat strapped to his back. Hellfire figured he was some sort of non powered vigilante; probably unregistered. That said, you never knew until you saw these guys in action. Unregistereds were volatile, unknowable.
And so Hellfire followed. And so he waited.
— — —
“[Incoherent Scottish shit that sounds like it’s coming from a dog who’s just learning to understand the human language],” The Web said.
“Yeah,” Blue said, standing outside the art gallery and wielding a bat. “Mellow Yellow’s hiding out here.”
“[The dog understands how syllables work for the most part, but he hasn’t fully come to understand the order they belong in].”
The Web’s words sounded like a confirmation, so Blue said, “You want me to get in there and find him.”
“[The dog’s trying really hard. He deserves a treat or something, seriously. A dog trying to learn how to speak English? That’s fucking awesome.]”
Blue took the words as a confirmation, so she ran up to the gallery door and kicked it.
“[The dog is angry, and nobody has any fucking clue as to why. Seriously, dog. Is there a mailman nearby? Are you pissed off I haven’t gotten you that treat I just promised? Christ, if you just knew how to fucking speak English it’d be easier on all of us. Seriously.]”
Blue ignored The Web, walking into the art gallery and looking for her prey. The bat felt heavy in her hand. She was ready for a fight, which had to be better than trying to decipher The Web’s speech patterns.
“NO!” a man screamed, running towards Blue. He swung a bat at her just as she pivoted. She swung her bat, deflecting his blow just in time.
The man’s name was Burt, though Blue didn’t know it yet. He was practically frothing at the mouth as he raised his bat high in the air. He moved to swing it down upon her, but Blue hit his face, first.
He fell down. Blue wiped sweat off her forehead.
Hellfire entered the gallery; The Web was just behind him.
“[The dog is frightened. Why, little dog? Why are you so frightened? Wait, some little girl’s stuck in a well? Holy shit, Fido! Time to go spelunking!]”
Hellfire, now in his bulkier, demon-y form, leaped through the air, crossing the distance between him and Blue in order to attack Mellow Yellow, who was right behind Blue.
“Holy shit,” Blue said.
The yellow streak attempted to wrap itself around Hellfire, but the demon was stretching it, trying to rip it apart.
Cathect and Nano entered the room just as Burt said, “No. Stop. That’s my wife.”
“What?” Blue asked.
Hellfire stopped fighting Mellow Yellow. As he did, the yellow substance began to stretch across his body.
“She… was just watching two superheroes fight,” Burt said. “One of them broke through a space-time barrier. Yellow Matter spilled out. And now she’s… Now she’s this thing.”
“[The dog is ready to piss on something. Seriously, dog? Why couldn’t you be a parrot? At least parrots pretend to make sense.]”
“Oh,” Cathect said. “Blue, whack it with the bat a couple times.”
Blue looked puzzled, but took the bat and whacked Mellow Yellow with it. It vibrated a little bit, weakening its grip on Hellfire. Blue whacked it again. Mellow Yellow weakened its hold. Back and forth it went until Mellow Yellow unstuck itself from Hellfire, spinning rapidly in the air.
The rapidly-spinning Mellow Yellow turned into a portal. A woman spat out of the portal, landing on the ground. Then, Mellow Yellow spun itself out of existence.
“What,” Nano said.
“[The dog is suddenly a scientist. Sure, it’s a scientist that doesn’t speak English, but what that really means is that you’re the idiot. You don’t understand this genius dog? It had the answers all along. Oh, the perils of language barriers. Oh, the perils of your stupidity.]”
“What,” Nano repeated.
“Guys, he’s speaking English. It’s just that he has a slightly Scottish accent.”
“Yeah, but sir,” Blue said. “I honestly don’t have any clue how you make English sound like that. Cathect, what is he trying to say?”
“Alternate timelines,” Cathect said. “Crises on a bunch of different earths. Something about dark matter turning into yellow matter. Something about the woman travelling through different dimensions.’
“What,” Nano said again.
“You have no fucking clue, do you?” Blue said, sounding a little winded.
“No,” Cathect said. “Not really. I think he might be on drugs.”
“[The dog has given up. The dog is ready for a revolution. Viva la revolución, Fido!]”
Nano’s phone buzzed. “Hold on, I probably care about this text way more than whatever this is.”
She opened her phone and read the text message from Sotto Voce. It said: “going to be out of town for the next year. bye.”
“Oh,” Nano said.
— — —
“Andrea, normally I don’t like to get too personal on this show, but since we’ve been on-air for the past twelve hours, I’d like to share with you a somewhat personal thought of mine,” Barry Ring said, blathering on the TV screen.
“This isn’t going to be about the Illuminati again, is it?” Andrea asked.
“No,” Barry Ring said. “It’s about the way I see my own identity. You see, sometimes I like to think of myself as a cross between Alan Moore and Kathy Griffin.”
“It wasn’t like a break-up break-up,” Nano said, sitting on the couch, watching Barry Ring. “It was more of an ‘I’m leaving this town and it might be because I want to avoid you for the next twelve months’ sort of thing.”
“Egregoric spirits,” Cathect said. “Can’t live with ‘em.”
Blue walked into the living room, arms raised high. “Freedom.”
“You have a new boss?” Nano asked.
“Yeah,” Blue said. “I talked to him on the phone. Understood what he was saying and everything.”
“What was his name?” Nano asked.
“Well…” Blue said.
“Can’t be worse than crazy drugged-up incomprehensible Scottish guy, can it?”
“He’s called ‘Jeremiah the Hunter’.”
“That sounds bad. What’s his deal?” Cathect asked.
Blue opened her mouth to explain, but Nano said, “Honestly, I don’t want to know.”
“Fair enough,” Blue said.
Hellfire walked into the living room.
“Look what Satan dragged in,” Cathect said.
“Cathect, why are you like this?” Nano asked.
“Genetics and bad parenting, probably,” he said.
Hellfire scratched his head. “Sorry I’ve been busy. How’ve you guys… been?”
“Good,” Nano said. “Actually I’m kind of curious. Why does that jacket mean so much to you? Like, I know you said it was just because you looked cool, but you’ve got a bunch of them now and you’re still so attached to this one. Why is that? Like, I hope I’m not–”
“It’s fine,” Hellfire said. “You’re right. It’s not just because it makes me look cool.”
“So,” Nano said. “Not to push the point, but why’s it such a big deal?”
Hellfire sighed, taking his jacket off. He walked over to Nano, showing her the patch sewn on the inside of the jacket. With sewed on letters it said, “Your mother loves you.”
Cathect laughed. “Turns out you were a sap after all.”