“That’s vague,” Alec commented.

“We can’t exactly share our game plan with you if we’re going to wind up on opposite sides,” I pointed out.

…fair point.

“It’s a hassle.  Why make things complicated for all of us, because one member of our group has a moral quibble?”

Also a fair point from the perspective of someone who doesn’t really care about Dinah. It’s a very believable stance for Alec to take here. He doesn’t want to deal with this shit.

“A preadolescent girl was kidnapped, with our help, and she’s spent the last few months in a dungeon, drugged out of her mind, all so Coil can use her power,” I said.  “That’s not a quibble.”

Alec sighed dramatically.  “I’m just pulling your legs.  World’s going to end in a couple of years.  Won’t kill me to help you make peace with yourself before it does.”

…well, okay then! Glad we got that sorted.

So Alec’s on a nihilistic streak, apparently, though thankfully it’s the “why not” variety, not the “why bother”.

“And mommy’s on a bender,” Aisha said.  “Don’t think it’ll end anytime soon.”

It was odd, but Brian looked more upset at hearing that than Aisha was about saying it aloud.  Hadn’t he grown up with his dad?

I think he’s more upset about the fact that Aisha’s been living a life that led to her seriously saying this kind of thing casually. Like, it’s something she’s used to, a fact of life, and Brian hates that.

Of course, it may also be that he has sentiment for his mom too in spite of how much of an obstacle she has been. Growing up mainly with his dad doesn’t preclude that.

“So it’s really down to you two,” I addressed Alec and Rachel.

“If I were to say I wanted to stick around?  That I like the status quo?” Alec asked.

That’s not entirely hypothetical, is it?

“That’s fine,” Lisa said.  “You’d be an asshole and a prick, but we’d work around you.”

Pfft.

But yeah, besides the joke (I choose to interpret that as a tongue-in-cheek joke rather than manipulation), what Lisa is saying here is actually not a good thing, at least not to the team as a whole. “Working around someone” is exactly what would lead to a schism.

“You aren’t responsible, I know,” I told her.  “I get the impression you’d side with Brian, Lisa and me if it came down to it.  The people I’m really directing this question at are Alec and Rachel.

When I realized I forgot Aisha, I decided not to expound on her reaction the way I had just done for Alec and Rachel because a) the post would be funnier without that and b) there really wasn’t much to say at all. I’m with Taylor here – I don’t think Aisha has a strong opinion on this beyond sticking with Brian whether she wants to or not.

I’m under the impression they’re the least invested in helping Dinah out, and they’re most interested in what Coil has to offer.”

Oh look, another reason why this might lead to a schism.

“Doesn’t Brian have a stake in this?” Alec asked.

Not nearly as much as when this plotline started, since Aisha’s on the team now and their mother is no longer an obstacle thanks to Aisha’s power. Earning money to convince the social services and to take care of Aisha the mostly legal way isn’t quite as big a deal anymore.

Brian shrugged.  “Coil approached me a few days ago about increasing my pay.  I think he knows I’m not that reliant on him anymore.  I got into this because I wanted to get Aisha away from my mom.  With the way things in the city have been turned upside-down, I know and Coil knows that I don’t need help.

Pretty much. Brian’s goal was to give Aisha a way out, but then Leviathan went and did it for him.

Well, probably. We still don’t know for sure that Leviathan was responsible for Aisha’s trigger, though it makes a ton of sense both with regards to her power and to the timeline.

The fact that I can say I’ve got money saved up, I can arrange to get a place and Aisha’s safe and sound with me?  That’s almost enough to decide the court case as is.”

Oh, he’s still going through the legal stuff?

I suppose Aisha’s power doesn’t always stop her mom from knowing about her daughter. Whenever she turns it off to talk to her teammates, her mom probably remembers again.

That had their attention.

“I guess the question is, how keen are you guys on continuing to work for Coil?”

Straight to the point.

“Are we talking quitting in the short-term or what?”

“I don’t know exactly what we’re talking about, because so much depends on how you guys respond and how things unfold in the next while,” I said.  “But this thing with Dinah, I’m not happy with it.  I know Lisa and Brian have their issues with that, even if they don’t share my perspective in how culpable we all are in that.”

“That again?”

“I’m not responsible at all,” Aisha pointed out.

True.

“Aisha,” Brian’s tone was a warning.

“Just saying.”

Hehe. I appreciate it, at least.

And hey, if there’s anyone here who should have a free pass to remind others about themself, it’s Aisha.

Well, we’ve dawdled long enough. Let’s see what Alec and Rachel think of going against Coil!

I suspect Rachel isn’t going to like it. While there have been other reasons for her to feel the way she did about things, she’s always been against the major changes to the status quo, and with her and Taylor finally making headway, the time seems right for Rachel to wind up a temporary antagonist.

A couple things that also seem to point to this: One, the beginning of this chapter was a fakeout of Taylor vs Rachel, which I do not think was unintentional. Then Rachel brought up Coil as one of the people giving her “gifts”, which despite what Taylor said about them not really being gifts might be one of the reasons why she’d side with Coil.

Alec… will probably have some good points (on-point Alec is best Alec) but I don’t know if he’ll particularly care for or against. If there’s a schism, though, he’ll probably stay with Taylor’s group… although… I suppose if he goes with Rachel and Coil, that group gets to have Shatterbird, increasing the difficulty of this mission sharply.

Not that it’s not already pretty difficult, given Coil’s resources, powers and employees, including the Travelers. They’d be formidable foes if they took Coil’s side.

Last night, I bought and installed Worms: WMD, but didn’t have time to play it. I did, however, have time to start making some teams.

Yes, the Undersiders sound like English policemen. None of the other voices fit, I didn’t want to go for the generic ones, and with this being the team I’ll most likely be playing the most, I decided to go for the funniest one. And hey, ironic contrast!

The Arctic Explorer actually voice fits the Nine more than you’d think. Better than Artist, even – you’d think that one would fit them from the name, but it’s, well, based on Bob Ross.

(Homestuck spoilers in the one below)

Shame there weren’t any bed-like gravestones.

The names are from Round Trip’s MLP in a Nutshell series. I blame the fact that “Twilight Sparkle” wouldn’t fit the character limit.

(I ended up using Big Mac for the eighth slot instead of a character whose inclusion would make sense because that character’s involvement would be a spoiler for someone I might end up playing this team against. Also because I love Big Mac’s name in MLPiaN.)