Thirty minutes have passed since Daniel’s defeat. He hasn’t woken up yet, but David had arrived to keep an eye on this intruder. He asks, looking upon the boy's mohwaked head, “You guys got anything on him?”
Kate explains, “No. All we know is that his name is Daniel Diaz - Max told us last night - he’s Mexican, about twelve years old, and he has telekinesis.”
Victoria adds, “He’s also crazy and he’s waking up.”
Daniel’s eyes open just a bit, and his vision is blurry. He looks around and asks, “What the fuck? Let me go!”
David turns to Daniel and says, “Language, kid!”
“I’m not a kid!”, Daniel says as he starts shimmying in the chair in a vain attempt to escape.
Together, David and Victoria coldly inform him, “... You literally ARE.”
Kate steps in front of the two, in front of Daniel, and reassures him, “We’re not going to hurt you, Daniel.”
He stops shimmying and asks, “How do you know my name?”
“Max told us.”
“You know her too?”
Kate nods. “Uh huh. She said you’re a good kid.”
Daniel smugly laughs and claims, “I try not to brag.”
Bitterly, Victoria crosses her arms and claims, “I imagine you save it for your friends and family, don’t you? When you’re not choking them halfway to death with your magic powers.”
Daniel looks at Victoria, agitated, and turns to Kate. She responds: “She’s like that at first. You’ll love her, trust me.”
He asks her, “Where is Max?”
Victoria responds, “Apparently, space pirates kidnapped her.”
Daniel smiles, “Space pirates? Oh, man, this is gonna be awesome!”
Victoria's eyes widen in worry: “Awesome? These are space pirates. What am I going to do against them? Or Kate? Or Dav- okay, actually, he might stand a chance.”
Daniel tells her, “So I’ll go with him. In and out, easy peasy.”
David adds, “Max did tell me that I was gonna fight her enemies. So I guess fighting space pirates would be a moment like that.”
Victoria asks him, “Are you sure? Aliens aren’t exactly something we’ve ever seen before.”
“I’m sure, Victoria. I’ll just have to get back home, grab some gear, and the two of us will be out.”
Victoria shrugs and tells him, “Okay. Good luck then.”
David begins unwrapping the masking tape containing Daniel until he uses his power to tear it apart. He stands and strips off the remaining tape before grabbing his wolf mask and placing it back on his head.
“Please, bring Max back safely.”
“Will do, Kate. See you guys in a bit.” The two then walk out of the office with Daniel waving goodbye, leaving Kate and Victoria alone again.
Outside of the Helper Shelter, David and Daniel head to the alleyway overlooking the rest of the neighborhood and Culmination in the distance. “So, 44 Cedar Avenue. By the houses. Uh, on the other side, around the water.”
Daniel forms a telekinetic hamster ball around the two of them and it levitates over the Shelter into the skies.
On the ground, one of the kids by the bus stop, looks up and sees the duo while hitting a blunt. “Whoa-hoa! That looks rad, doesn’t it, Cass?”
Cassidy, one of the other kids, tells him. “Finn, you might’ve taken a hit too many. Pass it over.” He passes his blunt to her, who takes a deep hit of it.
The two lean on the desk and Victoria chuckles. “I, uh, didn’t think you’d actually kiss me.”
Nervously, Kate says, “Surprise!” and the two laugh. “I just figured you’d need something to get you going. Like, really going.”
“Oh, it did. And thank you for saving me.”
“Don’t give me all the credit, Vic. You took out a superhero! Not a lot of people get to say that.”
As the two stand together in silence, Kate asks, “What do you want to do tonight?”
“You’re asking me out? On a date?”
Kate shrugs and explains, “It’s Friday night, something has to be happening in town.”
“There’s that music concert tonight in Culmination, we could head there and jam out.”
“Okay. When do you want to meet up?”
“Well, it’s 11:23 AM right now. Concert starts at 4:30. How about at 3, we meet up at the train station? We can get washed up, dressed up, and ready to party.”
“Deal. I’ll see you then, Vic.”
“As will I, Katie.”
The two leave the office before separating outside the Shelter to their houses for preparation.
David and Daniel get back to the Price household, having descended from the sky in the telekinetic hamster ball. They walk into the garage and head into David’s workshop. David grabs two sidearms and a bunch of ammo. He also grabs his kevlar vest and puts it on. Daniel on the other hand, grabs a Capri Sun from the kitchen and drinks it. With the two armed and ready, they prepare to go as Joyce returns from shopping.
“Hi, David. Can you help me with these bags?”
“Oh, sure thing!” David helps out with the groceries, bringing them into the kitchen with Daniel’s telekinetic aid.
Joyce waves hi to Daniel, asking him, “Hi, what’s your name?”
Daniel flaps his cape dramatically, stating, “My name is Daniel. You can call me the Superwolf!”
“Very nice to meet you.” Joyce shakes Daniel’s hand politely and David grabs the car keys.
“Me and Daniel here are gonna go save Max from space pirates.”
“Oh, do be careful! Not just you guys, but with those space pirates. They don’t seem like too bad a crowd, they’re kinda pleasant. Still, be careful.”
David and Joyce kiss before he leaves with Daniel in the car to rescue Max.
At Victoria’s apartment on Overlook Avenue, she scours through her bedroom closet for a set of clothing comfortable enough for the concert. She stumbles upon black and white checkered pants, a white sleeveless shirt, and a black sweater with a red stripe going down each arm, connected at the back. She slips on black flats, brushes her hair, grabs her purse, and heads out with sunglasses over her eyes.
Kate looks through her clothing drawers at home, wondering what to wear. She grabs a black t-shirt with a cartoon pug on it wearing sunglasses - a Christmas gift from her sister, Lynn - and puts on beige jeans before grabbing her blue hoodie and a pack of twelve orange earplugs.
While fixing her hair into two pigtails and putting on her sneakers, she waltzes over to the cage of her pet bunny, Alice. She tells the white rabbit, “Okay, I’ll be back in a bit. Take care, Alice!”
Alice looks at Kate and blankly stares at her in rabbitual indifference. Kate also lends her a carrot to chow down on before heading out of the house.
At the train station, located at the bottom of the hill that holds the Helper Shelter, Victoria waits for Kate to appear. Suddenly, she hears, “Vic!”
Victoria turns to Kate and sees her heading up the platform to her. Victoria eyes Kate’s outfit and compliments it: “I’m really digging the casualwear. It suits you.”
“Just as that jacket suits you, Vic.”
“Oh, thank you. My mom got it for me last Christmas, it’s really soft and comfy.”
The train approaches the platform and stops, opening the doors for travellers. Victoria and Kate walk in as a robotic voice overhead speaks: “This is Overlook Avenue, Arcadia Bay. The next stop is Wertz Street, Culmination. Stand clear of the closing doors please.”
The doors close behind the two as they make their way to a pair of seats. They sit and Victoria checks her phone for details on the concert.
LIVE IN JACOBI MEMORIAL PARK
PissHead performs their newest album
One night only in CULMINATION, OREGON!
Victoria laughs and states, “Oh my God. I almost forgot all about Skip and his Pissheads.”
Victoria shows the digital flyer to Kate, explaining, “Skip Matthews. He was a security guard at Blackwell, always trying to sell his band’s album to us on campus.”
“Hm. Must be before my time.”
“Three years, actually. He was kinda cute, with that MCR-esque charm of his.”
“He sounds nice… What’s MCR?”
Victoria looks at Kate in confusion but she shakes her head, ignoring her ignorance: “He was. I wonder if he remembers me.”
The train slows down as they arrive at Wertz Street, Culmination - a more urban town in the middle of the woods. The two step out of the train and head into the city as the sun slowly begins to set.
David and Daniel reach the end of Arcadia Bay’s sewage line, which extends out to the water treatment facility south of the town. According to the house’s security footage, Max was taken into the sewers with the pirates.
Daniel plugs his nose and tells David, “This place stinks!”
“It’s also the only place where Max could feasibly be without those damn- uh, darned space pirates being spotted.”
Daniel shrugs and adds, “I guess so.”
David walks over to a door and tells Daniel in a whisper, “Look under every nook and cranny!”
Daniel lifts up a truck to look for Max but she is not there.
David peers into a building, only to see a security guard distracted by a manga in his hands. He whispers to himself, “Seriously, man? C’mon, get your security act together. Disgusting.”
Daniel looks into a sewer grate and whispers, “Max? Are you there? It’s me, Daniel Diaz.”
David walks over to Daniel, shaking his head. “No sight of her either, huh?”
“Nope. I hope she’s okay.”
As the two look around themselves, soft guitar music can be heard. The duo slowly follows the sounds of the music. David puts a hand in front of Daniel to stop him from advancing without him. “Careful, kid. It might be a trap.”
Daniel listens in and comments, “It sounds like guitar music. Max knows how to do the guitar, right?”
David shrugs: “She should, last time I checked.”
As the two approach the music, they see a dancing shark-cyborg walking on wheels to the slow beat of the music. He and his compatriots are illuminated by a sizable lantern.
“What the?” David grabs his sidearm and loads it. “Okay, kid, get ready to use your-”
Daniel has run on ahead, much to David’s worry. He whispers to himself, “Oh God”, before rushing after the boy.
Daniel runs into the shark-cyborg and taunts him with a “Lemme give it a try!” The shark-cyborg gives Daniel space to dance and he does a little Irish jig, causing Max to laugh as she is playing the guitar, still dressed in her pajamas.
Max smiles and says, “Superwolf! It’s good to see you!”
“Hi, Max Rewind!”
Starsight asks her, “You know him?”
Max nods: “Mm hmm. He’s a kid who I got locked up with.”
David runs into the area, ready to shoot. He lowers his pistol at the sight of Daniel’s dancing and Max’s performance before putting it away completely. He walks over to Max and asks her, “What the hell is going on?”
“These guys, the Merry Marauders as they’ve called themselves, came after me because they want a way back home. Apparently, they sailed into a wormhole in space and got themselves stuck here. But, upon further conversation, they’re not so bad.”
“Aye! And you know what else ain’t so bad? These chicken nuggets we nabbed from a refrigeration unit not too far back!” Starsight shows off a dirty container from a fast food joint in town. He opens it to reveal three fresh chicken nuggets. Make that two as he eats one through his pupil.
“Sorry to ask, but what’s your deal, Cyclops?”
“My name isn’t Cyclops. You may call me Lord Starsight.”
“Respect Lord Starsight’s name!”
“Yeah, yeah, thanks, Nocty. By the way, let me introduce you to the crew. Over there, the big bug fellow is Noctarious. That shark friend is the Shark-Stinger. The iceman in the bucket is Snowmancer. And the other eight are my interning goons, fellow seekers of greater goals.”
“Well, pleased to meet you, Lord Starsight. I take it you want Max to take you all back home?”
“Aye!” Starsight looks over to Max, impressed with David’s assumption: “This earthling is rather smart! Just like you, Max!”
Max blushes and laughs, “D’aw, stop it, you!”
David crosses his arms, asking, “Well, can she take you home?”
“According to her, no. But there is someone who can help. These Assholes for Metahuman Concentration as they’re called.”
David raises an eyebrow to this and Max explains: “He means the Agency of Metahuman Containment. They kept me and Daniel here locked up for months on end, remember?.”
Daniel chimes in while in a dance battle with Shark-Stinger: “They are assholes!”
Max points to him in agreement to claim, “That’s right, Daniel!” David raises an eyebrow to Max’s support of his foul language.
Kate and Victoria cross a street to Jacobi Memorial Park, which is guarded by stone walls. They enter through the front gate at the corner of the street as other concertgoers march through as well.
To gain access to the concert, they must pass by a big, bald bouncer with a giant beard. The two walk up to him and he asks sternly, “Tickets.”
Stunned, Victoria shakes her head. “Uh, we don’t have any.”
The bouncer nods his head. “That’s too bad… because there are no tickets, it’s just that Skip insists we ask. Just to psyche people out a bit.”
Kate and Victoria both look at each other in confusion and say, “Oh.” in a matter-of-factly manner. The bouncer hands them some glow sticks and says, “Enjoy the show!”
Kate smiles and tells him, “Thank you!” The two walk into the concert, passing by several other attendees inside. Up on stage is Skip and his fellow Pisshead band members.
Victoria marches up to the front of the concert and waves at him: “Hi, Skip! Long time, no see!”
Skip walks over to the edge of the stage and sits before them. “Well, I’ll be! Victoria Chase, all the way out here in Culmination! How’ve you been?”
She shrugs and claims, “Not too bad, all things considered! Hey, have you met my girlfriend, Kate?”
Skip looks over to Kate, who’s blushing at Victoria, and claims, “No, don’t think I have! Hi, Kate! The name’s Skip!”
Kate waves at him coolly and says, “Nice to meet you, Skip.”
“So you two are Blackwell alums, huh?”
Victoria snaps her fingers and says, “You know it! How have you been?”
“Oh, me and the boys have just been touring this side of the country for the past few years, doing small concerts in our free time. When we’re not singing, we’re wringing our brains for song ideas! Finally, we got some songs that I think you and the others here will enjoy!”
“I’m sure! Thank you, Skip! Crack an egg up there!”
“You got it, Chase! Enjoy the show!” Skip walks back onto the stage and drinks a big gallon of water to stay hydrated.
David sits next to Max and Lord Starsight. He tells Max, “I seriously don’t get that kid’s language usage.”
Max replies, “He’s been through a lot, man. His dad got shot by the police, puppy got mauled by a cougar, was accosted by a cult, brother was thrown in jail, and he got stuck in an alternate timeline with some evil undercover force. I wish I could take him to his dad and brother, but I dunno how that’d fare for the timeline.”
“Shit. Poor kid.”
“We’ve all been through shit, David. What matters is that we do what we can to cope. We do what we can to make it all worth it.” Max finishes her guitar performance before handing it off to David. He declines but Max insists. He grabs the guitar and strums a few beats.
As the music continues, Daniel and Noctarious dance together jovially, much to the amusement of Shark-Stinger and Snowmancer. They cheer the two on as Max smiles. She looks up to the dusk sky. It’s orange, it’s red, it’s purple, it’s got the sun handing the keys over to the moon as the sky’s protector. She looks to David and asks, “Hey, can I stay with these guys for the night? I mean, yeah, they kidnapped me. But I can trust them.”
Daniel walks over and asks, “Ooh, me too!”
David laughs and says, “Okay. Just call us if you need anything.”
Max says, “Will do, Dave! Take care!” She waves him goodbye as he gets up and walks off the premises.
Back at the PissHead concert, Victoria and Kate are standing up at the front and Vic’s ready to party. She’s bopping in place while Kate’s putting in her earplugs. She offers a pair to Victoria, who asks, “What are these for?”
“You might hurt your ears. I want you to be safe.”
Victoria shrugs and puts them on. “Thanks, Kate. Oh, forgot to ask, is this your first concert?”
“Yeah. I’m really excited!”
“I’m glad to hear. You’ll love it!”
Skip walks forward and grabs the microphone. Victoria and Kate cheer in tandem with the rest of the audience.
“Good evening, Jacobi Memorial Park! We’re PissHead, and we’re here to fill you up with the sounds of our efforts! Are?! You?! READY?!?!”
The crowd cheers and our two lovebirds cheer, “Yeah, yeah, yeah!”
“Then, let’s get pissy!”
The drummer for PissHead yells, “One, two, three, four!” and he goes to town on his set, building up the vibe for the event.
The saxophone artist hops in, dropping some beats.
The guitarist riffs hard on his guitar, amping up the crowd.
Skip grabs his mic and starts singing:
“ The world is changin’
Winds are-a ragin’
I ain’t ready to fall
Times are mergin’
New horizons are-a vergin’
You just gotta stand up tall
Don’t you crawl
Don’t you flee
Love is humanity’s remedy
Speak up and sing
Jump up and dance
Harmony is the keeey
To humanity’s remedy! ”
Victoria dances to the beat and lyrics while Kate slowly joins in, copying her moves. The two stand back-to-back, taking in each other’s presence in their lives. For them, this moment can never end.
“ The world can bring on horrors,
just gotta keep your honor
The world’ll piss on you
Speak ill all ‘bout you
Send you spiralin’
Down down down
But when you’re stuck on the floor,
Face covered in dirt,
You don’t hurt,
On spreading humanity’s remedy
Coexist in melody
Indulge in excellency ”
Kate and Victoria hold each others’ hands and sway from side to side, looking each other in the eyes. Kate removes Victoria’s sunglasses to see them directly, and both are mesmerized by the clarity in which they’ve just started to see each other in.
They pull themselves closer together, connecting their foreheads to connect to each other.
Victoria smiles and Kate smiles. Victoria asks, “It’s crazy what a day can bring, isn’t it?”
“It’s strange, for sure. But that’s just the way things are.”
As the two stand together, the world frozen around them, Victoria tells Kate, “I… I’m fucking up, aren’t I?”
Kate shakes her head, asking, “What do you mean?”
Victoria explains her problem with a question: “Have I been trying too hard?”
“No, not at all! Have I, do you think?”
“Not at all, Katie. It’s just, I’ve been asking myself; do I deserve this?” As Kate prepares to answer, Victoria shoots back, “I- I know you’ll say ‘yes’, but I’m not sure if I can do this ‘being good’ thing for you. I’m sorry.” She turns her back to Kate and starts sniffling.
Kate’s face demonstrates determination as she grabs Victoria’s shoulder. “If you want to talk about this somewhere with more privacy and less loud rock music, we can go to my place. I have tea, and we can watch movies. And we can talk. Together.”
Victoria smiles and laughs between stifled tears. “Okay. Let’s go have tea and watch movies. And talk together.”
The two walk out through the crowd, seeing them get more and more confused at whatever is happening on the stage. The duo don’t care though, they’re focused on each other alone.
The train ride home is quiet. Victoria looks out to the trees, eyes puffy from crying, and enjoys their beauty. Kate joins her and holds her hand to comfort her. Victoria lays back onto Kate’s chest and she takes a nap. Kate caresses her hair before napping too.
At the Price household, Joyce watches the news. A headline reports: “An odd story for sure comes from London. Fifty-eight year old Florence Durrance claims he has the superpower to clone himself after waking up from a nap to find a second self eating his dinner.”
Joyce rolls her eyes and changes the channel. Suddenly, she hears an electrical shortage in the backyard. She rushes over and sees a person in a yellow hazmat suit taking a knee in a small crater. This person looks around before nodding in approval. Joyce rushes outside to ask, “Who are you and what are you doing in my backyard?”
The person in the hazmat suit takes off their mask, causing shoulder-length blue hair to spill out. Joyce’s jaw drops as she swears, “Holy shit.”
The hazmat suited Chloe points to the kitchen counter inside the house. “If there’s still a swear jar in there, you owe it a do-”
Joyce hugs Chloe and is unable to let go. Chloe returns the hug, stating, “It’s good to see you too, mom.”
“What brings you here? Are you a ghost?”
“I’m here to see Max. This Max. She might be in really serious danger. And also, no, I’m not a ghost. Max told me about Nathan killing me or whatever. Man, that feels… weird saying out loud.”
“Tell me all about it inside, Chloe.” The two walk back inside, with Joyce shutting the door behind them.