I bite down on a dozen snarky comments because they aren't needed for her, and I realize they're not needed by me for the moment. They're weapons, and she's already opening negotiations. I've won the battle, unless I toss the victory away. Plus, whether or not a facade, she seems ... sincere? Regretful? Acknowledging, at any rate, that it's both fitting and productive for me to be given a longer leash, and that perhaps she ought to have done so sooner. I do not want to fuck this up this up again with an ill-timd barb. I leave aside the comments about Adam. Yes, AEGIS is potentially a pressure on him. Yes, I think that would go poorly. Yes, I will monitor his threat level (and, should need arise, figure out some way to act on it, commensurate with the stakes). And, yes, in association with that, the concept of, not me but Concord as an AEGIS weapon to be locked up then wheeled out when needed is precisely one the scenarios that mustn't happen; his inferred confidence to me that his powers are linked to his emotions, and can be manipulated or shut down through them, will remain my secret for now. And it's only on thinking about it that I'm amazed he shared that with me of all people. And I realize Parker is telling the truth here, or part of one; that were I in that scenario, it would smack too much, be too easy to turn into, what she denied once before: "We did not bring you in to be an assassin." And I'm all the more glad of it. As to what I'm "meant" to be -- well, that's still an unfolding dish in my mind. Let's let that simmer. "To be honest," I say, holding open my hands with just a slight wince, "I don't have a good sense of what details are needed here. Going to school --" An irksome necessity for what plans I do have. "-- being ready to leap into action at a moment's notice --" I let a bit of sarcastic monologuing into that one. "-- access to a shop and supplies to work on my kit. Presumably some sort of ostensible gainful employment, so I'm not completely a kept woman. Transportation that won't have me stuck across town taking the bus to the scene of the crime. All of those things imply living arrangements, but -- frankly --" Emphasis on that word, as I going to open the door a crack here. "-- not a way of living I'm at all experienced in." I snort. "Stick me in a jungle, or a prison, or in a bloody volcano lair, or even deep cover with focused parameters -- follow that person, infiltrate that facility --" Build that transdimensional barrier penetration device out of discarded microwave ovens. "-- and I know what I need. Being a 'super-hero' -- it's a bit of a new thing for me. And I'm afraid what I know of my team mates' situations largely doesn't apply. I'd -- appreciate your advice." What are you offering, and what are we negotiating?