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MENAGERIE #50 - "LOVE ME LIKE IT'S PROM NIGHT"

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Alycia Director Costigan's office, with Parker. Called on the carpet. Alycia smirking. He looks ... annoyed.  "Contemplating a conditional stipend for your service to the agency. And conditional upon continuing good behavior regarding agency interests."  "Does that come with medical, because this nation's health care system ..." Parker clucks her tongue. Cuts off. "You are a contract agent. Working on paperwork for certain comically availalble insurance for minors ... On the question of lodging, you have been given a small number of options, appropriate to your stipend. First. As with most agents of your junior stipend: dorms, semi-private rooms, shared with other agents. there is a curfew. monitored entrances here on campus." "That might be a challenge to operate as flexibly as the Agency has wanted." "Option two, the agency will provide you a limited amount of additional stipend for room and board with certain approved individuals. Currently the list is one, includes our good Agent Parker, who it turns out has a spare room in her duplex." Agent Parker has additional creases in her cheeks.  "If your team had anything along the lines of room and board at their base ... but they don't, so that's off the option list. ... Take the weekend. A lot on your mind right now. Understanding there's a dance tomorrow night. Should be fun. Off you go, skitter-scat." Outside: "Agent Parker ... Don't want to put you in a difficult situation." "Don't worry about it. Request was made. There's no reason not to ... I am your handler, after all. Not a ground-breaking arrangement. I'm sure we can reach a modus vivendi. ' "Well, it seems better than dorm life" "There are a few other options." "Do you have a suggestion that might be acceptable that the Director didn't mention?" "Actually, you might consider ..." Summer Blintzkrieg. Summer is working the counter. Nono is at a table with Charlotte. Nono has been asking about superheroing stuff. "You and the rest of the team kind of vanished for a few weeks, and everyone wa really wondering where you were ..." And Charlotte is realizing that she's feeling kind of PTSDy about the whole thing. ... but Nono is halfway through the sentence [door opening ding], and then her eyes get big looking over Charlotte's shoulder ... Charlotte has been practicing at being solid. It's not been entirely reliable. Nono is now NOT looking over shoulder focusing on her notes SO HARD. Charlotte sees someone walking up to the counter to order something, in a "I know people are looking at me." Pietro the Plasma Prince, wandering in for a half double decaffeinated half-caf, with a twist of lemon . And an almond scone. Charlotte tries to fake getting Nono out of there. [Defend -> 4!] "Nono! Miss Rodriguez! Just a moment!" (Summer sees all this.) Charlotte gives her a push, and Nono power walks away from the shop. Charlotte interposes herself. They talk. Charlotte nods several times, grand gestures, genteel laughter (mostly from him), finally reaches out and takes her hand and bows over it, then strides off, king of the world. Charlotte comes in looking pale(r). To Summer: "Apparently I'm going to the Valentine's Dance tomorrow ..." Summer offers to help find a dress. "Nothing too encouraging" Summer texts Alycia. "We are gathering for team business." Alycia Studying together with Daph at the library. She's kind of out of it.  Pensive? No, cranky.  "You are a forward thinking 90s woman." For the purpose of argument. "Forward-thinking, assertive. You have a boy you want tot ake to a dance. And they are clueless to the point of world ending catastrophe. What do you do?" "... force a clue upon him."  "What if any number of romantic comedy cliches were to come true and thus ruin everything? ... Ignorance is bliss." "No, it's clearly anxiety-laden" What if Daph asked Alycia to slip him a note? "Cliche ending would be my being spotted. I will not be spotted." Text comes in. "Bat Signal?" Where? Blintzkrieg, after work. Not an emergency, then. But will need to take the bus. "If he says no, you have to go with me. Also I'm going to cry." "I ... already ... have a ... date ... "OF COURSE. Tell Mr Bat Signal he's lucky." "Let me evaluate some tactical options." "I love the way you talk." Marion is at other end of library. clustered around a microfiche viewer with friends. And laughing. Looking at 1920s Kansas newspapers for memes. Goes over and says that Daph has a question for him. Now. Adam Sitting somewhere next to Keri. 4th Pd Geometry.  "My boyfriend is out of town. Really out. You're little. Can we go to this thing, not together. And you get to see what hese dance things are like and i don't have to go by myself and have Kid Kelvin hit on me all night?" "Sure." "Suit and tie? I'll be wearing red. Cool?" "Cool." "Is it true your folks are chaperoning?" "Yeah, it's how I get to go." "Is that terrible? Or awesome? Wait, we're going to have a cop to chaperone?" Now Adam needs to get a suit. He reaches out to Leo. Leo  Asked Aria to the dance. Because he's a traditionalist. Aria - coordinate with red and white. Waters fixes him up with a suit store full of old men who wear a lot of cologne and probably smoke a lot and are happy to set up a kid right if he asks them. Shaving with a hot towel treatment, a proper shave. Adam calls. Leo tells him to come over. Doesn't specify where he is. Adam teleports over anyway. "Hi, Mr. Waters." He's dragged into the tailor setting.  Leo advises him to call his dad. Dad: long pause "... ask him if they rent. You're growing too fast to buy a whole suit." The suit guys offer a coat at the same price as a full suit rental. "And we'll give it a few extra inches so it can be used when you're a senior." Leo mentors Adam on how to treat a girl right.  Harry He has a suit. At a gentrified area of town with Andi (who has vetted the suit), and he has to be there to help pick out the dress. Along with two cousins, three aunts, and his mother. She keeps coming out in nice dresses. The aunts are arguing. The cousins are joking about Harry. Mother looks at Harry with pity, but doesn't let him go.  Has to walk fine line of appreciation without creepiness.  Is trying to support Andi more than her mom. [Pierce the Mask -> 11!] What do you want me to do? -- wants him to be on her side with dress selections. What do you intend to do? -- wants to be seen as a girl, not as a brick powerhouse. How can I gain influence over you? -- recognize / verbalize that about her intention [Defend Andi vs Mother --> 10!] She likes one dress, Mom is uncertain ... Harry superspeeds away and back with the very matching suit he's picked out. Dad texts: "Don't worry about the prom afterparty. Your mom and I are handling it. Eggplant eggplant eggplant sideways-crying-laughing-face eggplant ..." ... texted to everyone on the team. The Girls At the coffee shop.  Charlotte is texting Nono about his. "No no no not the grenade dont throw yourself on the grenade i knew you were a superhero but wait do you like him?" And  "We need to practice your no." Alycia comes in. Summer is still working. Charlotte is looking shaky.  Texting Daph. "Sitrep?" Sends back Murloc sound text characters. Sits with Charlotte.  "Oh, Alycia, hello." clenched "... What do you need help with, Charlotte?" "Well ... um ... well ... um ... somehow I'm going to a dance with a boy. I couldn't really get him to understand. ... Plasma Prince." "Do you need me to make sure he can't go to the dance?" Summer's cue. "We're here to talk about a continuum of responses." A: continuum: unconscious, locked up, crippled ... S: "We'll wrap that up under things Alycia wants to do and go past them. Charlotte, if you don't want to go, you don't have to go." C: "But that would be rude." S: "Was he here to ask Nono?" ... taking one for the team (Alycia and Summer agree) ... A - (Is friendship some weird karmic penance i need to pay?) ... But Charlotte kinda wants to go. "And there's nothing really wrong with him. Nobody's really told him not to be that way. So maybe I can help." [Summer is C&Sing] A: "If you want to go that's ... good .. to assimilate into the local ... social ... circles." (thinking of herself) S: "How many dresses are we buying?" A: "Yeah, I need to ... buy ... a ... dress." C: to Summer. "But you need to come with us, too. PLEASE." C&Ss [Alycia: C&S (Angry) --> 5] ... but clears Angry (so 7) Summer clears a condition [Charlotte: In Good Spirits --> 11] clears two conditions. ... clears Angry (clears Mundane) and Insecure. (and she clears Guilty by taking on the date for Nono) Dance Prep Saturday What are you doing Saturday, prepping for the dance? Adam: who is teaching you how to slow dance? --> Summer, like a big sister, though GG is also there giving tips to Summer and Adam. Leo: what are you doing with Otto? --> Otto is texting Leo, Leo is in the drivers seat, Otto is looking concerned, Leo is looking at a text message from someone named Mary giving her flight information. Alycia / Charlotte / Summer: (panel with at the mani-pedi place, and Alycia getting the mani-pedi-hair thing . Along with Nono, Duskshine ... Duskshine is actually doing it. Goes on a bit about using makeup for foiling facial recognition (she and Alycia bond over that).  Harry: in a small park in the city, meeting with two shadowy individuals, standing around a statue; Harry closes his eyes, and the lights change around him, and he gets a "Huh!" cockeyed grin as he looks at ... something. Team Stuff Alycia: Closer (Charlotte, for showing a vulnerability) --> +Superior - Freak Summer: Closer (Charlotte, ditto) --> Charlotte takes influence Harry: Image of Self -->  Adam: Closer (Charlotte, for teaching how to dance) --> +Superior - Freak Charlotte: Closer (Summer, first time doing girl stuff) -> Summer takes influence #Recap
On the bright side, the old Roll20 editor didn't allow (I don't think) a direct copy/paste of an image in, so there's that.
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Summer has a plan to help out with Pietro, should he be too much for GG. It will not involve kneecapping or any other plan measuring over 0.1 Alycias.
I enjoy that Alycias are now a unit of measurement.  But of what?  Pain?  Discomfort?  
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Probability that Parker will be forced to have a conversation with her after the incident. A 1.0 Alycia situation is one where conversations definitely occur.
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So, I wanted to do a silly little comic with Alycia and Parker at the dance (because of course Parker would chaperone her), so I thought "hmm, going to need to know how they are going to look to keep things consistent."  Anyway, that eventually spiraled out of control. I didn't start trying to tell a story until Adam (this boy cannot match clothes), but I did enjoy some of them. Of note was what I had in mind while drawing Jason-- "Hmm, who's that guy with the same outfit as me?  And same color hair?  ... wait, is he here with Charlotte?  AND SUMMER?  Oh my god, where's Alycia!"  That sounds like a new neurosis for Jason. I think Andi and Harry speaks for themselves.
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That looks great :D It's also neat, now that you see everyone lined up, what a variety we have - not demographically (though that too), but of the groups. The confident couple (Leo-Aria), the not-confident-but-giving-this-a-shot-because-feelings couple (Jason-Alycia), the not-confident-because-this-person-is-amazing-how-am-I-gonna-survive-this couple (Harry-Andi), the probably-will-not-end-well-but-comedy couple (GG-Pietro), the positive-lets-have-fun friends (Keri-Adam), and the oh-god-we-will-help-you-survive-this friends (Summer for GG and Alycia). It's not just a bunch of neatly paired couples, but a lot of different types of feelings coming together.
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Alycia will likely be a bit appalled over Parker showing up to the dance. I do like the dress you picked out for her. She was, in fact, going for all black, though the one I have picked out for her is shorter. I'll reveal it next ep. (I'm debating whether Jason goes in all black because (a) it's cool and (b) he's showing off some new mastery of the nanobots, because (c) even for a wealthy science philanthropist, my God, have you seen the price of tuxes?)
 It's not just a bunch of neatly paired couples, but a lot of different types of feelings coming together. Masks!
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Mike, I like the choice of dress for Summer. It isn't the monochrome elegance of some dresses - it's bright, but it feels casually bright, the sort of thing you wear when your goal isn't to attract attention, and that's exactly what she'd be doing at the dance, supporting her friends rather than being seen (alone or with a date). I am curious about what inspired it though. Did you have a real dress you noticed, or is it just a style you've seen before?
It's actually based on a dress one of my friends wears that I've always liked, just changing the colors to be more Summer feeling.  She says it's a "layered cake dress."  A quick Google search for that found a some mono-colored versions of that dress, but not the multicolored style she has.
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Mike said: It's actually based on a dress one of my friends wears that I've always liked, just changing the colors to be more Summer feeling.  She says it's a "layered cake dress."  A quick Google search for that found a some mono-colored versions of that dress, but not the multicolored style she has. Try:   rainbow Colorful Prom Dresses Sweetheart Layers Organza Handmade Flowers Graduation Dress Beads Pleats Princess Pageant Quinceanera Dress Alice + Olivia Rainbow Luba Tiered Gown Formal Dress
What I had in mind was not as fancy as that tiered gown, but close enough. Also, my hand slipped. I don't think Duskshine is happy about Maury and PowerPony changing up their outfits at the last minute.  Doesn't matter what function it is, there's always at least one that thinks that PJs are event-appropriate attire.
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The fact that there's comic Ponies makes everything better.
*** Dave H. said: I do like the dress you picked out for her. She was, in fact, going for all black, though the one I have picked out for her is shorter. I'll reveal it next ep. Or, o hai dress.
Bill G. said: It's also neat, now that you see everyone lined up, what a variety we have - not demographically (though that too), but of the groups. This just reminded me that I forgot a couple we know are going to be at the dance (don't know if any of the other Irregulators other than A10 go to Gardner). *** Dave H. said: *** Dave H. said: I do like the dress you picked out for her. She was, in fact, going for all black, though the one I have picked out for her is shorter. I'll reveal it next ep. Or, o hai dress. Oh that's an easy alteration (clothing pun not intended).  As a bonus, I got to use the same texture as Keri's dress for the sequins.  Efficient!
I am afraid that Alycia wouldn't be able to make it in the door with that dress.  It doesn't pass the finger length requirement.  (Dress/shorts have to be longer than the end of your fingertips).  But other than that it all looks great.  I find it quite amusing that Andi is taller than Harry.
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James H. said: I am afraid that Alycia wouldn't be able to make it in the door with that dress.  It doesn't pass the finger length requirement.  (Dress/shorts have to be longer than the end of your fingertips).  But other than that it all looks great.  I find it quite amusing that Andi is taller than Harry. So basically I am now picturing: Alycia: "I can't get in the door. The dress is too short." A10: "I can't fit through the door. My head is too tall."
Doing some rough measurements on screen, I believe the dress is just long enough. :-)
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Doyce T.
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Speaking as someone who doublechecks that basically every day at this point one way or the other, yeah that's easily going to pass muster on the dress code.
James H. said: I find it quite amusing that Andi is taller than Harry. Glad you enjoy it, James.  If you follow the line across the whole group, she's actually the second tallest overall, tied with Leo (who as a naturally athletic individual and also--at least in my mind--one of the oldest kids on the team, makes sense to be at his full adult height).  Made even funnier that she isn't wearing heels (in fact, the only person I did draw wearing heels is Parker and that's only so she doesn't have to look up to her charge). Still in the salvo--the Amaris (including Jordan because I have ideas) and a selection of teachers.  Anyone have preferences on who pulls chaperone duty?
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Chaperone candidates: Everyone under " Faculty ". The interesting options are: Cha Kil-yong (first strike: you have to wear a goofy hat, if you take it off you're suspended) Jim Gosling (first strike: you have to survive some of his chili) GYRO (imagine the Terminator enforcing good behavior, see here ) Nassir Amari may just volunteer... Comet continues his career of being frustrated at the antics of teenagers One teacher and Comet would be pretty effective.
Bill G. said: Nassir Amari may just volunteer... Per Doyce, both Nassir and Khamala will be chaperones.
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Mike said: Per Doyce, both Nassir and Khamala will be chaperones.
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Gonna leave this here. https://imgur.com/gallery/U7RDdXj
So, some chaperones (pulling from Bill's recommendations). From right to left: Matt Chase, Nassir Amari, Khamala Amari, Jordon Amari (in the guise of a Jordasaurus Rex), Cha Kil-yong (wearing the secret bonus question for tomorrow's Geometry Quiz), GYRO, and Jim Gosling.
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This looks like it's going to be a blast.
Adam is going to die of embarrassment. 
*** Dave H. said: Adam is going to die of embarrassment.  Considering the idea that some of the older girls are wearing pony/unicorn onesies , I think Adam will survive people getting to see his sister run around like a dinosaur for twenty minutes and then pass out in exhaustion.  She is like five.
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Summer will happily play with Jordan while she's awake, if the parents are okay. Maury is in her 20s and won't be there as a student, but she might help out a bit if the high schoolers need something - or (more likely, and with permission) she would be there in her capacity as My Little Power Ranger, to be vlogging about what the city's teen heroes are doing for Valentine's Day. And probably will be in PJs, yes.
Ah, I was not aware of Maury's age.  Though I do think that is an appropriate reason for her to be there (if that's what Doyce chooses). Also, I think everyone will get an opportunity to play with Jordan... whether they want to or not.
I, for one, am looking forward to it all. As everyone prepares for the dance ... One more dawn. One more day. One day more.
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eN9HCg9uBTU
Bill G. said: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eN9HCg9uBTU That was spectacular. Not in agreement with all the character mappings, but a lot of it works marvelously. Thank you! (I was an avid Robotech  fan when it first aired. It was my first anime fandom.)