51.3 - Moving Day (Alycia and Summer)


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The angry, fossil-fuel-chomping roar of the black Escalade's engine rumbles down the street, away from her. Alycia stands on the sidewalk, not watching it go. The duffel over her right  shoulder has her costume and kit; arrangements have been made (so long as she is an "agent in good standing," fer  Kartikeya's sake ) to make use of AEGIS facilities for significant maintenance, but she's resolved to be as autonomous as possible. The duffel over her left shoulder are her personal belongings. Clothing she's been allocated. Toiletries. School supplies. On her person are a few other items -- wallet, mobile, a few weapons and gadget slipped here and there. She still feels very unprepared for this. It's not too late, of course. She can run, right that moment. Forget the left duffel. Hell, forget the right duffel, it's likely bugged and GPSed to a fare-thee-well. Some folding money in her pocket, she knows she can disappear, get out of town. Raid a cache or two she knows of (Parker et al. were very clear that he was to reveal every hiding place that Achilles Chin had material stashed or a safehouse established, but she was never actually asked about the hidey-holes of other individuals that her father, and thus she, knew the location of). Vanish from the face of the Earth. Is your fear actually worth indulging. Is this really so terrifying? When put like that, it seems silly. When she looks at the door ... not quite so much. It's Monday. Presidents Day here in America. Government offices and a number of businesses are closed, including schools, which is why the dance could be on a Sunday. A holiday extolling a mediocre military man whose main claim to fame (and, truly, no small one) was his willingness to give up power, alongside praise for a president with a passion for maintaining territorial and political unity, with the originally unintended benefit of stopping the open ownership of chattel slaves, and who had no hesitation at doing away with civil liberties in the pursuit of his goals. It doesn't seem an auspicious beginning for a venture of this sort -- but, then, as far as most modern Americans are concerned, it's merely a day to sleep in and spend money. Their heaven, in so many words. She draws a deep breath. Steps forward. In short order, she's ringing the bell and waiting for the change about to occur. [The intent of this thread is to get Alycia moved in and kick off what happens next. Among other things, I have no idea how Bill has envisioned Applehack's place -- a stand-alone house, a floor in a brownstone, or what. I have a couple of things I want to touch on in the course of that, and anything you want to get done, Bill, is, of course, welcome as well.] #Cutscene #RP

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In the late 1990s, Halcyon City was on the cusp of a tech revolution. The dot-com bubble was in full swing. The companies who had built war machines for the United States in the '40s had transitioned to peacetime manufacturing, and the smokestack and factory were a comforting backdrop to All-American Living in the '50s. As the byte eclipsed the atom, blue collars turned white. The Research Triangle of NCSU-Duke-UNC Chapel Hill turned out programmers and electrical, not mechanical, engineers, and Halcyon dutifully siphoned them up. The old way - marry your high school sweet heart, have 2.5 children, go to the factory every day - gave way to the new - young, hip, college-educated free spirits for whom work was a lifestyle. They didn't need big family homes, they just needed a place to park their car (either a commuter brick for the newbies, or the latest super-car for the startup employees whose stock fully vested) and keep their stuff. The city responded by developing new suburban areas, just close enough to the gleaming high-rises and quirky coffee joints to make the commute okay. Shiny new houses were clone-stamped onto neatly rectangular land parcels. It all clicked together like clockwork. Then Nukemaster happened. Whatever radiation was released, it didn't linger. This wasn't fission, or some kind of dirty bomb, but what war planners euphemistically call "clean". Half the properties were still damaged by debris, of course. The other half were unsafe thanks to broken underground piping, gas leaks, and the like. The uniformity of the neighborhood was thrown to chaos. But Halcyon City did what it always does in the face of chaos: shrug, look at the situation, and find an opportunity for improvement. In this property's case, that meant shoring up the house against the sinkhole that had opened nearby, re-excavating, and turning a cracked foundation and unsafe soil layer into a comfy, brick-lined basement. The door opens to reveal Summer's smiling face. It's not clear whether she can actually have bags under her eyes, but she's slouching and her eyes look wet. Still, she seems to be in a good mood. She peers at the load. "Is that all of it? Come in, come in. Need a hand?"
"Look upon my luggage, ye mighty, and despair," Alycia respond, then adds, "Honestly, neither bag's that heavy. 'Cosplay' stuff," she nods to her right, "which has to be light enough to wear, right? Everything else," she nods to her left, "including some tools and work kit for the cosplay stuff." She gives a crooked grin. "I'm used to traveling light these days." She finds a place inside to set both bags down, her eyes pouring over each cubic centimeter of the interior (in case, for example, she has to move quickly and silently through a given room in the dark, which sounds paranoid, of course, except she had to do so in both Hong Kong and Trenton. "Nice place. Efficient. Low maintenance yard. Furniture looks sturdy. Neighborhood patchy but pleasant." She turns to Summer, gives a short bow with hands steepled. "Thank you, again," she says, the volume dropped just a bit. "I'm afraid I'm back to square one regarding something longer-term, though. I don't see living -- or camping out -- in the Twilight Grove as a viable option. At least not for me. But I'll continue to work on alternatives."
Summer rubs at her eyes self-consciously. "I know I'm not your first choice of roommate, but I think you'll like Leslie. If you feel pulled to live somewhere on your own, I totally get that. But don't feel like we're pushing you out, now or soon or ever, okay?" The front room has a wide door that's half-open. It's otherwise decorated with those cheap-but-indestructible wooden chairs you can get at IKEA or online. Summer points at the door. "We carried the sofa downstairs. We didn't think you'd want y'know, passers-by staring at you through the windows. It's a fold-out sofa sleeper kind of deal, so your back should be okay." "Kitchen and dining area over here.. hallway here, there's one bathroom, Leslie's is that door, mine is that one.." Summer turns and smiles again. "I slept in the Glade last night, actually. It was.. weird. But nice. Not something I'll do all the time. But.. " She trails off, unsure how to describe it, and settles on a bright smile.
Alycia looks uncomfortable. "I -- you really didn't have to bother, but thanks. I'll help carry it back up, whenever. I don't take long in the bathroom, so that shouldn't be a conflict. I ..." She sort of trails to a halt, her supply of small talk exhausted. She cocks her head. "You do look a little tired, though. I guess -- on the assumption you actually ... get tired?" The intonation makes it something of a question. "It was kind of a late thing, though. Jason and I called it an evening pretty soon things broke up. I mean, he made sure I got back to the AEGIS ... site, and I assume he went home himself." She nibbles her lower lip for a moment. "Crazy night," she says. 
Summer pauses, perhaps gauging the intent behind the question, and what followed it. "I do get tired," she admits. "My body doesn't, but my brain does. I have a parafacial zone and a ventrolateral preoptic nucleus, just like you, and they trigger slow-wave sleep. My REM cycle is a little weird. This uh, this is probably not what you wanted to hear about..." She turns, casting about with her eyes for something to latch onto and rescue her. "I can get tired, or depressed, or sad. I'm not really, y'know, exhausted from hard work right now, I guess it's more like anxiety, but I'm just being stupid, so don't worry about it." She turns back, smile restored again. "It was a lot less crazy than I thought it might be. Everything sorta made sense. The base was... I'll figure that out, I guess. But the dance, that felt right, I guess. The dancing was really nice. And I saw Nono up there with Jason. That was sweet. Thank you for that."
Alycia shrugs slightly. "Well, I wouldn't have, um, made a point to do it. Like I did with you. But ... people dancing together in different configurations seemed to be the, um, thing. Which is --" She drops down in a chair. "Last night was very, very stressful. I thought it would be mostly stress about being around Jason, and wǒ kào that was sure there. But it was also just the -- situation. Loud. Chaotic. I mean, on one level I was able to relax, in some very profound ways -- but when I think back on it now, my shoulders get like iron cables. It's as if I was intoxicated last night and didn't notice, and now I look back sober at what I did and what was going on, and I'm ... appalled. I'm just -- really not good about all this social stuff. Not, ironically, like you." She smirks. "I'm probably less likely to go to another dance now than I was before, knowing what it's like." She pauses. "Except for maybe some of the actual dancing. Some of it."

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"Tea?" Summer's already moving to the kitchen - fewer than a dozen steps away, the house isn't that big. Water fills the electric kettle, and she starts the boiling process. She returns to the living area, for the few minutes it'll take to finish. "If you want, I.. I wanna tell you a little about myself. Maybe that will help. Maybe it'll just annoy you. Sorry." She's not sure if she has permission, but goes ahead anyway, confident she'll be interrupted if it's unwanted. "I'm not that great at social stuff. I can smile and be nice to people, but it's because, I think, um.. I'm not afraid, not tired, not vulnerable, like I used to be." She thinks of how to explain this. "You said my short time on Earth, or something. I remember seventeen years of life . Growing up, getting a fever, being hungry, being tired, cranky, scared. Feeling my heart pounding like a hammer in my chest. Y'know, these days, I get hungry, but I don't starve . If I stub my toe on that chair, it's the chair that breaks. Y'know how, like, when you're sore and mean and wanna just curl up, like even little things just kinda, um, *kpowsh*" She mimes an explosion with her hands. "Stupidly small things just become massive annoyances, and then everything snowballs? I don't have that any more. So, I guess, I have more energy for other stuff. Like friendships, and roommates, and dancing." "If that ever gets on your nerves, it's okay to tell me to cool it."
Alycia nods to the tea.  After Summer's explanation, she nods again, considering. "That ... makes sense. You have memories of those things, so you can appreciate them, but you can also enjoy that a lot of them don't impact you the same way any more, and so devote that energy into being so upbeat. Huh." She looks to the side, rubs the tip of her nose absently. "It's sometimes easy to forget you're -- well, I guess you're Leo, up to a point, then Aria, up to a point. That has to be ... really interesting. And maybe confusing, though I guess you've learned to compensate for that. It makes your relationship with each of them both incredibly close but also accentuates where that experience has since deviated. Huh. It must make Leo and Aria's announcements last night particularly --" Her eyes widen slightly and she screeches to a rhetorical halt, gripping the arms of the chair. She shifts her eyes back to Summer. "Well, shit. Sorry." A slightly crooked smile creeps out. "That's the sort of thing I would have said to you on purpose, once, hoping to hurt you, or provoke you out of your perky calm. Now it was just a stupid mistake, so I'm doubly shamed."

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Summer has a folding TV tray, which she sets out in front of Alycia's chair. Besides the kettle, there's a Teavana tea pot made in as much of the Chinese style as the American market will tolerate, and two cups. The girl smiles at the comment, and actually laughs a little. "Alycia, it's okay. I said my goodbye to Leo , wished he and Aria well, and I meant it all. I wish you and Jason well, if you want, for as long as you want. You didn't make a mistake." She pours the water - hot, but not boiling - and starts the infusion of green tea. "I'm not Leo. I've never been Leo. He's a memory in my life, but we're fundamentally different people, even in my memories. We disagree about things, even did as Pneuma. Yes, I am close to both of them, wonderfully so. Just like I'd never dream of calling you Doctor Chin Junior, though I'm sure he's been a powerful influence on you, and like Leo is an influence on me. But we are our own selves, aren't we." She smiles at a thought. "For example, Leo's an atheist, and Aria isn't. She's going to want a church wedding. But what church would take her choice of groom? I hope she's thought about it."
Alycia relaxes slightly as Summer passes off the gaffe. Part of her is almost annoyed at the other's seeming inflappability -- but Alycia's not going to rise to the challenge, not this time. That would be inept. "Father's never -- quite -- been in my head the way it seems to me Leo and Pneuma are in yours. I don't think. I sure to hell hope not." She's silent for a long moment, then shudders slightly, then leans forward to waft some scent from the tea pot over, to sniff it, before sitting back. "As to wedding stuff -- I know there are some secular humanist organizations that will do that sort of thing. Hell, whatstheirnames, the Unitarian-Universalists, will take in almost anyone, regardless of belief -- if she's really looking for something ostensibly religious." Alycia briefly makes a small face. "In some Bizarro World far-distant future where some people who look like Jason and me improbably get married, that's at least one thing we wouldn't be arguing over. He's an atheist, too, and I don't care for any sort of organized religiosity. I know I have a soul, a spirit -- but I don't need older, ostensibly wiser fakirs and hucksters in pseudo-Roman garb and loud suits telling me how I should be using it." She looks down into her lap for a moment, then back up. "I've got something I need to tell you, to speak with you about, before I actually, y'know, move in." 
Summer's smile wanes slightly. "I don't know what it is, but let me try my top three guesses. AEGIS will still be monitoring you. And probably me too. I know. I'm prepared for that. Second. Living on your own, independently, is important. That's why I'm here too, and not, y'know, doing what Aria more than hinted was okay with her and Leo." She doesn't elaborate, probably for the best. "Third. You're going to be short rent this month and need a loan from Jason, but you'd never ever in your life ask, so I have to." She flashes a grin. "I'm joking, sorry. Seriously. What is it?"
Alycia pauses, half-raises an eyebrow, lets out something that might have been a snort turned down to 2. "In order: certainly and I figured; yes but wow no comment; and no though absolutely yes (and then no)." Her tense smile fades. "Since the topic of memories and the Heart Factory kinda-sorta came up -- not by design, but just as well ..." She leans back in the chair, and folds her hands together. "When we were over in the alternate future, with the factory, Leo told me that ... my connectomes were ..." Her voice takes on a sing-song note on the next. "... still stored in the machine." Serious again, "That you hadn't purged them after Jason and I got our --" She waves with one hand vaguely at her head. "-- patch jobs. You hadn't, he mentioned specifically, though he took blame for it as well." Alycia purses her lips. "One could argue it worked out well, or a least effectively, since it meant Jason was there, too, which meant Leo could ... impose our Jason on that future one. Heal him in a way he hadn't been healed before. And that went --"  She stops, lets her gaze slip away. "But my memories, my self ... I was -- not happy, Summer, to be told that. That I was there, in that box, capable of being used, or be modified, to create ... whatever someone would want to create from me. Conscienceless killer. Pliant plaything. Programmed. Manipulated. Enslaved. Whatever. Jesus, Father would --" She cuts off again, shaking her head a few times. "I know that wasn't your intent. Neither was it Leo's. And I trust you both in my believing that. But I -- just wanted you to know ..." She meets Summer's gaze again, and her voice drops. "That kind of thing is right in the ballpark of worse goddamned nightmares for me. I was so damned angry, I didn't show Leo the half of it so that I didn't do ... something ... awful. But it was anger born of, for lack of a better word, terror."  She blinks a couple of times. "It's fixed now, Leo showed me how to delete it all, and I did. I just ... I don't know if I'd go through that again now, the Victory Merge. Even knowing what it did for me, for Jason. Especially knowing what it left vulnerable. I'm a lot clearer on the kind of awfulness my Father did to me. Thinking of what someone could have done, even if it wasn't you or your kin, knowing that I, myself, was hanging out there in the wind, waiting for some worst case scenario to come true ..." Alycia trails off and shrugs. "I'm not sure why I'm telling you this, Summer." She flexes her hands, sore from from clenching. "I do know, and really do believe, that it was a simple mistake, negligence, not thinking things through, and it's not that I expect you to do anything about it, really. But I had to get it in the open, rather than let it fester. To let you know I knew. And to just ... tell you ... all that." She clears her throat. "I -- think the tea's ... probably ready."
Oh. Oh. Summer sits, and listens. She can't do anything else. She feels tears wanting to form, holds onto them for as long as she can, waits in silence as the litany of her crimes unfolds before her again. She remembers the last time , and how awful she felt hearing it from someone whom she knew had only the best of intentions. Stupid machine. Stupid god damn machine. She can't meet Alycia's eyes. She looks down, staring at her own lap, nails biting into her artificial skin. She can't look any more when the hot tears start flowing. She hears something about tea. She tries to respond, and can't say anything out loud. She's breathing, but speech isn't coming out. I'm sorry I'm so sorry I know what this means I was born from that machine I remember agonizing about loving Leo, being made to love, being created for a reason, how I wanted it and hated it and feared it, and now I did it to you too, god damn stupid machine stupid stupid stupid.
Alycia watches Summer's cascading reactions. She can't help but analyze it to confirm her judgment that this was all unintentional, that she's not been fooled by Summer, or Leo. She can't help feeling some dark, bloody sense of satisfaction at seeing her words cause some pain, when she herself had been so frightened -- and worse, that Summer has been so immune to the things she's said, and some verbal dagger has finally hit home..  Mostly, though she's appalled by what she's done. This wasn't what she wanted, not really. No. Not at all. Not by intent, at least. She hopes. She just had to ... share that fear, somehow, clear the air. It's not like she could have extracted a promise to do better the next time. It was more just to show her own awful vulnerability, her own terror of being controlled, changed, no longer herself. Here's this thing, don't do that to me, please . Why she had to tell it to Summer she still wasn't sure except that if they were going to be living under the same roof she had to say something. But not this. This was like ... like throwing a glass sculpture against the wall to dust underneath it.  Bái chī, Summer's one of the best people -- people -- I know. What the fuckity-fuck idiot failure stupid cow have I done? She sits there paralyzed for an infinitely long moment. If Summer had deployed rockets from her shoulders, or blades from her fingertips, or started beeping that her internal nuclear pile was going critical, or a dozen ninja had dropped from the ceiling, Alycia would know what to do. This -- I did this, godamnit. Woo, woo, wah, wah, I got an owie, let me poke you in the eye with a sharp stick to make it feel better. Dammit. I have a responsibility. I need to do ... something.   Carefully. Slowly. She leans forward, picks up the TV tray, sets it aside so that she can get past it. Then she slowly gets to her feet. Steps over to Summer. Hesitates -- who knows how she might react, but if she punches my heart out of my chest it's my own goddamned fault -- then puts her arms around Summers shoulder, and, gently, holds her. 
This was pretty core territory for Pneuma. Summer Took a Powerful Blow, got an 8, and is now Afraid and Guilty on top of Insecure. She's still not very responsive, but Summer at least turns her head, finding the fabric of a shirt and resting her forehead against it. Some part of her knows she's being stupid, ridiculous, embarrassing, but it's a tiny voice shouting over the hurricane. She finally tries to speak, but her first attempts are a frog-like croaking. "--sorry. Stupid. Leo told me--" More frog. "--never gonna--" She swallows, reaches for the tea cups where she last remembers them, and encounters open air. Dully, she starts feeling around until the edge of the tray bumps into the back of her hand, and she fumbles some more until a cup comes in reach. Nope, empty. She gives up. "--keep hurting you 'cause I'm a stupid robot, I'm sorry, 'Lycia, but you're safe now, no nanoguys, no way for it to hurt you now, only Leo and Jason--" Self-control is coming back fitfully. This is the part where she'd blow her nose, if mucus was still a thing her body did. Thank god for small mercies. Form complete sentences, idiot. "Leo told me. My mistake. Said he'd apologize to Jason. Said he talked to you. But it's okay, without.. y'know, without a way to reach your brain, the machine can't.. work on you.." She tries to look up, and manages it somehow, and even smiles. Her vision is blurry. "You're okay, nothing's gonna hurt you, I won't let it hurt you, I'm sorry. Okay? Leo an' you took care of it."
Alycia looks at her, streaky-faced and choked voice, eagerly or even desperately trying to reassure her that everything will be okay. The absurdity almost makes her laugh, and it takes most of her whipsawed willpower to focus enough to fight down the impulse.  And then there's the part of her that resents being comforted (even when she craves it, resenting the craving), and she pushes that away, too.  And then there's the part of her that wants to analyze Summer's words more carefully. The nanobots, clearly, are part of the interface with humans, which makes perfect sense (having watched Jason act in a more direct fashion against her father and his), but surely -- she clamps down on that. Time to consider later. That's not the priority. Summer is. Alycia holds her, presses Summers head against her. "Thank you, Summer. Thank you for promising to protect me. I know you'll keep me safe." And, oddly enough, she knows Summer will, however she can.  After a time, when Alycia's had all the physical contact she can bear, she gently sits Summer down, and pours tea for them both. Her tea pouring technique is excellent, which seems oddly out of keeping with her other proclivities, but Achilles Chin was both fastidious and demanding about mealtime etiquette. 
Summer wipes her face thoroughly, clearly willing to put her embarrassing display behind her. But there's a smile on her face again by the time the tea is poured. "Thank you for telling me that," she ventures at last. "It's... I don't know, it's just good to know that you'll tell me how you feel." Some part of her desperately wants to explain her rationale - I wanted to have a backup, in case things went wrong, I thought I did the right thing, I thought it was a good idea . The older, wiser self knows it's not appropriate, and maintains her silence. The tea itself is Jasmine Gold Dragon - the good stuff, compared to the anonymous tea bags available at the grocery store. Summer won't drink until her guest drinks, and feels bad that she wasn't the one to pour, but compared to how the rest of the morning has gone-- "Promise me you'll tell me if I need to do things different, or if I need to back off, please?" she asks. "You don't have to explain or justify why, ever." Summer thinks a moment. What does she want? What's important to her? Respect. "I promise to do the same."
Alycia nods, slowly, then smiles. "That seems to be a good basis for rooming together, at least as a first step.  I'm --" She stops. I'm sorry?  She does not regret speaking from the heart, only the effect it had. It's very odd -- I never pictured Summer as being so fragile. Struck at just the right point, though, she shatters.  The image uncomfortably lines up to what she was thinking earlier, and she decides to put that analysis off, at least for now.  "-- not sure how long I'll be crashing here. If it becomes an issue, I'll move into Parker's place." She takes another sip of tea. It's very nice. "The Grove ... it just won't suit, which is really frustrating, because I was hoping ..." That trails off to an unhappy half-shrug. "The only other alternative --" Dammit, Jason. "-- isn't, really. And I don't really have any other 'approved' options at the moment. Even this place is provisional based on Parker getting the okay from higher up. I'm glad the sofa is in the basement, so I'm not cramping your style. That might make some other things easier, too. But if I start causing problems for you, or our landlady, let me know."
The whole idea of Alycia rooming with her AEGIS handler suddenly puts a big goofy grin on Summer's face, and she has to stop herself from giggling. Summer clears her throat, and lowers her pitch, trying her best to approximate how she imagines Agent Parker would talk. "Ahem, Ms. Chin. Welcome to Parker Place. You troublemaker. Here are the Rules. First, no fun. Second, no dancing. Wait, not dancing would be fun. Please review Form 829375 for clarification. Third, no shooting anyone without authorization. Fourth, no making a mess. Eat your vegetables." The rest, she can guess. You don't want to room here because I'm a robot, and I hurt you, but you have no choice. What else?  Oh. Oh, right. The thing I expected. Derp. Jason. I'm glad those two are going slow and being careful. She isn't quite sure what's wrong with the Glade. Too ... green? Too magical? Too weird. That's it. It's too much to process. Summer remembers saying as much herself earlier - when things are bad, small things add up. And the Glade is a very big thing. Two duffel bags to her name. Alycia Chin is a girl with nothing but her dignity left. She needs comfortable, and safe. She resumes her normal voice. "I think it'll be okay. I trust you, Alycia. But I will let you know if there's a problem."

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Alycia snorts. "Actually, that sounds a lot like the place I was staying in. Except it was hard to distinguish the veg from the protein." She feels a tiny tingle of exultation. She's out.   [...] Alycia bites back the snarky comment that comes to mind -- Yes, but do be a dear and find a way that doesn't leave my shirt damp with synthetic tears -- I don't have that many of them. She's not entirely sure why she doesn't say it -- for that matter, why she's gone through all of this -- except -- She takes an emotional step back. Ah. Team allegiances. Esprit de corps. Unit cohesion. My mind has decided that the Menagerie is not just a duty, but part of my tribe, and I theirs, with Summer here standing as representative. "My brother to my left, my sister to my right. / Together we stand. Together we fight." That sort of ... sentimentality. She's seen this before in some of the quasi-military units her father created, observed it on missions she was sent on. Not often -- too many of Father's soldiers were mere thugs, sociopaths, or pure mercs, and they rarely had a chance to build allegiance to one another. Father was interested only in their loyalty to him, not to the effectiveness of the team. Yes, that must be it. It's certainly a more comfortable interpretation than the thought that she might be friends with someone. Friends go away. Are sent away. Are killed. Betray. Only those truly fighting for the cause, for the mission, side by side, can perhaps be trusted, or at least relied upon. More so certainly than a friend. Especially a friend who's -- She's a person . That's the only consideration here. "So," she says, "when's the rent due?" [That probably wraps that up for the moment, unless there's something you want to get to, Bill. Alycia's got a ton of stuff that she's likely to chat about with Summer, now that the sluice gates are open, but the two of them can probably use a breather right this moment.] [I'm generally reluctant to generate game mechanics within these cutscenes, if only because it irrationally makes me feel like that guy at college that would run characters through his own dungeons over the summer to level them up and collect swag from the treasure charts. :-) Alycia was definitely going for a Comfort & Support there, though we seem to have resolved narratively it as a moderate success without a die roll, and I'm okay with that.]
I think that was solid, thank you for taking the time on it! Alycia's got a place to stay, and plenty of seeds have been planted for future talks. Summer got to work through her anxiety (because honestly, that was something she needed to hear), and Alycia learned what she's weak against - but also now knows that Summer will forgive and be a friend even if she twists that knife. And there's some cracks in the facade, through which light can shine. I felt the powerful-blow move was appropriate, and the resulting conditions are right for how the scene played. It was also neat to see a negative outcome from these scenes, not just a series of C&S moves and potential. :)  That said, if you decide to roll a C&S, I'll take the results, but if you're fine with how things stand, that's okay too, Summer will find other ways to burn those conditions off.
In for a penny ... So Summer can clear a condition, mark potential, or shift Labels. And it's good enough for Alycia to clear Guilty -- having been able to make Summer feel better alleviates concerns that she's treated her poorly/unjustly in the past, and demonstrates being a better person than she was.