You know, I was feeling bad about not having this all typed up months ago, but then I realized that essentially no one reviewed.

Thanks, guys. If you review, I actually feel like getting my not-okay ass into gear and writing for you. :(

Sigh.

Here we go again.

~~~~MSFF~~~~

Fortunately for my sanity, I was allowed to sleep in as late as I wanted which, after the weekend I'd had, was somewhere in the vicinity of noon.

When I woke up, I stretched and got out of bed. As it was noon, there was hot water in the shower. I finished waking up, took care of cleaning myself, got out, and dressed.

Today it was a pair of black pants and a short red kimono style shirt. Slightly dressy, sure, but I planned on exploring today and they were lightweight and durable, so I wouldn't be in danger of overheating too much.

I skipped out of my room and into the hallway, ignoring the looks I got. Berto was waiting nearby and stood up as I went near him.

"Por fin!" he exclaimed. "I thought you would sleep all day!"

I scowled at him. "Please, I only do that when I stay up way too late. And I haven't done that for nearly three months."

He laughed at me and I rolled my eyes. "What do you want, anyway?"

With that, Berto started walking, motioning for me to follow him. "The commander wanted to see you as soon as you woke up."

I groaned. "Do you think I'm lucky enough he forgot whatever it was he wanted to talk about?"

He smirked and shook his head. "Might want to get one of those charms of yours ready."

I held up the pouch holding my don't notice me charm. "This one? Yeah, I might."

With that, I went into the now familiar room and sat in the chair.

Berto followed me in, looking positively gleeful. I did the only responsible and mature thing I could - I flipped him off. He just smirked. Forge cleared his throat and I turned back around.

"You'll be staying with Molly during the week. After school Friday you'll come here and you'll head back Sunday afternoon. You will be respectful - Molly's agreed to take you in, when she didn't have to. Max will show you important locations, as well as the different hatches around town that lead here. Understood?"

I nodded glumly. "Understood. I promise to behave."

Forge nodded sharply. "Alright, be at the hangar at 1800 hours. Dismissed."

I fled, more than ready to finally get to exploring.

~~~~MSFF~~~~

I attempted to leave, only for the door guard to tell me I'd been confined to base.

I was sorely tempted to punch him in the face. Alas, I would not allow myself to, so I went and tracked down colored paper, scissors, tape, and a marker before heading back to my room.

Once there, I taped the large white papers to the wall and wrote "The Sue Meter" on the bottom one. Next to it, I stuck about ten to the wall, separated, over the heading "Nullified Reasons".

I spent the next ten minutes attempting to cut out a red circle I was okay with, cheering to myself when I finally got it.

A quick run to Berto's lab so I could badger him into teaching me how to use the replicator and I came back with about twenty red circles.

I cast a critical eye at the meter on my wall, then labeled the safe zone, the worry zone, and the danger zone, which I tried to do in a cartoon-y style, then ignored the imperfections.

I began writing what had caused the Sue-meter to grow. Dropped into universe got five circles, Friends with Mains (so far) got two for each main, which was three. I frowned at the wall, as I was well into the worry zone. I sighed and added another two dots for Magic. Another five dots went up, labeled as Adopted by Forge, with three for Living with Mains.

Hello, Sueville. I scowled and thought about anything else, adding a dot for Appearance. I tapped my marker on my chin, then added another dot for Pacifist.

I stepped back and stretched, before pulling off three dots and moving them to the first big sheet, writing at the bottom Unable to Fight. Three more went on Dances Decently. I added another two to the final sheet I was going to mark, which was Plain.

I was back to the worry zone, but I still smiled happily.

Worry was better than actual danger.

With that, I started cleaning up my mess, jumping when my room buzzer went off. A quick check revealed my little project had taken up nearly an hour and a half, making it two o'clock.

I opened my door, staring in surprise at Berto. "Um, hi?"

He frowned at me. "Have you been in here since you bullied me into teaching you to use the replicator?"

I scowled at him. "I didn't bully, I badgered. And yes. I was making a Sue-meter, see?"

With that, I stepped aside, revealing my newly decorated wall.

He eyed it and said, "Most people just put up posters."

I rolled my eyes and walked out. "You know what? I'm gonna go find someone else to hang out with. You have officially quit being fun."

Berto followed me, amused. "I doubt that. I want to look at your charms, if that's alright with you."

I stopped, then turned and headed for his lab, which was in the opposite direction, the resident genius trailing like an inappropriately amused duckling.

~~~~MSFF~~~~

I leaned against the side of Berto's computer, watching curiously as he set some sensors up. "So, I've been here half an hour, and all you've done is poke at your computer. Please tell me you'll be done soon."

He looked at me. "I'm done."

I sighed in relief and headed down into the work area. "Now what?"

He shrugged. "Do your magic thing?"

I sighed and gently slid my finger inside the case holding the rock charm for my don't notice me charm, touching it.

Berto frowned almost immediately and started checking things. I crossed my arms over my chest and sat down, resigned for another half hour of tests.

Unfortunately, Berto almost immediately called, "Ryn, where are you?"

I scowled at him and waved my arms. "I'm right here, dude."

He frowned, and looked around. "Ryn, if you're still here, deactivate your charm."

My lips twisted, and I brushed my hand over the rock, deactivating it. "What the hell, Berto? I was right here the entire time!"

Berto gave me a weird look and motioned me up. "You were gone, chica. Like, no trace of you at all."

I scampered to his side and we watched the footage. Berto frowned as I pointed at the screen, scowling. I was clearly there.

"Qué extraño," he muttered. "You were gone. I guess it doesn't work on machines?"

I shrugged. "Probably not. Most magic is bending natural energy to suggest what you want. Machines aren't really… natural."

He looked at me, eyebrow raised. I shrugged in response.

"What do you want to test now?"

"Well, what else do you have?" he asked, standing and stretching.

I tapped my chin. "I have some warding ones, mainly designed to keep away bad intentions and those who want to do me harm. Those are always active. Uh, I have half a dozen bind tags, mainly for trapping areas and beings of negativity and dealing with them. My misdirection charm, a personal protection charm - it serves as sort of a warning and puts up a light screen to discourage people from attacking me - as well as several other protection tags."

He frowned. "Why so many protections?"

I shivered. "The world is far more vast than you know. There are things out there that love getting to people. I can't see them - I have no magical senses, not really - but I know they exist and I don't want to take any chances."

He nodded somberly. "I can understand. So what's the difference between a don't notice me charm and a misdirection charm?"

I smiled, thankful for the change in subject. "They essentially do the same thing. Don't notice me is supposed to be exactly that - a spell to lessen the chances of someone noticing me. A misdirection charm doesn't stop people from noticing me. It just twists their attention away. Sometimes, they'll realize something is wrong, but they won't know what. Actually, it happens with both. Leftover senses from when we were hunted by everything, I guess."

Berto nodded. "Makes sense. I want to test it, as well as your personal protection charm and those bind tags. How do they work?"

"Usually, when I'm hunting spirits, I'll set them up on the ground. Their entire purpose is to bind and trap so you can destroy. Most commonly I do a salt bath and then burn them. I can also deactivate them. I don't, not normally - like I said, I have no magical senses at all, so I can't tell when one's caught something. And it's not like they catch anything good - it's specifically bad only. I burn them all just to be safe."

Berto nodded as I walked back to the crate. "Can't you do a detection spell or something?"

I snorted. "Apparently I wasn't clear enough. I have all the magical awareness of a rock. The only way I can tell when something magical is influencing stuff is by knowing my own baseline."

"Makes sense," Berto nodded. "Activate your misdirection spell?"

I did as he asked and watched him start twitching. "Poor baby. You know I'm here, but you don't know where I am."

Berto typed something and then called, "Okay, deactivate."

I did so and leaned back. "Bind or protection?"

Berto powered up cytro and grinned. I went pale.

~~~~MSFF~~~~

I panted heavily an hour later, glaring at Berto. "Are you done now?"

He laughed at me. "Sí, chica."

I groaned and flopped on the ground. "You're evil. Evil evil evil."

He shrugged. "Now we know what you can and can't protect against."

I sat up and stared at him. "You launched rockets at me. ROCKETS. I don't have actual physical shields, never mind the fact that all of my spells are apparently getting a super boost here!"

He snickered. "You're such a baby."

I glared at him and narrowed my eyes. "You know, I have some cantrips that had no applicable uses in my world, as magic there suggested and not did. Here, though…"

Berto paled and looked away. "Right. Don't you need to pack?"

I tilted my head to the side. "It's 3:30 now, and I don't leave till 6. Besides, what the hell do you think I've been doing? Most of my stuff is still in the bag."

Berto nodded at that. "Huh. Interesting. Well, I've got all the data I need for now."

I sighed. "What a polite dismissal. In that case, I think I'm gonna go make some barrier seals and see what happens with them."

Berto snorted as I hauled myself up and left.

~~~~MSFF~~~~

I stopped by my room to do a quick check to make sure I did actually have everything I needed packed already. Fortunately, I did, so I dragged the bag over by the door and grabbed my paper supplies and my brush, as well as a pencil. I made sure to grab my phone and set an alarm for 5:30, before heading out to find a suitable place to work on barrier seal designs, as well as some individual protections to incorporate into every NTek suit I could get my hands on.

I chose a little break room and flopped onto the floor, pulling out my little sigil compendium and flipping through it. It had no organization - sigils got added when I created them, no matter what their purpose or meaning, which made finding certain ones an adventure sometimes.

It didn't take me long to find the ones I wanted to mess with today, though there were a few I had to create on the fly.

To be completely honest, I figured it would take me longer than a couple hours to work out everything, so I was pleasantly surprised when my alarm went off and I had completed the barrier seals and inked them, as well as figured out the base work for the NTek suits. I stretched, popping my back and gathered up my paper explosion.

Tags that didn't work out as well as I had wanted them to went into a pile to be burned later, the barrier seals were put into another stack to be placed in my charm closet until I could charge them, and my compendium got tucked back into my jacket.

I stood and stretched some more before heading back to my room, where I put everything away and slung my bag across my back.

Berto was waiting for me in the deployment area, along with Max and Ferrus when I arrived.

"Adiós," he told me, hands in his pockets. "See you Friday."

I stared at him. "Okay, then. Bye."

Ferrus stepped forward then. "Max will take you and your bag to his house. Don't destroy anything."

I gave him my best bitchface. "Like I would anyway. Under the radar is my modus operandi."

Max grabbed me, then. I got in one more wave before he took off, taking me to Canyon City.

~~~~MSFF~~~~

Mrs. McGrath was home when Max dragged me in the door. "Ah, so you're our mysterious girl."

I winced. "Yeah, apparently. Thanks for letting me stay. And for agreeing to pretend to be related to me."

She laughed. "Sure thing, kiddo. Your room is through there."

She pointed to a door behind me and I thanked her again before looking. It was a nice room, though kind of empty. I dropped my bag on the bed and looked out the window, smiling at the view.

Max stood in the doorway and grinned at me. "It'll be nice to have someone else be the new kid."

I rolled my eyes at him. "Yeah, yeah. Keep telling yourself that. I need to unpack, at least partially. Out."

He laughed and closed the door. My laptop went on the desk, along with my phone charger and my phone. The few changes of clothes I had went into the chest of drawers, whereas my Little Red outfit went on a hangar and hung off a wall light.

My makeup bag went on the desk as well, and I was done.

A quick dinner with Max and Mrs. McGrath ("call me Molly, please") and I passed out on the bed.

~~~~MSFF~~~~

The next morning, I stood looking at my clothes, trying to decide what to wear. I had pulled apart my Little Red costume - I was of the opinion the best costumes were ones made of clothes you could wear every day - and was contemplating wearing the skirt with a shirt.

The only problem was which shirt.

I gave up and pulled on the black skirt and a green half sleeve. My feet went into my riding boots and I grabbed my side bag.

Max was waiting for me by the door. He handed me a slice of toast and dragged me out the door.

"Whoa," I laughed as he pulled, "you're in a bit of a hurry. Excited about school?"

"As if," he huffed. "I just want to introduce you to my friends."

I snorted and ate quickly, moving to walk next to him. "Unfortunately for you, I have to head to the main office first. I don't think I'll be able to meet your friends."

He groaned. "Lunchtime then."

We arrived at the school soon after, and I headed into the main office while Max headed to find his friends.

The secretary told me to take a seat and I did with a sigh. Now to play the waiting game.

An hour later, I was released from the office, schedule in hand, to go join my first hour. It was halfway through the period, which I felt was done on purpose. Teachers had to get their kicks somehow, and what better way than to torture new students?

Luckily, or unluckily depending on how you looked at it, I shared first period with Max.

I sighed again and knocked on the door before opening it.

The teacher gave me a nasty look. "And you would be?"

"Kathryn Callaghan," I responded. "New student."

He sighed huffily and gestured towards the class. "Take a seat, then. And don't expect any help."

I groaned quietly and took a seat in the middle of the class. I hate school.

~~~~MSFF~~~~

The day passed uneventfully. I sat with Max, Sydney, and Kirby at lunch. Butch came over to harass me, as every bully will to a new kid.

I looked up at him. "You know, you're not that scary."

He scowled. "I'm Butch, you should be scared."

I sighed. "I'm fast enough and flexible enough that, should you decide to hit me, you would never be able to touch me. Don't even bother."

He snorted. "Why are you sitting with Max? You enjoy loser stench."

"He's my cousin. If you don't mind, lunch is over and I'd like not to be late on my first day. Excuse me." With that I stood and dumped my tray, leaving the lunch room.

I made it through the rest of the day and headed home with Max, who promptly left to head to N-Tek headquarters for some reason or another.

I sat in my room and did my homework, before getting up and snooping in the kitchen.

After a quick survey, I decided to make mac n cheese casserole and got to work.

It didn't take me long, which is part of why I chose it.

About half an hour after it was done congealing, Max stumbled in the door. I was checking over several tags and cantrips I had made a lot earlier, trying to see if any could be used now.

I was cringing a little at how basic some of them were, but it was to be expected - these were very very early ones.

"Food?" Max said as he staggered through the door.

I pointed at the covered dish on the counter. "Hello to you, too. Go ahead and help yourself."

He did as I said and fixed himself a large plate, joining me on the couch. "What are you doing?"

I cracked my neck. "Trying to see if anything in my archive could be helpful now that the laws of reality have changed. No luck so far, though I might start doing the good luck and bad luck cantrips. Practice and all that, you know?"

He snorted. "Remind me not to get on your bad side."

I chuckled. "What were you doing at N-Tek?"

He groaned. "More training. Always training. It's frustrating and I'm always starving afterwards."

I nudged him. "The only way to improve is to practice, dork. You know that. And you're burning a lot of energy. It makes sense you'd be starving afterwards. Let me do some research, and I can get you snacks or stuff for afterwards."

He gave me a weird look. "Why would you do that?"

I blushed and looked away. "My friends and I took martial arts classes. Gen was of the opinion that, if we weren't hungry enough to eat a small cow afterwards, we didn't work hard enough. I've gotten used to carrying around high calorie snacks for energy drops."

He nodded, a touch suspicious. "Uh huh."

I sighed. "Max, I'm not gonna kill you, poison you, or do anything to hurt you. I swear."

Steel made an appearance. "Well, we don't know for sure, especially since you haven't told us anything, like Ferrus."

I tilted my head. "It's a bit of a balance, Steel. I have to figure out what I can tell you, versus what you need to know. If I make the wrong choice, I could get all of us killed, you know?"

"That's true," Steel allowed, "but you said so yourself - Max and I put people in danger because we need to know."

"And even though we don't want to hurt anyone," Max jumped in, "we still need to know. Why am I exploding with energy? What is Steel? Why does N-Tek exist?"

I tilted my head and sighed. "Alright, I can answer a few of those. Max, the energy is alien. You'll find out more later, but for now, that's all I can say. It's very much so an alien thing. Steel is the same as the Elementors. The only difference is is he chose to work with his host, instead of control it. He's… unique. N-Tek exists because there are very bad things out in the universe who don't care that they'll murder millions of living, thinking beings as long as they benefit, which they invariably will. N-Tek is, currently, the first and last defense against those things."

Both of them were silent.

"I just gave you more questions, didn't I?" I sighed.

"Yeah," Steel said. "You really did."

"I'm sorry," I told them. "I'll keep pestering Ferrus until he decides to give you answers, and I'll do my best to give you what answers I can."

Max shoulder-bumped me. "Don't be sorry, you're already more helpful than Uncle Ferrus."

I laughed at that and shook my head, reaching forward and grabbing a stack of papers. "Take these. They're barrier seals. Just imagine a switch flipping on to activate them. They should keep pretty much anything from hitting you."

Max took them and tucked them in a pocket. "Thanks."

I shrugged. "Not a problem. I'm off to bed. See ya."

Goodnight came from the pair as I headed to my room.

~~~~MSFF~~~~

I love the Sue-meter. More good self-inserts should have one. I can imagine some of the more interesting ones for different fandoms.

The Sherlock fandom would have so much fun with those. Sherlock would be all deduce-y and warn the SI when he or she was getting close to being Sue-ish. He'd be more than willing to, because Sues are terrifying. Also, he hates the thought of someone being smarter than him.

Oh, if you want to see what I imagine the kimono thing to be like, check out this link:

www. polyvore cgi/ img-thing?.out=jpg&size=l&tid=64483912

Like all links on this website, just remove the spaces in your browser bar. ^^

Translations!

Por fin! - At last!

Qué extraño - How strange

Adiós - Goodbye