Tales of a Misunderstood Geist
Episode 1: A Fateful Day
LDR: Well, while I work to get over my writer's block with Unova's Downfall, here's something to busy myself (and my readers) with! I simply adore this show, and can't wait for the fourth movie and new episodes to be available in the US. If anyone knows a place I can find them online though, please let me know!
Anyway, this story focuses on an OC of mine, and will be written like a series of episodes rather than chapters of a book. I think that's all to say until the end AN, so enjoy!
I don't own Slugterra.
"Faster Kowagara, faster!"
The cheering Frightgeist Slug was clinging to the shoulder of a pale-skinned human girl. Her white hair normally brushed her shoulders, but in the wind created by the speed of her Mechabeast, it was streaming out behind her like a (very short) banner. Crimson eyes glittered with excitement from where they watched the road ahead, staring out from the eyeholes of a skull-shaped mask that covered the top half of her face. "Sorry Boo. Not going any faster. I don't want you to fall off."
She rolled her eyes at the resulting whine, giggling and slowing her Mecha. It was a sleek, very well built, and one-of-a-kind machine, mostly light blue in color and with white detailing and accents. The animal in mind when it had been designed was clearly a raven, though the legs were disproportionally long, allowing a smooth gait when it ran.
"Why'd you stop?"
"I didn't stop, just slowed down. And it's because we're almost there." She lifted a hand to press her index finger to her lips. A few more minutes of the slowed pace, and the pair came upon their destination.
The area was clearly set up for a tournament. Off to the side, a row of targets stood for those who cared more about getting in some practice than keeping their abilities a secret to surprise their opponent with. Spectators were gathering around the arena or milling around, chatting with each other, while the Slugslingers participating but not practicing either stuck to themselves or small groups. The raven Mechabeast was halted, and the girl dismounted.
She was just a scrawny fifteen-year-old kid wearing baggy, somewhat ragged clothing (a black v-neck shirt, light blue fingerless gloves, a pair of jeans, and black boots) but a hush fell over the area immediately, and everyone, spectator and participant alike, drew back, clearing a wide path to the sign-up booth. Without a word to the cowering official that would be overseeing the event or the two Security Slingers that were supposedly there to back him up, but looked just as pathetic, the teen picked up the pencil and carefully printed 'Geist' into the next empty slot on the sign-up sheet. The pencil was then set down, and the girl turned and walked off. Behind her, she could hear the stampede of participants rushing to the booth and demanding their names be taken off the list. With a sigh, she shook her head and kept walking, until she was out of view and of earshot of the tournament grounds, though not too far that she wouldn't be able to make it back quickly.
All but one of those participating in the tournament had, by now, been to the booth and removed their names from the sign-up sheet. The one who hadn't had been standing to the side the whole time, watching with a dumbfounded expression, confusion clear in his blue eyes. The orange Slug on his shoulder had just tilted his head to the side and stared in the direction the masked girl had gone.
"What was that about?" Eli finally asked, turning around to looked between the other three members of the Shane Gang.
"Bro, that was Geist," Kord whispered.
"Who?" The teen reached up to place a hand on the back of his head, slightly embarrassed he had to ask. She sounded like a big deal, though he couldn't quite be held responsible for not knowing about a celebrity, due to having been raised on the Surface.
"You've really never heard of her?" Trixie shook her head in amazement. "She showed up out of nowhere a few years ago and started Slinging in tournaments right away. No one knows who she really is; everyone calls her Geist because her Frightgeist Slug is her ace."
"She is also called The Nightmare Queen," Pronto added in dramatically.
Eli failed to hide his amusement. "The Nightmare Queen?" he echoed, grinning.
"People say she's half Shadow Clan, and wears the mask to hide it." Kord shuddered.
"Regardless of the superstitions, she's not someone to take lightly. It's like she can actually talk to her Slugs. They say she's never been beaten. Drop out of the tournament," advised Trixie. "If you face her, it's not a duel you'll win."
"I'm not dropping out," the blue-haired teen answered stubbornly. The other three shared concerned looks. "No one's unbeatable. Besides, I have Burpy." The Infernus in question chittered happily from his Slinger's shoulder.
Geist sighed, seating herself at the base of a giant mushroom and leaning back against the stalk and removing her mask, dropping it in her lap. Boo slid down her arm, jumped off her hand, and did a little twirl before landing on the ground next to her.
"This is terrible! All the competitors are dropping out without even giving it a chance!" The Frightgeist hopped up and down in anxiety.
"I would face them all if I could. But while their cowardice gives us no opportunity to rescue any maltreated Slugs, this way is an easy victory. The less matches, the less Slugs slung, and the less chance of injury to any of them," Geist sighed. "It's better this way."
"If you say so, Kowagara."
There were a few minutes of amiable silence between the two. Eventually, Boo jumped to the white-haired teen's shoulder as she got to her feet, placing her skull mask back on, and turned to walk back in the direction of the arena. It was almost time to begin, and even if there weren't any Slugslingers left to contend with, she'd have to demand or collect some kind of reward for being the winner by default. After all, it had been a few days since her last real meal. She needed money. Yet when she arrived, Geist found a very large and apparently exited group clustered around the arena. She looked at Boo, who shrugged.
It didn't take long for spectators to notice the nomadic Slinger's approach, and the din died down to soft mutterings, everyone clearing a wide path for her. Honestly, sometimes it really ticked her off, the way people acted around her and the superstitious rumors they'd thought up. Other times, she greatly appreciated the space everyone gave her due to it. She wasn't a fan of humans. Or cave trolls, molenoids, and practically every species that slung Slugs, except for the Shadow Clan. They treated their Slugs right...
"What's going on?" She scowled when no one answered her. "What is going on?" she repeated, teeth clenched.
"Ch-Challenger," someone mumbled, pointing towards the arena.
Geist scoffed, rolling her eyes, and moved closer to the arena, jumping down into the pit. She barely managed to stay on her feet, lack of food making her legs tremble, but she managed to not look like a fool in front of the crowd. Arms crossed, she faced her opponent, studying the boy thoroughly. Hidden by her mask, one eyebrow lifted. She'd heard many stories of the kid from Slugs he'd apparently saved. "Eli Shane. Are you the only other Slinger left in this tournament?"
"That's right. And I'm the one that's gonna beat you."
She tilted her head slightly, while Boo jumped off her shoulder, landing in an empty container at her waist. "Your confidence is false. I can tell there's fear lingering beneath it. Perhaps not of me, but of the probable outcome of this duel." As always, when speaking English, she spoke slowly and carefully, making sure she knew the words she was using and pronouncing them correctly. Her fingers twitched, hand hovering near her hip, ready to grab her blaster as she turned herself sideways. Eli mirrored her stance.
Geist had to hide a smirk, watching him. He looked about her age, but no doubt he hadn't been a Slinger for longer than a few months. After all, that was as far back as the reports she'd heard covered. She, on the other hand, had been working with Slugs her entire life and was a much more seasoned Slinger than she appeared. There was a reason she'd never been beat, back in the days when people actually challenged her.
So it was no surprise to her when, only seconds after the signal to begin had been given, the other teen was stuck in a pile of goo, courtesy of her Jellyish, Splat, and whimpering with fright due to the effects of being struck by Boo. Geist knelt, lowering a hand to the ground to pick up the pair of Slugs, returning Splat to her container and Boo to his place on her shoulder. Then she rose and began to approach her trapped opponent, who struggled and screamed as she drew near. No doubt he was seeing a rather distorted version of her skull mask right now, affecting the already stimulated fear-producing part of his brain.
"I will leave once I have won. Do you give up?"
The girl stopped, turned, and walked to the other side of the arena. She could hear murmurs rippling through the spectators. Lovely. She'd just crushed the famous Eli Shane, budding protector of Slugterra. Here came more rumors and even more fear.
Eventually, the effects of her Frightgeist's attack wore off. "Crackle." Her Flaringo chittered happily, leaping from her container and into the one already loaded in the blaster. She pointed it over her shoulder and shot, Crackle transforming and impacting the edge of the goo pile. Her flames spread, quickly consuming the sticky green stuff. People above began to chatter in worry, a few even readying loaded blasters, as the fire grew ever closer to Eli, who still struggled to escape. But the Flaringo's flames vanished as soon as they'd consumed all the goo, his clothes slightly singed and smoking, but the teen himself unharmed.
Retrieving Crackle, Geist held out a hand towards Eli. "Pay up." Hearing his Slugs begin to squeak sadly, she sighed in slight annoyance. "I don't want any of you. No offense; I'm sure you're all great." A small smile was spared for the little critters. Dropping her voice to a near whisper, she continued. "I'm not going to separate any Slug from a good Slinger. I've heard many things about you Eli Shane. You treat Slugs the proper way. Partners, friends. Even the ones you don't work with are treated like the intelligent beings they are. And you're curing Ghouls. None of your Slugs need rescuing. So you can pay me either in gold or a meal."
"Is that all? We can do that, right Burpy?" He turned his head to smile at the Infurnus on his shoulder, who chittered an enthusiastic affirmative. "Geist...right? Let's go get you some food."
"No restaurants. Or cafes. Or any other public eating place. Really, I could even just take any sort of snack you might be carrying. Just something to help me survive long enough to find a meal."
"How hungry are you?"
"...its been a few days."
"Almost a week," Boo chipped in.
"Yes, that's right. Almost a week. I don't want any charity though."
Geist glanced up, around the edges of the arena. Most of the crowd had dispersed by this point, seemingly uninterested now that the duel was over. Though it was probably more that excitement no longer kept them from running away like people usually did when the white-haired teen was around. Though there was a small group of three that were descending into the shallow pit, two of them rushing over with loaded blasters, calling Eli's name.
"Chill guys, it's cool. She's just hungry."
"Hungry?" squealed the molenoid from his place many feet away, placing his arms protectively over his head. "Do not let her eat Pronto's brains!"
Geist groaned. On her shoulder, Boo squeaked with laughter, similar noises coming from the Infurnus on Eli's shoulder. "That's hilarious," her Frightgeist decided. "Man, molenoids are weird."
"I don't find it so funny. Perhaps none of you have trouble finding enough to eat, but I can't live off the same stuff as you, and if that's really a new rumor going around, it's going to be even tougher to get food or money. The more things are being said about me, the less I like it."
"Don't worry about Pronto. He's...strange."
Geist looked down to see Eli's Infurnace hopping at her feet. Smiling, she bent down and picked him up, letting him sit on her shoulder next to Boo. "Burpy, was it?"
He nodded. "And you're Kowagara."
"I am. You've heard of me from other Slugs, haven't you?"
"Nope, but I have heard a lot about you from them. Don't you remember me?"
She peered a little closer at him, then laughed. "I don't know why it took me so long, but I remember you, Burpy! Geez, I feel stupid. Forgetting an Infurnace, possibly the only one in existence? Talk about a screw up. Ugh, I can't believe how scatterbrained I am sometimes."
He grinned and turned to start chatting with Boo. Geist listened for a moment or so, then turned to look at the Shane Gang, who were deep in discussion about something.
"—home and get her something to eat. No biggie," Eli was saying.
"No biggie? Bro, that's like inviting one of the Shadow Clan home with us!"
"Kord's right. And if the rumors are true, that's exactly what you're trying to do," the red-haired girl said.
"Pronto is in agreement." With a nervous laugh, the fourth member of the group edged a little closer from his place near the edge of the arena. "Eli, do you reeeaaally want to let the most evil race in all of Slugterra—"
"You take that back, mole!" Blaster in hand and Slug loaded, the white-haired teen took aim at Pronto, who yelped. In response, Kord and Trixie loaded their own blasters. She completely ignored them, confident she was faster. "The Shadow Clan are one of the only two good races in Slugterra! They and the Slugs are the rightful inhabitants of this world. All you other species are infestations that don't belong here!"
"Hey now." Eli stepped forward, hands up. "Let's calm down."
Geist glared for a few seconds longer, then unloaded her blaster and replaced it at her hip. She lifted a hand to her shoulder and Burpy hopped onto her palm. The Infernus was held out towards a shocked Eli, who glanced between his Slug and his shoulder.
"A while ago." She placed Burpy in Eli's own outstretched hand, then turned away. "I'll be on my way. I don't need money or food."
"Yes, you do." The blue-haired teen reached out to snag her elbow, though retracted his hand only moments later in surprise at what he felt beneath the baggy shirt she wore. He stared at her.
With a sigh, she faced them again and rolled up her sleeve, revealing a skin-and-bones arm. No doubt the rest of her showed such signs of malnutrition. "There. So since I wasn't expecting a group like this," she glanced towards Pronto, clearly still unhappy with how he'd spoken about the Shadow Clan, "when I demanded my winnings, I'm going to be on my way. I don't really need to eat that badly." She tugged her sleeve down.
"Wait, Geist." Eli's hand stretched out again, this time just as a gesture for her to stop. "We'll get you something to eat. It's no problem, really."
"That's right." Trixie exchanged nervous looks with Kord and Pronto. "Rumors or not, you're clearly underfed."
"I don't want charity," the masked Slinger replied stubbornly.
"It's not charity. I'm paying you, remember? You won the duel," Eli reminded her.
"Kowagara, don't be prideful. They're willing to give you probably the best meal of your life."
"That's right. You can't live off the same stuff we do."
"You need to eat!"
"I...guess I can get...one meal," she mumbled grudgingly. "I'd rather just get a snack to keep up my strength and buy my own food." This was met with a resounding chorus of "NO" from her Slugs.
"Alright then. Let's mount up and ride out."
Geist pushed back her nearly empty plate, looking at the small pile of dishes around it. "I' haven't had that much food since... well, a long time," she admitted. "I don't feel hungry. At all."
The group had returned via Mechabeast to the Shane Gang's hideout, and upon their arrival, Pronto had immediately set to cooking. The food was strange, as he seemed to only be able to make molenoid dishes, but it was edible, and she couldn't complain. Some of it actually tasted kinda good. The molenoid wasn't a terrible chef, though she still didn't like him. During the ride, she'd discovered his blatant disrespect for Slugs and the way he considered them inferior creatures in comparison to himself. For some reason though, none of the Slugs seemed terribly upset by this and the other three members of the Shane Gang didn't appear to be doing anything to fix the problem.
"I don't think I've ever seen someone eat so much," Eli commented.
"You're looking better already," Burpy added.
"Keep eating like that and you'll be healthy in no time."
"I'm perfectly healthy already, Boo."
"That's a lie and we all know it," the Frightgeist responded.
"Woah. Did you just speak Slug?"
Geist jumped, turning to see Trixie leaning in the open doorway. "I thought you were doing something with your..." She trailed off, shrugging helplessly and looking down, embarrassed. "I don't know what it's called."
"It's a camera. It records videos and stuff."
"Thanks Burpy, but...that doesn't help."
"You did speak Slug! That's so cool." Eli stacked the used plates into an organized pile and picked them, ignoring Geist's protests.
"I speak Shadow Clan too," the white-haired teen said, just as Kord and Pronto entered.
The whole Gang shared uneasy looks, some looking more nervous than others. "D-Does that mean you really are half Shadow Clan?" Kord finally asked.
She rolled her eyes, then reached for her mask, removing it and laying it on the table. "I am perfectly human, though I would have preferred to be one of the Shadow Clan. I know the rumors about why I wear this," she tapped her mask, "but they're just rumors, like everything else about me. Well, except for my skill. The mask does hide my face, but for the same reason I wear these baggy clothes that cover my whole body. To hide my...my..."
"Malnutrition," Boo supplied.
"Well yes, but I don't know how to say it in English. To hide the fact that I don't get enough to eat. Because I'm not looking for pity or charity, and because no one would take me seriously if they found out I was just an orphaned, homeless kid who can't get nearly enough to eat."
"You've got skill though. No one whose seen it dares treat you like a joke. And maybe if you acted a little more...human people wouldn't be afraid of you."
Geist drummed her fingers against the tabletop, shaking her head. "Thanks, Trixie. But I stand by what I said earlier. As a race, humans, cave trolls, molenoids... Pretty much every Slugslinging race down here except the Shadow Clan don't belong here. I'd rather not act human, especially because I don't feel like one. If that means everyone's afraid of me, so be it."
"Interesting viewpoint." Eli scratched his head.
"But not one without reason." In groups of twos and threes, her Slugs had made their way from their containers to the tabletop and begun mingling with the Shane Gang's Slugs. Geist reached out now towards one of hers, a Negashade, and the Slug rubbed her head against the teen's palm happily. "I believe that the Slugs and the Shadow Clan were the original inhabitants of Slugterra, along with the creatures like Slughounds, Cavern Sharks, etc. There's a lot of working together between Slugs and the Shadow Clan, and they can understand each other's languages. At some point, other species made their way to Slugterra. I've heard that humans are from as far away as..." She trailed off, pointing upwards.
"The Burning World?" Trixie laughed.
"That's what you call it?" Geist's eyes narrowed slightly in Eli's direction as he and Burpy exchanged a look. What was that about? "Anyway, that part is just a silly legend. If there's another entire world up there, I'm pretty sure the caverns would collapse from the weight. My point is, the Shadow Clan were the original Slingers, and they do it much better than everyone else. It's not a Slinger-Slug relationship with them. It's a partnership , a friendship. It should have stayed that way, but other... other..." She groaned. "I hate English. I can't speak as well. Other species like humans took the idea of Slugslinging from them and, because they don't have enough strength in their arms to get a Slug to the right speed, made blasters. They turned Slugslinging into the hateful sport it is now."
The shocked, even slightly outraged responses to her last sentence prevented her from speaking further. Her shyest Slug, an AquaBeek (whom she called Jet), squeaked and leapt at Geist, impacting her chest. She quickly slipped a hand beneath him so he wouldn't fall, while he curled up against her, burying his face in her shirt. She glared at the Shane Gang, stroking Jet's back with her thumb, until they quieted. "You frightened him," she grumbled. "And made others nervous." She glanced down at the table, where a small handful of her Slugs had gathered at the edge near her.
"Sorry." Eli rubbed the back of his head. "It's just..."
"What's so bad about Slugslinging? And...aren't you kinda a Slugslinger?" Trixie finished for him.
She placed Jet on the table, petting the top of his head. He squeaked and rubbed against her hand. "I am a Slugslinger. A real one, though I can't seem to find any others among non-Shadow Clan species." Her other hand lifted, finger stabbing towards Eli. "You, of all people, I thought would be another. But you're not. Not yet. From what I can gather of you, you're reckless, and you make stupid choices." Her expression softened. "You have potential though. The connection with your Slugs..." She looked down, Boo hopping over to pat her hand and Burpy letting out a short, sad whine.
Eli looked confused. "Isn't that a good thing?"
"Then why are you so, y'know...sad about it?"
"Sorry. The last time I heard those words... I'll get to that soon. I have another question to answer before I tell you my story."
"Kowagara, are you sure? You've never told anyone about your past before."
"This is Mr. Shane's son, Boo. He's a good person. And Burpy trusts him, so I will too."
"Okay, but what about the others?"
"You can trust them too," Burpy chimed in. "Let them all hear it."
Geist considered his words for a moment, then nodded. "Trixie asked why I dislike Slugslinging? It's because of the people who do it. Your kinds don't realize that Slugs are living beings with as much intelligence, some even more, as the ones that sling them. Slugs are treated as just ammunition, little critters that you can shoot from a blaster and beat your enemies or opponents with. Then losers give up a Slug to the winners, and the Slug gets no say in the matter. Slugs are traded for goods, and the Slugs get no say in the matter. Slugs that don't perform as well are often mistreated and looked down on." She scowled, hand clenching into a fist and slamming against the tabletop. "I've seen Slugs work themselves to death for the sake of pleasing their Slingers only to never get anything in return — even acknowledgement!" she snarled. "The best they can get is being treated like pets! No one calls them friends! Partners! Family!" Her chest heaved, heavy breaths leaving her as she leaned back in her chair, closing her eyes.
"Take a moment and calm down, Kowagara," chirped her Arachnet.
"That's what I'm doing Webs."
"I can understand how that would make you upset, but not everyone is like that."
"It's a rare few that aren't, Eli. That's why I prefer Slugs and the Shadow Clan." Geist a hand on the table, palm up. Boo and Burpy hopped on. "Now for my history, right? There's not a lot to say. Ever since I can remember, I've lived among Slugs. Grew up around Deadweed, with a group of Frightgeists. Boo was my closest friend among them, more of a brother really. We were a very... very..." she hesitated, "edvuntarus pair."
"Yeah. When I was seven, we set out on our own. I know now that's young by human standards, but by Slug standards, we were fine. Slugs mature faster, after all. I'm not sure what cavern we ended up in, but we wandered for a long time, trying to avoid being seen by anyone but Slugs. What little food I got, I got the only way I knew how: looking through people's trash. One day, I came across a girl my own age who was searching for a Slug she'd lost. I couldn't speak English, and she couldn't understand Slug, but we managed to figure out a way to understand each other, and I helped her find her lost Slyren.
Me and Boo remained hidden in that cavern for months after. We saw the girl almost every day. Her name was Alisha. She taught me English, and in return I taught her Slug. Once I was proficient in the language, me and Boo started traveling again. Ali and I are best friends to this day though. She's my only human friend...
A couple weeks after we'd started traveling again, I saw my first act of cruelty to Slugs. I guess someone was trying to find a rare one, because there were traps everywhere. Dangerous ones." Geist stroked down Crackle's back, and the Flaringo chirped. "I found her caught in one. It hurt her." Her fingertip brushed over the top of Crackle's head, resting lightly atop a scar where her left antenna should have been. "Others were trapped and hurt too. It made me angry and upset, and I went after the hunter. It was stupid. I was an underfed little girl, eight years old at the time. The best I could do was make him mad by holding onto his legs and making him fall over. He was about to shoot me at point-blank range with a Thresher when a Slug I'd never before knocked him away." She smiled at Burpy, who grinned back. "The blaster fell out of his hand and I grabbed it. A quick chat with the loaded Thresher and he evacuated and ran off. I had Boo loaded and was trying to figure out how to shoot before the hunter could get me, then suddenly there was someone standing between me and him." She pointed at Eli. "Your dad. I was so startled by his sudden appearance that I dropped the blaster. It skidded past him, towards the hunter, and Boo had fallen out and rolled the other way. By the time I'd made sure Boo was alright, Mr. Shane had run the hunter off.
I helped him free Slugs from traps and collect the empty ones. After, he was going to take me home, but when I told him about my home and family and how Boo and me were traveling, he told me it was dangerous for a little girl to be on her own and took me with him. It was– it was here, actually. I stayed here for a short time. I was with him for just enough time for him to take me to get this blaster," she patted the one on her hip, "from a grouchy man called Redhook. It's a good blaster. Top of the line. But not as good as the one Mr. Shane or you, Eli, have. Anyway, after I had a blaster, I stayed here only long enough for Mr. Shane to teach me the basics of Slugslinging. I was an eager student, because I wanted to have the power to protect my family and friends, to protect all the Slugs, whom I saw as my kind and still do. When I wasn't practicing with him, I was working to build my Mechabeast."
"You built that? By yourself?"
Geist jumped, holding back a startled shriek. She'd been so focused on her storytelling, looking only down at her lap, at the Slugs on the table, or at Eli, that she'd forgotten the others were there. Taking a deep breath, she calmed herself and answered Kord with a shrug. "Not quite. Mr. Shane helped me get the parts I need, sometimes a nice cave troll from Beast Forge would come by to help me with the harder parts, though I only ever let her give me instructions. I physically built it myself, but I had help. When I was done, it looked pretty shoddy, but it was very good for the work of an eight year old. Before I left, Mr. Shane gave me some Slug tubes and a couple Slugs he'd picked up for me in the times he'd been out on a job. He also told me something. 'You have great potential. The connection with your Slugs is very strong.' That's what he said, and I've never forgotten it.
About a month after, I heard he was gone. I cried until I had no tears left. In the short time I was with him, he treated me so kindly. I almost felt like I'd been back home with my family. After that, I spent the next two years doing almost nothing but practicing my Slugslinging, working on upgrading my Mecha until it was what it is now, and trying to find more Slugs that would work with me. Once I was sure I'd gotten good enough, I entered my first tournament and won with ease. The crowd's reaction to that, just a skinny little ten year old girl breezing through a tournament and winning against seasoned Slingers, it wasn't like I thought it would be. I thought everyone would be amazed and I could be cool and popular like Mr. Shane had been. But instead, the skill I displayed frightened them, because they didn't understand how such a young girl could be so good. I'd only been lucky enough to have natural talent combined with training from Mr. Shane, but no one seemed to get that. So I ran off, and I've stayed hidden from everyone but Slugs and Shadow Clan, only showing myself when there's a tournament. I use tournaments to take mistreated Slugs from their Slingers, and the gold I win goes towards mostly supplies to keep my Mecha and blaster in top shape, which doesn't leave much for food."
"I never agreed with that plan," grumbled her Armashelt, Rocky. Most of her arsenal chirped that they didn't either.
"It does seem like an unhealthy way to live."
"We've been over this," she replied. "If I don't keep my gear in top shape, I'm powerless to save Slugs that need saving."
"And if you don't get enough to eat, you'll die and won't be able to save anyone!" Boo squeaked furiously. "Kowagara, please. We're just concerned."
"I get enough food to survive. That's what counts. Anyway." She turned her attention to the Shane Gang, lifting a hand to her mouth to cover a yawn. "I'm not some scary monster, just a normal kid with a talent for Slugslinging and a wish to see Slugs treated better. Any questions?"
"Yeah." Eli regarded her with slight suspicion. "If your story's true, then why has my dad never mentioned you?"
"If you're really Mr. Shane's son, why did he never tell me about you? In fact, why didn't I see you around here?" she countered. "Who knows why Mr. Shane kept the secrets he did. But if you really don't believe me," one hand slipped into the pocket of her jeans, "maybe this will convince you." She placed a small, creased photograph on the table, showing a much younger-looking version of herself grinning and clinging to a man who resembled an older Eli.
The blue-haired boy silently picked up the photo, staring at the man. Then he handed it back to Geist, who pocketed it and stood up. "If that's all then, I'll be leaving. Thank you for letting me into your home and...thank you, molenoid, for making me a meal."
"It was Pronto's pleasure," he replied, lowering himself into an extravagant bow that made Geist roll her eyes and scoff.
"Wait." Eli reached out, though before he could touch her she fixed him with a glare. He quickly dropped his hand to the table, instead letting Burpy hop onto his palm and depositing the Infurnus on his shoulder.
"If I want to get home before it gets dark, I need to leave now. No waiting." She grabbed her mask and slipped it on, while her Slugs came forward en masse to leap into the containers at her waist and Boo made his way up her arm to her shoulder.
"Stay the night," he offered.
She froze, eying him suspiciously. "Wh– What?"
He rubbed the back of his head and looked down. Trixie spoke in his stead. "There's plenty of room, and if you have so little money you can barely feed yourself, this place is probably way more comfortable than wherever you're staying. And you can have another decent meal in the morning."
"Ah, yes. Proton can make his famous–"
"No," Trixie laughed, stepping forward to begin steering the crimson-eyed teen out of the kitchen. "Geist can have real food."
"Hold on. What if I don't want to stay?" Geist ducked her head as her words caused a chittering uproar, many of the Slugs currently present (her own and the Shane Gang's) pleading for her to stay. "Alright," she grumbled. "I'll stay. But just one night." She shook off Trixie's grip, crossing her arms and turning towards the door.
"I'll show you to a spare room, Kowagara. We can catch up on the way," Burpy offered, jumping down to hop out of the kitchen. Boo joined him and Geist smiled, following.
LDR: So yep. There's that. Also, this chapter was 6,000+ words. Don't expect that every time; it's somewhat of a personal record for me. XD Also, mystery solved as to why this darn site undelrines 'geist' in red. It's not an English word! Apparently, it's actually German, but it's translated to mean ghost or spirit, so yeah.
Anyway, this will be arranged in 'episodes', as was already stated. It will be a mix of one's I've made up myself for the star of this fic (yeah, that's you Geist) and already existing ones that I will be changing/rewriting due to Geist playing a role in their plot. I will announce the chapter before what is coming up, so people who aren't caught up are prepared for spoilers.
Next Episode: 'Elder', one of my own invention. No cause for spoiler worries here!