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In the Clutches of The Mutant Master

Disclaimer:  This is an unauthorized drabble by Haylo based on El Goonish Shive or "EGS". EGS, including its characters, settings, situations, etc. are © Dan Shive. I agree that in the unlikely event that I come up with any novel elements in these stories, which are based on his characters, those novel elements shall be considered his property and he is free to use any and all such elements with or without attribution.

It was one of those pleasant intervals of boredom, where the day had already been interesting enough and sitting on the sofa and watching or ignoring old reruns was just fine. The doorbell fell on their ears more gently than it might have at any other time, and Tedd answered the door to find a pretty brunette with her arms full of file folders.

"Tedd, it's good to see you. I've got some information about the local mutants for your father. Is he in?"

"How do you know I'm cleared to hear that? I mean, I am, but how did you know?"

"Huh? I just heard you asking about some unusual things at school and I was sure it was the mutants you were trying to find out about-and it was pretty sure that it was for your father. And if you were the one asking around, you must be allowed to hear the answers you find. I've got almost every member of the Y.M.P.A. listed here, with one whole folder just for their new leader after the last election," She giggled a bit, seeming to find the leader's folder humorous, and then added, "Could you take all these forms to your father?"

Tedd agreed, taking the whole stack to the den where his father was catching up on paperwork. "Some reports for you, dad, about those local mutants you were interested in," he said as he balanced them on the already full "In" box.

As he came back to the living room, he found Grace debriefing their guest. She stopped to tell Tedd, "Holly wants to thank us while she's here. Stand closer, Tedd; she really knows how to hug."

Being told by his girlfriend to hug a stranger was unsettling, but a familiar kind of unsettling. Grace would never do anything to hurt him, and she seemed to know how determined he was to never do anything to hurt her-so she was indifferent to a lot of things that would have made most people jealous, and expected him to be indifferent as well. He stepped forward and let their visitor embrace him.

"Thank you all so much, Tedd," she spoke over his shoulder, "That glob thing would have eaten us if all of you hadn't stopped it... You and your friends have to be the most wonderful people I've ever seen."

"Er, I don't remember anyone like you there: Just that ditzy blonde that ran outside screaming and started a panic, and... oh, were you hiding behind a table?"

"Way in back of the tables, as far back as we could get. There must have been a dozen of us there."

"I'm glad you got out...you can let go now, you know."


"Now, how do you know so much about, what did you call it, the mutant organization?"

"The Young Mutant's Peace Association? After last month's election, I'm the new president. You know, the one they call the Mutant Master."

*blink* *blink* "Does...does my dad know about you?"

"He will by now! Those files included most of our members, with pictures of everyone, too. I talked everyone into filling out those forms, with a permission form from the parents when the mutant is under age, and most of them are. I'm underage myself, and the first paper in my file is my permission slip. I mean, you know how decent your dad is; I told everyone that I knew about an agency where the chief was a really good guy, and we all decided to register with the government through his office, so when people start calling for a crackdown on mutants we already have our records held by an agency that isn't xenophobic."

Grace and Tedd both grinned. Tedd stifled a chuckle long enough to ask, "I take it that the mutant uprising my Dad's worried about isn't going to happen?" before losing his breath to laughter.

"Not anywhere around here! I'll give you a hint-see this achievement sticker shaped like an egg with two arms around it? We award it to mutants who learn how to hug gently enough that they won't hurt normal people. Of course, that means we have to invite some normals to our meetings for practice...either of you want to volunteer?"

Just then, a voice called from the den, "Tedd! Where did these reports come from?"

Grace's already cheerful smile grew even bigger. She whispered something that must have been funny to both the others, who copied her grin and then embraced again with slightly exaggerated motions as if for an audience. Grace hurried over to the door to the den to speak with Mr. Verres.

"Someone from school just brought them over", she said. "She's still here, come right on in and meet her."

The elder Verres looked slightly nonplused when he saw Tedd hugging a strange brunette, but that was nothing compared to his expression when Grace stepped up behind Tedd, tapped him on the shoulder, and in a loud stage whisper said "That's enough, Tedd; it's my turn to hug the Mutant Master."

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