She was one of the only campers left waiting at the pick-up spot, having wandered away from Max to explore a mysterious rustling from the bushes. (This, it turned out, was a squirrel; Quartermaster seemed more than capable of sorting it out and had pulled her away from the animal by her overalls.) But … Well, David had to admit that he’d been so worried about Max being lonely or upset about the summer ending that he’d almost forgotten about the adventurous young camper. So it was with no small amount of guilt that he met her eyes, watching anxiously as she scuffed her toes along the ground and glanced over her shoulder at Sleepy Peak Peak.
“Well, uh … I think my parents aren’t coming?”
David sprang to his feet, leaving Max to continue drawing in the dirt and ignoring him. “Don’t be silly! It’s only noon, after all! And Max is still here,” he added, gesturing at him.
Max looked from David to Nikki, something almost like concern in his expression. “David, are you being fucking stupid again?” He stood, pouring as much resentment into the motion as possible. “What’s up, Nik?”
She shrugged, stuffing her hands in her pockets. “It’s just that Mom said Dad was picking me up yesterday because of his Sunday Golf Tournaments, and he didn’t. So …”
“What?!” David tried to keep his voice calm, but he couldn’t help wincing as it leapt up to what Gwen called “dog-whistle levels.” “Wh … why didn’t you tell us that, Nikki?” As a matter of fact, why hadn’t her parents told them that? They were in charge, after all!
“I was gonna, but then Max and Neil decided to try and blow up the Supply Shed and that sounded like more fun!”
Oh, dear. David whipped out his phone and sent a quick text to Quartermaster and Gwen: ‘stay away from the supply shed might be dangerous’ Then he narrowed his eyes at the two of them, putting his hands on his hips. “Now, kids, that was very irresponsible of you –”
“Yeah yeah,” Max interrupted, rolling his eyes. “How about you just do your goddamn job and figure out where Nikki’s parents are?”
Oh. Of course, that made sense. “R-right. Thanks, Max!”
He had all the campers’ parents saved in his contacts for easy access, just in case. So he didn’t have to leave their side as he looked up Mariana Zuckerman’s number and listened to the line ring.
Finally there was a tiny click. “You’ve reached 555-0175. Dr. Zuckerman isn’t available right now, so please leave a message at the –”
He snapped the phone shut, shaking his head. “No worries,” he chirped to the kids; Nikki was watching a line of ants travel through the grass, but Max’s eyes were trained on him, tiny pinpricks of searing turquoise. “We’ll just try Mr. Sherwood then …”
Nikki’s dad didn’t pick up, either.
That was … well, of course it wasn’t troubling, David wouldn’t jump to conclusions so quickly! But he would have to give her parents a friendly reminder that it was important to have their phones on them at all times.
Then again, maybe they were driving. That made sense.
“Why didn’t they pick up?” Max demanded, startling David out of his thoughts and nearly making him drop the phone.
“Oh, I’m sure they’re on their way!”
He just stared for a few long moments. Then turned with a heavy sigh, shaking his head. “I’m gonna go find Gwen.”
“Max, don’t –” But it was too late; faster than he’d ever seen the boy move, Max was trotting across the small grassy clearing that served as Camp Campbell’s pick-up spot, over to where Gwen had her nose buried in a magazine about … something or other, he didn’t really understand most of what she read.
Maybe Max had the right idea, though. Gwen would know what to do, even if she was a bit of a worrywart. He straightened, feeling better already as he tried dialing Nikki’s mother again. There was no point in panicking, which meant he’d just ignore the niggling worming sickness in his stomach until it went away.
MOVE BITCH, GET OUT THE WAY! Listen………. I’ve been laughing at this for 10 minutes now, okay? That time Merlin straight up murdered someone for dramatic effect. The guy wasn’t even in his way! He’s just a maniac. Running around throwing people off archways… #averagemonday
The funniest thing is everyone around him just acts casually like this is an everyday event. there’s a pileup of bodies in the courtyard.
The Chitauri are coming. Nothing will change that. What have I to fear? The Avengers. That’s what we call ourselves; we’re sort of like a team. “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” type thing. Yes, I’ve met them. Yeah, takes us a while to get any traction, I’ll give you that one. But let’s do a head count here: your brother the demi-god; a super soldier, a living legend who kind of lives up to the legend; a man with breath-taking anger management issues; a couple of master assassins, and YOU, big fella, you’ve managed to piss off every single one of them. That was the plan. Not a great plan. When they come, and they WILL, they’ll come for you. I have an army. We have a Hulk. I thought the beast had wandered off… You’re missing the point! There’s no throne, there is no version of this where you come out on top. Maybe your army comes and maybe it’s too much for us but it’s all on you. Because if we can’t protect the Earth, you can be damned well sure we’ll avenge it!
Here we have it - the Ego Collection! I discovered I actually
started working on it on the 3rd of July by some crazy coincidence.
But nearly a whole month later and I finally have drawn all of Jack’s egos.
I just want to say a ramble-y thank you. This entire self-imposed
project has been awesome in general, despite the struggles of art. A bunch of people
have said such nice things, which I am very grateful for, and the kind people
are one the reasons I’m so glad I found this community. And I’ve said it before
but I’ll say it again I have had an absolute blast with Septicart week. It’s
amazing to see all this incredible art, edits and writing, even music, come out
of this community, as well as the supportive people liking, reblogging,
commenting and just encouraging others. You guys make me super happy and want
to keep creating cool stuff!
Also, thanks to Sean for
not only spreading a positive influence but also interacting with us. You help
keep the place a nice, fun environment and doing awesome stuff, like with the
egos and setting the community on fire, makes it even better! Huge kudos to
Robin for your incredible editing. I know you work hard, especially
with the Anti stuff, and I don’t know where the channel would be without you.
And a nod to the lovely lady behind the scenes, Signe, a wonderful
creator in her own right. Plus, thanks to anyone who helps to make this
community such a great place. Love ya :D