Welcome to Kappa Kappa (originally Kappa Kappa Beta but that last part fell off), Lake Lilac University’s first and only co-ed fraternity!
I’m literal trash and also a community college student who still lives with their parents so I’LL TRY NOT TO MESS THIS UP:
Max-Everyone is sure he should have graduated by now, but he’s been in the dorm for so long and still has his major as “undeclared”. No one knows if he actually goes to LLU or not, he never attends class. He’s also somehow behind every out-of-control party or riot that happens on campus or in the dorm, or least DJing. Has been living in Kappa Kappa because it’s the cheapest but he hates everyone, especially the RAs. Nikki did his tattoo.
Neil-STEM Major. Actually does his work and attends classes and was dead-set on not becoming a party kid, but is always the first one to get absolutely smashed at every party. Max’s roommate.
Nikki-No one knows what her major is. Like Max, no one is entirely sure if she actually goes to LLU, but everyone seems to have a class with her. Often climbs in through peoples’ windows because she got “locked out again”, although no one actually knows which room is hers or if she actually lives in the dorm. Got kicked out of Gamma Lambda Sigma (AKA college Flower Scouts idk man) for being the wild child she is. Has been stopped by security/police multiple times because they all keep thinking she’s on drugs. Nah, it’s just Nikki. Good thing LLU has a rugby team (She’s really good but no one is sure if she actually plays for points or for the sake of beating people up).
Reversal of Net Neutrality: Unintended Consequences
So if you are like me, you’ve been worried as you envision a
bunch of board-room ISP people chuckling and twirling their mustachios as they
contemplate the simple brilliance of their three point plan:
Take away the Net Neutrality policies set in
Direct net traffic to their products
But I do not think they have considered all the possible
consequences of a truly pissed-off customer base, namely, the Start-up ISP.
I feel like the reversal of Net Neutrality could open up a
whole new market here, and while I don’t know much about ISP infrastructure, I
do know a bit about irritated customers and brand loyalty. Envision a world
where no one can get where they want to go on the internet. They hear about ISP
startups that would like to grow, but they can’t even reach the Kickstarter
page to give these startups money. Then they see a poster on a telephone pole
saying to go to a particular coffee shop or restaurant, which is the first in
town to have Start-up ISP available, and they can use the wifi for free. People
FLOCK to this place of business, and suddenly EVERY restaurant wants Start-up
ISP to handle their wifi, too.
Start-up ISP is now receiving donations hand-over-fist, even
though there are only maybe 2 or 3 places in town where people can sit and use
the wifi to reach their Kickstarter page. Time for Phase 2. What do you do with
a bunch of underemployed Millenials who can’t watch Netflix or Youtube on their
phones? Ask them to volunteer or work for you, setting up infrastructure and
helping new customers. There’s a dual motivation here. Start-up ISP is the one
free choice for wifi that won’t slow you down, plus Millenials now have a way
to spit in the eye of the big guys who tried to reverse good FCC policy for
monetary gain. An ARMY of people will engage with little Start-up ISP and it
will grow and grow and grow.
So suddenly, the board-room mustachios are in a panic. Their
customers are leaving in droves and their products aren’t doing so well,
either. The only way to compete with Start-up ISP is to allow customers all
speed to all destinations once again. The damage is done, though. Customers
have brand loyalty and long memories for grudges. I still don’t eat at
Jack-in-the-Box because of That One Time 17 Years Ago. Pretty soon, the big
guys will have to drop their prices to entice people back, and quit trying to
screw them over when they want to switch or compare pricing.
So if you know anything about ISP work, and the reversal at
the FCC does go through? Start boning up on good business practices, etc. This
may be your time.
“I just find him beautiful to look at. Like an Italian painting. He’s exquisite, don’t you think?”
“No,” we say together.
Jane smiles coyly. “Liars. You both know he’s handsome.”
I don’t say anything and remove my ice pack. Is Thatcher fucking hot ? Scruffy, muscular, six-foot-seven and domineering.
Chat Noir’s ears twitched at the sound of footsteps behind him. “Hey! What have you got there?” asked Ladybug as she plopped down next to him, legs dangling off of a beam of the Eiffel Tower.
“Mmmm. New bakery opened up. You won’t believe how good these are. Macaron?” Chat Noir held one out to her and Ladybug plucked it from his fingers with a scoff.
“No way it can be better than Tom & Sabine’s,” she asserted, tossing her pigtails and nibbling the edge of the macaron. Hmmm. It was pretty good, in her nearly-professional opinion. Her papa’s macarons would always be the best, though.
“I don’t know, Bug. Not kitten you, I’m seriously impressed with the place. They have all this space, and the pastries are laid out in really creative arrangements. Their line-up is double the variety I’ve seen anywhere else. Tom & Sabine’s is more like the friendly local place. La Maison is out to impress.”
Ladybug sniffed derisively. “Well, this macaron is pretty good, but if it’s the best they’ve got to offer…”
“Here, check it,” Chat Noir reached into the tall paper sack beside him and relieved it of a fresh baguette, “the bread is paws-itively spectacular.” Ladybug took the bite he broke off for her in one gloved hand, feeling piqued. Tom & Sabine’s was the best. She always brought him treats from there; it was kind of their thing. Could this new place really be any good? She chewed the piece of baguette and frowned. It was excellent, both in texture and taste.
“You don’t like it?” Chat Noir asked cautiously, seeing the glum expression on her face.
“No, no, you’re right. It’s really good.” Ladybug set down the uneaten half-bite she had left on the beam. She wiggled it against the steel, watching crumbs break off and blow away in the breeze. “I still think Tom & Sabine have this baguette beat.”
“Maybe you’re right. But you should try this, too.” He reached into the sack for a new item. Ladybug felt heat rise behind her eyes.
“God, Chat, did you buy the whole store?” Chat Noir’s hand stilled at Ladybug’s outburst.
“No, I just grabbed what I liked. Do you want something else or not?”
“No! I don’t want to try anything else from your new favorite bakery. If it’s not as good as Tom & Sabine’s, then I don’t want to waste my time.”
“I didn’t say it was my new favorite bakery. I said I was impressed, that’s all. Since when are you so dedicated to one little local bakehouse, anyway? We eat stuff from other places all the time.”
“Well, I’m not hungry anymore,” Ladybug crossed her arms defiantly. “You can take that bag of pastries and-”
“Whoa! Ladybug! Dial it back a little.” Chat Noir glared at her, his glowing green eyes narrowing with irritation. Crush or no crush, he wasn’t going to let her lash out at him over a sack of baked goods.
“I was going to say ‘pitch it off the Tower for all I care’, before I was interrupted,” Ladybug rejoined. Two pink spots grew on her cheeks below her mask. She pulled her knees up to her chest, gathering her feet against the backs of her thighs. “Maybe we should get out on patrol.”
“Not before I’m done with my food. I didn’t get any dinner,” Chat Noir snapped. Ladybug leaned away from him, fixing him with an irritated look of her own.
“No need to get rude.”
“I could say the same to you.”
“It’s the sub-par pastries that are doing this to you.”
“No, you’re the one doing this to me. Let me eat my awesome pastries in peace.”
“If you’d gotten them from Tom & Sabine’s like we always do, maybe I could.”
“Well, maybe I was tired of the same old thing. Maybe I didn’t want to run into that girl we know, Marinette, because she talks a lot and I had to get out here to meet you because yesterday you told me off for being late. Or maybe La Maison just has the best bread in town. Or maybe-” Chat Noir broke off and squinted at his partner, who had hunched over her legs and turned her face away from him. “Are you crying?”
Ladybug brushed at her mask and tried to suck in a breath that didn’t shake. “No, of course not.” She didn’t feel ready to turn back to him yet, instead making her face into an angry mask and trusting that the angle would hide her fake expression. She should have known better. She saw Chat Noir deflate out of the corner of her eye.