Chapter 40:

Vol. 2, Ch. 15: The Mightiest Bonehead Duo Ever

The Integrity of the Super Club [Beta version]

For the next few days, Rover only played Glove Alien Fight to reach the one-hour daily quota, not bothering to level up or advance in the game despite the removed level cap. He and just about everyone else decided to lay low for a while and recover from the trauma caused by the robot disaster.Bookmark here

Early Wenno-day morning, the four Super Club members gathered in Rover’s bedroom. Their groggy faces and Adele’s insistence to stay in her sleepwear made the meeting look more like a pajama party.Bookmark here

“Look alive, warriors!” Quintegrity told them while assuming a cheesy superhero pose. “School’s been canceled, but do not allow your complacency to strangle you when classes start again.”Bookmark here

Adele yawned and rustled her unkempt, coal-sheen hair. “I doubt a couple more hours of sleeping in would be that detrimental.”Bookmark here

“Y-Yeah…” Lumpy clutched his mug of coffee, rocking in Rover’s desk chair. His exploded-pumpkin hair was extra exploded, and his eyes carried bags big enough to be charged for luggage fees on the subterra locomotives. “I gotta be real with you guys…I ain’t ready to leave my house yet. I’m still a little traumatized…from the robot…”Bookmark here

“That’s understandable,” Quintegrity told him. “Drink your coffee, calm your nerves.”Bookmark here

“I-I don’t think the c-coffee helps my nerves…” Lumpy replied before taking another swig. “It just keeps me awake… Still, don’t worry about me. I’m fine. This is fine. Ha. Yes. Ha-ha…”Bookmark here

Rover gave his friend a concerned look. “Uh…if you say so, man.” He turned back to his girlfriend. “So…you called us to meet here, Quintegrity?”Bookmark here

“Yes. Because the school campus has been closed off,” Quintegrity said, “we’ll have our Super Club meetings here until the Clubhaus High-Rise is fit to handle our awesomeness as a group again.”Bookmark here

“Why my room?” Rover griped. “And don’t you live at the Clubhaus High-Rise?”Bookmark here

She giggled, tugging the straps of her plaid overalls. “I’m still able to get into the Clubhaus. They just don’t know about it. The damage to the building isn’t bad. Now, Rover!” Quintegrity thrust a finger at him, her nail shining with pearly polish. “Activate the TV! I’d like to discuss the next fundraiser!”Bookmark here

“Okay.” Using the remote, Rover turned on his TV to show the PowerPunch presentation. The slide was blank.Bookmark here

“There’s nothing on the screen,” Rover muttered.Bookmark here

“Blank slates are the humble beginnings of all things,” she replied. “Let’s begin the storming of brains!”Bookmark here

Adele and Lumpy were quiet, not paying attention.Bookmark here

“A fundraiser?” Adele clenched her fists while staring at the floor. “At a time like this…?”Bookmark here

“How about more power ramen?” Rover suggested. “We already know the recipe, and we made good money last time.”Bookmark here

Quintegrity snorted with laughter. “No.”Bookmark here

“Why not?!”Bookmark here

“Because it’s lazy.”Bookmark here

With a quivering eyebrow, Rover said, “I…just don’t get you sometimes…”Bookmark here

The blank PowerPunch slide was suddenly replaced with an image everyone knew too well: the groomed, immaculate face of CEO Claudius with his curly, buttery hair and stocky, block-bricked face.Bookmark here

Rover, Adele, and Lumpy stared at the television, their phones and tablets displaying the exact same broadcast.Bookmark here

“People of Thugwood!” the ruler boomed. “I interrupt your lives for an emergency broadcast.”Bookmark here

Adele gasped, noticing the wreckage in the background behind the CEO. “Hey! That’s at our school!”Bookmark here

Rover felt as if he’d swallowed an entire icicle sideways, turning his blood cold, although he couldn’t explain why. He looked at Quintegrity, but her hair had fallen over her eyes, hiding her expression as she faced the announcement. However, seeing her clenched fists was enough to understand her emotions well enough. The boy’s initial response was to step away from her, a visceral gloom radiating from her entire being. Instead, he moved closer to her, ready to put his arm around her.Bookmark here

Yet, the energy she exhumed told him not to touch her, and he lowered his hand.Bookmark here

“I am live here at Southbound Thugwood High School,” CEO Claudius told the world. “Behold the destruction!”Bookmark here

The camera panned out to show the swath of ruin. Rover’s heart sank as he couldn’t look away from the damage.Bookmark here

“Whoa…” Adele held her hand over her mouth as the camera kept panning. “I saw the pictures in the news, but…”Bookmark here

“These are images,” Lumpy said quietly, “the media didn’t want us to see.”Bookmark here

“These are the images the media didn’t want you to see!” CEO Claudius said when the camera came back to him. His solid, blocky face contorted as his grin ripped from ear to ear. “But I want you all to see it.”Bookmark here

Rover scowled. “Just what is he getting at?”Bookmark here

“People of Thugwood,” the ruler continued, fiddling with his wristwatch vambraces and the mythril cufflinks on his polyester cuffs, “this is what happens when you awaken sleeping giants. If you aren’t careful, what you see here is what will happen again. Have no fear, though! This is all part of the plan. This is Glove Alien Fight at the next level…at the quantum level…the Next Phase of the game!”Bookmark here

“All part of the plan…?” Lumpy muttered, clenching his jaw.Bookmark here

Furious, Rover shook his fist at the TV. “The hell does he mean by that?! He planned for this to happen??? That giant robot that could’ve destroyed everything?!”Bookmark here

“Shh!” Adele shushed her brother as the CEO continued.Bookmark here

“However, one mishap has occurred. In summary, someone had hacked the game to try to skip ahead. This is different than that kid who simply modded his own Glove Aliens—he paid his ticket.”Bookmark here

“Damn straight I paid it,” Rover sneered. “All fifty thousand thuggoons.”Bookmark here

“This is a new hacker I speak of, whom we have dubbed ‘Dumbass’! When we catch them, they will be publicly de-rationalized, and any future attempts to hack into the game will be dealt with the same way. Rest assured that this newest hack by Dumbass did not interfere with the course of the game, and you will all be able to proceed as normal.” He paused for a moment, wearing an expression of deep contemplation while only the sound of wind came through the TVs and phones. “As you all know, defeating me in a Glove Alien Fight match will lift the daily quota mandate for everyone. This attempt to skip through the game tells me that somebody is very willing to advance far and quickly so they may face me one-on-one. And here is my message to that person…”Bookmark here

He pointed at the camera, his authoritative finger once again violating the faces of every resident watching the broadcast on 3-D devices.Bookmark here

Thus, CEO Claudius proclaimed: “COME AT ME, BRO!!! Prost!”Bookmark here

The entire house and all of the Thugwood Metropolitan Address rumbled from the almighty decree, and the broadcast cut out before the vibrations subsided. In the deaf aftermath, the Super Club members were left to their own conclusions as they gawked at the blank slide on Quintegrity’s PowerPunch presentation.Bookmark here

“Heh-hehh…” Adele chuckled nervously as she slowly turned her head toward Rover. “Our supreme ruler just, like, called you out, Big Bro…”Bookmark here

“And Quinn, too,” Lumpy added. He whispered, “She was the one who…ya know…”Bookmark here

However, Rover burst into devious laughter. He stabbed his index finger at his TV, yelling, “Just wait for me! I’m coming for you, CEO Claudius!!!”Bookmark here

While Rover was busy accepting the declaration of war, Lumpy looked at Quintegrity. She was transfixed on Rover, her face showing nothing.Bookmark here

“Rover.”Bookmark here

At the sound of his name, the boy turned to his girlfriend. She pulled her long, rose petal lemonade hair behind her head, tying it into a ponytail. Nobody had noticed when she’d put on the sweatband with the word “FIGHT” in huge, bright letters across her forehead. Putting her fists up in a boxing position with a dastardly smirk, she jabbed at the air in Rover’s direction.Bookmark here

“Fight on!” she told him between air-jabs, beginning to circle the boy. “It’s fight time!”Bookmark here

Rover cowered away and spun his gaming chair to face the opposite direction, feeling the thrusts of air from her jabs halfway across the bedroom. “N-No thanks. That’s not even funny, Quintegrity…”Bookmark here

“Not me,” Quintegrity chortled, putting her five-fingered weapons back down by her sides. She pulled of her headband and tossed it aside. “I’d smoosh you. I mean you fight against CEO Claudius.”Bookmark here

“Let’s be serious here, guys.” Adele peered out Rover’s bedroom window, glancing at the skies before looking at everyone. “The whole giant robot thing is big news! W-We’re gonna have to be careful…and stay on the down-low.”Bookmark here

“They might be monitoring you, man,” Lumpy told Rover. “I mean, CEO Claudius could easily find out who was responsible for the Beelzebub Glove Aliens. He might already know it’s you. I’d say you’re definitely at the top of their suspect list for what happened with the Mech Bot General thing.”Bookmark here

“Or,” Adele said, “they could find out it was Graphite who had the ten Special Numbers to unlock the School Dungeon.” She shivered. “They could totally track it back to us!”Bookmark here

“I know,” Rover said, standing up. “We’re directly affiliated with this new hack.” He dragged his palms down his face. “And he threatened public de-rationalization…”Bookmark here

“I’m the one who committed the hack.” There was no fear in Quintegrity’s voice, and her speech was somewhat heartfelt and comforting. “Don’t worry, I’m the target, and I’m already wanted on felony charges and facing execution. If they de-rationalize me, they’ll have to do it after my beheading.” Wearing a straight face, she made a swift, one-hand motion across her neck.Bookmark here

Lumpy wrinkled his nose. “It’s really disturbing how you talk about that stuff so…normally.”Bookmark here

“For real, Quinn!” Adele’s voice cracked, riddled with worry as she approached the older girl. “With CEO Claudius himself involved with this, you are going to get caught!” She wrung her hands, fraught with nerves and on the verge of tears. “E-Everyone, like, knows the Super Club went into the School Dungeon. They’re gonna know! I was there, too!”Bookmark here

“Nah.” Smiling, Quintegrity dismissed Adele’s statement with a wave. “CEO Claudius has been involved with this from the very beginning, so it’s not much different now.”Bookmark here

In a flash, Quintegrity’s expression plummeted, achieving a melancholy so deep and abysmal that it tore a piece of Rover’s soul straight from his heart. The boy was sure the color had drained from his own face as his fingers and toes went cold and numb.Bookmark here

But she recovered in a split second—not quick enough for the pain to leave Rover’s chest, though.Bookmark here

Adele attempted to argue, but only airy sounds escaped from her mouth, and she trudged backward to Rover’s bed, plopping down on it and burying her face in her palms.Bookmark here

A knock came from Rover’s door, followed by Mom’s voice.Bookmark here

“Rover?”Bookmark here

“Yeah, Mom?”Bookmark here

The door opened and Mom appeared. “Did you see CEO Claudius’ announcement?”Bookmark here

“We did.”Bookmark here

She held her hand to her face, pressing her palm into her cheek, standing small and timid in the doorway with watery eyes.Bookmark here

“You kids were the ones in the School Dungeon,” she said, obviously trying to keep her composure. “Does that mean…one of you…?”Bookmark here

Hesitant, Rover gulped. “The Dumbass?”Bookmark here

Mom nodded, her composure beginning to crumble as her lip quivered.Bookmark here

Walking toward the fearful parent, Quintegrity soothed the woman with her gentle gait and welcoming smile, landing the finishing touch with her delicate words.Bookmark here

“Have no worries, Mrs. Chork,” she said, bowing with masterful courtesy. “I assure you that your children are innocent as they were only part of the School Dungeon exploration team.” Straightening up, an adorable smile found her lips. “The Dumbass hacker…is me.”Bookmark here

Jaws hit the floor (literally in Rover’s case as he face-planted straight to the carpet). Flabbergasted noises crawled from everyone’s throats as they stared at Quintegrity and her mighty grin.Bookmark here

WHY THE HELL DID SHE ADMIT THAT TO MOM?!? Rover’s tumultuous thoughts rampaged through his brain as he picked himself up with this janky, jerky arms.Bookmark here

Mom’s eyes got huge. “Y-Y-You…Quinn…?”Bookmark here

Quintegrity thumped her chest with her fist and yelled, “Yes! I am the Dumbass!!!”Bookmark here

A moment was needed for Adele to struggle out of her paralyzing stupor. She leaned forward and hissed at Lumpy, “I asked you this before… Is Quinn a freakin bonehead?!”Bookmark here

Lumpy didn’t reply, similar to the first time Adele asked him that. Instead, he watched his best friend in the whole wide world pick himself up from the floor and stand between his bewildered, terrified mother and his sensational, felonious girlfriend. Sucking up to the seriousness of his circumstances, Rover calmed his stiff-as-a-board mother while Quintegrity snapped n’ clapped, grooved n’ smoothed.Bookmark here

“Nah,” Lumpy told Adele, rustling his sweaty, exploded-pumpkin hair. He tossed an irritated smirk at his friend’s younger sister. “They’re both boneheads. The mightiest bonehead duo ever.”Bookmark here

*******Bookmark here

<<<STATUS>>>Bookmark here

Rover… Lvl 1,003Bookmark here

AthletaCom Points… 9Bookmark here

All Money… {T}10,705Bookmark here

Allowance… {T}9,705Bookmark here

Food Slip… {T}1,000Bookmark here

<<<EXPENSE GOALS>>>Bookmark here

Anti-Grav Skateboard… {T}499,999Bookmark here

<<<CURRENT EQUIPMENT>>>Bookmark here

Weapon… InfantryBookmark here

Armor… Brutal SuitBookmark here

Acc. 1… Yakuza ToolsBookmark here

Acc. 2… Heist HoovesBookmark here

<<<PERIPHERALS>>>Bookmark here

ControllerBookmark here

VR HeadsetBookmark here

<<<SPECIAL NUMBERS>>>Bookmark here


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