Chapter 54:

Vol. 2, Ch. 29: Next-Gen Hype

The Integrity of the Super Club [Beta version]

The Super Club and its slave-interns were bestowed the supreme privilege to ride in Captain Pretentious’ helicopter to the Super Club penthouse. As the teenagers marveled at the aircraft’s luxurious cabin and amenities, their childlike host regaled them with a plethora of facts regarding her helicopter’s illustrious details. After all, her passengers needed to know the full breadth of this extremely rare supreme privilege she had granted them on behalf of her goodwill.Bookmark here

Graphite rolled his eyes as Captain Pretentious yakked nonstop. Rover merely ignored her, too fixated on the marshmallow muffin scents coming from Quintegrity as she snuggled up next to him. Never in his life had Rover wanted to munch a marshmallow muffin so vigorously.Bookmark here

And I hate marshmallows!Bookmark here

Southbound Thugwood High School only had one helipad, which was occupied by the Heli-Raisers Club next to the observatory, so Captain Pretentious had to land her helicopter in the Courtmeadows outside the Clubhaus High-Rise building—a precarious task. The lilygrass fieldlight blinded the tuxedo shirt-boy piloting the helicopter as he circled around Planet Quinn, and the lilygrass’ bounciness made the landing rather rough as the passengers nearly slid off the lavish couches they sat on.Bookmark here

Captain Pretentious was the first one out of the aircraft, and when she hopped onto the ground, she sprang up half a metre and landed on her face. Everyone else then remembered to climb out onto the springy lilygrass nice and easy.Bookmark here

The little woman stood and dusted herself off, complaining about the fieldlight as she put on her solar-blocking holoshades. She cast a condescending gaze around the campus as she straightened her kitty-ear headband.Bookmark here

“Is this your high school?” she asked.Bookmark here

“It’s not mine. I just attend it,” Rover remarked in preparation for the snarky reply.Bookmark here

“Hmph. It reminds me of the Peasantry Simulator Sector of the school I graduated from, only smaller.”Bookmark here

“Let me guess,” Rover said, “you went to Mesial Thugwood High School.”Bookmark here

“Oh? You pleeberz have heard of it, then?”Bookmark here

“Of course we’ve heard of it,” he sneered. “It’s Thugwood’s source of megalomaniac demagogues.”Bookmark here

When the miniature madam’s childlike cheeks flared and ballooned with anger, Quintegrity immediately stepped in to soothe the situation before their arranged business was canceled.Bookmark here

“Rover meant that with all due respect,” she told Captain Pretentious with a courteous bow.Bookmark here

“I’m sure,” the little woman grunted, catching the smug glint in Rover’s eyes.Bookmark here

The three groomed boys remained in the helicopter as everyone else followed Quintegrity into the Clubhaus building and to the fifth floor. At the end of the hallway, Captain Pretentious raised an eyebrow as she watched Quintegrity stop before the door and slowly lift one leg.Bookmark here

*WHAM!*Bookmark here

Startled, the little woman jumped back as the door flew off the hinges. “H-How barbaric!” She turned to Rover, her mouth agape. “Is this how you always enter?”Bookmark here

“It’s her thing.” Rover shrugged, walking through the doorway.Bookmark here

Captain Pretentious stood in the living room with her arms crossed, watching Ryuumba-chan dash from its doghouse and vacuum up the debris from the kicked-in door. As soon as the carpet was cleaned, Snickerdoodle tackled the automatic vacuum and chased it all around the penthouse.Bookmark here

Quintegrity finished reinstalling the door and interchangeable deadbolt, changed out of her disguise in the other room, then returned to Captain Pretentious with a massive smile.Bookmark here

“Welcome to the Super Club penthouse!” Her voice was loaded with enough glee to brighten a coalmine.Bookmark here

“Why were you in a disguise…?” the little woman asked.Bookmark here

Quintegrity ignored the question. “This is the headquarters of everything funk-a-licious that happens at Southbound Thugwood High School!”Bookmark here

“Funk-a-licious, huh?” Captain Pretentious looked around the penthouse as everyone else got cozy in the seating area around the sea-marble coffee table. “It’s surprisingly nice. I never expected an indoor environment outside the Mesial prefecture to be on par with the public restrooms in the Mesial Cramphitheatre.” Seeing the flat facial expressions her comment had aroused, she sighed. “That was literally a compliment. Ease up.”Bookmark here

Rover, Lumpy, Adele, and Skater Girl squeezed onto one of the couches while Graphite, Tallyhawk, Hodge, and Isho piled onto the other. Quintegrity offered one of the comfy, cushy chairs to Captain Pretentious and tended to the tea and treats.Bookmark here

“Today’s sparkling tea,” Quintegrity said as she filled the skull-shaped mugs on the sea-marble coffee table, “is pomegranate pie crust-flavored. Help yourselves to the new treats I made, too. Believe it or not, they pair very well together.”Bookmark here

Skater Girl eyed the dish Quintegrity held, seeing the shiny, tasty treats within.Bookmark here

“Oh man,” she cooed, “your candies rock, Quinn!”Bookmark here

“Have some, Captain,” Quintegrity said, handing the candy dish to the pompous guest.Bookmark here

“No, thank you.”Bookmark here

“C’mon…it’ll change your life.”Bookmark here

“I don’t want my life to change, mind you.”Bookmark here

“Negligence!” Quintegrity chortled, holding up a piece of shiny candy. “You like opulent things, don’t you? I’ll have you know that this candy is gold!”Bookmark here

“That’s quite the standard,” Captain Pretentious sneered.Bookmark here

“It’s not just a standard.” She tossed a nugget to Rover.Bookmark here

“This is—!” Rover gasped, holding the nugget close to examine. “It’s actually gold?!”Bookmark here

“Indeed!” Quintegrity rattled the nuggets in the candy dish. “These here be genuine 85-karat gold!”Bookmark here

“What?” Captain Pretentious furrowed her brow. “There’s no such thing as a karat that high.”Bookmark here

“Oh, but there is,” Quintegrity replied with a smile and a nod. “You just need to make it yourself, which is totally possible with the proper confectionary smelting equipment. I can thank the Super Club’s resources for that!”Bookmark here

She held up a single nugget, letting it glimmer in the light shining from her radiant grin.Bookmark here

“This gold is so precious that you can eat it! Too bad the jewelers won’t accept it, so we might as well use it as food.”Bookmark here

Everyone watched Quintegrity nibble—and savor—a morsel off the gold nugget, seeing the deep bliss in her rosy cheeks.Bookmark here

“It’s like candy,” Quintegrity said, swallowing the melty metal morsel, “and I sometimes mix it in with some of my treats that I sell.” She emptied a bag of homemade peanut brittle zapcorn into the candy dish and said with a giggle, “You just gotta be careful not to eat too much of the gold, or you can get Midas gout! Hee-hee!”Bookmark here

She set the candy dish on the sea-marble coffee table next to the tea. Only Isho helped himself.Bookmark here

“It’s delicious,” he said between crunches, his eyes wide.Bookmark here

Ryuumba-chan zipped out of the other room and across the carpet back to its doghouse. Before entering, it stopped, trembled for a bit, popped its dustbin open, and ejected Snickerdoodle. The dusty doggy lay on the floor, disoriented and disgruntled.Bookmark here

“Aw!” Quintegrity knelt down beside the pooch. “Snickerdoodle, it looks like you lost this round against Ryuumba-chan. Tee-hee!”Bookmark here

Skater Girl chuckled. “Why does your dog always fight robotic things?”Bookmark here

“Because he’s perfect for our plans!” Quintegrity answered with a potent thumbs-up.Bookmark here

“If you all stop wasting time,” Captain Pretentious said, sipping some sparkling tea, “we can begin the discussion.”Bookmark here

“Go right ahead,” Quintegrity replied, squatting in her comfy chair and giving the guest an enthusiastic look.Bookmark here

The short woman began, “The hottest trend right now is this current phase of Glove Alien Fight, specifically the augmented reality dungeon. By far, it has the highest number of online searches according to both Gaggle and Bong, the two leading search engine companies, as well as on EweTube. I would like to take advantage of this trend and host a web series that highlights the AR dungeon exploration, like livestream videos of various excursions and gameplay.” She looked at Quintegrity. “I’d like your Super Club members to be the hosts.”Bookmark here

Rover gave a wry smirk. “Working with me won’t ruin your reputation?”Bookmark here

“Don’t question my business acumen,” Captain Pretentious told him curtly. “I’ve weighed the risks.”Bookmark here

“That’s a great idea!” Quintegrity held up her finger. “Only one condition: I am to remain entirely anonymous.”Bookmark here

Captain Pretentious was confused. “O-Okay…but why???”Bookmark here

“Yeah, Quinn,” Tallyhawk said. “You’re the president of the club hosting the show. It’d be great publicity!”Bookmark here

“You’d be like the main star,” Hodge added.Bookmark here

With a modest smile, Quintegrity said, “I want to avoid publicity.”Bookmark here

Rover looked over at Tallyhawk, Hodge, and Isho, then looked at Captain Pretentious.Bookmark here

Those four are the only ones here who don’t know that Quintegrity needs to keep her head down. And Graphite and Skater Girl don’t know the full story behind the more serious reason…Quintegrity’s exile, never mind not once meeting the one-hour daily quota.Bookmark here

He looked at the edible gold nugget melting in his hand.Bookmark here

Who am I kidding? Not even I know the full story behind her exile…Bookmark here

He ate the gold candy.Bookmark here

Why…is this so delicious?! It doesn’t even taste like metal. Then again, I don’t know what gold tastes like, anyway.Bookmark here

“If you insist, Quinn,” Captain Pretentious said with a shrug. “I’ll ensure your anonymity.”Bookmark here

Skater Girl said, “This web series will need to be nonprofit to be legal. There must be something else you want from it if money is out of the question.”Bookmark here

“Yes. I’m kind of a big deal in the electronic entertainment industry,” the miniature madam replied. “This is just the natural course of action for me to provide content for my fans. And, as I’ve been informed, your Super Club is kind of a big deal in this school. Think of this as merely a joining of giants. The buzz this could create will be next-gen hype!” She smirked at everyone in the room, leaning back in her chair. “I’ll even compensate you all to make it worth your while.”Bookmark here

“Money???” Adele blurted, leaning forward.Bookmark here

“Not necessarily money, but I’ll provide assets.”Bookmark here

Feeling grouchy, Adele pouted. “That doesn’t sound as appealing.”Bookmark here

“I’ll make sure you all have the most advanced gaming gear on the market,” Captain Pretentious told them. “VR headsets and game controllers for all of you. You also can’t forget what this could mean for your reputations, too. It’s true you can’t make direct income from this, but it’ll really put your names out there. A lot of people I’ve made similar deals with have been offered sponsorships and opportunities, and they’re well-off because of it.”Bookmark here

Rover washed down another gold nugget with some sparkling tea, experiencing a mind-boggling flavor pairing. He let out a loud exhale with a refreshed smile, garnering the attention of everyone in the room.Bookmark here

Looking at the little woman across the sea-marble coffee table, he shot her a crooked smirk. “It all sounds great on the surface, but we’ll need some kind of contract to check out before we commit.”Bookmark here

Annoyed by the boy’s arrogant tone, Captain Pretentious pursed her lips, saying, “Of course. What kind of businesswoman do you take me for? One that doesn’t finalize deals with contracts?”Bookmark here

Rover shrugged with a broad grin. “Gotta make sure there aren’t any ulterior motives.”Bookmark here

“Ha-ha-ha! Sorry, but it’s funny you’d say that, Rover. True, everything will be spelled out for you on the contract, and I’ll even let you all negotiate the terms. However,”—her grin stretched to mimic Rover’s— “I do have one ulterior motive.”Bookmark here

Rover raised an eyebrow. Everybody else listened intently to what the dealmaker was about to say next. A ferocious intensity built up in her highlighter-flamingo eyes, amplifying the deviousness of her curled lips.Bookmark here

“My main goal for this,” she said, “is to hurry the hell up and beat CEO Claudius in Glove Alien Fight! Down with the daily playtime mandate! I’ll choose to overlook the risks of associating with the ultimate cheater, and I’ll overlook your continual cheating by taking advantage of the AR match randomization. If something will accelerate the downfall of the gameplay mandate, then I’ve deemed it worthy of consideration.”Bookmark here

Rover was so surprised that his grin actually faded. He hadn’t expected Captain Pretentious to say something he could resonate with.Bookmark here

She removed her long, silk glove to reveal a dainty, doll-like hand, and then snapped her fingers. Within seconds, a loud thudding sound banged through the penthouse, making everyone jump. A huge albatross had collided into one of the large window panes overlooking the Courtmeadows, but had failed to break through and fell to the ground where it bounced off the lilygrass. Graphite appeared particularly distressed by the avian deliverer, shivering and sweating.Bookmark here

“Tch.” Captain Pretentious slipped her glove back on. “The albatross was meant to deliver the contract for you to view. Please retrieve it, read it, and let me know your thoughts.”Bookmark here

“Gwa-ha-ha-ha!” Quintegrity cackled, twirling her fake mustache before ripping it off again. “These windows are invincible! If anyone wants to break in, they’re better off going through the walls!”Bookmark here

The little guest deadpanned at the nefarious club president, sighed, finished her cup of sparkling tea, and then stood up.Bookmark here

“Anyway, that’s all the time I have for today,” she said, walking to the door. “I need to return to high-class society before I forget how to dominate every social occasion with my grace.” She turned to Quintegrity. “Thank you for having me. Also, please know your sparkling tea is quite noteworthy, and it has made me consider starting a line of sparkling teas for retail using your recipes. You’d be heavily compensated with royalties…anonymously…but we’ll save the discussion for another time.”Bookmark here

Quintegrity grinned and blushed. “Thank you very much!”Bookmark here

“And Rover?”Bookmark here

“What?”Bookmark here

With her hand on the doorknob, Captain Pretentious said, “I look forward to hearing from you.”Bookmark here

“Don’t lie.”Bookmark here

She chuckled, then left.Bookmark here

*******Bookmark here

<<<STATUS>>>Bookmark here

Rover… Lvl 1,173Bookmark here

AthletaCom Points… 12Bookmark here

All Money… {T}337,705Bookmark here

Allowance… {T}336,705Bookmark here

Food Slip… {T}1,000Bookmark here

<<<EXPENSE GOALS>>>Bookmark here

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

<<<CURRENT EQUIPMENT>>>Bookmark here

Weapon… Ancient MagusBookmark here

Armor… Knight SweaterBookmark here

Acc. 1… Meme CannonBookmark here

Acc. 2… Getaway SocksBookmark here

<<<PERIPHERALS>>>Bookmark here

ControllerBookmark here

VR HeadsetBookmark here

<<<SPECIAL NUMBERS>>>Bookmark here

#1, #4, #10Bookmark here

<<<LEGENDARY COGS>>>Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.