“So how have things been since the holidays?” Mrs. Daniels asked. She and Hershel were sitting in an Italian restaurant a few miles off campus. It was a quaint place with fair prices, good food, and comfortable chairs.
“Not too bad,” Hershel replied. “Roy’s actually been working hard in the combat class.”
“Roy will tell me all about what he’s been up to at length tomorrow, sweetie. I want to know how you’ve been doing.”
“Good, I guess. The classes aren’t bad so far, and there’s this river trip during spring break that looks like a lot of fun.”
“That’s nice. How about with girls? You talked a lot about you friend Mary over the break,” Mrs. Daniels pried.
“Well... we did sort of dance a couple of weeks ago.”
“A nice start. Then what happened?”
“Um, nothing. That was it, we danced a few weeks ago,” Hershel said, suddenly feeling a bit uncomfortable.
“I see.” Mrs. Daniels said. She took a long sip of her white wine. “Darling, you know I don’t want to intrude into this new life you’ve made for yourself, but would you be open to a little motherly advice?”
“An object at rest will stay at rest. An object in motion will stay in motion, unless it is acted on by an opposing force. Time is a tremendously effective opposing force,” Mrs. Daniels said.
“I’m not sure I follow you,” Hershel said.
“Son, if you have momentum then don’t let time erode it too much. You danced with Mary, and from the smile when talking about it, you took it to have a romantic connotation. A girl expects a little continuation of courting after moments like those.”
“So you’re saying I should have asked her out?”
“I’m simply letting you know what a woman generally anticipates in the courting process,” Mrs. Daniels said with a soft smile.
“Gotcha,” Hershel said. He thought about her advice for a moment. “One thing. Roy never really does that. I mean, he’ll go for days without calling or even responding to the texts of girls he goes out with.”
“What your brother does isn’t really courting. It’s more... well, I can’t think of a polite word for it. Just trust me that I know more about nice girls like Mary than Roy does,” Mrs. Daniels said.
* * *
“Breathtaking, isn’t it?” Mr. Transport said, admiring the blue waves crashing against the sand.
“Actually, yeah, it kind of is. Must be really far, though, given the fact that it looks like noon here and we left at dusk,” Vince pointed out.
“Very astute. We’re indeed some ways from home. Don’t worry, I have no intention of leaving you for any type of trial this time,” Mr. Transport said.
“Glad to hear it,” Vince said, genuinely hoping Mr. Transport was telling the truth.
“I’m sure. The sandwich shop is down the beach a bit. We can walk there in twenty minutes or so.”
“Sounds good,” Vince said. “Just curious though, you’re a teleporter, why not teleport us right to it?”
“Because then we wouldn’t get the experience of walking there,” Mr. Transport said.
Vince cast his eyes out at the ocean once more. He had to admit, he could definitely see the appeal of taking the scenic route.
* * *
“That was delicious,” Mrs. Daniels said, pushing away her plate.
“I told you,” Hershel said. “This place is awesome.”
“It was; you made an excellent choice, dear. After this I’ll sleep like a baby tonight.”
“You’ll need it to keep up with Roy tomorrow,” Hershel said.
“Of that I have no doubt,” Mrs. Daniels agreed. “Speaking of, you boys worked out a schedule, right?”
“Yup. I’m here tonight and Sunday before you leave in the afternoon. Roy gets all of Saturday. It adds up to around a full day each,” Hershel explained.
“Sounds very fair.”
“It is. Roy’s actually been a lot more amiable lately,” Hershel said. “I think the training is giving him a place to take out a lot his... energy.” Hershel narrowly avoided using the term ‘anger’. It seemed closer to badmouthing someone than making a report.
“I’m happy to hear that. I hoped you boys would start getting along again eventually,” Mrs. Daniels said. “Most siblings are friendlier in their older years, anyway. I was counting a lot on growing up to help that process.”
“Might not have been a bad bet.”
“Your mother has her moments,” Mrs. Daniels said. “And I know a thing or two about dealing with strong-willed boys.”
* * *
“You’re right, this sandwich is ridiculously delicious,” Vince said, the cheese oozing down from his first bite and running along the plate.
“I don’t often hop across the globe for poor cuisine,” Mr. Transport said, tackling his own meal.
“Is going farther harder?” Vince asked.
“Not for me,” Mr. Transport said, shrugging his shoulders. “I’ve heard others say distance creates difficulty for them, but it’s all the same to me. A mile or on ocean, I go there in a simple jump.”
“That’s weird. I never really thought that people with the same power would function differently,” Vince said.
“It’s a curiosity, I’ll give you that,” Mr. Transport said. “All I’ve been able to figure out is that there’s no such thing as ‘the same power’ among Supers. Vast amounts of similarities, but with subtle differences between them. For example, I once knew a large amount of fellow teleporters. One woman left a shower of sparks when she vanished. One man would appear in a large cloud of dark smoke. There was even a fellow who left the smell of sulfur in the air when he jumped. All the same power in a very technical sense, yet each as unique as the Super that wielded it.”
“I see what you mean. Sort of like how shifting is the most common ability, but everyone shifts into something different,” Vince said.
“And even those who shift into the same basic form have differences between them. Two people who can shift into panther-human hybrids would still look quite different and possess individual strengths and weaknesses.”
“So you’re a teleporter who can go any distance with ease,” Vince surmised. “That doesn’t mean that every teleporter can, though.”
“I guess that makes you one of the better ones then,” Vince said.
“I’m okay,” Mr. Transport lied. “There’s always someone better.”
That last part wasn’t a lie, even if Mr. Transport didn’t know it.