If you had any delusion we were welcomed as heroes, let me disabuse you of that notion right this very second. We were not. After all our parents met us for a few minutes of hugs and tears and happiness, we fished away just before they started to kick into the 'WAITASECONDHERE,YOUNGIN! WHATWEREYOUTHINKING! to be quickly followed by YOUAREGROUNDEDINTOTHENEXTLIFETIME!'
When Shadwell's Sheriff saw us, she sighed. You would almost think she expected us to do something like this at some point and was expected worse, much worse in the future.
Well, she had a point.
The BII agents swept us into separate rooms and our parents followed in. You are not allowed to grill a kid without their parents present. I think I might have preferred to be WITHOUT my parents, actually. This could get ugly. Too reasonable Dad with uber mama bear Mom and me between with the BII agent across from me.
I was just thinking I might want to vomit.
I actually think this scenario might actually scare me than when I was facing down Captain Li. I could only die there. This was going to be much, much worse. I wondered for a moment if they had a special prison for kids that caused major international - no, INTERPLANETARY - incidents. For the thirty seconds before the agent was situated, I became entirely convinced in that brief eternity.
Dad pulled out his booster and up popped a lawyer bot. The BII agent grimaced.
"Aurora. May I call you Aurora? I doubt you are in any real trouble. This situation is just too bizarre, too out of this world" - that made me suppress a smirk then - "to be real. yet...here we are. Would you be so kind as to tell me what exactly happened?"
The lawyer bot interrupted and told me not to talk.
The agent looked exasperated and pulled out her own official booster. Her bot and my Dad's bot worked out an agreement faster and more detailed than people could in a week in seconds. I was off the hook unless I'd killed anyone in any other way than in self defense.
Considering I hadn't killed anyone, I felt pretty confident.
So, I spilled my guts. The prankster escape. The defense against the drones. The trek to the Church. The body there - the BII agents had found already - the fight with the cockatrice and basilisk. The Indians. The Nigerian. The Chinese. And the data chip.
That made her sit upright.
I had to agree to take the BII agents there. Which, duh, I did. How could I not? After all this? What would I do with that chip?!
Even so, I felt grilled. Like a good cheese sandwich. or perhaps even a burger or steak. The BII agent didn't let any detail get away.
With the conclusion of the interview, we were lifted to the spot where I left the chip. My parents insisted they come. A squad of the Marines came, too. Just in case the Chinese were not alone or the Indians were still out there.
We retrieved the chip and I was feeling proud and cocky.
Until I got home to Mom's.
Then I was worse than roasted.
Mom let me have it. She was in full out rage mommy bear mode letting her cub know the cub'd screwed up. Beyond screwed up. I felt I barely survived.
Dad did too in his own way. When someone does the same thing as ripping you apart without ever raising their voice, well, it can be just as devastating, if not more. There's no hiding behind the idea you were being yelled at. No yelling can be a devastating thing.
But. I couldn't help it. I noticed. There was a hint of pride and a slight smirk on Dad's face. A bemused one. Dad! You dork! Your rip me up but at the same time! gah! Parents! What would we ever do with them.
Mom was probably just as proud. She had a certain reaction to things though. Her pride would be shown later, I'm sure.
But in the mean time, I was going to be soooo grounded.