Tough to Swallow by TransmuteJun
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I could hardly believe that I had been shuffled off to the cafeteria while the rest of them talked about me. So much for being a part of a team. Were they always going to have their stupid meetings without me?

I wandered over to the food line, half-heartedly picking up a box of Fruit Loops and some milk. The old geezers usually didn’t let me have sugar, fearing what it would do to my personality. As far as I was concerned, they could stick my personality where the sun didn’t shine, as long as they gave me some damn cereal from time to time. The best thing about being on this team would definitely be the increased freedom.

That is, as long as Mister Attitude didn’t make things difficult. I realized that I didn’t even know his name yet. He hadn’t even bothered to introduce himself. No matter. I had some plans for Mister Attitude, and I didn’t need to know his name to make them a reality.

The rest of them seemed okay. Princess had been gracious enough, and Tiny had been friendly, without any hint of shock. Even Mark seemed willing to accept me on my father’s say-so. I guessed I could live with being a part this team. I knew that would entail spending a lot of time with this cast of characters. Hopefully they had a sense of humor, or things were going to get pretty dull.

I was enjoying my illicit sugar when all four of them entered the cafeteria. I pretended not to notice them and hunched over my bowl, hoping they’d leave me alone long enough to let me finish.

No such luck. At least Princess sat down next to me. It’s not every day I get to sit beside a girl with her… attributes.

“Whatcha eatin’, short stuff?” Tiny asked.

Well, duh! Obviously the fat dude wasn’t too bright. It would take a blind man not to see the neon-colored circles floating in my bowl. By the look of him, I imagined that Tiny had more than a passing familiarity with many kinds of sugar cereal.

I didn’t even look at them, but continued eating.

“What do you think, Shit-for-Brains?” I commented. Unfortunately, what came out was “Broot… Fruit Loops… doot…”

“Keyop, we’re looking forward to training with you. The Chief told us how talented you are.” Princess said.

Damn, didn’t she have the sexy voice? I wondered quickly if the other guys jacked off to the sound of that.

“I’d show you how talented I am,” I smirked, “but somehow, I don’t think I’m your type.”

That’s what they…broot…tell me…” is what actually came out of my mouth.

“How’d you like to fight in the simulator with us, this afternoon?” Mark asked.

“How’d you like to have your ass pasted all over the simulator?” I asked smugly. That got translated as, “Sounds…swell…” What the hell? Swell? They must really think I was some kind of dork.

“Yeah, we’ll see what the little bird can do against a legion of Spectran goons.” Mister Attitude rolled his eyes.

Spectrans be damned. I was going to paste his fucking ass all over that simulator. He’d never see it coming.

Princess kicked Mister Attitude under the table.

“Ignore Jason.” she said to me. “He doesn’t play well with others.”

Damn! Fine, and funny! I was really taking a shine to Princess. I gave her a big grin.

So… Mister Attitude’s name was Jason. He must have been named after that psycho in the Friday the Thirteenth movies. I could see a similarity around the eyes.

“Screw Jason.” I smirked. “He’ll get what’s coming to him.”

Of course, Princess heard, “Jason… broop… not problem!”

“That’s the attitude, Keyop!” she smiled, ruffling my hair.

Somehow, I didn’t mind so much when she did that.

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