To be fair, though, the job does come with a really nice office – downside being, it’s shared with all the desks for the other instructors. Which makes it especially awkward to paradigm shift which one is my desk. It’s big, next to a giant window overlooking the gym. In case of training accidents, I guess. I mean, my powers do work just fine through glass, but I can’t imagine it’d be that useful for everyone; even if they didn’t, though, there’s the elevator down to the gym in the corner. Cramped if you’re taking more than one person, although I managed to squeeze in with three others that time.

Actually, if I remember right, that was for a training accident. Well, more like a fight, and, anyway, more property damage than anything. Fights between a regenerator and a shielder never go that well for anyone else involved. At least Arsenal only ended up with a mild concussion – although, come to think of it, the gym might have been worse off if he hadn’t been knocked out. And we really have a lot more healers than construction workers on staff.

I flip through my documents, seeing which one is Arsenal’s file – but he’s graduated, I guess, because it isn’t there, but I’ve definitely seen him in the building the last few days. I wonder why they didn’t just put him in charge of the team. Maybe they didn’t think it would play well to put him in charge of his former teammates. Or maybe someone’s finally put the 21 rule into effect, although I think I would’ve heard about that. Maybe.

Maybe they did offer him the job, and he just wanted to play in the big leagues. I mean, the boss did say they asked everyone.

Damn, now I kind of wish I hadn’t been so ambivalent about working with the kids. I bet enough complaints would’ve gotten me dropped from the list.

Small group this year. Not that I’m complaining (about that part) – it’s a lot less likely I can fuck up team dynamics between six kids than twenty. Good year for Coach Domino to retire, I guess.

I kind of wonder if he didn’t just decide last week or something, right after they got the names in. I also kind of wonder if they’re switching off names just so people will know I’m not the same person as him, as if we’re at all likely to be confused on appearance. Not that we haven’t been missing a Teke, I guess, but it’s not like every single city needs one all the time. We’ve already got Sideswipe and Prime Mover, and PsychoBitch if you want to count the freelance heroes. (I know I’m not supposed to, but it’s not like they won’t help out in a crisis.) But I guess I needed some name or other.

The files are neat, not very thick. I guess none of these kids have gotten in trouble yet, although there’s only one first year new member. I read over the summary. She seems to have the standard White Hat Complex – although some kind of shielding, rather than true invulnerability. But the name, though! I’m going to see if I can talk her out of FiendPuncher. Why is it always the ones with superstrength that want to pick the ridiculous names? Not to mention the robot suits – I really hope Enigma Machine (has that really been his name all along?) is not going for all the connotations he might be going for. Flyers pick bad names, let’s say, for the sake of brevity.

Not that Jailbait is much better, but at least she’s going to have to change her name next year. Although you do really have to wonder about what sort of event gives a twelve year old an emotional manipulation field and a nausea-inducing shriek. (The attraction power is probably self-explanatory.)

With a runner, and two ranged fighters, we’ve actually got a pretty good mix of powers this year. No telepath (they always say it so disappointed, like they really thought it might happen), but Caffeine is potentially a low-level precog, and seems to have some sort of ESP. Of course, it’d be nice to train another telekine, but it’s a little redundant if I’m going to have to lead the team, anyway. I wonder if they’ve designed a suit for me, and whether it looks like the last Teke’s. I wonder if I should put on my mask now, for a little while, just to get used to it.

Of course, they itch, and look ridiculous, which was the entire point of joining the armored division in the first place, but, hey, what can you do? It’s not like there doesn’t need to be someone in charge of the minors.

Oh, shit. That means I’m going to be in loco parentis.

It’s not even getting them injured that worries me – although I’m sure as hell going to do my best to avoid them getting injured – it’s that I have to give them bedtimes and make sure they eat and all, even during crises. Will they even listen to me?

Or worse, what if they decide that I’m actually a proper mentor and start coming to me with all kinds of ridiculous questions? I think I’m fairly limited in the topics I can give good advice on. Hell, my parents aren’t even divorced.  Of course, they don’t like me fighting in powered battles, so there is that to commiserate on, at least – assuming their secret identities aren’t meant to keep their parents in the dark, too, because that I can’t help with.

Shit, they probably are. I’ve read that only about one in ten kids tells their parents about their powers while they still live at home. I mean, some estimates put it lower (or, at least, they estimate the number of people with powers higher), and some put it higher (because there’s got to be a lot of parents helping protect their kids’ secret identities, right?), so I have no idea how true that actually is or how they got that number in the first place. I’d always recommend telling someone, because it’s not like it’s a fun thing not being able to talk about it.

Oh, shit, I’m going to really have to recommend that for real, aren’t I? I’m going to have to give them all sorts of advice on who to tell and who not to tell. And how to keep everything secret. Damn.

Given that I’ve never had a secret identity myself, this may be problematic.

I put on that mask after all. It’s more comfortable than I expected – some sort of smart material that conforms to my face. I wonder if they come in colors other than black. Something to ask about. Or, at least, wonder about and not waste other people’s time with. I’m sure they’ll have my costume to me soon enough, so I can start having my oh-so-important secret identity.

Oh, fuck, that’s right, that means they think people will be trying to kill or kidnap me, or my family and friends. Nice. Note to self: ask Coach Domino whether he got shot at a lot.

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