“OK, Jake. You gotta tell me, How did you know that that guy was the one we could trust?” Ned said, setting his half-finished can of cola on the table with a loud thump.
Jake’s face split with a wide grin. “Simple. When the lycanthropic change happens, it’s very high energy. That’s why most were-critters are super aggressive on the full moon they’re going through a super painful process. The pain from having the change is mitigated when the body can use body fat as fuel. So the fat guy was the one we could bet on keeping his head.”
Tina slapped her forehead and groaned, “I thought he was fat from eating lotsa people!”
“One more pie, guys,” Susan deftly snagged the empty pizza box from the table, and replaced it with a fresh one.
“Thanks sweetie,” Ned patted her affectionately on the thigh as she took her place among the other gamers.
“You’re sometimes too predictable,” Jake said around a piece of pepperoni pizza. “Not that that’s a bad thing. It just means that we can use your world rules effectively.”
Ned nodded, pursing his lips as he ruminated on Jake’s retort. “Well, I can’t even be mad. That’s the point of the world rules, I just never thought you were paying attention.”
“So, Ned and I thought of a great prank,” Susan said, pulling a slice from the box.
Ned grinned and blew her a kiss, “Yeah we did, but all the credit goes to miss Suzy-q.”
“But we’re playing the long game here guys. And all of us are going to participate, no arguing.”
“Get to the deets, Q” Tina said, gathering her polyhedral dice back into the tattered felt crown royal bag that she had been using as a coaster.
“OK, so you know that Ned and I are trying to have a baby, and since you guys,” She nodded at Jake and Tina, “Are a few months into the oven, we thought that since we are a group of nerd-positive and higher-than-the-mean intelligence groups, we would play a trick on our future nerdlettes.”
Tina sat up straight, her errant dice forgotten, “You has my attention. Tell me more.”
“Well,” Susan began, setting her pizza down, and licking the tips of her fingers, “Remember that year we went to SuperCon in full costume?”
“Hell yes, I do. That’s where I met Jake!” Tina winked at her husband with a leer.
“Great, so here’s the dealio. We all remake our costumes. Really pour the effort and time into it. Spare no expense.”
Jake furrowed his brow, “I don’t know if I like where this is going…”
“Shut it, Jake. Let the woman talk.” Tina elbowed him roughly, “Please continue.”
Susan grinned, “Well I have a friend in the office who was a art major, and he posted a bunch of really cool looking newspaper articles in his cube. But the thing is, they’re all fake. So I thought, What if we make scrapbooks of news clippings that make it look like we’re all superheroes and hide them with the costumes in our closets where our kids will find them? How cool would that be?”
Tina bounced in her seat, “Yes. So much yes!”
Jake sighed and mumbled into the rum and coke that he had been nursing for the last hour.
“Why are you being such a negative Nancy? You don’t even have to work on your costume, yours is still in perfect shape.”
“Yeah,” Jake said, tossing back the remainder of his drink, “perfect shape…”