BOOM!

“Now this Crew… They actually have a name, kind of. Boom! I think they made it up themselves. They’re… well, they’re crazy.”

“Crazy seems pretty par for the course down here, doesn’t it?”

“Hah, no, these guys are good people, but they’re actually nuts. Well, mostly. This one, the pretty red-head? You can’t see it in the picture but she’s got a long, really fluffy tail. Cynara. She’s mostly normal, at least for down here. If you have business with the Crew or want to find something, she’s the one to talk to.”

”Find something?”

“Yeah, she can find anything - or anyone - if you can pay. I heard she’s pretty reasonable. Although if you want to ask her to find your soulmate or something, it’d probably be way out of your price range.”

“Ha ha, funny.”

“Hey, when I say she can find anything, I mean anything. Anyway. This big one here–”

“Nice hat.”

“Yeah, I hear he’s from Texas. Howard’s a good guy, strong morals, likes the ladies and being a gentleman, has one hell of a temper. Watch how you act around him; like I said, strong morals. Really black and white type of guy, and if you piss him off, the whole damn hallway’s going down with you.”

“Heh, that bad? I’m surprised the school’s still standing.”

“Well there’s been a couple close calls, but usually Luke or Cynara shows up before there’s too much damage.”

”…I was joking…”

“Yeah well, I wasn’t. Don’t piss him off. This boy here is pretty normal, but he isn’t really as much a part of the Crew, from what I can tell. Sort of a satellite member. His name’s Cabal and while like I said he doesn’t seem to be a full part of their Crew, if he goes to them for help, they do. Keep that in mind if you get into a tangle with him; this is really a Crew you do not want coming after you.”

“Other than Howard, they don’t seem so bad. Is one of these last two secretly a homicidal maniac or something?”

“Funny you should say that…”

”…I was joking!”

“Hah, you should see your face! Okay okay, no, they’re not homicidal maniacs, exactly. But these two are at least eighty percent of the entire Crew’s reputation. The blonde’s named Leofric and the little girl is Zita. He Owns her; has for as long as I’ve been here.”

“Wait, you can do that?”

“Yeah, there’s no actual rule you have to let your Kept go at the end of the year. It’s just tradition. But they’re a weird pair, anyway. He lets her do pretty much whatever she wants, but–”

“But keep away?”

“No, she’s fine. You’ve probably seen her around flirting with… well, she flirts with pretty much everyone. And if you and she hit it off, go for it. But if you value your skin, do not, seriously, do not hurt her.”

“Or her oh-so-scary Keeper will come after me, right?”

“Yeah, exactly, but that’s the second half. Sure she’s a tiny little thing and looks like you can snap her in half, but she is vicious. She’s got a dozen venomous fangs and I heard she once bit a guy just because she was bored. He had to be rushed to the nurse’s office. I even heard she almost got herself expelled. Twice.”

“You can get expelled?”

“Yeah, if you kill someone.”

”…Oh.”

“Leofric… He’s fine, pretty friendly actually, as long as he doesn’t think you hurt one of his friends. Or even worse, Zita. I saw him flip out once, myself. I didn’t see how it started - I heard later, the new guy had shoved Zita out of his way like a typical asshole - but all of the sudden Leofric had grabbed this guy by the shirt and slammed him into the wall. The look on his face, I thought he was going to kill the poor kid!”

“Kill him for shoving his Kept?!”

“I told you. They’re nuts.”