Ey, that ’splained it. Rhia was obvs a booky type: she was always front line to go hands-up for Q’n’A time with the profs, and from what she’d eyed going round the school in free hours, the other girl was often in the library. Getting stuck for a proj she wasn’t keen on made sense as a reason for her dodgy look. Paige herself was a fine student but not oneta grump when a class didn’t fit her fancy. In gen the only module she wagged off in was Potions and that was outta necessity, since blowing stuff up by mistake was part of what got her sent here, but in just a few months Robbo struck her as way more chill than the NZAM prof, so maybe he wouldna mind so much.
She flashed a grin at Rhia’s compliment. Er, maybe comp? She was gonna take it as one. ”Yours too! I love spiders.” It didn’t fit with her style, she knew, but that just meant it fit real well cos no one could prank her with spiders in her desk. There’d been a bloke in Huia way too smug on that track. She ’n her girls in Moa had a whole wild plan to get him back with birds in the dorm next term but she didn’t get to see it play out, sob. At least they pinky promised to catch her up when she got home. ”And she’ll be right,” Paige added reassuringly. ”We did this kinda stuff at NZAM—” (she said it like enzam, as you should with acros; people who spelled out every acronym were just wastin’ air) ”—and it’s real straight. Glummies are just sad lil pups, they’ll follow easy.”
When asked where to start, Paige glanced over the rows of bee boxes and randomly picked one. It didn’t actually matter where they went cos all had to be done but if Rhia wanted her to make the call, no prob. ”There.” She pointed at it with her fist, both hands still cupped over the nettles. She wasn’t about to let go - Rhia hadn’t seen her drop the whole pile earlier and she was a hard pass on doin’ it again. ”Let’s go!” With a half-walk half-skippin’ step, the Asian girl headed right over to stand in front of the box, maybe a metre off outta respect for the buzzers rambling out. ”Kay so we should lure as many as poz before we get smoky,” she reviewed, not that she thought Rhia hadn’t stuck it all to mind already, but sayin’ nothing before going at it woulda been weird. ”I’ll grab this side.”
Shuffling around the box, she opened her cupped hands and held out the nettles. And then her hands did a wild bounce and all the nettles got thrown at the box like b-day confetti... or no, bee-day! Paige giggled at the thought and then sobered up as a bunch of bees came out. ”Oopsies.” The reg bees were prolly just curious to know what had rained on their house - they didn’t seem to be in a stinging mood yet, and hopefully would stay that way cos stinging wasn’t good for bees - but maybe there were some glummies with ’em. Luckily a few lone nettles were stuck to her right glove, so she held it out, taking a step closer and ignoring a cloud of bees going past. It was a tad unnerving but no worse than skeeter clouds, really. ”C’mere!”