Being able to go to Pearl Street turned RMI into a totally different place. <strike>Levels</strike> <strike>Seasons</strike> Years one and two had basically just been four arcs of Elliot getting increasingly stir-crazy, like the little bubble meter popping on a water level to show you how close your character was to drowning. Just watching his sanity meter pop away until the semester ended and he could be out in the city and not in the fake-indoors of a small school.
Elliot didn’t mean to sound ungrateful, because he was learning the absolute dopest shit here. He made magic potions. He hung out with unicorns. He got to learn about goblin wars. He was in dueling club. He could turn things into other things. He could make stuff fly. He got to go flying himself every day! None of that ever happened at home. RMI made him feel claustrophobic, though.
Pearl Street had a real sky, and places with good coffee where he didn’t even have to get permission to order an espresso. There were other people besides his professors and classmates. Elliot hadn’t realized how much he would miss living in a city with eight and a half million strangers until there weren’t any strangers at all. It was like RMI had survived a zombie apocalypse and was just bunkered up beneath the mountain, farming their own produce and conjuring their own water and occasionally hearing from the outside world by messenger birds. And no offense to the population of RMI, but most of them were not people Elliot would have chosen for his survival team. Kit was a loose cannon maniac who would turn cannibal without being infected, and Connor Farnon seemed like the kind of person who wouldn’t tell anyone he’d been bitten by a zombie and put everyone’s lives at risk when he eventually turned. You didn’t want people like that on your zombie apocalypse squad.
But now Elliot could go to Pearl Street, and it was better. It made him appreciate the inside part of the school more, now that he had an alternative. Take strolling the Outdoor Classroom. He could do that and not think about it like he was trapped in the Hunger Games arena.
He was doing just that when he came across Deagret, painting a picture of… ooh. Elliot inspected the portrait-in-progress. He could definitely see what she was going for. Possibly it looked slightly better than him, the way concept art always looked better than the final render. Super flattering, if he was honest. “Really?” Elliot said, grinning, when Dea finally noticed him and tried to hide the art. “‘Cause that nothing looks a lot like me.”