Leo found himself settled in the chair Don had vacated earlier. He turned his attention to the screen before him. He found himself smiling slightly at the sight of his brother's user name. Trust Don to come up with something like KnowiTall! It sounded both like I know it all, and know I'm tall. He knew how fond his brother was of plays on words. His eyes drifted down the list of online friends, and the smile faltered a bit. It was probably harmless. He was probably being paranoid. But, well, any one of those names could be an enemy! The could be just waiting for them to slip up like this. Waiting like a spider in a web. An online web. Other than April, of course. Quickly, he read the chat dialog, just to be on the safe side.
He relaxed a bit when he was done. He leaned back in the seat. It seemed pretty innocent so far, just a couple of geeks geeking out about this or that chip. That kind of thing. But he's going to keep an eye on this TecknoBat guy. Or girl, to be fair, it might be a girl. He made a move to sign Donnie off, but the chat chimed, granting him a chance to keep an eye on him better than he had originally hoped.
TecknoBat: Know? Where did you go? Brother still giving you a hard time? Tell him to back off, LOL! Before he has to deal with me and MY bros!
Leo stared hard at the screen, debating with himself for a moment. Then he reached for the keyboard, and started typing.
KnowiTall: Who are you?
He hit the enter key, then waited for this Techno guy to respond. Minutes passed. Then the computer chimed again, but no words shown up. That was when Leo realized something that made him nervous all over again. Don was not talking to one other person. There was one, two…..There was four other chat boxes behind the first! What in the world? Then he noticed that the word document was actually three, and only one of them looked finished. And there was a chess game going?! How many things was Don juggling when he and Leo were fighting! This was just too crazy. Leo preferred doing one thing at a time. This, well, this just seemed to him to be really sloppy.
The chime broke him from his reverie. He looked up and saw that Teckno had responded. Sighing, he put his thoughts of his brother's insane multi-tasking habits on hole, reached over to the keyboard, and started typing.
KnowiTall: One of know's brothers. Who are you? What do you know about us?
TecknoBat: well, it's not Party, anyway…
KnowiTall: Party? Who's that?
TecknoBat: Come on, they are your brothers! The goofy one.
KnowiTall: Oh. That's M…right, Okay.
KnowiTall: Yeah, it's not Party. I don't chat much.
TecknoBat: Yeah…Yeah I can tell.
TechnoBat: Is know off-line?
KnowiTall: Yeah. He might be away for a while…
TecknoBat: Well, thanks for letting me know. Was there a fight? He was telling me that there was some tensions going on a little while ago.
Leo thought over his answer for a few minutes before typing up a reply. He didn't want to offend Don's friend after all, if he proves to be harmless. But he also needed to make sure he was harmless. He had to be absolutely sure.
KnowiTall: Yeah. It was pretty bad, actually. He went to cool off.
TecknoBat: Bummer. Which one are you anyway? Just curious.
KnowiTall: Before I answer, I need to know what you know about us. For…security reasons.
TecknoBat: Security…oh, hi, welcome back from the trip. Um, I don't know that much really. We don't talk RL much. I know that you guys have a single dad. That there are four boys. You, who is the oldest, There is a hotheaded middle brother. And the youngest, PartyAnimal, is really fun and goofy.
KnowiTall: Did you chat with any of them before? Wait, um, what is RL? Is that even a word?
Leo blinked, and read the post again, as a horrified idea formed in his brain. Hey, he guessed who he was? Was he being played? Did he know who they were? He had to know who they were!
KnowiTall: How did you even know who I was?
TecknoBat: Um…give me a minute. Did I ever chat with any of them? Yeah. Party Animal. He's cool. RL? Um, that means Real Life? What cave did you live in? How did I know who you were? Duh! Both Know and Party both said that you are very protective. So when you start grilling me the way my-well, father would have, I knew right away.
TecknoBat: Hey, it's cool. I get it. Know and I don't chat much about RL. We talk mechanics, physics. That kind of thing. He did tell me he don't have many people to talk to, that nobody else gets him at home. We don't talk much about anything else, because, well, each of us have our issues in our RL…er, real life so far.
Leo stared at the screen with a blank face for a minute. Then a slow grin spread across his face.
KnowiTall: You are, or anyway seem to be, a transparent person, aren't you?
TecknoBat: Yeah, guess so. It's cool. GTG. Oh, wait, Got to go. Time to hang with my own family.
KnowiTall: Okay. Well, good luck with that. Good Night.
TecknoBat: Good night.
TecknoBat: Logged off
KnowiTall: Logged off
Leo stared at the screen for a few more minutes. Then he sighed and clicked on the next chat. He only wrote GTG. Then moved to the next and did the same thing until he had ran out of chat boxes. Then he took a few more minutes to save his brother's work, only one of them made a sense to him at all. The one he understood, he was sorely tempted to read over. It looked like it was about some kind of battle. Leo didn't even know Don wrote or studied anything in military history. Interesting.
Then he sighed again, and left the paper unread, reluctantly. Right now, it would not be wise. He knew Don would be somewhat touchy right now, and he didn't want to set him off again by any hint of invasion of privacy.