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Habari Gani (What's the News?)

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The mall hadn't changed much. Or, yeah, okay, maybe it had: fewer every-person department stores selling tires and camping gear and plaid; fewer high end walk-on-through-you-can't-afford-this money suckers with shine-tastic make-up counters arranged in geometric, semi-inescapable patterns; more gleaming floors; more cultures represented in the food court (which country begot Cinnabons, again?), and more unaccompanied, harried-looking adults.

It was the sheer numbers of adults that surprised her. What were they all doing? Just . . . buying stuff? For who? How strange. In her day Jubilee hadn't gone to the mall to buy stuff and jet. She went to hang out, to socialize, to survey her territory like Mufasa and Simba at the top of their cliff ("This will all be MINE?”). To live because, of course, at that point, Jubes had been orphaned, run out, and homeless.

In the years since, after joining up with said rough band of misfit super-humans, Jubilee hadn't returned often to her stomping grounds. Barely even thought about the place, really, what with saving the world and saving her own butt countless times. Hadn't missed the mall, hadn't missed wondering about her next meal, hadn't waisted time oggling the happy looking families coming in to buy their wicker hampers and Eastpak backpacks and 8000 thread count sheets.