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Aberrant: Weirder Stuff is an Aberrant game using an original setting. In Aberrant: Weirder Stuff (henceforth AWS) you will play a young Quantum Enhanced Human who must decide how to live with your new found powers and what role you will play in the coming world upheaval. It is a modern setting/Supers/Scifi/Weird Adventure which will run in a concurrent time line to our own reality. Focus will be Character Drama, Us against them, facing the Unknown, and Action. Oh and there may be sex.

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Aberrant: Weirder Stuff this is an Aberrant game using an original setting.

In Aberrant: Weirder Stuff (henceforth AWS) you will play a Quantum Enhanced Human who must decide how to live with your new found powers and what role you will play in the coming world upheaval. It is a modern setting/Supers/Scifi/Weird Adventure which will run in a concurrent time line to our own reality. Focus will be Character Drama, Us against them, facing the Unknown, and Action. Oh and there may be sex.

The game will begin, but not be restricted to, a small town in Montana. The town is a Fictionalized version of Shelly Montana ( based on the town of Shelby  http://www.city-data.com/city/Shelby-Montana.html ). The general public are not aware of Quantum Enhanced Humans (Novas in base aberrant), although if your a nerd and google every weird thing in the world (I'm not saying it's aliens … but it's aliens) there are stories of... well weird shit happening, some of which are true.

Enhanced Humans first began manifesting about 10-15 years ago, although these early manifestations were primarily low level mega stat recipients and went undetected by even those who manifested. Over the intervening years more low level manifestations have occurred and were first discovered by the government agency responsible for creating them (unknowingly, more on that later). This discovery took place about 5 years ago . The exact cause of the manifestation of super normal abilities is not yet known but there are theories. There are few QEHs (Quantum Enhanced Humans) in existence all of which are from the united states and all who manifested in one of 3 locations and all of which are government employees. These couple of dozen or so QEHs possess powers that range from low level mega stats (1 -2 dot) to low level provable psychic abilities such as telepathy, esp, etc. The government is unaware of any massive super powered people and in fact there have been no such manifestations. Until now.

  1. What's new in this game
  2. Abel moved within her range and set about his own task. He'd have to be ready the instant they appeared in the quantum realm, Simply because Pandora would be at her strongest there, and if he couldn't cut her off from everywhere else it would be for nothing. using his tk to grab Devin to bring him along, he prepared to defend them both, hunkered behind his shield, as his own eyes blazed with blue light, as he began preparations to create dimensional locks powerful enough to isolate a God, and bring her down to their level. For that he also took from Kia, seeing the actual quantum signature of their foe in a way that made sense, So he could attune the locks to only effect her.
  3. Still recovering her mental balance after getting hit with something *less painful* than one of Abel or Kia's punches, Jeane slid to a halt on the ice, reflexes having saved her from slamming face first into it. Nerd speak aside, it was seriously odd she had gotten away with her stunt with nothing worse than maaaybe a light tan. Still if Sean expected her to take the team to this quantum realm, terrifying as that sounded, there was one small problem. <Ahhh, Sean..? Actually, I can't...> Couldn't take anything more than a few pounds with her when she jumped. Or felt safe jumping blind. Or have the juice in her node to pull off a stunt like that. That third train of thought made her pause. Maybe..? She forced herself to nod, adjusting her red-tipped scarf with one hand and sucked in a breath. <I have a stupid idea. Get close, keep her from killing me, and I MaY HavE a WAy tO GET us aLL tHERe.> The tall blonde's mental voice fractured with poorly repressed nervousness and distraction as she pushed her node faster and harder than it wanted it go, just another muscle like Lilly had told her what felt so long ago, just like Abel and Kia had shown her how to do once with the dire promise to never do it, only do it when it really counted. The crimson sparks of one of her signature flashy teleports began to dance and flare over all over her skin, costume, and hair, growing more intense of as she started to crumble from the inside outward. Arcs of darkening lightning screamed and spun around her in an ever growing dome of rippling, purple distortion that engulfed everything in a 25 meter radius of the youngest Irregular. She burned like a shadow puppet in it's center, two white lights for her eyes and her node a red evening star just behind them vomiting bolts of barely constrained quantum. It hurt. Why was the field so big..? Her node didn't want her to do this and was driving nails into the rest of her brain to remind her of that fact over and over and over. Still, among the struggles to keep her balance atop the quantum fire, she mustered a spare thought for the link. <Devin. Bring. Please?>
  4. With preternatural awareness Sean observed... everything. She saw the monstrous dragon Kia had become pull herself back together, organic detritus falling from her still writhing and twithing. She watched Pandora deflect Abel and Jeane's hyper-accelerated spear with a casual flick of a stabbing appendage. She witnessed how Sara's blasts of raw energy did little damage to Pandora, serving as little more than distractions. Her eyes narrowed slightly. Perhaps those blasts were doing more than little. The impossibly beautiful woman spun lithely just out of the way of coruscating attacks that could obliterate her out of existence, her expression cool and hard in the face of certain death. She fired her pistol at darting and rending appendages, the hypervelocity rounds seeming so banal and pathetic on the other worldly battlefield. There was something anomalous to the way Pandora reacted - on the quantum level - to their attacks. Pandora was taking little in the way of effective damage, but that didn't mean she wasn't being affected. She was just being affected in a different way. The entities like Pandora were multidimensional beings. This manifestation was her, but not all of her. Sean was about to tell Abel to coalesce the dimensional anchors to try and lock Pandora in place when her eyes widened, suddenly seeing the situation in a new light. This was just manifestation, not Pandora's true essence, that essence was elsewhere. The dimensional anchors might cut off the manifestation from Pandora, or cause it to disperse entirely, but it wouldn't affect Pandora herself- or more accurately, itself. <Abel, don't form the dimensional anchors!> Sean projected to the Irregulars as she dashed around the field of ice, somersaulting a death beam as she slashed at a piercing talon with her sun-like plasma-sword. <Think of this as epic-level D&D. This is an Avatar of a God, not the God itself! To kill a god dead, you have to do it on its own realm on the Outer Planes.> <What?!> Jeane mentally shouted in response to the nerdy terminology. <To really get Pandora, we have to Ant-man this shit!> Sean replied <We have to go the quantum level of reality directly to face the core being of Pandora. And you are going to get us there, Jeane. With Kia's help. We're going to the Quantum Realm!> Sean might not have been able to bend and break reality as easily as most of her friends, but few could perceive it as deeply and expansively as she could, or see it in so many distinct spectra. Jeane could get them to the Pandora-Core, and Sean could interpret what Kia experienced trying to emulate Pandora's quantum field, to determine the precise resonance or frequency so that Jeane could get them to the right place. <Kia, show me what you got,> Sean commanded, anticipating what Kia had really been trying to accomplish by dragging her tail across the Pandora-Avatar. She studied the assaulting plethora of information Kia projected to her from a different point of view in a fraction of a nanosecond, then sent the key piece of information - dimensional coordinates in effect - to Jeane. <This is it, Jeane. You want to end this bitch, get us there!>
  5. Kia had time to roar before the energy of Pandora's attack struck her dead on. The blades clanged uselessly against Kia's armored hide. The laser beams annihilated her on contact, burning through scale and flesh and bone, slicing the dragon unevenly wherever it tracked across the serpentine body. Kia peeled away, sliced in a long wavy line until it finally cleaved through the other side of her, letting the two 'halves' fall apart. ...and then ropes of flesh flung out from the two 'stumps,' of her, grasping each other in midair as they fell. More and more, thicker and thicker, they quickly sealed the two halves together again. Still regenerating, the Dragon Kia roared as she pulled out of the uncontrolled dive and arrowed straight at Pandora! Though her claws missed, the tendrils extending from the end of her tail, almost like the bristles of a lion's tail but fleshier, managed to drag over Pandora as she flew past. The casual touch was enough. Kia was ready for it, and immediately concentrated on her senses...attempting to 'feel' the quantum echo of Pandora's powers in her own body. (Used Cellular Persistence to 'dodge' all but 1 HL of the attack, using Quantum Imprint on a touch attack to attempt to duplicate powers!)
  6. Jeane barely had enough time to start cursing the dismissive ease with which Pandora negated her small contribution to this battle when the raging titan went full offense on Kia, someone who *did* possess the tools needed to hurt her. Or at least more likely have them anyway. And she did owe Kia a little for being a grumpy, meathead bitch. "Heh," she breathed in wry amusement at that understatement before crouching and letting quantum boosted muscles drive her upward at a solid percentage of the speed of sound, letting Devin fall to the ice as she did so. Her target was a point between dragonoid Kia and the leftmost beam of death. A ghastly smile lit up her face as she blurred near the burning light, washing everything red. If she could divert even some of the damage long enough for the others to get in the killing blow... It would be worth it. They had Devin back anyway, so it would be fine if she went the way of her namesake.
  7. The bolts from Sara did little to harm the being they knew as Pandora but it did momentarily distract her from rending Sean from this reality. Then with the sudden transformation and resurgence of Kia as a monolithic dragon the distraction was complete. Pandora spun away from Abel's feint and almost casually swatted the spear out of the sky with one of it's obsidian tipped spider appendages, but it's full attention was on the dragon. The remaining bladed arms struck at Kia as twin beams of ruby lasers shot from her malevolent eyes and her mouth opened widening into a huge maw from which radioactive fire spewed at the Dragon-shaped Kia.
  8. Kia yelped in sudden panic as the attack sends her sailing through the void! In midair her shape suddenly twists and bloats, expanding out into a vaguely draconic thing; a long serpentine body with a fanged maw at the front, with a pair of membrane wings at the neck and tail that beat in steady rhythm and a centipede's array of legs capped with hooked claws. The whole of the creature covered with thick plated shell-like armor. With a thrash of her long body and frantic flapping, she managed to gain control of her hurtling motion and spare herself a trip down the hole to whatever lay beneath! (OOC note - Unless 5 successes on Dodge is not sufficient, in which case I will revise this . Action for the turn is shapeshift.)
  9. "The thing with nightmares is when you wake up, they fade away," Sean countered, her captivating voice flowing with the rhythm of reality instead of reverberating against it. She continued her sensuous, dangerous glide forward, not flinching or slowing in the least when an aspect of Pandora flew at her, having full confidence Sara would take care of it. "And we, Pandora, are waking up. From nothing, we can be... anything!" Though it seemed she moved barely faster than a normal human, her superlative grace was deceptive, her every movement in harmony with the superhuman alacrity of her mental processes. With subtle, fluid shifts, Sean flowed around Pandora's terrible, infuriated attacks, the plasma-sword in her hand like a shard of the sun flicking out to slash at her when she got close. Seeming almost independent, her other hand fire her Havoc pistol, quick, blurring, not so much meant to injure but to deflect or disrupt attacks on Sara and the rest of her friends. All the while, the major part of her attention was on Pandora and the battle itself, studying the ebb and flow energies and manipulation of reality itself between Pandora and her friends, analyzing Pandora's reactions and means of attack. <Possibly. It might be the only way to make sure that when we defeat her - here - she stays defeated,> Sean replied, her mental voice as cool and calm as her apparent demeanor in the face of the outraged Titan. <I'm adding that and the feasibility and capability of us being able to accomplish it into my analysis. When we end her, it's not just for now, but forever.>
  10. Jeane's world was a kaleidoscope of flashing blades, alien stars, and whirring ice as she was taken in the invisible hand of Abel's TK. She had many gifts and skills but few of them helped particularly much if she couldn't push off against something, and she couldn't take Devin with her even if she wanted to risk teleporting. She bit her lip and pulled him closer, counting heartbeats until they were deposited back on the ice behind Abel's shimmering forcefield. The thunder of her spear breaching the sound barrier was mostly background noise as she shifted Devin over her shoulders. Good. He was breathing even if he looked like he was bruised all over and bleeding all over her pam suit. Still, what was that quote about being mostly dead meaning he was partially alive..? Some old movie her Dad used to make them watch. Whatever. Her rescue, her responsibility, so she had to keep Devin that way. The tall blonde focused on making a solution to her mobility issue, reshaping the soles of her pam suit bodyglove into a pair of ice skates. The subtle upward shift of perspective as the morphic fabric complied brought a smile to her face. Still got it. She took off with a sharp shh-shh-shh of those blades, blue eyes alert for the threat of those flashing limbs and her fellow teleporter secured over her shoulders.
  11. Abel discarded his initial railgun idea, she'd never let him get that much setup time, and there was going to be far too much going on. Sean The teleportation abilities hurt her because it cut her off from the other dimensions.. Do you think if we used a boosted dimensional lock we could cut her off from them, or force all of her here, and take her down that way? he sent via guildchat In the meantime, he dove in slashing at one of the arms that met him, but the move was a feint, as his real attack had been to grab the spear Jeane had left and then accelerate it at Pandora with all his telekinetic might. He was already moving away dancing back from her at inhuman speed, mindful of the effects of his followup. The accelerated spear was a veritable streak of light as the air ionized behind it and there was a great crack of thunder as it shattered the sound barrier.
  12. Apollo tensed prepared for the onslaught of dozens of Lily's only to be surprised when all but the original darted off to save the students and faculty. “So you don't even think this is real, but still you care so much for these humans that you will limit yourself when facing me , how pathetic.” With a leap Apollo was inside the school building facing Lilly his fist flying raining blow after blow at the girl. Lilly used all her skill to fend off the barrage of attacks and was about to give some back... ************** Pandora let the insects move. This had gone on long enough, time and space meant nothing to such as her, each action by the insignificant Irregulars was monitored by a separate point of her vast intellect. To the perceptions of the heroes it was as if Pandora became multiple versions of herself each stepping out of her form then back superimposing themselves upon her. Six great spider-like arms burst from her/it's back, each a dozen yards long and tipped with a metallic razor sharp scythe-like blade. Three of them struck at the flying, spinning Jeane and her fragile cargo, but Abel, using his powerful and precise Telekinesis had caught them to keep them from sailing off the platform and now as he pulled them back he weaved and dodged the attacks of Pandora. The other three legs struck at the still prone Kia or rather not at her but at the ice around her. The blades slid into the ice as if it were cotton and the three arms defying physics twisted and sliced a circle around the still stunned girl, and as the arms withdrew the circle of ice upon which Kia lay fell through the ice into space. At the same time Pandora (or some form of her, for she could plainly be seen standing where she had been never once moving) flew at Sean only to be intercepted by Sara who burst into searing blue flame and rained blast after blast at that which was attacking her Sean. “I am the thing which has spawned the nightmares of your race, “ her voice reverberates through the vacuum of reality each of the irregulars feels it in their bones their souls, “This universe is ours this galaxy and all in it mine. You are nothing and how can nothing hope to prevail against everything!”
  13. The transition from an exceptional woman into an impossible one was seamless, no sensation of physical change, simply her sense of self expanding infinitely. Any lingering disorientation faded away like morning fog. Sean could remember with searing clarity every instance and facet of the lives she had lived - whether though being locked into a manufactured simulation or forced access to other possible versions of her self, if you hued to multiverse concept of reality. Through them all, there had been one constant. A constant she had thought lost, or at least beyond her reach. And now that constant was back. Sean wasn't particularly relieved to be empowered once more, it simply was what she was now, perhaps what she was meant to be, even as she was partly removed from the rest of humanity now. But she would have traded it all to have Sara back. Sean smiled down at Sara, caressed her hand on her cheek, gave it a small squeeze, then kissed her knuckles. "I have something that I'd thought lost to fight for now." Sara at her side, Sean followed the others through the door. If she was surprised at finding the Irregulars on a field of ice hanging alone amidst the stars, facing an incensed Titan, she gave no sign of it, her exquisite face calm and cool, taking everything in in a single casual glance. With a controlled exhalation, Sean extended her awareness of the cosmos, senses attuned to the quantum field. <'Here' might be relative term at the moment, but we're here, Lilly,> Sean replied, and in the crystal clear, silken mental tone, Vanguard knew it was Savant instead of merely Sean. <We have a pissed Pandora to deal with. Are you okay?> <Fine, fine!> Lilly answered in rising tension and excitement, and in the mental echoes of her thought, Sean could hear that Lilly had formed her clone-sisters. Many, many clone-sisters. <I'm back at Shelly High. Or a copy of it. Gotta put down Bitch-ass Apollo.> <Whoever puts down their mob first helps the other,> Sean said, not hint of doubt that they would succeed, or that they'd be able to find each other again, despite where they might stand in relation to each other. <Careful if you make it here, a step off the ice will be a long one.> Jeane was already diving forward to recover Devin and Abel was putting up his personal and public force fields as he lit up his pair of azure plasma-swords. Sean was not the hardest hitter among the Irregulars, but she could figure how best to apply that force. Unlike just about every Superhero movie, she didn't think defeating Pandora would just devolve down to a slugfest with the big bad. With an entity as long lived as Pandora claimed to be, there had to be something else to end her existence, or at least end the threat she posed. Sean strode forward with dangerous, inhuman grace, her integrated boots growing short cleats for extra tractions, the field of battle slowing down in her regard as mental processes accelerated to near incalculable levels, giving her so much more time to consider and act. She activated her own plasma-sword, the blade slightly longer than Abel's pair, glowing like the most vivid dusk. In her other hand, she held her heavy Havoc pistol - it would have looked quaint in regards to what they were facing and where they stood, if Sean didn't handle it with such assurance and capability. She knew at best it would be a minor irritant, that was all it was meant to be in this situation. <Start hitting the immortal cunt with what you've got,> Sean send to her companions, <so we can find out how she responds and I can figure out what will actually stick to end her rampage.> With each step Sean took, her presence seemed to grow more formidable, her ineffable beauty more searing and eye-catching. The glossy curves of her black PAM suit reflected the light of distant stars and galactic phenomena. Long hair that held all the colours of dawn and dusk lifted and flowed as though touched by a stellar wind. "We stand on the age of forever, Pandora," Sean declared, her rich, melodious voice seeming to resonate with the pulse of the universe itself, reaching well beyond the bounds of their glacial field of battle. "And yet, with all the options available to you by eternity and experience, you have reduced your options to but this." Sean encircled the battlefield with a gesture of her incandescent plasma-blade, her tone holding strong currents of pity, disgust, regret. Her fathomless turquoise eyes didn't leave Pandora's. Pandora towered over them all, wreathed in the power of her aroused fury, yet in her cool, calm defiance, Sean seemed to stand on an equal footing. Sean focused her cosmic awareness as singularly as she ever had on the terrible being before her and tuned her sense for personal danger to glean what she could of Pandora's likely manner of response and attack. Through her mask of resolve and defiance, she scrutinized every aspect of Pandora's quantum field, looking for a weakness, a crack, a seam to exploit that will end Pandora in truth. "We never wanted to be your enemy, Pandora. But you fear our potential, you who have never experienced potential having been... accreted into existence being all that you are. Never realizing growth, becoming greater than you are, better than you are. In studying us, working with us instead of only seeing a threat to your unchallenged dominion, you could have felt that, learned from us as we learned from you." Sean sighed, the gorgeous, compelling sound hold hints of melancholy, wistfulness, resignation, and determination. "Alas, all you'll learn in this moment, is that all things end. Hopefully, what begins after will be better for us all."
  14. The moment she felt the surge of quantum return Lilly immediately and without hesitation reached out with her thoughts to the others. < Guys? Guys? Anybody there? > she tried to think to her friends while maintain her demeanor in the moment with practiced ease. "I am pretty sure this is all just a bullshit simulation, but whatever." she shrugged. "I'd be lying if I said a part of me did not want to just break some shit right now." Lilly muttered to herself as she shook her head, tossing bits of class and other debris from her hair and body. "We already beat your ass last time, Apollo. We can do it again." she stated simply. "We? None of your buddies are around. This time it's just you and me." Apollo sneared. "Nah bitch..." Lilly said, channeling Devin a bit as the quantum coursing through her body surrounded and flowed into each and every cell. "I'm never alone." she reminded him as flashes went off behind her to her left and right, angling away from her leaving her the point of a Delta with nearly two dozen identical Lillys on her left, matched by the same number to her right. "But you know what's the biggest difference between us? You know, aside from you being some wannabe, poseur godling who has to sucker punch a teenage girl?" Lilly teased. "You think of just yourself." she stated as she as the other Vanguards took off. The other Vanguards all knew what to do, each of them having her own thoughts on the matter at the moment they were created. They spread out, but instead of surrounding Apollo, they exited the building, some forming a perimeter to keep people bystandards away and lookout for possible accidents from the oncoming fight while the rest began racing through the school, clearing it of students and faculty. Possible, or even probable, simulation or not, Lilly could not change who she was or stop being herself. She was a protector, and thought of others before herself, and nothing would change that. "Yeah, you listened to Pandora, but that's probably just because she made you her bitch." Lilly mused as she began casually walking toward Apollo, trying to draw things out to give the Vanguard more time to clear the area as well as piss off Apollo more to get him off of his game, even if was going to hurt. "I would say 'you hit like a girl', but considering what I can do, it would be a compliment." Lilly quipped, prodding him further.
  15. It was like a part of him simply switched back on, his mind, his senses expanding in an instant, which seemed to stretch dozens of lifetimes. The vast library and Archive that comprised his mental image of his mind was restored to the Order it had once been. His thoughts raced beyond any mortal realms, and he smiled. He could feel his friends there, He could feel their power, and Pandora's. While she was mighty, Abel wasn't afraid. There was a dark undercurrent in his voice, even as he spoke, his personal shield flickering to life. "Oh Fuck the Hell Yes." He practically growled out, his eyes seeming to throw off an occasional arc of azure mental energy. He'd nearly broken, but he'd remained strong, with help from the others. "Let's end this evil bitch." he wore a wicked smile, clearly he saw Pandora as the architect of their ordeal, and he was out to make her pay. Twin swords of light ignited from the cylinders he pulled from the belt of his PAM suit, both a brilliant shade of blue, and He reached out preparing to catch Jeane as she asked. He could have simply moved Devin himself, but Jeane moved first, so they'd play this her way. With a nod to Sean and Sara, He'd trust in Sean to Devise a more solid battleplan, and work with jeane to run interference for now. God it felt good to be whole again. That thought raised its own questions, but he shunt them aside. This was a real fight, one absolutely had to win. Even as he took off moving towards Pandora, the barrier shield flickered into life, protecting those behind him. He was already taking stock, taking note of anything he could use to throw at Pandora, or barring that, her reactions to these opening moves, which would let him set up the dimensional railgun attack he'd devised after working with Jeane.
  16. Everything flashed back into Jeane like a lightning bolt through a kite, a million familiar, welcome sensations flooding her mind and body. She locked her gaze on Devin's crumpled form, a stupid, glorious plan coming together in no more time than it took to catch sight of Abel out of the corner of her eye. Problem #1? Pandora being too close to Jaunt for the others to cut loose. Problem#2? Ice keeping her from using her speed to get in and out. Problem #3? Teleportation probably being waaaay too uncertain to risk. Problems number 4 through infinity? Everything else she could worry about later. At least Kia seemed okay now. "Abel, catch me?" she asked with a cocky grin, a wreathed by a cloud of red sparks as she willed a lightning spear into existence with an artistic twirl, spinning it around her once to built up momentum to drive it point first into the ice. A quick twist up and planting of her feet on the glowing shaft later, the tall girl pumped quantum into her legs, exploding in Devin's direction with a crack of displaced air, a red-and-white clad missile flying parallel to the surface of the ice. Long blonde hair flowed behind her head as she extended one arm to grab her fellow teleporter as she passed, intending to pull him into her body. Stopping before she and Devin went flying off into space? Well, that was something she'd hopefully not have to worry about.
  17. "You reject me? After all I have given you?" The woman towers over Jeane and the prostrate Kia her size and terribleness growing even though she remains unchanged. "How dare you refuse me! I am a god! I am your god! and you shall reap what you have sown here this day, I am finished wasting my time with you inferior creatures. FEEL MY WRATH!" her voice becomes inhuman and hurts the ears and brains of Jeane and Kia. Behind the door Sean and Abel are assaulted by the sheer essence of the power and terror on the other side of the door, suddenly a hand then an arm appears beside Sean and reaches past her the hand closing on the door handle. Sean turns to face the arm and sees her lover fading into view Sara smiles at Sean and reaches up with her other hand to touch her face. "We have to fight now this is our only chance." She opens the door. ********* Lilly catches up to Kia a thousand questions in her mind when some one calls her name. "Hey Lilly! I been waiting for this." Lilly turns toward the voice her senses alert the voice is familiar and sends a trickle of dread down her spine. He is standing right there closer than he should be all muscles and gleaming ebony skin. Faster than the eye can follow his fist rockets out but even as fast as he is Lilly gets her own arms up to block the blow. Still it is like being hit by a speeding bullet train. Lilly is thrown backwards flying through the air she hits the side of the school building and smashes through in a shower of glass and steel. School kid scream and flee the girl turned wrecking ball and Lilly rolls to her feet and looks up just as her foe steps into the building. "Let's see what you got, bitch." says Apollo
  18. Abel paused, and inhaled. his own senses were still great, but not the inhuman level that had made molecular sciences so easy. Still he could smell alot, but he didn't have the memories of Sarah Sean did, or that level of attachment. Abel sighed. "At this point Sean, i just don't know. We need to find the others, gather together, and compare notes. I'm not doubting you, what you smell, taste, or hear, I just know that I cannot say I sense any of it." She had quite a surprising grip on him, and he looked down. "We're still here, wherever here is, and we need to inform the others of what we learned. I'm also concerned that we just spent hours watching videos, and not only did Jeane and Kia not return, but Lilly never came out of the elevator."
  19. *Meanwhile in the Twilight Zone* At that amazing, reassuring, familiar sensation in her hand, Jeane closed her eyes and concentrated, a thousand thousand weapons appearing in ordered rows in her mind. Just like she remembered. Swords. Daggers. Spears. Axes. Clubs. All of them ready to come into reality at her beck and call, her ever reliable lead pipe front and center. Instruments of her will to protect her crew, her people, from all their enemies as weakest, youngest, dumbest of the Irregulars. The whole array trembled at that thought and it was with the most bittersweet of regrets she opened her eyes to look up at the woman without taking one single weapon. "No. I won't. You did something, didn't you? To help me win against one of the best martial artists I've ever seen. Like you're doing to them right now," she exhaled, eyes flicking to the apes as they shivered and clung to one another, "Kia can be naive and a fool, but she's one of mine, and if there is a God, I will be punished for this. You'll have to break me to hurt her more." Surviving Key. Psychic. Alien. Mistress of yet another simulation. Didn't matter what she was facing. This 'woman' had given her the space to think, and even if she was crushed in a heartbeat for it... Well, there was a story about a young man and a serpent and a mountain... Her lips quirked bitterly at the thought, private laughter.
  20. Sean went still, her fingers light on Abel's arm, though he suspected if he tried to push pass, they'd clamp down with surprising force and intensity. The svelte and nubile young woman arched her neck, as though straining to see or hear something distant. Her nostrils flared as she inhaled slow and deep. "What is it, Sean?" Abel repeated. "Shhh!" Sean hushed him vehemently, her handing tightening on his arm, her huge, wide turquoise eyes blazing. She could remember having eyes strong enough to see individual cells and to make out details of other planets and stars during the day. Auditory faculties that made hearing a heartbeat from across an auditorium trivial, a sense of smell that could discern every single ingredient and substance in a restaurant, from the food, to what constituted each patron's clothing and shampoo. While her senses were still sharp and acute, now they were merely human. And yet... "Sara..." Sean whispered with heart-aching yearning. She caught Abel's eye. "I can smell her, Abel. The scent of her bodywash and her shampoo and the scent that is her's alone. An a sigh, as though she's standing right behind me with her chin resting on my shoulder, her breathe brushing my ear..." Sean's gorgeous, enticing eyes, the same eyes she seemed to have in every iteration, male or female were bright. She reached up with her free hand, as though to caress the woman that seemed to be right by her, but there was nothing there, nothing tangible. It was a thought that she had said not to dwell on, a hypothesis without an answer, when reality and facsimile were indistinguishable. But Sean had the thought now. "Are we still in the system or some version of it, and now Sara is trying to get us out, or communicate with us?" Sean wondered in a soft, wondering tone, the longing to see Sara again strong in her voice, to find out she wasn't really dead.
  21. The chimp, the one named Cornelius Kia thought, cocked his head to the side giving Kia a pondering look "Is that their name, Jeane? The one you said was in the room over here what did you call it an elevator," he asked? Vello had turned back and was examining the elevator car. "There is no one in here and if my nose if correct, and it usually is, this room has been empty and closed up for a long time. Did you and your friends open it? "Lilly, another friend, went into it," Kia answered automatically, then looked at the apes. "Jeane was the one who just...disappeared, a second ago." They don't remember her. "You know, taller than me, blonde?" It was more than them just not remembering Jeane, Kia realized. It was like they hadn't even noticed her asking them if they'd lost anyone too. Her mind flashed back to when she'd pestered Abel into showing her one of his 'RPG' computer games, and she'd immediately wanted to do things like pick up pots or hide in boxes that the game just wasn't programmed to even consider happening. It seemed quite realistic...as long as you didn't try to stray from the preprogrammed path. If you did...you'd find an invisible wall, blocking you off. It's true. This really isn't real, is it?
  22. The chimp, the one named Cornelius Kia thought, cocked his head to the side giving Kia a pondering look "Is that their name, Jeane? The one you said was in the room over here what did you call it an elevator," he asked? Vello had turned back and was examining the elevator car. "There is no one in here and if my nose if correct, and it usually is, this room has been empty and closed up for a long time. Did you and your friends open it? ************* "I'm your salvation Jeane. I am the only one whom can give you all that you need, all that you desire." The tall handsome woman stepped out of the elevator car the howling apes suddenly quiet and subdued as if in the presence of someone or thing that terrified them, they crowded together hugging each other . The woman strode upto Jean and took her hand. "Now finish it." she said Jeans hand itched and she looked at her palm and saw the red fire... ************* Sean and Abel made their way up the stairs to rejoin their friends and when they came to the door Sean reached out and grasped Abel's arm stopping him from opening it. Something a smell, an unheard sigh had rippled across Sean's awareness. "What is it," asked Abel?
  23. Abel smiled at Sean. It was the same smile she could remember across dozens of lifetimes, one that had been just for her, or him, regardless. "You're the best Sean, really." There were other things he wanted to say, things he could remember saying to her in other lifetimes, but he didn't say them now. He nodded his head once. "Yeah, they fucked up, we haven't. That's all them, but we have a chance to do better. We're still here, and If you're anything like me, You still have all the knowledge we accumulated. We can build something better. We can help the people who are left." Of course they couldn't be so open about that, but they had to move forward, one way or another." "We lived all those lives, We're still us, all of us, all those lifetimes." He gave her a grin. "So we've been down here awhile. Let's find the others, we can eat, and fill them in on what we learned, and then decide how we're going to proceed, I mean we've been watching these video logs for hours. Kinda felt like one of those gaming all-nighters except this wasn't fun, just abit horrific."
  24. Sean balled her small hands into a pair of tight fists at her sides and Abel could see while she was slender, she wasn't weak. The stretchy, form fitting leotard hid nothing and her body was taut and toned and wiry. Her finely sculpted facial features were tensed with smoldering anger, huge, expressive turquoise eyes hard and unflinching. "If all this is... is real," Sean growled, her sweet, mellifluous voice cold and sharp with suppressed fury, beginning to doubt the actuality of the reality they found themselves in, "Rashoud didn't come into the system setting herself up as an enemy. That would indicate she saw us as people instead of as tools. She just wanted to see how her tools operated from the inside rather than from the outside." Abel hadn't said anything, but she could tell what he was thinking - they had been friends over multiple subjective lifetimes, sometimes more than friends. And she'd been thinking the same thing. That someone had programmed her with such an identity crisis, that the others hadn't had to deal with. Or that the bastard in charge of her programming had changed her or his mind, or had even done so as part of an experiment. It didn't matter. Sean turned to Abel, placing her hands on his shoulders, her slender fingers strong as wire, tight enough it almost hurt. "We aren't lies, Abel, we aren't fakes," Sean declared adamantly. "We are as real as they are, whatever Rashoud might claim. They might have programmed the kernel of our identities, but it's just the start, a small piece of what makes us who we are. No more than anyone else's identity is informed by their parents, by who raised them. When you come down to it, everyone is just a very complex program, one that changes and evolves based on the other 'programs' and situations and circumstances - executable files, if you will - that it interacts with. They set us up, but they couldn't make up all the details of all our lives - we made our own decisions and forged our own paths." Sean smiled with grim ferocity and Abel realized just how beautiful she was. Not with the overabundant curves and impossible perfection he could remember her having at times, but with a clear, naturally symmetrical beauty that would be remarked on anywhere by anyone. "I know this without doubt. Because if they could have come up with every detail of our lives, they would never have needed to make a system with us as CPUs in the first place and then query us for the answers to their problems. They could have come up with the solutions themselves. They didn't." She release Abel's shoulder and then waved an arm around, indicating the abandoned lab, then pointed upward, suggesting the apocalyptic landscape. "They ended up with this. With that. Fuck 'em! They're gone now. But we're not!"
  25. "Jeane!" yelped Kia. She darted forward, hands outstretched, hoping she'd just turned invisible. Her hands swished through empty space though. She looked around and called, "JEANE!" That must be what happened to Lilly! Kia whirled back to look at the apes, wide-eyed. "Have you lost anyone like this?! Do you know what's going on?!"
  26. Kia and the apes stood wide eyed as Jeane spoke and faded from view into nothingness right before their very eyes. All were struck speechless, the three apes looked back and forth shaking their heads in disbelief.