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  1. Past hour
  2. It took Karen a moment, okay, a few moments to get over the fact she was hugging a dead man. Her mouth opened and closed a few times. Judging by the intensity of his reaction, she could all too easily picture the kind of hell being stuck between worlds could be, what he might have endured. However this all worked. No clue there, really. And that ignorance was irking her. She was going to have a very, very long very, very polite conversation with Mrs. Emily when this was over, so that she'd stop getting blind-sided by all this. She gently pushed away from Jack, enough so that she could look up into his face. "Great Grandfather," she softly began, taking in his scent, a hauntingly half-remembered odor she associated with her father, "The bones? Have you seen them? There are two originals and a psychotic, 500 year old werewolf vampire hybrid apparently poised to burn this city to the ground over them if we don't do something about it." The dark-eyed brunette paused, wondering when her life had turned into a rejected Underworld script before steeling herself again, resting one hand on Jack's shoulder, "I don't know how much time we have before more of them come to hurt you again."
  3. Today
  4. Jack looked at his great grand daughter then at the dark brooding man with her that he immediately recognized as an Alpha, which made his hackles rise and a low growl resonate deep in his chest, he ran his finger through his hair and stepped up to Karen. Then tentatively he reached out and put his hands on her shoulders. Her eyes nearly popped from their sockets at the shock of his touch. "Oh my god, how is this possible?" He asked as he pulled her into a tight hug!
  5. Cade nodded. He'd heard Bannon apologize with sincerity tonight, and everyone was super keyed up over pretty much everything. "I think us taking some pictures and locking up, calling it a night is a good idea. Whether that means we go back to the party or go home, well that's up to the individual. The party is supposed to be for us, and I'm grateful for the efforts made. We can go enjoy them still, or not." He shrugged. "Tomorrow, or whenever we can, we come back up here, clear-headed, and when we can actually you know, see clearly, and take another swing at all of this." Once he was done speaking to the group at large, he looked to Cora. "i'll probably take that Talk tonight, might as well get that one over with because I know I'm catching hell when I get home." He'd leave the choice up to Cora, but if she wanted to go home, then he'd bring her, and anyone else. He himself wasn't all that ready to go home, but he also wasn't in the mood to argue with anyone over it.
  6. "I'll keep an eye on Charlie while you all do that," Coraline offered flatly. She was not okay with all this. Not out of doubt, Cade's fang trophy and vanishing roadkill seemed evidence enough something weird had happened, but because it stank of something you shouldn't poke at. Her dad had worked in various prisons her entire life, and there were rumors enough about some of them being caused by something not strictly human that it seemed like... choosing poorly to meddle in them. Bad juju. The trailer certainly gave off a bad vibe. She bit her lip, still clutching her improvised weapon, and hoping ghost squids and vanishing cats were allergic to wood. Her curfew was well and truly blown at this point. She knew it would be going in, so... Roll with it. Deal. And hope that her Dad was more worried for her than angry at her. "Cade," she offered with a sidelong look, "Your choice if you want to deal with the Rule's Talk tonight or whenever my Dad let's me see you again. Don't know how long that'll be, honestly."
  7. "To be fair," Lona said with a smile, "I don't think it's your weed anymore, either. Enough people didn't have it but are affected by the weird to rule that idea out. So I'm sorry for the accusation. You're right, we are all wound tight." "We should all take pictures so that we have a lot of images from a lot of angles." Clara spoke up. "The sooner the better, because if that airman was here on active duty and has been eaten, then the Air Force is gonna come looking for him. We should take pictures of all the documents, too. And," she added with a bite of sarcasm, "not post them online, obviously." Taking another drag on her cigarette, Lona said, "So, let's get some pictures and seal this place up and get out of here. When should we come back tomorrow?"
  8. Jason turned to regard her, paused, then slowly nodded at Avalon, a concession of her point. Whatever had happened behind that bright direct gaze that was studying her face, then moving to regard the others, it was welcome change from the acidic scorn he'd radiated earlier. "I am sorry everyone." he said quietly as he looked back at Lona, speaking also to the others. "I will not say I did not mean to offend. Because when I spoke the words, I did." he offered without a flicker of embarrassment. "I was irritated, and angry, and yes - a little shaken from the events of the night. I do not like to be disbelieved, and I react poorly to it. I also react poorly to insinuations that I lace my weed - which you were not alone in voicing, so I do not blame you." he smiled slightly at Lona. "I lashed out in stress - for the second time tonight, in fact - and I apologise for it. You are my friends, and better friends than my behaviour likely warrants."
  9. Lona said nothing, fuming silently at the way that a friend had just spoken to her and her other friends -- supposedly his friends. The fact that Lilly had almost walked away only seemed to point out that she wasn’t the only one offended, though Lilly had chosen the weirdest reason for being upset. While Bannon was sounding like the Jauntsens, to Lona he sounded far more like Jerail, Bannon’s alchemist in the game. Lona hated that fucker; he always talked down the rest of the party. His only redeeming grace was that he rarely spoke in character. With Bannon, Sara, Cass, and Lilly fucking around inside the trailer, Lona shook her head and dug out a cigarette -- not one of Bannon’s but a regular one. Despite the fact that she was now confident that his drugs weren’t the cause of tonight’s weirdness, she didn’t want to be high. Her lighter was low, and she shook it several times before flicking the wheel. Nothing but sparks, and she inhaled in irritation. C’mon, work! she demanded silently, then flicked the wheel again. A flare of fire blossomed in the night, and Lona gratefully lit her cigarette. After a deep inhale, she exhaled a plume of smoke into the thick night air. As Bannon asked his question to Sara, Lona interjected. “I have another question. Because locking up this door and everything is a great idea, and I’m down with helping out here and solving the mystery. But if we do, is Bannon going to talk down to us like we’re idiots all the time or just some of the time?”
  10. "Sounds very good." Bannon said after a moment's thought, nodding at Sara, then at Cass. "Excellent points, well made, and I agree. Who better to be our chronicler? Make sure you snap the uniform, including all insignia and such so that we can try to ID the fellow who left it." He added with a faint smile, studying the teen reporter. Cass shot a surprised and grateful look at the lanky youth for his support, and began moving around, careful not to disturb anything as her phone camera beeped. Jase raised an eyebrow at Sara's obviously unhappy expression, then added a little louder so all could hear. "And once Cassandra has got her visual record, we might want to turn out the lights and head back to the party. We can come back tomorrow when it's light and really put in some spade-work. Sara, any way we can re-secure the door?" Sara shakes her head "We can put the lock back on it but it won't latch. It might fool someone if they don't look too close or try it."
  11. Cassandra frowned and met Sara's gaze. "No pictures? You guys...you have to know that this whole thing here..." she waves a hand at the trailer, "...it's probably going to go away, right? If we want to be sure we can look at any of this stuff again, we have to document it. All of it, now, while we can. Because I guarantee you, one of these days we'll come out here and this thing will just be gone. Without a trace." She nods and adds, "Not to mention, I will not post ANY of this ANYWHERE. Even if I wanted to write a story on it, I wouldn't publicly share the raw information. It goes on my phone until I get home, then it goes on a thumbdrive and OFF my phone. Then we can look at it anytime we want, and it won't be anywhere online." "Sound good?"
  12. Sara blocked the entrance to the trailer making Cass draw up shot. "No pictures," she shook her head looking Cass in the eye, "personally I'd rather no one go in, be cause it's not safe. But I won't stop anyone from going, but no pictures. We don't need this place showing up on Instagram and Facebook." After making that statement she stepped away and let Cass and anyone else who wanted to go in past. She was giving Jase a disapproving look and shrugged a question at him, that he some how could read with one hundred percent surety as her saying 'are you going to do anything about this?'.
  13. There was subtext here she wasn't privy to, Cassandra got that much, but what she focused on was something else entirely. "So the guy with the gun was from here?" Time to have a look. But maybe first... Cass turned to look at Lilly. "Look, I get it. You don't know me, and what I'm saying sounds crazy. I don't blame you for not believing me. But these are your friends. You might want to actually listen to them." Then she headed into the Conspiracy Cabin to get some photos, barely even noticing that Jase started to drift in behind her, curious about what she'd see in that mess. Or perhaps just to make sure she didn't screw up his and Marissa's work.
  14. "We found an Air Force uniform folded up on the bed in there." Jase answered calmly, his eyes on Lilly as he motioned towards the trailer. "Everything there except the sidearm in the holster. Name-tag of Cooper, not sure as to the rank." He was not showing it, but he was hurt by Lilly's doubting him. His harsh words had not been meant for her though on reflection he pondered that perhaps, as a skeptic of the whole affair, she would take them that way. He mentally sighed. People posed annoyingly complicated puzzles if you wanted to be friends with them. Watch what you say... mind how you say it... and on and on. Rules and guidelines and suggestions, and there was no apparent rhyme or reason as to their priority. And what was that about Marissa's fingerprints? Okay, certainly the lovely Queen of Shelly High had given him some cause for reevaluating how he approached the world, but he was not a puppet. As he spun this new wrinkle around in his head, he wondered if Lilly was jealous, or merely hurt by her assumption of his scorn for her. It didn't seem like Lilly was the jealous type, to be honest. She was too generous of spirit- though anyone could potentially feel and display pettiness, especially if they had undeclared or unacknowledged feelings. He mentally cursed now. He didn't have time for this. Why the hell was he worrying about the romantic yearnings of teenage girls which, if he were honest, were about as reliable and stable as the weather during tornado season in the Bible Belt? He was also stung by Lilly's implication that he didn't care about her running off alone, and a number of retorts flashed through his mind with crackling speed. He could dissect her actions, point out they were impulsive and that if the group had moved to follow at least one would have been left behind, the rest strung out along the course, potentially blundering into trees or spraining ankles... He could acidly remark that at least one person had to keep their head rather than charging off in the direction of a gunshot like it was a starting pistol and she was a particularly suicidal greyhound. He could say many things, and considered them all. "Lilly." he said quietly, getting her attention once more. "I'm glad you are okay." he stated simply, then fell silent as he watched her.
  15. Lilly stopped and turned around at Sara's calling after her, though she was only a few steps away She walked backwards slowly (so she didn't trip over anything) as she spoke, "None of you seemed to care before." Lilly called back, uncharacteristically countering Sara's comment about leaving alone. It was a harsh thing for her to say, something that nobody who knew her would have ever expected her to say, in fact, which only made her 'irritation', if one could even still call it that, even more obvious. "And besides, YOU guys I hallucinating. I ain't seen shit." she added with a shrug. "I'm good. Have fun." Lilly waved with her left hand and had started to turn back around to continue down the path and away from the others when she heard Sara again. She took a step or two as Sara's words sank in and then stopped in place, lifting her right hand, still holding the secured gun wrapped in her sweater, and cradled it in her left hand, looking down at the knitted ball. She had recognized back in the clearing where she found it as the new sidearm that the Air Force has just begin to issue. That gave her pause. "Wait..." she said as she began walking back with intent. "What?" she called back confused and drawing closer with each step. "What 'air force guy with a gun'?" she asked.
  16. "Pryor, just wait a minute," shouted Sara at Lilly's retreating back, "going off alone isn't safe. If we are hallucinating, for whatever reason," she shoots a look at Bannon, then continues with Lilly, " that means the air force guy is still out there with the gun."
  17. Lilly broke her hug with Jase and turned to Mari. "Wow. Marissa. Impatient much? Or is it more like 'Blind much'? Or maybe 'Jealous much'? Hmm..." Lilly said doing a exaggerated thinking expression. "You have no idea who I hugged outside and I already hugged Sara in here before Jase. Just because you were not first in the queue doesn't meant you weren't in queue, not like you would actually accept a hug from me anyways, but I still would have offered because I can do something that you can't seem to do; admit when I was wrong and apologize, because I was wrong to leave you guys and I am sorry." Lilly said as they exited the trailer and moved outside. Lilly listend the others, rolling her eyes when Devin spoke about her. Finally Jase spoke and ended with his statement about leaving if one were to try and inject reason into the discussion, He even used the same mocking, childlike voice that Mari had just used in the trailer. In just the minutes she was away from the others chasing after the gunshot in the darkness, certainly less than an hour, Mari had managed to sink her claws, fangs or whatever into Jase and began to influence him, and not in a positive way. Lilly shook her head and sighed before taking a step forward and speaking, "Zombie, tentecle monsters, sabertooth tigers, dimensional portals... That's D&D... A GAME." she said emphatically. "A bear and cougar-proof weather or research station in rural Montana and a couple of pranks, or even a prank and a big-ass cougar? That's reality. So if you don't want, you know, reason here to ruin your fantasy, then whatever. have fun playing, but I don't think Sean brought his dice and DM screen." Lilly said as turned to walk away, but paused for half a second and turned back. "Oh, and Jase?" she said, making sure she had is attention, "Mari's fingerprints are all over you. And from one friend to another, it's not a good look." she said, looking him in the eyes with about as serious look has he had ever seen from her. Lilly hoped it would be enough for Jase to take a step back and look at himself, but with Mari and her manipulations, who knew. Lilly then turned and began stalking off into the dark woods alone once again, and back to the party, not even trying to mask her irritation, to put it mildly.
  18. "Actually,"Sara began, "I think we should all go back to the party." she looked at her watch, "It's almost twelve, some of you have parents who are gonna be expecting you home soon. And we need to wrap the party up and get all those people off this ridge." Sara looks at Jase, "This place has been here forty or fifty years, I don't think it's going anywhere and whatever was going on here has been over for a long time."
  19. “So your dad wanted to tell me that Mom’s useless and that I’m going to therapy,” Lona said as she entered the poolhouse. She set her guitar in its corner and turned to find that Clara already had a tub of ice cream and the Skittles out. Gratitude that they were talking again flooded her as they fell back effortlessly into old patterns of comfort. Clara finished off the traditional girl talk food spread with the requisite chocolate and strawberry sauces for the ice cream, bowls, and spoons and sank down into the sofa in the main room. “Good,” she said firmly and shrugged at Lona’s deadpan expression. “What? Therapy’s good for you and your mom clearly needs an entire thesis’ worth of issues.” She popped open the ice cream and served them both up two large scoops, then slathered hers with chocolate syrup. “Therapy’s fine. A little boring most of the time, but think of it as someone you can dump all your problems on they can’t go tattle to the parents about it.” “I really don’t want to talk to some stranger about my feelings.” Lona drizzled lines of strawberry and chocolate on her ice cream before joining Clara on the couch. “I hate the idea of having to confide in someone just because Gerault said to do it.” Clara shrugged. “Then you’re going to be bored. I mean, I get it. But it does help. It’s just like going to a doctor because you have a cold or a broken leg or really bad cramps. You may not want to talk about it, but they’re there and they’re trained to make it better.” Clara grabbed a handful of Skittles and sprinkled them over both bowls - it wasn’t a girl talk night without Skittles on ice cream. Lona sighed and started to smash the ice cream, syrup, and Skittles into a big mess. “It just seems stupid. Like something only crazy people do, and I’m not crazy.” Clara gave her a long level stare. She’d been in therapy pretty much since the Wilsons had moved in; her parents had seen it as a preventative measure for all the changes she was going through and then later as a means of dealing with Clive’s ups and downs and eventual death. All of the Wrights regularly saw a therapist. Lona winced. “Sorry. I don’t think you’re crazy.” “Then make it up to me by giving it an honest shot.” Clara pounced on the opportunity in typical Clara fashion. Lona rolled her eyes. “Fine, fucking whatever. It doesn’t matter. Gerault is making me go, so I don’t really have a choice.” “Ask for ice cream and hot chocolate,” Clara said with a grin. “She doesn’t offer it if you’re over like twelve, but she’s got it on hand and it’s the good stuff. Also takes her a couple of minutes to make, so you get a breather if you don’t know what to say or just want to stop for a few minutes.” Lona nodded but didn’t seem to perk up at the suggestion; if anything, she seemed resigned to her fate rather than accepting.. “So… you and Etienne? When did that start?” Clara flushed bright red and busied herself with a spoonful of sugar and cream before finally murmuring, “This summer. A couple of months ago.” “Ah. Soooo… Dish!” Lona demanded. “About what?” Clara mumbled into her ice cream. “About? About how you’re dating a graduate who is three years older than you?” Lona asked. The Wright daughter looked out the window towards the pool, sinking into the couch a little farther and keeping up a nice cherry blush. “I would go out running. After,” her expression drooped and she glanced a little nervously at Lona, “y’know. After our fight. And he was running, too.” “And you ran into each others’ hearts?” Lona sighed melodramatically and faux swooned. “So romantic...” Clara pinged a green Skittle off of Lona’s cheek. “It wasn’t like that! He just asked if I wanted to get something to eat after our run one night!” She took another bite, one made mostly of chocolate syrup sauce, and added, “And it just sort of became a thing. Running, eating, talking...” “Smooching,” Lona teased, then shrieked as a handful of Skittles sailed at her head. “Ouch! That was my eye!” “It’s what you deserve,” Clara said with a righteous smirk. Still rubbing her eye, Lona asked, “So is it nice?” Clara laid her head against the back of the couch, a dopey smile on her face, and nodded. “It’s...scary. But good.” “I’m glad for you,” Lona said, and a hitch in her voice made Clara lift her head to see a sad look on her face. Before she could question her about it, Lona asked, “So what was the hand-thing with Bannon?” “Uh, what hand thing?” Clara asked, clearly confused on the change in subject. She started to push Lona on it, but managed to hold herself back. Pushing too hard and too fast with her had led to their estrangement the first time. She might not be emotionally savvy, but Clara did learn. “Holding hands with Bannon?” Lona asked, tilting her head. “What was that about?” It took her a few moments to call up a time she was holding hands with Jason Bannon. “Oh! He was just showing me over to where you were set up, after you texted me.” Lona frowned. “Etienne seemed to think that there was more to it than just showin’ you around. He didn’t ask it directly but he was wondering if you two were together. How long were you guys holding hands?” “Um, I don’t know? We walked over to the stage and then you started playing?” Clara frowned. Etienne was at the fair? The two of them hadn’t actually had much of a chance to talk before everything went sideways at the party. Clara hadn’t really been at the party, she realized. Between stepping away to talk to her boyfriend and then all the crazy afterward, she hadn’t danced once. “I don’t really remember. I wasn’t paying attention to that.” “Okay,” Lona said, “I hope that he wasn’t paying attention either. Bannon’s a little extreme, Clara.” The overachiever frowned. “What do you mean?” “He thinks sideways at a problem, instead of straight on,” Lona said after a moment, “and while that’s great, he cuts corners that shouldn’t be cut. Not like short-changing people, but like reaching the end result whatever the cost.” She huffed impatiently. “Fuck, I don’t even know if I’m making sense, between the craziness of tonight and the whiskey.” “Whiskey? At the party?” Clara sounded somewhere between jealous and wistful. She stared down at her melting ice cream and mused, “That sounds pretty nice about now. I wonder if you can make boozy ice cream?” “Your dad gave me whiskey,” Lona said, stirring her rainbow-vomit mass of sugar in the bowl. “You couldn’t make booze into ice cream, but you could make a whiskey float, I guess. Sounds terrible.” Clara stuck out her tongue in disappointment at no boozy ice cream, then made a sour face. “Yeah, I think I’ll stick to Coke floats. That does sound gross. And if Papa was handing out whiskey, he was mad at someone. And not you.” She gave Lona a speculative look. “Think something happened with the Bermuda Triangle of Weird and Messed Up over there?” “No clue, though he did agree with me that Mom’s useless. So maybe a breakup is pending?” She took a bite of ice cream and added with a tremor to her words, “If your parents kick Mom out, do you think I could ask to stay here?” “I don’t think they’d kick her out. I think they’d make me move back to the main house and put her out here. I mean, your Mom’s never had a job, right? How would she go anywhere else?” She frowned, not liking the idea at all. “Or maybe they can just make her move into our old room. I like it out here.” Lona relaxed as Clara spoke. She knew the Wrights but she didn’t know the adults as well as Clara did. “Cool. I like it out here, too. Now that we’re talking again.” She paused then said, “I’m sorry it took me so long to reach back out.” Clara looked down and away. “I’m sorry I tried to make you deal with things my way. That wasn’t fair. Or helpful.” “No, it wasn’t, but I guess I can see where you were just trying to help.” Lona managed a small smile for her. “So seriously, what the fuck was up with tonight?” Clara set her bowl aside, sitting up as a remembered flood of adrenaline perked her up. “I know, right? Do you think it was some kind of bad water or psychedelic mushrooms spooring or something?” She bit her lip in thought, “That doesn’t explain the trailer and all the notes and stuff, though. What do you think?” “I don’t know what to think that’s why I asked you!” Lona threw her hands into the air. “All I know is that the big party and all my plans for it were sucked into this weirdness, and that’s several hours of my life that I’m not getting back. I was hoping you’d have some better ideas.” Clara gave her a big-eyed shrug. “I’ve got nothing. It was just so weird. The woods were all it up like Avatar, there’s impossible creatures running around, and this movie-level of conspiracy nut trailer. If I had to guess, we’re like one episode into some new reality tv prank show.” “Wait, lit up?” Lona stuck in a spoonful of sugar but when Clara didn’t adjust her statement by the time she’d cleared her mouth, Lona added, “Lary, those woods were as black as a Jauntsen soul.” Clara snorted and flicked a red Skittle at Lona. “Good one, point to you. And no, it was. I mean not like lightbulb lit up, but there were all these glowing bits. Some flowers and little critters. Patches on the trees. Moss, maybe? It was super pretty, just weird. Like Avatar. Maybe not the way you guys came?” “Not the way anyone came, ‘cept for maybe Charlie.” Lona retrieved the Skittle from a wrinkle in her shirt and tossed it into her mouth. She grew thoughtful. “I wonder who else had weird stuff happen that they didn’t mention in the Big Circle Creepy Cabin Sharetime.” “Who knows? I mean, there were so many people there and most everyone was drunk, high, or both. Even if weird things happened to them, how many would remember? Or think it was anything other than being drunk or high? I’m still not completely sure we didn’t get slipped something or breathed in something and ended up with a mass hallucination.” She tried to fight it, but the yawn managed to crawl out of her mouth. She stretched, then laid back on the couch. “Wanna get a blanket and make fun of horror movies until we pass out?” “Um,” Lona nibbled on her lip ring a second and then said, “I have to tell you one more thing. I… saw something weird at the fair.” As Clara sat up a bit, Lona said, “When we were hugging and I was crying, I had a… vision, I guess. I saw some weird stuff, and the reason I ran off was because one of those was Luis getting attacked by Chet and his thugs.” Clara frowned. Her mind ticked through what had happened at the fair and her frown deepened. “What else did you see?” “I saw Dad sick again, but my tears made a mirror on the floor, and I saw our moms hugging. I saw Courtney Adams and Stacy Collier having sex. Luis. A Native American crawling out of a crater with glowing blue eyes.” Lona thought for a moment. “That’s it, I think.” Clara’s mouth pinched together. “Maybe it wasn’t at the party. Maybe we got dosed with something long-acting at the fair. Maybe there’ll be something on the news tomorrow. Also, Stacy and Courtney? You think she’d be a bit less of a Marissa if she were getting laid.” Lona snorted. “I think Marissa would be a bit less of a Marissa if she were getting laid. Honestly, I don’t know what to think. And I’ve felt weird since arriving at the party. Maybe tomorrow your dad will ask us to piss in a cup.” “Did he say something?” Clara looked concerned now. “About the party? I didn’t think he knew.” “No, he didn’t, but if something comes down the news about a mass en-druggening at the county fair, everyone’s getting tested.” Lona pushed her bowl away. “Yeah, but in a ‘concerned for your health’ kind of way.” Clara switched how she was laying, plopping her head down on Lona’s lap where the bowl had just vacated. “Not a ‘never see the light of day again’ kind of way. That would explain...some of it. Not the trailer, but that could just be a crazy person.” “Yeah.” Lona looked down at her. “You know what?” “What?” “I’m ready for those horror movies, but let’s do romcoms instead. I’ve had enough weird or possibly supernatural shit for tonight.” Clara snorted and fumbled around on the coffee table until she found the remote. “Bland romcom coming up.” She didn’t even make it through the credits before she was snoring on Lona’s lap. Sleep was slower in coming for Lona, and she picked up her phone and considered sending a text. Finally, she put it down without doing anything and was soon sleep, too.
  20. "We actually came across the cat on the way back to the main camp. I figured that if there was a shooter, they'd be on or close to the path, so started leading people back via the scenic route." Jason's voice was calm, his eyes slightly distant as he recalled every detail. "We'd gotten maybe 100 yards when it came prowling out ahead of us - obviously with a toothache and hungry, since it immediately began to stalk us. We kept cool-" "Speak for yourself." Etienne volunteered with a faint smile. "Personally, mon ami, I wanted to grab Clara and run like hell." "-and I got everyone moving slowly back to the trailer, here." Jase went on with a small nod. "It trailed along, keeping us in sight, and only decided to charge when we got to the clearing. Which makes sense - less obstacles for us to duck behind or weave around." he added clinically. "I lit the torch and tried to hold it off while the others got into the trailer. I screwed up and it had me cold, but then disappeared." He smiled faintly, his eyes narrowing as he pondered. "So yours-" he looked at Devin and Cass "-appeared from and disappeared into a cloud. Makes sense - cephalopods like to strike from and cover their retreat with clouds of ink in the sea. Maybe this was some otherdimensional or alien species related to our octopi or squids." "Otherdimenwhat?" Devin asked, blinking and looking around the circle. Marissa rolled her eyes at him and he shot her the bird. Sean shook his head slowly, red-gold hair tumbling around his delicate features and wide eyes. "Aliens, now?" he asked his friend with skepticism dripping from the question. Jase met Sean's gaze without any sign of doubt, and Sean shook his head harder. "Dude, that shit is impossible." "Either a dimensional anomaly or else a temporal anomaly. Perhaps the smilodon came from the past and the... Cephalogina-" he smiled at Devin slightly. "-from the future, as that doesn't appear in the fossil record. And let's not throw around 'impossible' too easily, hmm? If we accept that the tooth is real, the tracks are real, the smilodon was real and what Devin and Cassandra saw was real - what would your explanation be? And besides, in the trailer-" "Bullshit." Lona snorted, pointing an accusing finger at Jase. "This is all your weed. What did you lace that shit with, huh?!" She stepped towards him, fists balling as she approached. Jase did not move, merely tilted his head to one side and watched her, his gaze bright. Clara hastily took Lona's arm, restraining her gently. "I never touched it, Lona." she said quietly. "Nor did Etienne." "Neither did I." Devin piped up, echoed by Cass and his sister. "And even leaving aside the fact that only a fucking idiot spikes weed he's selling to the whole Shelly youth underground." Marissa snorted at Lona. "If it was in the weed, the party would be a riot right now as everyone tripped balls. How was it when you left, emo girl?" "Calm." Cade spoke up, shrugging as Coraline nodded beside him. "Mellow, even. No fights or even loud quarreling." "-in the trailer are hundreds of reports, maps, statistics." Jason went on as Cade's words sank in, as though Lona had never interrupted him. "This was some kind of observation post. I think an organisation was keeping tabs on this area, like they knew it was a place were weird stuff happens. Please do not-" his voice sank to subzero temperatures. "-touch anything in there. Marissa and I are working to sort the data into a coherent whole, like defragmenting a hard drive, and when we have I promise that anyone who wants to browse the discovery can do so. However..." He narrowed his eyes and swept the group, including Laurelei and Tawny, Laurie taking a half-step back at this first glimpse of a different Jase. "We need to keep this quiet. No gossip, no rumors. Don't even discuss it where someone might hear you. Best place to talk about it is here, if you must. And for the love of all that is intelligent do not use your cellphones or the Internet to text, Instagram or discuss anything about this place. When it comes to talking about this place, we're all going to have to be 'low tech mouth breathers'." he winked at Marissa, who smirked as she remembered. "Or the best case is that it will be taken from us. The worst case is that we and our families and anyone we might have told get disappeared, depending on who set this up and why. Oh, and one final thing. I'm reasonably sure someone is going to start up the refrain of 'but this isn't possible' or the other classic family fave 'we shouldn't be here'." He said both phrases in an affected whiny child voice. "To that person or persons, don't bother. If your mind is that small, you're no use here so you might as well head back to the party." He shrugged coldly, his eyes still holding that merciless predator stare. "Anyone?"
  21. Mega Girl lay there for a second or three before levering herself back into the air with a soft groan and the patter of falling bits of rubble. She ignored the scrolling warnings in the corner of her eye, the list of damaged subsystems complaining and cueing up for a share of her long term repair systems. She was going to need to eat an entire cheesecake or two after this... Still she could move, she could see, and, oh yes, there was Autumn with an assist. The bleeding cyborg offered the other woman a smile of gratitude at the distraction. Looked like the hydra wasn't doing so hot, either. She snickered at her own stupid pun, blaming the twin impacts. Alison exploded into the fray once more. No shield this time, sadly enough, but she boomed flat along the ground before arching upward at the icy bulwark around the robot's feet, one fist extended like the tip of a javelin. She homed in the minotaur's chin, hoping to take it down with this hit. It'd just be *so good* to tank her target and take him down, to boot. That'd show Shen. Yeah.
  22. Yesterday
  23. Cassandra held a hand out, trying to get things to stop or slow down as she processed all this. "So...this sabretoothed tiger attacked Cade's car, then later it attacked Jason right here...and then it disappeared just before it killed him...and...you all just stuck around? Goddamn, you guys." She scrubbed her fingers through her hair. "So...I mean...two disappearing things. Three, I guess, if you count the...the mouth-gina or whatever... But...wait, Clara you said something weird was in the trailer?"
  24. The second hit from Mega Girl staggered the Minotaur, which was abit surprising, but it's return swing caught the shield and split it in half, not to mention sending her crashing into the ground. (3 damage again from the impact, which left a large crater) As Starsign answered Hex that her power wasn't fire, the hydra slammed its tail into her knocking her to the ground from where she was (3 damage) and forcing her to release it's heads. Quickly working it out, Autumn used her powers to form ice around the feet of the Minotaur, keeping it in place as Summer launched a firery blast at the hydra, which hissed in pain as one of its five heads was severed. The Hydra lashed out at Hex and Starsign again, the bites missing, but the tail sweep slammed into Hex as the beast spun around, and hit mightily, smashing aside her defensive shield to send her flying (2 damage) Columbian continued his assault on the hydra, going after the same leg again, hearing a satisfying crunch as bones broke roughly. The Kraken was successfully blinded by the tapestry, but that did nothing to stop its attack against Derek. The Psionic assault was easily the strongest he'd ever been hit with (4 damage) and giving him a pounding headache.
  25. Sean and Sara were listening from the doorway, Sean dug into his pocket and produced the tooth and came the rest of the way down and held it up for everyone to see. Jase looked at it and remembered the monster leaping jaws ope and remembered what he saw. "It was missing one of it's lower fangs," said Jase and Sara at the same time.
  26. "I mean what I say and say what I mean." Charlie replied sagely. Devin rubbed the bridge of his nose in irritation, remembering he was dealing with a dweeb on drugs. "I mean, did you go into the woods and and see the cephalo-gina?" "Nah, Lilly had the Bobs watching me." Charlie responded blithely, unaware of the implications of his statement to the others. In his state of connected-ness, how could anything be wrong?
  27. Cade had been listening and idly he had Cora's hand in his, both as a way to help her calm down, and reassure her things were fine, at least for now. Devin's story, and the one about the sabertooth cat, well that made him think of the tooth he'd found in his tire. "Crazy as it sounds, I did have something actually run into my jeep and leave what looks like a pretty large tooth in the tire tread on my way out tonight. I pulled it out and let Sean take a look at it to see if he might know what it was. It didn't stay after the impact, so i never actually saw the creature, whatever it was." Having listened to the tale of the Cephalo-gina from Devin, he was ready to call him crazy, then he approached Charlie, who he knew couldn't have been there for that.
  28. "A saber-toothed tiger?" Devin questioned Clara. His tone though wasn't one that indicated he didn't believe her, but he was certainly skeptical. He was skeptical of everything he had seen tonight and it was showing. Marissa raised a finger up at him like she was about to scold him. "Devin, I swear to god, don't. Just don't. We know what we saw and swear if you quip one damn time about it-" He raised his hands. "No, no... look I'm not saying I believe you," he seemed remarkably reserved for Devin. He was probably thankful that him and Cass weren't the only one's bringing an impossible story to the table. "I'm not sure what to believe right now. Hell, I think Cass and I can do you one better... so Cass bumped into me in the woods, I was heading off to answer your text. We barely got past showing mutual disgust for each other when this naked dude just kinda strolled out onto the path. He had a gun and the gunshot you heard he fired at us. Thankfully he missed because Cass was using me as a human shield," he looked to Cass and shot her a lazy bird. "Thanks for that by the way." "If it helps, you were very brave." Cass said with a very apologetic expression on her face. It wasn't until now that she realized that that was exactly what she did and it kind of made her feel bad. "Anyway, so, dude was like a zombie. Didn't look like one, just moved and moaned and didn't really seem, I dunno," he shrugged. "Like 'up' was direction he could find while standing on the ground. He mumbled, I didn't make it out, fired the shot I mentioned. You would think he would have ran by then be we couldn't... we just..." "Behind him," Cass took over for Devin while he searched for the words through the memory. "There was this, we don't know what but we'll say cloud. A vapor. It was dark and... look anyways, something came out of the cloud a..." "Cephalo-gina." Devin cut her off, snapping his fingers pointing at everyone else Brad Pitt in every movie he's ever done. "We're not calling it that," she rolled her eyes. Marissa shook her head while Clara face palmed. "Wait, a what now?" Marissa asked. "A cephalo-gina." Devin put his hands together like he was going to hadoken, wriggling his finger he explained those there the tentacles and where his wrists met, in that ever so attractive visual was the 'gina'. He flicked his tongue at the center to vulgarly demonstrate going down on it. The review was mixed. A few needed the laugh, others weren't really in the mood it. "Anyone need a sibling? I'm so fucking done with my idiot brother it's not even funny." Marissa rolled her eyes at his display. "Could you draw it?" Devin stopped and dropped his hands to his sides. "If my hands would stop shaking, maybe." Cass quikly defended Devin. "He's not lying, that's exactly what it looked like it. Only bigger. It came from the cloud and," he grabbed at the air like she was palming a basketball. "It got him and it pulled him into the cloud." "That's when we ran." Devin pointed to Cass, punctuating her story. "He dropped the gun, Cass got a pic of it, but then Pryor shows up like 'hey, sorry, it just dawned on me that I wasn't all up in everyone's business, oh by the way I found a gun after hearing a gun shot, you're all fucking retarded and I deserve a medal because my dads in the military, whee!" Devin sniffled. "Kay, now I'm done. Wait... no I'm not. Charlie... we didn't tell this story until now." He walked over to Charlie. "What did you mean when you said," he air quoted. "The tentacled ones don't like nudists?"
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