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  1. 2 points
    That last few notes of Sam Smith’s Stay With Me rolled off the strings of her guitar as the three people in front of Lona clapped vigorously. One of them whooped, a guy her age with brown skin and a huge Stetson. “Love that song,” he said, ambling forward to drop a dollar in her open guitar case. “Thanks,” Lona murmured, smiling shyly at him. A woman with gray hair called, “Do you know Why Do Fools Fall in Love?” Lona’s frowning; she’d never even heard of that one. “I’m sorry, no.” “It’s an old song, I figured it was a long shot given your age,” the woman said with a shrug and tapped the man with her on the shoulder. “Come on, we need to check on the sheep.” “Thanks for listening!” Lona called after them, even as her phone beeped a reminder. Time to go. She smiled at the boy still standing in front of her. “Show’s over, sorry.” “Are you performing at the fair?” the kid asked. “I’d love to hear more.” “Yeah, I’ll be performing at five on Thursday on the little stage,” Lona said, keeping her voice neutral despite the lousy time and venue. Most people would be watching the Halsey Sisters performing the same fifteen gospel songs that they’d sang for the last million years. They were a popular fair staple, and being set to perform at the same time as them ensured she’d have a small crowd. “I’ll be there,” the kid promised. “Awesome! I’ll also be playing on the main course at random spots,” she added, rising and collecting her money. “Any requests - besides my cover of Stay With Me?” “Something by Blake Shelton? Like God’s Country?” “I’ll see if I can swing that,” Lona said, wondering if she had time to learn the song between now and Thursday. She’d try - she didn’t want to disappoint her only fan (at least, her only fan who wasn’t friends or family). “See ya Thursday.” With her PR done, Lona packed up and started to walk the mile or so to Bunnie’s. It was a long walk to the fairgrounds, but worth it for the income and getting her music out there. There were always people setting up for the fair for days before, and some people even brought their show animals a day or two early so they’d have a chance to settle. Many of the new arrivals appreciated entertainment and without the rides open, most had cash to spare. She’d made enough to pay for her lunch today and cigarettes for a week, plus a bit more. Tomorrow would be another chance to earn even more money; the closer to fair day, the more early-comers would be there. By the time she stepped foot on the side of Highway 2, she was dripping sweat and already grossed out by herself. Great, didn’t think about the fact you’ll be stinking up the group by walking, did ya? Sucking on her lip ring, she fanned the front of her tank top, wishing she could take it off -- Aw, fuck it. If Cade’s dad nabs me for indecency, at least his car will be air conditioned. She slipped her shirt off around the guitar straps and tucked it into her belt. It didn’t help with the heat too much, but it was one less layer of cloth over her overheated body. Within seconds, she wanted to remove the bra too, but she wasn’t into exhibition. Her underwear wasn’t for public exposure, so she left her jean shorts in place. Vehicles zoomed by, more than one honking. Lona gamely flipped off the honkers, irritated that she couldn’t walk in peace without commentary from randos. Then one of the honkers pulled over in front of her, and Liam Day leaned out the window, smirking at her. “Hey, Lona, if you want picked up, you know I’m available.” “How about a ride to Bunnee’s?” she said, wishing that she had kept the shirt on. Liam always came onto her in the worst ways, but his car looked like a welcome refuge after ten minutes of hot asphalt. “Sure, if you keep your shirt off,” he leered. Lona measured the possibly of heat stroke versus the discomfort of Liam’s company and mentally shrugged. Both were kinds of hell, and if he drove her, it’d be over in a matter of minutes. “Gross, Liam,” she said, walking to the passenger side of his old car and wrenching open the door. “Do you have to pay for it, too?” “Never,” he vowed as she stowed the guitar in the back seat, “it’s against my religion.” “First Church of Slutism?” she guessed as sank into the car and discovered that the old beater had working air. Liam and his ugly flirting was forgotten as she aimed all the vents in reach at herself. “Jesus, it's hot out there.” “It’s hot in here, too,” he said, running a finger down her shoulder as the car started forward. Lona rubbed her forehead and flicked the sweat on her fingers at him. “Hands to yourself, Liam.” “Don’t you feel like you owe me a little niceness?” he asked plaintively. “A little sweetness?” “Nope,” she told him, raising an eyebrow so that light glinted off the ring in it. “We’re supposed to be friends, Liam.” “If you stopped friend-zoning me, I could make you happy,” he told her, sliding around the corner a little too fast. “I’d treat you like my queen.” It didn’t matter that she’d told him that she didn’t want to date him. He wasn’t going to stop; guys like him never did. So she pulled her shirt out of her belt and put it on. “Liam, I’m going to be clear. Be my friend, or get the fuck out of my life. And you can drop me here.” Ten minutes later, Lona dragged her sweaty self into the diner. The drop in temperature wasn’t quite as severe as it had been in Liam’s car, but it was still worth a moment to stop and enjoy the chill. She scanned the room, scowling at seeing Clara with her notebooks stacked next to her. Fortunately, her irritating roommate was being distracted by Cassie and Chet, which should be fun for all. She felt a little bad for Cassie, but she wanted to be a journalist so she’d better get used to robo-people and jackasses. Turning, she slipped over to Sean and Bannon’s booth and dropped her case under the seat. Sitting next to Sean, she fanned herself with napkins and moaned, “I’m here. Please don’t tell me that everyone else has bailed on us. Cause getting heat stroke just to be blown off would suck.”
  2. 2 points
    For all the dangers and freakishness of the situation, Fisher was calm. Relatively so, with superhuman intellect and focus running down the situation. In front of them, a potential repeat of the Nekyia situation when the Band first got into the heroing business. The creatures on the other end had held off once they'd noticed Fisher and his heritage. They couldn't rely on that this time. Step One, stop Todd and get him away. Austin, Fisher thought approvingly, was already on that. That left the issue of containment. The wisps seemed to be confined by the pentagram, but that thing wouldn't likely stop whatever eldritch evil was coming through from stepping out. What would an anime/manga protagonist do in this situation? It was hardly a silly question. The many great series carried their rivers of Japanese tales and lore, homages in their way to the Amatsukami, of whom he was a Scion. Obviously, he couldn't pull a Naruto and just create some fuinjustu masterwork to seal it back up. But there were other ways, a more traditional option now that he thought about it. Fisher drew Comb Tooth and jabbed it forward, turning the pen into a naginata, and catching some of the flying paper. It came down into Fisher's outstretched hand, cut into strips. And Comb Tooth retracted back into a pen. Was the pen mightier than the sword? Thankfully, Fisher could have it both ways. In swift flickers, Fisher drew the kanji. "Izanagi, father of the gods. He who brought Chikaeshi-no-okami. Bind death away from life here!" The stone from which his own pendant was made, Fisher remembered. With a toss, defying the laws of physics, the strip of paper which Fisher had inscribed his step-father's name sailed as if a rigid solid object and met the doors to the lab, slamming them shut and sticking as if glued firmly. "Amaterasu, heavenly queen and sun! Restrain this twisted light with your own!" Another inscribed strip found its way to one point of the pentagram. "Susanoo, slayer of Orochi! Drive these monsters back!" "Tsukuyomi, moon lord! I plead for your support!" Two, third points covered. "The Seven Fortunes! Give this your blessing!" Four. And of course finally, "Izanami, mom. You owe me." The last one came into place. Ofuda. The various talismans, amulets and other charms issued by Shinto shrines. Often they had the names of the shrines too with the kami, but Fisher Capra was a Scion of the Amatsukami and the writing was done by a genuine Relic. He WAS his own spiritual holiness for this. And he would make their bindings real. Five to cover the pentagram, one on the doors to bar the room just to be safe. And their words glowed, a pure white compared to the sickly green cracks. White lines connecting the circle...
  3. 2 points
    Lilly stood there, still holding Kyle on her hip still, as she watched things play out in her mind. Despite all of her nearly limitless strength, speed and invulnerability, she had to stand there... a silent, powerless witness to the death of her father... at the hands of somebody she called a friend. Lilly, who the other Irregulars has always known as so tough, steadfast and confident, dropped to her knees, clutching Kyle close as her face twisted into a silent mask of anguish. She shut her tight, so tight that she was not sure if she if light would ever reach them again, as if trying to block the image of the fear on her face of her father. All her life he had been there. He helped her fall in love with sports and athletics, instilled in Lilly his work ethic, patriotism and sense of duty. He coached her and taught her so much that has helped her, even now, or especially now, that she was a Key. She never doubted his deep, unconditional love for her. He was her mentor... her protector... her superhero. And now he was gone. And for Devin be the one to do it, to take his life and rob her of her father, and to do it so casually, made it hurt even worse. She knew he was hurt and angry, but this was a new level. She had thought that Devin would never do something like this that would hurt her so bad. Not Devin. Maybe it was the naivete of youth, but she thought that they had something special, at least on some level... that he cared for her. This though, this was cold and uncaring, taking the life of her father with unthinkable casualness. It just wasn't right. Lilly opened her tear-filled eyes and looked to Sean. "I know you will." she said, nodding as tears began to streak down her cheeks. "I need to see my mom, to tell he-" she said, as her voice cracked. Sean nodded. "Mckeller said you would. I can beam you to him and he'll get you to her." ""I want to go with Lilly." the little boy in her arms said. Lilly forced a smile as she wiped her cheeks with the back of her hand. She hugged him and nodded. "Don't you worry about any thing. Remember what I said? I'll make sure you safe. You'll get to meet my mommy too. She's really nice." Kyle nodded and rested his cheek on Lilly's shoulder, closing his eyes as she held him close. "I'll leave a Vanguard with you guys, or more if you need. Either way, I'll be back. Too many are in danger." she said, trying to regain her composure, even if it were just a thin facade. She then looked to Jeane. "Sorry you had to see that." she said, even now still thinking of others. "We'll make sure your family is safe too. If you want to stay with them for now, then believe me, we understand. If you want to stay with us, then you are with us." she explained.
  4. 2 points
    Television had lied to Jeane. There was something deeply odd about a voice by-passing her ears entirely with how keyed up she was with this mysterious crusher in the area. The blonde daredevil jerked straight up at the silent conversation in her head, nearly dropping her sword in the process. Then she grimaced and tried to push a 'hello' back. She didn't quite get it right. The Irregulars got a raw stream of bubbling excitement and nervous determination interposed with stuttering, broken snatches of old scuffles, jumps, and tumbles, the younger girl gearing herself up for the fight by subconsciously reviewing every trick she knew and praying that it would be enough. <...mN iT,> came back the first actual words over the link, distorted as they were by the subsiding emotional vomit straight from Jeane's head bereft of any filter. Blushing in embarrassment, she tried again, message still Dopplering with emotional feedback. <hI. i'M jEaNe. GrEAt To MeEt YOu. yOU HAve No IDEA hoW cOOl tHis IS FoR mE. mEETING YOU thAT iS. NoT the unknown moNSTer, tHAT iS.>
  5. 2 points
    Init: 1d20+4 15 GM, without a map I should ask...how many of these dead critters can I get into a 15' cone effect without roasting some PC's too? Also, can I get more if just Delgath is in the area? That'd be okay.
  6. 2 points
    Her sprint chewed through the distance, the only sounds she could hear the beat of her music and the thundering of her heartbeat, with a grunt she launched herself from one rooftop to another. Much quicker than trying to take the streets. She'd only hit the road itself once she reached her usual drop off point by her favourite stand. She wouldn't have time to stop properly today, though. Not with the call going out like it had. Usually they were left to their own devices as far as jobs went. The master only occasionally making requests of various members, and even then, it was more the S classes, so for it to be broadcast to the entire guild at once had her heart racing in anticipation. A familiar scent had her nose twitching and a wide grin stretched over her features as she came to the final edge. Launching herself over that with a whoop of delight, she hits the ground hard, rolling to bleed off the force of the fall and coming back up in a full sprint once more, momentum barely interrupted. Her hand dives into her pocket and she slams a handful of change down on the wooden counter of a stand, snagging her usual freshly baked treat from where it rested beside it. A quickly hollered thanks, a glowing smile, and a rapidly spinning coin sitting on top of a pile of it's brothers the only evidence of her passing. The stall owner barely even acknowledging the whirlwind that had just swept through his little store, raising his own hand in farewell and shaking his head, no doubt muttering imprecations on how she'd break her neck doing that someday. Coming through the guild doors at full speed, she dodges around Luci, boots almost skating over the floor as she plops onto one of the benches, her momentum sending her sliding down the bench where she comes to rest beside Brennan with a cheerfully chirped "Afternoon" addressed to the room at large before biting into her treat with obvious pleasure. One hand rising up to pull her headphones down to rest around her neck, the muted strains of her music issuing forth.
  7. 2 points
    In almost every cast, it's more efficient to buy attributes, abilities/skills, powers, etc using Nova Points rather XP, unless you are getting considerably more XP than nova points, like three times as many or more. Many of the characters I've made tended towards having good Mega-Physical Attributes along with physical-type powers, like Armor, Body Modifications (Extra Health Levels and others), Claws, and Hypermovement. I finally made a character I've been meaning to with maxed out baseline attributes, a wide spread of Mega-Attributes and a metric ton of skills and am quite enjoying it. Neat concepts I've considered but never got around to making: -Poltergeist: Density Decrease 3-5, along with Invisibility (Enhanced Effect Extra) and some other power to affect others while Intangible, like Telekinesis, Holo, Mirage, or the like. -Mindshadow: Domination (Parasitic Possession Extra) and Telepathy (Channeling Extra) - lets the character possess someone from almost anywhere on Earth, and can even Teleport after a fashion, from jumping into a targeted mind and then stepping out of it and coalescing again.l -Using The New Flesh Fan Sourcebook, making someone with a whole hell lot of Body Modifications to make a Mermaid or a Cthulhoid horror with tentacles and spines and too many teeth and limbs. -Depending on power levels and house rules used, making someone with a Permanent, Mental-Linked Clone power to make someone who is one mind in multiple bodies. Combine with the Mindshadow concept to make a Nova who is essentially a mental virus. Aberrant isn't the best or most flexible system around, but there are any number of character ideas available, sometimes you just how to consider the powers in a different light. And welcome to the site, Red Ghost.
  8. 2 points
    Sean castigated herself for the amusement she took at the affect had on the airman. It was a delicate balancing act, modulating her smiles and expressions, the tone of her naturally melodious and captivating voice, so she came across as friendly without implying or suggesting too much. Evidently, she had gone too far this time. She couldn't just consider her own qualities, but how others would react, based on their own psychologies and experiences. Even for her, it was a formidable amount of variable to take into account. When the General arrived and revealed they had been emancipated, Sean was mildly surprised, but she understood the reasons for it. First, it at least gave them the appearance of giving them a choice in how they proceeded from here. But mostly, it made it easier for them to ask the Irregulars to kill and risk their lives while absolving their consciences. It would help the Irregulars too. A good part of the structure of the military, the chain of command, was to mitigate guilt, for the soldiers and the commanders. Without that, one or the other would balk, or burn out under the burden. While General Robinson and Lilly spoke, Sean watched the General, Colonel Pryor, and the man identified as a Navy SEAL - his body language and the way he held himself had already suggested to her that he was specials forces of some sort already - noting their reactions and expressions to what was being said. She wasn't troubled by their parents - or hers at least - not being allowed to attend their meetings and briefings. While they could provide emotional support, they simply didn't have the information or experience to make worthwhile contributions in these situations. When Captain McKellar asked them if they were in or out, Sean took a moment, a considerable moment considering the speed and depth of her thought processes to decide on her answer as she held Sara's hand, giving it a squeeze. She hadn't really considered public or military service when she had been a boy, rather being driven by enlightened self-interest. She had just wanted to do well for her, her family, and friends. She had mostly dreamed of making it big in the video game or tech industry, the next Gates, Page or Brin, or Musk, or Carmack, Meier, or Morhaime, and hopefully didn't turn into an asshole with success. The closest she had come to considering future governmental service had been a scenario in which the CIA or FBI or whatever came to her to solve a problem as a White Hat Hacker, a software wunderkind. Now, as a woman, an extraordinary and superpowered one at that, Sean had new priorities. She actually had a girlfriend that she cared a great deal for for one. For another, there was a Goddamned alien invasion coming. While she wouldn't serve the US for its own sake - it needed some much needed changes, in her opinion - she would serve if it provide her and everyone there best chance at repelling the invaders. The US and its military had colossal resources and manpower at its disposal. Even still, Sean wasn't sure it would be enough. It would need to be a concerted effort with their allies, and perhaps, even those who were not. Taking the tablet Lilly handed her, Sean glanced over this D3@tTh 0Tt3R's ultimatum and the video attachment, then snorted. She may have just provided the US Government the impetus to work more closely with its allies, by forcing the existence of QEH's and the alien threat out into the open. Surprisingly, Sean didn't feel concerned or anxious about the revelation getting out, but rather, something more like a sense of relief. She would undoubtedly be talked about the most, but at least she wouldn't have to lie anymore about who she was. "It's not just our and the aliens existences that are being used for blackmail, but the secret proclivities, antics, and actions of other politicians," Sean amended, lips curving wryly. "Never discount simple self-interest." Sean tapped the iPad against her thigh. "Assuming this person is Allison Bigby, or the person assuming her identity, at least, dealing with her may not be so simple, since it seems she can teleport and appears to have an 'enhanced' facility with computers and machines that goes beyond mere hacking. Lots of cameras in New York, and lots of people, making her hard to find without forewarning her. We can probably incapacitate or eliminate her." Sean frowned at how calmly she had just mentioned killing someone, not an alien, but a human being. But she was being a thread, potentially a devastating one, and a distraction from what really concerned Sean, the aliens. She had seen their tech, they could destroy the planet, easily, and it was the only one humanity had... For the moment. There were the portals and an awfully big galaxy. Possibly a retreat or haven could be arranged as a contingency... Sean closed her eyes for a moment, took a deep, steadying breath, then continued. "It any contingencies she's made that we have to worry about. Lots of things that you can program to go off due to any number of circumstances or events and she seems devious and smart." Sean paused and tilted her head slightly. "Actually, if she was really smart, she'd just have disappeared - from what I can see, she would be able to do it without much effort. Instead, she's backed the government into a corner from which they have no other option but to respond. And even any enemies of the US won't be a haven for her. She could sell secrets, I'm sure, but after this, they wouldn't be able to but to see her as a threat to themselves as well." Sean turned her penetrating eyes on Captain McKellar and handed him the iPad. "It's to stop people like this, strewing chaos when the actual world is literally at stake, and to figure out a way to end the alien threat, that I'll agree to join up. As long as I see this as our best way to make it happen, Captain McKellar." <Backs are against the wall, and it isn't just ours. We all have to make our own choices, but I'm not walking away from this. I can't.> Sean turned entreating eyes on Sara, hoping she would understand. Her lips quirked self-deprecatingly. <Fuck, being bullied by Chet and Courtney seems like such a minor, petty thing now.>
  9. 1 point
    “What's an original?” Cara sighed and went to the cereal box, tilting it back a little to get a closer look at the ridiculous character adorning the front. "Not one of these," she chuckled. Such an innocent witness to such a dangerous question. Without looking away from the box, she then said, "The only reason you know to ask that question is that you were listening to our conversation with our guest last night. Our private discussion." Finally glancing up to meet Abigail's eyes, Cara went on, "Normally I would not reward a breach of trust with an answer...but to try to keep you from foolishly asking someone else, I will say this." "As we are to you, an original is to us. We are old, strong, fast and hungry. They are older, stronger, faster...and vastly, rapaciously hungry. We are dangerous, they are deadly. They know nothing of kindness...of decency by any human standard...and your first, best line of defense against them is that you are not anywhere near them, and that no one knows that you've ever heard of them." "If either of those things is no longer true, then you are in danger that even Marko or I may not be able to save you from. Do you understand?"
  10. 1 point
    Devin was lost. His eyes glazed over as his thoughts moved to elsewhere beyond the temporal bubble that Hooli was holding him hostage in. He waggled a finger lazily at Hooli as his thoughts became ideas and those idea became words. "No, Hootie, your right." Hooli rolled his eyes as Devin once again butchered his name. "When I got into gymnastics and later free running I was good at it, I had a natural talent for it. I was fit and flexible. Then when we moved my dream of the Olympics was over but I still practiced everyday. These powers are no different. I may have had a natural talent for awesomeness, because, well, look at me..." Hooli rolled his eyes and folded his harms. "Oh, here we go..." "But we gained a ton of power very rapidly. We evolved faster than our human genes could endure out necessity for a threat we had to be ready to face. Just like gymnastics, even after I mastered the moves, I had to keep at them, to master them more until everything was nothing more than muscle memory and reflex. That gain of power blinded me, Loogie, I've forgotten that there are no shortcuts. Mastery of my power is no different than the hard work and effort I put into myself before these gifts to compete in the Olympics." "It's gonna hurt, Devin," Hooti said. "These powers aren't like training for the Olympics." "There is not greater pain than the remaking of ones self, for we are both the marble and the sculptor." He booped Hooli on the nose with a smirk. "Thanks for the pep talk Yoo-Hoo. It all kinda makes sense now. I've trying to hard at trying to hard. "So, I've been dying to know something." "What's that?" The little fuzz ball looked up at him, arms still crossed. "What's it like in Lilly's underwear drawer?" Devin asked with a devilish smirk on his lips. Hooli chuckled and waved him closer. "You really want to know?" Devin nodded. "Well, first off it's..." Trinidad came to life around him and all the people began going on about their day as if nothing had happened because for them, nothing had happened. Time moved forward in it's ever flowing state and Devin pursed his lips as he bit his lower one in frustration over being swindled... by a teddy bear. Jaunt chuckled. "Sly little bastard. Well played, sir. Well played."
  11. 1 point
    Shelly, Montana [Now] Sean felt the stacked stone veneer of the bathroom wall dig into her back as Sara pressed her against the bathroom wall, but hardly cared as she fiercely kissed Sara back, their tongues wrestling. Sean's fitted button-down shirt lost most of its buttons as Sara nearly ripped it open, a small sound of frustration escaping their locked lips when Sara found a lacy black v-necked camisole underneath, deep, fair cleavage on full display. Sean's muted moan of delight joined Sara's frustration as she felt the stiffened, rounded points crowning her breasts being teased. Sean tangled one hand in Sara's short blond hair, the other cupping her ass and lifting Sara off the ground, enough that the shorter woman had to tilt her head down slightly to maintain the breath-taking kiss. Sean arched her back and Sara wrapped a leg around Sean's hip for more leverage. So much better than lunch and the food had been more than good enough. Still, Sean's lambent turquoise eyes cut to the door to the bathroom, then to the other side towards the wooden doors of the stalls decorated with wood burned crescent moons. This was considerably more public than Sean preferred... she also didn't want the genuine, passionate need to end. Sara could feel Sean trying to smile through their kiss and opened her eyes to see Sean arch a questioning brow. Here or elsewhere her gorgeous eyes asked, as long as it didn't end. [Then] Sean glanced away, hiding a wince at Sara's terse and tense tone. A few days apart hadn't mellowed things out and Sean bristled, realizing she had hoped that it had and it hadn't. She wasn't even sure who she was irritated most by, herself or Sara. Sean rapped the silvery rings of her Savant Multitool on her left hand on the roof of her vehicle, then turned back to look at Sara over the top of her car, her half smile brittle and forced. "There's always Bunnie's, but I'd thought we'd try a new place that just opened up, The Big Sky Dive," Sean said, faintly feigned cheer in her melodious voice. "Source and cuisine all from Montana. I hear the food is great, even if the place is a bit, hmm, hipstery." "Fine, that's fine." Sara's tone was neutral, and with her sunglasses, Sean couldn't see the expression in her eyes. The door slammed just a touch too loudly as Sara settled into the passenger seat. Sean sighed, then climbed in behind the wheel and put Little Bigfoot into gear and started driving down Packing Plant Road. When they pulled into the small parking lot of The Big Sky Dive and walked through the front doors, even without her nearly peerless senses, Sean could practically hear Sara's eyes roll. To be fair, some of that eye-rolling, might have been her own. The place was decorated all in stone and hardwood, like picturesque hunting lodge. The guy behind the bar was the very archetype of a hipster, with the glasses, beard and curled mustache, plaid flannel and beanie, stark black tattoos on his forearms. "If this is a vegan only place, I might have to kill you, Sean," Sara muttered up at her taller girlfriend. "If this a vegan only place, I'll let you," Sean admitted.
  12. 1 point
    Threads of Fate as heavy as chains tugged at her, pulled, insisted, and the more the hidden part of Nadya railed at and rattled them, the more the rest of her was bound tight, the enchantment suffocating her in imposed love. But the music loosened her bindings, made the chains weigh her down less. Dane could see even if Nadya couldn't. She was on something, some rank shit. He didn't know why she hadn't come to him, he never held out on her, but he wouldn't let her ride out the horrid high alone. Nadya finished her first song and opening her eyes, began to grow agitated when she didn't see her Niles watching her, waiting for her. "Hold up, Moonbaby," Dane said, snaking an arm around her bare shoulders. A nickname she hated from almost everyone else, Dane made it sound endearing. "You've got some serious pipes on you, girl. Niles just went to the head. You've got this party in the palm of your hand, how 'bout we give'em another round?" Dane gave a member of the band a pointed nod and deftly caught the tossed guitar and flashed Nadya his wide, earnest grin. "A duet this time." Standing stiffly, Nadya desperately gazed across the dance floor looking for Niles, then turned back to Dane. She couldn't see how the expression on her face contrasted sharply with the look in her eyes. If he wasn't buzzed, Dane would have shivered. "What did you have in mind?" Nadya said, returning his grin. "Something a little old school. The theme might not be 'Under The Sea,' but Homecoming still needs a little something classic. Do you know..." And that was how Nadya found herself singing a cover of a classic Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers duet, Islands in the Stream. As the song came to an end, Nadya heard the crowd begin to murmur and jostle. She turned from Dane and her jaw dropped open at the sight of Rae-Rae kissing that bitch Bridgette. Her face lit up in wild amusement, seeing Rachel do something unexpected and unconventional, but she didn't notice the single tear trailing down her check. "I want that. I want something real," she whispered.
  13. 1 point
    Tease didn't say much else as she pondered what he offered. Ten minutes later she'd asked him to pull over at a roadside diner, yes Montana roads still had a diner here or there, and this one in particular had one of Tease's biggest vices: milkshakes. They sat, or 'leaned comfortably' on the hood of his Corvette while they enjoyed a quick bite before continuing on. Dennis watched her as she wolfed down a triple cheeseburger while other young women her age looked on in abject horror and minor jealousy that she could eat like she did and not worry about calories. "That's just amazing," Dennis said, shaking his head. "As much as you want and you don't gain a pound?" "Kind of," she replied, catching a dab of mustard in the corner of her mouth and licking it off her finger. "See, Sean ran a few tests and my powers aren't like the others. I didn't gain their hyper metabolism or resistance to pathogens or extremes. He thinks it's something to do with my being able to make those same toxins and transmit them through my skin or saliva. So, unlike them, I still need sleep, can't stand a room of mustard gas, or run marathons anytime soon. On the plus side, I can get black out drunk, or high as a kite with the bonus that my liver won't rot or lungs or other organs won't fail on me. We're not sure the science... but I'm not immune to the effects of the stuff, but it can't hurt me if I abuse it." She shrugged, "I don't know." "Wait," Dennis chuckled. "You're poisonous." She offered him a coy, salacious smirk. "Venomous. And, kind of. It's not poison, or just poison. I can replicate pretty much anything from poisons to designer drugs. I could shake your hand and within a few seconds it would be as if you just snorted ten lines in a cheap hotel bathroom. Your heart would probably explode too." "That is so fucked up," he laughed, shaking his head. "Yeah," she nodded. She chewed some more and took a sip of her milkshake. "I didn't get the metabolism, but I did get the appetite. I have no idea where it all goes, but Sean thinks my body breaks it down and transfers it right to my node for energy." She shrugged. "I dunno. What I do have is what she calls 'Appearance Alteration'. It allows me to mentally control my appearance, from the make up I have on, to the color of my hair, its length, boob size, and to some extent, my weight. It's permanent until I change it to something else, or gain a few pounds, but every morning as part of my ritual of getting ready, I adjust my weight and sculpt my muscle tone." "Pardon my asking," he waited a moment to finish his bite from his burger, but rolled his finger like he was going to say something, he just needed a minute. "If you can change all that stuff, why you ain't gone... y'know..." "Bigger?" She asked. "Because that's a man's fantasy. You ever tried running with massive tits? I've found the gravity defying, perfectly firm, comic book style breast shape is more than adequate. So, we came all the way out here to talk about my chest?" "No, no," he shook his head laughing again. "God, no. Like I said, I was just asking. The things you guys can do it's... it's just a head trip is all." "So, about what you said, about being a partner?" Tease crunched up the wrapper of her triple bypass burger and tossed it at a waste basket just a few feet from where she as sitting. She missed and it rolled pretty much back to her, but with a shrug she continued on. "Just so I understand your proposal, you want me to use my powers of manipulation and persuasion coupled with complete mental domination, to bring the entertainment industry to its knees while you and I are sitting in the thrones they're kneeling to?" "Well," he leaned his head from side to side like he was weighing her words. "That's a real immoral, dishonest, and illegal way of putting it. We probably shouldn't ever-" "Because I am totally down for that," Tease replied with more enthusiasm than he'd heard from her since he'd met her. "We can explore those as options, I suppose," his line of thought did a complete one eighty. "But first... what I'm telling you, Marissa-" "Tease," she corrected him. "Fine, Tease. What I'm telling you, Tease, is that we won't have to use those sorts of tactics. I know the people, you have the talent. We could make it." Tease nodded, "Yeah, but what's to stop me from just doing it myself? I mean, it kind of feels like you're just using me." "It's because I am," his honestly hit her like a slap to the face. Dennis was a no bullshit kinda guy and his honesty just never seemed to be at anything but a ten. "I just want the American Dream, Tease, but that's the catch, it's a dream. We are not entitled to be rich, or have power. No one is guaranteed to make it in this world. I've worked very hard, darlin' and I've had my ideas stolen by big producers, I've had talent bought away from me by higher bidders with lower standards for their clients. Am I looking for a little payback? Oh, yeah. We can turn the industry on it's ear. So, you give me a chance to teach you everything there is to know about Hollywood and I will show you the Penthouses and the gutters. The high rollers and the low ballers and most important of all: there is nothing but devils and demons in the City of Angels and they all want a free ride to Heaven." "So, you just thought you'd slip into the Cave of Wonders and steal yourself a lamp," she summed up his explanation with metaphor. He shrugged. "Ali-Baba had his 40 thieves, Scheherazade had her 1,000 tales... I have a Tease. Look, all I'm asking for is a partnership, fifty-fifty down the middle. I'll be your mentor, your guide, your advisor. I'll help you with who to talk to, what deals are legit or worth taking, show you where the money is... if I know it, you'll know it." "Hell of a pitch," the teenage woman said while she smirked and winked at a guy who'd been staring at her for the last ten minutes. "Say I were to consider it, I'd have rules. Like first, when it comes to my abilities or powers, I call the shots. Nobody is charmed, mesmerized, enchanted or otherwise infatuated by my gifts unless I deign it fit to use them." "Fair enough," he nodded. "...and the 'bitch' thing? It's not just an act. We all pay a price for our power, Dennis. My brother's ego and desire for glory shot to titanic levels after he gained his powers. The others, they're all sociopaths or obsessives of some sort. In a nut shell, we're all a little crazy. For me? My competitiveness for popularity and status launched to insane levels. I can't help being a bitch because I learned everything I know about being a female mogul from 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians'. I don't think I'm better than everyone, Dennis, I know I am. I'm convinced that every baseline around me is nothing more than a servant or a fool ready to just do my bidding, because they are. Every time I try to be normal, that attitude and sense of superiority claws and screams at me until I give in. It's not a switch I just flip and be a regular teenager again and still have my powers." She seemed a little sad, like there was a self awareness about the fun, all around great young woman she used to be and the superior, raging bitch she'd become. As the saying went: 'all power has a price'. "You're not... dangerous, are you?" Dennis asked. "Well, yeah... I can coat my lips in cyanide, I'd say I'm dangerous," she mused with a chuckle. "But, no. My attitude doesn't make me dangerous, I won't hurt people or anything, at least not physically. I'm cruel and snobbish, but it mostly pushes people away from me, makes them dislike me." "Yet your powers pull them back to you..." "No, I have to use my powers to pull them back to me, but since I'm using my powers, the things they feel aren't genuine," she sighed. "Always alone, even in a crowd." "Pretty much," she chuckled again. The young man who'd been staring the entire time finally worked up the courage and approached the pair on the Corvette. Tease smiled at him as he walked over and that smile swept away some of the butterflies that swirled in his stomach. To assume Tease was out of his league would have an understatement. "Hi," she greeted him in a flirtatious tone. "Hey." He smiled back, offering her a nod. "I was uh, well, I noticed you and I was wondering if-" She cut him off. "Cool, uh, hey, would you kindly throw that burger wrapper away for me? I completely missed," her voice took an innocent, ditzy tone. "I feel so clumsy." "Y-yeah, no problem," he replied as the dumb smile on his face suddenly seemed plastered there like she was a DC villain who'd infected him with something. He knelt at her feet allowing his eyes to look up at her in abject wonder awe. Everything about her was everything he'd ever want in a woman and no other woman in his life after this day would hold hold a cnadle to her splendor. He scooped up the wrapper and tossed it in the waste bin. "A-anything else? Because I was thinking maybe I could give you my num-" "You can go now." She cut him off flatly and with a rash sense of jaw smacking reality. Uncrossing her legs she slid from her spot on the car, swung the door open and offered the strange guy a wink. "That's all I needed. Oh, and uh," she gave the guy a once over and winced. "Don't take this too harshly, but, if I were you, I'd seriously get used to rejection." Dennis sighed and shook his head as the Corvette sped out of the parking lot and they were on their way again. "You're gonna be a handful, I can already tell." She grinned as her eyes cycled through a series of shimmering and luminous colors from purple to blue to green, each one a thousand times more vibrant than a human eyes was capable of. She finally settled on a sparkling purple, a color she and her brother seemed to fancy. She grinned as she looked into the mirror of the visor. "You have no idea."
  14. 1 point
    Intent on finding Camila, Fi didn't notice Large Gord at first, her improbably long legs carrying her swiftly and gracefully down the street. She was two steps past him and the girl by his side when he called out and her head whipped around, the expression on her exquisite, mobile features going from worried determination to one of surprise. She walked over to the two with enviable grace. Standing close, Sigil realized just how tall the young-looking woman was - Firanis stood as tall or more slightly more than Large Gord himself, though far more slender. With her expanded senses, Sigil could notice hints and remnants of layer upon layer of alterations the vivid-haired woman had experienced, so much so, she could hardly guess what she might have originally looked like. Firanis blew a lock of magenta hair from her face as she glanced back down the street before returning her gaze back to Gord and nodded, her brows furrowed in clear agitation. "Yes, I grew up in Broley and I'm surprised to find you here, Gord. Surprised, but pleased." She flashed him a quick smile - it wasn't forced, but she clearly had more on her mind. "And you as well, Sigil." Firanis returned the shorter girl's appraisal with a frank one of her own. The girl did have remarkable auric eyes. Firanis gave her head a small shake, her grin fading. "I have been well enough, just needed to get out and stretch my legs, as it were, and a supply run was just the thing after the tedium of helping Goutro with his..." Firanis trailed off with a sigh. It wasn't precisely a secret, but the fewer others knew of Goutro's ship and the less about it, the better and less dangerous it was for them. "I hadn't expected to be coming this way, but I - Sorry!" She shrugged a sleek shoulder impatiently. "I would like to speak with you more, Gord, but this is not the more serendipitous of times. You should encourage the caravan you are escorting to quickly pack up and be ready to depart." She grimaced, looking more like a pout on her young, very pretty face. "There is a.... black... ness, something like char without fire heading this way. I mean that in truth. I saw it, visibly encroaching this way after having consumed the next closest settlement. I mean to go speak with a friend of my mother's and mine who should hold some influence, to get preparations for evacuation started before I go to investigate myself to see if this... blackening can be curtailed or diverted." Firanis gave Gord a wry grin, a flash a humour in her lavender eyes despite her worry. "I'd ask if you'd like to help, Gord, but I'm short of shins at the moment and I can't say what manner of salvage there might be to make it worth your while."
  15. 1 point
    Vesper gave Yuuki a flat look. She had history, math and science on her phone? Like physically on it? She brought out her iPhone and tossed it, and its earbuds, onto the table alongside Yuuki's phone. "Ten gigs of thrash metal and a PDF copy of the Anarchist's Cookbook," she said. "Take it or leave it." Ah shit, the cat vids! Maybe she won't notice. "There's stuff we can TELL you too though," Vesper added. "Like, with actual human interaction or something."
  16. 1 point
    "I value the experience and opinion of all of my officers. If you feel the matter is settled, then that is good enough for me." J'Sira said with a nod. "Additionally, then purpose of the diagnostics is to ensure the safety and functionality of the ship under my watch, and was not meant as any sort of critique of the engineering staff or their abilities. With the reduced crew after the Baldur 4 incident, and with the immediate focus thereafter being on the preservation of life and construction of the stasis pods, as well as getting back to Asgard Station, I found it improbable that all of the appropriate diagnostics had been run. But, if your and the other chief's judgement is that the Destiny is 'Shipshape and Bristol fashion', then once again, that is good enough for me. I am not only further impressed, but I will also check with the XO about the possibility of shore leave on the station." J'Sira walked over to Petty Officer Harkness and offered him a handshake. "And finally, I would like to say thank you. I appreciate what you did and it only further cements my opinion that I am serving with some of the finest Starfleet has to offer." she said sincerely. "I may look mostly Vulcan, but I do have a heart." she said with a small, warm smile and them mused, "an eight chambered one, in fact." "If there is nothing else, then you are dismissed." "Oh, and in the future, Ma'am or Sir is fine." she added.
  17. 1 point
    Miriam rose from the table leaving her food untouched and joined J'Sira at the windows. Asgard station. It was massive and probably messy as as hell if the the incomplete construction were any indication. It was also beautiful, magnificent and was a gateway to whatever was going to happen next. "Health and Hearth," Miriam answered J'Sira. "Hope to see you all again." Turning she looked at each in turn with a smile for them before turning away from the window. Purposely she strode across the room, tapping her communicator as she moved. "Connect to ship's computer. Computer commence a 30 minute countdown with alerts at ten minute interval relayed through my comm badge. Confirm the request." "Confirmed," responded the feminine voice of a Star Fleet coded computer system. "Computer, consolidate all personal files for transfer to isolinear storage in my assigned quarters." she continued moving out the door and down the corridor towards the turbolift. "Confirm please." "Pending confirmation. Clarify if personal files includes pattern files for replicator fabrication." queried the voice from the communication badge on her tunic. "All files means all files computer. I will disembarking the ship shortly. Provide update on countdown please." For a split second Miriam hesitated as she entered the turbolift trying to remember the closest junction to her quarters. Shrugging she settled for letting the computer decide. "Take me to the closest access point to my quarters please." Spotting a group of young officers double timing it towards the turbo lift, Miriam ordered the computer to hold the door while motioning them to get in. "Files are prepped for transfer," announced her comm badge. "Countdown is 27 minutes and 12 seconds." Miriam leaned back against the wall for a moment taking the time for a deep breath as the ensigns murmured to each other. The file transfers would be quick and she could start it before she did the check on her med kit and tricorder. A quick sonic shower, recycle this uniform before grabbing another then ready. The turbolift doors opened and Miriam squeezed past the other users to exit to the corridor. Luckily she recognized this junction and made it to her quarters quickly. Sensing her entry a subdued lighting came on punctuated by a slowly flashing green light on the cabin terminal indicating the file transfer she'd requested was ready. Moving to the bunk she grabbed the leather back pack lying on the floor and reached in to pull out the flat yellow crystal from the side pouch. With a laminate coating making it stronger than many metals the isolinear crystal held the pattern for everything from holographic family photos, to patterns for scalpels and dresses, and even the family secret of her mother's R'lythian fruit pie recipe. Smoothly she slotted it into the computer terminal. "Computer, please commence backup of personal files to the chip in place in my quarters," she requested shucking off her uniform and undergarments. Stepping into the small stall containing the sonic shower and the refresher she took a moment to take a few more deep breathes as she assessed her reflection. "Miriam Sepguta." Putting on an air of her best professional confidence she continued, "Welcome to the next step in your life. This isn't crisis response. New orders, new job, new facility. Everything is going to be fine." Her reflection seemed a little less sure than Miriam would have liked but only a hint of the excitement she was feeling in heart showed in the reflection. Miriam moved into the shower feeling the pressure waves of sound massage her skin. New uniform. Recycle old. Grab the comm badge. She continued to mentally update the list of tasks in her head, deleting the things already done. She was just stepping out of the shower cubicle when the comm badge on her tunic gave a muffled beep to alert her to the passing of time. Plenty of time then who knew? Glancing in the mirror Miriam saw far too much excitement on the face of her reflection. "Stop that dear," she said crossly. "You're a doctor. Act like one." Her reflection dutifully looked somber while it occurred to Miriam she would look far more professional if she weren't naked. "Uniforms, chip, my medical tricorder, comm badge and backpack" she said aloud updating her list of preparations while pulling her panties on.
  18. 1 point
  19. 1 point
    Lilly stiffened a bit she felt Kia's hand on her shoulder and took in a deep breath, sniffling a few times and wiping her eyes on the sleeves of her PAM suit. "Hey." she said back to Kia, trying to compose herself. "Do you.." Kia began to ask, prompting Lillt to shake her head quickly. "No. It's nothing. I'm fine. Thanks" Lilly said, her voice still cracking a bit. "Lilly..." Kia offered soothingly again, and once again Lilly shook her head. "It's okay Kia. Really. We got a mission. She's just ungrateful and fails to see what she did wrong, but is the first to make a big scene and point out anybody else's mistakes. It's fine though. We got stuff to do with a clock on it. She and her BS can wait. I shouln't have lost if like that either. She just... ugh... Anyways.. Thanks though." Lilly replied, her voice a good bit more steady this time. Both Kia and Lilly glanced over their shoulders as the hears Sean's approach. Lilly shook her head, causing her ponytail to swing about her shoulders, as she held her hands up and push at nothing, as if pushing away what Sean was saying. Rejecting it. "No way. No possible way. I know you Sean,. I know you are smart and pick up on details and all of that, but you either missed something, misconstrued something, or are just trying to force things to fit a result you want." she said, still shaking her head as she took a step back. "Because there is NO WAY my father would do that. He wouldn't work with 'Ronin'. He wouldn't abandon his post. He wouldn't discard his oath. He wouldn't abandon my mom and me. And he sure as hell would not put my mom and me through his 'death'. No way. No fucking way." she stated emphatically with another shake of her head. "It might have been a false starfield, and that guy might not have had a node even, but there's no way it was him. I mean, are you even listening to yourself? Devin never liked my father. He was always disrespecting at best. And my dad was not overly thrilled about us bringing Devin in either. They never got along, and now you are telling me that not only are they working together, but that they have been for some time, planned this all, set it up, and then carried it out, discarding his post, my mom, and me, and willingly and knowingly put us through his death, just to work with 'Ronin'? Do you even hear yourself?" she said, ended with a rhetorical question and tone that made her disbelief, fueled my emotion fat, far more than logic, very clear. "Lilly. I know it's a tough pi-" Sean managed to get out being being cut off by Lilly, who spoke with her eyes closed tight, as if trying to avoid more of Sean's theory. "No! Just.. no. I've known my dad all my life. He's the one that instilled so much in me that makes me.. I don't know... do this stuff.. protect others... He would NOT do this..." she said, her eyes still closed as she lifted her head and opened her eyes, tears well up inside them, and only being barely held back by her anger at Sean's suggestion. "Do you think I want to be here? Don't you think I want to curl up in my mom's lap and just cry for days? I am here to protect you. ALL of you."" she said and then looked to Tease, "You included." and looked back to Sean, "Because I do not get to throw in the towel or take a break just because shit gets's hard. That is what my dad taught me. You do your job because others are depending on you. And yes, the other Lilly is wherever, grieving with my mom while I am here doing this, no matter how insulting and ungrateful some may be for it. So you might discount what I said. But you know what? You might think of the me here and the me with my mom as 'me and her.' But it's not. It's ME. We are both me. I am here and there. We are both the same person, in two places at the same time. And you know what? If I couldn't split myself like this, then I would STILL be the here, doing my job and upholding my responsibilities, because I know my mom is safe and others are depending on me. My DAD taught me that." she said defiantly as looked at Sean while the tears fought to slip from her eyes.
  20. 1 point
    Proteus gaped, before closing his mouth and brushing his hand through Jeane's quantum spear. He turned into crackling, living lightning and floated forward to join Vanguard. "All right. Let's show Smokey that only we can prevent wild blights."
  21. 1 point
    And Gorunta is who he is. A fighter. A big honking Vesk. Just because he doesn't have the piloting skill doesn't mean he isn't a good gunner.
  22. 1 point
    "The pointy-ears needs it more than I do." Gorunta expressed in a sharp-toothed grin. "And that scepter is not for me - though I do like your thought about a Called fusion for my blade." The question might arise, why would the obvious example of a Vesk warrior not in fact use a doshko, given how culturally classic it was? Gorunta didn't talk about it, but in truth the weapon had been tied up with his image of self as a soldier of the Veskarium. After fleeing, it... just didn't feel right anymore to use one.
  23. 1 point
    Personally i would like the emphasis to not be on the war but rather the next phase the settling of the solar system, extra solar colonies and rebuilding. The war imo should be backdrop. Doesnt mean we cant have episodes involving the war but i really am not that intrested in a military game If i were running it. The war would be over the sic asi that you detailed would be the ones that got away and can threaten from space. They replace the aberrants they are badily out of the picture but their threat is a constant worry. A good example is the ai war from space above and beyond. I just dont think makjng this a war game would be a much fun
  24. 1 point
    The place wasn't too hard to find, some old warehouse down on the waterfront in Brooklyn. Okay, yeah, I get it, Red Flag... I know. When you're rent's due you get a pass on doing something stupid to pay, okay? Now, can I tell my story? The sweats were helping fight off the cold of the chill New York air as the lovely blonde stepped out from her cab and looked up from the paper in her hand to the number above the warehouse door. "This is such a dumb idea," she said aloud as her cabby swiped her debit card and printed her a receipt. "You need me to wait, darlin'?" He asked as he handed her card back. "I don't mind. It's late, doll, and this isn't the best place to be..." "Thanks, but I think I'll be okay. I'm meeting some friends." Swara lied and smiled sweetly as she signed for the tip. "Very cool of you to offer though, not a lot of gentlemen left in this city." She felt good as he drove away. He was a nice guy and her compliment put some color in his cheeks, the only color that had been there in some time she assumed. She wasted little time approaching the door and banging on the reinforced metal portal. For the longest while there was nothing. She dug her hands deep into her pink hoodie pockets, straightening her arms to flex off the cold. Her teeth began to chatter as she waited when her patience wore thin she banged on the door again, this time a lot harder. "Hello!?" Her fist slammed into the steel a few more times until she grunted and rolled her eyes. She figured the whole thing had to be too good to be true and now was left with the stinging irritation with herself that she let the cab guy go. It wasn't too far of a walk, but in the cold it was far enough to make her not very thrilled about the whole idea. With kick of pure frustration she slammed her foot into the door and spat a curse at it as she walked away. When the latch squealed and the door jerked open once she was several paces away, Swara was a little more than surprised. Pink hood pulled up and hands buried in her hoodie pockets she spun slowly around to face the door that had slowly cracked open. Again she called out in the darkness of the waterfront for someone to answer, and her shock was doubled when a nerdy head poked out into the threshold. "Are you her?" The man asked. "The one on the phone?" "No," she replied snidely. "I'm some other girl dressed all in pink who just happens to be wandering the waterfront in Brooklyn at night and decided to come bang on this door in particular." "Oh." Was all the head said and the door closed. Swara knew she was a bit, 'special' at times, but what she just witnessed made her a firm believer that she was genius material by comparison. There was someone else on the other side of the door with him. She could hear them arguing but couldn't quite make any of it out. By the time she'd managed to walk slowly back to the door it swung open suddenly and a second gentleman stood. He was tall and lanky with a wide toothy smile and wild carrot red hair. He looked like that Muppet guy whose name she couldn't remember. "Hi!" He said swiftly. "Sorry, sorry about that. He's uh, not a very sociable guy. Doesn't get sarcasm.” “Like the ass burgers?” Swara asked innocently. The man's expression lost some if it's seriousness while his sort of glanced around the parking lot looking for cameras to see if he was getting punked. “Uh,” he paused, unsure how to reply to her. “Sure! Like that. We'll, uh, go with that. Uh, I'm Brian. Brian Eaker. Please! Please come on inside, I'll explain everything we've got going on.” Cautiously she followed the scrawny red head. The inside of the warehouse was just as one would imagine given all the crime shows on television these days. Despite it's massive size they were only using one small area not far in from the entrance. There were three long desks set up with all manner of computers and equipment she didn't understand, something that looked like one of those portable hospital heart monitor thingies and the crown jewel was something that seemed like a large tanning bed, but it had all sorts of wiring and modifications done to it so that it looked like one of those sci-fi pods people got frozen in. The floor and the three 'walls' that made up their small work space were all a thick plastic. Yeah, this was all starting to look like a horrible idea. “So, uh, this is Hun Ni Do, he's working on his doctorates in genetics and applied microbiology with a minor in experimental medicine.” Brian motioned for Swara to approach Mr. Do. “He's also my partner.” “Oh,” Swara smiled at them both. “That's awesome. It's twenty eighteen guys, go nuts. I'm totally happy for you, you're even breaking that interracial barrier too, very cool. You guys met at the office too? That's cute, the whole office romance angle-” Brian laughed as Hun gave her a strange, almost disgusted look. “No, no... partners for this project, we work together, we not together, together.” Hun shook her hand. He was just as she pictured him on the other side of the door: short, a bit round for a guy married to his work with not a lot of trips to the gym, but it was the glasses that looked like he stole from Edna Mode that really made her wanna bust into laughter. “You are here for the ad? I will prepare things. Brian will tell you what we do, although you'll probably not understand.” “Wow,” Swara snarked at him. “Alone in a dark warehouse on a Friday night... with charm like that, can't imagine why.” Hun went back to his work, ignoring the unintelligent little American girl as Brian took her by the arm and led her away. “Heh, sorry about that, he's a little difficult when he's close to a breakthrough on a project. He didn't mean anything by it...” “He needs a punch in the junk,” she sneered. She wasn't really a mean person, but one thing she hated was being called stupid. She knew she was a little slow on the uptake sometimes, but she couldn't help it, it was just... how she was. He laughed again, nervously. “Well, let me fill you in on how this'll go. All we need you to do is apply our tanning oil to the entirity of your body, and tan for ten minutes. If everything goes well, we'll ask you to go another ten minutes. Anytime redness occurs, we will stop the experiment, and you'll have done your part.” “Why would I turn red?” She asked. “Well, tanning beds are generally high powered ultra violet light, so they can irritate the skin quickly. Ten minutes is about all they recommend. However, our oil is designed to repel that irritation and help burn fat while rapidly stimulating your muscle tissue. If after ten minutes you start to tan... well, it's not working and we need to find out why.” Confused, she looked at him. She set her bag down on a small table on the opposite side of the plastic, away from the project where she could change in with privacy. There were a few cheap bathing suits spread over the table, all of them two piece. She couldn't blame the guys, if the nerds were stuck working on a Friday, they might as well get a show out of it. “So, I just lay there and it burns fat and stimulates me?” “Uh,” he blushed. He was nervous around her and she could tell. This was probably the closest he'd been to any female aside form his mother. “Stimulates you muscle tissue, um, under you skin and fat layers.” “Are you saying I'm fat?” She had to mess with him. It was cute watching him stumble over his words. “N-no! No... you see, we all have these layers, skin, fat, muscle. Some more or less than others,” he swallowed hard as Swara took off her hoodie, unzipping it and sliding it off her arms to reveal her Knockers uniform and the easily noticeable black bra underneath it, the lace practically pushed through the stretched white fabric. “Wh-which I see you are in the uh... the uh... less cat-category.” “The uh, stimulation excites the tissue and, along with the heat, we're experimenting on being able to work out and strengthen muscle without actually having to work out at all. A full hour's workout in a ten minute tanning session. Pretty, neat, huh?” Actually, that was pretty cool. “Uh, yeah,” she laughed softly. “And you guys did this on your own? How come the ware house?” “Well,” Brian scratched his bright red hair. “Our boss thought it was a terrible idea, despite all our data to the contrary. Sooo, we're not exactly doing this legally. We're using company money, but they think it's going to a small project at a different branch. However, if our idea pans out, well, we'll be rich and no one will care where one point four million dollars disappeared to...” he sighed, nervously. “I hope.” “Speaking of money...” Swara looked at him, expectantly. “We generally pay after the tests are concluded.” “Brian,” Swara shifted her tone to something a bit more seductive and less casual. Men were, by and large stupid when it came to beautiful women. Usually the bigger the brain, the easier the mark.“Seriosuly, what am I going to do? Run out into the cold Brooklyn night in nothing but a pink thong bikini. C'mon, dude. Work with me.” “Ha, see... we don't have a pink thong bikini.” He stated, proud that he caught her in an attempted scam. “No, but I do.” She reached into her bag and pulled out a pink string of skimpy cloth and let dangle on her finger with an mischievous smirk on her face. “Buut, I guess I could just use this big ol' one piece I brought instead. I'm not one for sharing swim suits, guys, that's pretty unsanitary.” He swallowed hard and flushed slightly. “Lemme get it for you.” She'd tucked the money in the deepest bottom of her bag and went ahead and got changed. She wore tight shorts and skimpy outfits all the time for work or clubbing, so giving the two science geeks a show was really not the big of a deal for her. Honestly, she was clothed (more or less) so giving them some eye candy didn't really bother her, in fact a small part of her sort of liked the attention and Brian's constant nervousness and awkwardness around her was kind of cute. She walked past them, unabashed by their silent gawking and made her way to the tanning bed. She was glistening in their fancy tanning oil and felt like she should be flexing at a Mrs. Universe competition, but oh well, it was fifteen hundred bucks. She even had the stuff in her hair too, because apparently it helped against heat damage and protected against split ends. These two really had thought of everything... in a weird way. It was kinda strange, and heavy, but what the hell, they were paying. Before she entered the bed she wrapped her hair into a tight spiral and wrung it out one last time to make sure it wasn't too gooey. Sticky, slimy, glops of tanning oil dribbled from her hair onto the plastic. “Oops! Sorry little guy!” she smiled as she watched a few drops dribble all over a small spider making a trek across the scientific human wastelands of science. Brian swiftly approached and attempted to stomp on it but she stopped him. “Hey, come on, leave him alone. He's just trying to get home.” “It's a spider,” he said flatly. “So?” She scooped it up and it scuttled across her finger and leapt from her finger to the top of the tanning bed. “He's got my back.” She smiled and winked at the spider. “Keep an eye on me, okay guy?” “It's a spider.” Brian said again flatly. “Oh, hush. All I have to do is just lay here, right?” “Yep.” Brian helped her onto the bed. She'd gone tanning before, but seriously, never on a bed like this. She ignored the terribly hidden 'accidental' rub against her butt, and settled in. The first ten minutes weren't so bad, they went by pretty quick while she sung Letters to Cleo songs off her iPod. She got out and sat through a quick series of tests that she thought were going to be awkward but Hun and Brian were suddenly very professional and incredibly smart, using a ton of words she didn't begin to understand. She didn't like being called stupid, and neither of them did that, but the more they talked, the dumber she felt. The good news was that her first ten minutes yielded amazing results. She didn't hear what kind, as she was talking with Fernado, that's what she named the spider who seemed to not really have anything going for his Friday night either and decided to hang out on the tanning bed, pod, thingie. When her second time came around they said it would be for ten more minutes, and keep going after that, ready to shut it down of anything started to look off. They weren't to specific on what 'off' really meant, but she was pretty sure it wasn't good. She lay back down for another go at it and closed her eyes, listening to her music. She wasn't sure what went wrong or how much time had passed but a sudden slamming on the outside of the 'pod' roused her from her relaxation and caused her to pull her earbuds from her ears. Brian pounded on the glass and Hun was behind him flipping switches and pressing buttons. At one point he yanked a series of heavy cables out from something that looked like a poorly constructed generator. “Penny!” Brian shouted the fake name she'd filled out the waiver form. He pounded on the heavy plexiglass again. “Penny the bed is locked and the heat is in there is increasing! We have to get you out!” She could feel it now, in just the few moments he'd pounded on the glass the temperature had increased by several degrees. Panic started to grip her as claustrophobia kicked in and her natural instinct for survival motivated her to do anything, try anything. She kicked the pod, slamming feet and hands all over the place. The heat was getting unbearable and her back started to get burned as the surface became far to hot for he to bear. She screamed in agony and Brian pounded on the glass with a fire extinguisher. Consoles and computers all began exploding into a shower of spark behind him as the lab erupted into fiery chaos. Panicked and afraid Swara screamed and cried out as her flesh began sear and burn into blisters that bubbled off from her skin. Blister filled with plasma and boiled over so hot that the skin burst spraying boiling serum all over the inside of the pod. There were no words to describe her agony. Brian, stricken with panick and fear of his own could only back way in horror as he watched the once beautiful woman that had entered the pod blistered and burned to death and there was nothing he could do to stop it. Something alarming caught his eye and he watched her write in absolute agony. Her skin shimmered and glistened in a multi-hued rainbow-like sparkle as it congealed and bubbled spraying plasma along the inside of the pod that also seemed to shimmer and glisten like the inside of a smooth shell, the multi-hued colors of abalone. Although it was all over in only few minutes, it seemed like an eternity. Brian and Hun had managed to shut everything down and once it was all under control they pried the pod open and fled the scene for a moment to vomit. It was grizzly and the smell... ugh, the smell. Now, the two men had the unsightly decision of how they were going to dispose of a freshly burned body. She barely alive, she gurgled and twitched spasmatically as nerves lapsed in and out of functionality. Her brain reeled from the shock and pain. Twenty minutes later she was dumped in an alley way in nothing but her pink bikini and her bag tossed at her side... she gasped for a breath as her nerves exploded into pain and searing agony as the cold night air licked her charred body.
  25. 1 point
    Sunshine also boarded the ship, grabbing a shirren-eye rifle out of her locker that was almost as long as she was tall. "Just in case it turns into a sniper duel," explained the ysoki. Once prepared, she warmed up the skiff, waved everyone on, and hit the accelerator once everyone was on board.
  26. 1 point
    Meanwhile...elsewhere... The Waldorff-Astoria Hotel in New York, a 5 star lodging for the elite, the upper crust. It was well known for its service-at-any-cost business model. The concierge was busy filling out some forms when his phone rang. And for a moment he hesitated. His eyes roved over the panel on the front to find the room number. His heart sank. "Yes?" the young man asked after picking it up. This wasn't the first...eccentric...client he'd had to deal with since working the concierge desk. But there was something different about her. Something he couldn't quite pin down. She was a little scary for some reason. Okay, maybe a lot. "PISSBOY!" came the shout. Then, at a much more reasonable volume, "Hey. Hey listen. Listen. I need network cable. Like...fifty feet. No. FUCK NO. Yards. Fifty yards. Cat five is fine. More tools. Like, not this shit you brought up last time. Real fucking tools! Soldering iron! And...adjustable...this fucking wrench is bullshit. It needs the little wheel thing!" The concierge struggled to keep his tone neutral and deferential. "I'll be happy to get you some different, ah, tools, miss. The soldering iron may be a problem, as there is a policy on fire hazards..." "FUCK YOUR POLICY. FUCK YOUR PROBLEM. I NEED..." "...but I'd be happy to provide you with staff to handle any soldering issue you may have?" There was an ominous pause. "So wait, you have guys who can solder my shit?" He nodded, then realized she couldn't see it and quickly added, "Yes. Yes we do." "Awesome, that's way better. I've got like a TON of stuff to do, AIN'T NO ONE GOT TIME TO SOLDER, BOOOOOOYYYYY." The concierge managed not to heave a relieved sigh into the receiver. "All right, so...an adjustable wrench, and I'll open a service request with technical about your soldering needs. Will that be all?" No sooner than he'd asked, on sheer habit, than he winced. "Sandwich," was the immediate reply. Then, "Three sandwiches. Meat. Cheese. Don't care what kind. Milkshake. Sixpack of Mountain Dew." Her voice trailed off, and the concierge could hardly believe he was getting off so easy. Then... "Do you know what time it is?" He glanced at his watch, "It's..." "TIME TO DO THE DEW MOTHERFUCKER! DO! THE! DEW! BRING IT TO ME, PISSBOY! BRING ME THE PISS!" Then there was just laughter. And then she hung up. He brought up the sandwiches and sodas on a little wheeled cart, and turned down the offer from one of the servers to take it up. He wasn't going to subject anyone else to her. As concierge, dealing with this sort of thing was his job. For anyone else...well...the potential for some kind of lawsuit on the hotel for unsafe work environments wasn't entirely off the table. The door opened halfway through his second knock. The occupant of Room 1705 was a young woman, hair dyed a tangle of red and violet, with pale complexion and skinny figure. Which was puzzling considering how much she ATE. And all through room service. This endeared her to the management, earning her 'high performing guest' status. And the concierge was actually happy about it too, because it meant she wasn't prowling through the restaurants or halls constantly. She was dressed in a black T-shirt that had a pirate flag skull on it, and a pair of shorts. When the door opened, her eyes were wide and full of wrath. Then she sniffed and looked down, said "Oh yeah. Pissboy. Get it in here," and walked away from the door into the suite. He followed her in, wheeling the cart in front of him. For some reason he felt like it might present some kind of meager barrier if she decided to suddenly charge and stab him. She'd never been actually violent before, but...something in her eyes, or in the indecipherable spin of her emotions, made him feel like she was constantly on the brink of it. The room was a disaster. There were parts of the walls, and one spot in the ceiling, where she'd apparently cut through the drywall and fished cables out. She'd then spliced them to other cables, or to each other, making long snaky tendrils that looped and twined along the floor and up and down to the ceiling. His eyes bugged, his mouth fell open. "What..." "Shh. News. Oh this? Needed faster internet." "We HAVE high speed..." "SHUT IT!" And the concierge's mouth snapped shut. It was hard to explain. He'd tried once, in the staff room. It was like, when you were in the room with her, you felt overwhelmed. Everything she said, and did, kind of filled your eyes and ears until it was hard to think of anything else. The guest. Octavia Dee, waved at the screen. Well, no...screens. She'd demanded two more flatscreens...yesterday? Two days ago? They were starting to blur together. Each one showed a different channel. Footage of crazy stuff, people flying around or something. A movie? She'd said it was news though. God when was the last time he'd watched news? Octavia was swaying slightly, giggling as she watched the goings on. Then she singsonged, "But I won't cry for yesterday, there's an ordinary world, somehow I have to fiiiiind..." Then she looked at the concierge, the kind of sudden switch of attention one saw in a cat reacting to an unfamiliar sound. He felt himself cringe, felt a flush of hot shame in the pit of his stomach. Why was she getting to him like this? "They're going public, looks like. Part of it at least. There was a time that woulda pissed me off, you know? I'd have been like GOD FUCKING DAMNIT!! They saved a plane or a city or some fucking thing JUST TO SPITE ME! And I'd probably start pissing and moaning about having dumped those 90210 fuckwads I sort of recruited back when...is this boring?" "What?!" the concierge blurted, alarmed. "This is boring," she concluded. "I'm boring myself. YOU LET ME BORE ME HOW DARE YOU..." Octavia burst into laughter. "Just fucking with you. I'm not mad. These kids...they got no vision, right? All the power, but no vision. What are they going to DO with it? Fuckall. That's not just, but who fucking CARES about what's just! You don't roll down a hill by standing at the top and BITCHING. You have to fucking THROW yourself off the edge! You have to TUCK AND ROLL, SON!" He found himself closing his eyes, trying to tune her out. Trying to keep the mental image of himself hurling himself off a hilltop from taking shape, from seeming like a wise and good thing to do. When he opened his eyes, she was close. Like really close. "Hey," she said. Sometimes she sounded normal. Conversational. That was almost worse than the rants. "Hey, I need to borrow you for a second. Will those sandwiches keep? Like...for...fuck, I don't know. An hour? Maybe two, tops." His throat locked for a second. Borrow him for an hour or two? "I...uh...of course. They might be room temperature by then, not the best flavor, but..." "Fuck flavor. Do you know what flavor is?" The concierge hesitated, trying to work out what she meant. "DO YOU KNOW?!" He shook his head frantically. Immediately her flash of fury subsided. "It's just the body telling you something's not spoiled. Because the body is a stupid fucking thing that still believes the brain exists just to keep it out of trouble. Is that what you believe?" Hesitantly the concierge shook his head again. She was getting closer now. Too close. Her eyes were too wide. Laughing silently at a joke only she was in on. "Well. Maybe it's right about your brain. But not mine." "Not mine." The concierge emerged from her room, wheeling the cart ahead of him, now empty. His pace was quickened. He had, like, a TON of shit to do tonight. Not nearly enough time to tell anyone about the stuff in her...room? Eh, not important to do that. Other things to do. He'd need the car. No, a van. They had a van? FUCK YES. He felt a surge of elation ram through him, hot and primal. Pizza. He could bring some back. With the other shit. Images of electronic parts rotated in his mind's eye...where had he seen those before? Why did he even know what they were? Didn't matter! TOO MUCH TO DO. As he hurried down the hall he started singing to himself, "...and as I try to make my way, to the ordinary world, I will learn to surviiiiive..."
  27. 1 point
    If there seemed to be any more doubt that Charlie had gone mad, or the world itself, a giant orca-Godzilla thing reared up itself from the depths, snapping at the manta-thing before breaking off toward - oh boy - Capetown. Were this not all insane, he'd make a joke about Tokyo or something. Then the purple glow appeared, trailing a figure that moved like out of comic book superheroics, around Orcazilla. Charlie wondered if his mouth could drop any lower without falling off, although given his air-like state, maybe it could go right down to his knees. The newly formed whirlpool raged, and suddenly, Charlie found himself being yanked as if he was a rubber band, and the full snapback was starting. Had he a better understanding of what he had become, his form, more time and practice, Charlie might have been able to break free. Might - as one might with slightly less might be able to cut down the mightiest tree in the forest with a herring. Thus, with much screaming, Charlie was sucked into the funnel of the whirlpool.
  28. 1 point
    I voted yes, (big surprise I know) I play games to have fun, to generally be able to do things I cannot do. That said, I could play a normal non powered person in something with advanced tech and what not, but just a modern day game, I end up getting fairly bored quickly. The times I've played in games like that, it just wasn't that fun for me. I mean Battletech has perfectly normal people in it, for the most part and super advanced tech (and not so advanced in other ways I mean lasers with only 90m range?)
  29. 1 point
    Echo leaned back in her chair and looked up at the ceiling (there were MULTIPLE hairline STRESS FRACTURES at the corners of the load bearing supports) idly as she went over in her memory what a long, thoroughly fucked-up day it had been. And Hands! Good old Hands. Always quick to apologize on behalf of his species once the shitshow was over, but never putting his neck out when it counted. Free dinner though. That was one free dinner more than she'd expected to have, so profit was profit, even if it was petty profit. She closed her eyes to stop her exocortex from compulsively building an itemized list of all the maintenance the building needed, and just listened to the music. She couldn't tell if she liked it or not. Would she pay to hear it? Mmmm...no. But it was nice to be sitting here, not having to care about what other people were thinking. They were staring, a lot of them. Fuck'em. Didn't matter for once, and that was a soothing ointment over the raw soreness of her bruised ego. Soon, Echo knew, she'd have to go back to trawling postings for ships seeking skilled hands. Then would come meetings and interviews, and the countdown would begin again. But for now she could let go of all that and just drift atop obnoxiously bright colored lighting and music by people who seemed to confuse volume for talent, and the smell of smoke and booze and sweat and other less identifiable things...and it was wonderful. Someone cleared their throat behind her, and Echo's eyes popped open as she let her chair fall forward to sit up straight again. "I have a chip," she proclaimed, opening her palm and showing the waitress. "I'm here to...cash it in, or...use it to do the thing..." The waitresses' impatient expression (her ordering tablet's low-battery light was starting to glimmer) abruptly struck Echo as amusing, and she broke into a helpless titter as she shook her head, "No, no...nothing. I just...is there a menu? Complimentary snacks? Whatchu got here? Lemme get the whole 'Beyond the Farthest experience.' Rock my world. I didn't even wear socks; consider them pre-emptively knocked off."
  30. 1 point
    Evana had managed to stir the crowd of the immediate vicinity of the stage. While nearly the entire club could watch her perform from the various holo projectors all around the place, those closest had to admit she was more heavenly to look at in person. Her 'fans', the local pirates she'd managed to utterly woo in he couple of weeks she'd been here, cheered and roared her on song after song she played. They were regulars, and well into their cups but, hey, they left tips like you wouldn't believe, a drunk and their money made for greats profits. Her heel tapped the stage as the band ran through a few chords for the next song of her set. This place was a like a sauna, which she'd learned the hard way her first night performing here when she completely over dressed in clothing that didn't breathe. She looked great, but damn did she sweat her ass off. After a few nights she knew what sort of crowd she was dealing with and had them pegged. Tonight's color was black. Her halter held in enough to keep the dream of seeing what was under it fresh in their minds while her skirt was short enough to keep them leaning in towards the stage every time she stepped too close to the edge only to see nothing but workout booty shorts with a winky face emoji underneath. She was caked in sweat, her neon blue hair was a sweaty mass that dripped like melting icicles. Say what you want about pirates, these guys were a blast to hang out with. They were loud, fun, and always ready to stand for their own when the drek hit the oscillator. Despite being thieves and criminals, they held more honor than most lawmen she'd met in her day. Sure, some were down right terrible, but the brighter the light, the deeper the shadow. "Wow," she kept tapping her foot to the thunder bass drum. Her voice, despite being a bit raspy from the first couple of songs "And here I thought you guys would be boring tonight." They cheered and held up their cups and bottles, roaring for her next song and shouting a hundred or more obscenities directed at what they'd love to do if they had just ten minutes alone with her. She laughed and corrected them that she needed far more than a ten minutes man. "You're all so filthy, I'm blushing. Really, I'm pure as the driven snow, I assure you..." "Bullshit!" Those closest to the stage all shouted in unison. And everyone shared a laugh. "This one's for Gorunta, that massive pair of walking luggage you may or may not have seen wadding though the crowd keeping you degenerates in line. He's been a doll these last couple weeks, so buy the guy a drink, Besmara knows he deserves it." Name dropping the goddess of pirates always helped when singing in a club full of them. She rolled into the song, losing herself to the music.
  31. 1 point
    "Oh, no...," Kaori attempted to defend herself as she turned beet red. "We're not-" The van jerked an everyone tumbled about, Brennan included although it did little to wake him up. As everyone regained their composure Kaori found Brennan's head nestled comfortably in her lap, nuzzling the comforting denim of her skirt with a pleased grin on his face as he settled in for a more comfortable sleep. She wasn't sure what do to. A bit of panic set in as she considered what Luci would do to her if she saw them like this... she sure didn't seem pleased a moment ago, but then again... when did she ever seem pleased? "Um, she looked around for help. Anyone? Some help please?" She's gonna kill me... she's gonna kill me... this is terrible... my serious mission for the guild, the Master has entrusted important business to me... and Luci is going to kill my magical career before it's even begun! Uhhh! You sleeping idiot... get OFF! Don't turn around... don't turn around... please don't turn around... As Brennan got more comfy, she got more embarrassed.
  32. 1 point
    Erzsébet's dark blue eyes narrowed on the woman singing on the small stage. She was not any image of a werewolf she was familiar with. The beasts of haunting the Carpathians were ravening savages barely glimpsed between the trees and under the shadows, their howls shivering the air. Very rarely seen, their threat was a nebulous presence hanging over the uncivilized regions of the area. The dusky skinned woman singing on stage conveyed none of that. Erzsébet would have thought this nothing more than one of Olaf's teasingly irritating follies, except the Burgomeister seemed too amused by the revelation. The small woman sniffed condescendingly. The 'lone wolf' was a product of modern storytelling. Wolves were a danger due to acting as a pact - in truth, a single wolf was far less dangerous. If the songstress turned out to be a rabid dog, she would be put down like a rabid dog. Erzsébet could not countenance that more than one lupine could have infiltrated as bastion of the Kine. Her gaze narrowed in interest as the predatory Italian noblewoman made her entrance, stylishly attired if disconcertingly tall compared to one of her modest height. Erzsébet politely nodded and waved when Artus excused himself to speak with the newcomer. Her eyes went to her ghoul sister Lillian, crimson lips curving with fondness as she danced with a tall man, well muscled with large hands able to completely encircle her waist who seemed to be likely entertainment for an evening. She rolled her eyes with exasperation when Artus returned with the woman and Olaf began his crass flirtations, but her lips tightened at Ravenna's condescension for their appetizers, her clear spite in enjoying any discomfort it may cause later. In response to Ravenna's disgust, Erzsébet helped her to a strawberry liberally dipped in rich cream, savoring it before standing up and slipping out of the booth. "Bella Ravenna, for some of us, death lays lightly upon us," Erzsébet murmured in a husky contralto at odds with her diminutive stature, "And we can still find pleasure in the trivialities of the Kine. Be it in gastronomic delight or the heated sensation of coupling with Kine or Kindred, what matter where we find it? There must be more to our damnation than merely cursed existence and blood and blood and blood." She gave the Italian a once-over, lips quirking. "There is nothing sad in not descending into a base beast, nor blasphemously believing one to be a god - for there is but One God. It is in fact, too often lamentably commendable for our kind. I do hope you can find your ease in Berlin, Ravenna. As for myself, I believe I am in the mood for some dancing." So saying, Erzsébet sashayed onto the dance floor to join Lillian. Petite and baroquely glamorous, the supposed Countess conveyed a sense of danger despite her delicate, curvaceous appearance. She moved like an enticing predator, graceful in her stiletto heeled boots, with a subtle strength out of proportion with her slim, short figure, her presence dominating the dance floor.
  33. 1 point
    'Whatever' was Warren word of the century. No matter where they went together or how they bonded, it was always 'whatever' eventually. Shopping for food was no different. Warren was a thief and they all knew it, not a clepto (he didn't steal from them), but when one of the ladies saw something they liked... it mysteriously ended up in the house eventually. Ugh, and the hacking! He never stopped cracking people's networks. When they were out he'd control the auto sprayer for the produce section... why?! Who does that?! He always had money and they all knew it was stolen, so when they shopped they steered clear from him in case he was getting arrested soon. That and he ate like a guy who'd given up on life. "Captain Crunch... Steakhouse Funyuns... Spaghetti O's... Red Vines... well, that was easy." He sighed looking completely underwhelmed. He maneuvered through the market and found Kaitlin looking at what appeared to be food one had to cook... how quaint. "What the hell is that?" He asked. "It's a roast," She replied dryly. She knew he knew, but his ability to act ignorant in all things civilized was quickly becoming his second most used talent, aside from being a jerk. "Warren, it boggles my mind that you are a genius par excellence, and yet you have no clue how to shop for groceries." He shrugged. "Never really had to. We always sorta eat on the move, chips and a sandwich from a store, y'know. I can cook, I just... I dunno, don't." "You can cook?" She raised her brow, smirking skeptically. "It's just following directions and understanding the maillard reaction." He spoke with a nerdy cool, like that rocker dude science teacher that you knew would make class fun. She set the roast into the buggy. "Dare I ask... what's the maillard reaction?" "The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction between an amino acid and a reducing sugar in a form of non-enzymatic browning," He was sending a text, or hacking something, (who knew?) while he was reciting the definiion. His ability to multitask she figured came from his work as a program coder. "The reactive carbonyl group of the sugar interacts with the nucleophilic amino group of the-" "It's makes things taste good." She cut him off. "Yeah," He looked up swaying his arms out wide. "That's what I just said," He snapped his fingers and pointed at her. "I just realized I forgt something... chocolate milk." "I swear, your heart is gonna give out before you're thirty," She shook her head. "If I'm lucky!" He shouted down the isle way as he walked off to grab yet more food that would inevitably leave him trapped in a basement playing female characters on World of Warcraft in his late forties. Still though, as the days went on he was talking more.
  34. 1 point
    After Sean's words Laurie took a step closer to Devin, a bit closer then she'd gotten before and took his hand in hers. He looked down, then looked at her. "Don't look at me like that, we're on a date. I'm keeping up appearances. Don't get any ideas." She'd never quite figured out if it was a crush or some jacked up version Stockholm Syndrome where she found herself strangely attracted to the guy who used to remind he that she was a freckled ginger who would die alone because guys liked women with bewbs. The more she got to know him though the less and less afraid of him she was, he stopped being the miserable ogre of her self-esteem nightmares and began just being a regular guy... with issues, like she had issues, and Sean had issues... everyone of the Irregulars had a story, not all of them good. Besides, she had bewbs now, so screw you Jauntsen! <Punching your date? Oh, this is a must...> Devin chimed up with his thoughts. <Shame, I kinda like the guy. I thought not everyone was genetically predisposed towards enhancing? I mean, Laurie hasn't enhanced either, unless crazy is her superpower.> Her thumbnail dug deeply into his palm and he winced. "I. Can. Hear. You." She said through tightly pursed lips. "Ow, ow, ow..." He tried to let go, but she refused to relinquish her new torture tool: his hand. "Sean... stop relaying stuff, dude... Guild Chat is supposed to be our time... our special time... away from Crazy Cat Lady..." He winced as the pain shot through his hand again. He was more laughing than in pain though. "Ow, ow..."
  35. 1 point
    As Lilly looked out the window, things seemed normal, but as she looked at Kia's house across the street, things were clearly different. "I know, right?! I am looking at your house, or what is supposed to be your house, but there's a different car in the driveway, a sweet looking camaro, not the two that your parents drive. My dress from last night is here, but things are different and my... uhh... abilities... are gone. What's going on?" she asked as she tried to think about the situation. "Did Devin bungle it and do some cross-dimensional transport thing or something? Like some Star Trek Transporter accident during a lightning storm so we're in some Twilight Zone alternate dimension? And have you talked to anybody else yet?" she asked.
  36. 1 point
    Kia just nodded mutely at her mother and stayed under the covers until the bedroom door closed again. THE bedroom door, not HER bedroom! She sat up then and looked around. It was her STUFF in there, but it wasn't her room! The closet door should be over there, and that wasn't her dresser and there wasn't the big mirror or... She yelped and jumped when her phone's ringtone came on. Seeing who it was, Kia picked up immediately! "Lilly! I'm at home but it's not MY house and it's like nothing happened but I'm pretty sure it did! Something went WRONG!" Abruptly she paused and added, "...uh, is everything okay where you are? Please tell me you know what I'm talking about and I'm not the only one stuck in a weird JJ Abrams show."
  37. 1 point
    "I wasn't suggesting you, or anybody, couldn't cook. I just though that it would be one less thing to worry about so we could focus on our studies. I didn't mean to offend anybody and I am truly sorry if I did." SIobhan said as she looked at the others. "It was just an idea.." she said, her voice trailing off into a small sigh. "Please excuse me." she said, excusing herself from the others, her mood clearly a bit down. Siobhan walked over and out onto the dock where she took a seat, looking out across the water, trying to just take in the scenic view and push out the poor first impression she felt she had made. 'You never get a second chance to make a first impression.' her parents had always told her... drilled into her is more like it, she recalled as she noticed a small bird chirping. She smiled faintly at the bird. "Why hello there." she said, extending a lone finger which the bird immediately flew over to and perched. "My name is Siobhan. It's a pleasure to meet you." she said, lightly petting the bird with a singer finger of her other hand. "Oh! You brought friends." she commented with her smile slowly returning as she felt a squirrel climb up her arm to sit on her shoulder while several fish swam about the end of the dock. It was always easier with animals. She had always liked them and they had always seemed to return it in kind. They never had pretentiousness (aside from some cats), and were always more upfront about their feelings, saving the guessing games so common with interpersonal relationships. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Squirrel." she added, petting the squirrel's head lightly with the same finger as it sat up on her shoulder.
  38. 1 point
    Lilly looks and Devin and gets up from her seat to walk over to him, the normally easy going girl looking more serious than normal. "Dude. This isn't a fucking comic or game or a Netflix series. This is, admittedly bizarre, real life and serious stuff here. You do you, and all that, but you need to drop the clown act or whatever the heck it is, at least in regards to this. I'm serious. Right now we have to train, consolidate our power and prepare and NOT going picking needless fights. We can't just go around doing things slapdash and picking needless fights just because you get a wild hair up your butt. If the Deviants have killed people, then they will be dealt with, but running off half-cocked is not the way to do it. And like it or not, we are all in this together. You're not a loner anymore. You have to think about others and the huge ramifications of your actions." she told him, strangely seriously. "And his name is Hooli. He is here helping us, so at least show him some respect and use his name." she added. Lilly sighed, her demeanor softening greatly. "Dude. Just... chill. Seriously." she said as she slapped Devin's shoulder with a smile.
  39. 1 point
    Gen Robinson glances over at Col Pryor as Lilly finishes. Then she looks back at Lilly and the other Irregulars. "Well Lilly, May I call you Lilly," She pauses? "Of Course." Lilly replies immediately. "Thank you. Lilly I do know who you, all of you, are from these files. But I have only had this information for about sixteen hours so I am sure there is plenty for me to learn yet. As for you parents being present here or during any future operations, for the most part no. As for what you can and can't tell them," She looks at the man in the SEAL uniform, "That has not been finalized yet. So for now we would like you to treat your parents access to your information in the same way a normal military member would his or her spouse. Tell them as much as you feel comfortably with without going into specific and be mindful of classified information. You will each be briefed on how to handle that. As for your emancipation," another look at Col Pryor. Abel can feel a sense of guilt from the General in regards to this. "It was decided higher up that you six, for several reasons, not the least of which was your own rights as individuals but also for the security of the country, that your status as minor children be changed. We aren't taking your parents and family away from you, or you from them. But it was felt that you had to have the freedom, both morally and legally, to make decisions that really no one will be capable of making for you." Robinson pauses again and shuffles her papers, Abel who, wanting to or not is focused in on her thoughts. <We have to have a clear conscious to be able to send you into combat to your possible deaths. Dear god what are we doing they are just children> "And as for moving forward that is why we are hear tonight. As I stated earlier we are now in a state war. Project Stepping Stone and all of it's assets are no longer under Department of Energy, this is a military operation now. You say you are a team," she looks at her notes, " calling yourselves the Irregulars. I think that's appropriate. But with that said we can't just have you out there acting on your own. Not without organization and training. On that note I will hand this briefing over to Col Pryor and Captain McKeller of the Navy. I hope to talk some more to all of you in the coming days but for now, Good night." The general and all of the officers except Lilly's dad and the Navy SEAL leave. Will Pryor, still a bit in shock with what the General had announced moves up closer to the kids. MC Keller follows. "Guys this is Captain McKeller he's with the Navy SEALS. He's going to be in charge of all of you for a while." McKeller steps in front of the Col. "Thank you Col. Pryor I have things from here." McKeller says looking only at the Irregulars. Pryor nods and starts away but not before giving Lilly a look which speaks volumes and a nod just for her. "You airman your dimissed." Howell started then hastily left the room leaving the Irregulars with the SEAl. "What Col. Pryor said is true y'all belong to me for the foreseeable future. But," he holds up his hand before anyone can say anything, "The general was right too. You are only here now because you want to be here. If you don't want to be a part of this you are free to go at any time. no one will stop you or try to talk you out of leaving, just go. All I ask is that if you stay make sure this is what you want. Other wise your wasting my time and everyone else's time who does want to be here. So what's it gonna be?"
  40. 1 point
    < Excuse me? > Lilly though back through the guildchat at Sara's remark with a flash of anger as the threat or ultimatum. < Just because you are frustrated or pissed off does not mean you can take it out on everybody else. Hell, weren't you the one that didn't like ultimatums or being back in a corner? Gee.. hypocrite much? You have your own relationship to deal with. You have no right to go messing with mine, or threatening to. Hell, I am not even sure how Sandy would handle it. I tell you what though, while we are all unconscious, HE was trying to protect us and fight off those bugs and he got stung for his troubles. so frankly, if I can keep the stress of knowing an alien invasion is coming off of his shoulders, then I am going to and it is NOT your place to go messing with that. > Lilly stood and went to put on her satchel, which Sandy promptly took and slung over his shoulder with a smile, prompting one from Lilly. Shortly thereafter, they made their exit along with the others. < You know, ever since you got enhanced you have been so pissed off. I don't know what it's from exactly. An issue with the change in Sean or your relationship dynamic or stress or whatever, I dunno, I'll help you deal with it if I can, but that DOES NOT give you a right to go messing with my relationship with Sandy. SO DON'T. > she added in no uncertain terms. < And Dude. Chill out. We are not being 'summoned' and there is no 'or else'. We were informed that there was a meeting tonight and where it was and and that it was important. We we still have the rest of the day and most of the night to do whatever. And even then, there is no threat. You gotta get a grip on this anger, man, because it is not doing you or any of us any favors. >
  41. 1 point
    Sara hadn't really gave the helicopters much thought it was hard for her to pay attention to anything when she was so close to Sean, it was like the rest of the world simply fell away and it was just the two of them. She joined in the small talk as she picked at her salad, but she was almost constantly and surreptitiously sneaking glances at the woman who was filling her with such desire. Then the phones buzzed. As Sean was passing it off as her other self calling everyone, a lie that came so naturally and quickly out of Sean's mouth that it jarred Sara's reverie. She stifled the thought and the feelings it brought to the surface and instead allowed her anger at the government and their predicament takeover. Into guild chat full of indignant anger her thought flashed. <This is exactly what I was afraid of, not even a day and we are being 'summoned' like pets. Not a hey something is up can you come no care for what we have going on and before any of you say anything about an emergency just don't because if it were they would have said now not tonight. But no what we get is a perfunctory show up or else. This is bullshit> She pushes her plate away in disgust. But in her head what she was thinking was *She just lied to Sandy no hesitation, no pause just out and out bald face lie to the guy, right to the face of a friend” Sara's world seemed to be spinning like a tilt-a-wheel with no end in sight.
  42. 1 point
    Lilly sighed and stood up. She looked around the room, at her friends who were now more than just friends, at her father and Kia's, at Blitz and Julio and Dr. Rashoud as she thought to herself for a moment before she spoke, addressing the Irregulars (mostly). "I know this might not be ideal and it feels like we have no choice, but really, who else is going to stop these aliens? We have been gifted these abilities and they make use the best suited to fight them. There are many thousands of brave men ad women in the US military alone, who will fight and lay down their lives for this nation, and indeed the world if it came to it. But today showed that they are outclassed here. Even if they had managed to somehow bring down the scout and all of the centaurs, they would still all be dead now when those failsafes went off. Instead, they get to go home and see their husbands, wives, kids, families and friends. Why? Because of us." "Yeah, you can say that we saved who knows however many other lives today, and that is hard to gauge and see, but for a fact we saved the lives of those soldiers on that island. And we stopped these failsafe bombs from detonating AND recovered one for study and maybe reverse engineering. Why? Because of what we are able to do with these abilities, and do as a team. We did good today. We saved lives.. again.. just like we did at the cabins, and maybe got our side a leg up in this struggle, or at least a start of one, especially with our help studying their tech and physiology." she says, motioning to the frozen centaur in the hangar below. "But things would not have gone as well as they did without their help too. They destroyed the satellite, closing the portal to stop more from coming though and stopping that thing from escaping. Hell, they even managed to kill that scout. And they have access to resources we can't even touch. Neither the six of us, nor the thousands of them, can do this alone. We have to drop the distrust, fear or whatever, as hard as it is to do, and work together, for all our sakes. I know it feels like we are being forced into this, but really we never had a choice from the moment we got these abilities, because we all have good hearts and can not stand by and let this invasion happen." < Choosing to work with them now is going to yield much better results and up the cooperation and trust considerably. I know some of you would love to get a crack at that alien tech, well imagine doing it with the full support and resources of the US? We can use our powers, and work well as a team so for, but they can help with that considerably and rapidly. And then you have all the gear.. armor, guns, and everything else that we will likely have access to. You all know that when there is some huge problem like this, that money becomes no object. > she thought to the others over guildchat in an instant. < I know you feel like we are backed into a corner, but we don't have to be. Let's make the best of it, at least for now. And like I said, if we are going to be forced into this anyways, then it's best having mine and Kia's dads overseeing us. They will do more for us than anybody else. > she added. "So let's work together, protect our world, save countless lives and prepare to kick some more alien ass."
  43. 1 point
    Abel saw the grand spectacle of Sara's display, and smiled, until she fell from the sky. Had he not been trying to keep track of the drones, keep the shield up to protect the soldiers from any last minute failsafe, and several other thoughts within his own mind, he'd have been faster, and managed to grab her before the impact. When the soldiers had turned their guns on Kia, reluctantly, it seemed. He was quick to tell them it wasn't needed, and he began moving towards her. Then the drones died, and plummeted where they were. <something to ask about later, regarding the drones. They all went offline at the same time and just crashed. That's pretty much unheard of in regards to military grade drones.> He looked up to Kia and smiled. <I got a jacket for you when you come down to normal size, It should be enough to preserve your modesty considering the differences in size.> He sent over their private link so as to not call attention to it in front of everyone. I don't really think they're gonna let you on base looking like that, given current circumstances. You might want to change back before the military and all get here.> To guildchat on the whole, he sent <If we want, I can hold Sara steady in such a way that she doesn't move and isn't jarred around in transport. While your healing likely took care of the worst trauma, there's no reason to risk further injury in moving her.>
  44. 1 point
    A foot worth of spine that could punch through plate-steel impaled into Kia. It felt to her like...a bee sting. The relative size of her body compared to the size of the attack was overwhelming. She treated the perpetrator of that attack in much the same way as she would have a bee as well. She swatted it. One titanic clawed arm swung upward, casting a shadow momentarily over the centaur as it struggled to extricate its weapon from the beast. With a hissing, gargling roar, Kia brought the claw DOWN onto the centaur with a force somewhere around that of having a sack full of dump trucks dropped on one. The ground SHOOK, and the sound of the impact was like having a satchel charge go off. Dust and bits of mud and twigs whuffed outward in a ring from the place where that claw descended. There was kind of a wet ripping noise as she lifted that appendage again, and a thick gooey strand was stuck to the bottom of it, linking it to the ground. The Centaur was there, smashed, dazed...half of its body flattened and leaking horrible greenish-yellow liquid. But it was alive. Barely. The force of the impact knocked it backwards though, and its tail spine popped out at last. The hole in Kia's hide visibly drew shut as a tidal wave of new cells grew in new tissue, and filled the gap. It was as if the creature had never hit her at all.
  45. 1 point
    Sighing at the scene, Kaze shakes his head. "Even were I not duty bound to prevent such a thing, I would not turn my back to let the city die. Not and still call myself Samurai afterwards. Now, I hope you will excuse my brevity, this is hardly the time for digressions, I know of the Oni the Maho Tsukai has unleased into the City, as well as the risks should it win in the contest of wills, or should it's summoner be slain or disturbed. I need you to tell me what you mean by the city being gone by morning? Is it just the prospect of the Oni Lord, or something else? “Something else? There may be a new Oni Lord at dawn. What else do you need?" Takage asks before continuing. "I was here when he cast that circle. Just after the three men came to visit him this afternoon.” Takage shrugs, "What matters is that he gave his name to it. Do you know what that does to you?” After a pause, Takage continues. "A few days ago... three, maybe four... some of our men attacked a caravan leaving the lands of the Lion. What they brought back was rich. Money, silks, and some crates of things for the festival. Costumes mostly, and masks. Really expensive masks. So my boss, Hinata,” he indicates the man chanting in the circle, “sold the things to three of his best buyers: a pair of Cranes, a Unicorn, and a peasant merchant.” “Then, today, some men came to visit Hinata. Said they knew about the caravan. They wanted the masks. Just one box. One specific box. Out of ten boxes of porcelain masks, they just wanted one. Nothing else. I don’t know why, but they were serious about it. When we didn’t have them, they shut themselves in here with Hinata and stayed a long time. They looked like normal guys. One of them was really big, not muscular, just heavy.” He spits on the ground, and continues, "Then I saw their wrists. One of them had a big, black moon, branded right here.” Takage lifts his arm and points at his inner wrist. “Moon Cultists... worshipers of Lord Moon. You don’t mess with their kind. Things get ugly real fast, when you’re dealing with the kind of people who want to put out the Sun herself.” Takage looks around uneasily, “Hinata said they were going to kill him. He had to get the masks back, and soon. But there was no way we could do it. Not in one night. That was when he used the spell...” Takage sighs, "He summoned that thing to find that crate for them. That's how badly those moon cultists scared him." "I don't know much about magic, but I know the spell will end at dawn. If the oni is still alive, then it gains Hinata's name permanently. And if he does, then this city will burn in flames, and all the people inside Ryoko Owari will be nothing more than food for the Shadowlands. One oni can’t do that, no, but one Oni with a name,” Takage shudders. “an Oni Lord, loose in Ryoko Owari. Then you will hear thousands screams, and some of them ... will be your own.” He turns to you, and his face is pale and hopeless. “Kill it. Kill it now, while you still can. Kill it, or we all die.” "This... is not good." Kageko said as she walked around the kneeling man, inspecting him and his magic. "I am no maho-tsukai, but in my training as a shugenja of the Jade Magistrates I have learned about maho. And this here... "she says as she points to the scroll unrolled before the kneeling Hinata, "To it simply, that is a third-rate, bastardized form of a proper Oni summoning ritual. This is bad. Very, very bad..." she explained. Kaze grunted in acknowledgement, mind racing. The spell ended at Dawn.... that was new. And an unpleasant surprise. It put an even tighter schedule on the magistrates than they had thought. Caster is killed, Oni lord. Caster loses his concentration, Oni Lord. Caster loses his battle, Oni lord and Oni is alive at Dawn, Oni lord. Nodding to the Scorpion, he adresses Kageko. "Kitsu-san. You and the other Shugenja suggested that there might be a banishing scroll here. Do you see anything of the sort? Anything at all that we might be able to use? And Takage-san. It has come to our attention that there may be a sword in the city that can kill the thrice cursed thing, are you aware of such a thing? The Merchant you sold some of the masks to seems to be staking his life on it." Kageko looks about, but shakes her head. "I do not see it, and even if there were, it's effectiveness would be doubtful if it is from the same shoddy source as that summoning spell, not to mention, it would be casting maho." Kageko replied. "We had heard some stories of a possible magical blade. The fact it was in the Crane hatamoto's house lent a bit more validity to the stories. I think he told the oni to check the Crane hatamoto's house for it, but finding the crate was still priority. Hopefully if it found the crate, the blade could be used to kill the thing before dawn. It returned, but did not have the sword, so I do not know what happened." Takage replied. "You seem to have magic though, hopefully you can kill it or banish it or some-such." "That is the intent, certainly." He gave the man a deadpan look. "After all. It's what we've been trying to do all night." He turns an joins Kageko, standing off to one side. "The others need to know of our new deadline. We're going to have to change our plan and try to meet up with the others on Teardrop. If you would, could you and the others watch over the Scorpion here to make sure they don't do anything untowards while we are fighting the Oni? And that they don't try to escape should it be defeated."
  46. 1 point
    Penny just couldn't help but be obnoxious it was her nature, she sneered at Kaitlin's question as she pointedly looked out the limos side window watching the long car zoom past traffic. What the fuck, they could probably use their magic to find out more than she could ever reveal anyway. "Sure, why not. Help yourselves to the bar," The haughty vampire paused thinking about where to begin. "Vladaslav Radu is old world, and i do mean old world. I don't know how much y'all know about the Kindred but i am sure y'all have tons of books and stuff to learn shit about clans and blood lines and politics. Yep just like y'all we have politics. There's two major parties in Kindred politics, The Camarilla," She points to herself, " we are the ones who don't want to cause waves want to blend in pretend we are human and all that. Then there are the Sabbat, they embrace the beast think Kindred should be the top dog, alpha predator of the universe. The two bodies have been at war for a long long time. Radu used to be a big time muckity muck in the Sabbat back in eastern Europe a long time ago like a few hundred years long time ago. Then he dropped out of the scene, probably went into torpor but who knows. He showed back up in the middle of the last century but he didn't want his old position of power which had been kept up by his childer. Instead he wanted to unite the Kindred as one but not to rule the world in Sabbatt fashion, but to make peace and live in harmony with humanity and everything else crawling in the shadows. That really didn't fly to well with the Sabbat hell it didn't even fly with his family, and well lets just say blood was spilt." She pauses to see if they are still following her, she kind of likes the attention. "When the dust settled Most of Radu's family were dust and he was exiled. His clan pulled a lot of strings to keep him from the final embrace but then those crazy fucks are like that. Radu and his remaining followers came to America and settled down here. The Camarilla let him in because he declared that all he wanted was peaceful coexistence. He built his club Locul Pacii, the Place of Peace, and made it a sanctuary for anyone, supernatural or human. Back then the Camarilla was the only party in town but after Katrina, the Sabbat spread their disease to our humid green wonderland. When New Orleans was built it was done so by Kindred. You mages stole it from us. Up to Katrina, Kindrid and mages were pretty much at war here, well everywhere really I guess, , led by your' holier than thou wizards at the Cathedral. After Katrina, when the Sabbat came Radu approached your group of mages at that crazy house of yours and they came up with the Covenant Peace Treaty. Since then He has also managed to create a cease fire between the Camarilla and the Sabbat here. But now something else has come to town something that threatens all of us if it gains hold. That's why he asked for you guys."
  47. 1 point
    Usually characters like this have exploitable weaknesses created by their point management techniques. In a mid-point level most tanks have several glaring holes in their defenses, psychology, or tolerances where the character can be easily brought low. At high-levels though, and I wager that is the power level we're dealing with, what Justin and Jeremy have noted is the best options. The best way to deal with a power-gamed character isn't to allow it, unless it has enough of a concept where it works. And in high-power Aberrant (or other superpowered games for that matter) that sort of thing is to be expected to be honest. The question is how the GM/ST will handle things. As for equalizing a group, I wager your blasters are great at range, dead-eye shots. Ever thought of setting up scenarios where your zappers can support your up-close and personal characters? Sometimes the best way to make things a challenge is to toss tactics into the works. Throw in a crisis where indescriminate fire is a very bad idea. If the group is mostly murderhobos though, that might not work out as they'll just destroy that orphanage anyways and walk away from that explosion saying "tactical necessity."
  48. 1 point
    Math class wasn't that bad. Sure, her homework hadn't been all done and when called upon to show her work on a math problem, it was a sprawling, messy affair that at least looked like it was correct, at first glance anyway. When challenged on it, Nadya begged an indulgence and demonstrated the 'Short Change' confidence trick, claiming it was the equivalent of her math work. She managed to cajole Mercedes' scowling flunky Lexus to help her, as she was the only one that had enough cash on hand to show the trick in action, trading a ten for ones back and forth and ending up with a twenty somehow. The class was amused, the teacher less so, but Nadya ended up not being called on for the rest of the class, while Lexus got her twenty back. Though in the process, Nadya did nick one of her credit cards unnoticed. Spanish class didn't turn out so well for Nadya. Ms. Elliot had not been impressed with her turning in her homework written in Arabic text... and she proceeded to correct it to Nadya's consternation and with what to her eyes was an excessive amount of red. Then Grace decided to be a bitch about it and wouldn't let her crib any answers off her for the rest of the class. Why do I have such trouble learning damned Spanish? To make herself feel better, when she went out for a bathroom break, Nadya used Lexus' credit card and ordered a pair of large pizzas from Super Duper Pizza for delivery, one Total Carnage, one Tree Hugger. It was one of the more expensive pizza places around Salem, but they piled their pies high with toppings and cheese. When Nadya stepped out of school and crossed the parking lot, her pizzas was waiting. Then she crossed the back fields and joined Dane among the trees abutting the golf course for a toke in exchange for pizza, which was why she'd gotten the Tree Hugger Pizza. Dane was a vegetarian, but an okay guy despite that. Nadya could get weed if she or someone else really wanted, but she had to go through someone else, not really being a dealer herself and Dane Summers had the best. It was totally a West Coast thing, she mused. Nadya didn't mind the occasional bit of pot and if she had to stick around school for the rest of the day while Rae-Rae and Go Fish went on a field trip, she wanted a bit of a high while enduring the afternoon. They were rambling lackadaisically on completely random topics as one was want to do while getting high when a sound caught Nadya's attention. Without moving her head, Nadya lazily turned her silvery-grey eyes and saw Miguel Jimenez, a Junior, cutting through the woods as he walked his younger brother Roberto home. They didn't have much and usually went home for lunch nowadays, especially after some, Lexus chief among them, teased them about being so poor, they couldn't afford to bring a lunch to school. "-and blue Play-doh-" "Can we put a pin in that for a sec, Dane?" Nadya interrupted, sitting up and picking up the Total Carnage Pizza, only one slice of it missing. "I need to speak with Miguel for a minute." "De nada, Nadya," Dane said, then chuckled as his tongue tangled over the similar syllables. Nadya got up and scampered after the Jimenez....es? Jimenezi? The Jimenez boys. When Miguel looked over and saw Nadya coming after them, he bent over to whisper something to his brother and they both hurried up. What?! I never-- Why does everyone believe everything Mercedes says? Hiding her annoyance under a grin, Nadya sped up. "Miguel, hold up, man! This thing is heavy," Nadya called out. "I just want to give you a pizza." Miguel really just wanted to get away from the klepto-skank, but he could smell the pizza now and Roberto's stomach grumbled audibly. Against his better judgment, he let Nadya close with them. "Look, we don't want your stolen pizza," Miguel began. He could smell the pot on her now too. "It's not stolen," Nadya countered, putting a hurt look on her face, just the funds to pay for it were. "Totally paid for." "And you're just giving it away?" he demanded suspiciously. Nadya shrugged and stretch the pizza out to him. "They messed up my order and sent us two," Nadya lied breezily. "It's a Total Carnage from Super Duper's, double toppings, no way I and Dane can finish them both and you were the first people who passed up so..." "What's the catch?" "No catch!" Nadya protested. "Honest! Look, if you don't just want to take it, help me out with Spanish class and we'll call it even. Deal?" Miguel was still a little reluctant, then nodded and took the pizza, eyes widening at the weight, even giving her a small smile. "Deal. Thanks Nadya." He paused for moment, glanced down at his brother then back at Nadya. "Did you really-" "No! I didn't! Don't believe a thing Mercedes or her posse say! Enjoy the pizza and make sure your dad gets a slice." Miguel and Roberto turned and hurried home while Nadya rejoined Dane, taking the joint from his fingers and taking a puff. "Dude! What about when we get the munchies?" "There's still have a pizza left," Nadya commented while reaching into her pack and tossing something at him, that hit his chest with a crinkling sound. "Plus funyuns." "Sweet!" Dane nodded the way the Jimenezes went. "Why'd you do that?" "Kuntari, man!" "What?" "Universal Balance. Universal Harmony," Nadya explained, leaning back on the ground and staring up at the blue sky and white clouds. She tried to make a smoke-ring but it come out more like a Cthulhu-inspired starfish. "Everything has its place and what goes around comes around." "Huh?" "Karma, dude," Nadya massively simplified. "Ah! Gotcha!" For a hippie stoner from Malibu, that made perfect sense. It did to Nadya. Lexus gave them the most shit about being poor and needing food stamps, so it felt right to Nadya that she should buy them a pizza that was good for two or three meals. She'd known the Jimenez boys came this way on their way home, their father did landscaping and maintenance on the golf course. She'd also known how dire their straits were getting after their father had come into the Lost & Found to pawn a ring. It was a very nice emerald ring with obvious sentimental value, but Alberto Jimenez had his pride and hadn't wanted to resort to charity to provide for his boys, so he had parted with it. There were certain sorts that went to a Pawn Shop. Some wanted cash for a fix, some where just looking to get a few bucks for their junk and others were just looking around to get something at a good deal. Thanks to Pawn Stars and shows like that, the number of people for a lucky find were on the rise. And of course, there were those that were looking to off load stolen goods. And more rarely, there were those that just had to part with valued items for funds just to survive. Her father had given Alberto a good deal on the ring, then had set it aside in the back to give Alberto a good, long chance for his situation to improve so he could get it back. Laszlo could tell he'd be back for it, if he could. Nadya's grin widened, a crossed leg bouncing to the music she and Dane were listening to. "Sometimes, it just needs a bit of help."
  49. 1 point
    "Coming back to you!" The cry came from ahead of Tharra and to the left. She could also hear the rustling noises of the halfling woman and her bloody big wolf rampaging around over there. That was intentional of course...they knew how to be quiet when they wanted. But in this case the goal was to make noise...they wanted to be sure the deer knew exactly where they were. Astride her wolf, the huntress couldn't be easily outrun. That combined with the rocks and fallen tree blocking any other easy path left the deer one way out. Directly at Tharra.
  50. 1 point
    I dunno... I can make almost anything useful with enough thought...
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