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Sean Cassidy

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Sean Cassidy last won the day on July 24 2017

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About Sean Cassidy

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  1. Sean Cassidy

    Star Trek

    Hugh, from TNG, was a self-aware Borg, severed from the Hive, though I don't recall what happened to him. IIRC, he went back to the Borg. But he wasn't made part of the Enterprise crew or anything. I guess there is also Picard/Locutus, if you want to consider that.
  2. Sean's eyes widened as Jeane disappeared in a flash and crack of red lightning. She'd seen the twist and fluctuation in the quantum field before when someone teleported - Devin, James, another two. This was different. Not in intensity - Devin's capabilities were much stronger - but in kind. The fluctuations had turned in on themselves, almost the energetic analogy to a mobius strip. Hmm... Her lips tightened in frustration. End us? Sean had no intention of ending Jeane, or any of the Irregulars. Or even any other Key that didn't mean her or hers any harm, or who didn't pose a critical threat to the world at large. But Jeane kept thinking of Keys as a species - perhaps a subspecies - when that was a fallacy. They were anomalies. Curtailing the advent of more Keys didn't mean the current ones and the ones that unlocked in the meantime couldn't contribute to the progress of Earth and humanity. Sean gave her head a small, tight shake. "Nothing says the options we end up having in life are going to include good ones, Abel. Sometimes it just degrees of less bad. If Keys continue unlocking, we'll soon come to a point of us and them. Many, most will want to become a Key. Many will try to make them. The conspiracy Rashoud is part of was able to manage it, however imperfectly, with the Brain-in-a-jar and Kyle. Resentment will grow, and conflict will follow, despite best intentions." Her perfect lips curved in a half smile. "And best intentions don't always abound. We could go the other, and try to unlock everyone, put them on an equal footing, as it were. But think of the worse, most despicable person you can imagine... and now give him power equal to ours. Give a hundred, a thousand people like him the same, and honestly consider if we'd even approach breaking even with everyone unlocked - presuming we could manage such a feat - with such as they in our midst." Sean nodded at Lilly. "Agreed, this isn't something we can deal with in a day. Talking to Apollo is an option, one that we should follow up on, if only to cover our bases. Assuming he and Pandora hadn't lied about everything, I'm not sure how much help he can provide however. Our society and how humanity manifests and channels these quantum powers are very different." She waved a hand at Charlie, one finger extended. "Of us, I believe you've had the most contact with him, Charlie. Would you be willing to talk with him, if he's willing to talk?" Giving Charlie a moment to answer, she nodded then turned back to Lilly, extending a second finger. "As for Rashoud... I've been trying, gently to speak with her. But the Government is keeping her sequestered and unavailable." Devastating turquoise eyes glittered, her compelling voice took on a hint of an edge, her faint grin an enticing challenge. "I may have to press the issue." A third finger joined the first two. "Data we have, we recovered a fair bit of from Fort Story, we just have to finish decrypting it. And I assure you, it is a priority. And I've detailing a pack of Proxy programs to start collecting any articles, news stories, and social media feeds that involve or hint at Keys. I'll also start skimming more classified databases and if I find any good leads, share them with you guys, to follow up on." Her expression became almost circumspectly neutral as tapped the table with four fingers, carefully blank of any concern or worry. "Speaking with Sara, yeah... that's going to have to wait until she finds her way back from wherever she is, or I can find her." The faintest frown crossed her lips, gone in less than a blink. It had been minutes, and already, she had searched for Sara deeper and further than most could comprehend. "I don't believe someone has taken her against her will, or could - not now, not without any sort of trace - but that doesn't mean someone or something - Hooli for example -" Sean tilted her head at Lilly, acknowledging her earlier comment, "couldn't've persuaded or tricked her to remain absent for some reason. I'm going to look into it of course, but I'll admit, at the moment, I'm at a lost." Her smile turned wry and she waved a dismissive hand. "I hardly think the tech Abel and I have introduced have contributed to any increase in emergence of unlocked Keys. The vast majority work on already established scientific principles, even if only - once - theoretical." The waggled her fingers playfully. "No quantum chicanery involved. But I'll give anything we have produced another look in light of these developments and will carefully review anything develop in the future." Sean leaned back in her chair, folding her arms beneath her breasts. "At the moment however, I think our best bet, for a starting point at least, it with the files from the Black Project. From what we've managed to decipher and piece together so far, seems like they've been looking at Keys, or the potential for them, for decades." She pursed her lips and cocked her head to the side. "Lilly, perhaps you could talk to your father? Working for Stepping Stone and Guardian Shield, and then... situation with Devin, perhaps he learned or heard something of conspiracy. Or might be able to pull some strings to get us access to Rashoud."
  3. Sean arched an elegant dark red brow at Kia. "No one's intentionally making people unlock? Kyle and the brain in jar that was found at that naval Black Op would indicate otherwise, Kia. It doesn't 'just happen' though the great many factors involved may make it seem like it does. And one of the major factors may need to be reevaluated. We were operating under the impression that exposure to certain exotic particles, quantrinos, was a critical component to the unlocking of Keys, but that is now suspect with the detainment of Dr. Rashoud, who seems to have been part of a conspiracy with - and without - Project Stepping Stone and Guardian Shield." Her long fingers danced gracefully over the glossy black block of advanced smartphone, projecting a holographic display of images of the items they had confiscated from Fort Story - and that had been turned over to the government - and a counting showing how much of the data had been decrypted. "We still have to go over the stuff we got from Fort Story . As for what we can do about future potential Keys, that is yet to be determined until we look more closely at what causes unlocking and how. We've designed the new Portal systems so they no longer emit gratuitous quantrinos, if that is indeed a factor. The info gleaned from Fort Story may provide us with more insight. If proximity to unlocked Keys is a factor..." Sean frowned, chewing a delectable underlip. "There will be two main branches of inquiry in curtailing the unlocking of future Keys." She tapped the tapped with a forefinger, the sound surprisingly sonorous and intense. "One, finding out what environmental factors cause Unlocking and removing or negating said factors." Her middle finger joined her index finger as she tapped the table again. "And two, determine a way to make the rest of humanity largely unresponsive to said environmental factors, or at least make unlocking less appealing when exposed to said factors." Sean held up a restraining hand as Jeane was about to voice her protest. "Yes, yes, if we so choose to curtail the unlocking of future Keys. However, I would like to add that planned obsolescence of Keys had always been a goal of mine. I've been trying to provide humanity with the tools and wherewithal to succeed and thrive without the need for Keys. Humanity's fate shouldn't be determined by a percent of a percent - less actually. Which isn't to say we can't help, we have and we should. We're still part of humanity, even if calling us human isn't precisely correct anymore. But we aren't a true representation of humanity." There were murmurs of disagreement and Sean's lips tightened. "I know, it's not something we like to think about, to admit, but it's true. I'm not saying we don't sympathize or can't empathize - dorming for some might strengthen the bonds - but consider.... how many of us, here, actually still need to eat and breathe? They're very basic human needs. I still do, but if anything, I'm in the minority. And that is just one way we differ that has nothing to do with superhuman capabilities we possess. Do I have to continue the list?" Sean seemed calmed and collected despite her girlfriend gone missing but those who knew her very well could just barely detect a faint stiffness to her posture through her inhuman grace. It wasn't that she wasn't concerned for Sara, Sara had come back from long odds, but not knowing where she'd gone, or how, was eating at her. But she wasn't going to let it influence what she wanted to say. Her gaze fell on the satchel in front of Jeane, her turquoise eyes narrowing on the splintered shards of rock spilling from it. She recalled Sara handing the bag over to Abel. With her superhuman ability to interpolate and extrapolate facts and deduce connections, she could practically see Jeane shattering the stones with her fists in frustration. Stress and anger Jeane still felt and barely suppressed. "I'd like to expand on a point Abel and Jeane brought it, if I may? Unlocking not only doesn't change us on a genetic level, despite any physical alterations we may have undergone." Her lips quirked wryly as she glanced down at herself then arched a brow at Jeane, the two of them having changed the most physically, at a casual glance. "It doesn't effect the germline cells. Meaning, being a Key isn't hereditary. There is no guarantee any of our offspring will unlock as a Key. They likely wouldn't even have a greater chance of it occurring. And they wouldn't inherit any of our quantically enhanced attributes or abilities. There will be no second generation, no legacy of Keys, only a perpetual first generation, if things continue as they have." Sean focused on her attention on Jeane. If her silken melodious voice was intense, there was no hint of anger in it, though she was trying to get her own point of view across. "You are pissed at being called an accident, right, Jeane? Would you prefer thinking of it as winning the lottery? Nobody is entitled to the powers we have, not even 'the originals'. Those deserving or worthy - however that is determined - aren't any more likely to unlock. In fact, they are less likely, if we presume they make up a smaller proportion of population. And those who are more like to abuse their powers, accidentally or unthinkingly, selfishly or actively disruptive and destructive..." Sean gestured at the unusually tall blond girl across from her. "You're a year or two younger than most of us, Jeane. You've been a Key for less than half the time, and already, by general metrics, you're as powerful as any us. By you own admission, you've said we've been a positive influence. And yet, when Sara said something you took issue with, what did you do? You ran - no, you teleported away and smashed rocks with your fists." She nodded pointedly at the bag of rocks in front of Jeane. "Which doesn't mean I think that is an unwarranted response. But what about other Keys? Then tens, the hundreds, that try to keep their powers underwraps, and don't have a positive influence, let alone have been exposed to truly negative ones? We won't find them all, and of the ones we do find, they won't necessarily want our help. What can someone as strong as Lilly do in a fit of pique if say, she was slapped by a parent or teased by a sibling or classmate. What chaos can someone with Abel's turbocharged psychic abilities cause just because he tried to force his divorced parents back together, then just wanted his older brother to stop beating him up, then wanted his grandparents to give him better and more Christmas presents, and then and then and... Someone with my or Courtney's social... dynamism can cause any number of issues, and that is without even trying. I compared it to winning a lottery, but it's more than that. It's too much power too quickly that humanity isn't ready for. If ever, at least, not this way. Look, Jean, have you ever taken PED, performance enhancing drugs, before?" Jeane's fair brows knitted in quizzical affront. "No, of course not?" "Why not?" Sean countered smoothly. "Used smartly and with consideration, they would have objectively made you a better athlete, stronger, faster, able to exercise harder and for longer. Unlocking... it's just giving a random person a super dose of quantum steroids. Some will handle it fine, even admirably, but most won't, regardless of what we do. And if we try to force the issue, keep all Keys in line, how different will that make us from the Titans? More nukes aren't a deterrent to more nukes, its just more chance of something going wrong." Sean sat back in her chair, eyes going around the table. "I'm not just agreeing with my girlfriend. This is just how I see the issue, reflecting on the revelations Sara voiced and extrapolating from trends I can see."
  4. She searched Tahiti where Pandora and Apollo had trained Devin and others, had taken at look at Devin's old place in California he had made a base for his secret operation, but found no sign of Sara. She passed her Far Sight over an remote island in Fiji she had shared with Sara, a place in Malaysia, Paris, across Germany and Eastern Europe and other places she had visited with her girlfriend. No sight of her bold face, no sound of her sarcastic, slightly raspy voice. Her Mind's Eye was roved over the dark side of the Moon as she focused striving for Mars, when the mental reply finally caught up to her far ranging consciousness. Unfortunately, it wasn't who she wanted it to be. Her distance body sighed in frustration, a hand brushing back damp hair. <No, it isn't, Abel,> Sean answered curtly, the tight reins on her mental communication giving Abel no other indication of her thoughts. She pulled back, her senses snapping to Irregular Solutions with impossible speed, catching Jeane's comment. <In fact, I did have something better to do,> Sean told Jeane over a private channel, her mental tone icy cold. <And it isn't to make a 'better entrance' to lend more weight to my or her opinion on this very serious matter.> Sean stood up on the bathroom, quickly drying off her arm and brushing back to her hair, anchoring her senses back in her body, her mental voice back on general guild chat so that all the Irregulars could hear. <Sorry for being late, guys, just climbing into Little Bigfoot now. I'll be there in a few. Sara's missing, gone. I can't find her, and I don't know if she went willingly or was taken.> Sean put the Cherokee/Challenger hybrid into gear, the electric engine humming softly, then drove for Irregular Solutions at twice the speed limit, but with control as smooth as though she were out for an evening stroll. Sara's absence was too much to be coincidence.
  5. Sean went inhumanly still, her heart skipping a beat, breath held, the fine hairs on the back of her neck rising. She could feel every individual particle of steam that touched her flesh, hear every drop of water hit the tile of the shower stall, smell the constituent components of soap and shampoo in the bathroom. Sara wasn't there. There was only a fading hint of Sara's natural scent in the moist air, no trace of her clothes, no sense of her presence. Sean's lips parted as she exhaled, making the steam swirl and dance. Sara was gone. How? Why? Did she leave on her own or was she taken? Turquoise eyes that had their own dedicated websites and had widened in disbelief narrowed as Sean focused on spectra beyond human reckoning. The only heat signatures were her own and those caused by water hot enough to scald a locked human in moments. No hint of Sara's unique quantum signature. Nothing disturbed or stressed the natural quantum fields that would suggest more forms of teleportation or generated Portals. No other signs or residue of other Key powers. The window was closed and there was no way she could have missed Sara flying away, no matter how fast she was going. With a long, slim finger, Sean flicked open the AMP-glass shower door, more steam billowing out. Nothing should have been beyond her capability to perceive, but she had to look with her own eyes. The stall was empty, save for the pattering of water on the tile and steam. She frowned slightly, suspicion spiking. With Sara's revelations and the decision facing the Irregulars about future potential Keys and the ramifications thereof, now was not a time for Sara to go missing, willingly or unwillingly. Sean reached in and swiped her arm through the generous shower stall, making several passes to cover the entire area, in case something was concealed from her senses that she could touch. Nothing, only her arm getting wet and her dawn-hued hair darkening to dusk with damp. She turned off the water then leaned against the shower door, feeling the dissipating heat radiating against her back. "Sara?" Sean's melodious inquiry was answered only by echoes rebounding from the tiled walls. <Sara?> she sent out mentally into the void. Sean closed her eyes and breathed deep as she expanded her awareness of the holographic nature of reality, able to spread her senses throughout an ever growing amount of surrounding space. A kilometer, ten kilometers, a thousand, further, beyond the bounds of Earth, beyond the orbit of the Moon, searching for any hint of her friend, of her lover, of her love.
  6. The three Cassidy sisters sat around a table of Sydney cafe overlooking the blue waters of the Australian Pacific.
  7. Sean Cassidy

    AWS: Mind Games

    Sean gave a shirt straining sigh as Jeane made her exit. She had found Sara's revelations almost as shocking as the towering blonde had, if not nearly as insulting. She could understand Jeane's frustrations and anger, even if she didn't share them. What Sara said fitted too well, more pieces added to the puzzle as they revealed yet more pieces. She gave Sara a disconcerted glance. True, she had considered how she could destroy the world, as an academic exercise and to consider how another Key or even a locked individual or group might do it, so she could counter it. She'd conjectured Devin could have accomplished it without too much difficulty. And she had mused on how she would go about getting elected Head of State of a nation or the head of the EU or United Nations, or been inducted into or named to royalty. It was strange to hear Sara claim so nonchalantly that she could destroy the planet so easily, though with the forced growth of her potential thanks to Apollo and her encounter with Kyle, Sean supposed she could see how that was possible. It was even more strange to hear say she could be Queen of the World, if she had it in mind - except through threat of physical destruction, it wasn't something Sean would have considered in Sara's... bailiwick of quantum capabilities. "That could have gone better," Sean commented with an arched brow. "Galling as it may be, I think Sara is right, though maybe not compare it to a disease or accident, even if we are anomalies." Her enticing lips tightened wryly. "Whether intention or not. Jeane might have taken it... more easily if Unlocking had been seen as getting unintentionally dosed with quantum PEDs. A person gets boosted, becomes more capable, but it isn't a natural progression or evolution. And in the long run, I can see how it would derail humanity's natural evolution, since it would be so easy to rely on quantum-enhancement as a supremely effective crutch... until it becomes a danger more than a benefit." Sean gestured with an elegant figure at Abel. "That description might work for Lilly and Kia, for that matter." She leveled her intense, turquoise eyes on everyone remaining. "Despite all we can do, all we may end up being able to do..." She nodded at Sara in acknowledgement. "... as we've seen, it would take just one bad apple with enough power to make the world regret it." Her gaze focused on Abel. "As for what we do about it, I'm not sure yet. I have some ideas on how to reduce free-flowing quantrinos and we'll have to see if we can help people down a more, er, natural or homeopathic evolutionary route - it may discourage or depress unlocking into a Key. But there's something else we really have to look at first - the stuff we confiscated from the Navy Base Black Op. They were forcing Unlocking, and it had serious side-effects judging by Kyle and the Brain-in-a-Jar, and unforeseen ramifications." Sean patted Sara's hand, giving it a squeeze, a thumb gliding lightly over her knuckles. "But they've dealt in 'cutting' Keys more than we have. There might very well be something that pertains to this issue in there." Abel might not have considered trying to relock a Key with his unique power, but she had. It was Abel's power however, and she had wanted to the possibility and the responsibility it would place in his hands occur to him without her input. "And more, with Dr. Rashoud being arrested and detained due to her involvement in that Op, we have to review anything she has ever said or claimed regard us and Keys in general." A quick flash of irritation crossed her exquisite, impossibly beautiful face. "I think we really need to get a look at the things the government confiscated from there. We're still working on decoding the copies we made. Not nearly done yet - their encryption is remarkably sophisticated - almost certainly designed by a Key or with Key input - we're at 19.88%. There's definitely something there, a conspiracy, black projects that predate the Stepping Stone projects we've seen or have access to."
  8. "I love you, too, Sara," Sean murmured huskily as she reached down to clasp Sara's hand on her abdomen, tracing the length of her fingers with the tip of one of her own. "I love you, too. And there are no endings, but I'll be with you as long as you'll have me." She could feel Sara's breasts pressing against her back, the heat of her body, the beat of her heart. Sara's silken breath on her neck made her nipples tighten. She wanted more. She wanted to say more, wanted to promise more. But she couldn't. She closed her eyes and breathed deep, taking in Sara's natural musk. They were teenagers still, yet they had witnessed more, experienced more, lived more, than people thrice their age. Love was not a simple word, even if it was thrown around freely. When she spoken it, she had meant it fully, it was no simple platitude. But she couldn't promise it wouldn't change, and wouldn't give Sara empty words. Another sixty, eighty years was one thing. They potentially had centuries, millennia. Aeons, possibly, going by Pandora and her ilk, barring outside circumstances. Things didn't end, true but they changed, changed states, changed phases, adapted, evolved. There was simply too much time to claim nothing would ever change or come between them. Sean was looking to the future, planning for it, trying to shape it, not just for her and her family and friends, and Sara, but for everyone. But she lived for now. With a flick of her wrist, she stuck the knife into the cutting board, then twisted adroitly around in Sara's arms so they were standing face to face. She nudged her thigh between Sara's legs. With a long-fingered hand, she traced the line of Sara's cheek and cupped her chin, tilting her face up. She tilted her face down and caressed Sara's lips with her own with sublime delicacy. "Being with you has already changed the way I see the Universe, changed me, in ways I hadn't imagined," Sean breathed, pressing her forehead against hers. "I just hope I can return the favour."
  9. Sean Cassidy

    AWS: Mind Games

    Sean's lips twitched at Jeane's substitution for Abel's name. The substitution was seamless. Reading the big blonde's micro-expressions and body language, there was no struggle or hesitation in using the new name. Smooth... and disturbing. As disturbing as Abel's ability to capture a mental snapshot of someone. She glanced a question at Abel, who nodded and sent the technical specs on the recording devices and their implementation to her phone, while she collected one of the recorders for the case to give it a physical examination. Seems like there were some definite restrictions that prevented them from become a sure death insurance policy. The mental snapshots couldn't be used to overwrite a different individual's mental identity, they didn't seem compatible. It was like the mental snapshot was unique software that would only function on a specific piece of hardware, that it, the identity's original body. Looking at it, she wasn't even sure a cloned body would be acceptable - it might be genetically identical, but the neural pathways and development might not be established in a sufficiently similar pattern. Which did leave a concern that is one was mentally/psychically altered to too wide of an extent, might the mental snapshot not be able to be imposed? Something to consider. "Physical enhancements and psychic enhancements seem to be the most common quantum expressions, Jeane," Sean offered, pursing her delectable lips in thought. "And considering what Sara has suggested, psychic capability likely isn't limited to Keys. Interesting that you ask about how long it would take to someone to train others to be psionically active. Once Sara made the comment, I've been musing on how to develop a training program or regimen to do just that." Her lips curved in a half smile as she nodded at Abel. "Perhaps not this, exactly, but mental communication, telekinesis, psychic defenses and the like. If unlocking as a Key isn't feasible and becoming psionically active is, I'd like to see the opportunity being available. The more enhanced individuals there are, the less likely we'll see an us-versus-them scenario. Plus, there would be more people able to detect and disable psychic chicanery, which I think we all believe would be a good thing. I would conjecture there are few, if any, of Abel's power, but subtle use of more limited abilities could present their own problems, especially if they go unnoticed." The gorgeous genius gestured at Abel. "Is it as easy for you to change someone's perception of their own name - or other personal details - as it is for you to change their perception of someone else's?"
  10. Feeling Sara's eyes on her behind, Sean gave it a bit of extra wiggle as she rooted around the fridge. The Cornucopia processors were convenient and efficient, making food vastly more accessible to all, but that didn't mean people won't stop using fresh ingredients and making meals for themselves. There was something very satisfying in making a good meal with your own hands for you and others to enjoy. Sean turned back to the island with six bell peppers, two each of yellow, green, and red, and some chicken breasts in hand, along with some mushrooms and a few other vegetables. She danced about the kitchen, gathering up spices, a bag of orzo, and getting out a pot and pan. She had always enjoyed cooking, even moreso now with an expanded perception for tastes and flavours. Chicken and orzo stuffed peppers, making enough there'd be leftovers for another meal. "I more than kind of like you being you," Sean replied, playfully waggling her brows at Sara. Her hands flowed over the ingredients with a pianist's grace, preparing the meal with casual, eye-catching artistry. "Perspectives change, they should, as someone grows, matures, experiences... more. I know mine have, and it's not just being because I'm 35.5 centimeters taller and wear a bra now." She shrugged, raising her arms from cutting the chicken and looking down at herself. "But I still feel like me. This is me. I don't feel more like myself when I damp down the power. Perhaps it's because I don't go back to the boy I used to be, but remain a woman. Just as tall, for that matter." She sighed, lips curved in a small smile as she went back to preparing supper. "It's another balancing act, I suppose, where we each have to find our individual equilibrium. I might feel different if my powers and capabilities took the drastic jump yours did, or develop to that level." She pursed her lips, considering how her own powers and capabilities might expand and evolve. What she possessed now were largely just remarkable enhancements over natural human attributes and capabilities. At the minimum, her awareness would likely grow more fully realized in a manner like Sara's. "And while I know what you mean, don't start thinking of yourself when you 'power-up' as something other. It's still you in there, even if it's more complicated. I want to know you that way too."
  11. Sean Cassidy

    AWS: Mind Games

    "You are a control group, Jeane," Sean said, pursing her lips as she recovered from her surprise at Sara's revelation about the psychic potential of humanity. A potential that might serve everyone to pursue. There were already issues between Keys and the Locked. At least being able to attempt developing psychic disciplines could help ease the disparity. "With average mental defenses, by your own words, Abel can better determine the effort required to penetrate those with greater or more developed defenses. Also, you may be able to develop some psychic fortitude of your own in the process." Sean squeezed Sara's hand in return, flashing her an understanding grin, but there was just a hint of tightness to it. At times, it was vaguely disconcerting when Sara revealed something that was previously unknown to most or all. Mostly due to the fact that doing so before hadn't been in Sara's... suite of capabilities. Sean wouldn't lie to herself - she felt a small stab of envy that Sara's awareness seemed to have surpassed her own, even as she thrilled to share it with her. Sean turned her penetrating turquoise gaze on Abel, perhaps her most long-time friends, a faint frown gracing her perfect lips. "I have to tell you, Abel, I find the prospect of someone tampering with my mind more worrisome than facing a lethal threat." Her mind was her greatest asset. The idea of someone changing it, changing who she was, who she thought she was, and maybe without her even realizing it... Sara could feel Sean's shudder through their linked fingers. While she didn't have particularly developed psychic defenses, her expanded and enhanced mental functions did provide her with a formidable will and mental discipline. "But you're right, people with powers such as these are out there." She nodded at Sara. "Most than we initially expected, it seems. And we'll need someone who can counter and overcome them in kind. If someone needs to be Xavier or Jean Grey, I'd rather it was you, Abel." Sean smirked wryly. "Though if you go crazy, we'll have to put you down, and I'm not going to be able to not considering contingencies for if you do." She took a deep breath, folded her arms beneath her breasts, then nodded firmly. "So despite every part of me not wanting to do this, I'll help you practice and develop your terrifying mental mojo. But God help you if you don't put everything back the way it was."
  12. "I'll admit, it certainly offers some intriguing possibilities," Sean said with amused wistfulness. It was her turn to glance at the bed with a faint grin. She had manifested as a fantasy woman, though she had grown from that initial, oh so very brief, spurious desire, and had a fantasy woman's libido. She had missed the intimacy they had shared when Sara had been depowered - it hadn't been the same between then with Sara depowered and rendering her own quantum expression quiescent. "Possibilities we should definitely explore." Sara had changed, in a way. Had become more herself. There was a new ease to her, a self-assurance and self-possession she hadn't had since before being hit by Apollo's shenanigans. No, she hadn't had it even before both of them had been empowered. Sara was sharing the room with Sean as her fully enhanced self, and while there was fondness and desire in her eyes, Sara seemed completely comfortable with herself, powered down, and the dynamic between them. There was no shame, guilt, or sense of unworthiness from her. It helped ease the guilt Sean had felt when she had been with Sara before, one empowered, the other not and made Sara all the more attractive and endearing to her. She flashed Sara a warm smile, then looked down at her hands, the breasts tenting her unbuttoned blouse, the long legs stretched before her. She studied their sublime perfection of form and function, then deeper, at the tissues, tendons, and bones forming them, the activity and division of cells. Cells that divided in flawless replication. She had studied it before and conjectured barring outside influence, her lifespan was indefinite. Her grin turned into a musing moue. If their powers truly were a reflection of who and what they were, Sean wondered what that said about herself, not for the first time. "I suppose we'll all have to find our own personal way to handle the growing energies within us when that limit approaches us," she murmured, then pursed her lips in though, considering Kia and her planar displacement of mass. "Some, like you, and possibly Kia may have already found their way." Sean swung her legs around from the end of the couch and stood up, then walked over to the bedroom area. In passing, she shot Sara an amused smile, an eyebrow arched as she tied back her hair - hair that was longer than Sara's now - in a ponytail. "And since when did you develop such Nerd-cred, that your id made you a comic-book alternate body to hold all the power?" Sean snorted in a light giggle. "It wasn't as impressive a transformation sequence as Sailor Moon, but it was your first time. I'm sure you'll get better at it. Speaking of which, I presume your other powers have also been enhanced, or evolved. Anything change in more drastic or unexpected ways? What about the voice of the noosphere, the collective consciousness of the Earth you hear?" By the bed, turned halfway away from Sara, Sean changed from her dress clothes into something casual to bum around the house, yoga pants and a red t-shirt adorned with the lightning bolt of the Flash. Then she wondered over to the kitchen area to prepare supper. She finished her Pepsi, crushed the can between her fingers and tossed it into the reclamation unit. "Anything in particular you'd like, babe?" Sean asked, rooting through the fridge and pulling things out and setting them on the isle.
  13. Sean sauntered into her home, slipping off her suit jacket and tossed it onto the coat rack with negligent grace. Gliding through the open design barn-come-bungalow towards the modest kitchen, she undid several buttons on her blouse and with deft motions, removed her bra and flicked it into the clothes hamper. Her buxom, majestic figure hardly seemed to notice the lack of support. She pulled a can of Pepsi from the fridge, cracked it open with a thumb and took a long pull. It had been a hectic and trying several days since the confrontation in Canada. Preparations to recall their families from the off-world site, multiple debriefings, and an emergency session of the UN. Catching up on world events she had missed while dealing with the situation posed by Devin and his own investigation. Explaining to Laurie what Devin had done and why. The lie on Laurie's had been obvious to anyone when she had said she didn't give a fuck. She'd let Laurie have her tears in private and decided not to tell her about Devin and Lilly. She wasn't physically tired, but she was emotionally and mentally exhausted. Devin had negated Pandora and Sara had given Apollo an ultimatum, while the rest of the Irregulars had done little more than slow him down and he was unlikely to face justice for his actions, especially since they still needed what he knew. The President had praised them again and given them accolades, but it felt empty to Sean. Sara was empowered once more, but Sean had had nothing to do with it, and she wasn't even sure Sara could be properly classified as a Key any longer. General Pryor had explained his and Devin's actions, but it felt no less a betrayal to her. Devin. His and Pryor's actions had frayed the trust and faith she had in those that should have been their allies. Perhaps in her friends. With Devin gone, she couldn't congratulate him on the audacity of his place, apologize for thinking the worse of him - even if it had been his intention - telling him he had been right, or thank him for his sacrifice. She wouldn't discount ever seeing him again, but... She could still smell him in her home, him and the girl Tawni, and Pryor in his armor. She wouldn't ever get to punch him in the face for the actions he'd taken and the words he'd said, telling him he'd been wrong. They had won, yet it felt like she had lost. She snorted with self-recrimination as she sprawled out onto the couch, prying off her shoes with her feet, crossing her long legs, and resting her heels on the far armrest. She'd called Devin friend, if sometimes reluctantly, but she couldn't seem to find any tears for his loss, and only a little bit of regret, and she didn't like what that suggested about herself. In acting the part of a megalomaniacal douche-canoe, Devin had reminded her days of her days being bullied as an underdeveloped boy with an overdeveloped mouth, despite how far she had come since then. Devin hadn't been her worse bully, but he had always had the uncanny ability to dig under her skin to get a rise out of her. Sara had followed Sean in, noticing the frustrated tension in the set of her shoulders and the faint frown on her lips with everything weighing down on her. The impossibly beautiful woman seemed like she shouldn't fit such a modest place as the converted barn, a mix of ultra-modern and rustic sensibilities, all AMP-glass and aged hardwood. The sky outside was nearly the same colour as Sean's hair, her tanned complexion hard under the fading light, but her turquoise eyes bright and penetrating. Sean tilted her head to glance at Sara from the bed, who could see the plethora of questions in her gaze, the bracing for answers she may not like but determined to hear them all the same. "So..." Sean took a sip of her can of Pepsi, "There's so much I need to know, babe, but let's start with this - when you are all powered up, is it still you, or does another set of... prerogatives take over?"
  14. "She's not someone we need to fight, Jeane," Sean assured the towering blond, placing a hand on her shoulder in passing as she began to approach the being floating before them. Sean's rich, melodious voice contrasted sharply with the devastated ruin of the valley. "Sara is my girlfriend. I think the danger is passed, Jeane, we won't need to hide at the base. We'll be reunited with our families and yes, be able to get cleaned up and any other necessities." Sean's modesty was barely retained by the straps of her tactical harness and the shredded remains of her bodysuit, revealed tanned flesh reddened and blistered, yet her heart-wrenching beauty was undiminished. Incongruously, her multicoloured haired seemed untouched, flowing in glistening waves past her shoulders, a smudge of dirt on her cheeks highlighting the flawless perfection of her face. "You'll have to do better than that, Apollo," Sean told the fallen god firmly, but her eyes remained fixed on Sara. She was a blinding figure of pure, writhing Quantum energy - it was like looking into the sun, but Sean couldn't look away, wouldn't look away, though she could discern nothing more than the coruscating light despite her super-human perceptions. "We can't trust anything Pandora told us. You're going to have to tell us what her and her... siblings plans were for us, how events have been manipulated." Sean felt more than saw Apollo power down, though physically he didn't appear any different beyond seeming relatively uninjured. The big black man shrugged again. "I can do that," he rumbled in apparent good cheer. "If you all are strong enough to hear it." He felt nearly every eye turn on him, many of them Vanguards', more than one set Chimera's, and smirked. "I guess you are." <It would take more effort and resources to try and contain Apollo than it is worth,> Sean sent to Abel, knowing the concern he would feel. <And it seems Pandora was the true villain. With her... disposed off, he may actually be of aid to us now.> Sean was a storm of conflicting emotions. The feeling of betrayal from Pryor and Devin hadn't lessened in the least, but she couldn't help but feel a sense of wonder at Devin's audacity and success in neutralizing Pandora. It was with bitter regret that Apollo was likely to escape justice for all that he had done, but there were more like Pandora arriving. And while Sean was disappointed that she hadn't had a hand in helping Sara, she was ecstatic that Sara seemed no longer in danger, if not in a manner Sean had expected or theorized. As though the threat Apollo posed was no longer, entity composed of star-stuff and primordial energy was suddenly wreathed in crackling quantum lightning then flared with a brilliant flash so bright Sean had to close her eyes against the sight, and suddenly, it was Sara again. An almost mundane Sara with short, messy blond hair, dressed in jeans, a white t-shirt, and a leather jacket, her combat boots unlaced. Sean glided closer, so close she had to look down to meet her eyes. From a being a pure quantum energy, Sara now seemed completely human, a seventeen or eighteen year old woman, just about to graduate high school rather than someone who may have just saved the world. She didn't have the uncanny symmetry most Keys possessed, her heart beat to a human rhythm, where her node should have been was a tiny, almost vestigial, lump of inert flesh like a benign tumor and was no longer drawing in any and all energy in proximity. It was not active on the quantum spectrum at all. Sean's arms went around Sara's waist and drew her close, pressing her forehead against the shorter girl's for a long moment, then gave her a tender, lingering kiss on the lips. "I was worried when I saw you and we started to fight Apollo," Sean whispered with heart-wrenching emotion she didn't bother to conceal. "I couldn't figure out how to save you and stop him and..." She inhaled deeply, drawing in the scent of her. "I hope you know what happened to you and can explain it because I can't right now."
  15. Betrayal. Failure. Solutions eluding in too many things when everything else came so easily to her. Sean could feel her heart hardening against trust and hope even as she fought against the lost with resigned determination. Apollo had shown himself to be a false god, as well as false - They had to assume Pandora has as well - and there was no else here to face him. The world seemed to slow as her thought processes sped up beyond digital capabilities. The strop of the helicopter blades was a low, deliberate thrum in the distance. Long shadows cast by sunlight and the red spear of tight, quantum lightning danced languidly across the ground. Sean could feel the tingle of Jeane's energy spear against her skin as she flowed around to flank the dark-skinned Apollo under Sage's assault. She could see every twitch and flex of tendon and muscle beneath that black, flawless flesh as Apollo stepped between or around the flaming trees Abel had thrown at him, letting some break and splinter against invulnerable hide and slapped others aside. With inhuman dexterity and strength, the alien creature redirected several of the missiles towards the tall beauty. They seemed to almost float in the air despite moving the speed of sound several times over. She didn't have Apollo's strength, but she slipped between them like an ephemeral dancer. One evading stepped landed her right in front of another tree, its velocity turning it into a giant, fire-hardened spear and in a motion too quick for the human eye to follow, Sean had her plasma-blade in her hand, like a piece of the sun itself, and cleaved the spear in half lengthwise. She was not surprised by the second giant flaming spear following the second as she leapt upon it, more graceful than a gazelle, lighter than a feather, ran down it in three flashing strides, then flew through to air to engage the feigned Sun God himself. She'd had preferred allowing him to make the first move, but the scene had been set. Instants mattered and she'd give them to her companions. Her sunblade of magnetically-constrained photons flickered as she pressed Apollo, striving to step him back, as she eluded counters with almost prescient fluidity and balletic precision, every step eye-catching and flowing into the next. It would be easy to believe she was trying to end him, but it was an illusion, each strike a test, as Savant watched and analyzed, seeking a flaw in his form, in his responses, looking for a weakness to exploit. Apollo, by his and Pandora's assertions, was hundreds of millennia old. After that much time, raw, brute force wouldn't defeat him, defeat him and Pandora and their arriving siblings, though it might weaken him. More would be needed, something other. Hypotheses and conjectures flashed around her mind faster than lightning. Jeane's great red blade shriving the quantum energy from the Bear. The pulse that had depowered Sara... There had to be a way. Infinite gears of though turned, churning away as she engaged with a being that could destroy her in a blow. "You have seen a measure of us, Apollo," Savant said with melodious, cool condemnation. "We can grow and evolve. Whereas you and Pandora, you are stagnant... You are apparently unable to grow beyond what you are, what you've always been. Too bad we've only seen the truth too late."
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