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Jeane last won the day on March 3

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  1. Jeane

    WS OOC

    Well, Legends had my vote about 15 seconds into the video, but Glory was my number two.
  2. Jeane

    WS OOC

    I was hoping to introduce this organically IC, but sie la vie... Coraline's 1st offering to the party: one Kamala Drix, half-elf fighter. Sword-and-board protection style with a 50/50 mix of social fu and survival skills. LN Mercenary child of two retired mercenaries who tries not to screw over people too badly before (insert event Sean used to introduce a new PC mid campaign, lol) happened. I'd have more, but the 5th ed srd is pretty awful. I do have the critical dice I'll roll for the game within the game given a chance down the line, though.
  3. Jeane

    WS OOC

    Oh? Sean'll be running an RPG group again? I wouldn't mind having Coraline be involved in some way if you all don't mind. Let's see..? Coraline Hess social activities: Vice President of the Dance Club on campus, hiking and assorted exercise, anything musical especially roadtrip worthy bands or plays. You do right by her, she'll do right by you kind of girl who moved to town four years ago from New York and is trying to make the best of it.
  4. Five years and so many battles after that fight... Abel Cross was a singular existence. He had been for eight years now. As one of the Original Irregulars, he was easily one of the most powerful Keys alive, and as things currently stood, no more than a handful of beings alive could resist his mental powers. Even with that being said, he couldn't help but feel powerless. While in public, Keys were being held up as icons for the betterment of Humanity, the governments of the world only truly wished to control them. Dozens of schemes had been tried, and thus far they had all been thwarted, mostly be the diligent actions of the Irregulars. Still more were always in the works, and Abel had had enough. In orbit around Titan, Abel spent two months, creating first a viable longterm habitat, and then a massive drydock and factory. After that he left the automated systems to run, and construct his masterpiece, even as he set about final plan. Quietly he began amassing the collected knowledge of humanity. His absence from the world caused some stir, but had been explained away as a holiday seeing new alien worlds. In reality, he began work on the Ark. With a design akin to various scifi warships, The Ark was easily among the greatest creations of Humanity. It's archives held all the attained knowledge Abel could scrounge. Protected by weapons that were advanced even compared to their T'Tauri allies, with a variety of systems and enough facilities for ten thousand, the Ark was a true wonder. Combining the abilities of Traceuse and Gatekeeper, when it was finished the Ark would be able to traverse not just space, but the Multiverse itself. In the end, he'd decided it was time to go to the Underverse for good, There at least, they could start anew, on a world prepared for mankind's survival. Indeed, he and Jeane had made regular trips there, bringing aid, seeing how New Shelly had begun to truly thrive once they'd started helping. His plan was to transplant up to ten thousand volunteers, as many keys as he could, from Earth to New Shelly, using the Ark. With that done, he would remove the data for the world from Earth's knowledge, and thus safeguard New Shelly forever, even if it came at the price of total isolation. Not all the Irregulars agreed, but he went ahead anyway. Indeed, he didn't get ten thousand, he barely got seven thousand, all of which he screened personally, but nearly thirty more Keys had joined him. It had been five years to get to this point, and while some of it was pleasant, he knew he'd miss this world, and those he'd be leaving behind. A new threat was coming, something that the world would likely not survive, given the preoccupation with controlling the Key poplulation, but he refused to take away their fighting chance. He left them all the technology he could, things that would help them fight against the threat, but not anything that could be used to track him down. There was no telling if he'd ever venture back, perhaps if those Irregulars who chose to stay were still alive, he might. He sat in the command chair of the Ark's Bridge. Both Jeane and and James were in their places in the Dimensional Array, awaiting his order. There was no fanfare, no ultimatum, Abel sought a clean break, to show that this was no threat, just one man doing all he could to protect what he cared for. Earlier that day, he'd watched as the huge factory and naval Slip orbiting Titan Self-destructed. If they wished to build ships they'd do it without his facility. On earth, all the databanks in his vault, anything that contained any data on the Escape plan, went dark, harddrives melted into slag, and rendered inert. "Take us to our new home." As the AI for the massive starship plot the coordinates, and sent the order to Jeane and James, Abel whispered one final message to the world that had created him, "Goodbye."
  5. "Heh." Jeane laughed, short circuiting her opponent's charge by appearing in the midst of her enemies, dwarfed for the first time in a while by the beasts she was fighting. She didn't have Abel's mad executioner level strength, taking, two, maybe three hits to put down her targets, spinning and whirling. The blonde could have danced around four or five times her number in these monstrous animals, but there were a dozen ready and eager to enter her killing ground, stepping over her shifting barrier of bodies to engage. Despite the blinding shimmer, despite her lightfooted dancer's grace, hits started to accumulate, the occasional tooth or claw nicking flesh and drawing blood. Each hit drew the softest of grunts, drew out more and more of her focus to maintain her powers. The wolves growled, eager to spill more blood, following the growing cloak of shed crimson fluid that clung to Jeane and itself. Both of them were engines of death, and soon the amassed packs were dead, they hunted them until there was none left to hunt. The creatures hadn't feared humanity before, but now they'd been given two great reasons to do just that. Come the morning, the two stood back to back, weapons in hand breathing hard, and he smiled, There was nothing left to kill. Lifting Jeane into the air with him he rose above their killing field with nearly fifty of the wolves, just there, and another 50 surrounding them. producing a camera, he took pictures. "Worth a thousand words." he smiled to her, and then set her down, so they could head back to the encampment. "Sorry for picking you up like that. I got abit carried away." Jeane waved it off, bodyglove marked with dozens of rents and tears, blood beading over the wounds beneath. She really didn't like being picked up, but the fact that Abel remembered to apologize made up for it. Besides, she was on such an adrenaline high after all that insanity... "We both got a little carried away. I *think* one of my swords broke in the midst of... all this. I don't have it anymore anyway," she laughed, entirely too cheerful for someone displaying so much bloodloss, sheathing her one actual blade before spinning Abel's yellow-glowing marvel, "And this thing was entirely too useful, almost as good as my arsenal before I lost my juice." "You know, stupid as I know it is, I've never really felt... powerful before. Fast, yes. Powerful? No," she confessed, brushing a lock of blood-stained hair out of her face, "Not really." "We have so much more potential than this. We can both grow stronger." Considering she'd seen some of the things he could do, moving glaciers, the things he could make, that he had made, this was impressive in itself. 'And here, we are free to do just that really." His own suit was stained with blood, but it was nothing they couldn't wash away. "Are you sure you're alright? I can carry you back to the settlement, I don't really mind." "Jeane Hebert, taxi cab for god slayers at your service," the towering blonde joked back tiredly, plopping to ground heavily, "Can we wait a few minutes first? I get my juice back, we can show these people the story they need to see, the Keys bloodied but unbowed and back like King Arthur in their hour of need. It's a little bit deceptive, but good stories sometimes are." Her gaze went a little distant, staring into the middle distance, "And they need a good story so hard. It's much more real than anything the people at home need. No one else out here to help them after what happened to their Earth, 3,000 people alone in the dark." "Just some dead aliens. And... Us." He looked at her, and nodded. "Of course." Unlike her, he'd not been touched, but then he was much more practiced than her. "They need some hope, and that's what we've been giving them. I didn't solve their problems, but I did give them the tools they asked for so they could solve them themselves. I don't have the time to make reactors and such, or vehicles, but essential tools, building materials, and other things, that I was able to give them." He shrugged and sat down. "And then this, we removed alot of the predators, though I don't think we got them all. Still we illustrated to the predators that they aren't the apex anymore, and that if they come back, So will we." "Hmmm, you did say it's just you, me, and three thousand people who have nothing to do with the conspiracies we know of out here, right?" Taking his silence as a yes, the towering blonde lay back against the ground and stretched, making a pillow with her arms. She closed her eyes, sucking in the scent of the world, relaxing with a lazy smile of post adrenaline bliss, "I think I'll just close my eyes for a few minutes then. Keep an eye out, okay?" Abel nodded, and while the younger key took her nap he gathered the tails from the wolf creatures they'd slain. In total they'd killed 84 of the beasts, and he'd created a large bag to contain them even as he stood guard. Several hours later, he nudged her with his foot. "It's time to get up. We should be headed home, we have been out overnight together after all. What will your father say?" he teased her, knowing he'd catch the old marine's ire too over this. "I think it'll be okay," Jeane chuckled and opened her eyes from the first sleep she'd had in weeks, feeling lighter than she expected for such a small thing, the future seeming not so terrible. One of many possible tomorrows, five years from that fight... A young woman woke, yawned, and got out of bed, all before the sun cleared the horizon. A little water splashed on her face, a turn of a key in a lock, and she was out the door of her apartment, dressed for a morning jog. All perfectly normal so far for a college student at the University of Maryland. Well, until you realized the college student was one Jeane Hebert, and that her morning jog involved a lot of globe-spanning teleport hops, gravity-defying parkour, and intent concentration on the little things around her, an unusual melancholy quirk to her fair features as she traversed a dozen odd urban and wild vistas. Long legs devouring ground, she blitzed across the world with flickers of lightning over the course of 25 minutes, ending up on a lonely Caribbean island beach, enjoying the sunrise, a fresh fruit drink, and the company of a morning shift employee who technically wasn't supposed to have given her said fruit drink this early. The blonde amazon didn't usually take advantage of her... charm like that, but today was a special day. "Miss, I wasn't expecting to find a Key at the shop this early, I will tell you." "Guess today's your lucky day, then. Thanks for the drink." "No problem, Miss... Traceuse? I've seen you on television. Wasn't your hair longer?" "Cut it. Time for a change. Miss it already though." "It looks good though. Can I have a picture though? No one is going to believe me if I don't." "Well..." One, and only one, picture later, Jeane was back in her apartment, getting cleaned and dressed for the day, watering the plants, making sure the envelope was on the table, and eyeing her nemesis for the day: heels. She was striking enough that she didn't need any help looming, but there were expectations. After everything she had done, what was one more sacrifice? At least she'd have her PAM suit descretely concealed beneath should it all go wrong. There was a 'no photography' sign outside the auditorium where Jeane appeared ina flash of lightning, a grumpy handful of campaus security enforcing it. With a clack clack clack of heels, she joined the intermitent flow of her peers and ducked through the doors. Jeane wasn't the only Key graduating this morning, merely the highest profile of six that the university had scrambled to recruit, islands of super-normality among hundreds of other young people excitedly conversing with friends they may well be seeing for the last time. Speaking of which... "Jeane, what did you do with your hair?! It's so short!" "Cut it. Ya know, new time, new look." "You love your hair though, much as you could probably get it back with a thought." "Ha. No, Sarah. Not quite..." And so on and so on, mingling with her classmates one last time while picking up her cap and gown and finding her place in a line, a sunflower among grasses. It was time soon enough and out they went, a hundred and one warnings of attention going off with every heartbeat as proud friends, family, and loved ones swept the ranks of graduates for their special person. Jeane knew a few in the seated crowd were there for her rather than a bonus celebrity, but she resisted the urge to look as she took her seat and listened to the speeches and beginning of the roll call. Watched her peers, one by one, walk across the stage and receive their diplomas. Soon enough it was her turn to walk with long strides, shake her Dean's hand, and receive the concrete declaration of her Bachelor in Education. All to an extra flurry of attention and a cameras with a proud, bittersweet smile on her face. Afterwards, escaping the chaos to a little restaurant half-way across the country, she smiled and chattered with her close circle of friends and wellwishers. Ever-cheerful Kia, Glamorous Sean and ever-mysterious Sara with 'Good luck's. Mike Collin, her agent's expression torn between proud and bittersweet. Junior Irregulars she had trained and found alongside. The blonde amazon shed a bit of her melancholy with half-truths about her plans they were good enough not to pry on, warding off questions about her family's absence from the meal, the near-international incident that was her 21st birthday in Ibiza, and enduring jokes about her childish dream to start up 'the Irregulars East Coast'. Soon enough, perhaps too long or too soon, it ended in stooped hugs and goodbyes. She was gone in a crackle of lightening, responding to a silent voice only she could hear, enroute to a empty place under the northern stars. "You cut your hair." "I did, Abel. Starting fresh to let it grow again." "It will, won't it? Are you ready to go?" "...As I'll ever be. Got my piece of paper anyway. Thanks for letting me have the time." "My pleasure. Everyone else is aboard. We just need you in the Array, and James will have us back at New Shelly in a thought." "Then we'd better go before anyone changes their mind about letting us go." "We should, Jeane." Red lightning crackled under the clear night sky, and nothing remained of the two Keys.
  6. "Great. Let's go,"' she answered, flashing a final smile and taking him with her when she jumped to the other side of the crowd with twin peals of thunder, "And *then* you can show me where the attacks have happened so I have a clue where to look around today." Before he left, Dr. Cross sighed. "You're really not that like him..." Abel sighed. "I have been a Key longer than most, and I assume it's much the same for your son as well. I've adapted, had to adapt to my new reality. Do you know what powers your son had?" "He could read minds, and move objects, and god did he love to fly." That made Abel smile "All abilities I have and I confess, I love to fly as well. That said, I want you to understand, Abel probably spent those three years reading minds, not intentionally but because he could not stop. Before I grew enough, I couldn't stop my power, so I knew everything about everyone. That's a hard thing for a teenage boy. Now, I only read minds when i want to." Dr. Cross looked at him. "And you really haven't been reading, since you read mine?" Abel answered quickly "And your co-leaders. I had an inclination to trust you but after being shot at I thought I should. I swore to protect Jeane as much as I can." "So she's your girlfriend?"  Abel shook his head. "A valued friend, and someone I'm actively training to use her abilities to the fullest extent. At home, i actually started a school for Keys.." Sebastian Cross laughed. "You always did like Professor X. It fits that you'd go that route if given the opportunity." Abel just smiled. "Yeah, lots of similarities there." "Is there a Key named Sean in your world, too? You remind me a lot of her." The parting comment, complement really, from Dr. Mizuki repeated in Jeane's head as she bounded over the outer wall of the settlement, pausing on the battlement to give the nearest sentry a friendly salute before dropping off the edge and into the relatively unguarded wilderness beyond. She had a rough idea where the farms were, where the attacks tended to happen, and how far the 'wolf' packs seemed to roam. So she had ground to cover before sunset. The amazon bound and sprinted through the forests and foliage covered ruins, red sparks dancing along her limbs. Heartbeat thundering in her ears, she moved for the sake of moving, grinning behind a scarf she pulled up around her nose. Oh freerunning had gotten easier, God Yes, but it never lost the sparkle, the joy, when she could push herself, scrambling up a ledge, taking half-a-heartbeat to make sure it looked safe, and then exploding through the paths over, under, and through each new view offered. It was a kind of magic, tracing a path where none existed before, moving meditation. And contrasted nicely with the pauses as she reached one or another of her intended waypoints, focusing inward as she tagged reality with her 'mark' for later. And then moving again, nowhere near super sonic, but still fast. Come nightfall, she'd be ready to play her part in whatever plan Abel came up with to help these people. People *she* had faith had survived the Underverse. How awesome was that?! Several hours passed, with Jeane scouting things out seeing much of the life around the settlement. There was a herd of large buffalo-like creatures at the large lake, drinking, They seemed abit nervous and moved defensively as she came near, obviously the settlers hunted them for food. Each was nearly 15 feet tall at the shoulder, and in the water she could see the telltale signs of fish. Rivers at the North and southern ends of the lake were wide and deep, so the threat wasn't here. Moving to the west of the base she could see a dense forest, as the land began to rise into the foothills leading into the mountains. from the moment she set foot into the forest, she had the sensation she was being watched, especially in the open thickets. as she neared the foothills, she found them to be dotted with many large caves, and their were piles of bones outside of them, not all of them animal, as evidenced by the human skulls she found. There was another River, which wasn't as wide, again moving North to South, but she found it too was teeming with life. The world was virtually pristine, and begged the question of just how long the Guadal feem had been gone. 'Did our hosts say exactly how they were communicating with the aliens before they escaped over here? This place is too... nice, too clean to be a homeworld for someone like the Gaudal Feem,' sent Jeane over the link, a frown crossing her face. She had 'spent' one of her keyholes outside of each cave, listening and watching for anything that might indicate the presence of a hunter. Well, one other than herself at least. The swords kind of give off that impression. It wasn't a 'bad' fact, but something in her couldn't help but question 'why'. Abel frowned, but didn't open his eyes from where he'd been sleeping. 'I did not ask. my guess is that their portal was somewhat different than hours, and connected to a different time as well initially, one where the Guadal feem were still here. in the Chaos of the attacks, the portal was damaged, and that time difference was corrected. The Guadal Feem believe everything happens in sequence, as it should, linearly. Thus they planned ahead for when humanity would need them, for their own end, even. Thus they found the world the way they have, with just enough support to keep them alive.' He laid there, resting, knowing that tonight he'd cut loose, they both would, and they'd make this place safe for the survivors of humanity. 'Give me another hour, and meet me at the front gate, the sun should be setting then, the moons rising, and we'll head out then.' That was the first time Jeane had seen their alien allies as, well, alien. Interesting. 'I'll be there. Have a few more keyholes to plant.' Fifteen minutes short of the hour later, the dusk gathering on her heels, Jeane strolled into view of the gates, grinning like the cat who had eaten the canary. She waited until the guards spotted her and shouted for the gate to be opened before waving them off and pumping quantum into her legs, springing up into a standing backflip that would have any Olympic coach eating his hat, even before the extreme distance she covered was included. Thud. The sound of her landing inside the wall was audible, a perfect gymnast's landing, arms raised. The handful of people witnessing the return, mouthed various combinations of 'holy shit' even as they scattered to spread the word. The buzz Jeane created made Abel grunt. He'd allowed himself to touch the minds of everyone around, simply because he didn't know them and wanted to know abit more about their lives here. Still when she began drawing a crowd, the buzz became about her, and he sighed, opening his eyes, and closing himself off again from the thoughts of others. "Alright, i'm up." He donned his suit again, complete with the hood that became a mask, hiding his identity. He made his way outside, quickly finding Jeane, his own weapons holstered on his hips, and he nodded. "Are you ready to go then? Causing a scene like this..." There was abit of admonition in his voice, the crowd seemed to calm abit as he spoke. Inwardly he was smiling. One would be the Light, and the other the Darkness behind the Light. It was clear which he preferred. 'We can go ahead and head out. We need to kill something, and let the winds draw our prey in.' Jeane nodded, firing off a light-hearted salute as she disengaged from the tangle of the crowd, head and shoulders taller than most of them, seeming invigorated by her jaunt that afternoon. 'There's plenty of game. And I've marked exactly where most of the lairs seem to be. We're going to make this work, Abel. There isn't a choice otherwise.' He nodded, and then took to the sky, heading towards the herd. 'We'll kill one, and cut it up. you'll leave a trail of meat to a an open field, and they'll come. It's going to be nasty, but don't be affraid to get blood on you. We want them to come to us, to be irresistable to them.' It was going to take alot to set up, but with the two of them, they'd be fine, right? The dragon turtle had been having a nice day as dragon turtles count things. Six feet around and spiky armored, it had peacefully grazed through the mud, devouring reeds by the bushel full, spiky tail swinging occasionally to give any predator that may have escaped it's four eyes second thoughts. The local parasite devouring avians had hopped along it's back, doing what they do best. A good day. But night was coming and with it the dark and the wolves, a deadly combination that meant it was time to head into the deeper water and submerge save for it's nostrils. How unfortunate that the predators tonight were early and human-shaped. First, the dragon turtle couldn't move, gripped by a giant invisible fist, not even to bellow a threat. Second, a red-crackling blur slammed into it's still extended neck, a metal blade clutched in her hands. The first blow creased off of leathery skin. The next found purchase in flesh. The third blow, delivered by a matching blade in Jeane's opposite hand, found an artery, prompting an explosion of blood that marred her fair features and soaked her hair. "Told you I found some cool stuff, Abel," she muttered behind her scarf, wrenching the blades out and watching the dinosaurian alien bleed out, unable to resist her teammate's mental might, "Guess I should ditch the camo at this rate. My usual colors fit just fine." "Probably so, given the way you fight, and the fact we want them to come at us." Abel replied. They quickly began baiting the traps, with them finally ending up with the remains of the carcass in a clearing, With Abel's Defense shield set against their backs, allowing them to have at least one secure side, even as the moons began to rise. "We cut off the tails as trophies. Be ready for anything, they are alien lifeforms after all." his own defenses were fully raised, and he stood there waiting, pistol in one hand unlit sword in the other, with dragon turtle blood smeared on him. He wasn't fond of the smell, but then that would draw them, as the wind was blowing towards the caves. Jeane shimmered in a halo of obscurement, outline a blur of vivid red and white as she danced lightly from foot, ready, as Abel advised, for anything. Sunlight in her left hand. Red lightning in her right hand. Behind the defensive shimmer of her own powers, a determined smile danced on her lips and in her eyes. 'Think we could smuggle part of a pelt and some claws back when we're done here? If these things are going to take their pound of flesh out of me, I kinda want to take a pound or two of flesh back,' she pulsed over the link, only half joking as she paused, picking the faintest echo of alien howling. The first of them were coming. "Once we've cleared it to be safe, maybe. I'm not too keen on revealing this place to others yet, because I don't want them trying to cross over back on Earth, and let the monsters there through." He answered quietly even as they could see dozens of sets of yellow eyes. these wolves were huge, some easily over ten feet tall "No wonder they had such a hard time. They're hunting as a pack, and there's alot of them." He moved towards the meat, and heard them snarl. 'Come on then, you want it, come and take it." It was almost as if they understood, as they charged in nearly a dozen wolves from all directions. Thankfully ignorant of the shield behind where Jeane was, still several hit it with significant force, and Abel smiled. "Be careful." and then he seemed to blur, drawing his pistol and igniting his sword, shooting the first to close in on him in the head between the eyes, and then beheading the second. He was a veritable engine of death, cutting through wolf after wolf, never allowing them to touch him.
  7. The looks on their faces said it all. Dr Mizuki was the one who spoke. "They are. They died to seal the portal behind us. The guadal Feem were waiting to aid us, but when we got here, they were gone, and only a message told of centuries of waiting for us, remained. With no knowledge of how to restore their technology, and a destroyed quantum gateway, we've been stuck here, eking out a subsistance level of existence for a year now." Abel nodded. "I see. Ammunition's probably nearly dry, though you have plenty of fresh water, and the area teems with life. So you're not going hungry. I imagine medicine is scarce though." Dr. Cross nodded. "We've lost people, but we manage. There's no other choice." "I've got half a pack worth of medicine and seeds that I was bringing just in case," Jeane offered softly, blue eyes contemplative as she fully considered the face of her own possible mortality in this reality, either as a last-standing Key or just one of billions of locked victims. "Glad to see someone made it. Earth, your Earth, I mean, is... Bad. But I had a feeling, and Abel here arranged to get us here to see if that feeling was right," she continued, a genuine smile on her face, leaning forward in her chair, "I can't move much in a single jump and I can only jump every so often if I pace myself, but anything I can do in the time I have, I will." The three men looked at the two of them. "You're a Telepath, like our Abel?" Abel nodded. "Among other things. If you would, provide me with a list of things that you need, in order of priority. Provided they are inorganic, I believe I can help you get them, quickly and in enough supply to make a difference." They quickly began jotting down their own lists, and Dr. Mizuki looked at them. "You're form another Universe entirely..." Abel just nodded. "We are. We found this universe through some expirimentation. After some expeditions on Earth in this world, we decided not to travel there anymore unless needed. It is quite inhospitable. Still Jeane had hope someone got away, so we came where we knew the portal could lead, and here we are." "It's almost like a dream..." Abel sighed. "Unfortunately I cannot offer you all a place in our universe. Jeane cannot take non-keys with her, What I'm prepared to do is create some devices to make your lives easier. I can feel a quantum reactor, though my guess is it is quite small, and was likely a prototype. That's how you all have some manner of power here." "You can sense that?" Abel nodded. "I can sense a great many things, but I'm choosing to ask you, because i want your trust. If you're honest with me, this will all go so much better." Via his own private link to Jeane he sent, 'It may or may not be true, but we cannot bring them to our world. The results for them would be terrible, please just go along here The government would never accept them, and letting them know you can teleport to other worlds is a recipe for disaster.' Jeane glanced at Abel, having not quite enough of a pokerface to suppress her unhappiness at this statement entirely. She had started thinking how long it would take to get these people back almost as soon as she saw how... reduced the circumstances of this settlement was, but even if this was the only settlement... It would take months and months for her to get them back to the alien colony. And all of that time without quantum running through her node which begged the question of what would happen when, not if, they reacted to the slow, slow, slow trickle of refugees. "Was there anyone else? There were four portals, right? Around the world? Any of them work? Or how about strong places people might have hid? I can't bring them back home, but if they're stuck on Earth... I can try to do something. I'm fast I can look around."  Captain Harrison shook his head. "Jeane, was it? No, what you see is what we have left. As far as we know, no one got off the planet, save those of us here." He definitely wasn't happy about that. "So you two fought those creatures? We could barely harm anything big, and even the Irregulars had their issues." Abel nodded. "A year ago, that would have been the case, if they were like us, but things happened that allowed us to grow our own abilities, so I can safely say I'm much more powerful than I was a year ago." "I take it you two are not planning to stay?" Dr. Cross asked. Abel shook his head. "We have commitments in our world, Doctor. That's why I ask what you need most, If it's within my power, I will ensure you get it, so list only things that will benefit you long-term. I do not know when we will come back but we will do so, and I'll take a list of some consumables you may like that we should be able to bring next time." Determination filled Jeane's expression, eyebrows lowering, "We have a day or two before we need to leave. So if there's anything I can pick up from our side, that's at least one or two runs I can probably make, but more importantly..." She leaned forward again, frowning, "Why the wall? That had to be a pain in the butt to put together and maintain. Like I said, I'm fast, and a people person and maybe I can help with that problem while Abel does smart things here for a few hours." The towering blonde allowed herself a chuckle, almost playful. They looked at them. "There is life out there, and the predators are all nocturnal." Harrison stated bluntly. "They're large wolf like creatures nearly six feet at the shoulder. It was necessary to wall off the settlement. That said we do have fields out there, we've been able to cultivate some of the local vegetables to supplement our food stocks, but The hunting parties have been quite limited in how far they can go due to having to find secure shelter at night." Abel nodded. "Then tonight, we are going to show these creatures they're not the masters of the night." He looked to Jeane. "we're not going to be able to go back and forth enough to bring what they need here, I'll just have to make it." He shrugged. "I suggest you spend a couple hours doing a walkabout, familiarize yourself with the settlement, and the surrounding environs, while I get them some supplies. Once it's closer to nightfall, we'll rest up, and then tonight we go on the offensive." The three men couldn't help but wonder just what Abel meant to do, they could barely fight off the creatures, but then they were not Keys. Mizuki. That was Kia's last name, wasn't it? Best not to stir up old ghosts in case she was wrong. Any worse that, is. "Dr. Mizuki? Do you think you could show me where to store what I could bring with me?" Jeane asked, rising to her feet after an acknowledging nod to Abel, "Wouldn't want it to spoil." The Doctor rose almost hastily, a hungry curiosity in their eyes, "Of course. If you don't mind a few questions once we're there..." Jeane smiled awkwardly as she hefted on her pack and swordbelt, waving 'good luck' at Abel and leaving the vault for the sunlit world outside. The smile was masked by a more reassuring expression as she ducked through the door and caught sight of the crowd of people waiting outside. She was, she hoped, getting more used to attention from crowds, but the phototakers and Key fans back home were usually looking for a blurb and an autograph at most, a bit of sparkle to hang in their lives. These people... They looked hungry and not just for food, but for hope, for reassurance, dressed in oft repaired clothes whose fashions she recognized as old but familiar and newer looking outfits sewed out of leather or some kind of crude fabric. Practical, all it practical, much like the settlement around her, a fusion of semi-derelict alien buildings and western-esque human structures. The hushed pause broke as first one then three then many closed with the towering blonde, asking where she'd come from, if she was going to help them, any news of loved ones, how many others there were out there, how many monsters she'd fought, a babble of voices needing so badly it put her on a mental back foot as she mustered an answer to help these people who hurt showed so cleanly. Once Abel was taken somewhere secure he set about creating the things they asked for. While he couldn't make food, he could make any inorganic thing, so he created ammunition, tools, and other equipment that would allow them to live easier lives and defend themselves. "We can bring more seeds easily enough, and I have provided what medication I can for now. With any luck this will see you through to our next visit." "You're leaving?" Dr. Cross asked quietly. "I have my own affairs to see to. Jeane and I will return though. That's why I asked you what you needed most." He sat there, while he had exerted himself considerably he knew he'd be alright, because they would. "Now, is there somewhere I can rest for a couple hours? I need to recover some before tonight's festivities." "You really intend to go out there?" "Of course. I want you all to be safe, and Jeane and I should manage easily enough. If we can't we can come back in and regroup. That's why I sent her to do a walkabout, to make preparations for tonight." Dr. Cross lead Abel to a series of rooms in one of the larger towers. "This is where my family stays. The'll be home near dark from working in the fields, and at the school." "Your daughters and wife survived." He nodded. once answering the young man who was so like the son he lost. Then Abel smiled. "Good, at least that's the same. I'd never let anything happen to them either." Jeane drew in a breath even as Dr. Mizuki raised his voice to try and get the babble to calm down, shunting off the uncertainty in another stream of thought. "Can I speak, please? ", she opened, wrapping her voice and appearance in soothing veils of quantum, just enough to get their attention, "Hi. I'm Jeane, and unfortunately, I'm not here to stay. Not right now. But I am here to help." The intensity of attention on her, almost made her buckle, promise more, just say 'screw it' to the commitments she had back home when these people had lost everything, "Dr. Mizuki told me about the alien wolves outside the walls. And tonight... I'm coming back with so many wolf heads they'll think twice about coming anywhere close to your homes again. I've fought and killed the monsters on Earth. The ones here will be no different." She dialed back the quantum persuasion and glanced down at the Doctor, resting one hand on the hilt of one sword, "Which way is it to your store room?" Dr. Mizuki, spell on him breaking a little faster than the crowd's with the direct question, swallowed, "That way, Miss Hebert."
  8. Abel and Jeane had set out on an adventure. Following the last expedition to the Underverse, he'd actually felt bad about how negative he'd been. To that end, he'd Secured access to the Guadal Feem's homeworld, to the human colony they'd allowed there. They were sharing a small two bedroom apartment, with spartan furnishings, but enough room for them to not be tripping over each other. He looked to the younger Irregular. "So have you finished all your preparations? There's no safety net here so far from home if something goes wrong.." Always the voice of preparation, Abel was quite meticulous in his own preparations. He had a survival pack for them both, which contained means to survive most anything, anywhere, at least for a little while. "Yup, I'm packed. Spent most of yesterday playing tourist. Since God knows when my parents will be cool with me going off planet again. Maybe when I turn 18," joked the towering blonde over one shoulder, going through her own kit. Sword. Night vision lens. Spare sword. Sunsword. A pair of very tiny walkie-talkies in case things went wonky with Guildchat. A good chunk of her bag was taken up with samples of medicine and seeds and whatever little wonders of civilization a struggling group of human refugees might need. Hope that there were human refugees here burned in the depths of her mind, a spur behind her rapid agreement to Abel's surprise invite. Get off planet, away from the bullshit conspiracies and see new places? Yes. Shake up her routine? Yes. Maybe help some people in a very bad spot? Oh, Hell yes. "I know you said there were other humans here, but not in the parts of town I visited. Just aliens, aliens, and different aliens. So many pictures to share when we get, Abel. Once our planet stops being an endless dumpster fire for five minutes, we need to come out here more often," she continued, checking no rogue hairs had escaped her ponytail, PAM suit going into camouflaged bodyglove configuration, "You feeling up to this? I mean, just getting me out here is nice enough without scratching my itch for heroic exploration, and you work five times harder than anyone I know except my Dad." "I require breaks from routine the same as anyone else Jeane, though perhaps I don't allow myself to take as many as I should." "We won't be here all that long. It won't take me too long to ascertain if there's human life after all." he tapped the side of his temple, and nodded. "The colonists do alright here, though mostly it's just scientists. His own PAM suit was silver with dark green accents, and he nodded. "Let's go then." He took up his survival pack, and smiled at the younger Key. "I'm surprised your dad let you make this trip as is.. Or is this another one he doesn't necessarily know about?" Jeane colored slightly, "Hey. I've started telling my parents about my activities, the ones that don't risk the team's secrets at least... Okay, I may not have told them exactly how dangerous the Underverse is, but that's part of why I'm making this run with a partner, and besides, I've ran out of scars in visible places to get healed over. Makes things easier to understate, much as I miss having them." She forced the discomfiture away and took up her gear, three weapons hanging from her hips, night vision goggles up on her forehead, "Ready when you are, Abel." She extended one hand, ready to whisk him away to whatever the other side had to offer on this planet. He took her hand, and smiled. Abel truly trusted few people. Jeane had the power to simply leave him there, stranding him in another universe entirely. What was a greater sign of trust than taking her hand knowing that? "Not my fault you heal like I do. It's even more pronounced now after our return. I had to focus on it before, now it simply happens." It was one of the many differences than before. Still he was quite defensively focused, and would be no different on this trip. There was a crackle of lightning that consumed them both, matter converting into energy and funneling away into twin holes in the air. This was just a short hop though, the telepath and the teleporter reconstituting in the parking lot behind the apartment. "Can't be too careful. More likely to have ground than skyscraper where we're going," she offered with a grin, "For real now. Once more with feeling." And the world turned upside down. There was no settlement where they came through. Even as they finished materializing, His shields, personal and directional both came into being, providing Jeane somewhere safe to be should the need arise. After a short survey of the immediate area, Abel nodded, and closed his eyes. He allowed his mind to open to the world around them, and almost instantly, got a return, then another, and another. Hundreds of human minds, the final tally was nearly three thousand, all told, and his eyes opened. "Oh my God. you were right." He pointed to the Towers in the distance, there was no movement as in the normal universe, They're in the ruins of the Guadal Feem's cities, About three thousand., all human." "Take that, Universe. Drop the planet into hell? Can't kill us off that easy," Jeane replied with a grim smile, speaking not so much to her teammate as to the world at large, thinking aloud. She glanced down at Abel, eyes suddenly sparkling. "I knew it. There was too much damage in that base from human weapons to make the portal a glorified metal donut. Someone like my Dad would have gotten people to safety, fought to get even one more person out before blowing it," she continued, voice soft and intense, "We aren't over yet." "I have half a backpack full of convivence store medicines and seeds that the kind of people getting their feet back under them can use. Care to take a closer look, Abel?" Abel smiled. "Let's just wait and see what they have before we make too big a scene." He nodded. "We'll walk there, much as I know you want to teleport, it's only a couple miles. If we just port in, they'll be alarmed and react poorly. Better to let them see us coming." With that he started walking towards the towers, with his directional shield towards them. Indeed, he took the time to make an itemized priority list of items he thought they might have the most need for, and was busy pulling up designs and such on his data slate. Still he was looking around and taking it in. "This world is still beautiful, but it's not all good news Jeane. There are only humans here, No other higher life. No Keys. No Guadal Feem." "That's... Bad," Jeane volunteered as they hiked through the strangely familiar wilderness, "Might want to keep visible powers out of play entirely until we don't have a choice. Since these are refugees from everything back on Earth, the uncanny might be entirely unwelcome as we make a first impression." "Annnd, whatever the reason it happened, they were messing around with the portal for years and years before we happened. Might not have had a chance on this side to happen yet if it ever was going to?" she continued questioningly, pulling her goggles off her head and stretching her arms above her head. Flowers were blooming. Bird-like creatures were singing. On a sunny day like this, she wanted to look as unthreatening as she could. Which is why I have the barrier up to. let them see it, I'm not that concerned. I did promise your Father i'd keep you safe when i could." his quick reply nixed that. Still that was why they were walking there was no way to know if the refugees would know of Keys, save invading their minds, which he also wished to do. So the pair of Keys walked on, eating up the distance in steady strides. They drew near the Towers, noticing that they'd build a full on Palisades around the area, and Abel smiled. "They've got some means at least. That's not the easiest thing to make with no tools or skills." A gruff male voice called out not amplified so it was actually a Man Yelling. "Halt, who goes there?" Abel looked to Jeane, and mouthed "Did he really just say that?" Then he sighed. "My name is Abel Cross, this is my colleague and friend, Jeane Herbert. We are Travelers. I promise we mean no..." A gunshot rang out and impacted harmlessly on the barrier shield. "Well, that went bad quickly.." They drew closer, more and more they could see soldiers atop the palisades, all armed and aiming weapons at them. "You want to try that again?" "My name is Abel Cross, but I'm not the one you know, Sebastian." There was no gunshot, only silence. Abel was about to try something, and then the voice came back. "Lower your barrier and we'll allow you inside, It seems there's much to talk about." Abel nodded, and the Barrier field winked out of existence, and he looked to Jeane. "Be ready to port us back where we came from or at least yourself Jeane." "Oh, I'm going nowhere without you even if I have to pick you up like a bag of potatoes and jumping away with you over one shoulder," Jeane joked back, a smile dancing on her lips but meaning every word. Even without a drop of quantum running through her node, she could take a few hits even if it meant bleeding all over the place. Hopefully she'd never have reason to find out if the same applied to Abel. She stood there and waited a step or two behind her teammate waiting for the gate to open, taking in everything about the palisade and striving to look as innocuous as she could manage. The pair made their way inside with dozens of weapons aimed at them, and Abel sighed. "You can all put the weapons away you know. They won't do any good as you've already seen." Several men came forward, one was wearing a Captain's rank and of course the one who spoke to him earlier. Sebastian Cross didn't know who this person was, but he looked exactly how his son Abel had looked. More than that, the young man knew him, and spoke with his dead son's voice." "My name is Sebastian Cross, I'm the civilian Leader of this Enclave of New Shelly." Abel didn't chuckle outwardly, but he did smile inside. Not changing what wasn't broken was a trademark of his father. "This is Captain Harrison, leader of the Military personnel here, what few remain." The Captain was tall, not so much as Jeane, but taller than Abel. He did not offer his hand. "Is there some place private where we can talk, I imagine you don't want to cause more of a stir than we already have." Abel asked obliquely. They nodded, but it was the third man who spoke up. 'Right then, We can head to the Admin center. there's a vault there." Abel nodded, and they lead on. He didn't ask the third man's name, though he did already know it. He was Dr. Mizuki, Kia's Father. When they got to the Vault, he realized the alien structures did have power, just not enough to do all that they did in their world. Once they were settled, Abel and Jeane to one side of the table, and the three natives to the other, Abel spoke. "First, I apologize for our abrupt appearance. It's clear to me that seeing us was unexpected, and abit traumatic. Allow me to clear something up first. Are the Irregulars all deceased?"
  9. I've had bad experiences with open world games, but, sure, if Nina's up for one last rodeo to wrap up the current thread, I'll ride.
  10. Interested. Just need to get my hands on some game books to see what's possible.
  11. "Nice," she replied easily before rolling her eyes at the closest Vanguard, manner easy, "And I apologize for supporting your 'pitch'. It's not like we invite just anyone up here. I was guessing blind, although it was pretty obvious that Haruka's awesome." Inwardly, she scoffed back in the face of Lilly's irritation, the courage of one who volunteered to fight monsters in an almost literal hell every other weekend or so making her stand her ground. She'd literally fought bigger and meaner. 'Oh step off,' Jeane thought over the link, 'As if you've never made a risky play that might not work out.'
  12. Having been pleasantly not told to fuck off by the twin Vanguards, Jeane had followed quietly in the wake of Lilly's tour, holding her tongue and letting her teammate pontificate and show off the station. Much better than her idea of straight to the chow hall and hope one of the T'Tauri was off duty at the moment. Consequence of the ability to be anywhere in a heartbeat? Maybe? eh. Still, she'd done enough watching for now. She chuckled for the first time, grinning like the cat who ate the canary, "Speaking as someone who went from hiding my powers for six months to not being able to hide them at all in a day, it's definitely a Process. And one you're definitely not alone in. We have a phone number, and someone will be awake to talk once you get past Alexa, any time of day. So, ten thousand dollar question if you don't mind my asking me, you two. Whose the awesome one, and who has the powers? Impossible to tell from over here." She chuckled again, enjoying the excited innocence of the siblings. Made her wistful that she still had so much ground to cover rebuilding with her own sister, seeing the easy harmony of these two.
  13. A crackle of lightning in the control room, and there Jeane belatedly was, big as life and hands resting in the pockets of her hoodie. She smiled at the new arrivals, "Nice view, right? Told ya." 'The rifle's securely locked up aboard the station, Sean. Checked myself,' she offered over the link, 'And sorry, Lilly. I'd rather be wrong than careless and didn't want some blood to ruin a good first impression. You want me out of your hair; I'm gone.' Always so many places to be and only one her be there. That was the problem with a faceless enemy, and even when you did find a clue, someone's pride would get in the way of actual problem solving.
  14. Lilly earned herself a raised eyebrow of disbelief and a resend of the mental image of the teleport control room with it's pinkish trail of human blood somewhat ruining the vista of the stars. There would have been words, but then Ronin went on his little rant, and opened his impromptu portal. She didn't give that much of a shit about what he was saying, but the second issue? Oh, Hell no. "One second," she offered with the faintest of strain in her voice, darting through the portal into... Yup, Ronin did drop the portal right next to where the blood puddle fortunately no longer was. And the rifle was gone, probably to a secure storage locker or something based on the absence of calls. Yeah, the T'Tauri were *good* at running a space station. The towering blonde flashed the Commander a smile of thanks and skipped back through the portal. "Planet's still there. We're good. See you topside, Cade, Haruka," Jeane offered with a relieved grin before vanishing in a crackle of scarlet lightning. She had a murder weapon to chase down before figuring which of the siblings was the Key and which was along for the glorious ride.
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