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ABERRANT: WEIRDER STUFF - CHAPTER II "Sometimes Eating the Cake Just Isn't Enough"

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She was alright, they were alright. This is going to get even more complicated. Pryor thought

"Alright Lilly, we are sending some more choppers to get you guys off the island and back to base. I want all of you to come here, no exceptions. We'll have your friend looked at to make sure she is okay.

Is there any way you guys can secure the ice block until we can get a heavy duty copter here to move it?"

Lilly notices that her dad avoids any mention of the drones.

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Her father not being able to talk about some things was nothing new to Lilly. She knew that if he said nothing, then he had a reason, so she let it go for now.

"Well, I mean, it's frozen. After the fight and stuff, some of us are pretty drained, so I dunno if we can keep re-freezing at the moment. But if you need to transport it, I, or we, can move it no problem to wherever on base. Or we can guard it while the choppers arrive. But seriously, it's no problem for us to move it."

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The more we establish things here the better we keep it here instead of them moving it else where, Pryor though as he listened and considered what his little girl was saying.

"Okay if you guys can move that thing, do you think you can get it to the airfield here on base?" He asked as he motioned one of the airmen over and quickly scribbled a note on a pad with instructions. The airman took the instructions and went to another phone

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"Sure. Just, like, make sure the guard don't freak out and shoot us if we come flying or jumping onto base. I mean, it wouldn't hurt me, but it might the others."

< Okay guy. I just talked to my dad. He says we need to head to the base. No exceptions. And this is my dad guys. He's on our side. They have medical waiting for us to check out Sara and anybody else who needs it. I did what I could for her head, but that's not much right now. They are waiting for the centaur-cicle at the airfield, with some way to keep it on ice or something. If anybody needs a lift, I can swim the iceberg across the lake with you on top and just hop the fence, or you can make handholds and I can just jump there.  And I talked to him about having access to study it, so that should hopefully be good. > she relayed over guildchat as she sized up the iceberg.

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Alec flinched at the sudden drop in temperature. Maybe it was just him running hotter than usual, but damn if that wasn't bloody cold.

Lilly's quick action had him breathing easier after Sara's collapse and he plopped down on the shore, finally letting go of the energy he'd been grasping. Watching the power dim from his veins was fascinating, though it did raise some interesting questions. Stuff he would have to think on later.

Letting out a sigh, he heaves himself back to his feet. Looking over to the little central island where the girls are huddled he takes a step-

- and is standing beside them, the only sound of his arrival the crunch of gravel as his weight settles in it's new spot.

"Gotta say. That's a weird sensation." he shakes his head, kneeling down beside Lilly and Sara as the older girl talked with her dad.

<Thank god she'll be ok. Was really worried there for a sec.> letting his eyes wander over the destruction wrought on their surroundings, he couldn't help but shudder. Living Bombs. Or rather, stuff rigged to blow once it was defeated. A final "Fuck you" to their opponents. That was nasty stuff.

Still, though. The reactors and the focusing arrays would be interesting to look into. Hopefully they'd be allowed work on them. He had a few ideas that he'd like to work on, a sense of gratitude flowing through the link as Lilly tries to get them access to the corpses after they're moved. Speaking of....

He pulls out his phone, dialling the number for his Mom and holding it up to one ear with bated breath. He lets it out as it rings through to voicemail, leaving her a message that they were being asked to return to the base again tonight. Once more he hesitates, looking at Sara's supine form, before firing off a text to Annabelle about where they were going, and asking if she could pass it on to the Sheriff. Best he hears about it early than waiting for her to come home and getting worried.

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Abel saw the grand spectacle of Sara's display, and smiled, until she fell from the sky.  Had he not been trying to keep track of the drones, keep the shield up to protect the soldiers from any last minute failsafe, and several other thoughts within his own mind, he'd have been faster, and managed to grab her before the impact.   When the soldiers had turned their guns on Kia, reluctantly, it seemed. He was quick to tell them it wasn't needed, and he began moving towards her.  Then the drones died, and plummeted where they were.   <something to ask about later, regarding the drones.  They all went offline at the same time and just crashed.  That's pretty much unheard of in regards to military grade drones.>  

He looked up to Kia and smiled.  <I got a jacket for you when you come down to normal size, It should be enough to preserve your modesty considering the differences in size.>  He sent over their private link so as to not call attention to it in front of everyone.  I don't really think they're gonna let you on base looking like that, given current circumstances.  You might want to change back before the military and all get here.>

To guildchat on the whole, he sent <If we want, I can hold Sara steady in such a way that she doesn't move and isn't jarred around in transport.  While your healing likely took care of the worst trauma, there's no reason to risk further injury in moving her.>

 

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And just like that, it was over. Kia managed to take a step towards the water when Sara fell, but Lilly was a whole lot faster...both in reaction time and in flat out speed. Then the military showed up and the drones and guns and...she was actually a little afraid of turning back before Abel convinced the soldiers to stand down.

Even then she delayed turning back a bit, because it occurred to her now that her dad had probably seen all of that...or would see it when they could get it to him. What was he going to think of this?

Abel got a nod from the enormous creature, and a grateful, but subdued <thanks> for his offer of the jacket.

At first it looked a bit like a turtle pulling its head into its shell. The creature's head and tail retreated, leaving the massive spiny plated scales behind...they collapsed in on themselves into a giant pile. The crabby claws had shells too, but whatever 'meat' had been in them had retreated out as well.

A moment later, Kia came out, pushing a scale big enough for her to hide behind out of the way. Oddly, she still had her cheerleader uniform on this time, though it had mysterious stains that would probably take more than once laundry cycle to get out.

"Hey," she said, looking around. "We're going to the base now?"

It was a banal thing to ask, but she really did want to make sure she knew what the plan was...and there weren't any words she knew that felt appropriate for narrowly averting an alien nuclear suicide bomb.

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Sean stood up smoothly, cradling Sara in her arms tenderly and holding her close. Though engulfed in Sean's hoodie and thermal vest, Sara was still shivering and Sean began rubbing her through the fabric, trying to warm her with friction and body heat. Though just wearing a white shirt with a scoop neck revealing a bit of cleavage, it was a relatively mild October and Sean wasn't feeling the chill yet.

"Well, now that you can control water, Sara," Sean murmured with caring playfulness in her girlfriend's ear, "I think it's time someone teaches you how, don't you?"

<I have her, guys,> Sean assured her Guildies. <The body heat will help, but if you can support both of us, Abel, keeping her out of the water would be ideal. Lilly, i think it would be better to float the centaur-cicle across, if you can handle the cold, and then carry it out. The frozen water added-> exact Volume, water density, mass flowed through her awareness, <-a lot of weight and we wouldn't want the ice to crack, risking the reactor reengaging or otherwise causing needless damage.>

Sean saw the way Alec looked at their frozen alien and then caught his eye, warning him teasingly he wasn't going to be the only one studying it, or more specifically, its tech. She had every intention of reverse engineering the hell out of it, looking for a way to either detect their presence or defend against their tech.

"Back to the base," Sean confirmed to Kia, stepping out of the calf high water.

<Abel, snag one of those Drones too, if you can, or Lilly, tell your Dad that I want a look at one too, if they didn't shut them all down remotely for some reason,> Sean added. <I'm... good with computers and software, better than before,> Sean said with great understatement. <I'll look to see if there's anything in their code to explain what happened to them.>

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Time was not wasted.

On the base, commands were issued and instructions given. At the airfield one of the large environmentally controlled hangers was quickly cleared and the facilities massive air conditioners turned up to full blast in an effort to cool the hanger to a temperature that would at least slow any melting of the huge ice block on it's way.

 

In Washington the video of the encounter was reviewed first by the Pentagon and then by the President. American forces were quietly put on alert across the globe as a caution in case of further incursions. Plans were hastily drawn up for the President in case he had to talk to the American People of this new threat to American security.

 

And on the beach the surviving soldiers waited for the helicopters to come and get and watched in awe as the Irregulars went into action again.

Abel used his Telekinetic ability to raise Sean and Sara gently into the air, holding Sara immobile as a precaution. Then he communicated to Kia via their private link. <I have you too, Kia. Enjoy the ride.>

 

Standing next to Able the petite cheerleader felt herself wrapped in soft nothingness as she rose a few feet into the air. The Abel himself rose up and the four teens began to cross the water Abel flying and carrying with mental force his friends.

While that was happening Lilly had gone back into the water and locating the mid point of the ice cylinder she sunk her fingers into the mass and began pushing it across the lake with powerful kicks of her legs. She found that the weight was noting and surprisingly it was easy to maneuver as if her mighty strength somehow compensated for the objects mass.

That left Alec who waited as the choppers came and helped the soldiers on board when that was done he simply disappeared only to reappear on the shore where he waited for Lilly to arrive.

 

Abel and his charges arrived and he dropped off Kia , then took off again with Sara and Sean and went straight the the bases medical center so Sara could be looked at.

Alec helped Lilly bring the Ice ashore Then with Kia, who clambered up to the top of the Ice guided Lilly in moving it via short Leaps to the Airfield on the other side of the base.

At the infirmary Dr. Rashoud examined Sara and told her that she had a concussion and needed to rest they would be notifying her father. She sent Sean and Abel to the Air field where Col. Pryor wanted the Kids to wait, in case they had to destroy the bomb.

Once there, all the kids gathered in an office and were joined by Blitz and Sgt. Sanchez.

Blitz ran up to Abel wagging his tail, “Thank goodness you are alright Abel I was worried when I heard of what was going on.” The dog looked around, “I'm very glad all of you are alright. Is Sara okay? We heard she was injured.”

“She has a concussion. Dr. Rashoud is looking after her,” Abel bent down and petted his dog, “It's good to see you Blitz.”

Spoiler

The gang except for sara is in the hanger in an office over looking the cylinder of ice. There are men in the hanger in protective suits  protective suit.jpeg

They are soldiers guarding the ice. Abel does have one of the drones. other than Blitz and Julio you are not being watched or guarded. you have been told that Col Pryor will be joining you all shortly. there are computer work stations in the office , nothing special but they do have internet connection

you may post some RP if you wish if nothing develops I will move things along. For reference it is roughly 4:30 in the afternoon or about an hour after school

 

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Abel smiled as Blitz came in and nodded.  "She'll be fine soon enough.   I am more concerned for what the future holds however.   Those things, they were not prepared for us, in as much as they didn't seem to be much of a fight, certainly against Lily, Kia, Sara, and Alec.  However that "Failsafe" of theirs was going to be very bad.   I'd have liked to have not seen the first one we saw, With the laser capability on a much smaller frame, blown apart, but at least we managed to protect some of the soldiers.   That first creature had to have some sort of camoflage ability as well, that would have been a useful sample to analyze."
He looked out to the block of ice encasing the last of the centaurs, and sighed.  "Still this one will be great for research, provided it's actually dead,  and that the failsafe doesn't reengage when it's thawed out."

He scratched behind Blitz's ears affectionately.  "How about you?  How's your day been?   I know my sisters can't wait to  see you each day.    Never let them fool you, They missed you almost as much as me when you disappeared."


Over the link to Sean he sent  <So, how much trouble do you think we're in?   Also, what sort of odds do you give they'll let us actually do something constructive now to help with research?   I'd wager more tests, on us, are a given, considering what everyone saw, and now they've got those damnable recordings.>  It was clear he was trying to turn Sean's thoughts away from Sara's injury and current condition.

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Sean stood by the office window, looking down on the activity on the hangar floor, keeping an eye on the entombed alien in case of a resurgence of heat or fractures in the ice. She had exchanged her soaked, heeled ankle boots into military issue combat boots, but otherwise hadn't changed, the calves of her jeans still dark and damp. At a glance, she seemed at ease, one armed crossed below her breasts, sipping a coffee that had seemingly come out of nowhere, but more likely from a besotted airman that should have known better.

She watched was going on, analyzing and storing what she saw as a matter of course, but most of her thought was on Sara, wanting to hold her in her arms, to keep her safe, to make her well. Sean might have been a woman like no other than, but she had just learned she wouldn't always be able to protect Sara, and she couldn't heal her with touch like Lilly or Alec.

<Hard to say,> Sean answered Abel, given a mental shrug, but he still caught a spike of regret. <We didn't save all the soldiers, but our interference is the only reason any of them are still alive and they have the video evidence of that. Considering that, they should want any help we can provide studying the alien and their tech.>

Sean shut her eyes for moment, slowing the assault of information on her superhuman senses, trying to just focus on the sip of hot, mediocre coffee in her hand. Her mental tone was determined. <In any case, I'll convince them of my - of our - usefulness in the research... or I'll just make or manufacture an excuse for why we should be there. Speaking of those recordings though...>

Sean opened her eyes and walked over to the desk where the drone Abel had collected was sitting, something in her stride or the swing of her hips drawing the eyes. She sat down with casual grace, crossed her long legs and picked up the drone, giving it a closer look, feeling the distribution of mass, looking for the access points. No more than a glance and she could detail it's exact dimensions, including the damage it took in its fall, and mass, calculate the needed thrust for flight, the RPMs of the copters and estimate power requirements. I can build better, given the materials...

It was a military drone. Not a combat drone like the MQ-9 Reaper, but it was still very well constructed and a good deal larger than the quadcopters civilians got for hobbies or controlled with their phones. Sean held it with one hand as if it weighed no more than a paper plane. She glanced over it at Sgt. Sanchez.

"Sergeant.." Sean said in her distinctive rich and melodious voice.

"Yes, uh... Ms. Cassidy?" he replied, with just a small hitch in his voice. Dear God! That voice, those eyes are intoxicating... and terrifying. They see too much! He knew better of course, knew who Sean actually was, but it was nearly impossible to reconcile with the woman sitting in front of him.

"Would it be possible to get access to a work station and a few tools?" Sean asked with the barest twitch of amusement to her lips as he faintly stumbled over which gender title to use. She needed a distraction from her worry about Sara, and something to focus on so her perceptions of everything else didn't overwhelm her. It was getting worse...

"Unless you guys did it yourself, I want to know what happened to your drone and I've always been handy with software and computers. And while I might be able to do it with my phone, it would be more efficient and thorough using an actual computer. An isolated, non-networked system, of course."

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Julio couldnt help but stare, that voice, those boobs, that a...

"Julio, why don't you run  down stairs and grab one of the small tool kits the maintenance boys use for Sean." Blitz said as he walked over to the computer workstation nearest where Sean was working on the drone. Julio nodded and quickly if somewhat stiffly ran from the room.

"I think we can reconfigure this computer and pull the network card. It will have to do." Blitz nudged a rolling chair out from the desk. "Abel my boy why don't you come and lend us your ...hands."

Spoiler

BTW I have decided that Blitz sounds like Kelsey Grammer

 

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Abel chuckled at the interaction between Sean, Blitz, and Sanchez, once the latter had left.  "You almost think he's somewhat uncomfortable around you Sean.   He seems to take the a Sapient talking Canine as normal now.  Perhaps he grew up on scooby-doo."   He moved to help Sean with the work on the drone, happy to at least be doing something.

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"Well almost getting vaporized together by an atomic bomb in another galaxy does sort of create a bond," quipped the pup, "here take that back offf and let see if we can get this thing off the network..."

Several minutes later Julio returns with a couple of tool kits used to work on the planes. Abel and Blitz with guidance from Sean make the computer secure for Sean to work from.

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While Blitz and Abel modified the computer to Sean's specifications, Sean used the tools to open up the drone's interior. She hadn't seen this model before, but with incredible intuition in all manner of engineering and design principles, it wasn't had to figure out. Vision that could operate on the low end of the microscopic scale and awareness of exactly spatial dimensions certainly helped as did while it was meant to be secure, the on-board memory and internal mechanisms still needed to be accessible for repair and replacement purposes.

"So, Blitz, now that you can take, can you explain the whole dogs versus cats, thing?" Sean mused jokingly as she unscrewed an access panel. "Okay, let's see what we can figure out, boys."

<It's not that he's uncomfortable per se, Abel, but rather more... conflicted. Though, intellectually he knows I was once male, I don't register that way to Sanchez. I don't look, move, sound, or particularly talk like a man.>

<It's not like I was a dude-bro before or anything. It's more because of my age and the fact he's seeing someone - I can smell lady's perfume transferred on him and other small details. He's feeling guilty about what he's feeling being in the presence of the most physically appealing woman he's ever seen.> She glanced away from the drone for a moment to give Abel a frank look, lips curved wryly. <That's sounds, conceited, I know. But I know the exact dimensions of anything - and anyone - I can see. Let that sink in and think what happens to pretty much any guy when I walk into a room or say something. And I know, every time.>

Sean grunted as she got the panel off and saw the inside. The hardrives and memory were destroyed, seemingly fused by high voltage. Even more odd, nothing else inside had been effected, no even by minimal heat damage from proximity.

"Well, that sucks," Sean commented as she removed the drives and set them down on the desk, giving them a look of disgust. "I might be able to recover something from them, but it will probably require a clean room for actually physical recovery." Sean said, but she sounded doubtful as she began seeing if she could still hook it up to the computer, see if it would read anything at all. She glanced over at Sanchez and nudged the harddrive with finger. "I'm presuming the airforce didn't do this themselves?"

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Julio shrugged "Above my paygrade, anyway we weren't there Blitz and Dr. Mizuki were talking about the portals and how they weren't doing what he said."

Blitz looks up and gives a little coughing bark in Julio's direction.

"Well you guys were, weren't you? You guys and that guy from the other base on the Skype." protested Julio.

"It wasn't Skype it was a secure video conference, and yes we were but that is not germane to this discussion."

Julio shrugs "Seems to me all this shit is related. Pardon my language ladies."

 

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"Seems like it is germane to the discussion," Sean agreed smoothly with Julio while her haunting eyes were drawn back to the hard drive. "Don't you think we should know, Blitz?"

Her eyes narrowed slightly, lips frowning in concentration as she leaned forward slightly, staring at the hard drive, breathing in deep, slow breaths. Julio shivered and pulled his eyes away from the inadvertent view down the stretching neck of her shirt. She could see it! She could actually see the lingering traces of the electromagnetic field of the drive, the actual pattern of it. She gasped despite herself then her frown deepened. Something was off.

She leaned back in her chair, arms folded, and looked at her friends, her turquoise eyes deep and penetrating. Yes, yes, there, now that I know what to look for, and how to look for it, I can see it, the actual electromagnetic field emitted by the brain. It was incredible, wondrous, like experiencing a completely new colour for the first time. Sean's lips curled up in a slow, wide, almost transcendent, smile.

Sean realized what was bothering her on subconscious level. The EM fields generated by her friends and Julio had ratios and permutations, while unique to each one - I'm a living electroencephalograph - were definitely biological in origin. There was a distinct different between them and the work station's operational hard drive.

And  the residue of the EM field about the drone's fused hard drive was one derived from a living brain.

"Sergeant, the Airforce may not have downed the drones, but someone did," Sean said with authority. She looked up from the hard drive to meet his eyes, her gaze certain, then she met the eyes of each of her friends. "Someone like us, someone with... powers. It wasn't a cyber-attack or a virus that effected the drones, it was a living brain."

Sean stood up and began pacing. "Who was manning the drones? Maybe they saw something telling on their station, or there might be lingering traces of the culprit's actions. Also, I presume everyone on base has extensive medical records? Would there be EEG readings? It might be possible for me to match them up and find out who did this."

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Abel looked closely, and his own perceptions shifted, and he saw it too.   "I see what you mean Sean."  <There's alot more to it than that as well I think but I just don't feel to comfortable getting into it here> he sent privately.   "Whoever was operating the drones needs to be found and detained for questioning, just as a precaution."

Studying the pattern he saw, he went looking for himself,  Searching out whoever had this same mental pattern, careful to leave no trace and at least somewhat protected behind his own mental defenses.  Surprisingly, he was easily able to track it back to the source, A woman in New York of all places, who against all odds mentally thought of herself as  D3@th 0Tt3r, it was her actual identity.  He wasn't able to pull any more, which spoke to this woman's own defenses, and he shook his head.   

<Sean it's not someone here on base, she's in New York.  I think it's pretty safe to assume she's enhanced like we are.   I couldn't get more than that, I'll try again in abit, I don't want push my luck or my limits too much.>

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Kia sat next to Lilly, keeping quiet as she watched and listened to everyone. She was really surprised that the airman let kids look at military hardware...especially hardware that had been hacked or something? Didn't the military keep evidence locked up? But then...everything was so crazy right now, maybe nobody knew what to do. She could relate to that.

A little timidly, she asked over the mental 'chat' link, <So...the drones being hacked is...bad? I'm not sure I get what they were doing there, or why everyone's so worried about them when aliens tried to nuke us.>

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Abel didn't react physically.   <it is bad, as it wasn't the military who did so.  What that means is someone else has knowledge of us, the aliens and some of what's going on.   Sure being nuked would have really been bad, but the whole situation we all find ourselves in going fully public worldwide would cause a mass panic.   Damage control would never fully be able to quash something like this.>

 

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<What do you mean it wasn't the military? who else knows?> Sara's thought came thru clear but everyone could feel the pain and weariness in her mental state. <anyway we can't keep this stuff secret just look how much damage was done by us dicking around at football practice becase we had to hide ourselves>

Now everyone could feel a sense of frustration and even helplessness coming down her link.

<These powers are so we can help and protect people how can we do that is we have to hide in the shadows. The superheroes in the movies don't hide.> Sara's thought was fuming now <unless it's batman and i never liked his ass anyway>

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<I'm glad that you've recovered Sara, really.  That was great work freezing the last one.>  his mental voice radiated actual happiness, which was somewhat odd coming from him.  <still though, I had to back down the soldiers we saved from shooting at Kia.   They were scared, and had escaped death twice, once through luck, and again because we protected them.  Still, they lifted their guns and took aim at one of us.   The point is, there will be those who fear us, and unless we can show them that there really isn't a reason to fear us, or our motives, then they always will, and those people will seek to harm us.   Perhaps it is quite cynical, but i'm sure even now somewhere in the Military machine there is someone devising strategies to deal with us, with our power, should we turn aside from being helpful.   Not everyone will see us as protectors.>

<Are you all fully prepared for what the public learning of all this, of us, will bring upon us, upon all our families, our friends?>

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They had wheeled Sara's bed into a room away from the other patients, when they brought the soldiers from the island in to check them out. A couple of them saw her and stared then one of them had given her a thumbs up, then she was alone. Dr. Rashoud wanted to run some tests and they had taken blood samples and even some x-rays. Now she was just laying there her mind open to the link. but Sean was preoccupied and Abels was urging caution.

She had the TV on and it was showing the news most of it about the election all of it bad. Up on the screen the were showing video from the middle east and the war...wars really , there.

<We can't protect our friends or our families by hiding, Abel, not from whats coming, and not from whats already here.>

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< Well, the portals are Top Secret. We're Top Secret. The fact there are aliens trying to invade Earth and probing our defenses at the moment is Top Secret. The amount of panic that would be caused if this stuff got out... I can hardly imagine it. Even if none of the portal or alien stuff got out and it was just stuff about us leaked, nations who didn't have QEHs would be worried that they didn't have any of their, after seeing what we can do, and could jumpy. Then you got the press, people looking for help, groupies, stalkers and on and on. So, like it or not, we do have to work in the shadows a good bit. The less public we are, the safer all of those around us will be. >

< I sure didn't like Kia and I showing up in our uniforms, but we had no choice. As weird as it may sound, we actually might want to look into some sort of outfits or tactical gear or something to wear that is hopefully functional and maybe provides some protection, but also helps conceal out identities. >

< As far as my dad.. I think he's trying do everything possible to keep everything here, so at least he's the one supervising and not somebody else. Mine and Kia's dads are looking out for us and he is trying to keep it that way. >

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Alec mentally snorted at that, though the relief at hearing Sara over the chat was palpable.

<I think you're being unfair to the Soldiers Abel. While it's shit they were pointing guns at Kia, what the hell were they supposed to think? Giant monster gets eaten by another Giant monster? Great. All that means is there's an even worse monster out there to fight. They had no way of knowing it was friendly, and even if they did, their buddies had just been murdered. They're hardly going to be thinking right.>

Pausing for a momenth, he thinks back on everything they'd seen and done, even for the small time that they had been enhanced.

<I.... think Sara actually has a point. While some people may never view us as such and hate us for what we are, I think that we have a responsibility to act regardless of that. Great power and great responsibility, all that stuff. I would rather look back and not regret being forced to inaction by fear.>

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<It wasn't their fault they got scared,> Kia pointed out. <I looked like another alien, for all they knew. They didn't threaten Sara or anyone else.>

The mental link clearly showed that she regretted scaring people, and felt really guilty about it.

<I think Lilly's right. We have to be really careful we don't just make things worse when we do things. And once we go public, we can't just change our minds about it if it goes bad.>

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<So you would rather let people die till you get a chance to change your clothes? I'm not saying that it's not an option, having masks and all, but we're sort of punching above the weight class that Spiderman usually does. If it comes down to it? I'd rather be known than have a nuke going off. Particularly when we're not aware of what other shit might be being spread around.>

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<Alec!> Kia sent with a sudden spike of anger. <No one's saying anything about letting people die! She's not saying we shouldn't help, just that we need to be careful! This isn't just about us! Even if we decide to go public, we shouldn't just post videos on YouTube or something. It has to be done...better. We need help figuring out what to do, and how to do it. We don't know everything we need to know.>

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< Where in the hell did you get that from?? I never said anything even remotely like that. So fuck you, dude, for even suggesting I would let people die so I could change. You know me better than that. > Lilly's anger and outrage at the suggestion was painfully clear through the link.

< We will not always be reacting. On occasion we might have time to prepare or keep something in or cars or something. And even when we do react, there are likely going to be travel times, like today, where we could at least get a mask on or something. >

< I am saying that once things go public and that genie is out of the bottle, there's no of getting it back in. Sooner or later things might get out about us and what is going on, but we need to stay in the shadows as long as possible. Once things get out, which I am sure will eventually happen, then we deal with it. But no need to go endangering our loved ones right now any more than they already are. >

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<maybe your right Kia, Lilly. Maybe we do need uniforms or costumes, maybe we do need masks. But one way or the other we have these powers and no one else does. The teddy bear came to us showed us things. there are aliens trying to take over the world> all these thoughts were tumbling out of Sara's head in a rush

<I know I have to use these abilities, and I have to use them for those who can't protect or defend themselves> from her mind up the link comes the things she is seeing on the tv...war, refugees, abducted children, abused and murdered, murders and shootings in the middle of American cities, terrorists... faster and faster they come and her friends can feel Sara's hopelessness at seeing these things and her fiery rage.

<I never looked at the world like this I never had the ability to make any kind of difference. But I do now. We all do.>

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<some form of tactical outfits will work best I think, no need for 4 color insanity.   Sara, I do agree we should help, but We must measure our approach.  If we rush in without thinking, we open ourselves to becoming a threat to everything around us.   If Sean hadn't been able to warn us about that failsafe, everyone on base would be dead.   We cannot be immobilized by indecision, but simply rushing into things isn't going to work most of the time.   >

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<Unless you are at all times carrying it on your person, you are always going to have some delay from the point where you become aware to the point where you can act. Hell, even carrying it on your person, you still need to take the time to change. If we had done that today all of the soldiers would have died, plus whatever civvies were nearby till we got there. And even if they managed to kill one? A nuke that close to home? Christ.... I'm sorry for saying what I did. But I will not. *Cannot* let that happen to Mum and Annabelle.>

Clenching his fist below the table to get it to stop shaking so much he took a shaky breath. This was hitting too close to home.

<I won't lose them too. Refuse to. So if it means responding without an outfit? So be it. I'd prefer to have one, but I won't cripple myself if it comes down to it.>

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< And what the fuck did I say? I didn't like that Kia and I were in our easily recognizable uniforms, but we had no choice. We had to go. Same would have been true if we were in fuckin' bikinis. or anything else not ideal and/or easily recognizable. I NEVER said anything about taking extra time to delay and change. You just manufactured that shit out of thin air. I said that when we have travel times, like today, then we might have a chance to change or get on a mask and that we will not always be reacting, and in those cases we can prepare and change ahead of time. You know me better than that, dude. Or at least I THOUGHT you did. >

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Alec let out a sigh.

<Then I was being unfair. Please forgive me. I... don't even know. Just sorry.>

Looking out the window at the block of ice occupying most of the view gave him no answers. Quietly, he begins again

<Maybe I should go till I've had a chance to calm down or something. I didn't mean to hurt anyone. Clearly I'm not thinking straight.>

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Sean had several times started to weigh-in but Sara's mental state concerned him she was acting much more emotional than usual, then Lilly and Alec seemed about to break into blows.

<Guys, we are all under pressure and coming down from probably the most powerful adrenaline high in human history, everyone has a point and good ones, but there is no need for tempers and personal attacks and no need for any of us to go away or to cool off. We are all in this together. We need to show Kia and Lilly's dad's and the people here at the Project and in the government, that not only are we super powered but that we aren't the children they think we are.> She gives Blitz a glance. <Nothing against him Abel, bu they do seem to trust him more than they do us. And that's probably because they know us and want to protect us, but Sara is right about one thing. We do have these powers and even if there are others with powers and we all know that there are, Hooli told us that we were important. We have to keep that in consideration>

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Lilly blinked as a thought crossed her mind.

< Hold on a sec. Something just hit me. > she thought to the others.

< I bet that the cloaking, displacer beast, scout thingy is what was causing all the cattle mutilations and stuff the Sheriff was investigating. Like it was studying our world... probably for a few weeks then. > 

< I bet it was acting like a spotter too. I mean, think about it... the portals just so happened to open at the lake right in the middle of the cabins.... where there just so happened to be an isolated group of teens.. and they just so happened to have the right type and number of bugs ready to come though to nab us all? I'm sorry, but that is too much to be a coincidence in my book. >

< If that thing had gotten through the portal with all of it's gathered info, we'd likely be in a world of hurt. > 

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<Hmmmm. It would certainly make sense. If the portals are anything like my Teleportation. While I can just brute force it if needs be, having eyes on where I want to go makes it much easier. Like, much easier. Would make sense for them to have something to act as a beacon or marker or something. Though that does make me wonder how they got here in the first place. Did they just do it blind? Piggy back on one of the base or satellite portals? Take the long way?>

Remembering back to the last gaming session, where Abel had explained the visit from the Sherriff, he wonders:

<It certainly explains the hole in Abel's fence. If they opened a portal and it intersected, odds are good that it would have just sheared straight through anything in it's way. Though I do wonder if that was it's first time arrival, or just it moving from one location to another. Either way, yeah. Good job it got splattered before it could get away.>

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Alec was still standing at the window overlooking the block of ice when movement across the hander caught his attention, he turned and looked at his friends. "Here they come." he sounded sort of grim.

A couple of minutes later They heard steps coing up the stairs and the door was opened. Col. Pryor, Dr Mizuki, Dr. Reshoud, and a couple of lower ranking officers in Air Force uniforms entered the office. Julio jumped to attention but Col Pryor waved him at ease.

Col Pryor made eye contact with each of the keds then went to his daughter and embraced her in a very tight hug. "Thank god your okay Lilly."

The other two officers found other things to look at, while Dr. Mizuki caught Kia's eye and gave her a slight bow of his head.

After the moment stretched longer than Mizuki thought appropriate he cleared his throat. "Ahem I see you have brought back one of the drones. Have you found out anything?"

Will Pryor didn't want to let his baby girl go but with effort he did and he stepped back and looked at the dismantled drone and at Sean and Abel. his eyes linger a little too long on Sean before he caught himself. " Yes, What happened to them?"

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<The damaged fence and animals does seem like the most likely arrival of the scout, with the evidence we have at hand,> Sean agreed with Alec and Lilly. <And I have no doubt it was indeed acting as a spotter. Though with its destruction it will be unlikely I'll be able to tell if it was directly transmitting to the homeworld or whatever, or if they were scanning for its beacon. Sounds like a minor distinction, but it matters if we want to figure out a way to disrupt their communications.>

Sean glanced at each of the officers and doctors in turn giving them a small nod of acknowledgment. She gave the inert hard drive a small shove forward with a slim finger, her eyes returning back to those of Col. Pryor, her gaze calm, level, and curious.

"All of the drone's drives controlling on-board memory and operating systems appear to have been sabotaged, seemingly from a directed and precise electromagnetic pulse," Sean informed Pryor smoothly and with confidence, tapping the hard drive with her finger. "There is no other internal damage of note. As I said, precise. More specifically, the pattern of damage caused by the pulse is congruent with the electromagnetic patterns of a human brain. Sirs, I am confident this is the work of a quantum enhanced individual."

Such as ourselves, went unsaid, but it was clear to Sean more than one person was thinking the same thing.

Before they could start asking questions, she halted them with gracefully raised hand. "A moment, there is more. We have also been able to determine that this same active electromagnetic pattern is currently in New York City. For the moment at least."

Sean took a deep breath, held it for a second, then blew a loose lock of multicoloured hair from her face. "Now, before you ask anymore questions, may we ask one of our own?" She tilted her towards the talking dog. "Blitz here seems to have indicated that while we were involved in the... engagement, other events were transpiring. Would you be able to tell us of these events? Were they responsible for the collapse for the portal on the island? As far as I am aware, the collapse wasn't of our doing and the aliens didn't seem to have sent enough units through for a true assault."

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