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Showing content with the highest reputation on 06/14/2020 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    Saturday, August 31. Evening. Cassandra rode over to the intersection across from the Old Town Hall at the appointed hour...the one she and Autumn had agreed to over a flurry of texts that was...on her bike wearing suicidally dark clothes. This mission called for stealth. They had to be sneaky. Glancing around she didn't spot Autumn, and with another look at her watch she realized why. The bike ride from her house to here was apparently shorter than she'd estimated. That, or she'd been riding pretty fast without realizing it. That meant Cassie had a few minutes to herself. It felt oddly uncomfortable. It felt like she was wasting time, like any minutes spent not making tangible progress towards the goal was a failure. Why? Well, because there was a timer, and not a very long one. And the Man in Black had made it pretty clear there was cause for haste. ...and that led her back to the Man himself. No sooner than she'd summoned up his image in her head than pieces socked together in her head, and her eyes widened. Holy shit. No way. It fit though. It did. It was pure speculation on her part, and the only evidence was circumstantial at best. But...it fit. It explained at a stroke all her questions. Why had he come here? Why was he so invested in their success? What did he hope to gain from their efforts? She looked around, half-hoping to spot that too-tall, lanky figure ambling along down the street under the nearby streetlamp. There was nothing though. Then, somehow, Cass heard the distant metal rattle of spokes and gears and sat up straighter to twist around and look. A lone bicycle rider was approaching, flitting between the lengthening shadows of dusk. They didn't have much daylight left, but that was good right? Sneaky? Even if it would magnify the creep factor as well. Cassandra waved at Autumn as she rode over towards her and as she came up alongside her said, "Hey! Okay do you have everything you need? I brought some extra stuff just in case."
  2. 1 point
    Cassandra nodded and whispered back, "The basement's where his...lair is, I guess. But yeah, lets take a look around before we head down there. When I was doing the vision quest thing, I didn't stop and look for details. But...well...I don't feel like Cody's here, but he could come back any time so lets not take too much time doing it." She started her phone camera recording, and swing her flashlight around a bit, checking to see how it was dealing with the low light. Not great...the 'image' was grainy at best, and most of the time was just not useful. When Cass flicked the flashlight on though, it worked fine...the beam landing nearly right on the center of the camera's field of view. It taken her forever to get that alignment right. The flashlight winked out again, but she left the recording running for audio. "Okay, room by room, we stick together. Lets start with this one." She motioned towards the room closest to their point of entry and moved towards its doorframe...testing each step before putting weight on it to try to minimize squeaking.
  3. 1 point
    No backing out now. Not that she would have- probably not even that she could have, if she'd wanted to. Grimacing slightly at the musty smell of decaying wood and creeping mold, Autumn exhaled quietly and unclipped the sturdy little tactical flashlight from her belt. Even in broad daylight, there was no way to tell what color it had originally been painted, so scuffed and abraded was the aluminum; it had seen its share of adventures, and the redhead felt a little better just feeling the metal grow warm in her palm. With her thumb on the button, she pointed it downward, clicking it quickly on and off to make sure- one last time- that it was working before they set out. Directed at the floorboards, the bright strobe of the blue-white beam wasn't quite blinding, but it was enough to make her wince. Maybe next time I shouldn't wait until my eyes are adjusted to the dark. ...If, y'know, there is a next time. There were, after all, plenty of reasons there might not be. Rather than focus on any of them, however, Autumn blinked rapidly to clear her vision and gave herself a quick final check-over as Cassie did the same. Multi-tool. Camp knife. Crowbar. Pepper spray. Flashlight. Everything she might need quickly was either in hand already, or near to it, and the rest was bundled up in her backpack and out of the way. Maybe none of it would be necessary. Hopefully none of it would be necessary, she reminded herself, but it was always better to have and not need, than need and not have. There could be very mundane, practical problems quite apart from those of Not-Cody and whatever hellish things might be hanging out in his creepy AF bachelor pad- the websites she'd looked at for UrbEx resources put wild animals, vagrants, and structural damage at the top of the list of hazards. She guessed those people had probably never spent time in Shelly, or they might have prioritized a little differently. "Okay," she murmured, her voice barely audible in her own ears over the steady, rapid drum of her heartbeat. "On the up-side, I don't think we have a lot of ground to cover, and it should be pretty hard to get lost in here. We just need to do a quick check, see what's up, and move on. I know you said you were looking through to wherever Cody was, but do you remember, or did you see, where it connected to our side?" Even in the shadowy interior of the building, Cassandra could just make out the way her freckled companion angled toward the sagging doorframe, all her attention directed toward the darker rectangle in the decaying walls. "I was thinking we're gonna want to be as thorough as we can, so nobody's blind-sided when we come back here." There was a brief pause, after which the redhead added, her thumb idly rubbing the button on the end of her flashlight, "Hopefully."
  4. 1 point
    "Most of the ways in are boarded up, but there's a window around back," Cassandra said in a hushed tone. She was frankly rather impressed with Autumn's array of gear. She really was a Girl Scout, it seemed like. "Lets bring the bikes up to the side of the buildings, over by those bushes. We can just lean them there. Shouldn't have to worry about anyone stealing them from here." She dug out her own flashlight, which had been modified with one of those dashboard mobile phone holders. It made the tool a little ungainly, but it let her attach her phone to the flashlight with the camera facing forward so she didn't need both hands. Despite this Cassie said, "Lets not use the lights at least until we're inside. I don't know if he's home. I don't think he is...but he could have come back since I did my woo-woo thing." Bikes left nestled in an overgrown bush, Cassandra then led Autumn around the Old Town Hall building, navigating the unkempt grounds like someone who'd been there before, making a beeline for the window she'd discovered where the boards were just stuck loosely onto it, not preventing it from being opened. "Okay. I'll hold the window open for you, and you hold the pepper spray or that wrench thingy as you go through...just in case there's trouble. I'll be like three seconds behind you."
  5. 1 point
    It had been a couple of hours since the low rumble of the Charger's engine faded into the distance, but the parting words of the green-eyed devil who'd tamed that growling beast still rang in Autumn's ears: "Care over curiosity." For all his stoicism and evenness of temperament, there was a note of something she thought she recognized as concern in Jason's voice as they'd said their goodbyes on the front porch. Keeping that in mind, she'd considered carefully what to wear, what to carry- although she'd never broken into a building before, a little Googling suggested that most "urban explorer" kits consisted mostly of common-sense gear anyway. Well, common-sense for someone who went on solo hikes into the Montana woods for fun, at least. She’d dressed for practicality in dark green weatherproof, rip-stop climbing pants and belt, with a long-sleeved button-down shirt over the requisite tee, the ever-present hoodie, and hiking boots, her hair French-braided and covered with a navy bandana; Marissa would have been apoplectic at the mere sight. Everything else fit into a backpack, and the heavy pry bar would just get strapped to the frame of her bike once she got outside. The only issue she really agonized over was whether or not to bring the bracelets her grandfather had been keeping... but without knowing how they worked, or whether they’d cause a reaction like the one Cassie’d had when she came in contact with Devin’s, it was hard to justify the risk- even if they might be useful. “Mom, I’m going out,” she called as she jogged lightly down the stairs, shouldering the small, lightweight pack after reviewing its contents one last time. “Out?” Dana inquired, her head appearing over the back of the couch where she and the four other residents of the Keane household were relaxing after the unexpected events of the evening. “Yep! Remember, I said earlier I was going to hang out with Cassie Allen for a little while?” “Don’t you think one adventure in a day is enough?” the elder redhead retorted dryly, reflecting on her first meeting with the intense, inscrutable young man who’d just left earlier. Disquieting as the pretty vet found him, the fact that his presence seemed to have put her daughter in high spirits was undeniable. “Nope!” came the breezy reply as Autumn swept into the living room and gave her mother a cheerful kiss. “And don’t worry. Cass is cool. She’s on the newspaper, good student, wants to be a journalist. We have Chem together, with Jase,” she added by way of explanation. “She’s one of the people I want to invite up to the camp site later, if everything works out. Actually,” she paused for a moment, considering. They had planned to go to the Rez, hadn’t they? “We’re getting together with a couple of the others from school tomorrow morning, so I can just have them meet up here and introduce you, if you want?” “Sure,” Dana agreed with a faint smile, hazel eyes sparkling. It was hard to say no to that face, so open and earnest and obviously excited, as much as her protective maternal instinct might urge her to do so, particularly after that business at school, and the medical center. “As long as this introduction doesn’t turn out the same way the last one did.” “Hey,” Autumn protested, her cheeks growing warm under her mother’s bemused scrutiny. “It’s current year. Besides,” she added impishly, her own blue eyes warming with mischief, “even if it did, there’s no chance this one could possibly give you grandkids.” “Oh, for- Autumn Rae!” the woman too young to be a grandmother spluttered, her attempt to sound indignant failing miserably in the face of her daughter’s teasing. The adventurous teen just grinned in response, her nose crinkling slightly as Dana sighed in mock resignation, trying not to laugh as she shook her head. “Fine. Go on, then, and don’t be out too late.” “I won’t,” the younger Keane reassured her, pressing another quick kiss to her mother’s forehead and looping an arm around her shoulders in a brief squeeze as she turned to go. “...And keep your phone turned on!” Her mother’s voice followed her out of the room. “I will,” Autumn called from the hallway, the laughter evident in her voice even across the house.. “And be careful, and remember I love you!” came the inevitable reminder, followed by the familiar response. “I know, I love you too!” Within just a few minutes of the door closing behind her, she was on her way down the narrow road that wound between acres of shadowy pines dotted with hidden glades. The long, solitary ride to the Old Town Hall was quiet and uneventful as the sun sank inexorably toward the horizon, wooded hills giving way to the seemingly endless miles of flat, unremarkable farmland. It was, more or less, the same trip Autumn made almost every morning, though typically with a greater sense of urgency after having overslept. This time, there was no rush, and by the time she got to Shelly proper she could just begin to feel the muscles of her calves and thighs growing warm. Despite the deepening twilight and the ominous nature of the task before the pair of intrepid explorers, it was a clear, beautiful late summer evening. Her spirits buoyed by the prospect of being able to contribute to the group’s efforts and help unravel some of the mysteries surrounding them, the redhead drew in a deep lungful of clean air and pedalled a little faster. The thought that a certain someone would be going with them in the morning was totally, absolutely not lingering in the back of her mind, keeping her cheeks warm despite the rush of wind past her face. Nope. Not even a little. Catching sight of a dark-clad figure near the next intersection, just outside the circle of light cast by the street lamp, Autumn lifted a hand in greeting as Cass waved her over. “Hey,” she replied with an enthusiastic smile, putting one foot down to stop herself. “I think I’m good. I looked up a couple of websites on urban exploration, and the only things I didn’t bother with, apart from all the camera stuff, were a respirator and coveralls. Light, snacks, water, first aid, and tools… Um, pepper spray, too, just in case someone’s living in there. I’m not really sure what to expect, to be honest, so I tried to pack light in case we need to get out in a hurry.” Nudging the kickstand down, she knelt next to her bike and unstrapped the velcro bindings keeping a sturdy-looking two-foot wrecking bar tight against the frame. “This, um, wasn’t on any of the lists,” the perpetual Girl Scout admitted a little sheepishly. “I just didn’t know how locked-down the building would be.” She glanced across at the silent, derelict building, suppressing a shiver. "Do you think we should hide our bikes somewhere? I haven't really done anything like this before."
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