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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/10/2011 in Posts

  1. 2 points
    Lilly stood there, still holding Kyle on her hip still, as she watched things play out in her mind. Despite all of her nearly limitless strength, speed and invulnerability, she had to stand there... a silent, powerless witness to the death of her father... at the hands of somebody she called a friend. Lilly, who the other Irregulars has always known as so tough, steadfast and confident, dropped to her knees, clutching Kyle close as her face twisted into a silent mask of anguish. She shut her tight, so tight that she was not sure if she if light would ever reach them again, as if trying to block the image of the fear on her face of her father. All her life he had been there. He helped her fall in love with sports and athletics, instilled in Lilly his work ethic, patriotism and sense of duty. He coached her and taught her so much that has helped her, even now, or especially now, that she was a Key. She never doubted his deep, unconditional love for her. He was her mentor... her protector... her superhero. And now he was gone. And for Devin be the one to do it, to take his life and rob her of her father, and to do it so casually, made it hurt even worse. She knew he was hurt and angry, but this was a new level. She had thought that Devin would never do something like this that would hurt her so bad. Not Devin. Maybe it was the naivete of youth, but she thought that they had something special, at least on some level... that he cared for her. This though, this was cold and uncaring, taking the life of her father with unthinkable casualness. It just wasn't right. Lilly opened her tear-filled eyes and looked to Sean. "I know you will." she said, nodding as tears began to streak down her cheeks. "I need to see my mom, to tell he-" she said, as her voice cracked. Sean nodded. "Mckeller said you would. I can beam you to him and he'll get you to her." ""I want to go with Lilly." the little boy in her arms said. Lilly forced a smile as she wiped her cheeks with the back of her hand. She hugged him and nodded. "Don't you worry about any thing. Remember what I said? I'll make sure you safe. You'll get to meet my mommy too. She's really nice." Kyle nodded and rested his cheek on Lilly's shoulder, closing his eyes as she held him close. "I'll leave a Vanguard with you guys, or more if you need. Either way, I'll be back. Too many are in danger." she said, trying to regain her composure, even if it were just a thin facade. She then looked to Jeane. "Sorry you had to see that." she said, even now still thinking of others. "We'll make sure your family is safe too. If you want to stay with them for now, then believe me, we understand. If you want to stay with us, then you are with us." she explained.
  2. 2 points
    Television had lied to Jeane. There was something deeply odd about a voice by-passing her ears entirely with how keyed up she was with this mysterious crusher in the area. The blonde daredevil jerked straight up at the silent conversation in her head, nearly dropping her sword in the process. Then she grimaced and tried to push a 'hello' back. She didn't quite get it right. The Irregulars got a raw stream of bubbling excitement and nervous determination interposed with stuttering, broken snatches of old scuffles, jumps, and tumbles, the younger girl gearing herself up for the fight by subconsciously reviewing every trick she knew and praying that it would be enough. <...mN iT,> came back the first actual words over the link, distorted as they were by the subsiding emotional vomit straight from Jeane's head bereft of any filter. Blushing in embarrassment, she tried again, message still Dopplering with emotional feedback. <hI. i'M jEaNe. GrEAt To MeEt YOu. yOU HAve No IDEA hoW cOOl tHis IS FoR mE. mEETING YOU thAT iS. NoT the unknown moNSTer, tHAT iS.>
  3. 2 points
    Init: 1d20+4 15 GM, without a map I should ask...how many of these dead critters can I get into a 15' cone effect without roasting some PC's too? Also, can I get more if just Delgath is in the area? That'd be okay.
  4. 2 points
    Her sprint chewed through the distance, the only sounds she could hear the beat of her music and the thundering of her heartbeat, with a grunt she launched herself from one rooftop to another. Much quicker than trying to take the streets. She'd only hit the road itself once she reached her usual drop off point by her favourite stand. She wouldn't have time to stop properly today, though. Not with the call going out like it had. Usually they were left to their own devices as far as jobs went. The master only occasionally making requests of various members, and even then, it was more the S classes, so for it to be broadcast to the entire guild at once had her heart racing in anticipation. A familiar scent had her nose twitching and a wide grin stretched over her features as she came to the final edge. Launching herself over that with a whoop of delight, she hits the ground hard, rolling to bleed off the force of the fall and coming back up in a full sprint once more, momentum barely interrupted. Her hand dives into her pocket and she slams a handful of change down on the wooden counter of a stand, snagging her usual freshly baked treat from where it rested beside it. A quickly hollered thanks, a glowing smile, and a rapidly spinning coin sitting on top of a pile of it's brothers the only evidence of her passing. The stall owner barely even acknowledging the whirlwind that had just swept through his little store, raising his own hand in farewell and shaking his head, no doubt muttering imprecations on how she'd break her neck doing that someday. Coming through the guild doors at full speed, she dodges around Luci, boots almost skating over the floor as she plops onto one of the benches, her momentum sending her sliding down the bench where she comes to rest beside Brennan with a cheerfully chirped "Afternoon" addressed to the room at large before biting into her treat with obvious pleasure. One hand rising up to pull her headphones down to rest around her neck, the muted strains of her music issuing forth.
  5. 2 points
    In almost every cast, it's more efficient to buy attributes, abilities/skills, powers, etc using Nova Points rather XP, unless you are getting considerably more XP than nova points, like three times as many or more. Many of the characters I've made tended towards having good Mega-Physical Attributes along with physical-type powers, like Armor, Body Modifications (Extra Health Levels and others), Claws, and Hypermovement. I finally made a character I've been meaning to with maxed out baseline attributes, a wide spread of Mega-Attributes and a metric ton of skills and am quite enjoying it. Neat concepts I've considered but never got around to making: -Poltergeist: Density Decrease 3-5, along with Invisibility (Enhanced Effect Extra) and some other power to affect others while Intangible, like Telekinesis, Holo, Mirage, or the like. -Mindshadow: Domination (Parasitic Possession Extra) and Telepathy (Channeling Extra) - lets the character possess someone from almost anywhere on Earth, and can even Teleport after a fashion, from jumping into a targeted mind and then stepping out of it and coalescing again.l -Using The New Flesh Fan Sourcebook, making someone with a whole hell lot of Body Modifications to make a Mermaid or a Cthulhoid horror with tentacles and spines and too many teeth and limbs. -Depending on power levels and house rules used, making someone with a Permanent, Mental-Linked Clone power to make someone who is one mind in multiple bodies. Combine with the Mindshadow concept to make a Nova who is essentially a mental virus. Aberrant isn't the best or most flexible system around, but there are any number of character ideas available, sometimes you just how to consider the powers in a different light. And welcome to the site, Red Ghost.
  6. 2 points
    Sean castigated herself for the amusement she took at the affect had on the airman. It was a delicate balancing act, modulating her smiles and expressions, the tone of her naturally melodious and captivating voice, so she came across as friendly without implying or suggesting too much. Evidently, she had gone too far this time. She couldn't just consider her own qualities, but how others would react, based on their own psychologies and experiences. Even for her, it was a formidable amount of variable to take into account. When the General arrived and revealed they had been emancipated, Sean was mildly surprised, but she understood the reasons for it. First, it at least gave them the appearance of giving them a choice in how they proceeded from here. But mostly, it made it easier for them to ask the Irregulars to kill and risk their lives while absolving their consciences. It would help the Irregulars too. A good part of the structure of the military, the chain of command, was to mitigate guilt, for the soldiers and the commanders. Without that, one or the other would balk, or burn out under the burden. While General Robinson and Lilly spoke, Sean watched the General, Colonel Pryor, and the man identified as a Navy SEAL - his body language and the way he held himself had already suggested to her that he was specials forces of some sort already - noting their reactions and expressions to what was being said. She wasn't troubled by their parents - or hers at least - not being allowed to attend their meetings and briefings. While they could provide emotional support, they simply didn't have the information or experience to make worthwhile contributions in these situations. When Captain McKellar asked them if they were in or out, Sean took a moment, a considerable moment considering the speed and depth of her thought processes to decide on her answer as she held Sara's hand, giving it a squeeze. She hadn't really considered public or military service when she had been a boy, rather being driven by enlightened self-interest. She had just wanted to do well for her, her family, and friends. She had mostly dreamed of making it big in the video game or tech industry, the next Gates, Page or Brin, or Musk, or Carmack, Meier, or Morhaime, and hopefully didn't turn into an asshole with success. The closest she had come to considering future governmental service had been a scenario in which the CIA or FBI or whatever came to her to solve a problem as a White Hat Hacker, a software wunderkind. Now, as a woman, an extraordinary and superpowered one at that, Sean had new priorities. She actually had a girlfriend that she cared a great deal for for one. For another, there was a Goddamned alien invasion coming. While she wouldn't serve the US for its own sake - it needed some much needed changes, in her opinion - she would serve if it provide her and everyone there best chance at repelling the invaders. The US and its military had colossal resources and manpower at its disposal. Even still, Sean wasn't sure it would be enough. It would need to be a concerted effort with their allies, and perhaps, even those who were not. Taking the tablet Lilly handed her, Sean glanced over this D3@tTh 0Tt3R's ultimatum and the video attachment, then snorted. She may have just provided the US Government the impetus to work more closely with its allies, by forcing the existence of QEH's and the alien threat out into the open. Surprisingly, Sean didn't feel concerned or anxious about the revelation getting out, but rather, something more like a sense of relief. She would undoubtedly be talked about the most, but at least she wouldn't have to lie anymore about who she was. "It's not just our and the aliens existences that are being used for blackmail, but the secret proclivities, antics, and actions of other politicians," Sean amended, lips curving wryly. "Never discount simple self-interest." Sean tapped the iPad against her thigh. "Assuming this person is Allison Bigby, or the person assuming her identity, at least, dealing with her may not be so simple, since it seems she can teleport and appears to have an 'enhanced' facility with computers and machines that goes beyond mere hacking. Lots of cameras in New York, and lots of people, making her hard to find without forewarning her. We can probably incapacitate or eliminate her." Sean frowned at how calmly she had just mentioned killing someone, not an alien, but a human being. But she was being a thread, potentially a devastating one, and a distraction from what really concerned Sean, the aliens. She had seen their tech, they could destroy the planet, easily, and it was the only one humanity had... For the moment. There were the portals and an awfully big galaxy. Possibly a retreat or haven could be arranged as a contingency... Sean closed her eyes for a moment, took a deep, steadying breath, then continued. "It any contingencies she's made that we have to worry about. Lots of things that you can program to go off due to any number of circumstances or events and she seems devious and smart." Sean paused and tilted her head slightly. "Actually, if she was really smart, she'd just have disappeared - from what I can see, she would be able to do it without much effort. Instead, she's backed the government into a corner from which they have no other option but to respond. And even any enemies of the US won't be a haven for her. She could sell secrets, I'm sure, but after this, they wouldn't be able to but to see her as a threat to themselves as well." Sean turned her penetrating eyes on Captain McKellar and handed him the iPad. "It's to stop people like this, strewing chaos when the actual world is literally at stake, and to figure out a way to end the alien threat, that I'll agree to join up. As long as I see this as our best way to make it happen, Captain McKellar." <Backs are against the wall, and it isn't just ours. We all have to make our own choices, but I'm not walking away from this. I can't.> Sean turned entreating eyes on Sara, hoping she would understand. Her lips quirked self-deprecatingly. <Fuck, being bullied by Chet and Courtney seems like such a minor, petty thing now.>
  7. 1 point
    Even as she asked the question, Madeline reloaded her rifle and noted the likely spots where a combat synth would likely have a back up system. That had been too easy. No way this godless shell was dead in just 2 shots from her weapon. Much as she'd like to claim otherwise, somethings wouldn't die that easily to anything less than a heavy frame's primary armament. No. In the case that you lacked something like that, you needed to take steps. You double-tapped. Madeline pulled the trigger at an intact looking potential back up system on the unmoving shell and let the vibration echo through the hull. You triple-tapped. Madeline pulled the trigger at an intact looking potential back up system on the unmoving shell and let the vibration echo through the hull. You quadruple-tapped. Madeline pulled the trigger at an intact looking potential back up system on the unmoving shell and let the vibration echo through the hull. The Protectorate Marine frowned as she ran out of targets on the robot's ventral side. Damn it. If the zombie was playing dead, it was playing dead really really well, and she'd have to walk over there and flip it over to finish her six-fold vengeance against it. That had been too easy.
  8. 1 point
    With preternatural awareness Sean observed... everything. She saw the monstrous dragon Kia had become pull herself back together, organic detritus falling from her still writhing and twithing. She watched Pandora deflect Abel and Jeane's hyper-accelerated spear with a casual flick of a stabbing appendage. She witnessed how Sara's blasts of raw energy did little damage to Pandora, serving as little more than distractions. Her eyes narrowed slightly. Perhaps those blasts were doing more than little. The impossibly beautiful woman spun lithely just out of the way of coruscating attacks that could obliterate her out of existence, her expression cool and hard in the face of certain death. She fired her pistol at darting and rending appendages, the hypervelocity rounds seeming so banal and pathetic on the other worldly battlefield. There was something anomalous to the way Pandora reacted - on the quantum level - to their attacks. Pandora was taking little in the way of effective damage, but that didn't mean she wasn't being affected. She was just being affected in a different way. The entities like Pandora were multidimensional beings. This manifestation was her, but not all of her. Sean was about to tell Abel to coalesce the dimensional anchors to try and lock Pandora in place when her eyes widened, suddenly seeing the situation in a new light. This was just manifestation, not Pandora's true essence, that essence was elsewhere. The dimensional anchors might cut off the manifestation from Pandora, or cause it to disperse entirely, but it wouldn't affect Pandora herself- or more accurately, itself. <Abel, don't form the dimensional anchors!> Sean projected to the Irregulars as she dashed around the field of ice, somersaulting a death beam as she slashed at a piercing talon with her sun-like plasma-sword. <Think of this as epic-level D&D. This is an Avatar of a God, not the God itself! To kill a god dead, you have to do it on its own realm on the Outer Planes.> <What?!> Jeane mentally shouted in response to the nerdy terminology. <To really get Pandora, we have to Ant-man this shit!> Sean replied <We have to go the quantum level of reality directly to face the core being of Pandora. And you are going to get us there, Jeane. With Kia's help. We're going to the Quantum Realm!> Sean might not have been able to bend and break reality as easily as most of her friends, but few could perceive it as deeply and expansively as she could, or see it in so many distinct spectra. Jeane could get them to the Pandora-Core, and Sean could interpret what Kia experienced trying to emulate Pandora's quantum field, to determine the precise resonance or frequency so that Jeane could get them to the right place. <Kia, show me what you got,> Sean commanded, anticipating what Kia had really been trying to accomplish by dragging her tail across the Pandora-Avatar. She studied the assaulting plethora of information Kia projected to her from a different point of view in a fraction of a nanosecond, then sent the key piece of information - dimensional coordinates in effect - to Jeane. <This is it, Jeane. You want to end this bitch, get us there!>
  9. 1 point
    Intent on finding Camila, Fi didn't notice Large Gord at first, her improbably long legs carrying her swiftly and gracefully down the street. She was two steps past him and the girl by his side when he called out and her head whipped around, the expression on her exquisite, mobile features going from worried determination to one of surprise. She walked over to the two with enviable grace. Standing close, Sigil realized just how tall the young-looking woman was - Firanis stood as tall or more slightly more than Large Gord himself, though far more slender. With her expanded senses, Sigil could notice hints and remnants of layer upon layer of alterations the vivid-haired woman had experienced, so much so, she could hardly guess what she might have originally looked like. Firanis blew a lock of magenta hair from her face as she glanced back down the street before returning her gaze back to Gord and nodded, her brows furrowed in clear agitation. "Yes, I grew up in Broley and I'm surprised to find you here, Gord. Surprised, but pleased." She flashed him a quick smile - it wasn't forced, but she clearly had more on her mind. "And you as well, Sigil." Firanis returned the shorter girl's appraisal with a frank one of her own. The girl did have remarkable auric eyes. Firanis gave her head a small shake, her grin fading. "I have been well enough, just needed to get out and stretch my legs, as it were, and a supply run was just the thing after the tedium of helping Goutro with his..." Firanis trailed off with a sigh. It wasn't precisely a secret, but the fewer others knew of Goutro's ship and the less about it, the better and less dangerous it was for them. "I hadn't expected to be coming this way, but I - Sorry!" She shrugged a sleek shoulder impatiently. "I would like to speak with you more, Gord, but this is not the more serendipitous of times. You should encourage the caravan you are escorting to quickly pack up and be ready to depart." She grimaced, looking more like a pout on her young, very pretty face. "There is a.... black... ness, something like char without fire heading this way. I mean that in truth. I saw it, visibly encroaching this way after having consumed the next closest settlement. I mean to go speak with a friend of my mother's and mine who should hold some influence, to get preparations for evacuation started before I go to investigate myself to see if this... blackening can be curtailed or diverted." Firanis gave Gord a wry grin, a flash a humour in her lavender eyes despite her worry. "I'd ask if you'd like to help, Gord, but I'm short of shins at the moment and I can't say what manner of salvage there might be to make it worth your while."
  10. 1 point
    Kia had time to roar before the energy of Pandora's attack struck her dead on. The blades clanged uselessly against Kia's armored hide. The laser beams annihilated her on contact, burning through scale and flesh and bone, slicing the dragon unevenly wherever it tracked across the serpentine body. Kia peeled away, sliced in a long wavy line until it finally cleaved through the other side of her, letting the two 'halves' fall apart. ...and then ropes of flesh flung out from the two 'stumps,' of her, grasping each other in midair as they fell. More and more, thicker and thicker, they quickly sealed the two halves together again. Still regenerating, the Dragon Kia roared as she pulled out of the uncontrolled dive and arrowed straight at Pandora! Though her claws missed, the tendrils extending from the end of her tail, almost like the bristles of a lion's tail but fleshier, managed to drag over Pandora as she flew past. The casual touch was enough. Kia was ready for it, and immediately concentrated on her senses...attempting to 'feel' the quantum echo of Pandora's powers in her own body. (Used Cellular Persistence to 'dodge' all but 1 HL of the attack, using Quantum Imprint on a touch attack to attempt to duplicate powers!)
  11. 1 point
    As per the latest Monday Meeting Notes blog, Trinity Continuum: Aberrant is in manuscript approvals with Rich.
  12. 1 point
    The world was in shades of grey where her swirling memories were saturated with colour. The soft wind was cold on her scalp and cheeks. Sean dug out one of the extra jumpsuits from her pack. Testing its stretch, she cut off one of the legs of a jumpsuit, then cut off a wide band. She pulled it over her head, and it fit well enough, covering part of her ears like a too wide headband, the extra material on top flopping over. She took it off, made a a few cuts and slits with the k-bar, and after some pulling and tying, she put her 'hat' back on. It looked stupid, like a mangled beanie, but it worked well enough. Sean took a deep breath as she watched the grey waves of lake Michigan lap against the shore with a strange flatness. The air smelled flat too, no sense of life too it, nor even the smell of exhaust or garbage, city smells. She turned back and studied the ruins of Chicago, looking for movement, lights, something to indicate life, as Lilly made her assertions and suggestions. "I don't disagree with things being... inconsistent," Sean said, even her melodious voice sounding somewhat flat out in the desolation. "The tech back in there..." She nodded back towards the doorway in the hill they had come from. "With it, with that... I wouldn't discount the Fermi reactor - or a version of it - running whatever we were part of. Lilly, the reactor wasn't just built at the University, the reactors and the University of Chicago were one of the sites for Government Research on the Manhattan Project. A government slash military run project, not mere college phd projects." The slender girl shrugged a shoulder. "If I was running things, sure, I'd give this place it's own power supply. But maybe they didn't have the funding for another reactor, or the space down there, or thought it unnecessary, or maybe even dangerous. I do know thinking of this as just another 'simulation' is a dangerous way of going about it. It would be better to just think of it as real. If we can't distinguish the difference, then for all intents and purposes, it is real. As for your big door..." Sean raised an arm and pointed at the hill to the left of the small door they had exited from, glancing from Lilly to Jeane. "It's right there, buried from the hill slumping or on purpose at some point. Unless you think those tracks that lead to the big doors drop down at a seriously steep angle right on the other side. I bet..." Without waiting to say what she bet, Sean began walking briskly away from the hill. Just a few dozen yards away, she found what she suspected, breaking though the dirt, dark with grit and disuse, but unmistakable. "Train tracks," she called out. "Leading towards the city." Sean walked back to the group at a more sedate pace. "Train tracks back to the city, to the campus even, for all we know. Could be reasons to build off site. More remote, so less eyes, curious university eyes. Or they didn't have a place secret enough situate the project, or couldn't built a place like this there without raising more questions on site. Regardless, I think we'll find more answers there than we will here playing with the phones. We certainly won't find less." Her jaw set with stubbornness. "So I'm going instead sitting here and building base camp. We apparently have waited for over a hundred and fifty years. I'm done with fucking waiting." She nodded at Lilly's pack which held one of the water condensers. "If the condensers are anything like the ones I designed, it should make perfectly clean, potable water. If something gets through the condensing process, I don't think boiling the water will deal with it any better. Everything you want to look for, we can look for on the way, Lilly." Sean got ready to set out, with or without anyone else, taking stock of what she had with her in her own pack, and glanced over at Abel. "Without continual maintenance, you'd be surprised how quickly infrastructure can decay." She gave the bleak sky a dismal look, one part slightly brighter than the rest that might have indicated the sun. "I have a few guesses on how this could have happened, but they are only guesses at this point."
  13. 1 point
    Doctor Miriam Sepguta (LTJG) Age: 24 Species: Human (Female) Plant of Birth: Deep space en route Affrid Colony Current Assignment: Chief Surgeon, USS Destiny Personality: Soft spoken and reserved outside of sickbay, within her area of expertise she is a quiet force of nature. She takes the well being of those in her care seriously and makes her medical rounds with precision, dedication and seemingly boundless energy. She routinely engages her staff (and anyone else in sickbay) with hypothetical situations, seemingly as interested in how other's would respond as she is of determining their knowledge of medical protocol. Off duty she plays the wheel harp though she admits it's more a meditation prop than than a serious instrument. History: Born intelligent and curious at an isolated research colony, her parents learned early to stimulate her intellectually in positive ways or she would disassemble the replicator trying to figure out how it worked. By age 10 she was assisting the colony by maintaining equipment, by 14 she was assisting the colony doctor with his rounds as well as his equipment. By 16 she applied to the Academy via subspace with a recommendation from the colony doctor, making her way to Earth working passage on supply ships. She missed the first class up date but worked at Ceres station in the Sol asteroid belt servicing fabrication systems until she could reapply the following year. At the academy she was identified as a strong candidate for the medical track and was admitted. Career Events: Junior resident on an emergency medical crisis response team seemed an interesting assignment but Miriam learned first hand what it meant to be thrust into a leadership role in a plague zone ministering to the sick and dying. While she actively avoids talking about the event, it is how many in the medical field know her name. The Sepguta Decryption Algorithm is becoming the standard tool for decryption of the RNA sequence codes needed to deactivate the variants of Tallerian Plague. While there are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of variants in existence it is now possible to actively treat the virus rather than the symptoms. Quote: "Of course its a virus but its an artificial one. Its a weapon. Designed from the ground up by someone with intelligence unfettered by ethics. It stymied doctors for decades because they looked at it and saw a disease instead of a weapon. As soon as I realized the pattern in the strand was non-random I thought 'What if they designed a key into the virus hidden behind an encryption?' It made sense they would want to maintain control of their weapon, especially one that is difficult to aim and has a hair trigger. At that point it was less a medical issue than an engineering one. The details are in the mission report."
  14. 1 point
    Updated. Pasting into the sig now.
  15. 1 point
    Updated Jordayn's sheet in the signature. I'll get around to editing the sheet in the profile thread later.
  16. 1 point
  17. 1 point
    Tracing the Golden Path II: Trace Harder Time: Two weeks after the Quantum Battle of Canada Location: Shelly, Montana The sun hadn't peeked it's way over the horizon yet and she was going to be heading out alone, but that suited the newest Irregular just fine. She more than safe enough, and a good run was company enough. She bent over to make sure that her new shoes were securely laced up, tugged on her ponytail to double check it wasn't going to fall apart on her, and smiled in satisfaction at the wooded hills surrounding Irregular Solutions HQ. Shelly itself was kind of... boring if she was honest in her heart of hearts, not that she would ever say it out loud to the rest of the team or anyone who lived here. If it wasn't for James and his portals, she might go a little stir crazy eventually, and no matter how much he said he enjoyed taking her to new places, Jeane felt guilt about tying him down. But enough brooding. Shelly may have lacked a real free-running scene worth the name, but fellrunning was close enough to scratch her itch, and thanks to the infinite wisdom of Granby High School's principal, she was free of public education until the government came up with a solution it liked to educating her very select peer group. A final tug on her also brand-new hoodie as she straightened, and Jeane was off down the front steps of the HQ towards a small gate in the fence. She waved at a doo-dad that did God knows how many things as she approached and with a faint click, the gate unlocked. The shadow of trees soon engulfed the tall blonde Key as she pounded along the path, letting the night sounds envelop her. Jeane never listened to music while she ran. Sure it had it's place in a dance studio or the shower, but out here? The world and her own heartbeat had all the pop artists of the world outclassed without a fight. She thrilled to her own footfalls, the faint exhalation of her breath, and the quantum singing through her veins, long strides devouring the distance towards the turn in the trail when her run would really begin. The trail took a sharp left. Jeane kept going straight. She vaulted over a fallen log, feeling lighter and stronger than she had ever felt in her life, leaves crunching when she hit the ground again. A feral grin lit up her face as she kept up her pace, over, under, around obstacles. A mountain stream forced the canopy to open and reveal the last of the fading star, wide and deep enough to force her to deal with it as a serious threat to the cleanliness of her acutely limited wardrobe. Jeane only grinned wider and quadrupled her speed in a burst of red lighting, a 6'8 tesla coil in motion. The river may as well have been a sidewalk for all the trouble it gave her as she crossed it in one, two, three steps, sprays of sparks and splash marking each touch. She aimed for a treetrunk coming off the water, bouncing off it and off another to reorient her course south towards her destination for the morning. The quantum thunder ended, and she was merely very fast again, throwing herself at and over anything vaguely in her path. Jeane crested a rocky hill and slowed to a halt, shading her eyes against the first light of the sun, judging the miles and miles separating her from Shelly. Miles and miles of possiblites, that is, the best kind. She closed her eyes and spun in place with a laugh, arms extended, counting down from 5 loudly to herself, stopping at '1'. Blue eyes locked along her left arm, pointing, ooooh, south by south-west? Didn't matter. She'd run until she hit the highway and then make it a sprint into town paralleling the road. Jeane Hebert didn't need to hide anyway, so she wasn't going to hide anymore. It was that simple and that wonderful. A tragically short odyssey of adrenaline later, Jeane still was bathing in the afterglow of her morning run, sitting on the steps outside of the Shelby Public Library, eyes closed and leaning against a wall. She could hear the murmurs of a few inevitable gawkers, the occasional click of phone cameras. If they were up this early, this long before the library opened, she was inclined to let them be, even open her eyes and smile for a tourist or two. She didn't give a shit, glad they weren't scared of the giant Key even. Free country and all that, better than the snipers with rocket launchers she had expected two weeks ago... Chuckling to herself, Jeane almost missed the clack of footstep coming towards her, a frown contorting her lips as she cracked first one, then another eye open, taking the guy in. late 20s. Black hair, short cut. Clean-shaven. Recognized enough of what he was wearing to see the money involved, but he didn't look over dressed for 7:02 am downtown Shelby. Fit. “I don't do interviews. You want some clever sound bytes, call IS,” Jeane warned preemptively with a new smile, her 'I'm harmless, really' grin of lazy good-humor. She'd put a lot of work into that smile recently. “Oh, I'm not here for an interview, Miss Hebert. Though I do want to ask you a few questions. My card,” he countered smoothly, pulling out his wallet and producing a card which he offered to her. Jeane took it, read it, and looked back up at one Colin Wallis, Nike PR Department, tone dry, “I see. How can I help you?” “It's cliché, Miss Hebert, but it's more how we can help each other. You're a new, or newly public, Key with, shall we say... a flare for athletics. My employers sell athletic shoes and apparel. They'd be stupid not to jump at the chance to work with you.” The frown came back, blue eyes narrowing, “Why me? Basically anyone else on the team would be better at something like this. I'd like to think different but in all...” Mr. Wallis cut her off with an upheld palm and a shake of his head, “I disagree. Some of the others have good looks that would make half of Hollywood murder the other half to acquire. But you have something almost all of them lack: freshness. Fluidity. A blank canvas. Their reputations are set, their myth in the public arena already carved. I can work with you to shape that lasting, important perception, Miss Hebert. A golden opportunity to...” The frown deepened and Jeane levered herself to her feet to loom over the man, “I don't really care about that, and it sounds like you're insulting my friends, so if you could get to a point...” “They're prepared to offer you a great deal of money, Miss Hebert, in exchange for very little of your time and you basically being yourself.” The frown softened a little. Jeane was tired of having to turn around and ask the other Irregulars for money whenever she wanted to buy anything, “...Okay. How much money and how much time? I have things I need to do and people I need to be available to help.” “The last thing Nike would want to do is curtail that, Miss Hebert. I can't give you exact figures here and now, but rest assured that it will be well worth your time. In fact I have a small something to demonstrate their gratitude just for you talking to me. Something a bit old fashioned for your generation, but something that makes a point, I'd like to think.” Confusion slipped across Jeane's face as he took out his wallet again and pulled out a check inscribed with her name and handed it to her. $2,000. Just like that. Her college saving accounts fed by every birthday and holiday money gift that she received wasn't much larger than that. “So you're just... giving me this? What if I say no and don't want to deal with you anymore?” Jeane was sure there had to be a hook there, a trick, a play at her expense much as she couldn't see it... He laughed at her confusion, before stepping back and raising his hands, “The money is yours. All we want is a meeting at your convenience, Miss Hebert, to discuss further terms. You have my card. Call me when you've made a decision one way or the other.” Jeane looked away and nodded her head slowly, taking in the gradually increasing foot traffic, “...Okay, Mr. Wallis. I should go. The team starts wondering where I am about now.” “Go. I'll look forward to your call.” She didn't need anything more than that, thoughts whirling as she pocketed the check and the card and broke into a jog for the outskirts of the town. Part of her was 'Ha! Take that, Mom! I do have marketable skills!', and the other was 'Oh shit. I'm not ready for this.'. But she knew people who were much smarter than her. A name absolutely flashed in her mind. Well, two main names actually, but she had been bothering Abel too much lately. And Sean had been pretty cool in helping her get a new wardrobe together once she was sick of living in her PAM suit all the time. Jeane chuckled to herself and kicked up the pace back towards HQ. Hopefully Sean would have time this morning... Jeane jogged back into the IS building, the short, squarish woman manning the front desk giving her a tolerant smile. After a few weeks, the towering blonde was a common feature about the innovation and consulting company headquarters. "Good morning, Ms. Hebert. Have a good run, I take it?" Pam Rowland, the head office manager asked. "Um, yeah, yes, I did, P- uh, Mrs. Rowland, thanks," Jeane said awkwardly. Pam Rowland was a pleasant woman, if you didn't get on her bad side, but she was a stickler for addressing people properly when on the job and Jeane wasn't sure if she ever seen not at Irregular Solutions. "Do you know if Sean - Savant - I mean, Ms. Cassidy is in already?" Mrs. Rowland pursed her lips, faintly amused at Jeane stammering over names. "I believe Ms. Cassidy is in machine shop two, working on a personal project." Her grin widened as she craned her neck way up and caught the questioning widening of Jeane's eyes. "It's that way dear. Go straight, take a left, then..." Being new, the Irregular Solutions Campus wasn't huge yet, but it was growing and Jeane repeated the directions under her breath as she walked. The place had the sleek, high-tech polish of Abrams' Enterprise or an Apple store, but it also held an industrial, workman-like aesthetic that made the place seem more approachable and functional rather than a set production. Tasteful plant-life and wood accents softened the edges. Approaching the door to machine shop II, Jeane just making out whirring of tools under the blaring punk rock tunes of The Offspring. After a moment of hesitation about interrupting the improbably gorgeous super-genius, Jeane tentatively knocked on the door, then remembered an pressed the buzzer on the panel nearby, that flashed a light inside that could be seen when heavy tool use prevented hearing. Then she almost slapped her forehead. Of course Sean would have heard the knock. She probably heard my footsteps from halfway across the campus. She had just started knocking when the music was turned down. A moment later, the door slid open with a soft hiss, retracting into the wall. Sean was standing there and slipped out before Jeane had much of a chance to see anything over her head. Sean was dressed casually in relax-fit black jeans and a fitted olive tee with the Triforce symbol on it distorted by her dramatic curves. Her multi-colored hair tied back in a pinned up french-braid and she was cleaning her hands on a stained cloth. She made casual look really good. "I'm surprised to see you so early, Jeane," Sean remarked idly. She knew Jeane's habits, but they didn't tend to cross paths this early in the day. "Everything okay?" "Yeah..." Jeane muttered, giving the door and the door and what was behind it a sidelong glance. "What crazy, high-tech are you working on now?" Sean chuckled, the glorious sound a warm, heady thing. "Nothing like that." Her lips quirk in a musing half-grin. "Well, not entirely true. Just a little something I'm working on for myself and as a surprise for Sara, something I want to take the time to build with my own hands. Don't worry about it," she urged, not unkindly. "Maybe I'll show you when I'm about done. But come now, you didn't come to see me at this time for no reason, or just to grab breakfast. What's up, Jeane?" The idea of having breakfast had completely fled her mind after receiving the offer this morning. That bothered her, violation of a promise to remember the important things, the little anchors of the day. She was already skimping on the sleep with everything she needed to catch up on... Press on. Focus on why she was here. "I ran into someone after my run today in Shelly. Actually, he came looking for me, and had someone following twitter or whatever to see where I ended up. I *do* try to vary where I end my runs just in case," Jeane started out, crossing her arms over her chest as she rambled, "He worked for Nike, said they wanted a meeting and gave me 2,000 bucks just for talking to him. About PR and, I think, endorsement kind of stuff, lots of money, very little of my time bargain. That feels like slippery slope, deal with the devil, kind of stuff to me. Seen at least three or four friends get sucked in and drop off the free running scene that way, one favor at a time." "I need the money though. Can't ask my parents for an allowance with having sent them to another planet and all. Don't want to keep owing you guys more and more for spending money *and* the roof over my head. Not right." She fished out the business card and check, offering it to the elder Key, "I know your project in there is important, but could you help me figure if he wasn't lying to me somehow, what I should do, what not to do? I'd like to think this is honest, that this could get me things I need without taking too much from my training, but... No one's just walked up to me and given me that much money before..." Sean chuckled and waved a dismissive hand. "What I'm working on in there isn't particularly important, except to me. Just meant for a surprise and for fun. Think of it as playing with Legos." She accepted the card and nodded up at the taller girl. "I don't mind taking some time to help you figure things out with this, Jeane. Mind if we walk and talk? Most of the female Irregulars don't need to eat unless they want to, but I still do." "No, no, of course not," Jeane said quickly. "I skipped breakfast this morning, I should eat something too." Sean gave her a wry glance. They both knew it was a polite fiction. She started leading Jeane towards the parking, taking a glance at the business card, then pulling out the thin rectangular block of black glass that functioned as a smartphone and so much more. She'd have provided Jeane with the funds to support herself of course, but she understood the need and desire to earn your way. To make it on your own merits and value, than on the largess of those you knew. "First thing I'll say, people really will give you money just to be with you, to be associated with you, Jeane." She smirked wryly up at Jeane. "You're a very rare commodity. Despite what the media would have you believe, there still aren't many Keys, and even among us, you stand out in your own way, as long as you aren't at a WNBA game." Sean was one to talk. She'd stand out unmistakably in a crowd of ten million. But it was true, Jeane stood head and shoulders over most women. "You ever get a... proposal like this?" "Exactly like this? No, but similar, too many times. Some far more insistent, and crass. Marriage proposals and shocking amounts just for the night." Sean's lips tightened. It had been funny, in a shocking way, the first time. Not so much anymore, but recognizing the intent now, she could quell an offer like that with a glance. "Modeling, shoes, cosmetics, fragrances, all the stuff offered to actresses and models. Microsoft and Apple both made offers. So did a small, boutique computer company. I'd be interested, if I wasn't involved in developing quantum computers." She glanced from her phone to arch a brow at the tall blonde. "I've been considering the offer from Playboy, just for the hell of it." She nodded back at her phone. "Now glancing at his LinkedIn page, and other social media accounts, looks like Colin Wallis is on the up and up. His other clients seem to be doing well and haven't found any untoward negative comments or lawsuits filed against him." She sighed and slipped her device back into a pocket. "The slope is as slippery as you allow it, Jeane. It's a balancing act on both your parts. You want money, maybe prestige. They want you to boost their image and push sales, but they don't - or shouldn't -want to alienate you either, but slaving you to a bad contract. It won't hurt meeting with them, as long as you keep in mind that you can always walk away at that point. Consider how much time you're willing to allocate to this, and what you are willing to do. Are you fine with modeling swimsuits for beach volleyball and having the pics displayed on billboards and on the internet? Just an example, because y'know, your height. They'll probably lowball at first, since you're new and not already famous, beyond being a Key. I'd strongly suggest you insist on a short contract to start, six months or a year, to see how it suits you - and them, I suppose - and then you can renegotiate. And also insist on a clause that'll give you an out. They'll put one in on their side, in case anything you get involved in might hurt their brand." They reached Sean's car, a black, custom-made hybrid of a Jeep Cherokee and Dodge Challenger. Surprisingly, it was only a bit low for Jeane, but she had plenty of leg room. Maybe not so surprisingly, considering though seven inches taller, Sean's legs were about as long as hers. Sean started driving them towards Bunnee's. "Now, if you want my advice on whether you should do this or not, well, it's entirely up to you. But from what I can see, it looks all legit. Just don't let them push you around, read everything they want you to sign, and have someone else read it first too." She shrugged gracefully. "I'll do it, if you like, until you find a lawyer or agent for yourself." Jeane rested her chin in one hand and looked out the window as they drove, thinking and trying to commit the flood of helpful information to memory before shaking her head, "Thanks for offering, but nah. I want to do this meeting on my own now that I have an idea what to expect. Well, alone except for a good lawyer willing to work with a minor with only 2000 dollars to her name. Know any names you'd trust? The minor thing wouldn't be a problem, would it?" She chuckled and ran her free hand through her hair, "I *do* want some recognition for what I can do, what I am, far from any kind of wall flower. Heck, before Sam ruined everything... And please don't tell the others this... I spent about two years learning ballet before the umpteenth move and the fights with Mom and the bullies and learning how to throw myself around buildings at full speed." The tall blonde didn't quite know why she told Sean this, looking away as they skirted into Shelly proper. "So most of you guys grew up here. It's really not what comes to mind when you think 'home of world saving heroes', much as there's a guy who sells t-shirts to that effect on 3rd and main street. Super tempted to buy some." Parking at Bunnee's, Sean raised her brows in surprise at Jeane's admission of learning ballet, but not for the reason she believe. "Why would you be ashamed at admitting to practicing ballet? It's harsh, intense training, but helps immensely with footwork and movement. Many professional football players - American and what the rest of the world calls football - take lessons. Own it." She climbed out of her vehicle and grinned at Jeane over the roof, as the tall blonde exited on the far side. "That'll certainly raise eyebrows, someone closer to seven feet than six practicing ballet." The two women crossed the parking lot, drawing every eye, if not to the exclusion of everything else. They were seen frequently about town, and one could grow accustomed to seeing a young woman as tall as Jeane or a woman as devastatingly attractive as Sean. Well, to some degree. "As for a lawyer for your particular situation, I don't know one off hand, but let me make a few calls, 'kay? Being a minor..." Sean suck in a breath with a musical inhalation. "Technically, you would need your guardian's signature and permission. But there are ways to accommodate that... if you are willing. We could look into your emancipation or having a guardian ad litem assigned to you, for this specific circumstance. A guardian ad litem is someone assigned to you to look after your best interests." Sean opened the door for Jeane, waving in the slightly younger woman with a mischievous grin and a slight bow, then followed her in, directing her to the Irregulars' regular booth. Sean gave Jeane some time to peruse the menu. When Bunnee came around to get their order, Sean ordered a coffee and a plate heavy with eggs, sausages, and homefries., with toast. After Jeane ordered, Sean leaned back, spreading her arms along the top of the booth and looked around the diner with a wistful smile. "Yeah, Shelly is home for most of us and it might be weird, but where would you suspect world-saving, world-changing heroes - if it's not conceited to call yourself one - come from? The Shire and the Lord of the Rings. The Two Rivers and the Wheel of Time. Hawkins, Indiana and Stranger Things. Tatooine and Star Wars. Big characters have come out of small places. Seems to me Shelly might fit in just fine." "Haven't read or watched most of those so I'll have to take your word for it," she cheerfully confessed, giving the dinner a once over as well, "James has been showing me a lot of new places, introduced me to a lot of people happy to say hi to a vistor. Most of them are less... used to Keys even if they're much bigger. Backwards from what I was expecting." "I'll mention the ballet thing at the meeting once we sort out the lawyers. I'm no prima, but it was a great precursor to freerunning in general, Parkour in particular. And I don't have to work so hard to meet other people's definition of 'cool' now, do I? I loved my old friends, but sometimes they were really exhausting. I haven't tried talking to them since the Bear or checking the messages on my old phone. Freerunning's about doing your best alone *and* in a group and... I was kind of handicapping myself for six months, afraid of being alone, of them rejecting me if they knew how easy I could find our runs when I amped up." "How did you handle it? The friends before and after?" "I was fortunate," Sean admitted as she stirred sugar and milk into her coffee with a soft clink of metal on porcelain. She took a sip and sighed. For a local diner, Bunnee's had decent coffee. "When I was unlocked as a Key, so were most of my closest friends. We had each other to talk to and share the experience with." She glanced out the window, watching the ebb and flow of Shelly as she sipped at her coffee. She waved at a few passerby who waved at her, and even struck a smile and a pose for a photo. She turned back to Jeane. "As for the rest of my friends... well, things were different then. Very few knew about Keys and Portals and what all." She pursed her lips with wry wistfulness and shrugged in a way that drew attention to her dramatic figure. "When I unlocked, I changed a great deal, physically, as I'm sure you're aware." "I, um, kinda figured that," Jeane said awkwardly, faint blush on her cheeks. "I mean, if you had looked even a fraction so good more than a year ago, you'd have already been everywhere on the 'net and magazines and whatever." Sean arched a perfect brow in mild surprise, her mouth quirking in amusement. "My changes were far more... extensive then suddenly being a hundred on a one-to-ten scale." Jeane stared wide-eyed. If anything, she thought Sean was massively understating her ranking on the one-to-ten scale, but that wasn't why she stared. She licked her lips. "I... heard rumours, but.. but..." Her large hands rose up outlining an exaggerated hourglass figure that wasn't that much of an exaggeration in Sean's case. "There's no way they could be true." Sean chuckled, a heartwarming, glorious sound. "Oh, they're true. I was boy until the day I was unlocked as a Key." The booth creaked when Jeane leaned forward, mouth agape. Aside for looking like a particularly horny teenaged boy had dreamed her up, there was nothing masculine about Sean, besides an interest in STEM studies and video games, and those were hardly solely in the purview of boy and men anymore. Everything about Sean, from her unmistakable voice to her movements and gestures and expressions screamed woman. "How? You have to be joking!" Jeane stammered. "No joke." Sean pulled out her custom smartphone and laid on the table. A long finger danced along the surface like a figure skater and a moment later, a small holographic image of Sean as she was now hovered above the phone. Then a second image joined the first. Short and slim, Jeane at first thought it was also a girl, perhaps Sean's eleven or twelve year old sister... except her youngest sister, Laurie, had just turned sixteen. But a closer look revealed the figure was in fact a boy, if undeveloped and rather effeminate. The turquoise eyes were the same, if far more lustrous and enticingly intense now. The delicate facial structure suggested they could have grown into those Sean possessed with several years maturity, if the figure had been a nascent quantum goddess instead of a boy. "How?" Jeane repeated. Sean shrugged, waving a hand over her phone and dismissing the holographic images. "I have a few hypotheses, but no definite answers. Before, I had a number of hormonal issues. Unlocking may have overcompensated in resolving those issues. Maybe in a fit of pique at being bullied and mocked for how I looked - and sounded for that matter - I wanted to rub it in their faces. Maybe a subconscious part of me thought it would be easier - better- if I was as female as I looked. Or it could have been an idle thought made real. Suffice it to say, it happened, and the metamorphosis was thorough." She finished her coffee and set the mug aside to be refilled. "I don't regret the shift. Despite all that came after the change, or maybe because of it. Admittedly, the change included knowing everything I needed to know about being a girl, as though I had grown up one, though I still had to get used to being seen and treated like one. I do regret some of what I did afterward however. Keys weren't known at large, and we couldn't exactly explain such a drastic and suddenly sex change. So we pretended I was my own cousin from out of state, that just so happened to have the same name." Sean laughed again, shaking her head. "It was ludicrous, of course, but the fiction wasn't meant to last. People accepted it because anything else was 'crazy'. I met people I already knew for the first time again, and that changed the dynamics. I wish I had insisted on my honest in the first place. How people reacted and interacted with me changed of course. When I revealed the truth, some were pissed, some understood. How your friends treat you will evolve, Jeane, it's inevitable. Some will be jealous of the personal power you now possess, some will be intimidated - or envious - of your new height. And some will be happy for circumstances, while others will barely treat you different at all." Sean fell silent as their food was delivered and set on the table. They spent a few moments arranging their plates, adding condiments and seasoning, tasting a few things to make sure everything was satisfactory. "If your are asking for my advice, I'd suggest you visit your old friends, unless you are set on cutting those ties and looking for something completely new." Sean frowned briefly, recalling accompanying another to visit old friends, which she believed had done him well. "Change isn't bad in itself, and depending on your friends, you might find out things haven't changed as much as you believe, in some cases. In others, well, you're tall and more than fit - expect people asking you to help them move and when and if you become famous, they'll start asking you for money. It'll be up to you how you respond to all that." Jeane had to laugh to herself at the thought of helping people move being one of her problems, still reeling a little at the bombshell Sean dropped in her lap. How fortunate that there was a burger in front of her to keep her from putting her foot in her mouth again today. Still Not the End.
  18. 1 point
    RHO, LUNA THE WRECK AT THE LAKE INSIDE THE DOME Mimir's restrictions prevented the human mind from losing its defects, even when digitized, but still, Vaughn was freed from the grip of hormones a bit. Sure, in VR you could still have hot sex and the fun, but some things didn't translate over between meat-space to Extranet, thankfully. Besides, this was not just a pretty face (and succubus body). She apparently knew about Kwon. Odds of getting the core back went down drastically. And the case would be more difficult for sure - hello hello, what's this? Smiley delivered him with a slight bow, a manila envelope, which Vaughn opened up with a flourish. Ryan received more private AR communications from Vaughn. "Do remind her that by the same token, she can't open it without a warrant - and I doubt a judge will authorize one considering this." It was a page showing the public launch date of the grav train - which certainly wasn't today, or tomorrow. It was well down the week. "This was an unannounced test run. The first car clearly was intended to be incinerated along with the rest." And Kwon as well, leaving only the indicators that he was still part of House Kimura. Most interesting. "She can't demonstrate that the case had anything to do with the bombing. I have prepped a writ and can fast track it to a friendly judge for good measure... but let's hope our points can change her view. Post hoc ergo prompter hoc and all that. I'll handle the recovery form and pass it to you for the digital signature." The joys of multi-tasking! But Vaughn knew what laws to reference - being able to handle stuff like listed the contents of the case with the appropriate DECLARED HOUSE SENSITIVE under provisions of Act XYZ245 made going through it easier.
  19. 1 point
    Lilly stiffened a bit she felt Kia's hand on her shoulder and took in a deep breath, sniffling a few times and wiping her eyes on the sleeves of her PAM suit. "Hey." she said back to Kia, trying to compose herself. "Do you.." Kia began to ask, prompting Lillt to shake her head quickly. "No. It's nothing. I'm fine. Thanks" Lilly said, her voice still cracking a bit. "Lilly..." Kia offered soothingly again, and once again Lilly shook her head. "It's okay Kia. Really. We got a mission. She's just ungrateful and fails to see what she did wrong, but is the first to make a big scene and point out anybody else's mistakes. It's fine though. We got stuff to do with a clock on it. She and her BS can wait. I shouln't have lost if like that either. She just... ugh... Anyways.. Thanks though." Lilly replied, her voice a good bit more steady this time. Both Kia and Lilly glanced over their shoulders as the hears Sean's approach. Lilly shook her head, causing her ponytail to swing about her shoulders, as she held her hands up and push at nothing, as if pushing away what Sean was saying. Rejecting it. "No way. No possible way. I know you Sean,. I know you are smart and pick up on details and all of that, but you either missed something, misconstrued something, or are just trying to force things to fit a result you want." she said, still shaking her head as she took a step back. "Because there is NO WAY my father would do that. He wouldn't work with 'Ronin'. He wouldn't abandon his post. He wouldn't discard his oath. He wouldn't abandon my mom and me. And he sure as hell would not put my mom and me through his 'death'. No way. No fucking way." she stated emphatically with another shake of her head. "It might have been a false starfield, and that guy might not have had a node even, but there's no way it was him. I mean, are you even listening to yourself? Devin never liked my father. He was always disrespecting at best. And my dad was not overly thrilled about us bringing Devin in either. They never got along, and now you are telling me that not only are they working together, but that they have been for some time, planned this all, set it up, and then carried it out, discarding his post, my mom, and me, and willingly and knowingly put us through his death, just to work with 'Ronin'? Do you even hear yourself?" she said, ended with a rhetorical question and tone that made her disbelief, fueled my emotion fat, far more than logic, very clear. "Lilly. I know it's a tough pi-" Sean managed to get out being being cut off by Lilly, who spoke with her eyes closed tight, as if trying to avoid more of Sean's theory. "No! Just.. no. I've known my dad all my life. He's the one that instilled so much in me that makes me.. I don't know... do this stuff.. protect others... He would NOT do this..." she said, her eyes still closed as she lifted her head and opened her eyes, tears well up inside them, and only being barely held back by her anger at Sean's suggestion. "Do you think I want to be here? Don't you think I want to curl up in my mom's lap and just cry for days? I am here to protect you. ALL of you."" she said and then looked to Tease, "You included." and looked back to Sean, "Because I do not get to throw in the towel or take a break just because shit gets's hard. That is what my dad taught me. You do your job because others are depending on you. And yes, the other Lilly is wherever, grieving with my mom while I am here doing this, no matter how insulting and ungrateful some may be for it. So you might discount what I said. But you know what? You might think of the me here and the me with my mom as 'me and her.' But it's not. It's ME. We are both me. I am here and there. We are both the same person, in two places at the same time. And you know what? If I couldn't split myself like this, then I would STILL be the here, doing my job and upholding my responsibilities, because I know my mom is safe and others are depending on me. My DAD taught me that." she said defiantly as looked at Sean while the tears fought to slip from her eyes.
  20. 1 point
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...nuum-aeon-rpg/ Our modern world is fraught with danger, from the products of mad science and corporate greed to the perils of lost civilizations. Fortunately, as many of the Talented will tell you, danger is their middle name, and the Æon Society is here to help them put things to right. The only constant in the world is change, and that's where you come in. The Trinity Continuum Core rules are the foundation for interacting with the Trinity Continuum setting. Using the Storypath System, the Trinity Continuum Core rules provide a contemporary baseline, allowing you to explore modern scenarios in various genres. Present day scenarios involving dedicated investigators, audacious con artists, underground do-gooders, and intrepid explorers can all work within the structure provided. Trinity Continuum: Æon will be the first non-contemporary setting explored on the Trinity Continuum timeline. Set in the year 2123, Trinity Continuum: Æon depicts a future Earth, still in the process of recovery from a devastating war and starting to expand into space. Nations that avoided the brunt of the destruction have transformed into leading political forces, while other regions are either home to struggling survivors in the ruins of their former countries, or living under a fascist regime intent on restoring order at any cost. Bio-engineering technology mixes with psionic orders creating new power structures, while alien contact has been made with mixed results. The Trinity Continuum: Æon setting allows for a variety of play styles, from cyberpunk-like corporate espionage and intrigue to post-apocalyptic survival stories, to space exploration.
  21. 1 point
    Jeane's fist lashed out in a low punch, intended for Tease's gut, but the duplicate Lilly's (though Tease did not know that) hand snapped out so fast that that an un-enhanced eye could not even see the motion, catching Jeane's fist in her hand barely an inch from Tease's stomach. "That's enough." she barked as she released Jeane's hand and stepped between her and Tease. "I've had more than enough to deal with today, especially from people named Jaunsten, and do not need this heaped on top. WE do not do this." she nearly growled at both of them and then turned to Mari. "You are here to help, not berate others, so keep your shitty, little comments to yourself, and play nice, or gee tee eff oh. " she said to Tease in the most 'I have had enough of your shit' tone she had ever heard from Lilly. Her expression was stern, making it cleat that she was clearly not playing around right now. She then turned her attention to Jeane and rested a hand on her shoulder without force or intimidation. "I know she can get under your skin, it's practically her super power, but you cannot give in. Don't you think a part of me is howling for Devin's blood? Because it is. But giving into that is just letting others manipulate you, giving them control over you." she explained to Jeane. "Do you understand? WE have to be better than that." she encouraged.
  22. 1 point
    And Gorunta is who he is. A fighter. A big honking Vesk. Just because he doesn't have the piloting skill doesn't mean he isn't a good gunner.
  23. 1 point
    Keep in mind that if people are looking to squeeze every possible bonus from every possible situation, you won't get that with me or my character. That's just never how I've played games. With Evie as the 'Captain', just because she can bolster doesn't mean she's going to. Starfinder doesn't leave much uniquness among skills, every class is pretty much capable of everything it all boils down to how many SP they get each level. RPGs aren't numbers games to me, so I don't wanna hear any complaints if Evie could have bolstered or some other skill feature and didn't. If you guys are looking looking to suck out every possible bonus and 'win', I'm not the person whose gonna do that for you.
  24. 1 point
    "Ugh, I'm Actually Friends With Nerds" Her parents were unforgiving when she'd called them and told them she'd be gone for a few weeks. She didn't care, honestly. She'd hung up on them and blocked their numbers and enjoyed her time in the paradise Pandora and Apollo had provided for her. Like all things, however, it came to an end and a stretch limo was pulling up in front of her house and she was approaching her doorstep with travel bags full of new clothes, souvenirs, new clothes, shoes, and new clothes. After two hours of yelling, screaming and loosing their minds, the flow of the conversation waned as they ran out of energy and were mentally and emotionally exhausted. She hadn't lied, she told them exactly where sh had been for the past several weeks and with whom she'd spent her time. Getting out anything more than that was difficult through all the yelling. She could have quelled the conversation at anytime, she knew, but at the very core of the issue was the fact that she was seventeen and just upped and disappeared to French Polynesia with no warning, permission, or even a passport. Her parents were right to be mad at her, she knew, but once they'd calmed down she took her cue to add in her two cents. “Okay, first answer to your question, Mom is... Devin and I have super powers.” She started, going off the litany of questions wrapped in swear words she'd never heard her mom use before and a few she'd made a mental note to look up later. “We're Keys, like you've been seeing on the news.” “H-how did this happen?” Kathleen asked, practically begging for an answer. “I don't know the science, Mom. I know that Devin has been one for almost a year now, and has helped saved the world twice, one of those times I witnessed and, I won't lie, it was pretty cool. My brother, your son, is a bit of a bad ass.” Her father Jason, took in a deep breath and considered his words carefully before speaking. “This phenomenon, with Keys. It is viral? How does the process happen, are we in... any danger of exposure?” Tease laughed. “Wow, Dad... I tell you Jaunt saved the world, the world you live on, twice, and you're worried you might get some on you? Skillful parenting there.” “Jaunt?” Her mother asked, leaning into the question with an actual interest to know. “Jaunt, that's what he calls himself. They call me Tease. They're like, code names we use to help describe what we do in a single word. Devin teleports, or jaunts, from place to place. I mess with people's heads, or, 'tease' them, for short.” Jason sipped his coffee, trying to process. “And where is your brother, why didn't he come home with you?” “So, yeah... the bad news there is-” Kathleen covered her mouth in a panic, “Oh God, don't tell me-” “No, no... Jesus no, Mom, chill. Devin is alive. He's just not coming home for awhile.” It hurt her a bit to lie to her family, but she knew they couldn't handle anymore bad news, not today anyway. For several more hours they talked. Honestly it was he first time she'd talked with her parents in so long about serious issues that for a moment here and there it seemed like they were a family again. Then her mind would slip to thoughts of Devin and what he was doing, or had already done, and a part of her died inside at the thought of what his actions would do to their parents. They'd be crushed. Later that evening she was lying in bed, thinking, wondering. Her thoughts drifted to the life she had before all this strangeness. The life she had in school, managing the clubs, the dances, all the activities she was involved in and now... now she had to go to school in an armored bus and be driven to Bulwark Air Force Base so she could be protected from human prejudice. This was the world the Irregulars saved, twice. This was the world her brother wanted to ruin... how could she pick a side? A part of her honestly didn't think Devin was wrong... he was doing something while everyone else was taking clicks and getting rich. She didn't want to see people hurt, physically, anyway. She was totally okay with exploiting idiots and fools all day long... it was hard not to when all powers centered around manipulating and swaying the emotions and minds of others. She let out a deep sigh and hugged the pillow she'd taken from her brother's bed. It smelled like him, and although she was loathe to admit it, as her twin, she needed him in her life. She loved him, she worried about him, she missed him... he was her brother. She rolled onto her side, pressing the pillow closer to her as she wondered some more. “Careful,” came a voice from the shadows. “I'll start thinking you care.” From he murky gloom of the corners shadow of her room Devin stepped out, his quantum infused eyes shimmering purple in the dark. Wide-eyed and awake now, she sprang from her bed and dove into his arms, gripping him tightly. It was uncharacteristic of her to show so much affection for him, but she felt so alone and confused... he had always been her rock in their lives, and now, more than ever, she needed her brother. She pulled away as he laughed, wondering where this sudden concern for him was coming from. “Where have you been? Mom and Dad are worried sick. They completely wigged on me being gone for so long...” “Well, can you blame them?” He glared at her with a silly face that sort of read 'duh'. “Fuck off,” she snarked with a half grin. “You were traveling all over the world, for months and you didn't catch any flak for it.” “Yeah, I never got caught either,” He pointed to his room across from hers through the bathroom that connected the two. “In that bed, every morning, and down for school... I got the gift instant travel. Meanwhile you seem to have caught whatever Sean caught... my sister should seriously not be this hot.” She sat on her bed, giving him a dismissive half grin. She pulled his pillow over to her and hugged it again. “So, you didn't come here to marvel at my beauty and in your own brotherly way tell me not to date til I'm thirty because you know all men are pigs and cheating d-bags... including you... Laurie is devastated.” “Look, there way more going on than I can tell you, okay? I never meant to hurt her...,” his words faltered as the thought of what he did to her choked him up. With a dead panned expression Marissa looked at her brother and shotgunned a question. “Did you fuck her?” He reeled back a bit, giving her a look of complete and utter surprise. “What? N-no... no we never. We kissed like three times... I didn't get to second. And why do you even-” “Not her,” Marissa stood up, tossing her pillow on the bed and folding her arms tightly. It was hard to look menacing in comfy flannel pajamas, but she was pulling it off nicely. “Lilly. Don't bullshit me, Dee Jay, I know she came here, and you two came up here, and you went on some date... and you two have been all kinds of cozy since. So? She punch your v-card? Because Laurie is my best friend and now I have to sit there while she balls her eyes out over my asshole brother when I know good god-damned-well he cheated on her with Lilly... another of her close friends. And I have to sit there, and rub her back, and lie telling her everything will be alright... you colossal douche.” He motioned to the corner, then back to her, then back. “Can we go back to the hugs and the happy to see me part?” She punched him in the shoulder, scowling the entire time. “No secrets, remember? Not between us, now fucking tell me or so help me God I will construct a lie so elaborate about you and Lilly that not even Sean could unravel the truth...” He sighed and turned away. That right there told her everything she needed to know, but she needed to hear him say it. She needed to hear her brother, for once in damned life, take some accountability for his stupidity. He put his hands on his hips, taking time to formulate exactly how he was going to phrase it. Finally he decided to go with the complicated approach. “Yes.” “What the hell is wrong with you?” Here it comes, he thought. “Do you have any idea what Laurie has been through in her life? Not including your three years of torturing her brother? That girl has busted her ass to be somebody, Dee Jay, to get good grades, to get scholarships, to get the hell out of this city. She's been laughed at, picked on, bullied. Her ability to trust people is not incredibly stable, and when she finally lets you in... you, the man who bullied her brother, into her life... you cheat on her? I would never date a guy who stuffed you in a locker and had half the school laughing at you.” “Okay!” He shouted in a hushed whisper, not wanting to wake up their parents. He spun about his hands help out wide as if to accept the brunt of more of her attacks on his character. “I'm an asshole, I get it. Laurie and I were never dating. We kissed a couple times, cuddled for a movie, help hands once... but every time we were gonna do something she stood me up. All those big wigs in Washington kept her busy enough that I never saw her. I wasn't even on her visitors list! For,” he made air quotes. “'security reasons'. I didn't plan on sleeping with Lilly, okay? We were both in a bad spot emotionally. She had Sandy issues, I had Laurie issues... and we're seventeen and we fucked up. But I will not tell you I regret it, because I don't. Was it ill timed? Irresponsible? Yeah, it was... but it was what we needed when we needed it.” “Whatever you have to do to justify it to yourself, Deej,” Marissa's voice was cold and dismissive. Uncaring in a way that told her she'd reached the limit of the excuses he was willing to use to justify his mistreatment of others. “Laurie fell for you, dude.” “Yeah, I know. She told me-” “She loved you?” She brushed a thick strand of hair aside and tucked it behind her ear. “She did, bro. She told me she was so happy for the first time in a very long time. You and Sean were like bros, in a manner of speaking, you'd changed so much into such a great guy and at the very end of it all there she was, finally getting the handsome, sweet, chivalrous prince, if a bit cocky and loud mouthed... just like in the fairy tales you nerd play in the barn. You won! You got the girl, how do you fuck that up?” She asked with pleading hands. “Okay,” Devin took a defensive stance, pointing a finger at her. “First off, they're role playing games, not fairy tales-” “I don't care, nerd. About what they are or what you and your geeky, nerd friends do in My Little Pony Land,” she batted aside his finger in a huff on stuck up attitude. “You're still all loser in my book, anyway. Explaining it won't change that.” Devin was about to protest again and she raised a finger to stop him, pressing it firmly to his lips. “I'm not done. You have put Mom and Dad though hell for years. You've put me through hell for years. Sean, Laurie, the list goes on. Devin you finally had friends. They looked out for you, you were changing, you were becoming a decent guy and... and... you pissed it all away. You need to get your shit together. This pattern of self-destructive behavior is going to get you killed. We're not dealing with bullies and loud mouths any more. We're dealing with gods and monsters and people that kill with a thought.” “I know, Em Jay, which is why I'm here,” He heard all she had said about his friends and screwing it up, but chose to ignore it. She was right, she always was, but he didn't have the time nor the energy to get into it with her right now. He extended his hand. “Come with me.” “Where?” She asked, curious what plan her brother had cooked now. “Away from here, away from Shelly and all this. Together, with our power set we could topple nations in days, we can have CEO signing over everything, we can fix this sick, messed up world.” He stared into her eyes, practically pleading with her to join him on his conquest of the Earth. She knew she would revel in the opportunity to make and break the minds of corporate moguls, politicians and anyone else who got in the way of them and their New World Order. She looked at his hand. Pursing her lips she thought about it for a long time as the evil grin never left her brother's face. He was promising her every good time she'd ever asked for and free ticket to anywhere, hell, everywhere in the world. Who could pass that up? “No, Ronin,” she addressed him as his newly taken mantle of the Key who served no masters. “I can't go with you. I have too much to do here, like fixing the messes my brother left behind. A woman who loved him and sits alone now, broken hearted. Parents who miss him and wonder if their son is still alive. Friends who he's turned his back on, a sister he's turned his back on... and Lilly. Who through all of this, the months of antics, terrorism, hurting people... still, somewhere in all of that... still believes there's something good left inside him and that he'll come home to us. So, no Ronin. I have too much to do here, but if you see my brother, please tell him I love him, I miss him, we all do, and we hope he's okay.” Ronin lowered his hand as the emotion drained from his face. “If you're not wit me, Marissa-” “You don't want to finish that threat, Ronin.” she cut him off, walking up to his face and standing only inches from him. “You wanna graduate from games, let's graduate. This is my town, you walked away from it. This is my family, those are my friends out there and so help me if I walk down these streets and find a single hair out of place, a dent in a car, a broken window, hell, if I find so much as a cat stuck up a fucking tree, then your ass is done. You hear me? Fucking done. You are unreservedly pathetic, starved for attention, and lost in a land that reality forgot. I wish you the best of luck in the emotional, and social struggles that seem to be placing such a demand on you. Now get the fuck out of my room.” She was staring at darkness as her brother faded from view. She closed her eyes and tightened her mouth into a thin line, a barrier holding back the flood of emotion that rising to the surface. Marissa collapsed onto her bed and cried into her brother's pillow.
  25. 1 point
  26. 1 point
    Simply find rich people and slowly have them begin signing everything they own over to me. Implant the suggestion for something atrocious (suicide, shooting up a club, driving their car through a kid's birthday, whatevs...). One evening while I am surrounded by witnesses doing something completely legal the implanted suggestion kicks in, they go nuts, die in a blaze of gunfire an screaming children and everything they have goes to me. Rinse, repeat. Let the law try and figure out why people keep doing dumb shit and leaving all their shit to me. You can't prove mind control with an autopsy and even then, I'm sitting in court mind controlling the jury that I'm innocent anyway. And yes. If I had mind control I would be a terrible person. My moral compass would nose dive to far lower than it is now and I would use my ability for nothing but evil and destructive ends. The world would serve me and not even realize they were doing it.
  27. 1 point
    Gorunta simply grinned and laughed at the oncoming horde. All this time, silly, stupid, absurd princelings, and their genetically altered poolphins, and this nonsense. Now this was shaping up to being something actually truly worthwhile, worthy of glory. Unlike some of the others, he drew his longsword and brought it up in a two-handed grip. Unlike the others, he held no qualms about battling the slaves. They chose to attack him and his fellows, after all, rather than fight for their freedom. The vesk strode forward, and now, the others truly saw his brutal talents in the art of war. The first was a blue-skinned humanoid male, with a wild look in his eyes and little remaining sign of free will. Gorunta's blade relieved him of that issue, practically bisecting him. The two corpse-halves only began to fall, while Gorunta was already spinning in motion, and the microserrated edges of his sword tore through the necks of two cat mummies, beheading them in one stroke. He shifted his grip to one hand only, so his free hand could promptly cave in the face of a lashunta in one swift, brutal punch. A mummy and a third slave converged on him at the same time. The vesk mercenary threw his weight in one direction, body-slamming the slave to the ground, before hacking down the mummy. Finally, he delivered the coup de grace to the slave with a single, finishing stab through the belly. He suddenly felt the weight of a number of slaves, as they tried dogpiling him at once, but his armor and scales were so tough they might as well have been using pillows. Gorunta shook his head in sardonic amusement before grabbing one and using her to bludgeon all the others.
  28. 1 point
    Sunshine also boarded the ship, grabbing a shirren-eye rifle out of her locker that was almost as long as she was tall. "Just in case it turns into a sniper duel," explained the ysoki. Once prepared, she warmed up the skiff, waved everyone on, and hit the accelerator once everyone was on board.
  29. 1 point
    Meanwhile...elsewhere... The Waldorff-Astoria Hotel in New York, a 5 star lodging for the elite, the upper crust. It was well known for its service-at-any-cost business model. The concierge was busy filling out some forms when his phone rang. And for a moment he hesitated. His eyes roved over the panel on the front to find the room number. His heart sank. "Yes?" the young man asked after picking it up. This wasn't the first...eccentric...client he'd had to deal with since working the concierge desk. But there was something different about her. Something he couldn't quite pin down. She was a little scary for some reason. Okay, maybe a lot. "PISSBOY!" came the shout. Then, at a much more reasonable volume, "Hey. Hey listen. Listen. I need network cable. Like...fifty feet. No. FUCK NO. Yards. Fifty yards. Cat five is fine. More tools. Like, not this shit you brought up last time. Real fucking tools! Soldering iron! And...adjustable...this fucking wrench is bullshit. It needs the little wheel thing!" The concierge struggled to keep his tone neutral and deferential. "I'll be happy to get you some different, ah, tools, miss. The soldering iron may be a problem, as there is a policy on fire hazards..." "FUCK YOUR POLICY. FUCK YOUR PROBLEM. I NEED..." "...but I'd be happy to provide you with staff to handle any soldering issue you may have?" There was an ominous pause. "So wait, you have guys who can solder my shit?" He nodded, then realized she couldn't see it and quickly added, "Yes. Yes we do." "Awesome, that's way better. I've got like a TON of stuff to do, AIN'T NO ONE GOT TIME TO SOLDER, BOOOOOOYYYYY." The concierge managed not to heave a relieved sigh into the receiver. "All right, so...an adjustable wrench, and I'll open a service request with technical about your soldering needs. Will that be all?" No sooner than he'd asked, on sheer habit, than he winced. "Sandwich," was the immediate reply. Then, "Three sandwiches. Meat. Cheese. Don't care what kind. Milkshake. Sixpack of Mountain Dew." Her voice trailed off, and the concierge could hardly believe he was getting off so easy. Then... "Do you know what time it is?" He glanced at his watch, "It's..." "TIME TO DO THE DEW MOTHERFUCKER! DO! THE! DEW! BRING IT TO ME, PISSBOY! BRING ME THE PISS!" Then there was just laughter. And then she hung up. He brought up the sandwiches and sodas on a little wheeled cart, and turned down the offer from one of the servers to take it up. He wasn't going to subject anyone else to her. As concierge, dealing with this sort of thing was his job. For anyone else...well...the potential for some kind of lawsuit on the hotel for unsafe work environments wasn't entirely off the table. The door opened halfway through his second knock. The occupant of Room 1705 was a young woman, hair dyed a tangle of red and violet, with pale complexion and skinny figure. Which was puzzling considering how much she ATE. And all through room service. This endeared her to the management, earning her 'high performing guest' status. And the concierge was actually happy about it too, because it meant she wasn't prowling through the restaurants or halls constantly. She was dressed in a black T-shirt that had a pirate flag skull on it, and a pair of shorts. When the door opened, her eyes were wide and full of wrath. Then she sniffed and looked down, said "Oh yeah. Pissboy. Get it in here," and walked away from the door into the suite. He followed her in, wheeling the cart in front of him. For some reason he felt like it might present some kind of meager barrier if she decided to suddenly charge and stab him. She'd never been actually violent before, but...something in her eyes, or in the indecipherable spin of her emotions, made him feel like she was constantly on the brink of it. The room was a disaster. There were parts of the walls, and one spot in the ceiling, where she'd apparently cut through the drywall and fished cables out. She'd then spliced them to other cables, or to each other, making long snaky tendrils that looped and twined along the floor and up and down to the ceiling. His eyes bugged, his mouth fell open. "What..." "Shh. News. Oh this? Needed faster internet." "We HAVE high speed..." "SHUT IT!" And the concierge's mouth snapped shut. It was hard to explain. He'd tried once, in the staff room. It was like, when you were in the room with her, you felt overwhelmed. Everything she said, and did, kind of filled your eyes and ears until it was hard to think of anything else. The guest. Octavia Dee, waved at the screen. Well, no...screens. She'd demanded two more flatscreens...yesterday? Two days ago? They were starting to blur together. Each one showed a different channel. Footage of crazy stuff, people flying around or something. A movie? She'd said it was news though. God when was the last time he'd watched news? Octavia was swaying slightly, giggling as she watched the goings on. Then she singsonged, "But I won't cry for yesterday, there's an ordinary world, somehow I have to fiiiiind..." Then she looked at the concierge, the kind of sudden switch of attention one saw in a cat reacting to an unfamiliar sound. He felt himself cringe, felt a flush of hot shame in the pit of his stomach. Why was she getting to him like this? "They're going public, looks like. Part of it at least. There was a time that woulda pissed me off, you know? I'd have been like GOD FUCKING DAMNIT!! They saved a plane or a city or some fucking thing JUST TO SPITE ME! And I'd probably start pissing and moaning about having dumped those 90210 fuckwads I sort of recruited back when...is this boring?" "What?!" the concierge blurted, alarmed. "This is boring," she concluded. "I'm boring myself. YOU LET ME BORE ME HOW DARE YOU..." Octavia burst into laughter. "Just fucking with you. I'm not mad. These kids...they got no vision, right? All the power, but no vision. What are they going to DO with it? Fuckall. That's not just, but who fucking CARES about what's just! You don't roll down a hill by standing at the top and BITCHING. You have to fucking THROW yourself off the edge! You have to TUCK AND ROLL, SON!" He found himself closing his eyes, trying to tune her out. Trying to keep the mental image of himself hurling himself off a hilltop from taking shape, from seeming like a wise and good thing to do. When he opened his eyes, she was close. Like really close. "Hey," she said. Sometimes she sounded normal. Conversational. That was almost worse than the rants. "Hey, I need to borrow you for a second. Will those sandwiches keep? Like...for...fuck, I don't know. An hour? Maybe two, tops." His throat locked for a second. Borrow him for an hour or two? "I...uh...of course. They might be room temperature by then, not the best flavor, but..." "Fuck flavor. Do you know what flavor is?" The concierge hesitated, trying to work out what she meant. "DO YOU KNOW?!" He shook his head frantically. Immediately her flash of fury subsided. "It's just the body telling you something's not spoiled. Because the body is a stupid fucking thing that still believes the brain exists just to keep it out of trouble. Is that what you believe?" Hesitantly the concierge shook his head again. She was getting closer now. Too close. Her eyes were too wide. Laughing silently at a joke only she was in on. "Well. Maybe it's right about your brain. But not mine." "Not mine." The concierge emerged from her room, wheeling the cart ahead of him, now empty. His pace was quickened. He had, like, a TON of shit to do tonight. Not nearly enough time to tell anyone about the stuff in her...room? Eh, not important to do that. Other things to do. He'd need the car. No, a van. They had a van? FUCK YES. He felt a surge of elation ram through him, hot and primal. Pizza. He could bring some back. With the other shit. Images of electronic parts rotated in his mind's eye...where had he seen those before? Why did he even know what they were? Didn't matter! TOO MUCH TO DO. As he hurried down the hall he started singing to himself, "...and as I try to make my way, to the ordinary world, I will learn to surviiiiive..."
  30. 1 point
    Kia's weird feathery air-manta form was big...more than big enough for two people to sit on the back of and feel secure...but in the face of the shadow beneath the waves she looked just about the right size for its jaws! The tradeoff she'd taken, to be relatively small in exchange for being fast, turned out to be presciently well-chosen. Sean's telepathic imperative hit home, and the panic in her mental voice drove past any inclination Kia might have had to question or hesitate. She beat at the air and rose up...and beneath her the seas opened, and behind the water was an abyss lined with teeth. They raced one another into the air...the pink fluffy butterfly and the the massive black and white mountain. Sean could smell its breath, salt and the sour stench of the sea all around her. Forced to hold onto Kia's feathers for dear life, along with Sara, Sean couldn't keep more than half an eye on the beast below...but it was hard to miss those massive teeth slowly catching up. Slowly starting to come down towards Kia even as the opposing set far below came whistling up. Not slow, Sean realized distantly. Just far away. Covering lots of distance. Not slow. Physics took a toll though, even for quantum monsters like this. Kia wasn't jumping, she was flying. The creature's muscles were able to propel it clean out of the water...and with that much mass, it boggled the mind how much water it had to displace to do that. The ocean floor was probably devastated by it. But once out of the water, it had nothing to push against. It slowed. Kia didn't. The jaws slammed shut behind Kia with a deafening crash, and a gust of wind that nearly knocked her out of control. Then it was falling back down, maddened eyes big enough to drive a yacht into glaring up at them as it did. Promising them that this was FAR from over. Sean, Kia's mental voice came into her mind, I have to get you and Sara out of here. I can't fight and keep you safe!
  31. 1 point
    Eon felt a shudder of revulsion claw it's way up his spine as he landed in the corpses lap with a sound that he did not want to think to hard on the provenance of. He was no stranger to dead things, but sitting on top of them was not something he could claim any degree of comfort with. Feeling the corpse jolt underneath him, he closes his eyes in resignation "Of course, you wouldn't be as dead as you appeared. Of. Fucking. Course." Pushing off from the wall, he nimbly takes his feet, drawing his rapier at the same time. Looking down on his opponent he feels a sneer of disgust creeping across his face. "Ugh. I can't tell whether being left to rot for a week made you better or worse looking. Either way." he shudders dramatically, the corpse reeling under the force of his magically bolstered disdain. "Come on! They're only corpses. They've already died once. Just gotta make it stick this time! Come on Shayuri, talk about frying fish in the barrel!" the surprise at the sudden animations gives way under the force of his exhortation, his sheer belief in the parties capabilities bolstering resolve, and spurring them on. The room, being lit only by Shayuri's glowing rock, gave the undead an aura of menace. The strong light cast harsh shadows on them, further exaggerating their decaying forms. Nearly within reach of Eon, Delgath stood, sword in his hands, wringing the grip like it were some poor fool's neck. "Where were fancy senses Holy Man!?" Dread said, enraged. He grunted and took a step towards where one of the zombies was already lurching towards Arturs who was quickly running out of room to back into the wall, and barely sidestepped the grasping hands of another as he stepped away. Normally he wouldn't have struck an enemy from behind, but these were mindless and in his mind were not, to a Delgath's standards, worth a true warrior's time. He plunged his sword into the shambler's back to get its attention. It felt no pain and simply continued trying to move forward. It was obvious to him that that tactic wasn't going to work so he went with something less tactful. He withdrew his sword swiftly and chopped down hard upon the undead. The cut deep into its shoulder spraying blood and viscera in Artus direction, though most of it splattered the wall behind him as he lay on the floor. On the other side of the room from Deltha, Rhosh glances around the room quickly noting where his closest allies are beginning to face the rising corpses. As the body between him and the door struggles to its feet, the dragonborn jabs a dagger into the withered shoulder and takes a step back to avoid any recoil. As his feet find their starting position, he hears another corpse behind him, hoping that it would be kept occupied rather than attacking his flank... As Delgath moved away, Shayuri realized that there was one place she definitely didn't want to be, and that was isolated. While the zombie between her and the south wall was busy trying to club him, she took advantage of the opening to move over to where Eon and Rhosh and Krusk were bunched up, hoping for some safety in numbers. She then incanted words in Draconic and a flame appeared in her hand. She held that strange bright fire up in front of her face, inhaled deeply, and blew outward with all of her lungs. Magic snapped and snarled, and as her exhalation hit the flame in her hand it exploded outward into a roiling mass of flame that bathed over the zombies south of her! The gout of flame washed over the undead, searing their flesh toff the bone in places and catching clothes aflame, which added the smell of burning flesh to the room, causing everybody's stomachs to churn as the smell reached each of them. The undead were not fazed though, no longer feeling pain left them undeterred. Across the room though, Arturs scrambled to his feet and backed against the gore-splattered wall as his hands fumbled in his belt, finally withdrawing his dagger which he swiftly plunged into the undead creature before him, stabbing deep into the thing's chest, near the gash Delgath had sliced into it, though no pain registered in it's dead, blank eyes. Taken aback by the corpses rising, the same ones he prayed and cared for only moments ago, Krusk is scared by the sudden danger of which he is not used to, but more importantly sees this as an affront to both life and his gestures and intentions only moments earlier. He begins channeling his power and raises his holy symbol, a medallion emblazoned with Bahamut's profile, high above his head. It lights up and glows in a bright yellow-white aura as he begins chanting the prayer again, that only moments earlier was meant to help shepherd these poor souls into the afterlife, channeling the divinity of The Platinum Dragon. The light from the medallion of Bahamut fills the room for a moment, causing the first emotion to be seen on any of the faces of the undead... Fear. The animated corpses back away from the paladin, their backs pressed into the unyielding stone walls as gnarled hands rise up to shield their eyes from the light as they turn away. The shambling thing to Krusk's right even turns and runs, its undead legs finding a new swiftness as it flees from the holy light of Bahamut, but not before Krusk brings his greatsword down on the thing's shoulder, chopping deep into it's ribs, sending it staggering. The unusual gait imparted by Krusk's blow causes the zombie to stumble past Eon's blade, though Arturs' dagger strikes true, stabbing into partially desiccated flesh, allowing more putrid gore to spill forth from the wound. All of the undead fled or backed away from the holy light, except for the one in the corner farther's from the paladin, shielded partially by the number of upright bodies between them. The zombie actually ran closer to Krusk, but instead of making its way to him, it strangely moved toward Arturs instead! Dread wasn't about to give the Paladin any more credit than was due. Seeing his opportunity, Dread grabs his zombie by the arm, flailing it around and away from Arturs. Smashing it with the pommel of his sword is staggered slightly. The two right hooks the followed that staggered it greatly. With a might kick to the chest he slammed it against the wall. Still it let out a guttural moan and shambled forward, straight into Dread's downward stroke. He glared at Arturs. "Stay out of the way, boy!" He nudged his head in the direction Arturs should run, now that he was trying to hold them off. The zombie continued toward Arturs though, utterly ignoring Dread and the wounds he inflicted and instead lunged for the apprentice wizard. Arturs' eyes went wide and he twisted to the side, narrowly causing the creature to miss. "Anywhere I go there's more of them!" Arturs cursed, holding his dagger out in front of him as he kept his back to the wall with the inner door to his right.
  32. 1 point
    I voted yes, (big surprise I know) I play games to have fun, to generally be able to do things I cannot do. That said, I could play a normal non powered person in something with advanced tech and what not, but just a modern day game, I end up getting fairly bored quickly. The times I've played in games like that, it just wasn't that fun for me. I mean Battletech has perfectly normal people in it, for the most part and super advanced tech (and not so advanced in other ways I mean lasers with only 90m range?)
  33. 1 point
    Echo leaned back in her chair and looked up at the ceiling (there were MULTIPLE hairline STRESS FRACTURES at the corners of the load bearing supports) idly as she went over in her memory what a long, thoroughly fucked-up day it had been. And Hands! Good old Hands. Always quick to apologize on behalf of his species once the shitshow was over, but never putting his neck out when it counted. Free dinner though. That was one free dinner more than she'd expected to have, so profit was profit, even if it was petty profit. She closed her eyes to stop her exocortex from compulsively building an itemized list of all the maintenance the building needed, and just listened to the music. She couldn't tell if she liked it or not. Would she pay to hear it? Mmmm...no. But it was nice to be sitting here, not having to care about what other people were thinking. They were staring, a lot of them. Fuck'em. Didn't matter for once, and that was a soothing ointment over the raw soreness of her bruised ego. Soon, Echo knew, she'd have to go back to trawling postings for ships seeking skilled hands. Then would come meetings and interviews, and the countdown would begin again. But for now she could let go of all that and just drift atop obnoxiously bright colored lighting and music by people who seemed to confuse volume for talent, and the smell of smoke and booze and sweat and other less identifiable things...and it was wonderful. Someone cleared their throat behind her, and Echo's eyes popped open as she let her chair fall forward to sit up straight again. "I have a chip," she proclaimed, opening her palm and showing the waitress. "I'm here to...cash it in, or...use it to do the thing..." The waitresses' impatient expression (her ordering tablet's low-battery light was starting to glimmer) abruptly struck Echo as amusing, and she broke into a helpless titter as she shook her head, "No, no...nothing. I just...is there a menu? Complimentary snacks? Whatchu got here? Lemme get the whole 'Beyond the Farthest experience.' Rock my world. I didn't even wear socks; consider them pre-emptively knocked off."
  34. 1 point
    It might seem bizarre that the ones who looked halfway respectable were the ones expected to cause trouble, sitting in the midst of all the pirates and n'er do wells, but there was sound reasoning when you knew 8-Pieces. The station was the epitome of a neutral zone, and the same ethos of cracking down on violence and conflict in local space applied much the same to on-station interactions. The council would come down hard on gunfights or knife-fights no less than dogfights, and even those who acted in self-defense could suffer just as much penalty. Drunk and disorderly conduct, however, was acknowledged as a different and inevitable thing, which was why Gorunta had a job here. Well, it wasn't the most pleasing of jobs, but it suited his talents, and even with past years of mercenary companies, this was a truly free environment to be able to air his voice. That was what made those three a potential problem, outsiders who didn't know the rules, the customs and codes, could trigger something even without knowing what they did. At least he could be here, keeping an eye on them while being in the best place to hear Evana. Her music was phenomenal to be honest. And someone who could take this place in stride. When she name-dropped him and dedicated a song for him, Gorunta couldn't help but smile - a teeth-filled grin, but genuine, and flash her a thumbs up. Now as long as the android, elf and Lashunta were sensible, this might just be a good night.
  35. 1 point
    Jaunt relayed everything Laurie had said through his link with her to the others. He bypassed the drones and nightmare monsters appearing before the giant portal they'd need to get through. Sharing a link with Laurie and the Vanguards, he summoned them to him. Like quantum mist they materialized before him, Laurie holding their doomsday device. "Okay, you ladies know the plan, this is it." It was utter chaos out there. From where they stood they could see it all, a million on seven in what was without a doubt he biggest guild raid in or what ever would be recorded history. Explosions, blood, screaming... there were no words to describe actual war, but it was something akin to Hell. Were these not vile monsters out of some nightmare, Jaunt may have had to stop and vomit. The destruction was on an epic scale and through it all, the Irregulars kept fighting like there was no tomorrow, because if they lost, there would be no tomorrow. Drones and assorted baddies noticed the infiltration of the portal's perimeter and turned to rush them, to stop them from infiltrating the iris. Lightning and storm spat from the skies raining death and devastation upon the first wave. Avenger soared down to land in front of them, lightning spiraled down her arm like electrical barbwire meeting in her palms where her hands were ablaze with quantum fire. Dust and pebbles circled around her in an odd orbit as one pebble flew off and tore through the skull of a drone. There was a brief pause in the enemies courage and she looked back at them. "Quit looking at my ass and do what we came here to do Jaunt." There was no link needed between them, she knew what she was saying. Sure, they never really got along, but they respected each other nonetheless. Two jerk being jerk the best way they knew how: at one anothers expense. If worse came to worse, she'd said her good bye in the best way she knew how. Jaunt took Laurie by the hand and made for the portal. "No bull shit Laurie, we do this, and we get out and you listen to me for once. We have to do this together. And quit saying now all the damn time, you sound we're married." "Hah," Laurie rebuttled, "That'll be the day. Trust me, you don't even make my top one million list of men to marry." The group stepped through the portal as Avenger held the line at the portal. <They're through.> She told everyone when the connection with Jaunt faded as he traveled light years away to the Asheen loci. <Vanguard, help me hold the line. Lets make this count.>
  36. 1 point
    Time seemed to distill around Vanguard as she spun about to handle another invading presence. Her pupils locked on the arrow shaft spiraling towards her but she didn't move. Swiftly it passed her head and she felt the cool whisk of the breeze it left, like a whispered kiss of a lover along her earlobe. It plunged into the throat of a drone, knocking it off it's 'feet' and carrying it some distance before it fell to the ground gurgling it's last. “Can we not piss off the Angry Portal of Doom, please?” Jaunt shouted, feeling a bit left out that Vanguard started the witty banter without him. People could say what they wanted about Jaunt, but he'd doing competitive team sports his whole life, under the jokes and terrible humor, a victory wasn't a victory unless all of them came home in one piece. “Kaythanks!” <Thanks.> Vanguard's voice came to his mind. <Yeah, yeah.> He blew it off. <Go break stuff.> With the others at his side they followed Vanguard's charge. It made sense, she was the Vanguard, after all. Within moments he was surrounded by drones but they barely broke his stride. Stephen Amel had nothing on him when it came to fighting with a bow in his hand, but that's not to say he didn't steal a few moves. The first one engaged him with a deadly swipe with its weapon but Jaunt wasn't there. A moment before contact he simply vanished and in an instant the thunderous crack of his foot against flesh shattered bone and collapsed the creature's skull. He'd appeared behind the monster, already engaging in a kick that solidly landed. While still airborne he extended himself and pulled the string of the bow taught and let an arrow loose. It streaked from the rest. The idler wheel and cam granted the shaft enough force to punch through a concrete wall. It finally came to rest after the forth drone skull was pierced. Before gravity claimed him the world slowed to a crawl as his eyes narrowed. He vanished once more. He'd locked onto the perfect line of Asheen drones. He appeared, arrow already knocked, and let loose. Like before it whistled through air tearing through neck after neck, one of the only soft spots in their armor. Much like Vanguard just moments before, a shot rung out in the night sky and Jaunt felt the breeze as the slug whizzed past his head. With a gurgle and the crunching sound of the drone's brain liquefying in it's skull, the one sneaking up behind him was dropped by a shot from a high powered rifle at an impossible distance. <Nice.> He smirked. “What? You honestly think I came alone?!" Savant shifted the sights on her rifle. <Fish. Barrel. All that. Avenger and Chimera are good, Sage could use ya.> <On it.> Sage was certainly holding his own, but unlike Savant and Jaunt, he didn't have eyes in the back of head. Sure, he'd tell you all day he did, but no, seriously... he didn't. He was dispatching various forms of quantum created tech-death upon a group of Asheen that were moving to intercept his barrage of technological devastation upon their numbers. When Jaunt appeared before their numbers he let an arrow loose. The big one leading the charge swallowed it like a prom date eager to keep up the status quo. “S'up.” Was the only greeting Jaunt offered as the horde behind it wailed out in fury. 'Once a game, it's on.' as the saying goes and like a bullet he charged into the horde, he jaunted past the front line, reappearing in a gap several rows past the vanguard (small 'V'). He surprised the poor fool he appeared in front of and didn't hesitate to uppercut the drone square in the chin. It was easy to forget that Jaunt was actually super strong, able to lift small cars with little difficulty, so the looks of shock from the surrounding drones when their compatriot flew up straight into the air, made it worth it. The drone didn't get very far before Jaunt reached out and snatched it by the ankle before it got too high. There was an audible 'smacking' sound against its limb as his grasp tightened and with a pivot he spun the drone around, slamming it into its brethren in a sweeping circle, smashing them with a ton of force. It was a bit cruel and unusual but screw these guys. They were trying to destroy his planet and looked like something that spawned from Lovecraft every morning after twenty minute push on the commode. <So, Sage... you given thought to what we talked about earlier?> Jaunt asked through guild chat. Sage dispatched several drones with some sort of grenade he'd conjured up. <You talked, I was ignoring you.> Jaunt beat a particularly difficult drone to the ground then continued to wail on it with the drone he was still holding. <Tomato, potato, dude. C'mon, you mean to tell me you've never been a bit curious? I mean... Savant... that's easy: Brazilian all the way. I'm sticking with my earlier choices though. Avenger has the whole angry lesbian thing going for her, so I'm guessing she's totally got Don King locked between her thighs in the classic 'It's so angry!' scene from Waiting. Vanguard, I'm guessing landing strip, she seems the type, yknow, a little teasy without being too prudish. I'm still fuzzy, get it? See what I did there? On Chimera... but then again you're dating the illegitimate freak-beast of Swamp Thing and the Tarrasque, so... yeah, I'm not quite sure I want that in my spank bank bro... but if I had to venture a guess, I'd say stencils. She trims that shit into all kinds of shapes, don't she? Chia-Kia... with her happy face, or a dropping bomb, or a lightning bolt. Maybe a nativity scene so you can think about how disappointed Baby Jesus is in you when you're down there flipping her switch...> <You know they can hear this, right?> <Dude, like they don't know I think about this stuff. You've been in my head... it's filthy.> He smirked, dodging a few blows and energy blasts, still grasping the drone by the ankle. It'd long since gone limp. “Huh, mom was right... I don't know how to take care of my toys.” He let go of the drone and was about to jaunt away when a blast at his feet tore into the earth and threw him back several yards. He was launched into the air but still managed to compose himself. He flipped backward and disappeared, jaunting back to the earth diffusing the momentum of the impact and standing there to face whatever it was that blasted him. He had a good game face, but that hurt. Gravel, stone and shards of earth had tore into him and he felt the blood trickle down his face. He wiped it away and narrowed his eyes as across the battle field a massive drone with some sort of alien (yet awesome) weapon was poppin' off shots like Kamu Valley was his block. He was a biggun' too, almost twice as tall as some of the others. “So one of you actually has some bass in his voice! That's what I'm talking about. Let's see what you got Bitch-tits.” It fired a blast at him, but he took off. He could have teleported, sure, but Jaunt wasn't built like the rest of them, he couldn't obliterate armies with the swing of his engorged quantum member... yet. He had a brain, and he had to use it, and his opposition wasn't much in the upstairs department. When all you have is a hammer... he thought as he closed the distance. He was a natural gymnast, sure they were all athletes now that they were superhuman, but none of them were gymnasts. Free running, parkour, gymnastics... before his super powers Jaunt was on his way to becoming an Olympic-class gymnast. As the blasts tore into the earth he swayed to dodge them, flipping, sliding, and vaulting over or under any obstacle in his way, the whole time the plasma blasts tore into drones or the earth, thinning the herd the closer he got. He slid under the legs of of a drone as a blast ripped through its chest, the force of the impact actually kicked him back up to his feet and he smirked, not breaking stride until the mega-drone tossed the giant cannon aside and jumped from itss perch, landing with a thunderous impact onto the soil. It roared at him. It was a loud mash-up between a roars and high pitched shriek. “I'm curious... what's it feel like to be an afterthought?” The monster roared again and charged at him. The poor beast had no clue that he had close to eleven escape routes planned and was working on twelve and thirteen. With his heightened perception constantly analyzing and assessing things on levels a normal mind couldn't fathom, Jaunt was ready. He had time. He'd been wanting to push himself for a long while now, really open up his node and take it for a spin on a level the training rooms really weren't designed for in case something went wrong. Kamu Valley, he was sure was a pretty place once, but face it, there were not going to be an picnics around this place any time soon. This shit show was the very definition of 'gone wrong'. Might as well test the waters. He felt the power in his node flare to life as Mega-Drone approached him, the smaller less powerful ones were swarming too, and he knew that soon he'd be overwhelmed. Good. The Goliath approached and stormed past him, slowing down as it swung its massive arm out to swipe at the mouthy teen as it passed but it found only air. Jaunt was gone. He reappeared in time to slam Mega-Drone in the jaw with a enough force to crack cement, and was gone. His fist slammed into the mighty drone's knee, and he was gone. His knee powered under its chin, arching its head backward as his foot slammed into the back of its neck at an impossible angle. He rocketed several blows into its abdomen, its sides, its legs, its face... he was a blur, so much so that most blows were landing before Jaunt even found himself in a position to land them. “Son of a bitch...” Savant said softly as she looked through her scope, she watched as he pushed the limits of his node, teleporting at a speed so fast that he was literally co-locating himself. Two Jaunt's spiraled around the massive drone working in succinct concentrated patterns to keep the giant off balance. When it was finally staggered enough they moved in for the finale. The faster they ported and with blows aimed at the right angles, the monstrous alien began to rise off the ground, elevated by well placed impacts that didn't allow gravity to claim its prize, not yet anyway. Higher and higher they rose, kicking and punching as the massive horde of drones swarmed about beneath them, leaping and clawing as they continued to gain altitude. Several feet above them Vanguard's clones appeared. Not just the one assigned to him, but the two assigned to Laurie as well. He couldn't lock on to individual clones, he'd mentioned that, so instead he decided to take them all. They were straight, aimed at the ground and falling fast. Jaunt disappeared and appeared above them, and braced his feet upon their feet and like a cannon he launched each of the three to the ground with a heavy push of his legs, teleporting from one to the other. Two were launched into the hordes while the third was launched at the Mega-Drone. Like missiles they soared to the earth, and as the third slammed into the falling drone power rose in her fist and she rode it all the way to the firmament. The impact was nothing short of nuclear. Hordes of drones were devastated as the two clones hit the earth and unleashed a massive shockwave, thundering the earth and throwing scores of drones off balance. With over two hundred yards of drones off balance and some even up in the air, they had no defense against the third Vanguard slamming down to the earth riding her soon to be liquefied target. Kinetic energy released over the entire area obliterating drones by turning their organs to paste and their bones to a fine ground powder. Scorched Earth was the best title Jaunt could have come up with as he reappeared by the three Vanguards among two hundred square yards of death and mayhem. “Like I said, bitch. Nothing but an afterthought, and my guns don't miss.” His head throbbed, he was gonna feel that later. His duplicate had long since faded, only being a product of the speed of his teleportations the moment he slowed to launch the Vanguards to the earth it had ceased to be. “Whew. Thanks ladies. Shame you gotta go away eventually,” He was breathing heavily and almost out of breath. Normally he wasn't tired, but pushing his node like that made him feel like he just ran a marathon without any of his enhancements. “Cuz, like... triplets... totally on my bucket list.” He looked around and managed a chuckle in between breaths. “Holy shit... we wrecked the place... hehe.” "Hell yeah!" Jaunt shouted, his fist to the heavens as the T'Tauri descended and bathed the valley in light. He had no idea what it was doing, but they weren't alone, and that was all that mattered. Sure, they were good, but the were kids, and only six kids at that. They should be at a dance right now, not... not caked in their own dried blood in pain and swiftly losing hope. They couldn't do this all night, and they all knew it. Sure it looked cool and they were mopping the floor with them so far... but the Asheen were infinite, the Irregulars weren't. "Shut these ugly bastards down..."
  37. 1 point
    ...it was at that point there was a little flash of light from high above the Guild Hall, followed by a distant, bass ...crump... sound that jiggled the windows ever so slightly. Some of the old-timers in the Guild discretely moved away from the skylight. It wasn't that they were afraid of getting impaled by shards...the window up above had been replaced with 'safety glass' ages ago. A Guild Wizard was actually credited with the invention of the stuff. They just had keen instincts for this sort of thing. And thus, Darrik made his big, bold, sexy entrance to the Guild Hall...and no sooner than he had than something slammed into a pane of safety glass up above and broke through it, sending little mostly-harmless chunks of glass flying down in a shower all over the handsome devil. Into his outstretched arms smacked a smoldering thing that looked kind of like a human sized beetle grub with skin that felt vaguely like burlap. It wriggled. That skin split open then, and sprouting from within was a puff of hair so violently red that in some cultures it would be an invitation to war. It jutted out to either side in a sort of pigtail. The person's face was mostly obscured by the oversized lenses of brass and smoked quartz goggles that ticked and whirred as they swiveled around. What wasn't behind those lenses was primarily an ENORMOUS grin. "You GUYS! The emergency freefall system worked! I just survived a fall from...oh gosh, I don't even know. How high is it when you start to black out because you can't breathe? Like...higher than that. But I'm ALIVE! Oh, hey Darrik." Without comment, the Dark Mage lowered the weird swaddling drop-pod onto the floor, his face revealing little to nothing of what his feelings about this development were. She shoved the goggles up onto her forehead, revealing big, bright green eyes and round cheeks that were perpetually smudged with soot or grease or...something. "So! When I was passing out from asphyxiation, I had the damndest thing happen! A voice in my head saying there was a job! I was so excited I managed to hit the Abort button just before I fainted!" The wizard laughed heartily, then looked away for a second. "...probably should look into automating that button." "Anyway! If there's a job, I will get it done a hundred and seventeen percent! That is the Klattatech Guarantee!!" She leaped out of the embryonic shell of the freefall system; a short skinny girl with overalls and a T shirt that were almost entirely hidden behind belts and bandoliers of pouches and odd little bits and pieces of brass and copper and crystal, all waiting to be socketed together and brought to life.
  38. 1 point
    Rin looks at Satorii, see the lashes of his eyes the fine veins of his closed lids. She is Mirumoto Rin and she is bold and brash. "You are that man my prince." She places her hand on top of his gently, a soft caress. "Your actions Satorii, " his eyes flash open at the intimate use of his name and find her deep brown eyes staring back at him boldly, "your actions speak louder than any command you could voice and all will praise your name at the telling of the tale, and more, I will be in awe, for I know that the glory and honor were not why you fought but because you are a leader. You are that man, my prince, and I hope that I can be worthy for you."
  39. 1 point
    Sean and Lilly said their piece. Jaunt approached the table with a lame-sized white styrofoam cup filled with hot chocolate. Sean quirked an eyebrow at him. "What? I heard her, half that speech was in my head, I do teleport and multitask y'know. Saves all kinds of time." They all looked at him as he took a sip, waiting expectantly. "Okay, fine, I got pissed. I just abandoned my wife of forty three years up on an alien space ship. I'm having a bit of a hard time processing, okay? Real talk, I'm not sure what's live or Memorex anymore." "I was dick, Lills, and I'm sssor-... that word," He looked at her across the table. A pang of remembrance twisted his gut as he remembered the picture of his family aboard the vessel where he met future Laurie. Three children, two daughters and a son. His mind wrapped around memories that weren't his, flashes of events that hadn't happened yet. People who'd been in and out o his life. His son, he knew, wasn't with Laurie. His son came from a different mother, and she was at the table with him now. He swallowed it back and let the topic in his mind rest. No one needed to know, not right now anyway. "We've all seen some shit, no denying that, I'm just... just not cool with the clone army thing... don't ask me why... it's like onions, I don't know why, I just don't like em'." He sighed, still trying to get it together. Whatever he'd seen in the future had whammied the hell out of him. "Look the truth is, when all your clones are in play, I can't lock on to you to pull you out. They act like... I dunno white noise for the real you... same with Kia, it blocks my blinking you out of danger. I don't want you anywhere or doing anything where I can't protect you." There is was, that charm he seemed to have from time to time. It shown through with his last few words and they saw in his his genuine concern for Lill-...all of them. "I'm not sorry for the last bit though, seriously, break stuff. Break lots of their stuff." He managed a smirk and shot her a wink that fell short of distracting them away from his display of concern.
  40. 1 point
    "Done? Done?! I wasn't even aware we'd started! Y-y'know what... can all you excuse us for a second?" He points to a dark corner that looked like it might the typical CW drama spot for 'talks'. He took her by the arm and lead her off to the side. "Laurie, you can't come. I'm sorry, but you are a civilian and I'm not shooting you up into space. You don't have some super suit to protect you from spinal injuries and telekinetic explosions this time around. It's too dangerous." "Yes it is," She replied taking his hands in hers, "and its just as dangerous for you and everyone else. When we didn't go to China I went there. If there was any purpose for anyof this, then there had to be a purpose for that too. And I am not letting you go alone." She steps close to him pressing her body against his. "We don't have time to waste for this we need to go right now and get the help we need before it's too late." Devin sighed, squeezing her hands in a display of affection unaccustomed to him. "Laurie.... what you're asking me to do. Were something to happen to you, I'd have to come back here and look Sean in the eyes and tell him that I lost his sister. I'm not super dense like Lilly or strong. I don't have Kia's mutability, although I'm totally hotter than your sister and I'm not quite sure what Abel does... my point is, without that suit the last time, you would have been dead ten times over. I can't protect you," Admitting one's weaknesses had never been an easy task and Devin was certainly learning now the humility in it all. "Were something to happen to you Red... I...," He gently swept away the rogue strand of red that had fallen from her styled hair, just like it did the first time they went to the Winter Ball. After it was safely tucked behind he ear he let his hand slide along the soft curves of her cheek. "I couldn't live with myself." Laurie leaned into his caress her heart pounding. "Devin you don't have time. I have to go because you have to come back here and get everyone to China. I'll get the bomb Ill get it to you in China." She pulled back and looked Devin square in the eye "Now quit arguing with me Jaunt, and teleport . Now!" He closed his eyes. More to keep back the rush of emotion he was feeling and how awkward this new sensation was. She was right, and he hated it. He used it as a moment of solace to build up the energy he would need. He pictured the observation deck, he called for the memory and after a few moments they were there... Laurie stepped away from him and looked around. The scenery was no less amazing the second time around. "Jaunt, thank you." His back was already to her so she couldn't see how he looked: irritated, mad, scared. "You better come home. You owe me a bomb." His form broke down and Jaunt shifted into pure quantum and was gone.
  41. 1 point
    Sean stared, dumbfounded at what he found between his legs, his field of view no longer obscured by a pair of very prominent, very feminine attributes that had grown to feel more natural to him than the cock he had mysteriously regained. He had missed it, but not much considering everything else he had gained in the exchange. Was there a word for something right feeling wrong? That regaining something felt like you have lost more? The Germans probably had one, but he didn't know it. An moment of idle reflection revealed he couldn't even speak German fluently anymore, nor any other language besides English. Everything before wasn't a dream, he was sure of that, but if so, than what the hell had happened? Devin's Jaunt interact with the quantrinos spilling from the Asheen Origin Portal, shunting them to a parallel universe? Hooli or its rival interceding in some way, trapping them in a mindscape. Guildchat was gone, so was his personal channels to Sara and Laurie. "What the fuck is going on?" he exclaimed and winced at hearing his girlish voice, instead of the much richer, slightly deeper, womanly tones he had grown used to. Sean shuddered as he got up from the pile of pillows and blankets that served him as a bed in the loft of the barn and climbed down the ladder. His balance was off and he couldn't believe how tiny he felt. It wasn't that he had forgotten what being short was, he just never expected that he would experience it again, going from 6'1'' back to 4'11'', the difference seemed even more exaggerated. He felt slower, so much weaker, simply... less than he had been. He hated it. His room had reverted back to what it was before he had changed, before his relationship with Sara. The fridge was only a mini-fridge instead of the full-sized model he had replaced it with. The bed he had shared with Sara felt conspicuous in its absence. Absently, still bewildered, he got got dressed in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt with the Triforce on the chest, both loose on his slight, undersized frame. It felt weird not putting on a bra. With rising trepidation, Sean picked up his cellphone charging by his computer while his eyes skittered away from the dark navy suit discarded haphazardly on the futon in front of the TV. His anxiety rose even higher when he looked at his contacts list and the call log on his phone. Sara wasn't on it. Clare was - her number blocked. Laurie's sarcastic comment about his 'girlfriend' calling four times held new meaning for him. He didn't think she meant Sara. I need to talk with the Irregulars, need to see if we are all here, all experiencing this... this Flash Sideways where the Asheen hadn't come and we didn't get superpowers. Hell, we need to contact Fort Bulwark and find out if Stepping Stone or Guardian Shield is a thing. See if we can recreate the event that changed us if we can't make it back to our reality where things are...right? Where things are what they are, what they should be! Sean slipped on his boots, stamped his feet to settle them, then slipped on an oversized coat. He was about to dash to the house when his smartphone rang. "Hello? Abel? Did it happen to you too?" Abel heard the old voice of one of his oldest friends, sounding very young and very girlish.
  42. 1 point
    Abel didn't quite scowl. This was far from the first time Blitz woke him up like this, but at the same time, he'd not done it for a long time. "Easy boy, there's nothing..." he trailed off when he realized exactly how correct this was. He was quite accustomed now to hearing the inner voices and thoughts of so many others, even his dog who was sapient now, and for the first time in years, he was alone. Blitz wasn't sapient, or if he was he was laying the "regular dog" act on very thick this morning. He got up, moving over to the Mirror, and now he scowled. "What the hell happened?" He looked, well normal. like he did before only as if he'd aged the same. He was simply tall, thin, and fairly lanky, he didn't have any of the tone he'd gotten used to having. He quickly got dressed and moved to the door. Guild chat was gone, he couldn't hear thoughts, and his dog was just a dog. Something wasn't right, and the sooner they could all get together the better. He scooped up his phone and dialed his oldest friend, one of the other members of the braintrust, and likely the one who if he was in the same boat, would have changed the most. "Come on Sean, answer the phone.' There was a tinge of guilt that he called Sean, and not Kia, first, but at the same time, he had to confirm his own suspicions, and Sean was definitely the most certain to corroborate them.
  43. 1 point
    Like before post your stories in this thread once I give you to go ahead
  44. 1 point
    Phones be damned. Jaunt had seen them in the portal, the monsters, the nightmares. He had two passions his whole life, his art and his gymnastics but he'd never been motivated to pursue something like he was now. Those things were coming, but they weren't getting his world. "Alright," Jaunt shouted over the fading music. He pointed to Abel, Courtney and the others. "Sage, get them up to speed and to rendezvous. Chimera, you're with Abel, Alec in the shit and he needs you guys." "They have code names..." Dan said softly, his tone laced with a bit a awe. "I'm taking Laurie and Savant back to HQ, we'll meet up with you as soon as we can. Lilly, give them a hand, please. And pick a code name already." He smiled and winked at her. "And an HQ... oh, man..." Dan mumbled again, this time sounding completely impressed. Courtney sighed, completely annoyed. "Dan. Shut. Up." She approached Jaunt and Laurie and Savant on her way out to work with Abel. She had to stop to get in her two cents. "You think you're the shit, don't you," He goose necked Devin... she actually goose necked him! "But you're not. This isn't the end of this, trust." "I feel ya, Nummy Tits, be me an mine are gonna go out there be 'gods', small 'g'. You wanna stay in here and settle for 'queen', well, that's on you girl." He smiled at her raised up his hand, thumb to his ear and pinky to his mouth he whispered 'call me', and then they were gone. They appeared close to Colonel Pryor, Jaunt slouched again, leaning on a close by. He prolly could have handled just himself, but this whole new experience of moving multiple people with him was still undisciplined. "Hey Sir, Colonel, Sir..."
  45. 1 point
    Thanks for the reply and listing some of your own character ideas. I was just asking cause im a little new to the game and just want to make sure i try to get the most out of character creation and what other people thought and there ideas for characters
  46. 1 point
    "I wasn't suggesting you, or anybody, couldn't cook. I just though that it would be one less thing to worry about so we could focus on our studies. I didn't mean to offend anybody and I am truly sorry if I did." SIobhan said as she looked at the others. "It was just an idea.." she said, her voice trailing off into a small sigh. "Please excuse me." she said, excusing herself from the others, her mood clearly a bit down. Siobhan walked over and out onto the dock where she took a seat, looking out across the water, trying to just take in the scenic view and push out the poor first impression she felt she had made. 'You never get a second chance to make a first impression.' her parents had always told her... drilled into her is more like it, she recalled as she noticed a small bird chirping. She smiled faintly at the bird. "Why hello there." she said, extending a lone finger which the bird immediately flew over to and perched. "My name is Siobhan. It's a pleasure to meet you." she said, lightly petting the bird with a singer finger of her other hand. "Oh! You brought friends." she commented with her smile slowly returning as she felt a squirrel climb up her arm to sit on her shoulder while several fish swam about the end of the dock. It was always easier with animals. She had always liked them and they had always seemed to return it in kind. They never had pretentiousness (aside from some cats), and were always more upfront about their feelings, saving the guessing games so common with interpersonal relationships. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Squirrel." she added, petting the squirrel's head lightly with the same finger as it sat up on her shoulder.
  47. 1 point
    Lilly looks and Devin and gets up from her seat to walk over to him, the normally easy going girl looking more serious than normal. "Dude. This isn't a fucking comic or game or a Netflix series. This is, admittedly bizarre, real life and serious stuff here. You do you, and all that, but you need to drop the clown act or whatever the heck it is, at least in regards to this. I'm serious. Right now we have to train, consolidate our power and prepare and NOT going picking needless fights. We can't just go around doing things slapdash and picking needless fights just because you get a wild hair up your butt. If the Deviants have killed people, then they will be dealt with, but running off half-cocked is not the way to do it. And like it or not, we are all in this together. You're not a loner anymore. You have to think about others and the huge ramifications of your actions." she told him, strangely seriously. "And his name is Hooli. He is here helping us, so at least show him some respect and use his name." she added. Lilly sighed, her demeanor softening greatly. "Dude. Just... chill. Seriously." she said as she slapped Devin's shoulder with a smile.
  48. 1 point
    Lilly's phone vibrated with another text. *OK I'm chill I'll meet you at Bunnies 8 sound good?* McKeller stands up. "I think that covers enough for tonight. I have some planning to do. I'll send you all where to meet here on base once I know which Hanger they are setting up for you. So you kids have a good night and I will see all of you at 21:00 tomorrow. Good night guys" He nods at everyone and exits the room by the same door he came in from leaving the Irregulars alone in the room.
  49. 1 point
    Sara sat with her arms folded beneath her breasts a bit of a scowl on her face. He afternoon with Sean had calmed her somewhat and telling her about her feelings and the other stuff,had certainly lifted a weight she hadn't realized she had been caring but as soon as they flew, undetected onto the base her dark mood had returned. She listened with her mind having reentered guild chat upon coming back into contact with the rest of the gang. When Sean came back with the coffee she took it and mouthed thanks even though she didn't want it. What she really wanted was a smoke, or a toke, but neither of those were 'allowed' and in any case neither gave that buzz that her body and mind craved and needed. Only flying did that now. Fling as fast and high as she could. Defying gravity, physics, that was the thing that thrilled her now. She noticed Abel grinning at Kia then he looked at her and his grinned straightened, the fucker was reading her mind. She blew him a mental raspberry then focused in on the conversation. <Lilly, did you have the vision? Or did Sandy? Cause if it was you maybe your the one that needs to be examined.> she tried to keep her irritation with the girl-jock out of her thought as much as possible. deep down she knew it wasn't Lilly she should be irritated with but for whatever reason It was Lilly Sara's subconcious had decided to lay blame on. Maybe it was becasue Lilly was the strongest, the most solid, the one who could take the pressure. Sara could feel the earth in Lilly.
  50. 1 point
    Sean stood up more slowly, feeling a stabbed of pained melancholy as she watched Sara leave, though her striking face remained smooth, revealing nothing. Ah, so that's it, the lie, she mused as she pulled out her wallet and dropped a few bills on the table to pay for her and Sara. She gave Kia a slightly suspicious glance - she couldn't possibly so innocent about the connotations of her ride comments - as slipped out of the booth and but her thermal vest back on. <Sara has a point, Lilly. And while I'm not too fond of Sandy knowing about me and my predicament, let alone about everything else, if it will clear the air when we are all out together, go for it,> Sean added as she walked for the door, no seeming to rush, but her long strides ate up the distance swiftly. <Just be sure he won't blab about it to anybody. No so much for our sakes, but his. He could get in trouble and doesn't have our unique status to keep him safe.> While it was true Sean didn't particularly want Sandy to know about her situation - they had barely talked to each other before and she didn't consider him among her tight knot of friends - she was getting more and more inclined towards telling everybody. Let them deal with it, in some cases she wanted to shove the new her in their faces and make them choke on it. The revelations - about everything, on a global scale - would cause chaos, but they would adjust and find a new balance. The main issue would be if they would before the aliens reached them first. She had always considered herself a truthful person, many times to her own big mouthed regret. But with her transformation, along with everything else, came a frightful facility with deception and misdirection. It didn't mean she liked doing it, but she could consider the ramifications and permutations of her actions with a formidable swiftness and depth, so at times it seemed she reacted without hesitation or thought, when she was simply taking the most efficient course she could see. Her mouth tightened faintly as she hurried a bit to catch up with Sara and fall into step with her. It would be so easy to crank up her arousal pheromones and turn on the sex appeal and melt Sara's irritation away under a floor of desire and need. But she wouldn't let herself descend that far, not with someone she considered a friend, someone she considered as more than a friend. She was changing - how could she not? - but she refused to change that much, not with those who knew her, that she cared about. Sean didn't make any overly familiar gestures and just walked at Sara's side in companionable silence. Sara would explain her frustration or she wouldn't - Sean hoped she would - but Sean would let her stew and make her own decision instead of prying and persuading her to make the one she wanted, even if it killed her. Where was the line between advice and honest suggestion and manipulation? It wasn't something she ever had to really consider before, when she hadn't had the skill and talent to turn people to her side so deftly. She let out a long sigh, her breath pluming in the air.
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