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  1. 3 points
    "Well, we've been in classes together and so on since I moved to Shelly." Jason replied calmly, dextrous fingers and sharp knife making swift work of the tomatoes. "Aware of each other, without really talking." Dana nodded, setting the olive oil on the counter. Jason tilted his head to one side. "Do you have any balsamic vinegar?" he asked casually, causing Dana to think a moment before nodding and retrieving that bottle from the cupboard too as her guest started in on the onions. Dana checked the oven temperature and lightly oiled the potatoes before setting them on a tray. "But we started talking last Friday." Jason went on. "Autumn bumped her head on a door - it swung back into her face, to be exact, and one of my friends noticed the tumble. She grabbed me, because I have a certain level of medical knowledge, and we went to check on Autumn." He glanced up at her, giving a faint smile. "She was fine other than a bruise. Fine enough that she was giving me a hard stare for walking into the girls bathroom and caring more that she didn't have a concussion. I got her some ice for the bruise, then we invited her to sit down with us." The corners of his eyes crinkled slightly as he started arranging neat slices of tomato and even thinner sliced onion in the dish. "Not the best of starts. I really got the impression she thought we were oddballs and that I was up to no good." "I probably would have assumed the same thing if someone I barely knew followed me into the women's restroom," Dana replied a trifle archly, narrowly suppressing a smile. That did sound like Autumn, all right, or at least her propensity for mishaps. "So," she continued, adding a little coarse salt and pepper to the potatoes as she leaned over to examine Jason's handiwork. "You started talking on Friday, last week." With a little hm and a nod of approval at his progress, she turned back to her own preparations. "And, from the sound of it, not necessarily under ideal circumstances. Thank you for looking after her, by the way." Hazel eyes flickered once more in his direction, considering his profile as he worked. There was something unusual about Jason Bannon, though she couldn't quite put her finger on it. He seemed too... mature, really. He didn't give off the impression of being a drug-running miscreant now that she was talking to him in person, but he didn't quite seem like a teenager, either- didn't conduct himself like one, or move with that awkward semi-conscious lack of spatial awareness most of them had, didn't use the same slang terminology. "So how did you two end up getting close enough since then for her to invite you up to the creek?" He made a soft sound of amusement - a proto-chuckle of sorts. "Well, she hung out with a bunch of us at my home on Sunday, and left without her hoodie. On Monday evening she came to get it back, and then stayed to talk." Satisfied with his arrangement of the layers of tomato and onion, he inquired after a bowl and whisk and began mixing some olive oil and balsamic in the bowl, before slowly whisking them together. "I... I was having a bad day. Personal issues. Autumn was able to get me to talk about them - indeed, she was the only one who cared to talk to me about them." He paused, eyes going distant as he recalled the night - her warm hug, the conversation in the kitchen, the teasing and laughter. "I think..." he said slowly. "I think Autumn is the only person who really, really tried - and tries - to understand me." The words were matter-of-factly spoken, but seemed to come from a place of vast distance, or so it seemed to Dana. There was no self-pity there, or sorrow, but there was a sense of alienation, of a young life lived in apart-ness. He looked up from grinding some salt and pepper into the bowl, his gaze direct as he regarded Dana. "Autumn made an impact on me. I think that's when we became friends." He dropped his gaze and considered the bowl of dressing, then raised it to his face and gave it a sniff, pondering for a second before adding a touch more pepper. "And the rest is her defending me at school, then inviting me camping. And... I suddenly realised - we both did, I think - what was there." He chuckled again. "Perhaps it didn't exist until that moment, like Schrödinger's Cat. Until we opened the box and looked." He shrugged his lean shoulders. "I'm not really an expert on this sort of thing. Autumn is the first girl that ever kissed me." Leaning back against the counter, arms folded across her chest, Dana Keane listened quietly as Jason related the very brief series of events that had led, more or less, to finding the pair of them on the front porch. It was gratifying, in a sense, to hear someone- a stranger to herself- praise her daughter's character, as if in confirmation that she'd been raised well by people who loved her. And yet, that same maternal inclination, some completely mundane and yet unfathomable instinct, told her that this polite, well-spoken young man might have no idea what that felt like. The thought didn't lessen her worry for her daughter, necessarily, but his account did reinforce Autumn's insistence that they really had just been friends. ...Which, given the rapid escalation of their relationship, was more than enough to justify a measure of concern. A responsible 16 year-old was still a 16 year-old, after all, with all the dubious judgement that entailed. "Really?" she asked when he'd finished, one auburn brow raised skeptically as a smile tugged at the corner of her mouth. Her keen hazel eyes appraised his height, the faintly Mediterranean cast of his features, the pale green gaze Autumn had remarked on more than once. "I find that hard to believe. You're a nice-looking young man. Surely my daughter isn't the first one to think so." "I never claimed that." A fin of humour flashed in the depths of his eyes, echoed in another of those small but genuine smiles as he glanced back at Dana, meeting her gaze once more without any of the discomfort that should be present in a teenage boy talking about such a subject with an older woman. No blush, no self-deprecating aww-shucks shrug. It was both impressive and somewhat disturbing. "I've known there've been girls that took interest in me, at least according to sources other than my own perceptions. I've not had a lot of luck following up on that, though." Giving the dressing a final whisk, he artfully drizzled it over the dish of layered tomato and onion. "Like I said - Autumn's the first who actually kissed me. And honestly, the fact that it was her meant more than the fact it was a kiss." He picked up the dish and moved over to the refrigerator, opening the door and selected a spot on the shelf on which to place the salad. Closing the door, he turned and faced Dana from across the kitchen, the corners of his eyes crinkling in a micro-smile. "You worry for Autumn." he stated calmly, arms hanging at his sides with a relaxed poise that had nothing of the defensive or bashful about it. "It's good: seeing that love you hold, the way you care. I won't hurt her, Dana. I'm not careless with my friendship... or other feelings." "Can you really guarantee me that?" she replied, head tilted slightly in an attitude of intent curiosity. It was a largely rhetorical question, born of the older woman's objection to what she saw as his naïve optimism. Although Jason Bannon had the manner of an adult, the bearing of someone considerably more mature than his actual age would seem to indicate, he was, she reflected, still a boy, after all. "That you won't hurt her." Dana shook her head slowly as if in answer to her own question, but remained leaning comfortably against the counter. "No," she continued, not unkindly, but with the certainty of one accustomed to promises and the fickleness of both circumstance and human nature. "You can tell me that you'll try not to. You can reassure me that you won't do it intentionally." Her eyebrows drew together in a little frown, an expression of thoughtfulness her daughter unconsciously adopted when considering a problem. "But, eventually, you will. Even if you're not careless. Even if you don't mean to." She was quiet for a moment, glancing past Jason and toward the doorway where Autumn had vanished to go upstairs. "I do worry," Dana agreed, moving to gather up the utensils to be washed and glancing up at her daughter's strange new companion. "She's my child, my little girl, the hardest and the best thing that's ever happened to me. And I know that, even though she'll be my baby as long as she lives, she won't be a baby nearly that long. So, I'd rather you didn't tell me something unrealistic, like the fact that you won't hurt her. Tell me how you'll handle it when you do." He focused on the question, on her words, and his brow furrowed in concentration as he gave the matter his full attention. As Dana kept one eye on him, he paced a few short steps, hands going into the pockets of his sweat pants, then turned and paced back. Then he went motionless, as if all extraneous energy had been turned off and the actual Being of Jason Bannon was elsewhere, eyes staring unseeingly at the counter-top in front of him. He didn't even seem to breathe. And then motion and animus returned, and his head came up, eyes glancing towards Dana once more. "I think..." he said slowly, as if analysing his thoughts as they were verbalised. "That people often hurt each other. Even those close to them, though that seems to be mostly selfishness, mistake or carelessness. I can eliminate carelessness as a cause for Autumn's pain. I can do my utmost to limit selfishness as a cause. But I will make mistakes." He frowned. "You're right. It is not so much a question of whether I will hurt Autumn - probability indicates that even with the best of intentions, I could upset her." He turned to face Dana, nodding as the analysis reached its conclusion. "I think that if I hurt Autumn I would handle it by assessing how, by discussing it with her, and by not repeating the mistake." Dana stared at him for a long moment, warm hazel eyes nearly as wide as her daughter's as she struggled with the conflicting urges to simultaneously laugh and weep. Both teens had said they'd met at school, but she was half-convinced her intrepid daughter had unearthed this increasingly odd boy from a government research lab. ...Something with extraterrestrials or artificial intelligence, maybe, like the television shows the girls at the office watched. The more he spoke, the less he seemed like the slouching thug from the rumors, but that wasn't necessarily reason not to be concerned. "That is an answer," she allowed with a sigh, her expression a strange commingling of resignation and amusement. "Although at least now I know for sure you were serious about never having had a girlfriend before. Speaking of which." Reaching up into one of the cabinets overhead, the svelte redhead pulled down a coffee filter and busied herself measuring grounds from an airtight canister on the counter. "Autumn mentioned you had a few," she paused, the corner of her mouth curving into a wry half-smile. "Quirks. So what should I know about you, Jason Bannon?" "Quirks." He smiled faintly. "I suppose I do." He relaxed, leaning back against the counter on his butt and hands, a lean symmetrical form in repose. "It's always a little odd, to describe yourself to someone else, isn't it?" Dana shot him a warm smile as she heard the wry humor in his tone. "Hmm. Things you should know..." Jason mused, his eyes on his girlfriend's mom as she set the coffee machine up. "I have an acute sense of smell and taste - which is one reason I like to cook and garden - specifically flowers, but I dabble with other growing things as well, like a vegetable and herb patch I've started at home. I tend to be - as you likely noticed - analytical. A lot of nuanced human interaction goes over my head." he admitted with a shrug. "I don't lie." "Really?" Dana raised a brow as she started the coffee to drip and turned to regard him skeptically. He just nodded, a faint smile at the corners of his lips. "Really. Outright lies offend me. I'm perfectly capable of evasion, concealment, half-truths, misdirection and letting someone jump to the wrong conclusion, though." he said with a small grin. "But the thought of categorically stating an untruth revolts me." He shrugged again. "It's just the way I'm made, I suppose. If I say a thing is so, then to the best of my knowledge it is." "Huh. Good to know." Dana wasn't sure she believed it, but other than a wry amusement at how she was reacting, he didn't seem to be playing with her. "Anything else?" "I speak six languages not including English and plan to learn more, because I like languages." he stated with another of his expressive, lean shrugs. "I have perfect recall of every moment of my life, every experience, sight, sound, smell and touch - both good and bad. I've never taken a proper intelligence test, but I imagine I would score fairly high, based on my speed of information absorption and comprehension." He considered. "I think that covers things you should know." "For a narrow definition of 'should,' I suspect," his girlfriend's mother observed dryly, having missed neither the emphasis of the term by repetition nor Jason's candid assessment of truth-telling. "But for now, since this is the first time we're talking, and Autumn will probably shower as quickly as she can to limit my opportunities to either ask something embarrassing or tell you something embarrassing, I'll take it." He seemed sincere enough despite the incredible claims he was making, or at least confident enough in what he was saying that it passed for sincerity, and yet if he was telling the truth it made his involvement with her daughter seem all the more unusual. Neither their interests nor abilities seemed to intersect, she mused, removing a pair of mugs from the rack as the coffee burbled in the machine. And yet, at least one shared interest seemed patently obvious, she remembered, still feeling more than a little voyeuristic at having seen them interacting in the doorway. "I am curious, though." Glancing briefly at the lean, green-eyed youth as she passed, Dana pulled a small container of heavy cream from the refrigerator. "All of that sounds fascinating, and while I'm firmly and unwaveringly convinced that my daughter is essentially perfect... because she's mine," the pretty veterinarian added good-naturedly. "The two of you don't seem to have much in common. Where's the connection?" "I think we have more in common than some might suspect." Jason replied calmly, smiling a little at her. "As I said before, we bonded over a single long conversation, and I find her to be curious, brave and warm. She's restless rather than studious, but she seeks understanding. We both enjoy hiking, camping and outdoor activities, finding the same peace and sense of pitting ourselves against the elements in the pastime." He smiled a little wider at a memory. "Last night-" "Am I going to want to hear this?" Dana said half-seriously. Jason grinned then, actually grinned - a flash of humor that transformed his composed features for a moment, making him seem his age, before fading to a smile with the mirth still dancing in his jade gaze. "I'm not that forthcoming." he remarked somewhat impishly. "No. We were talking, and I mentioned something about quantum theory in passing, and she recalled myself and Sean talking about it on Sunday last week, so she asked what it was all about. So I explained about the current search for the Grand Unifying Theory, the gaps and holes in it, and some theories about what might fill those gaps." He shrugged. "She listened, she asked questions, she was curious. She's not narrow-minded, interested only in what her immediate experiences provide. And nor am I. There's a commonality that goes beyond mere learning." His smile softened, just a fraction of warmth touching the cool shade of his eyes. "I find her amazing." "Do you," Dana observed/inquired quietly, honey-colored eyes narrowing speculatively at the subtle shift in Jason's expression. Autumn and Jacob had grown up together, were fond of each other, had been thick as thieves before the break-up and the rift that grew between them- but the word "amazing" had never entered the conversation. Now, in the span of a few minutes, both her daughter and this strange, moderately unnerving newcomer had each used that specific term- totally independently- to describe the other. It was simultaneously sweet and unsettling, the thought that the tall, spare young man who'd put such a light in her daughter's eyes might himself possess a bit of that same spark... especially when it had flared into existence so suddenly. "How do you take your coffee?" she continued conversationally, considering the way he'd described Autumn, the tone and the phrasing he'd employed. Had he really only known her for a week? Could he actually have drawn such conclusions on the basis of… What had he called it? ...A single long conversation? Most teenage boys, she reflected ruefully, would have used rather different words to describe the athletic young woman. ...Then again, Jason Bannon was evidently not 'most teenage boys.' "In a mug, usually. If I'm really jonesing, I just snort the grounds." Jason said casually as he crouched down and fussed over Lexi, who had come up and was sat at his feet looking up imploringly for attention. Dana noticed how intent and deliberate he was, the long slender fingers gently scritching behind the pit's ears, then down the sides of her neck as Lexi panted happily even as the slender veterinarian let out a snort and a musical chuckle at Jason's comment. He glanced up from the dog and smiled, head tilting to one side and eyebrow raised in wry humor, and a few things clicked into place for Dana as to why Autumn was so into the youth - other than the obvious. He was intent on whatever was before him, utterly present in each moment, took emotional topics seriously rather than deflecting with jokes or embarrassment, and yet was possessed of a curious dry understated humor. His eyes were glacial and icy on first meeting, but as he opened up they took on a richer, warmer expression which was only rarely echoed in his features. When he looked at a person he really looked, and they either felt an uncomfortable sense of being stared at by a wolf... Or they felt like they were the focus of his entire universe. Whoa. "Black and plain is perfect." Jason said as Dana stared at him in that moment, causing the normally self-possessed woman to start slightly and then nod, turning away and letting out a breath. She still wasn't entirely happy with the speed at which Autumn and this young man had evidently fallen into each other - but she understood it a little - okay, a lot better. And this is when he's sixteen and on his first girlfriend. Saints preserve all good women when he 'grows up'. As she poured the coffee, she heard the sound of footfalls on the stairs as Autumn tried to walk - rather than run - back down and prevent the maternal inquisition from squeezing too many uncomfortable facts from her boyfriend. "Apparently, there was a study that said someone who drinks their coffee black is more likely to be a psychopath," Dana teased as the sound of bare feet on hardwood reached her ears, skipping down the last couple of steps to the accompaniment of clawed canine paws clicking on the bright maple floor. She was just handing Jason his mug as Autumn rounded the corner with her Shepherd escort, the young woman's damp red-gold curls loose around her shoulders and her fair skin still faintly pink from the heat of the shower. Nothing was said about the faint purplish smudge at the juncture of the girl's throat and shoulder, just visible over the neckline of her shirt; her mother merely sighed, peering sharply at her daughter's new boyfriend over the rim of her cup as she took a drink. It could be worse, she reminded herself, trying not to think of the rising teen pregnancy rate and finding precious little reassurance in the way Autumn's gaze was drawn by some unerring feminine instinct to her boyfriend's face. "We've got a little while, yet, before dinner," she stated pointedly, glancing at the timer on the oven. "You guys are welcome to watch some television in the living room, or we can play cards..." Her voice trailed off, and a gleam of mischief sparkled in the depths of her hazel eyes. "Ooorrrr, I can bring down your old photo album! You know, Jason, we've got the most adorable pictures of Autumn from when she-" "Mom, come on, not cool!" Autumn protested vehemently, sweeping past both of them to grab a mug from the rack. She'd changed into a pair of dark green running shorts and a slightly oversized t-shirt, which Dana would normally consider a perfectly modest outfit to wear around an interested teenage boy; a quick glance at Jason and the direction of his gaze, however, left her with the unsettling feeling that it might not matter what she wore. "Since you're our guest, Jason, do you have a preference?" her mother inquired, putting the cream away as Autumn finished up. He had indeed been studying Autumn's shape, barely hinted at under the t-shirt but then more clearly outlined by the running shorts and the smooth musculature of her legs as she leaned to grab the mug from the rack. As Dana spoke to him, however the heat faded from his gaze as it shifted back to the older woman, replaced with a faint smile that touched the corners of his eyes. "The photos sound intriguing-" "Ugh!" Autumn glared at him over her shoulder, the pink in her features now nothing to do with the shower. "No. No way. Not unless you bring yours to the table too." she added with a crinkle of her nose as she smiled, imagining a small, grave faced ragamuffin with too-large eyes. Then the redhead blinked, turning back to her coffee as she remembered that she had, as a matter of fact, seen a young Jason - merely ten years old and newly arrived in Shelly - trying to get his hands around a boy's throat with a coldly intent expression in his eyes... and then turn and sink his teeth bone-deep into a teacher's wrist when he'd been pulled off. Before that, he'd been the quiet, shy new kid, and even though afterwards he never so much as got into a scuffle, the memory had stayed with Autumn if only subconsciously, to be pulled up only by the innocent random thought of imagining him as a child. Perhaps it had even contributed to her dislike of him, which seemed likely. Odd, how a fleeting moment of shock and fear could only be undone years later by a seeming random tide of Fate causing the two of them to enter each other's orbits. It did make her wonder, though - had he ever truly been a child, as human beings understood the term? "That seems fair." Jason smiled a little wider at the loose collection of reddish curls as they tumbled down Autumn's back, glinting with pinpoints of golden fire in the light. He wanted to bury his face there, to inhale the scent of her: wanted it so badly it felt like the most gnawing of hungers. "I choose TV, then." Dana hmmed quietly as though in disappointment. "Ah, well. Come by sometime when she's not home and I'll show you," the older redhead smirked, patting Jase lightly on the shoulder as she passed, coffee mug in hand. Although she wasn't entirely comfortable leaving the two young paramours alone for more than a few minutes, she did at least trust her daughter enough to make good choices. ...Or, failing that, not catastrophic ones. Autumn dropped the spoon she'd used to stir her coffee into the sink, nose crinkling as she made a face at her mother's back. "Keep it up, Autumn Rae" the pretty vet called over her shoulder as she headed into the other room. "One day it'll freeze like that." Abashed, the animated young woman took a sip of her coffee, the rose of her cheeks deepening further. Then, with the petulance of a girl half her age, quickly stuck her tongue out and gave a good-humored huff. "I've never figured out how she does that," she grinned, extending her hand. "C'mon. If you don't sit with me you'll have to fight the dogs for a place. They're spoiled." ---------------------------------------------------------------------- The TV chattered and blared as the hero fought the villain, who was extruding a whip of living fire from his hand, the movements of both combatants choreographed to heighten the drama and tension and sense of mortal peril the protagonist was facing. Flips, kicks, somersaults and shouts filled the screen with noise and action. As shows went, Wu Assassins was pretty good, both teens had agreed as they’d settled in to watch some thirty minutes earlier. It was a shame, then, that currently the artistry and action on the screen was being ignored. It was Jason’s fault- at least, that was Autumn’s stance on the matter. He’d put an arm comfortably around her shoulders as they’d nestled together, and then idly toyed with the curls of her glory of red-gold hair, running his slender fingers through it gently to stroke her neck and shoulder, causing tingles of warmth to race through her nerves. So strongly did Autumn feel that it was her boyfriend’s fault that she, in fact, felt the need to tell him between kisses. “It’s your fault.” she murmured softly, her arms resting around his neck, lips grazing his ear before her teeth lightly nibbled at the lobe, gratified to feel his reaction in the sharp intake of breath as well as in another, more tangible fashion. “Nope.” his reply was likewise a murmur as he kissed the curve of Autumn’s neck where it met her shoulder. His hands were loosely tangled in her fall of red hair, the scent of which he breathed in. “You’re the one that moved. And now we’re missing the show.” Autumn grinned as she withdrew a little to look into his eyes. True enough, she had moved first, swinging a bare leg over him and straddling his thighs so she could properly give him her attention - and he could give her his. “You want to watch the show?” she asked with an arch of her brow. “Don’t put words in my mouth.” His eyes were heated, dark with passion even as he smiled slightly. “I was merely observing we were- mmph.” he finished softly as Autumn pressed her body and mouth to his, arms tightening around his neck as though to prevent even the remote possibility he would try to get away - which, to be honest, was so remote as to not be worth considering. “Oh, for heaven’s sake!” Dana wasn’t sure whether to laugh or scowl as she stepped into the lounge and saw the pair of them. At least he didn’t have his hands on her butt this time. Progress! The slender, pretty veterinarian thought wryly. Autumn made a sound that was half gasp, half giggle as she slid off her beau, trying to look contrite and failing miserably. She seemed lively, and happy, and it was good to see. Dana took a breath, counted to ten, then spoke again. “Okay. New rule, you two. None of-” she made a gesture indicating the pair of them and their misbehaviour “-that in the lounge, porch, dining room, kitchen or indeed anywhere in this house except the bedroom when I’m home. I’m not going to try and stop teenagers being teenagers, but I don’t want to walk into my own lounge and see it. Am I clear?” “Yes, mom.” Autumn nodded, somewhat soberly. Jason turned his gaze to Dana and nodded assent, or at least understanding, gravely. “Good! Now, dinner is a few minutes away, so both of you can come and help set the table.” She was unable to resist cracking a smirk, raising an eyebrow at them. “Take a moment to, ah, compose yourselves, and for God’s sake wash your hands first.”
  2. 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.
  3. 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.>
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.>
  8. 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.
  9. 1 point
    As per the latest Monday Meeting Notes blog, Trinity Continuum: Aberrant is in manuscript approvals with Rich.
  10. 1 point
    Miriam rose from the table leaving her food untouched and joined J'Sira at the windows. Asgard station. It was massive and probably messy as as hell if the the incomplete construction were any indication. It was also beautiful, magnificent and was a gateway to whatever was going to happen next. "Health and Hearth," Miriam answered J'Sira. "Hope to see you all again." Turning she looked at each in turn with a smile for them before turning away from the window. Purposely she strode across the room, tapping her communicator as she moved. "Connect to ship's computer. Computer commence a 30 minute countdown with alerts at ten minute interval relayed through my comm badge. Confirm the request." "Confirmed," responded the feminine voice of a Star Fleet coded computer system. "Computer, consolidate all personal files for transfer to isolinear storage in my assigned quarters." she continued moving out the door and down the corridor towards the turbolift. "Confirm please." "Pending confirmation. Clarify if personal files includes pattern files for replicator fabrication." queried the voice from the communication badge on her tunic. "All files means all files computer. I will disembarking the ship shortly. Provide update on countdown please." For a split second Miriam hesitated as she entered the turbolift trying to remember the closest junction to her quarters. Shrugging she settled for letting the computer decide. "Take me to the closest access point to my quarters please." Spotting a group of young officers double timing it towards the turbo lift, Miriam ordered the computer to hold the door while motioning them to get in. "Files are prepped for transfer," announced her comm badge. "Countdown is 27 minutes and 12 seconds." Miriam leaned back against the wall for a moment taking the time for a deep breath as the ensigns murmured to each other. The file transfers would be quick and she could start it before she did the check on her med kit and tricorder. A quick sonic shower, recycle this uniform before grabbing another then ready. The turbolift doors opened and Miriam squeezed past the other users to exit to the corridor. Luckily she recognized this junction and made it to her quarters quickly. Sensing her entry a subdued lighting came on punctuated by a slowly flashing green light on the cabin terminal indicating the file transfer she'd requested was ready. Moving to the bunk she grabbed the leather back pack lying on the floor and reached in to pull out the flat yellow crystal from the side pouch. With a laminate coating making it stronger than many metals the isolinear crystal held the pattern for everything from holographic family photos, to patterns for scalpels and dresses, and even the family secret of her mother's R'lythian fruit pie recipe. Smoothly she slotted it into the computer terminal. "Computer, please commence backup of personal files to the chip in place in my quarters," she requested shucking off her uniform and undergarments. Stepping into the small stall containing the sonic shower and the refresher she took a moment to take a few more deep breathes as she assessed her reflection. "Miriam Sepguta." Putting on an air of her best professional confidence she continued, "Welcome to the next step in your life. This isn't crisis response. New orders, new job, new facility. Everything is going to be fine." Her reflection seemed a little less sure than Miriam would have liked but only a hint of the excitement she was feeling in heart showed in the reflection. Miriam moved into the shower feeling the pressure waves of sound massage her skin. New uniform. Recycle old. Grab the comm badge. She continued to mentally update the list of tasks in her head, deleting the things already done. She was just stepping out of the shower cubicle when the comm badge on her tunic gave a muffled beep to alert her to the passing of time. Plenty of time then who knew? Glancing in the mirror Miriam saw far too much excitement on the face of her reflection. "Stop that dear," she said crossly. "You're a doctor. Act like one." Her reflection dutifully looked somber while it occurred to Miriam she would look far more professional if she weren't naked. "Uniforms, chip, my medical tricorder, comm badge and backpack" she said aloud updating her list of preparations while pulling her panties on.
  11. 1 point
    Curtis stared into his hands, then up as he saw Rick charging Fear Master. He should do... something? He tried to rise up, but suddenly found his left feet were doubled. And his right feet were the left feet, so all he managed was face planting, again and again. His nose was bleeding. Calm down, he tried to tell himself, repeat: 2+2 = ....5... fish? The closest planet to the Sun was... something. Maybe if he read a book... and they didn't have all those big words. Aware on some level this should not be the case, Curtis was still helpless to do more than roll into a ball and cry.
  12. 1 point
    Update's done and is in the sig!
  13. 1 point
  14. 1 point
    Ruin halted at the head of the caravan as Dread noticed no one seemed quite as anxious as him to leave and move on to better things, like booze, women, stories and women and booze. The chime seemed to punch him in the ear holes as he winced and stuck in a finger, wiggling it around in a vain attempt at clearing out the noise. As one may have guessed... it didn't work. "Uhh," he looked around for the disembodies mechanical voice. "I'm Dread Delgath... I just said that, like twenty seconds ago... to her." He pointed at he mounted fae on her unicorn. "I want, uhh... titties and beer. Not, like... my own tits, but like, someone with really amazing tits to bring me beer." He dismounted Ruin and walked towards the gem, wading slowly through people as he did, making room for himself to get closer as the Fae girl spewed a million questions at it. "All kinds of beer. And uhh, that last question... wow, that's a uh, doozie. I mean, why are any of us here, really? I mean, ain't we been asking ourselves that question since we could ask questions?" "Why have it explained to you?" He said to Sigil, whom he towered over. She was majestic and radiant to his primal... dimness. "If you can't understand it without an explanation, then you certainly won't understand the explanation," he said to her with all the charm and courtesy she expected from a man like him. "Sure!" He said a loud to the voice. "Set us up a Pantheon. A Genesis Seed sounds like something I could have some fun with."
  15. 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.
  16. 1 point
    CAMP CENTURY CORRIDOR "Oh Blitz isn't an alien. He just has some alien tech making him a cyborg," Lilly clarified. "And this is just my PAM suit." she said, looking down at her newly formed outfit and then back to Jeane, noting that what she said did not seem to clarify things at all. "Okay, so the basics about KEY powers." she said as they walked along. "Our powers come from channeling and manipulating quantum energies. Our nodes," she said, tapping her head with a finger, "...the little lumps that KEYS develop in our brains, let us do that." she said, pausing for just a moment. "Anyways, our powers make a quantum field around us, so that we do not hurt ourselves with our own powers. The thing is, though, that it does not protect our clothing or stuff we carry or whatever. BUT, you can learn to attune things though, and even people, you are touching, to your quantum field, extending that protection and allowing your powers to work with it. Like, take Charlie... Sorry. Proteus, for example. And he turns into fire. Say he is wearing normal clothes and is holding somebody in his arms. Well, that is cool and all, but unless his clothing and the person he is holding is attuned to him, then he is going to burn them up. But if he attuned them, then his fire would not burn them at all. Or like myself. I can run at mach speeds. It's my power, so my quantum field protects me from the acceleration and stuff. But if I were holding you in my arms and ran that fast, the acceleration would probably snap your neck. If I attuned you, then you would be fine. Or say you turn invisible. Well, unless your clothes are attuned, they do not go invisible with you. If your clothing is attuned, then it is all good." she said and stopped walking for a moment. "So my clothes right now are actually a PAM suit." she said, letting her clothing revert make to it's natural state, looking almost like a skintight, full body wet suit, akin to amm manner of suits seen in sci-fi and superhero moves and comics. "PAM stands for Poly-Adaptive Molecules or something like that. Anyways, the material reacts to the wearer's quantum field, so that it works with our powers and is not harmed by them, even without attuning. It's more like it attunes itself to you. PAM suits have other neat benefits too. The suit can store some quantum energy for you, like an emergency supply or whatever. It is also part body armor, but only as long as it has stored quantum in it, I think. And the last benefit is that with some concentration, the wearer can will it to take different shapes." she explained as she concentrated again and the suit shifted into cold weather attire again. "With my PAM suit I can use my powers freely and do not need to worry about clothing getting in the way. I mean, I can attune stuff too, but it is nice to not have to always do it." she clarified. "We don't just have PAM suits laying around, unless Sean and Abel.. sorry.. Savant and Sage, have figured out how to make them, but we can probably get you hooked up with one at some point. Hopefully sooner than later." "As far as the other stuff.. yeah. Really shitty day in some respects, and better in others. I mean, we met you." she said with only a slightly forced smile. "We found Kyle too, and rescued him, so that's good too. It was hard seeing him living like that, and then what they did to him..." her voice trailed off as she clinched her fists and shut her eyes for a moment before relaxing them again with a long, exhale. "I'm sorry you had to see that, with 'Ronin' and my father too. I mean, you kind of just got dragged into all of this, way more than you even thought you might be signing up for." Lilly sighed. "And even still, you do not need to keep trying to sell yourself or impress us. You are already here. When it came down to it, you were there, standing with us, risking your own life for the good of others. That goes a long way in my book, and I am sure everybody else's too. You're good." she said, with a faint smile. "And yeah, I could stand to burn off some energy too. Frankly, the last thing I want to do right now is be alone to think."
  17. 1 point
    Personally i would like the emphasis to not be on the war but rather the next phase the settling of the solar system, extra solar colonies and rebuilding. The war imo should be backdrop. Doesnt mean we cant have episodes involving the war but i really am not that intrested in a military game If i were running it. The war would be over the sic asi that you detailed would be the ones that got away and can threaten from space. They replace the aberrants they are badily out of the picture but their threat is a constant worry. A good example is the ai war from space above and beyond. I just dont think makjng this a war game would be a much fun
  18. 1 point
    Hopefully I don't have to re-write this version to make it playable like I had to do for the last one. We'll see, I suppose.
  19. 1 point
    NORFOLK VIRGINIA GRANBY HIGH SCHOOL Marissa read her phone ans looked to Jeane, smiling. "Of course you're not, Jeane. There's nothing wrong with reporting a key sighting, especially one where there's the possibility of someone getting hurt. These abilities, as we know, are sometimes very scary when you first acquire them. I was completely freaked out, but with the help of other who understood my fear and... my brother," Her tone trailed as she suddenly choked on how much she missed him. She recovered quickly enough and her smiled returned like it had never left. "I was able to get a grip on them and understand them better. Sage, underneath all of his obvious social and fashion failures... is a really smart and great guy. We're here to help so whomever this key is doesn't have to feel alone, afraid, or ostracized anymore. Were here to help."
  20. 1 point
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 1 point
    Na'Atem gestured with her hands, weaving threads into a spell matrix. The Spellstone glowed and shimmered as the spell took form, emitting rays of light as bands of æther swirled around it. "Ƭƹȴƺƥɸґᵵᶏƫїδתּ" she said in some ancient, arcane tongue and vanished from view, reappearing beside Cosima and the others she took with her. "You are not the only one with such abilities." she commented.
  24. 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."
  25. 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."
  26. 1 point
    'Whatever' was Warren word of the century. No matter where they went together or how they bonded, it was always 'whatever' eventually. Shopping for food was no different. Warren was a thief and they all knew it, not a clepto (he didn't steal from them), but when one of the ladies saw something they liked... it mysteriously ended up in the house eventually. Ugh, and the hacking! He never stopped cracking people's networks. When they were out he'd control the auto sprayer for the produce section... why?! Who does that?! He always had money and they all knew it was stolen, so when they shopped they steered clear from him in case he was getting arrested soon. That and he ate like a guy who'd given up on life. "Captain Crunch... Steakhouse Funyuns... Spaghetti O's... Red Vines... well, that was easy." He sighed looking completely underwhelmed. He maneuvered through the market and found Kaitlin looking at what appeared to be food one had to cook... how quaint. "What the hell is that?" He asked. "It's a roast," She replied dryly. She knew he knew, but his ability to act ignorant in all things civilized was quickly becoming his second most used talent, aside from being a jerk. "Warren, it boggles my mind that you are a genius par excellence, and yet you have no clue how to shop for groceries." He shrugged. "Never really had to. We always sorta eat on the move, chips and a sandwich from a store, y'know. I can cook, I just... I dunno, don't." "You can cook?" She raised her brow, smirking skeptically. "It's just following directions and understanding the maillard reaction." He spoke with a nerdy cool, like that rocker dude science teacher that you knew would make class fun. She set the roast into the buggy. "Dare I ask... what's the maillard reaction?" "The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction between an amino acid and a reducing sugar in a form of non-enzymatic browning," He was sending a text, or hacking something, (who knew?) while he was reciting the definiion. His ability to multitask she figured came from his work as a program coder. "The reactive carbonyl group of the sugar interacts with the nucleophilic amino group of the-" "It's makes things taste good." She cut him off. "Yeah," He looked up swaying his arms out wide. "That's what I just said," He snapped his fingers and pointed at her. "I just realized I forgt something... chocolate milk." "I swear, your heart is gonna give out before you're thirty," She shook her head. "If I'm lucky!" He shouted down the isle way as he walked off to grab yet more food that would inevitably leave him trapped in a basement playing female characters on World of Warcraft in his late forties. Still though, as the days went on he was talking more.
  27. 1 point
    After Sean's words Laurie took a step closer to Devin, a bit closer then she'd gotten before and took his hand in hers. He looked down, then looked at her. "Don't look at me like that, we're on a date. I'm keeping up appearances. Don't get any ideas." She'd never quite figured out if it was a crush or some jacked up version Stockholm Syndrome where she found herself strangely attracted to the guy who used to remind he that she was a freckled ginger who would die alone because guys liked women with bewbs. The more she got to know him though the less and less afraid of him she was, he stopped being the miserable ogre of her self-esteem nightmares and began just being a regular guy... with issues, like she had issues, and Sean had issues... everyone of the Irregulars had a story, not all of them good. Besides, she had bewbs now, so screw you Jauntsen! <Punching your date? Oh, this is a must...> Devin chimed up with his thoughts. <Shame, I kinda like the guy. I thought not everyone was genetically predisposed towards enhancing? I mean, Laurie hasn't enhanced either, unless crazy is her superpower.> Her thumbnail dug deeply into his palm and he winced. "I. Can. Hear. You." She said through tightly pursed lips. "Ow, ow, ow..." He tried to let go, but she refused to relinquish her new torture tool: his hand. "Sean... stop relaying stuff, dude... Guild Chat is supposed to be our time... our special time... away from Crazy Cat Lady..." He winced as the pain shot through his hand again. He was more laughing than in pain though. "Ow, ow..."
  28. 1 point
    Sean had shrugged awkwardly when Marissa had called him and Clare a cute couple. He hadn't really noticed her before his own transformation, and after her's, he had started questioning her mental stability. He was questioning it now, after all the calls and noticing she was the only number blocked in her phone in this... reality, or whatever it was. "Um, that rabbit hole goes deep and twisty, Marissa," Sean piped in with caution in his high voice. "If you find out where it goes, you're gonna think we're nuts." The small boy grinned crookedly in self-deprecation. "More nuts. So consider carefully if you really want to know more." He took a sip of coffee, letting the blessed caffeine warm him, then tilted his cup towards Devin. "I don't believe it was your fault, Devin. Just an interaction or confluence of effects." He pursed his lips. "Maybe a trap in case someone tried to do just what we were doing." He nodded towards Kia and Lilly. "We might not be able to do the things we could before, but I still remember most of what I knew. If the DoE project doesn't exist here or we can't get access to it, we might be able to recreate the event ourselves." Sean's determined expression looked strained. He might know in theory how to make a portal set-up, but he no longer had the devastating brilliance that let him make theory into reality or adapt for any unexpected variables or difficulties that came up. Or to cobble something like that together from scrap. "If we can get our hands on the right parts, of course."
  29. 1 point
    "I'm calling bullshit," Mari said. Her tone matched the disbelief of her statement. "Judging by that story, you were all high on something, a spiked drink maybe. And DeeJay, you didn't go to the dance with Laurie, I did. She couldn't find a date. Her brother's a creeper, dude..." "Sean's a decent guy, lay off." He snapped at her with more snark than he intended. the twins trudged through the snow and the cold, the bitter chill of the Montana winter nipped at their cheeks, reddening them and making noses run. "Wow, relax," She snarked back. "All I was saying was that because the rest of the school sees him that way, it makes it hard for her to get any popularity points. If I recall, you had more of a problem with him than me, I get along great with the guy. You're the dick to him." "We patched that up." Devin hopped over a collection of plowed chunks of snow and ice that had built up at the corner of their street. He took Mari's hand and helped her leap over. Although very strong willed and opinionated she was... in a word... 'girlie'. Fashion, shopping, looking pretty, guys, and Cosmo were pretty much how she whittled her days away, but she was always a good person. She was friends with everyone and refused to subscribe to cliques, people either liked or they didn't, either way, life moved on. Devin admired that about her, it was her on quality he never quite mastered. She thanked him, although not dumb enough to wear heels in the snow, her fashionable boots were not made for hopping over chunks of snow and ice. Devin already missed Lilly, Kia, and... gods, even Sara. They were so... practical. They would be in sneakers or steel toed boots making every ice chuck hill their bitch. His sister was... so California still. He didn't love her any less, but he found it amusing now, how she would make something like a trip to meet the crew into a fashion statement. "Wait, what? How in the hell did you patch up 'make a move you little bitch, there's not a locker in the hall that won't fit your scrawny ass'. You had Laurie crying and made Sean look like a punk in front of the whole school." "Uh," Devin had forgotten about that, hoped this new world had too. Sean was sticking up for his sister, Laurie, after Devin had said, or done something in the halls particularly jerk-ridden that day. Hell, he didn't even remember what anymore but recalled that she had to hide her tears from everyone in the halls and Sean, despite his bravado had to eventually back down, making him look weak in front of a lot of people. Man I'm suck a dick. With powers they got along so well, they even clicked on sarcasm and jokes, like the bad shit Devin never happened. Sean had never brought it up even after they got their powers... he supposed he probably owed Sean a 'sorry' for his actions and certainly a 'thank you' for not being asshole Devin had obviously been. With Sean's power, revenge would have been so easy. Sean was obviously a better person than he was, Devin would have lorded something like that over someone's head as log he could have managed it. "Bygones... n'all that." "Again, this I gotta see," she chuckled. "Where are we going anyway?" "Bunnies." He replied. "If everyone woke up the same as me, then they're all trying to figure things out too. Aside from 'the barn' we always congregate here, at Bunnie's. The food is cheap and I'm a poor teenager, so I let them buy me food. It's a great racket. Let's me save money for... other stuff." "Like your porn? Oh, by the way, 'Mecha Bang Bunnies' and 'Japanese Slave Maids' finished downloading... are those anime?" She asked with a wry smirk. "No, they're hentai, and stay out of my room." He replied shamelessly. There was no shame or secrets between the twins. Through out the years they had talked about everything, shared about every secret they had and just come accept the other for who they were. Devin could burn Shelly to the ground tomorrow and although Marissa would be pissed at him, for months probably, she'd find some round about way of forgiving him. And woe to the person that treated Devin's sister... well... like he treated everyone else's sisters. He pulled open the door for his sister and the twins stepped into Bunnies... yup, still smelled like a health code violation. "Hey, kid," Bunnie gave Devin a nod, apparently he still worked here. "Sit anywhere. I'll get you guys in a second." Yup... still looked like a heath code violation too. They found the corner booth, one where thy could pull another table close to make room for everyone. Marissa flipped through a menu she really didn't need, she'd been here enough to know exactly what she wanted; 'saturated fat with a side of regret and three hours of XBone Zumba to wash it down with'. "So who all's coming?" "Uh, Sean, Kia, Abel, Lilly, and Sara. Possibly Laurie, I don't know, things are colossally messed up right now." "Sara? Sara Hutchins? Ugh, that bitch hates me. I totally turned her into the faculty for slinging yay, I don't know how, but I think she knows it was me. If she starts anything, it's on..." "First, she'd wreck you, then ruin you, and probably vigorously pleasure herself while she devours your soul. I'd be obligated to protect my sister, so that means I would die to, and, as we both know, I'm too pretty to die. So, keep it in your pants Legally Blonde. Just don't touch her butt and everything will be okay." Devin rolled his shoulder as they removed their winter coats. His shoulder still ached sometimes when he thought about Sara's Lesbian Death Grip... like a bum knee when rain was imminent. The siblings sat and talked, waiting for rest of the group.
  30. 1 point
    "GOOD!" Devin yelled back, sending one of her shoes back at her. "Bitches be cray... especially that one! Gingers are all flat chested, freckle faced, soulless... GINGERS! " He sat there breathing heavily, mad but not sure why. Something was off, something was... Mari easily evaded the shoe and saw her opponent was stunned, taking advantage she moved in for the kill. "You are such an asshole," She kicked him, but he pillow absorbed most of it. "Dee Jay, I can't believe I actually trusted you, UGH, I am so stupid. Laurie is only a Freshman, dude, you embarrassed her, ruined her dress... probably her whole High School career!" Grogginess was giving way to memories... memories that were his, but not... he stood up swiftly. "Wait... wait..." Mari kicked and pummeled him the whole time he was getting to his feet, they were siblings and this whole routine was old hat, so he wasn't in any real danger. "Knock it off!" The assault continued and he blocked as best he could, she him tackled back on to his bed and continued to punch and slap at any exposed parts that weren't covered by Devin's arms or his feeble attempts to curl into the fetal position. "Seriously..." Mari's assault was relentless and they were more amused by the moment now than enraged. Finally he glared at her menacingly. "Seriously, if you don't quit I'm telling mom where your vibrator is, I'm not even playing..." She relented, granting him the quarter he'd been begging for. "For the record, if we weren't twins, I would have buried you under he porch by now and begged mom and dad for a puppy." She stood there looking at him as he dashed up and out of bed, tearing through piles of clothing looking for his... pants! The ones from last night were in his hands and he rummaged through their pockets. He thumbed through his retrieved phone and looked at his sent messages. "What are you doing? You don't have friends, who would you call?" Empty. He remembered sending Mari texts, told her he loved her, Mom and Dad too... where were they? "Yeah, yeah... you're pissed, I get it. But something just occurred to me, Em Jay... and you're not going to believe me, but..." He thought about it for a second, telling her everything that had happened... everything he could remember, anyway. Nah, something was rotten in Denmark. He decided to take the hit. "You know what, never mind. Look, you're my sister, I love you. Whatever I did I'm sorry, and that's the best I got. I don't even remember last night." His thumbs went to work. Guild chat wasn't working, but he still had his... what... the... hell...? Where were their number? The Irregulars, the Air Force people, Laurie's... Laurie's number was gone too. He wasn't sure why but something about that made him, sad, confused? Like he's lost something important. "You love me?" Mari looked at him, puzzled. Devin hadn't shown a member of his family anything but contempt for the last three years. He got along with Mari, they were twins, but he'd not opened up and been honest with her for... well, awhile. She was honestly stunned. "And you don't remember last night? Dee Jay, are you on something, take something at the dance maybe?" "I can't explain, look, uh, get dressed... we gotta find the others." He began tearing into his clothes piles. Mari still stood there, confused. "Go! Come on! Seriously if you wanna know what's going on, move!" She dashed out with an evil smirk on her face. "Oh, this I gotta see..."
  31. 1 point
    you should join the chat room that where everyone hangs out
  32. 1 point
    "Hey, I'm far better than cute, I'm cheeky, and fun." He shot Sean a playful wink and grinned to Kia. "Sorry, Giddy Lu Wu," he played on name of the little girl from the Suessian tale of the Grinch. "I don't think Blink Dog is quite up to snuff, unless, you know, we use like, 'Dawg', and make me sound all urban and gangsta..." "Of which you are niether," Lilly said with a teasing smirk while moving past him to get something to drink. She patted him on the shoulder to help console him after her sarcasm. "If your boyfriend wasn't here, I would so sexually harass you right now." He replied, glaring at her with an equal amount of humor. "Oh, come one dude, since when has that ever stopped you?" Sandy grinned and the two young men offered each other a greeting and a fist bump. "Yeah, fair enough," Devin shrugged, reveling in his reputation for douchery. He and Sandy weren't the greatest of pals, but since he'd started hanging out at Sean's they'd had a few opportunities to talk. At first Sandy was pretty defensive of Lilly and the way Devin would talk, but in time he came to understand that it was mostly in fun. As an act of truce, Devin kept his antics towards Lilly minimal in Sandy's presence. Of course, Lilly was far from needing any protection, but guys had to feel chivalrous when to the ladies they cared about, even if that lady could bench an eighteen wheeler. "Sojourn is a cool sounding name," Abel added. He was organizing his place on the table, getting his assorted dice and note books ready. "You're Rarely in one place very long these days anyway." Kia perked right up from her place on the couch. "Oh, yeah." She beamed a smile. "I like that one, it's fitting too." "If we're going for fitting," Sara chimed in. "What about 'Captain Pervert'." "Also fitting," Kia agreed with a polite and totally innocent nod. "Not helping, Kia." Devin offered in a monotone deadpan expression. He then capped his hands together. "I got it. Jaunt. Because it's what I do." "So all this time we shoulda been calling you 'Masturbate'..." Sandy asked with a smooth, subtle squeeze of the trigger of his 'burn' gun. The room erupted in a sudden explosive laughter with Devin at the center of it rewarding them all with both his middle fingers on proud display. "Sandy, out of nowhere," Sean managed through her laughs. The moment subsided and Devin, a bit flushed in the cheeks form being blindsided by Sandy, was tossing a few bags of chips on the table while still giving the bird to anyone still chuckling at his expense. "Seriously, though," Sandy offered between laughs. "Jaunt. I like it. It sounds like a Metal Gear code name. Roll with it, I would." Devin held his arms out at waist level and looked to Sara. "And just like that, Jaunt is born."
  33. 1 point
    "Naw, you wouldn't find pics of Laurie on my phone, relax," he finished the Twinkie and took a few steps from the kitchen area before disappearing and reappearing not far from Sean. "I'd totally move them to a jump drive so you couldn't find em..." His grin went wide as Sean's perfect lips pursed, she lashed out and punched him in the arm. She connected and he laughed. By the very virtue he didn't teleport away from her proved that he playing around. "Chill, I'm just joking. Any pics she sends me will be willing donations to my spank bank, and no, I'm not going to say 'no' to them. If she wants to send em' that's on her. Seriously, I'm a grade A d-bag, not a mouth breathing rapist." "Yet." Sara added with a glare, but she was still carried a slight expression of being playful with him. Some might think the two hated one another, but the truth was they shared a decent joke once in while. Devin and Sara were a lot alike, thought they'd never admit it. They were both, until recently, running from something. Whether from their lives, their choices or their problems, they both had found outlets in their own ways. In Sara's case, Sean had provided her some stability, someone she could confide in and share some of her burdens. Devin however, was still running with not even so much a destination in mind. "Well, I applied for the seminar tickets online but you know how all these liberal college campuses are," he shook his head and mocked an exasperated sigh with his arms thrown up high. "What's a guy to do?" He faded away and was gone for a few seconds only to reappear next to Sara, lying on the bed beside her with a large, thin rectangular box wrapped nicely in an ice blue ribbon with sparkled silver edging. "Hi, Sara, I feel like we're drifting apart." She slammed her arm into the bed, coming down in a sideways arc that caught nothing but the bed sheets. Devin was already gone, knowing her tendency to choke him out first and giggle at his jokes later. He solidified into view next to Sean, startling her slightly, his way of silently moving about and being almost everywhere at once was an incredibly difficult trait for anyone to get used to. He thumbed back to the bed, cradling the fancy box in one arm. "Sara tried to kill me again. I feel like I'm losing her, like there may be someone else... do you think it was something I said, or did?" A guitar pick hit him in the back with the force of a snapped towel. He arched his back and tried to rub the stinging spot but it was just out of thumbs reach. Sean tried to cover her laugh with her hand, but it was obvious. "That's a safe bet, yeah," she slipped the box from under his arm before he dropped it. "Careful, what do you have, anyway?" "Take a look," he said. The stinging was dying down swiftly. His new super body did a good job brushing off most minor injuries so the antics of the team tossing high speed small objects at each other (which was more common that one might think) didn't bother him for too long. "Laurie was pestering me about dresses. She likes hers but she loved this one she saw on some website." "Devin, you didn't." Sean narrowed her eyes, partially surprised that she was assuming he did something selfless. She moved swiftly to the table and set the box upon it. She lifted the lid and took a peek inside. "Since the military is asking us to help them out, I decided to remind them that they have several under aged workers performing top secret military missions into combat zones... and not paying us, well, me. It may not be Captain McKeller's department, but I gotta hand it to him, he came through and pulled some strings." For once both the ladies could see a hind of red in Devin's cheeks. Apparently being a decent guy was a new experience for him. "I was, uh, hoping maybe you could give it to her."
  34. 1 point
    Kia blinked in surprise and looked up at Courtney, then broke into her bright, infectious smile. "Totally ready! Excuse me a second." She stepped around Courtney and gave a big wave across the field to where her folks were sitting. "I like knowing where my family's sitting. Helps get me all psyched knowing they're watching. Don't you think?" With that, Kia headed back towards where the rest of the squad was doing their warmups, already going over the routine in her head. She'd noticed in the course of the weeks since getting powers that even without taking some other shape she was still a lot stronger than she had been. It was unclear to her just how much stronger, or if it was 'superhumanly' strong or just strong 'for a girl her size.' Kia was pretty sure she wasn't as strong as, say, Lilly...but that left a lot of room for uncertainty. She hadn't really tried to test herself yet. It did, however, give her thoughts for cool cheer moves that would have been beyond her before though. She wasn't sure if there'd be time to work something out that was impressive but not too obvious before the school year was over, was the thing. Well, there was always college. Assuming, of course, they could stop this whole alien thing over the summer. Damn, that'd really SUCK if they had to skip a year because of it!
  35. 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.
  36. 1 point
    <Sure Sean, that'd be fun!> is Kia's response to Sean's 'ping.' She's already been thinking about lunch...it was easier to eat off campus, since she tended to visit two or even three fast food places. Eating as much as she did in one place was too embarrassing. She wasn't sure everyone else had the same appetite, though vaguely remembered them eating a lot too after getting their powers. It was harder to really focus in class today. She kept thinking about herself, her friends, and the changes they were going through. Abel's powers set him apart, but he'd had more practice fitting in. Sara and Alec and herself had new abilities, but hadn't really changed a lot aside from that. They were still basically the same people, with a little extra. Lilly was like that too. Of all of them, the one who'd changed the most was Sean. She'd been trying to keep her nose out, but she could tell Sara was worried. Worried, but having a really tough time dealing with it because she melted into a puddle of estrogen whenever Sean smiled at her. The only time Sara could ever even try to speak her mind with Sean was when she was too mad to get tongue-tied...but that also made her too mad to really talk. Kia could understand. Sean was gorgeous now...but Kia found herself thinking of her almost more as a really amazing robot or statue of a woman than an actual person, when she wasn't careful. Beautiful, but...not real somehow? There was something perfunctory about her, and it had taken her an entire class period thinking about it to nail it down. She looks like she was designed by a guy to be the perfect woman. And that kind of summed Sean up in a nutshell, didn't it? <Where do you want to meet?>
  37. 1 point
    Lilly sighed and stood up. She looked around the room, at her friends who were now more than just friends, at her father and Kia's, at Blitz and Julio and Dr. Rashoud as she thought to herself for a moment before she spoke, addressing the Irregulars (mostly). "I know this might not be ideal and it feels like we have no choice, but really, who else is going to stop these aliens? We have been gifted these abilities and they make use the best suited to fight them. There are many thousands of brave men ad women in the US military alone, who will fight and lay down their lives for this nation, and indeed the world if it came to it. But today showed that they are outclassed here. Even if they had managed to somehow bring down the scout and all of the centaurs, they would still all be dead now when those failsafes went off. Instead, they get to go home and see their husbands, wives, kids, families and friends. Why? Because of us." "Yeah, you can say that we saved who knows however many other lives today, and that is hard to gauge and see, but for a fact we saved the lives of those soldiers on that island. And we stopped these failsafe bombs from detonating AND recovered one for study and maybe reverse engineering. Why? Because of what we are able to do with these abilities, and do as a team. We did good today. We saved lives.. again.. just like we did at the cabins, and maybe got our side a leg up in this struggle, or at least a start of one, especially with our help studying their tech and physiology." she says, motioning to the frozen centaur in the hangar below. "But things would not have gone as well as they did without their help too. They destroyed the satellite, closing the portal to stop more from coming though and stopping that thing from escaping. Hell, they even managed to kill that scout. And they have access to resources we can't even touch. Neither the six of us, nor the thousands of them, can do this alone. We have to drop the distrust, fear or whatever, as hard as it is to do, and work together, for all our sakes. I know it feels like we are being forced into this, but really we never had a choice from the moment we got these abilities, because we all have good hearts and can not stand by and let this invasion happen." < Choosing to work with them now is going to yield much better results and up the cooperation and trust considerably. I know some of you would love to get a crack at that alien tech, well imagine doing it with the full support and resources of the US? We can use our powers, and work well as a team so for, but they can help with that considerably and rapidly. And then you have all the gear.. armor, guns, and everything else that we will likely have access to. You all know that when there is some huge problem like this, that money becomes no object. > she thought to the others over guildchat in an instant. < I know you feel like we are backed into a corner, but we don't have to be. Let's make the best of it, at least for now. And like I said, if we are going to be forced into this anyways, then it's best having mine and Kia's dads overseeing us. They will do more for us than anybody else. > she added. "So let's work together, protect our world, save countless lives and prepare to kick some more alien ass."
  38. 1 point
    Kia's eyes widened, and her mouth fell open. "No...way..." she breathed.
  39. 1 point
    Penny just couldn't help but be obnoxious it was her nature, she sneered at Kaitlin's question as she pointedly looked out the limos side window watching the long car zoom past traffic. What the fuck, they could probably use their magic to find out more than she could ever reveal anyway. "Sure, why not. Help yourselves to the bar," The haughty vampire paused thinking about where to begin. "Vladaslav Radu is old world, and i do mean old world. I don't know how much y'all know about the Kindred but i am sure y'all have tons of books and stuff to learn shit about clans and blood lines and politics. Yep just like y'all we have politics. There's two major parties in Kindred politics, The Camarilla," She points to herself, " we are the ones who don't want to cause waves want to blend in pretend we are human and all that. Then there are the Sabbat, they embrace the beast think Kindred should be the top dog, alpha predator of the universe. The two bodies have been at war for a long long time. Radu used to be a big time muckity muck in the Sabbat back in eastern Europe a long time ago like a few hundred years long time ago. Then he dropped out of the scene, probably went into torpor but who knows. He showed back up in the middle of the last century but he didn't want his old position of power which had been kept up by his childer. Instead he wanted to unite the Kindred as one but not to rule the world in Sabbatt fashion, but to make peace and live in harmony with humanity and everything else crawling in the shadows. That really didn't fly to well with the Sabbat hell it didn't even fly with his family, and well lets just say blood was spilt." She pauses to see if they are still following her, she kind of likes the attention. "When the dust settled Most of Radu's family were dust and he was exiled. His clan pulled a lot of strings to keep him from the final embrace but then those crazy fucks are like that. Radu and his remaining followers came to America and settled down here. The Camarilla let him in because he declared that all he wanted was peaceful coexistence. He built his club Locul Pacii, the Place of Peace, and made it a sanctuary for anyone, supernatural or human. Back then the Camarilla was the only party in town but after Katrina, the Sabbat spread their disease to our humid green wonderland. When New Orleans was built it was done so by Kindred. You mages stole it from us. Up to Katrina, Kindrid and mages were pretty much at war here, well everywhere really I guess, , led by your' holier than thou wizards at the Cathedral. After Katrina, when the Sabbat came Radu approached your group of mages at that crazy house of yours and they came up with the Covenant Peace Treaty. Since then He has also managed to create a cease fire between the Camarilla and the Sabbat here. But now something else has come to town something that threatens all of us if it gains hold. That's why he asked for you guys."
  40. 1 point
    someone with mastery on disrupt works pretty well. I have alot of experience killing high power novas. If you've got Q-8 quantum authority and supremacy are options too As to explain why nobody's heard of them, you've got a Q8 nova with time travel pulling in other novas to fight them from other timelines, or just use crosstime travel with exotic worlds and extra targets, and you can bring in whatever you want. You cannot beat aberrants defensive powers with its offensive powers. It's annoying as shite. Quantum leech and Quantum vampire are also highly effective, though you want to make sure it can be done at range.. Don't try to beat his strength, but attack where he cannot defend. Another option is to make him fight himself straight up...See how he wins.. if he can.
  41. 1 point
    It was a moment straight out of an action movie. Austin didn't even slow down, seeing the three thugs outside his home, Directly aiming the Mustang at them.They began to scatter at the sound of the Roaring stampede of Horsepower, but not before the vehicle Impacted the first thug, Hitting the hapless guy with the full force of a Tidal wave. The effect broken, Austin burst through the "window" of the Mustang as it returned to being just water around him, rolling even as his trident extended in his hand, and using that momentum hurling the ancient weapon at the thug who was furthest away, even as he was rising to his feet. His eyes were the color of dark sapphires, his anger that someone would come after his parents to get at him had kindled something he never knew was there. The three barbs at the head of the weapon speared his back, catching both lungs and heart, killing him instantly. He wasn't done yet, running towards the last thug who looked at him in near terror.He'd grabbed the first thug's wooden bat, and dashed toward him. He had some sense of preservation, raising his chain to try to fend off the rampaging Scion. It might have worked too, if he'd gone for a high shot. Instead he went low, Clipping the thug's knees, and then proceeding to bludgeon him practically to death with the bat. His rage spent, he Threw the bat away, and retrieved his trident. When he turned around, the waters which had been roughly knee-high, had begun to recede, the bodies were gone too, and he returned his weapon to its normal form, moving around the house slowly to be sure. He was honestly surprised that no one had come out of the house due to the noise, or any of his other neighbors, but he was thankful for that small favor. "Thanks for all the help, Dad." He whispered quietly. He knew in his heart, boons like this weren't without a price, and resigned himself to pay it. "If it keeps them safe, I'll do what I have to." He'd killed three human beings, and he oddly didn't feel anything, save satisfaction that his family was safe. It was a Dark line of thought, one he wasn't comfortable with, but it had been done now. He felt certain others were facing the same choices, and the same dark thoughts might plague them too.
  42. 1 point
    Math class wasn't that bad. Sure, her homework hadn't been all done and when called upon to show her work on a math problem, it was a sprawling, messy affair that at least looked like it was correct, at first glance anyway. When challenged on it, Nadya begged an indulgence and demonstrated the 'Short Change' confidence trick, claiming it was the equivalent of her math work. She managed to cajole Mercedes' scowling flunky Lexus to help her, as she was the only one that had enough cash on hand to show the trick in action, trading a ten for ones back and forth and ending up with a twenty somehow. The class was amused, the teacher less so, but Nadya ended up not being called on for the rest of the class, while Lexus got her twenty back. Though in the process, Nadya did nick one of her credit cards unnoticed. Spanish class didn't turn out so well for Nadya. Ms. Elliot had not been impressed with her turning in her homework written in Arabic text... and she proceeded to correct it to Nadya's consternation and with what to her eyes was an excessive amount of red. Then Grace decided to be a bitch about it and wouldn't let her crib any answers off her for the rest of the class. Why do I have such trouble learning damned Spanish? To make herself feel better, when she went out for a bathroom break, Nadya used Lexus' credit card and ordered a pair of large pizzas from Super Duper Pizza for delivery, one Total Carnage, one Tree Hugger. It was one of the more expensive pizza places around Salem, but they piled their pies high with toppings and cheese. When Nadya stepped out of school and crossed the parking lot, her pizzas was waiting. Then she crossed the back fields and joined Dane among the trees abutting the golf course for a toke in exchange for pizza, which was why she'd gotten the Tree Hugger Pizza. Dane was a vegetarian, but an okay guy despite that. Nadya could get weed if she or someone else really wanted, but she had to go through someone else, not really being a dealer herself and Dane Summers had the best. It was totally a West Coast thing, she mused. Nadya didn't mind the occasional bit of pot and if she had to stick around school for the rest of the day while Rae-Rae and Go Fish went on a field trip, she wanted a bit of a high while enduring the afternoon. They were rambling lackadaisically on completely random topics as one was want to do while getting high when a sound caught Nadya's attention. Without moving her head, Nadya lazily turned her silvery-grey eyes and saw Miguel Jimenez, a Junior, cutting through the woods as he walked his younger brother Roberto home. They didn't have much and usually went home for lunch nowadays, especially after some, Lexus chief among them, teased them about being so poor, they couldn't afford to bring a lunch to school. "-and blue Play-doh-" "Can we put a pin in that for a sec, Dane?" Nadya interrupted, sitting up and picking up the Total Carnage Pizza, only one slice of it missing. "I need to speak with Miguel for a minute." "De nada, Nadya," Dane said, then chuckled as his tongue tangled over the similar syllables. Nadya got up and scampered after the Jimenez....es? Jimenezi? The Jimenez boys. When Miguel looked over and saw Nadya coming after them, he bent over to whisper something to his brother and they both hurried up. What?! I never-- Why does everyone believe everything Mercedes says? Hiding her annoyance under a grin, Nadya sped up. "Miguel, hold up, man! This thing is heavy," Nadya called out. "I just want to give you a pizza." Miguel really just wanted to get away from the klepto-skank, but he could smell the pizza now and Roberto's stomach grumbled audibly. Against his better judgment, he let Nadya close with them. "Look, we don't want your stolen pizza," Miguel began. He could smell the pot on her now too. "It's not stolen," Nadya countered, putting a hurt look on her face, just the funds to pay for it were. "Totally paid for." "And you're just giving it away?" he demanded suspiciously. Nadya shrugged and stretch the pizza out to him. "They messed up my order and sent us two," Nadya lied breezily. "It's a Total Carnage from Super Duper's, double toppings, no way I and Dane can finish them both and you were the first people who passed up so..." "What's the catch?" "No catch!" Nadya protested. "Honest! Look, if you don't just want to take it, help me out with Spanish class and we'll call it even. Deal?" Miguel was still a little reluctant, then nodded and took the pizza, eyes widening at the weight, even giving her a small smile. "Deal. Thanks Nadya." He paused for moment, glanced down at his brother then back at Nadya. "Did you really-" "No! I didn't! Don't believe a thing Mercedes or her posse say! Enjoy the pizza and make sure your dad gets a slice." Miguel and Roberto turned and hurried home while Nadya rejoined Dane, taking the joint from his fingers and taking a puff. "Dude! What about when we get the munchies?" "There's still have a pizza left," Nadya commented while reaching into her pack and tossing something at him, that hit his chest with a crinkling sound. "Plus funyuns." "Sweet!" Dane nodded the way the Jimenezes went. "Why'd you do that?" "Kuntari, man!" "What?" "Universal Balance. Universal Harmony," Nadya explained, leaning back on the ground and staring up at the blue sky and white clouds. She tried to make a smoke-ring but it come out more like a Cthulhu-inspired starfish. "Everything has its place and what goes around comes around." "Huh?" "Karma, dude," Nadya massively simplified. "Ah! Gotcha!" For a hippie stoner from Malibu, that made perfect sense. It did to Nadya. Lexus gave them the most shit about being poor and needing food stamps, so it felt right to Nadya that she should buy them a pizza that was good for two or three meals. She'd known the Jimenez boys came this way on their way home, their father did landscaping and maintenance on the golf course. She'd also known how dire their straits were getting after their father had come into the Lost & Found to pawn a ring. It was a very nice emerald ring with obvious sentimental value, but Alberto Jimenez had his pride and hadn't wanted to resort to charity to provide for his boys, so he had parted with it. There were certain sorts that went to a Pawn Shop. Some wanted cash for a fix, some where just looking to get a few bucks for their junk and others were just looking around to get something at a good deal. Thanks to Pawn Stars and shows like that, the number of people for a lucky find were on the rise. And of course, there were those that were looking to off load stolen goods. And more rarely, there were those that just had to part with valued items for funds just to survive. Her father had given Alberto a good deal on the ring, then had set it aside in the back to give Alberto a good, long chance for his situation to improve so he could get it back. Laszlo could tell he'd be back for it, if he could. Nadya's grin widened, a crossed leg bouncing to the music she and Dane were listening to. "Sometimes, it just needs a bit of help."
  43. 1 point
    "Coming back to you!" The cry came from ahead of Tharra and to the left. She could also hear the rustling noises of the halfling woman and her bloody big wolf rampaging around over there. That was intentional of course...they knew how to be quiet when they wanted. But in this case the goal was to make noise...they wanted to be sure the deer knew exactly where they were. Astride her wolf, the huntress couldn't be easily outrun. That combined with the rocks and fallen tree blocking any other easy path left the deer one way out. Directly at Tharra.
  44. 1 point
    I am quite amazed your character's reached Q10. How long had you been playing him?
  45. 1 point
    submitted. Casper Juliens. A no-nonsense man of few words. Likes fly small aircraft and kill things for no other reason than to say he has killed something. He does listen to orders and will generally be a 'good soldier' if directed.
  46. 1 point
    Hi Peoples, I am looking to play a Lancea Sanctum member of the "Farm" who's sire embraced him while is was a Revenant at the farm, but currently not sold on my clan yet. I would like a PC sire if I could find one, embrace story is pretty important to the concept (chosen from the Farm Revenant Stables). Ren Leahy
  47. 1 point
    Requiem shall begin tomorrow!
  48. 1 point
    Having read some of forsaken 2nd edition now, I'm finding I like the changes, but on a different note, the character is shaping more in my head. Irraka Auspice, Hunters in Darkness Tribe, likely going to be assassin facet of Irraka, her wolf side is forming well, her human side is giving me a bit of trouble.
  49. 1 point
    Aye. I've also submitted the history by PM. Though I hadn't thought of the Google Drive Link. Good idea!
  50. 1 point
    Yesssssss. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pisnHD_JuJM
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