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  1. 2 points
    For all the dangers and freakishness of the situation, Fisher was calm. Relatively so, with superhuman intellect and focus running down the situation. In front of them, a potential repeat of the Nekyia situation when the Band first got into the heroing business. The creatures on the other end had held off once they'd noticed Fisher and his heritage. They couldn't rely on that this time. Step One, stop Todd and get him away. Austin, Fisher thought approvingly, was already on that. That left the issue of containment. The wisps seemed to be confined by the pentagram, but that thing wouldn't likely stop whatever eldritch evil was coming through from stepping out. What would an anime/manga protagonist do in this situation? It was hardly a silly question. The many great series carried their rivers of Japanese tales and lore, homages in their way to the Amatsukami, of whom he was a Scion. Obviously, he couldn't pull a Naruto and just create some fuinjustu masterwork to seal it back up. But there were other ways, a more traditional option now that he thought about it. Fisher drew Comb Tooth and jabbed it forward, turning the pen into a naginata, and catching some of the flying paper. It came down into Fisher's outstretched hand, cut into strips. And Comb Tooth retracted back into a pen. Was the pen mightier than the sword? Thankfully, Fisher could have it both ways. In swift flickers, Fisher drew the kanji. "Izanagi, father of the gods. He who brought Chikaeshi-no-okami. Bind death away from life here!" The stone from which his own pendant was made, Fisher remembered. With a toss, defying the laws of physics, the strip of paper which Fisher had inscribed his step-father's name sailed as if a rigid solid object and met the doors to the lab, slamming them shut and sticking as if glued firmly. "Amaterasu, heavenly queen and sun! Restrain this twisted light with your own!" Another inscribed strip found its way to one point of the pentagram. "Susanoo, slayer of Orochi! Drive these monsters back!" "Tsukuyomi, moon lord! I plead for your support!" Two, third points covered. "The Seven Fortunes! Give this your blessing!" Four. And of course finally, "Izanami, mom. You owe me." The last one came into place. Ofuda. The various talismans, amulets and other charms issued by Shinto shrines. Often they had the names of the shrines too with the kami, but Fisher Capra was a Scion of the Amatsukami and the writing was done by a genuine Relic. He WAS his own spiritual holiness for this. And he would make their bindings real. Five to cover the pentagram, one on the doors to bar the room just to be safe. And their words glowed, a pure white compared to the sickly green cracks. White lines connecting the circle...
  2. 1 point
    Clara had a hard time figuring out what character to make for the game, so Sean introduced her to the time-honored tradition of randomly rolling for things. She ended up with a Tiefling Wild Mage, something she never would have made herself due to the bloodline's chaotic effect on gameplay. Who knows? Maybe it'll help Clara learn to adapt more easily. Levis Abandoned by her parents almost immediately after birth, Levis grew up with every disadvantage: she was a poor orphan tiefling and early on in her life the wildly unpredictable nature of her magic became painfully obvious. She was handed around from orphanage to temples and back to orphanages until she finally struck out on her own in her young teens. She's never managed to make close bonds with others, always assuming that eventually they'll turn against her (and that it will probably be her fault). Despite her sadness, she tries to stay content with what she can do an knows that she's still far luckier than others.
  3. 1 point
    "One ounce each, max." the lanky teen stated flatly, his face as stony as his tone. "You're not my only customers and at the moment my supply is limited. I can go an ounce of tobacco too - the nice mellow shit, air cured, no additives." He and the two teens he was addressing, soon to be seniors at Shelly High, were currently hanging out across the street from Bunnee's, lounging on a bench as they appeared to speak idly to one another. “Sure, man.” One of the seniors, a football player called Kieran, nodded agreeably along with his cohort. “What about the – uh – party favors?” It might come as a heart-stopping shock to most of those who sorta kinda knew him, but he didn't hate the fair. Okay, so Jason Bannon disliked the crowds, the people, the disruption, the noise, the people, the livestock fixation and above all the people. But the stall food was okay, the carnival atmosphere was somewhat contagious, and unlike most of his contemporaries he wouldn't have his arm twisted to attend. He could leave whenever he wished to - in fact he didn't even really need to go at all. But it was good for business. Very good. “Sorry, man. I’m out of fireworks.” He said without much of apology in his voice. Last time he’d sold firecrackers to Kieran, the moron had gotten drunk and high then set them off at a post-game celebration last season, nearly injuring bystanders. Luckily the team had not shopped Kieran to the faculty or cops, but Jase was in no mood to rely on the high school code of honour. If someone had gotten hurt, Kieran would have been caught, would have squealed, and then Bannon would be neck deep in shit. No, he had decided not to sell homemade fireworks any more, which was a pity, as he loved making them. But those were the breaks. He sold weed, tobacco and other various ‘consumables’ to the bored youth of Shelly, and that for now was enough of a sideline. “Leave the money in the dead drop and then check it in two days.” He reminded the two as he stood. His dead drop system was how he preferred to deal with most of his customer base. Each small group or individual had a drop around town that was for them and them alone. Bannon checked the drops regularly to make sure they were still feasible, and made changes if necessary. A person could leave a note with an order along with the money, or else contact Bannon directly such as these two had done, and then (if the order was accepted) within 48 hours the money would be gone and whatever substance was their vice would be in its place. He never exchanged money for drugs hand to hand except in the most extreme of circumstances, not since he’d first gotten started. He’d gotten the idea from reading about spycraft and adapting the scheme, and so far it was working like a charm. Occasionally he’d get someone who didn’t want to go to such lengths and demanded special treatment, but his response was as unyielding as the bedrock. He was not going to get caught just because some asshat was impatient or stupid. He didn’t need customers so badly he’d risk that. Leaving the two older boys on the bench, he strode across the street with his hands in his pockets, a rangy figure in slightly too-large clothes and tousled dark hair, only looking up from his slouch to ensure he wasn’t going to get hit by traffic, his mouth a thin humourless line under hooded eyes. He entered the cooler interior of Bunnee’s and glanced around, seeing the familiar mop of red hair seated near the jukebox. “Sean.” He said as he slid into the seat across from the gamesmaster, hazel eyes meeting Sean’s before dropping to the menu as he picked it up and studied it. Sean was used to Bannon-speak by now – this was what other Earthlings would refer to as a ‘casual friendly greeting’. Jase rarely met someone’s eyes for longer than a glance unless he was angry or studying them like a bug under a microscope, both of which were disquieting. “One of those for me too.” He said to Max with a jab of his thumb at Sean’s drink and a glance her way as the waitress came over. “And a coffee. And a blue-cheeseburger with sweet potato fries.” He gave her a slight smile as he handed her the menu. “Thanks.”
  4. 1 point
    THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR Dominique held out a hand toward the box, but never came close to touching it, but wanting to verify what it was. She could feel the dark magic, the same she had felt just minutes before, emanating from the contents of the box and nodded. "That's more of them." she said flatly. "I knew either you or Mr. Walker hand them since you both arrived at the same time." she added. Dominique twirled the shot glass on the table as she let out a small sigh, looking at the box and considering things. "Here's the thing. The rest of you look at 'em bones an' see an item of power, or a weapon, or whatever. And that is what they seem to be, so no judgement from me 'bout that. But they are items of dark magic... very bad juju that one does consider usin' lightly." she said reassuringly, holding up a hand in a 'calm down' gesture to cut off anybody who might have seemed slighted. The young, beautiful black woman continued after giving a moment to make sure nobody was getting upset, twisting her head to the right and then left, to whip her dreads over her shoulder and behind, careful not to hit anybody. "But that's not all they are. As a witch, I look at 'em an' see the bones of a fellow witch, one that was never laid to rest, never allowed to return to the earth. She met a horrible end, one that nobody should face, an' now for over four centuries this woman's spirit has endured, her curse an' hatred and the time of her death fuelin' 'em bones with a dark magic. She deserves her peace. So, if we agree to work together to stop her, an' survive, then when it's all said an' done, I'd like to do just that... put her at peace and be rid of this dark magic. I hope the rest of you can agree." she explained, leaving it at that. She took in a deep sigh and let it out, shifting her thought a bit to the more direct matters hand. "Now, I am not sure how these came to be in your possession..." she said, looking to Dan and Colby, "..but I can tell a few things. However... novel... it may be to keep the bones of the dead in a small tin box, it's not particularly safe. So I can only imagine that they were kept stored away. If you have a few minutes, I can make somethin' that is not only a bit more respectful of the dead, but can also help protect the bearer from the bad juju radiatin' from 'em bones." she offered to Dan. "Oh. And I know where most, if not all, of the rest of the bones are too." she tossed in almost as an afterthought. "So a few things." Dominue said as she pulled out her phone and typed out a text to Darrik one handed as she spoke. Text to Darrik: "I'm not sure of the exact nature of Marko's curse, but judgin' by what he said earlier, I think it is workin' in our favor for the time bein'. Unfortunately, I'd bet that she had 'em cursed in the first place, knowing he would come back here and that, for whatever reason, would bring out the twins, maybe to help him? Anyways, if she had 'em cursed, she might be able to have it broken too. And that would be bad." Dominique turned to face Colby more fully, letting him take her in, in all her beauty and resemblance to her grandmother at the same age, and asked, "So Mr. Walker... Colby... Do you know anythin' about the ritual that was foiled last night or of a witch called 'Mother Walters'?"
  5. 1 point
  6. 1 point
    "CUR?!" The huge Aesir turned towards Freya, plainly bridling at the insult, the ire in his blue gaze increasing as he laid eyes on her. He spat at her feet, booming invective in his native tongue. "Fegh! Only a piss-reeking ginger slattern would confuse a man with a dog. Tis no wonder, though. All know how much the women of the Vanir like to lay with beasts!" For a moment, the ship, crew and (for Eingar) the girl who was his prize were forgotten, washed away by the savage enmity as old as Nordheim. For even as the Picts and Cimmerians hated one another with a deep loathing, so too did the Aesir of Asgard and the Vanir of Vanaheim war with one another gleefully. It is truly said that man hates most those with whom he shares most in common, and that enmity between neighbours can far outstrip rivalries between distant foes for sheer spite. Freya and Eingar glowered at one another, hands tightening on the hafts of their respective weapons as the ship's crew looked on in bemusement. Finally, the master's voice cut through their confusion. "Aiiee, scum! Kill both these savages - a purse for each of their heads!" With that the spell was broken, and with roaring cries the crew of the ship rushed along the pier at the two northerners. To be met with a furious gale of steel and woe, for the interruption of the pair's hostility was possibly the worst tactical blunder any man could make. Had the ship's master left things alone, the two Nordheimir would have torn one another apart, leaving the survivor likely wounded and thus easier game. Instead, just as a tall tree draws the lightning, so too did the reckless charge of the southern sailors provide a focus point for the pair's aggression. Freya spun on one heel, lopping off an upraised arm from one sailor before cleaving open the breastbone of another. Eingar was less graceful, but no less effective as the boss of his shield caved in the face of one man, even as the weighty stone head of his hammer carried through an upward arc, driving the shattered remnants of another luckless man's jaw through what was left of his brain. Another man, armed with a boathook, tried to snag Freya's arm with the cruel gaff, only to have the returning downward plunge of the hammer flatten his head like an overripe orange. Eingar began to sing lustily in his native tongue as he fought, the thunder of his voice ringing in the ears of all nearby. In a matter of heartbeats, the wooden decking of the quay was awash in blood and worse, and the two Nordheimir showed little sign of stopping as they carved and smashed their way towards the boat's gangplank. Red and gold hair flying, faces alight with the thrill of battle, and with their weapons and clothing splashed with gore, Freya and Eingar were a terrifying sight to behold even if one were an uninvolved bystander. For the hapless sailors in their path, the gods alone know what they felt, though several of those quicker on the uptake than their fellows began to jump into the harbour rather than stand their ground.
  7. 1 point
    He let her have it. The fit, the tantrum, the pounding on his chest. What was he going to say, to do? She was right after all, everything he did was hurful in someway to the Irregulars and he kept it all a secret because he knew that if they knew the truth, they'd not act in a manner according to their true character. He needed them to hurt, to be angry, to be distrustful and paranoid that the big bad Jaunt monster could teleport in anywhere, ruin their lives, and there was nothing they could do to stop him. They needed to believe so their reactions and actions would be real. "I know, Lils," he said quietly. There was nothin in his voice but caring and genuine remorse. His voice almost didn't sound like his own, she'd never heard him so honest. "I know it hurt, and I'm sorry. I had to though, I needed you guys to believe it. Had I told you the plan, you guys wouldn't have acted natural, I needed your reactions genuine if I was going to lure out Pandora and her cronies." "You're dad? That wasn't my idea, hon. That was his," he admitted, taking a step closer to her wrapping his arms around her as the emotions in her refused to relent. "He volunteered to help me, he trusted me Lilly, and can't joke when I say I was shocked. He thought it was a sound plan, so we faked his death, he donned the suit I designed and became Agent Twelve. Neither of us wanted to hurt you Lilly, but your dad, he's married to military. He would do anything to make sure you and the people of Earth were kept safe, even it meant having to break your heart, of only for a little while." It was no secret the animosity General Pryor held for Jaunt and in turn Jaunt held for, well, anyone in a position of authority, but now, in this moment, she could almost hear what was admiration in his tone. Devin finally 'got it', he understood why the General was the way he was and why did the things he did. He did them because they needed to be done. It wasn't self-righteous posturing or a need to wave his authority around. He had a daughter, and super powers or not he'd face down titans, fly into the son or even rewrite the cosmos if that's what it took to keep his little girl safe. He never thought he'd be able to work with the guy, given the way the vocally and open seemed to hate each other, but the conversations they had, the things he'd talk to Devin about... he never knew the old man was so... cool. "S'okay, Lills," he held her close, his voice low. "S'okay. I know, and I'm sorry." He tightened his grip, holding closer and with more care. "All I can say is 'I'm sorry'. Take all the time you need, I got you. It's just us."
  8. 1 point
    Lilly shook her head and backed up, outstretching an arm to keep him at bay as she backed up several steps. She could feel all the emotions she had been burying deep down beginning to well up again, especially now that they were, more or less, alone. She clenched her fists and pulled her elbows to the side as she nearly keeled over, shut her eyes tightly and let out a scream that was a mix of emotions. Anger, frustration, and anguish dominated the scream which was over as quickly as it had begin. She opened her eyes and looked at him once more, her eyes ever so slightly squinting and brow furrowed with hurt. "What the fuck dude?! Why'd you do that to us?" she asked, with the same hurt evident in her voice as she closed her eyes tightly again. "To me...?" she added, opening her eyes again to look right in Devin's, her black pupils reflecting the image of the Earth blow like a mirror... which began to sparkle and become distorted as tears began to well up in them. "I DID keep my faith in you... you.. you... ass! I kept saying that you couldn't have gone bad. That it had to be Pandora's mental control, or an impostor or anything except you going bad, because I KNEW that you couldn't have gone bad like that... I fucking KNEW IT!" she nearly yelled at him, the hurt slowly melding with her anger once again as she walked back up to him. "Do you have ANY fucking idea what that was like?! To watch you murdering my father, you asshole?" she said as she balled her fists and began to hammer fist Devin's chest with both fists, yet despite the prodigious strength she was known for, she hit him now harder that she would have if were 'dormed', showing the control and care she demonstrated with her powers, even when in such a state. The pummeling on his chest was more an act of frustration pent up for months than anything else, letting her vent it, at least to some degree, on him. "Even then I was STILL saying that it couldn't be you or you were mind controlled or... fucking... whatever!" she snarled in frustration and anguish, finding it hard to find her words at the end as she stared into his eyes, doing her best to blink back her tears.
  9. 1 point
    So we don't end up with a million posts just to walk through a door, please assume that the twins are following along with whatever the party consensus is. They're there to save the city, so they won't be hanging back and doing nothing. I just wanna avoid taking up time with 'they walk through the door', 'they look for clues', and relatively unnecessary actions that should be a given. Unless specifically addressed, assume they're with the party and 'toeing the line'. If it comes to an RP event or an action scene I'll step up for them.
  10. 1 point
    “Hello, ladies, I’m Jessica and I’m guessing we are all here for the same thing?” Hex looked over at Jessica and gave her a thumbs-up. "Free drinks for ladies in the lounge? Hell yes we are." As Dr. Psypher came jogging over in his glowy tech-armor Hex added, "Hey look, a penis. That's new."
  11. 1 point
    THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR (at the bar) Dominique downed her shoot and shrugged. "Probably because they're not 'in on it', as you put it." she said nonchalantly. "This is mine and Darrki's place." she added, nodding to her partner with a glance, noting the woman now speaking to him, who stood out like a sore thumb. She smiled as a thought crossed her mind and shrugged again, turning back to Cara. "Anyways. He seems a bit... preoccupied... at the moment. But anyways..." she said and offered her hand. "Dominique de la Croix. I'm from one of the oldest lines of Hoodoo practitioners in New Orleans, if not the New World, for that matter, so I think I fit your bill." she explained as she closed her eyes for a second and muttered something, only to open them once again and give Cara a more noticeable once over. "So what's the problem? Restless spirits? A bad hex? Help with some revenge?" Dominique asked and poured two more shots. "Or does this have something to do with the fiasco last night that somehow spilled into my club this morning?"
  12. 1 point
    "All right. One last time. From the top." "I'm private investigator. I investigate things. Privately. Three days ago I took a job from a client asking me to investigate the disappearance of Harold Trent and his daughter Juniper. I did some digging. Turns out Harold is an immigrant who took a new name when he naturalized. Used to be Herrod Teshne. Old guy, old money...I'm thinking maybe the daughter wanted a pre-emptive inheritance then skipped with the money, but...yeah, you see it...she didn't inherit because she disappeared too. So I nosed around some more...starting with that inheritance. You gotta figure when an old rich guy vanishes, nine times out of nine it's about the money. His estate's still in probate obviously, but there was a funny thing. A work order for moving a couple of containers from their original storage unit to a new one. Containers were shown as 'sundries' on the manifest, which...doesn't help much. But since the new location was owned by someone else, I figured it was worth taking a closer look." Triessa hadn't smoked in years, but she found the familiar old craving right where she'd left it, gnawing on her brainstem contentedly. It would give her something to do with her hands, for one...and give her an excuse to pause and think about what to say next. "That's where the warehouse comes in. Or, I mean, that's where I come into the warehouse. I saw the shipping crate there, roughly in the middle with a big cleared out space around it. Three guys in turtlenecks...big guys, I'm going to guess ex-military mercenaries but I haven't exactly had a chance to follow up yet." She jingled her wrists, currently chained to the table, to emphasize the point. "Anyway, they were arguing about something while one of them fussed around with the crate. I couldn't see from where I was, so I started getting in closer and...gunfire." Triessa shook her head. "I thought I was dead, you know? All I could think was that you can't feel the gunshot at first. I was looking down at myself, then more shots, and I finally smartened the fuck up and dropped. And it's a damn good thing I did, because a few seconds after that..." With an exhaled 'kapssshhhhhhhhhh' noise she splayed her fingers to simulate the explosion. "Next thing I know, I'm waking up with a headache, tinnitus, and cops shouting at me to show my hands out where they can see them." The detective, she hadn't caught his name, was staring at her across the table with his slightly too-round eyes and his slightly sunken cheeks. "And that's all," he said flatly. "That's all I got," Triessa sighed. "I didn't see the shooters, or what caused the explosion. If I had to guess, maybe they were rigging charges to blow the crate and someone hit the stockpile..." "Don't guess," the interrogator cut her off, "You're not an investigator here. You're a suspect." "Jesus fuck, man, what do you think is going on here?" Triessa demanded. "I lugged a half pound of C-4 or something all the way across town to a random warehouse I have no connection to just to blow half of it up and set the other half on fire? While I'm in it?" Now the detective emoted, a little. He smiled a thin, annoyed smile. "Well that's the difference between us. You think and you guess, but me? I prefer facts. The fact is that I don't know what's going on, but I do know you're not telling me everything. So, lets start with who your goddamn cli..." There was a knock on the door to the interrogation room. A sharp rap, three times. A cop-knock. The detective sat back, still staring at Triessa. At the second knock he stood up and went to the door, then stepped outside. She couldn't hear the conversation that was going on outside, but figured it probably had something to do with her not having been officially charged with anything yet. Which could be good...or it could be a precusor to being charged, which would not be good. A few minutes later a detective came back in. Not the one who'd left though. Triessa sat up, startled but relieved to see a friendly face. Malcolm. After a second she felt unease creeping back in. His face wasn't that friendly right now. "Hey," she said, trying to keep her voice and attitude light and unconcerned. "Didn't think you'd be taking the case." "I'm not," Malcolm replied tersely. "What I'm doing is potentially putting my neck on a chopping block, so I'd like some goddamn answers from you." Triessa looked away, unable to meet that intense stare. "Harold Trent had some containers stored there, but that's not who you were tracking," Malcolm said, as if stating a known fact. "Tell me. I want to hear it from you." She rubbed her mouth with a couple of fingers, then said, "It was my dad. The container they were trying to get into was dad's." "Mercenaries? Gunfire?" Triessa fell silent for a long moment, then said, "Not mercenaries. Not guns. There was...resistance. A lot of it, actually... Things got a bit heated. And then..." "...and then half the fucking warehouse got exploded," he finished, his voice hard and sharp as a sword's edge. "What the fuck, Triessa?" It was finally too much. Triessa looked back at Malcolm and met his anger with her own. "I KNOW, okay?! It was NOT my fault. It wasn't human beings guarding the place, that's why there weren't any bodies. Whoever set it up was into some dark-ass shit, and I was fighting for my life. It wasn't my spell that blew the place up!" Malcolm narrowed his eyes. "But it wouldn't have blown up if you hadn't showed up. If you hadn't tried to fight them off instead of just getting the fuck out." "They HAD something! Something I could have used to track them, or at least get some answers! You think I'm walking away from that?" "Yeah, Tri. I do." Malcolm's face and voice calmed, but stayed firm...every bit the man who'd been there for Triessa and done his best to guide her when she was young and struggling to cope with the loss of her parents. "This is what people like me are for." "The police?" Triessa demanded, "come on, you don't have department mystics. You don't have the knowledge, or the resources, or the...the..." "Oh yeah? And how'd you do?" Hm? Did you get the container? Open it? No. You got it blown up. You got yourself in a whole heap of trouble, and you're risking your freedom and my career." Malcolm sighed and turned away, walking a few steps back towards the door. "I'm going to smooth this over. It's going to cost me, but I can pay it. In return, you have to promise me that Triessa is not going to follow up on this and keep pushing." She tried to stand up, but the chains anchoring her to the table caught her halfway up. "Are you kid..." "...if someone else wants to push and push and fuck things up for themselves, I can't stop them," Malcolm went on, as if he hadn't heard her. "But see to it that Triessa keeps her nose clean. No fighting monsters or mercenaries or whatever, no blowing anything up. I'm not going to be able to do this again. Are we clear?" Triessa paused then, frowning. Was he saying what she thought he was saying? Someone else. Someone not Triessa. Someone who didn't look, or sound or go by the name of Triessa. Someone who's actions wouldn't be connected to hers, at least not easily. Jesus, why didn't she think of that sooner? "Yeah," she said softly. "We're clear." I'm not wearing spandex though. Fuck that noise. Malcolm had his back to her, and he hadn't a drop of magic or psychic potential, but she could feel him knowing what she was thinking, and knew he had a big smile on his face as he walked out of the interrogation room. Goddamnit. That was another one she owed him.
  13. 1 point
    Most people probably didn't think about walking. Start with both feet planted. Lift one while leaning slightly forward. Catch yourself on your heel. Settle back onto both feet. Rinse and repeat until you got where you were going, adjusting for friction, gait, and footwear. Most probably weren't born with the ability to determine their position in three dimensions with just a thought though. If the word 'born' really applied to her, since most people were made up of more than 15% human tissue by weight. The Professor had told the young woman known as Mega Girl aka 'Alison' that trivia over a surgery, tone amused as he replaced a servo in her arm with a nearly identical servo, fully conscious and paralyzed. He had always enjoyed the efficiency of multitasking and if surgery time couldn't also be bonding time, what was the point? Alison was beginning to see how... twisted her creator truly was the longer she spent in the outside world. She walked from one wall to the other of her temporary cave home and back again, the chill of a Canadian winter blowing through the opening. Not that she felt the chill as anything other than notable information, putting one foot in front of the other, ever so careful to make sure that it at least looked like she was putting her weight on the appendage before lifting the next foot. It was all so precarious in her mind. Get it wrong even once and, bam, on your face. So tempting to skip the middleman and just go. But that wasn't an option, not if she wanted to play at being normal. Play. Another thing that had been just a word until she got away from him. Alison paused midpace, frowning deeply as a memory played unbidden and unpleasant across her mind's eye. Darkness and battle wreckage and courage uncertain and fear born of seeing her own face twisted in anger, her living reflection doing it's best to beat her down again and again and again, the result always uncertain between them. If she had gone back down for ANEI despite the fear, hoped that the power remained out, hoped that her sister could have seen past their desperate competition to avoid 'upgrades' and escaped with her... Maybe... Maybe... HOKORI suddenly wanted to punch the wall as hard she could, a choked scream escaping her lips. Wanted to, but didn't. No no no. She didn't need to bring the cave down on top of her and try to dig her stuff out of the rubble. Didn't have enough stuff to risk getting it smashed again. Forcing herself to suck in a deep breath out of rhythm, she focused on the positive, getting past the bittersweet truth that all the open sky she'd danced in, all the delicious foods she'd eaten, all the nice people she'd met, was... maybe... at the cost of leaving of the closest thing to family behind with their torturer creator. Alone. How screwed up was that? The world was nice, and it felt nice to keep it nice, to be 'Alison' instead of HOKORI, and put on a 'stupid looking' mask and cape over her usual hand-me-downs to go back to her own peculiar normal rather than the world's normal. Maybe... Maybe if she helped enough people... Maybe helping people extended to more back than food and clothes and useful trinkets... Enough strong people to save her when the Professor came... Enough strong people to help her try and undo her big maybe mistake... She had floated off the ground in her funk, and sucked in another breath, centering herself on the task at hand. She touched down, balanced her weight on two feet. Enough maybes. One foot in front of the other at time would get her there. It had to.
  14. 1 point
    A Day Unlike Any Other Jess pulled into the public parking area at the Fire-house where her dad was stationed and took an empty spot as close to where the engine bays were located. She sat there the jeep idling, absentmindedly rubbing her hand where the strange tattoo pulsed in time with her heartbeat. She should have been panicked, upset, but she wasn't. This thing the Starsign had chosen her, out of everyone on Earth. Her. But it hadn't told her why. It had made her a Marvel, one of the super-powered beings which where appearing more and more frequently in the wold. The Starsign an artifact/tool/weapon, imbued with a pseudo life-force, told her that it was her duty and destiny to master the the Starsign and use it's powers to protect and guide the Earth until it was ready to join the universal civilization. But she was only 20 years old how could she guide anything. Becoming a Marvel didn't scare her, in fact it was kind of exciting. But so many of them hid who they were and their actions while mostly for the good tended to sow suspicion and even fear. Jess knew that she couldn't do that, wouldn't wear a mask or hide in the shadows. If the Starsign was to be a symbol it would be a symbol that all could see and.... The knock on the door of the jeep startled her and she did give a little jump putting her hand out of sight she looked out at her father who was looking in. John Rhodes Jr. Stepped back as his daughter and only child opened the door and exited her muddy 4wd. That told him something right there, Jessica always cleaned her jeep as soon as she finished a trip so he knew that something was up her showing up at the station with a muddy Jeep. “Hi dad,” Jess said as she stepped into his welcoming hug. The embrace was so nice she felt the tension draining away. “Hi pumpkin. I was wondering when you would show up.” Jess leaned back and looked up a question in her eyes. “Bob, came in early this morning, to get something from his locker and talk to a couple of the other guys. He steadfastly avoided me and wouldn't even make eye contact. So I know you guys had gone up the mountain for the weekend and having him show I figured something had happened between you. I tried calling you but your phone kept going to voice mail. Any longer andwithout hearing from you and I'd have called the cops, and went and found Bob and beat it out of hi. So are you okay pumpkin?” John had placed his hands on his daughters muscular shoulders and gave her a fatherly smile. Jess gave a heavy and somewhat annoyed sigh, not at her dad but at Robert, she never used the diminutive nickname, a rookie firefighter and her boyfriend of six months, now former. “I'm fine dad, Robert and I broke up but that isn't why I'm here. Dad I need to show you something....” At that very moment the stations alarm blared and the controlled chaos that was a working fire station exploded to life. It looked like chaos as the men and women of Kingston Hose Co. #3 raced to and fro but it wasn't, each of these highly trained and dedicated firefighters knew their jobs and what was expected of them. Jessica stayed where she was for maybe three seconds as her dad quickly hugged her again gave her a quick kiss on the forehead and with a hasty “Gotta go!', raced off. Jessica watched as her father and the other fire fighter she knew and had worked with over the summer prepared to put their lives on the line again. After those seconds tick by she shrugged off her jacket and reached into the back of the Jeep where she carried her own personal response gear. She wasn't one to simply sit by and wait while others put their own safety at risk. As she ran to the large truck bays she saw her dad and the station chief and a couple of others in deep conversation “Multiple vehicle accident on the interstate, including an over turned tanker transporting hazardous material placard reading 5.2 still working on the exact contents. Ulster dept. is working two house fires and won't be responding East Kingston will have a truck on the way in 15, so we are it I want to roll in five,” said the chief. “Chief,” one of the Firemen also named John, spoke up, “we are short EMS for first response, looks like 45 minutes before any of them can break free.” “Shit,” barked the chief looking around. Jessica's dad was looking around too and saw her standing off to the side out of the way. He grimaced and the chief saw where and who he was looking at. “Rhodes,” he shouted and not at her father. “Grab a fire coat and sign in You ride with rescue.” He turned to John Rhodes and grabbed his arm. “She can stay in the truck unless we need her. It's not like she hasn't done it before.” Jessica called an affirmative but the others had already moved on except her dad who gave her a worried look. While she had often times worked sort of with her mother when they transported a patient to the emergency room, Fire Department policy kept immediate family members from working the same stations so the two of them had never actually been on a call before. She gave him a smile and a thumbs up then ran to the lockers and grabbed a spare coat and helmet before signing in and climbing into the Rescue truck. Sirens blaring the station emptied and men and women raced to save lives. Far above the Earth where the highest satellites orbited, a sphere of green reflective metal some 20 meters across popped out of hyperspace. The Nok, a Sindilian Gangster of no mean reputation, glared with his skeletal features at the small blue green planet below. The sight made him want to retch. This was not the sort of world he would normally care to visit but his ship had alerted him to a very rare occurrence. The Tr i-dimensional Transverteron scanner had detected a signal that, while it could not decipher the contents, had been identified with a 98% accuracy to be a Starsign activation transmission. Those in the know knew what that meant and The Nok was certainly someone in the know. The signal had originated here all he had to do was pin point it and then... The Nok turned its skeletal head and it glowing crimson eyes gazed with adoration at a plaque attached to the wall of his control room his chuckle sounded like a death rattle. Attached to the plaque were 4 broken shattered starsigns just like the one that had chosen Jessica Rhodes, with room for more. There were seven vehicles, including the tanker truck, Jessica could see as the rescue truck pulled into it's usual position. She immediately jumped out, ignoring what the chief had told her about staying put until she was called. The police and state troopers had beaten hem there and closed both sides of the interstate and set a good perimeter about 500 feet back from the immediate area of the accident. While the firefighter went about setting up to put out any fires Jessica took her medical bag and headed to where a small group of cops were gathered with several civilians sitting or lying on the ground. She counted eight persons on the ground two who were lying still, those sitting were brused and had what looked like superficial injuries. “Is this all of them?” “No,” answered on state trooper, “we couldn't get the truck driver out until you take a look at him he isn't conscious and may have serious injuries, and the last guy is in the car wedged under the tanker. Can't get to him at all, he's conscious but incoherent.” While the trooper spoke, Jessica was examining the crash victims she concentrated on the two laying before her. Both very seriously injured with broken bones and internal injuries. Their chances of making it lessened every minute and there was no ambulance to transport them, she was all they had. She looked up at the trooper and noticed that he was only a little older than her and very handsome. She didn't have a lot of time especially with two more probably seriously injured waiting for her. “Alright Trooper, can you take the rest of these behind the safe zone while I see about rousing these two?” The trooper glanced at the wounded and back at the wreck. “Okay, but don't take long that tanker is carrying class four and that car under it is a Tesla.” With that grim announcment the trooper gathered up theose capable of walking and started leading them to the parimeter. Meanwhile Jessica now not being watched closely laid a hand on the nearst chest and one on their forehead and concentrated. She felt two pulses her heart and that of the injured man, as she concentrated she felt the two pulses become one pulse and saw that the symbol on her hand pulsed as well energy flowed from her through the symbol into the crash victim. Organs mended bones knit. The man breathed easier and his eyelids began to flutter. She didn't know the mechanics of what she did or really how she knew what to do except that the Starsign had told her, not with words or texts not even with instruction. But it had told her nonetheless, in a voice that wasn't a voice but sounded like everyone she had ever looked up to, had respected. The internal voice of a mentor. It was that voice that had imparted everything she knew about the Starsign, a voice that had left so much more unsaid yet to be learned. Jessica quickly repeated the process with the other wounded driver this one a woman. As soon as both were awake, if somewhat confused Jessica waved over another cop, and asked him to take these two to outside the perimeter as well. Then she headed toward the truck. Several of the firefighters including the chief na her father were close to where the car was wedged under the tanker. She headed up to the cab where with the assistance of the rescue truck driver, also and EMT, climbed on the the overturned cab. He had made an initial assessment. “Likely spinal injury as well as a skull fracture, We need to get him out but unless they can get that battery in the Tesla removed we are sitting on a bomb. And the chief wants us to fall back until an engineer who can advise on that gets here.” “These guys don't have time for that Terry, We have to get both of them out now.” Without waiting for a reply she jumped down and jogged the few yards to where the chief and the others where looking at the problem. She paused to look in to see if she could tell anything about the driver but all she could make out was the top of the mans head and that he was moving slightly and moaned as if he knew she was there. “Rhodes! What the hell are you doing I told you to stay with the rescue truck,” yelled the chief. Instead of yelling back Jess jogged the few yards to where they were standing away from the wreck. “Sorry chief but I couldn't help anyone from the cab of a truck.” “Yeah well no harm I guess.” He raised his arm and made a circling motion and Yelled. “Everyone back!” “Chief we can't leave these two they can't wait.” “Rhodes, these Tesla pieces of crap have been known to explode after a wreck with even the slightest nudge. We got an engineer on his way by chopper who can remove the battery Thirty minutes and we'll know what we can do.” “They don't have thirty minutes.” She looked at her dad, “Sorry dad, I really wanted to tell you about this but looks like I'll just have to show you along with everyone else.” John Rhodes was about to ask what she meant by those cryptic words when his daughter raised her hand in a fist in front of her chest and he saw what looked like a tattoo of some sort of star on the back of her hand. His daughter didn't have a tattoo or at least she didn't before this morning. Then he saw it pulsing. Jessica shut everything out except the Starsign, she concentrated focusing on the pulse and the Starsign opened up. An aura of nearly translucent energy cascaded around Jessica. It was black light and it was incandescent fire, it was every color and none. The eyes of those right there saw something their brains had difficulty quantifying and each mind assigned something different. This was the cosmic energy of the universe collected, manipulated, directed. The energy sleeve surrounded Jessic and flared. Her clothing looked like it was being eaten, consumed by the aura like acid sprayed onto a canvas, but in actuality it wasn't being destroyed it was merely being altered the molecules rearranged, leaving behind the deep red and black suit with the silver star field and hovering above her forehead like a tiar the physical manifestation of the Starsign for all to see. The suit and symbol that identified the wearer, throughout the galaxy and beyond, as one of the Chosen, a bearer of The Starsign. Jessica looked at her father and the firefighters, saw the shock and on some the awe of what they had witnessed. She smiled at her father. “I'll explain what I can after I get these two out of this predicament. Right now dad, chief pull everyone back just in case this doesn't work.” Know that if she gives them the chance they will start in with the questioning so she doesn't she turns and rises into the air as effortlessly as she walks up a set of stairs and flies to the cab of the truck. Terry stares wide eyed as she descends onto the cab beside him. “Terry get down and stand clear I'll get him into condition to be moved and hand him up to you.” Again she gave her shocked associate no time to dwell and dropped into the cab where she replayed the same healing actions she had done earlier. The drivers injuries were more extensive and she only did what she could to stabilize him for movement. The she kicked out the cracked windscreen and grasping the roof peeled the thin metal back folding it up like it was no more that a tent covering. Once the obstacle was cleared she picked him up and carried him to Terry and another firefighter had a stretcher staring “Get him to cover just in case this thing blows, he still needs care but he is out of immediate danger from his injuries.” “Your one them, a Marvel.” Terry said the awe rolling off of him. “Terry I'm still me and I still have one more to rescue. Get him to safety please. We will talk later.” “Right.” Terry shook himself, “Come on Dave lets do what she says.” and the hefted the stretcher and began a gentle trot toward safety. Once Terry left with the driver Jessica moved back to the Tesla looking in where the battery was clearly visible “Hope this works,” she mutters as she reaches in and grabs both terminals! The electricity flows into her but instead of electrocuting her the Starsign absorbs the energy draining the battery in moments. As soon as the electricity was gone Jessica rips the battery from the car and tosses it aside. There explosive Tesla threat averted, car was already a totaled so no big. She then began to tear the car apart becoming her own personal version of the jaws of life. Using her own strength enhanced by the Starsign she ripped off the panels and the door and then pulled the seat back to get access to the driver who was in and out of consciousness. She healed him and gently extracted him from the wreckage and under the eyes of all the police and firefighters, including her father. As well as a news crew that had arrived, she rose once more into the air to float to where the ambulances where just now arriving. She was greeted with cheers as she landed and immediately was surrounded and had a thousand questions thrown at her. High above the earth The Nok had not been idel he had already activated the spheres stealth systems rendering it all bu invisible and had settled in to prep his various weapons for the fight to come. Taking down a Starsign was an accomplishment of great skill and tenacity, and The Nok had 4 to his name. This would be his fifth and would tie him with the notorious Shef. Starsigns were dangerous, even a newly minted one would be able to wield immense powers. So He had to act fast. As soon as the hero activated a power he would know it and where it was and then he would attack. This was a primitive civilization from what he could see so there was a good chance the Starsign would be completely surprised and have no idea how to fight advanced technology. As Nok finishes charging a double barreled disintegrator the detector sounded off again. He glanced at the read out he had the location of the Starsighn and soon he would have a fifth symbol for his plaque and the glory that went with it. Jessica did her best to answer questions and calm everyone down “I'll answer all your questions at an appropriate time right now we have to let the police and firefighters finish there jobs and these people have to be taken to the hospital!” But no one was listening they crowded her and she was still trying to gain control of the crowd when the sky erupted. A beam of green coruscating light flashed from the sky and connected to the ground about fifty yards away with a thunderous crash, it sizzled and flashed for several seconds before the beam withdrew back into the sky like a straw being pulled into the heavens bay an angry god, leaving a smocking crater with a bluish green mound in it's center. Slowly the mound began to unfold revealing a bipedal creature clad in metallic robe with a horribly archaic helmet on it's inhuman skill like head. The Nok had arrived. The crowd stared and Jessica pushed her way out of the press to stand in the open facing The Nok, she raised her hands shoulder high, hands open palms out ward in a gesture of peace and to show she was unarmed. “We mean you know harm...” The Nok raised it's weapon and fired, twin beams, negative and positively charged, struck Jessica squarely in the chest the energy enveloping her knocking her back into the crowd which scattered and ran all except the law enforcement members who drew guns and opened fired on the Nok. The thunder and smoke of gunfire filled the interstate as Jessica sat up tendrils of smoke rising from her unmarred suit. Her hands emitting cosmic energy which pulsed and crackled. John Rhodes had been rushing to his daughter side when she sat up he skidded to a stop. And went to his knee beside her and helped her stand. “What is that thing?” He wasn't sure if he was asking about the Starsign or the creature attacking them. “I don't know dad, I'll ask it after I kick its ass!” She steeped away from her father and raised her glowing hands and unleashed a cosmic blast at the intruder. Bullets whizzed by The Nok most missing, as the panicked police unloaded their fire arms, but a few hitting the monstrous being only to be tossed aside by some sort of force-filed the creature had. Laughing The Nok raised it's weapon and unleashed a fusillade of beams at the puny humans pestering it. Obliterating them had not been it's purpose there was little amusement in that instead his fire was meant to send them running in fear and confusion. It work now to collect his prize. He turned toward where the Chosen's body or what was left of it should be only to see the cosmic beam cross the distance and slam into his force-field with a crack with slit the sky and hurled him backwards. It still lived! “Get out of here dad let me handle this!” Jessica shouted as she launched herself into the air following her beams toward the evil (he had to be evil right?) Marvel. The Nok rolled to his feet and seeing The Starsign let off several shots in her direction before dropping the disintegrator and pulling out two molecular blades. Starsign dodged both blasts and slammed into The Nok who met her with flashing blades. The two spun and struck and dodge and parried with an occasion energy blast thrown in the exchange lasted several seconds and many blows and counter blows. The Nok was unsure of himself this Starsign was too powerful for newly chosen but it was a terrible fighter and didn't show much imagination but damn it was tough. With a flick of his wrist he threw one of his blades at the only other target in range the older human male that had run to the Starsigns aid. Jessica saw the razor like knife spinning toward her father and abandoning the villain blasted after it before it cut into her dad. She easily did this interposing herself between the blade and her father. Then with a scowl shouted, “Lets finish this!” And flew at him again putting all her might into her flight. The Nok had expected this and had acted appropriately after he had thrown his blade he had overloaded his Force field and set it to 500% drawn a blaster sidearm and as she flew toward him raised the deadly pistol. “Lets,” he hissed back at her. And shot the tanker. The explosion rocked the area rattling windows up to ten miles away, All of the cars added to the blast everyone was knocked to the ground blood flowed from ears and noses from the blast pressure but there were no fatalities among the humans which had been at least fifty yards away. All except one. Johnathon Rhodes Jr., Jessica's father, Fireman, husband, war-hero. Was bodily picked up and hurled some fifty feet by the blast where when he struck the ground he rolled limp and motionless his firefighting gear and most of his clothing blown or burned off. Jessica was knocked out of the air and while her power absorbed a lot of the blast directed at her not all of it had been taken in she landed near her father. Pain flowed through her she had broken bones and internal injuries but she felt the power of the Starsign still flowing and while her suit was torn and ren it's metallic sheen tarnished by the soot of the smoke her hands still pulsed with the power cosmic.. she opened her eyes and lay there a second then she turned her head and saw her father his eye staring at her empty, lifeless. Her breath caught her chest ached and felt like it would burst, she closed her eyes tight and opened them willing them to see something different but all she saw was her father. Dead. She screamed. The Nok had been standing next to the truck but the force-field had been turned to 500% and all that had happened to him was that his vision had been obscured by the flames as the heat and energy cascaded off of his protection and flowed away leaving him standing unharmed. As the flames cleared he knew that he was victorious there was no way a new Starsign could have survived that and even if it had it would be so badly damage he could finish it with his boot. The last thing he expected to see was the Starsign floating in front of him not two feet away. With a scream of anguish, rage, and pain Jessica flew at the alien killer and with both hands glowing with incandescent cosmic power brought them around with a mighty double fisted hammer blow at the same time unleashing the remaining cosmic energy she had absorbed from the blast. The Nok, had made a terrible tactical error. He hadn't taken the time to assess his target, didn't realize the this Starsign had an indomitable will far beyond that of any mere newly chosen she had a will that rivaled the oldest masters. The Starsign had chosen well. The Nok's force shield flared but it had already been over loaded and the blow and cosmic blast shredded it and sent the alien trophy hunter flying where it landed it wounded, unconscious, dying. Jessica landed by him and while she could have let him die and no one would have blamed her, she would have so she stabilized him, stripped off anything that even slightly resembled a weapon or technology and bound him with pieces of metal taken from the wreckage of the cars that had been destroy. She flew him back to the police and cautioned them then handed him over. Then she went to her father. She landed a few feet away and was astonished to find Terry and the Chief there doing CPR! He was alive! Jessica let the Starsign go and once again clad in the clothes she had been wearing before knelt to help Her own injuries and the exertions had let her drained and all she could do was stabilize him and ride with him to the hospital where her mom was waiting for them.
  15. 1 point
    This shit's going out on WorldStar!
  16. 1 point
    When you describe something or someone whose attraction goes beyond mortal description, you can combine uncomfortable concepts and add adjectives where they do not belong, for example. Consider this: "Skirting the edges between human and classic work of art, this person's appearance both recalls and redefines the old masters' paintings and statuary. Free of blemishes, injury or any sign of having been alive at any point, this person is painfully symmetrical. Like butterflies in your stomach, or at the edge of your mind, you are assaulted by conflicting emotions between lust, hatred and greed. This person's every move causes the world to slow down ever so slightly, as if it sat up and took notice. When this person speaks, the words seem to flow out of reality itself, like an addictive honey. Horrible thoughts spark deep in your gut, as if this person's injury or death would bring forward terrible retribution from the fabric of existence that they move in." Or this: "This person's face is like a blur, a veil drawn across something that is a gash in existence. Seeing it would mean instant death, a heart stopped by just being a witness to a secret no one was meant to know. Even looking from the corner of your eye, little remains in your memory save a hint of something crustacean, ophidean and simian, all at once. Organs functioning like eyes, ears and mouth should be placed upon this molten canvas, and yet whatever holds their place is unlikely to also hold their familiar function. When it opens its mouth to speak, your heart skips a beat, as if steeling yourself against a fear most primordeal." Describing impossibly ugly or beautiful becomes close to absurdist comedy, at some point.
  17. 1 point
    Devin held Lilly tight and far longer than a simple bond of friendship would hint. Each of the Irregulars specialized in something, Abel was smart, Sean was pretty, Lilly strong... for Devin, his perceptive abilities were unmatched. Through smoke and dust and debris he could still smell Lilly's shampoo and the hint of every product every woman used to make herself smell as pretty as she looked. He could hear her heart, the way it slowed and calmed as she held him. The difference in her breathing and slight whimper in her throat as the joy washed over her at the sight of her 'friend'. Scientifically, it was exactly what love smelled, looked, and sounded like. "Lilly," he held her tight. He inhaled and fought back a rush of his own emotions rising to the surface. "Oh, god... I missed you, girl," he smiled at her, using a finger to brush a few hairs from her eyes. "That Emperor... oh... well, Abel can apologize for misleading me later... I accept PayPal." Abel's glare offered a thousand insults telepathy could never have conveyed properly. When Sean approached they loosened their hold on each other and listened. "Cognizance," he corrected. "C'mon big brain, if I gotta make you write it on the wet board a thousand times, I will." He took a few steps away from Lilly, though it was obvious he didn't want to. "Well, you guys have work to do, get to it," he sighed and offered his hand to Abel. "Sorry I hit, bro. Sincerely, I'm sorry. I'm on edge, I over reacted and frankly you and Sean scare the shit out of me sometimes. Still, it doesn't excuse my hitting you." Abel waited for it. "Won't lie, it did feel pretty good." Jaunt added with a laugh. "Almost arousing... but that coulda been Lilly's new padding in front," he clicked his tongue and winked at her chest. "Didn't think we'd notice, but we did. Hello, ladies." "There it is..." Abel knew Jaunt couldn't offer a serious apology, whether he meant it or not. "What? C'mon, I'm serious. I am sorry." He offered his hand again.
  18. 1 point
    It was chaotic with a group of people so big in such a panic. As Jaunt teleported around, Lilly seemed to be everywhere he went, trying to calm or herd people. shielding other with her own body, taking down the terrorists, leaping away with the bombs and so forth, doing everything she could to protect life. It did not take long for Jaunt to realize that the size of the Vanguard had grown considerably, now numbering in the dozens. Unlike the other Irregulars (when they finally arrived) all of the Lillys where wear the same, mundane, semi-formal dress which, in some cases, was a little worse for wear, revealing the PAM suit underneath, it's current design clearly inspired by the suits worn by Captain American and Captain marvel in the movies, though her was sleeveless at the moment and only extended down her legs to above the knee, keeping it mostly concealed beneath the dress. Lilly did not wear her PAM suit all the time like most, if not all, of the other Irregulars. preferring to wear regular clothing as much as possible and generally only donning the PAM suit when preparing for battle. It was just another thing she did to remain 'human'. More recently though Abel had managed to convince her to keep it close, since they never knew when she would need it, so as a compromise, Lilly had relented and told Abel that she would, at the very least. change the PAM suit into just a single part of her outfit while wear mostly mundane clothing, thereby keeping it on-hand if needed while still keeping the experience of mundane clothing, a compromise she was thankful for at the moment. When things had calmed the Irregulars had mostly come together, though Jaunt's striking of Abel and his little tirade caught Lilly off guard. In a flash a Lilly was helping up Abel and make sure he was okay while Lilly herself moved between Abel and Jaunt and gave the latter a 'brainduster' slap to the back of the head. "The Emperor of Japan, dumbass." Lilly said. "Like the Queen of England, Japan still has a figurehead monarch." she reminded him with arms crossed beneath her breasts. Lilly then dropped her arms and lunged forward, causing Jaunt to tense for just a split second, preparing to teleport away as she wrapped her arms around him, giving Devin a tight hug. "I'm so glad you are okay." she said, hugging him tighter and resting her head on his shoulder. "We were so worried..." she nearly whispered, her voice trailing off, pushing away her fears of Devin's possible fate now that he was here, seemingly alive and well, back to his old, joking self, even if a little ticked off at Abel at the moment, which, to be honest, was also pretty normal for him.
  19. 1 point
    Nadya stalked through the hallways of Salem High, still bristling in the aftermath of her encounter with Niles. She writhed in fury and shame and not a little terror at having her mind taken from her, hate at what had been done to her, thought the hate at Niles was beginning to fade, despite her wants. There just hadn't been anything in Niles to hang the hate on beyond the act itself. He hadn't bleated out any justifications, there hadn't been a hint of gloating or boasting in subverting her desires, he hadn't even taken a bit of advantage of the situation... and that somehow was infuriating too. As she walked, she trailed her hand along the walls of lockers, fingers giving each combination lock a hard flick in passing. When she reached the gym, she paused outside, peeking through the narrow, wire-mesh windows in the doors. Her smile was bittersweet. Dane was in his element on stage. Rachel, Austin, and Fisher seemed to be having a fine time with their SOs, as was Laurie with whatever the hells Donner was to her. Normally, the embarrassment of being a fifth - or ninth in this case - wheel would just slide off her as easily as the habitual accusation thrown her way. But not tonight. Besides, with how she felt at the moment, she couldn't deal with Mercedes and her flunkazons crowing about how a slut like her couldn't even keep a boy like Niles interested enough in her that he ditched her at the Dance. One snide word and she'd do something... drastic. As exhilarating and stress-relieving that would be, it would probably wreck the Dance and the evening. Regardless of what had happened to her, her friends deserved better. Nadya left the school, her steps eerily silent as she strutted with nonchalant circumspection to her car. She put on her longcoat against the rising chill of night, though left it open, and slipped in behind the wheel. The engine of lemon-yellow '71 Mercury Cougar purred to life - or at least gave a disgruntled chuff of animation. Nadya peeled out of the lot with more speed than necessary, not even sure where she was going. Not home, not yet. Her stomach grumbled as she was passing by the Salem House of Pizza, and she slewed across the oncoming lane and zipped into the small parking lot of the restaurant and pizzeria, beating another furiously honking car to a spot right by the front doors. The door gave a little ding-a-ling as Nadya strode in and the guy - Guy, his name happened to be - manning the cash register looked up with a start. At this time of night, they weren't slammed despite their football victory, but business was still brisk, but the young woman walking towards him was certainly an incongruous sight. Dressed for prom by way of The Nightmare Before Christmas, she was gorgeous, impressively uplifted breasts not concealed by her open coat and so very out of place against the yellow walls and the orange extruded plastic of the bench seats and tables. "Are you here to order or for pickup," Guy asked after pulling his eyes from her stilettos and sleekly toned, pale leg glimpsed between folds of her charcoal grey longcoat. "Order. I need carnage. Can do you do that for me, Guy? An extra large, pile high with carnage?" "How... how do you know my name?" Was she a witch? More importantly, was she legal? Guy would have remembered ever meeting this girl before, though oddly, he thought she looked vaguely familiar. "I'm a witch, Guy. Left my broomstick in the car." At his expression, Nadya sighed, arched a brow, then pointed a finger gun at the left side of his chest. "Name badge, dude. Now about that carnage pizza?" "Oh, oh! Right. One meat lover's deluxe, that sound good?" "Double the carnage - that is, double the meat on it - and we have a deal." Guy nodded, brows raising impressed. The young woman wasn't particularly big, but she ordered what he and his buds often ordered. And he had to admit, there was something... carnivorous about her grey eyes. "One Meat Lover's, double carnage, coming right up, miss. It'll be about twenty minutes." When he told her how much it would cost, Nadya unconsciously eyed the tip jar, before shaking her head and pulling the needed cash from her wallet - her own actual wallet, even. He and his colleagues worked for those tips, and hopefully the manager or owner didn't swipe the tips from them. She forgotten to get a drink, but when she went to pay for two-liter bottle of pop she'd grabbed from the fridge, Guy waved her off with a grin, after a quick look over his shoulder to see if anyone was watching. Stepping out of the Salem House of Pizza with another light ding-a-ling, extra-large pizza in one hand, bottle of pop in the other, Nadya felt stupid. This was way too much pizza for her, and she didn't have anyone to share it with, and not enough to share if she went back to the Dance. Then she thought of someone else who was alone tonight, and who wouldn't mind finishing off a meat pizza with her. Several minutes later, Nadya pulled her car in behind the old Carlton Stables. Before she even opened the door, Wolf was bounding out to meet her. Nadya laughed giving her a hug, and scratching her behind the ears. It was a good thing she was stronger than she looked, otherwise Wolf would have knocked her on her ass. "Gods above and below, Wolfy, you're getting big," Nadya crooned. She would have changed out of her stilettos, but with Evelyn's fairygodmother trick, she wasn't sure what would happen to her original pair of shoes if she took them off. "Give me a bit to set up, and then I have a treat for you." Wolf cocked her head to the side, tongue lolling out, then cocked it the other way. Nadya ruffled the soft fur between her ears, then got moving, Wolf trotting along behind her. Nadya got a fire going in the ring of stones, then dragged out a reclining lawn chair and a heavy, somewhat musky down blanket from the stable. Then she got the pizza from the car. She cut off the top of the box to use as a plate and claimed three pieces of pizza for herself and gave the rest to Wolf. With the crackling fire and thick comforter, Nadya was warm against the rising chill of night and the season. She laid back on the lawn chair, gazing up at the silver-white of the moon and the deep shadows of the clouds. The surrounding trees rustled and rattled in the evening breeze, and Nadya almost could make out words in the sound. She might have the blood of a Goddess in her veins, but she felt anything but godly at the moment. She just felt like a trite refugee from any number of CW dramas. She wished she had something stronger than soda at hand. "Don't tell anyone I gave you people-food, 'kay, Wolf?" Nadya said. Wolf raised her head from the pizza box, more than half her share of pizza already gone to stare at Nadya. Nadya turned her and gazed back, a small grin tugging at her lips. Wolf went back to the pizza, chewing and chomping with gusto. "Yeah, didn't think you would. Well, this day went to shit. And it all start awesome. Or at least, I was made to think it had. Let me tell you about it, then we can sit here until whichever number of gods start pulling the sun across the sky again - Mr. S. could tell us, would probably expect us to know already." And Nadya began to talk, expressing her anger and melancholy and contradictory feelings to Wolf, who listened in benign - or perhaps resigned - silence. Except for one sound, drawn out and strained on the edge of audibility. Nadya stared at Wolf, face twisted in repugnant distress. "Dear gods! Wolf, was that you?!" Wolf seemed contrite, slinking away from the empty pizza box, and laying down on Nadya's other side, a paw over her snout. One of Wolf's ears twitched in apparently apology, unless it was wilting under the atrocious reek. "I don't mind sneaking you people-food, Wolfy. But cheese is off-limits. Ugh. I think I need a hazmat-suit."
  20. 1 point
    "Well, I very much would like to not do that." Sunshine hopped back in the hot seat and put both hands on the yoke, while her tail snuck around and rested on the Drift engine control panel... just in case. "But maybe we shouldn't give away what this ship can do; if word gets out everyone'll be on our tails. So: talking sounds good."
  21. 1 point
    THE MARSH Karen pulled a knit hat out of the pocket of her outer jacket as soon as she zipped it up, breath misting in the early morning air. Ouuuf. Cold. The Californian native did not relish it and waking up in her birthday suit was not endearing the Louisiana weather to her. Hugging herself against the chill, she closed the gap to where she had stashed the cooler, popping it open and fishing out a sandwich. Salivating at the smell of human food after the half-remembered taste of raw deer and sensation of warm blood lapping down her tongue, Karen paused as her eyes took in the sorry sight of some of the pack, particularly those who had used the Juice. The sheer misery and huddling against the sunlight of those werewolves made her glad she had passed on the noxious cocktail. Then an unfortunately timed thought made her lower the sandwich. Damn it. The game called. She was looking forward to one of having one of those, too. The sandwich went back in it's baggie, and the baggie back in the cooler. She fetched out a couple water bottles and started making the rounds of the gathering, offering water to the afflicted and pointing them in the direction of her stash if they seemed mobile.
  22. 1 point
    "Well, we didn't want you to listen in, but since you have, what's done is done." Cara looked at her little brother as if to say 'that's it?' The old Marko would have offered up something, a threat a terror inducing anecdote, something. He poured himself a cup of coffee and snatched up a sausage from the plate, pinching it with his fingers and he nibbled off a bite. "Chill, sis," he shrugged and sipped his coffee with a smile. "Look, if they're going to be care takers, they're going to have to learn this shit eventually, right? The more they know now, the less this shit will bake their noodle later." "Oh, man this is awesome. This is like the Vampire game I play online. See there are thirteen clans of vampires all descended from Caine who was cursed by god- OW!" Cheyenne held the side of her head where Marko had flicked her ear. "Yeah, shut up dip shit, no one cares." He flicked her again, making her head 'thump' and she winced in pain while giggling slightly. "And that's for the ironic cereal." "You're such a dick, I swear!" She spun about and threw a sausage from the plate at him which hit him in the chest. She looked to Cara and fumed. "How do you tolerate him?" Cara managed a chuckle, although still looking really serious. "It's taken years. Marko, you wanna tell them the news?" "What news?" Abigail asked, cupping her coffee mug in her hands. Marko smirked. The girls were apparently his responsibility since Cara was not for the idea of them staying there, she felt it was too dangerous, but her brother was vehement that they had an obligation to care for the sisters due to their promise. Both the vampire sibling knew they would be debating this until the sisters were old and gray and it was long irreverent. "Get dressed, girls. We're getting you registered for school." Cheyenne spun around on her stool and looked at Marko. "Oh, come one, that's bullshit! We live with vampires, you guys have been everywhere and done all kinds of stuff. Why can't you teach us?" Cheyenne held her ear again and Cara flicked it. "Language. We don't have time-" "You have nothing but time!" She spun about and yelled at Cara, suddenly realizing what we did and got tight lipped real quick. She grasped her other ear as Marko flicked it. "OW!" "Sorry, I have no real reason for that one, it just seemed fun." He pushed off the counter. "Look, we're not sitting through complaints or bullshit, okay? You're going to school whether you want to or we have to compel you to." "But we don't have records," Cheyenne was doing her pest to put up a fight. Abigail was smirking, admiring the fight in her sister but knowing that "It'll take weeks to get them! Oh, darn!" "Not a problem. That's where compelling the staff comes in, "Marko smiled again. "Now, get dressed. Go." They didn't seem motivated until the veins around his darkened and his fangs grew. "Now." They screamed and bolted faster than the sibling vampires using celerity and were out of the kitchen and dashing up stairs. His sister looked at him, still not pleased with his decision to allow them to stay. "Nice." Cara laughed softly. "You know it's not that I don't care, Marko, it's just," she sighed. "It's dangerous here. They so young, and this city is a mess." "I know, Cara," Makro nodded as he approached his sister and wrapped an arm around her for an early morning hug. Cara's expression was one of 'this is nice' and 'who are you and where's my bother'. Since when had Marko hug anyone in the last... oh, century. "If they had anywhere else to go, I'd turn them away, but they don't. Besides, raising kids'll be fun." "Meaning this is going to be a fiasco of Marko proportions." She added dryly. "Most likely." He replied with a Deadpool sweetness to his voice.
  23. 1 point
    “What's an original?” Cara sighed and went to the cereal box, tilting it back a little to get a closer look at the ridiculous character adorning the front. "Not one of these," she chuckled. Such an innocent witness to such a dangerous question. Without looking away from the box, she then said, "The only reason you know to ask that question is that you were listening to our conversation with our guest last night. Our private discussion." Finally glancing up to meet Abigail's eyes, Cara went on, "Normally I would not reward a breach of trust with an answer...but to try to keep you from foolishly asking someone else, I will say this." "As we are to you, an original is to us. We are old, strong, fast and hungry. They are older, stronger, faster...and vastly, rapaciously hungry. We are dangerous, they are deadly. They know nothing of kindness...of decency by any human standard...and your first, best line of defense against them is that you are not anywhere near them, and that no one knows that you've ever heard of them." "If either of those things is no longer true, then you are in danger that even Marko or I may not be able to save you from. Do you understand?"
  24. 1 point
    Devin was lost. His eyes glazed over as his thoughts moved to elsewhere beyond the temporal bubble that Hooli was holding him hostage in. He waggled a finger lazily at Hooli as his thoughts became ideas and those idea became words. "No, Hootie, your right." Hooli rolled his eyes as Devin once again butchered his name. "When I got into gymnastics and later free running I was good at it, I had a natural talent for it. I was fit and flexible. Then when we moved my dream of the Olympics was over but I still practiced everyday. These powers are no different. I may have had a natural talent for awesomeness, because, well, look at me..." Hooli rolled his eyes and folded his harms. "Oh, here we go..." "But we gained a ton of power very rapidly. We evolved faster than our human genes could endure out necessity for a threat we had to be ready to face. Just like gymnastics, even after I mastered the moves, I had to keep at them, to master them more until everything was nothing more than muscle memory and reflex. That gain of power blinded me, Loogie, I've forgotten that there are no shortcuts. Mastery of my power is no different than the hard work and effort I put into myself before these gifts to compete in the Olympics." "It's gonna hurt, Devin," Hooti said. "These powers aren't like training for the Olympics." "There is not greater pain than the remaking of ones self, for we are both the marble and the sculptor." He booped Hooli on the nose with a smirk. "Thanks for the pep talk Yoo-Hoo. It all kinda makes sense now. I've trying to hard at trying to hard. "So, I've been dying to know something." "What's that?" The little fuzz ball looked up at him, arms still crossed. "What's it like in Lilly's underwear drawer?" Devin asked with a devilish smirk on his lips. Hooli chuckled and waved him closer. "You really want to know?" Devin nodded. "Well, first off it's..." Trinidad came to life around him and all the people began going on about their day as if nothing had happened because for them, nothing had happened. Time moved forward in it's ever flowing state and Devin pursed his lips as he bit his lower one in frustration over being swindled... by a teddy bear. Jaunt chuckled. "Sly little bastard. Well played, sir. Well played."
  25. 1 point
    Shelly, Montana [Now] Sean felt the stacked stone veneer of the bathroom wall dig into her back as Sara pressed her against the bathroom wall, but hardly cared as she fiercely kissed Sara back, their tongues wrestling. Sean's fitted button-down shirt lost most of its buttons as Sara nearly ripped it open, a small sound of frustration escaping their locked lips when Sara found a lacy black v-necked camisole underneath, deep, fair cleavage on full display. Sean's muted moan of delight joined Sara's frustration as she felt the stiffened, rounded points crowning her breasts being teased. Sean tangled one hand in Sara's short blond hair, the other cupping her ass and lifting Sara off the ground, enough that the shorter woman had to tilt her head down slightly to maintain the breath-taking kiss. Sean arched her back and Sara wrapped a leg around Sean's hip for more leverage. So much better than lunch and the food had been more than good enough. Still, Sean's lambent turquoise eyes cut to the door to the bathroom, then to the other side towards the wooden doors of the stalls decorated with wood burned crescent moons. This was considerably more public than Sean preferred... she also didn't want the genuine, passionate need to end. Sara could feel Sean trying to smile through their kiss and opened her eyes to see Sean arch a questioning brow. Here or elsewhere her gorgeous eyes asked, as long as it didn't end. [Then] Sean glanced away, hiding a wince at Sara's terse and tense tone. A few days apart hadn't mellowed things out and Sean bristled, realizing she had hoped that it had and it hadn't. She wasn't even sure who she was irritated most by, herself or Sara. Sean rapped the silvery rings of her Savant Multitool on her left hand on the roof of her vehicle, then turned back to look at Sara over the top of her car, her half smile brittle and forced. "There's always Bunnie's, but I'd thought we'd try a new place that just opened up, The Big Sky Dive," Sean said, faintly feigned cheer in her melodious voice. "Source and cuisine all from Montana. I hear the food is great, even if the place is a bit, hmm, hipstery." "Fine, that's fine." Sara's tone was neutral, and with her sunglasses, Sean couldn't see the expression in her eyes. The door slammed just a touch too loudly as Sara settled into the passenger seat. Sean sighed, then climbed in behind the wheel and put Little Bigfoot into gear and started driving down Packing Plant Road. When they pulled into the small parking lot of The Big Sky Dive and walked through the front doors, even without her nearly peerless senses, Sean could practically hear Sara's eyes roll. To be fair, some of that eye-rolling, might have been her own. The place was decorated all in stone and hardwood, like picturesque hunting lodge. The guy behind the bar was the very archetype of a hipster, with the glasses, beard and curled mustache, plaid flannel and beanie, stark black tattoos on his forearms. "If this is a vegan only place, I might have to kill you, Sean," Sara muttered up at her taller girlfriend. "If this a vegan only place, I'll let you," Sean admitted.
  26. 1 point
    THE NIPPON TRANSPORTAL NETWORK GRAND OPENING TOKYO, JAPAN THE CENTRAL TRANSPORTAL HUB Lilly had packed for the trip a bit sullenly. She looked forward to it, but was bummed that Kia, her BFF would not be going. It was Tokyo! Kia would have loved it. Despite that, when Lilly got there with her parents, she could not help but be almost overcome with the city. She had been in cities before, of course, but having lived in Shelly for the last several year had gotten her more used to small town life. Tokyo, on the other hand, was a true city, in every sense of the word. People on top of people along towering skyscrapers, a never ended flow of cars and more lights that Las Vegas. The city also had its balance of new and old though, which Lilly found captivating. Ancient temples, shrines and gardens nestled among the urban landscape, bring moments of calm and serene beauty to a place that was so busy and full of concrete, neon and glass. And then there was the people. Lilly had never seen so many people in her life. With it being a national holiday and a huge celebration for the opening of the network taking place (and the rumors of one of the Irregulars being in attendance), the populous had turned out in force. Lilly was not there in any sort of official or formal capacity. Just like her mother, she had really just accompanied her father who was the formal guest. Lilly was one of the two most well known faces of the Irregulars though, and far more approachable to the average person than Sean, since, though she was certainly beautiful and amazon-esque, she did not have the unearth beauty of Sean, nor the matching intellect that could make some of the most intelligent people on the plant feel like bumbling undergrad students. So even though she was not there in an official capacity, she had come to accept she was pretty always in a de facto official capacity. For her part, Lilly was all smiles and remarkably polite and well mannered, even by Japanese standards. Social situations like this seemed to come more naturally to her now, she would intuitively know just what to say or do, and on the rare occasion she did commit a faux pas, it was quickly and easily overlooked. She would bow, shake hands, pose for selfies with people and generally served as an ambassador for Keys to the general population, trying to humanize them, trying to stop ant possible rift from form between them and regular people. Despite her all her power, and the fact that she and her friends had literally saved the planet several times now, and was even an athletic prodigy before her Unlocking, she was still supremely humble, down to earth and approachable, never quite being fully comfortable with the terms like "hero" or the attention and even praise and idolization that she received, which only proved to bring in turn because of her humbleness. Some of the Japanese fans could be a little... overzealous... if Lilly were being honest, some showing up in what were basically cosplays of her, with their hair back in her all but trademarked ponytail and wearing some of the exact same clothing and athletic apparel (or extremely close versions of them) that she would wear, some even with fake, prop weights or I-beams tied into knots. It was flattering on one level, but on another level it was kinda creepy. Still though, Lilly was nothing but friendly and polite, seeming to find the time everybody, which may or may not have to do with the fact that due to the crowd, people did not realize there was more than one Lilly there. Normally she was hesitant to use her powers for something like this, but she thought it would be a nice change of pace for the other Vanguards to get to enjoy the more fun side of life, rather than just serving as battle reinforcements. Still, with a crowd this size and so many people being in proximity throughout the day, the Lillys could not help but to 'ping' the crowd searching for other Keys. With her node likely being the largest on the planet, it would be difficult if they were trying to hide, but she assumed it a good idea to at least get a handle on the number of them there as the various Lilly's greeted and took selfies with the crowd.
  27. 1 point
    Dan's own clothes were neatly folded, It wasn't that he and Maeve didn't feel the Beast, they both did, but unlike others, they embraced it, not treating it like and abhorrent curse. Through accepting the Beast, they gained more control. He liked to believe he had a good mastery of himself, and the Beast was a part of him, so he had Dominance over it too. He was the last of the pack to change, not because he couldn't, he could easily have been first. No, his cousin changed first, Leading the others. Dan was the last because he made sure that no one else came upon them in this time of pain and weakness. As his body Changed, he could feel his senses expand, the familiar sensation something he was quite accustomed to. It was like having his other arm untied from behind his back, he was stronger, faster, tougher, and more aware of everything, and at this point, it felt more natural to him at times than his human form, which had almost left him feeling crippled at first, after the rush of being a Wolf. His Change was nearly instant, and seemingly effortless, The pains of the first change, or even of so many after that were gone, Replaced with exhiliration of being "whole" again. Most of the pack were of mixed colors, very few were solidly one color or another, and only one member of the pack was as Black as a moonless, starless sky. That was Dan. His luxurious fur almost seemed to shimmer once or twice in the full moonlight, a trick of the light perhaps, and then he would almost disappear into the darkness. Often he was called the "Alpha's Shadow" as he and Cabe had similar builds. Neither of them were the largest wolves there, but Dan was certainly the quickest, and while Cabe led, Dan served as a sort of enforcer. Those who fought the Beast, they Talked as people. As wolves, they submit in deference to the yellow-eyed shadow that stalked the marshes. He knew the marshlands and bayous better perhaps than any member of the pack, and he never failed in leading them to prey when he was called upon to do so. Once the Howl was ended, he made his way to his most accustomed hunting mate, Maeve, and found Karen as well. He looked to the left flank of how the pack was moving after Cabe, and nodded, Then began to pad off into the marsh, knowing where Cabe was headed, He and his small part of the pack would scare up some deer most likely, or perhaps a hog or two if they were lucky, and drive them to the others. This method wasn't something normal wolves did often, but when hunting with a pack of nearly thirty, you had to adapt to satiate everyone.
  28. 1 point
    "Last time we used the science lab," Niles said, pointing Austin and Fisher. "Why the science lab?" Fisher just had to ask. "Boasts the most numerous amount of fire extinguishers than any other class room in the school." He replied simply while starting into a hurried walk. Austin rolled his eyes and followed. "I thought you didn't expect it to work, why were worried about fires?" "Because," Niles said it like that more he spoke to Fisher and Austin the dumber he was getting. The kids condescension was on par with Nadya's desire to revolt against authority. "Whether we take it seriously or not, it is stil lan experiment and an experiment requires proper protocol, which would a copious amount and fire extinguishers and meticulous notes and planning." The son of Poseidon looked to his friend and raised his hands up like he was choking someone. Fisher smiled and they continued to follow Niles, both of them trying their damnest not to strangle the dorky aspiring sorcerer. Through the darkened hallways and the echos of their foots steps rang through the halls as a sudden crash of lightning exploded across the night sky, strobbing the inside of the hall with bright white light. All three stopped to shield their eyes from the dazzling light. "Niles looked back to them. "It's started. He's started the spell!" The two Scions realized the stakes had just grown considerably and took off down the hallway until they realized Niels wasn't with them. He was still in the same spot pondering his last statement. "'Spell' seems to crude an explain," he rest his hand beneath his chin and narrow his eyes in thought. "Yes, 'incantation' seems more appropriate but would 'ritual' not suffice as well? Certainly further study is needed as using the wrong verbiage for arcane sciences, if it truly could be a science, could result in catastrophic-" Niles's eyes widened as Austin grabbed him and yanked him with great force down the hallway with them. --==[***]==-- "On the wings of Anubis come the winds of Mare Nostrum!" Lightning crashed and winds swirled as papers and random debris swirled about the room the moment Austin and Fisher pushed open the large double doors to the science lab. All the work stations had been pushed against the walls to make room for the large ritual center within the room that was made of make shift materials several candles (that remained lit despite the wind) and a pentagram drawing into the floor with what appeared to be ashes. Through out the pentagram were a few scattered bones that appeared blackened and charred, mostly the bones that comprised the fingers. "From the Near Delta lands to Rosetta's black sands deliver my desire unto me!" Three balefire green wisps appeared with a sputtering sounds and danced within the confines of the pentagram as Todd muttered the incantation with his arms raised high to the wisps as they danced and floated about. They chuckled and chortled as they danced about Todd's head. The wind blew hard against the teens in the doorway, so hard they had to shout to hear one another. "That's not right!" Niles yelled while his hair whipped about. "He's not doing it right! He's messing it all up! Todd you suck! You're screwing up my notes! Give them back!" The floor tiles cracked and greenish light began to shine from beneath them...
  29. 1 point
    Threads of Fate as heavy as chains tugged at her, pulled, insisted, and the more the hidden part of Nadya railed at and rattled them, the more the rest of her was bound tight, the enchantment suffocating her in imposed love. But the music loosened her bindings, made the chains weigh her down less. Dane could see even if Nadya couldn't. She was on something, some rank shit. He didn't know why she hadn't come to him, he never held out on her, but he wouldn't let her ride out the horrid high alone. Nadya finished her first song and opening her eyes, began to grow agitated when she didn't see her Niles watching her, waiting for her. "Hold up, Moonbaby," Dane said, snaking an arm around her bare shoulders. A nickname she hated from almost everyone else, Dane made it sound endearing. "You've got some serious pipes on you, girl. Niles just went to the head. You've got this party in the palm of your hand, how 'bout we give'em another round?" Dane gave a member of the band a pointed nod and deftly caught the tossed guitar and flashed Nadya his wide, earnest grin. "A duet this time." Standing stiffly, Nadya desperately gazed across the dance floor looking for Niles, then turned back to Dane. She couldn't see how the expression on her face contrasted sharply with the look in her eyes. If he wasn't buzzed, Dane would have shivered. "What did you have in mind?" Nadya said, returning his grin. "Something a little old school. The theme might not be 'Under The Sea,' but Homecoming still needs a little something classic. Do you know..." And that was how Nadya found herself singing a cover of a classic Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers duet, Islands in the Stream. As the song came to an end, Nadya heard the crowd begin to murmur and jostle. She turned from Dane and her jaw dropped open at the sight of Rae-Rae kissing that bitch Bridgette. Her face lit up in wild amusement, seeing Rachel do something unexpected and unconventional, but she didn't notice the single tear trailing down her check. "I want that. I want something real," she whispered.
  30. 1 point
    Tease didn't say much else as she pondered what he offered. Ten minutes later she'd asked him to pull over at a roadside diner, yes Montana roads still had a diner here or there, and this one in particular had one of Tease's biggest vices: milkshakes. They sat, or 'leaned comfortably' on the hood of his Corvette while they enjoyed a quick bite before continuing on. Dennis watched her as she wolfed down a triple cheeseburger while other young women her age looked on in abject horror and minor jealousy that she could eat like she did and not worry about calories. "That's just amazing," Dennis said, shaking his head. "As much as you want and you don't gain a pound?" "Kind of," she replied, catching a dab of mustard in the corner of her mouth and licking it off her finger. "See, Sean ran a few tests and my powers aren't like the others. I didn't gain their hyper metabolism or resistance to pathogens or extremes. He thinks it's something to do with my being able to make those same toxins and transmit them through my skin or saliva. So, unlike them, I still need sleep, can't stand a room of mustard gas, or run marathons anytime soon. On the plus side, I can get black out drunk, or high as a kite with the bonus that my liver won't rot or lungs or other organs won't fail on me. We're not sure the science... but I'm not immune to the effects of the stuff, but it can't hurt me if I abuse it." She shrugged, "I don't know." "Wait," Dennis chuckled. "You're poisonous." She offered him a coy, salacious smirk. "Venomous. And, kind of. It's not poison, or just poison. I can replicate pretty much anything from poisons to designer drugs. I could shake your hand and within a few seconds it would be as if you just snorted ten lines in a cheap hotel bathroom. Your heart would probably explode too." "That is so fucked up," he laughed, shaking his head. "Yeah," she nodded. She chewed some more and took a sip of her milkshake. "I didn't get the metabolism, but I did get the appetite. I have no idea where it all goes, but Sean thinks my body breaks it down and transfers it right to my node for energy." She shrugged. "I dunno. What I do have is what she calls 'Appearance Alteration'. It allows me to mentally control my appearance, from the make up I have on, to the color of my hair, its length, boob size, and to some extent, my weight. It's permanent until I change it to something else, or gain a few pounds, but every morning as part of my ritual of getting ready, I adjust my weight and sculpt my muscle tone." "Pardon my asking," he waited a moment to finish his bite from his burger, but rolled his finger like he was going to say something, he just needed a minute. "If you can change all that stuff, why you ain't gone... y'know..." "Bigger?" She asked. "Because that's a man's fantasy. You ever tried running with massive tits? I've found the gravity defying, perfectly firm, comic book style breast shape is more than adequate. So, we came all the way out here to talk about my chest?" "No, no," he shook his head laughing again. "God, no. Like I said, I was just asking. The things you guys can do it's... it's just a head trip is all." "So, about what you said, about being a partner?" Tease crunched up the wrapper of her triple bypass burger and tossed it at a waste basket just a few feet from where she as sitting. She missed and it rolled pretty much back to her, but with a shrug she continued on. "Just so I understand your proposal, you want me to use my powers of manipulation and persuasion coupled with complete mental domination, to bring the entertainment industry to its knees while you and I are sitting in the thrones they're kneeling to?" "Well," he leaned his head from side to side like he was weighing her words. "That's a real immoral, dishonest, and illegal way of putting it. We probably shouldn't ever-" "Because I am totally down for that," Tease replied with more enthusiasm than he'd heard from her since he'd met her. "We can explore those as options, I suppose," his line of thought did a complete one eighty. "But first... what I'm telling you, Marissa-" "Tease," she corrected him. "Fine, Tease. What I'm telling you, Tease, is that we won't have to use those sorts of tactics. I know the people, you have the talent. We could make it." Tease nodded, "Yeah, but what's to stop me from just doing it myself? I mean, it kind of feels like you're just using me." "It's because I am," his honestly hit her like a slap to the face. Dennis was a no bullshit kinda guy and his honesty just never seemed to be at anything but a ten. "I just want the American Dream, Tease, but that's the catch, it's a dream. We are not entitled to be rich, or have power. No one is guaranteed to make it in this world. I've worked very hard, darlin' and I've had my ideas stolen by big producers, I've had talent bought away from me by higher bidders with lower standards for their clients. Am I looking for a little payback? Oh, yeah. We can turn the industry on it's ear. So, you give me a chance to teach you everything there is to know about Hollywood and I will show you the Penthouses and the gutters. The high rollers and the low ballers and most important of all: there is nothing but devils and demons in the City of Angels and they all want a free ride to Heaven." "So, you just thought you'd slip into the Cave of Wonders and steal yourself a lamp," she summed up his explanation with metaphor. He shrugged. "Ali-Baba had his 40 thieves, Scheherazade had her 1,000 tales... I have a Tease. Look, all I'm asking for is a partnership, fifty-fifty down the middle. I'll be your mentor, your guide, your advisor. I'll help you with who to talk to, what deals are legit or worth taking, show you where the money is... if I know it, you'll know it." "Hell of a pitch," the teenage woman said while she smirked and winked at a guy who'd been staring at her for the last ten minutes. "Say I were to consider it, I'd have rules. Like first, when it comes to my abilities or powers, I call the shots. Nobody is charmed, mesmerized, enchanted or otherwise infatuated by my gifts unless I deign it fit to use them." "Fair enough," he nodded. "...and the 'bitch' thing? It's not just an act. We all pay a price for our power, Dennis. My brother's ego and desire for glory shot to titanic levels after he gained his powers. The others, they're all sociopaths or obsessives of some sort. In a nut shell, we're all a little crazy. For me? My competitiveness for popularity and status launched to insane levels. I can't help being a bitch because I learned everything I know about being a female mogul from 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians'. I don't think I'm better than everyone, Dennis, I know I am. I'm convinced that every baseline around me is nothing more than a servant or a fool ready to just do my bidding, because they are. Every time I try to be normal, that attitude and sense of superiority claws and screams at me until I give in. It's not a switch I just flip and be a regular teenager again and still have my powers." She seemed a little sad, like there was a self awareness about the fun, all around great young woman she used to be and the superior, raging bitch she'd become. As the saying went: 'all power has a price'. "You're not... dangerous, are you?" Dennis asked. "Well, yeah... I can coat my lips in cyanide, I'd say I'm dangerous," she mused with a chuckle. "But, no. My attitude doesn't make me dangerous, I won't hurt people or anything, at least not physically. I'm cruel and snobbish, but it mostly pushes people away from me, makes them dislike me." "Yet your powers pull them back to you..." "No, I have to use my powers to pull them back to me, but since I'm using my powers, the things they feel aren't genuine," she sighed. "Always alone, even in a crowd." "Pretty much," she chuckled again. The young man who'd been staring the entire time finally worked up the courage and approached the pair on the Corvette. Tease smiled at him as he walked over and that smile swept away some of the butterflies that swirled in his stomach. To assume Tease was out of his league would have an understatement. "Hi," she greeted him in a flirtatious tone. "Hey." He smiled back, offering her a nod. "I was uh, well, I noticed you and I was wondering if-" She cut him off. "Cool, uh, hey, would you kindly throw that burger wrapper away for me? I completely missed," her voice took an innocent, ditzy tone. "I feel so clumsy." "Y-yeah, no problem," he replied as the dumb smile on his face suddenly seemed plastered there like she was a DC villain who'd infected him with something. He knelt at her feet allowing his eyes to look up at her in abject wonder awe. Everything about her was everything he'd ever want in a woman and no other woman in his life after this day would hold hold a cnadle to her splendor. He scooped up the wrapper and tossed it in the waste bin. "A-anything else? Because I was thinking maybe I could give you my num-" "You can go now." She cut him off flatly and with a rash sense of jaw smacking reality. Uncrossing her legs she slid from her spot on the car, swung the door open and offered the strange guy a wink. "That's all I needed. Oh, and uh," she gave the guy a once over and winced. "Don't take this too harshly, but, if I were you, I'd seriously get used to rejection." Dennis sighed and shook his head as the Corvette sped out of the parking lot and they were on their way again. "You're gonna be a handful, I can already tell." She grinned as her eyes cycled through a series of shimmering and luminous colors from purple to blue to green, each one a thousand times more vibrant than a human eyes was capable of. She finally settled on a sparkling purple, a color she and her brother seemed to fancy. She grinned as she looked into the mirror of the visor. "You have no idea."
  31. 1 point
    --==[Manhattan, New York]==-- "Okay....," Mikey stepped away from the gun and looked at the vacant hallway where mystery dude just upped and poofed. "Think, Mikey. Think. Is this shit really so strange? I mean... you were just on fire... so, there's that. The hell though?" He walked around looking at... well, he had no idea what he was looking for. Dude was here, now he's not, but he left a gun. The gun. His thumb slid across the screen of his smartphone, his fingers tapping in a few keys for a Google search. He tapped the number Google provided and waited for someone to pick up while he paced around. The police would be there soon, but they never negotiated stairs very well so he figured he had some time. "Uh, yeah," he began as a receptionist answered. "Uh, hi, look uh, some dude was just on a roof top sniping people and then teleported away when I confronted him. You guys have people that handle this sorta thing, or is it like an F.B.I. thing? This is Irregular Solutions, right? The mutant group that helps other mutants? Cuz, seriously lady... I have no idea who to call right now, three people are dead and if this dude it teleporting, there's no way regular police are gonna find him. He left a gun behind, weird kinda tech on it... is there a finders fee?"
  32. 1 point
    *Irregular Solutions, Inc HQ* The youngest Irregular listened to all this with her chin in one hand, outwardly attentive, but she summed most of it up along the line 'Pandora was a lying bitch who played us, but we got her back'. And Pandora was the one who called her and the other new Keys abominations, so she'd already fulfilled her promise to punch Sara in the nose for her insults. Neat. Seemed simple enough. So did the route forward. It made her think back, attention splitting in two without loss of focus, one paying attention outward as they continued speaking, the other inward replaying a memory from three weeks earlier. ****** Jeane 'Traceuse' Hebert frowned at her reflection and tried to reconcile the stranger in the mirror with herself for the second time in as many months. It was still same mirror, just... Hung a little higher to compensate for the latest wave of practical joke her node had played on her in the days immediately after returning from the quantum realm and their nightmarish struggle within. She was was already missing the days when she'd *nearly* bump her head on every doorway she didn't duck through. The girl, no, woman really, who looked back at Jeane was more mature than the towering blonde's mental image of herself, features softer and less harsh with the ineffable quantum glamor that the other Irregulars had dazzled her with in the early days of her time on the time before Pandora's loops broke down. Only the fact that the image mirrored her every single move kept this from being any more surreal than it was. She'd never thought about herself as pretty before, especially after she had had her first quantum growth spurt. Nearly seven foot tall amazons weren't pretty, not not that way. Now though... She wasn't half bad, oh god no, and she'd be lying to the world and herself if she said a not so little part of her not so little self wasn't loving the change, doorframe-banging extra inches and all. The way her words and her looks made people stop and listen now, so much easier than before. It was just... Strange, strange as the unfamilar speed and depth of the thoughts going on behind her blue eyes. She was going to exploit the hell out of all this, build up even more of a positive reputation, try to be able to make people listen when she offered them their one last chance rather than have to take them down. So she was going to go run. Make some new friends. Film another commercial or three. Maybe even look into a GED if Abel's academy didn't work out. First things first though. Amazingly confident as she felt in her default curves-hugging PAM suit configuration, the towering blonde needed irreproachably-normal to make this work, much as she failed at that standard. Dress to fit the scene, her old scene before all this thisness happened to her, and be seen. Quantum-infused fabric shifted with a thought, ballooning out into comfortably loose running pants, a tank top and jacket combo, and the lightest of gripped running shoes to help keep her moving. She tested her very best reassuring smile at her reflection, peeling off the merest sliver of PAM suit and shaping it in one hand into a hair tie to bind up her hair in a simple ponytail at the back of her skull, tucking the blonde length into her hood as the latter finished forming. Reds and whites dominated the ensemble as it stabilized into it's new form, one last whim bringing a big black 'I' into being on the back of her jacket, proclaiming her allegiance for all that had eyes. Never knew if someone like Pandora's version of Rashoud might want to take a shot at a Key just in case she might be easy meat. But the team, her crew, had a rep all their own, and that might be the heartbeat of hesitation she'd need to win or run away. The question was how to do her run today though. Waiting for a crew of local runners to come by and let them lead vs the spectacle of just blowing through it on her gut instinct? Keeping it on the sly at least outside the US or going full hog with anti stealth approaches? There were perks to either or any of the options... Traceuse laughed in her empty room, amused by the wildly divergent yet parallel streams of thought running through her head that still made perfect sense as they came back together in the now and started to diverge again. Problems to solutions to more problems and to more solutions, so on and so forth in a way that somehow worked together unlike the clashing plague of voices Pandora's loops had left and Abel had healed. Still. Enough thinking. James had been kind enough to show her a tour of his dozen favorite cities, and that's how many new 'keyholes' she had to work with today. “All right, World. Take two on my coming out party,” she warned aloud out of old fairness, grinning to split her face as she pulled up her hood, “First stop: Norfolk.” ***** "All right. That all sounds great, guys," she voiced aloud when the memory played out, straightening up in her chair, "But it'd be nice if you guys had a list of the main groups that'd want to increase friction between Keys and everyone else and why they have beef with us. We get them off our case, we can start putting out fires by removing the fuel. At least that should take some of the heat off of the newest Keys while they learn the ropes. For instance, maybe work out some kind of agreement that will make border officials stop twitching whenever someone whispers the word 'teleporter'? Without it sucking for us. Some sort of compromise, that's all. Us with them, not us versus them, much as possible." She laughed quietly and continued, "I mean, I don't mind jumping out there to punch every Rashoud wannabe out there in the face, but I'd like to feel safe dorming down again once in a while. Or sleeping. Haven't done either since we got back. Maybe take Abel on more long weekends to the Underverse."
  33. 1 point
    So Sara, being a new GM, was like, "So you guys will be playing... uh... yourselves! Yeah. You'll play yourselves." Hehe. I'm good with it (and I still have my baseline/starting sheet!). Really it is a simple, but rather elegant solution to the power curve we were all maxing out at..
  34. 1 point
    I'm pondering what you're pondering, Nina. I like the idea of Sara DMing and the reboot (of a sort), even if others may not. After defeating the Titans that were threatening Earth/Humanity, how much more is there to deal with that wouldn't be trivial to ones with the power of the Irregulars? Yes, we can write about how our characters are adapting and dealing with it, write about them spending time with their significant others, but that only goes so far, and means less when even the potential for any threats or inconveniences is minuscule. With the reboot as proposed, what we have written isn't swept away. If our characters were invested in their characters, what they experienced in the 'game' would still affect them, at least in reflecting on how they'd feel if something like it really did happen. I presume we'd still develop powers, if not on the same world demolishing/unbalancing scale. If some people just aren't feeling their powerset (or character for that matter) anymore, they would have the opportunity to adjust things. But mainly, I feel we can write and tell more interesting and compelling stories from lower on the mountain of power than from the pinnacle. And nothing says the Irregulars couldn't go back and play in Sara's 'campaign' again, if people still wanted to write about their ultra-powered alternates. Anyone else want to ring in, yay or nay?
  35. 1 point
    Jexa sat back, calmly listening to the back and forth. Almost right away a single word stood out to her. Her curiosity peaked, she made a small gesture and a translucent blue ribber of energy extended in front of her eyes. She casually looked around the room, letting the HUD of the visor highlight objects before slipping from her seat and out of the room. She began to walk the halls of the ship, passing through common areas, hallways and maintenance corridors alike, always looking around as she listened in to the conversation through her comms, finally returning to mess and taking her seat again.. "Joy." she muttered and reached into her pocket, pulling out a small stone which she held at about head level and let go, allowing it to float and slowly circle her head, just in case the ship decided to open the airlocks. It was bad enough that they knew so little about the ship, but now to discover it was sentient and apparently a bit sensitive? There were enough egos to deal with on the ship already, without the ship having its own. Jexa sighed and shook her head. "So how did you come to know so much about the ship?" she finally asked the felinoid as she rocked back in her chair.
  36. 1 point
    last week I had a bad week and I threw a tantrum I was going to leave the site for good, I canceled some games and left some open with the intention of making a some final posts then canceling them and going away. I tend to bottle my emotions mainly in real life not so much here and when im full the littlest things can set a flood off, couple with the fact that i have been having bouts of depression and anxiety since the end of last year I am somewhat of a mess. last week i got set off and y'all saw the result. since then I have calmed down and the problem has been mostly resolved and i am feeling guilty and remorseful none of this is y'all's fault or has anything to do with y'all except where it impacts you because of my actions. for any distress i caused last week I am sorry. for my knee jerk actions canceling games i am sorry. this isn't a cry for attention or sympathy, there is no need to post here I just wanted y'all to know because I think of y'all as friends and i wasn't being a very good friend last week.
  37. 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.
  38. 1 point
    With preternatural awareness Sean observed... everything. She saw the monstrous dragon Kia had become pull herself back together, organic detritus falling from her still writhing and twithing. She watched Pandora deflect Abel and Jeane's hyper-accelerated spear with a casual flick of a stabbing appendage. She witnessed how Sara's blasts of raw energy did little damage to Pandora, serving as little more than distractions. Her eyes narrowed slightly. Perhaps those blasts were doing more than little. The impossibly beautiful woman spun lithely just out of the way of coruscating attacks that could obliterate her out of existence, her expression cool and hard in the face of certain death. She fired her pistol at darting and rending appendages, the hypervelocity rounds seeming so banal and pathetic on the other worldly battlefield. There was something anomalous to the way Pandora reacted - on the quantum level - to their attacks. Pandora was taking little in the way of effective damage, but that didn't mean she wasn't being affected. She was just being affected in a different way. The entities like Pandora were multidimensional beings. This manifestation was her, but not all of her. Sean was about to tell Abel to coalesce the dimensional anchors to try and lock Pandora in place when her eyes widened, suddenly seeing the situation in a new light. This was just manifestation, not Pandora's true essence, that essence was elsewhere. The dimensional anchors might cut off the manifestation from Pandora, or cause it to disperse entirely, but it wouldn't affect Pandora herself- or more accurately, itself. <Abel, don't form the dimensional anchors!> Sean projected to the Irregulars as she dashed around the field of ice, somersaulting a death beam as she slashed at a piercing talon with her sun-like plasma-sword. <Think of this as epic-level D&D. This is an Avatar of a God, not the God itself! To kill a god dead, you have to do it on its own realm on the Outer Planes.> <What?!> Jeane mentally shouted in response to the nerdy terminology. <To really get Pandora, we have to Ant-man this shit!> Sean replied <We have to go the quantum level of reality directly to face the core being of Pandora. And you are going to get us there, Jeane. With Kia's help. We're going to the Quantum Realm!> Sean might not have been able to bend and break reality as easily as most of her friends, but few could perceive it as deeply and expansively as she could, or see it in so many distinct spectra. Jeane could get them to the Pandora-Core, and Sean could interpret what Kia experienced trying to emulate Pandora's quantum field, to determine the precise resonance or frequency so that Jeane could get them to the right place. <Kia, show me what you got,> Sean commanded, anticipating what Kia had really been trying to accomplish by dragging her tail across the Pandora-Avatar. She studied the assaulting plethora of information Kia projected to her from a different point of view in a fraction of a nanosecond, then sent the key piece of information - dimensional coordinates in effect - to Jeane. <This is it, Jeane. You want to end this bitch, get us there!>
  39. 1 point
    Intent on finding Camila, Fi didn't notice Large Gord at first, her improbably long legs carrying her swiftly and gracefully down the street. She was two steps past him and the girl by his side when he called out and her head whipped around, the expression on her exquisite, mobile features going from worried determination to one of surprise. She walked over to the two with enviable grace. Standing close, Sigil realized just how tall the young-looking woman was - Firanis stood as tall or more slightly more than Large Gord himself, though far more slender. With her expanded senses, Sigil could notice hints and remnants of layer upon layer of alterations the vivid-haired woman had experienced, so much so, she could hardly guess what she might have originally looked like. Firanis blew a lock of magenta hair from her face as she glanced back down the street before returning her gaze back to Gord and nodded, her brows furrowed in clear agitation. "Yes, I grew up in Broley and I'm surprised to find you here, Gord. Surprised, but pleased." She flashed him a quick smile - it wasn't forced, but she clearly had more on her mind. "And you as well, Sigil." Firanis returned the shorter girl's appraisal with a frank one of her own. The girl did have remarkable auric eyes. Firanis gave her head a small shake, her grin fading. "I have been well enough, just needed to get out and stretch my legs, as it were, and a supply run was just the thing after the tedium of helping Goutro with his..." Firanis trailed off with a sigh. It wasn't precisely a secret, but the fewer others knew of Goutro's ship and the less about it, the better and less dangerous it was for them. "I hadn't expected to be coming this way, but I - Sorry!" She shrugged a sleek shoulder impatiently. "I would like to speak with you more, Gord, but this is not the more serendipitous of times. You should encourage the caravan you are escorting to quickly pack up and be ready to depart." She grimaced, looking more like a pout on her young, very pretty face. "There is a.... black... ness, something like char without fire heading this way. I mean that in truth. I saw it, visibly encroaching this way after having consumed the next closest settlement. I mean to go speak with a friend of my mother's and mine who should hold some influence, to get preparations for evacuation started before I go to investigate myself to see if this... blackening can be curtailed or diverted." Firanis gave Gord a wry grin, a flash a humour in her lavender eyes despite her worry. "I'd ask if you'd like to help, Gord, but I'm short of shins at the moment and I can't say what manner of salvage there might be to make it worth your while."
  40. 1 point
    Kia had time to roar before the energy of Pandora's attack struck her dead on. The blades clanged uselessly against Kia's armored hide. The laser beams annihilated her on contact, burning through scale and flesh and bone, slicing the dragon unevenly wherever it tracked across the serpentine body. Kia peeled away, sliced in a long wavy line until it finally cleaved through the other side of her, letting the two 'halves' fall apart. ...and then ropes of flesh flung out from the two 'stumps,' of her, grasping each other in midair as they fell. More and more, thicker and thicker, they quickly sealed the two halves together again. Still regenerating, the Dragon Kia roared as she pulled out of the uncontrolled dive and arrowed straight at Pandora! Though her claws missed, the tendrils extending from the end of her tail, almost like the bristles of a lion's tail but fleshier, managed to drag over Pandora as she flew past. The casual touch was enough. Kia was ready for it, and immediately concentrated on her senses...attempting to 'feel' the quantum echo of Pandora's powers in her own body. (Used Cellular Persistence to 'dodge' all but 1 HL of the attack, using Quantum Imprint on a touch attack to attempt to duplicate powers!)
  41. 1 point
    Vesper gave Yuuki a flat look. She had history, math and science on her phone? Like physically on it? She brought out her iPhone and tossed it, and its earbuds, onto the table alongside Yuuki's phone. "Ten gigs of thrash metal and a PDF copy of the Anarchist's Cookbook," she said. "Take it or leave it." Ah shit, the cat vids! Maybe she won't notice. "There's stuff we can TELL you too though," Vesper added. "Like, with actual human interaction or something."
  42. 1 point
    As per the latest Monday Meeting Notes blog, Trinity Continuum: Aberrant is in manuscript approvals with Rich.
  43. 1 point
    The world was in shades of grey where her swirling memories were saturated with colour. The soft wind was cold on her scalp and cheeks. Sean dug out one of the extra jumpsuits from her pack. Testing its stretch, she cut off one of the legs of a jumpsuit, then cut off a wide band. She pulled it over her head, and it fit well enough, covering part of her ears like a too wide headband, the extra material on top flopping over. She took it off, made a a few cuts and slits with the k-bar, and after some pulling and tying, she put her 'hat' back on. It looked stupid, like a mangled beanie, but it worked well enough. Sean took a deep breath as she watched the grey waves of lake Michigan lap against the shore with a strange flatness. The air smelled flat too, no sense of life too it, nor even the smell of exhaust or garbage, city smells. She turned back and studied the ruins of Chicago, looking for movement, lights, something to indicate life, as Lilly made her assertions and suggestions. "I don't disagree with things being... inconsistent," Sean said, even her melodious voice sounding somewhat flat out in the desolation. "The tech back in there..." She nodded back towards the doorway in the hill they had come from. "With it, with that... I wouldn't discount the Fermi reactor - or a version of it - running whatever we were part of. Lilly, the reactor wasn't just built at the University, the reactors and the University of Chicago were one of the sites for Government Research on the Manhattan Project. A government slash military run project, not mere college phd projects." The slender girl shrugged a shoulder. "If I was running things, sure, I'd give this place it's own power supply. But maybe they didn't have the funding for another reactor, or the space down there, or thought it unnecessary, or maybe even dangerous. I do know thinking of this as just another 'simulation' is a dangerous way of going about it. It would be better to just think of it as real. If we can't distinguish the difference, then for all intents and purposes, it is real. As for your big door..." Sean raised an arm and pointed at the hill to the left of the small door they had exited from, glancing from Lilly to Jeane. "It's right there, buried from the hill slumping or on purpose at some point. Unless you think those tracks that lead to the big doors drop down at a seriously steep angle right on the other side. I bet..." Without waiting to say what she bet, Sean began walking briskly away from the hill. Just a few dozen yards away, she found what she suspected, breaking though the dirt, dark with grit and disuse, but unmistakable. "Train tracks," she called out. "Leading towards the city." Sean walked back to the group at a more sedate pace. "Train tracks back to the city, to the campus even, for all we know. Could be reasons to build off site. More remote, so less eyes, curious university eyes. Or they didn't have a place secret enough situate the project, or couldn't built a place like this there without raising more questions on site. Regardless, I think we'll find more answers there than we will here playing with the phones. We certainly won't find less." Her jaw set with stubbornness. "So I'm going instead sitting here and building base camp. We apparently have waited for over a hundred and fifty years. I'm done with fucking waiting." She nodded at Lilly's pack which held one of the water condensers. "If the condensers are anything like the ones I designed, it should make perfectly clean, potable water. If something gets through the condensing process, I don't think boiling the water will deal with it any better. Everything you want to look for, we can look for on the way, Lilly." Sean got ready to set out, with or without anyone else, taking stock of what she had with her in her own pack, and glanced over at Abel. "Without continual maintenance, you'd be surprised how quickly infrastructure can decay." She gave the bleak sky a dismal look, one part slightly brighter than the rest that might have indicated the sun. "I have a few guesses on how this could have happened, but they are only guesses at this point."
  44. 1 point
    "I value the experience and opinion of all of my officers. If you feel the matter is settled, then that is good enough for me." J'Sira said with a nod. "Additionally, then purpose of the diagnostics is to ensure the safety and functionality of the ship under my watch, and was not meant as any sort of critique of the engineering staff or their abilities. With the reduced crew after the Baldur 4 incident, and with the immediate focus thereafter being on the preservation of life and construction of the stasis pods, as well as getting back to Asgard Station, I found it improbable that all of the appropriate diagnostics had been run. But, if your and the other chief's judgement is that the Destiny is 'Shipshape and Bristol fashion', then once again, that is good enough for me. I am not only further impressed, but I will also check with the XO about the possibility of shore leave on the station." J'Sira walked over to Petty Officer Harkness and offered him a handshake. "And finally, I would like to say thank you. I appreciate what you did and it only further cements my opinion that I am serving with some of the finest Starfleet has to offer." she said sincerely. "I may look mostly Vulcan, but I do have a heart." she said with a small, warm smile and them mused, "an eight chambered one, in fact." "If there is nothing else, then you are dismissed." "Oh, and in the future, Ma'am or Sir is fine." she added.
  45. 1 point
    "If we were in those things that long," said Kia as she pulled her boots on, having grabbed what she wanted from the survival kids, "Why aren't we all old and stuff? I mean...that's not normal, right? These things hooked us into a computer, but that wouldn't make us immortal." She moved to back Lilly up. She didn't take one of the guns, but she had a knife and eternal optimism, and wasn't that better than a gun anyway?
  46. 1 point
    Autumn tucked the Spellstone into the collar of her dress and looked at herself in the mirror, checking her hair and makeup before she picked up the small, studded leather box with the word "Thing" embossed in large, calligraphic letters on top from atop her dresser. She peeked inside the box and nodded, closing it once again before she set out for Tat's party. As the others greeted each other Autumn approached, gliding silently through the air. She was difficult to see against the night sky due to tall the black she wore, but as she drew near, she was noticed, her black, patent leather shoes finally touching the ground. "Salutations." she said in a total deadpan voice, her face expressionless. Her flat affect suited her costume though, as she stood there in a somewhat short, button up, black dress with a white collar, black stockings that came just past the knee and large, clunky, black, patent leather shoes. Thanks to makeup her skin was rather pale and her eyes were lined in black. Her long, dark hair was parted down the middle and hung down on either side of her face in matching braids, finishing her Wednesday Addams costume. "Thing would like to say hello as well." she added as she held out the small leather box, which opened as a hand, clearly not her own, lifted the lid of the box and reached out, ready to shake hands.
  47. 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.
  48. 1 point
    "Is this hired from the Veskarium directly?" Gorunta asked. Clevus shrugged. "Don't know, doesn't matter." "It would, but." Gorunta started laughing heavily. Once he was finished, he answered the looks he was getting. "Herschwin's an idiot. He thinks just because I'm a vesk I can be a diplomat to other vesks? Does he think I'll punch them into agreement? Racist idiot."
  49. 1 point
    Sebastian soared over the city, hitting a rooftop before launching himself off towards another one. He was in a shredded black suit, heavily stained with mud and driven over several times for that authentic 'buried in a swamp look'. His hair was bleached as white as his skin and combed in such a way that his head looked flat. He had to hand it to Cosima, she sure could do any sort of hairstyle, even to the point of making someone's head look like it was flat. Sebastian wasn't really much of a comic book nerd and being raised in middle-of-nowhere Montana meant that he really wasn't up to speed on the pop culture of superheroism either. He knew the Freedom League, who didn't, but aside from that he had to do a lot of googling in his room to figure out what a 'Solomon Grundy' even was. A zombie guy buried in a swamp, was about as far as he got when he decided it was perfect for Tats party. 'Bastian, being himself, never realized that Tatiana's was pretty much all set with food, beverages and everything else one would need for a get-together, but his mom had taught him when he was a young(er) man that you never showed up to a gathering without bringing something. So here he was, leaping across town with a duffel slung over his shoulder filled with what every good Montanan knew was proper for a Halloween party: apple cider and donuts. The only real tricky part was leaping about the suburbs of Emerald City dressed like an invulnerable zombie and not getting the National Guard called on him. Luckily, it turn out to be an issue. Tatiana noticed her classmate soar over the gate in a (very) low arc, avoiding casual detection by nosy neighbors. It wasn't hard for her to hear Sebastian hit the ground, not only was the kid a mountain of muscle, but he was rarely, if ever, graceful. He approached her slowly, walking with a sway in his arms like he was angry and ready to throw down. He held his arms out wide giving her a view of his costume. "Grundy party." "Nice," she nodded her approval. "Thank, ya," he smiled with that bit of Montana drawl in his voice he could never quite hide. "An yer looking as lovely as any fictitious sociopath could." Sebastian's Montana charm and perpetual politeness was enough to make anyone's sweet tooth ache, even Tatiana, who wasn't much for sweet talk and platitudes, had learned to take it in stride. After all, one thing was certain about Sebastian: his kindness and compliments were genuine, the damn kid couldn't help but be anything but country mannered. "It vill take more that country charm to vin dance with me," she mused. "Vhat's in the bag?" "Oh! Yeah," he swung it about and hoisted it off his shoulder. "I brought cider and donuts. Had to go to the donut shop and get them fresh baked. Can't have a Halloween party without cider donuts. Back home, we'd all be sittin' in the barn sippin' cider, waiting on the haunted hay ride wagon to swing around. We'd swap ghost stories, talk about class, bob for apples... y'know, party stuff. Man, we had ourselves a heck of a time!" "Sounds like a riot," she said, deadpan. "Give to the kitchen staff, they will put it our for everyone." He looked up at the mansion that was Tatiana's home. "Whew, you got a kitchen staff? I'll be. Should be enough for everyone, I bought for about fifty people or so. Figured that was over doing so people could have seconds if they liked. Heck, we usually ended up with thirty or so and so much left over food." "Fifty people was... a lot?" Tatiana smirked evilly. "That's so adorable."
  50. 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.
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