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Everything posted by Sean Cassidy

  1. Sean looked at Clara sharply, eyes narrowing to vivid-coloured slits. That he hadn't been expecting. He'd thought it had belonged to the eaten and vanished Captain Cooper. Lona put an arm around her near sister in sympathy and commiseration. Sean shifted awkwardly on the bench, his hand instinctively moving forward to pat her hand before he pulled it back and balled it into a fist, and settled for giving her an apologetic nod. "There are," Sean said. His eyes flicked back and forth rapidly under lowered lids as he looked inward, perusing the inner database of his mind, recalling the annotated dates next to the GPS coordinates. "Most of the ones around here align with when he was attending Shelly High," Sean revealed, forcing his tone steady and if not of Bannon-level coolness, there was a hint of clinical curiosity, wanting to know how the puzzle pieces fitted together. "The ones around your house are mostly within the first seven months, barring several outliers. The biggest discontinuity however is with the first GPS coordinate logged. It's at the Marias Medical Center. He only started working there - as far as you know - after he graduated, right, Clara?"
  2. "There's more," Sean added, keeping his voice low, but not whispering - whispering drew attention - as he looked up from the photos to look around the group of friends and... associates? Acquaintances? He wasn't willing to accede to it being called the Fellowship yet. His odd turquoise and teal eyes were especially bright with interest and excitement. He gave Sara a nod, knowing she'd been incommunicado over the rest of summer break and leaving her her space as it seemed that was what she'd preferred, but accepting that she was back. "Remember the communicator? I've found out more, after powering up the trailer's faraday cage." Scooching a bit to put as much space as he could between himself and Devin on the bench seat, which wasn't much with how many were at the table, he gave Devin an apologetic shrug. "I guess it wasn't so urgent to get those parts of the faraday cage after all. Anyways, whatever the thing was uplinking to, it's been cut off, no longer sending or receiving any signals of any kind. But it's given me time to snoop around and manually deactivate the transmitter. Looking at the stored memory of the gps function, it goes back with two years of GPS coordinates." "Where'd he go?" Clara asked the first to ask the logical question A slim finger slid across the table, as though drawing a rough representation of Shelly. Sean's eyes flicked to Clara for a moment, then away, nodding. "The guy - Captain Cooper - or whoever was using the communicator, was all over Shelly. But there are concentrations of pings and coordinates where he was most frequently. Around here, at the school." Sean stabbed a point on the table, inquisitive gaze going around the table swiftly, lingering slightly longer of those he knew had especially good memories, silently asking if anyone remembered seeing someone strange around school. His finger glided to another point on the table and stopped, eyes going to Cade and Lilly. "The Medical Center." Sean took another deep breath and stretched his shoulders as he faced Clara and Lona, finger going to another point without looking. "Sorry ladies, but it seems like he was creeping around the Wright Estate a fair bit, too." Devin glanced at Sean's invisible map, considered for a moment, then nodded. "If that's supposed to be Frenchie's crib, Cassidy, move your finger another two and half inches towards Charlie." Sean shot him an irritate glance but moved his finger as directed and stopped when Devin gave an entirely too satisfied nod. Then Sean moved his finger again, eyed Devin askance as though he was going to be corrected again, then just huffed and pointed in the generally area of the last location. "And finally, our boy was hanging out 709 Oilfield Avenue." "And what's at 709 Oilfield Avenue?" Lilly asked, turning from giving the football in her hands a suspect look. "According to Google Maps? Some plain pavement, a street light, and some low rent housing. Couple of sheds in back I could see," Sean replied with a slight shrug, as though disappointed the address didn't lead to the Montana version of Area 51... or appear to, anyway. Would be pretty sneaky to hide the entrance to a secret government or military installation in some place so mundane... "Local low income housing... " Devin drawled with insouciant enthusiasm. "You guys'll have no problem manoeuvring through there. I'll need a guide." He flashed the Nerd Herd plus Sara a lackadaisical grin. "Look at that! I'm already meeting new cultures. This is so much fun."
  3. Not only Chet's friends' jaws fell open, so did the Cassidy's. Sean almost fumbled the can of bear mace out of his satchel in his haste to withdraw his hand. Hesitant for a moment, his brows furrowing at the completely unexpected admission from Chet, Sean cautiously extended his own hand, waiting for a trick, a flash of malevolence or triumph in Chet's eyes. But there was nothing, just a calm earnestness. They shook, Chet's handshake firm, but not trying to break the smaller hand in his grasp. "I, uh... thanks, Chet, I really appreciate the apology," Sean stammered, looking from Chet to his friends, to Laurie, and back as he reclaimed his hand. Everyone else looked as bewildered as he felt. "Very... evolved of you. Few bullies regret how they acted, even fewer still in school when they might say they're sorry to those they bullied. "I hope this new you Chet sticks around." "It will," Chet replied with a firm certainty, giving Sean a nod. Then he headed off through the parking lot to the school, his friends following in his wake sharing disbelieving murmurs. The Cassidy's turned to watch them go. "Did that really just happen?" Laurie said softly. "I know, right." Sean was going to say something about pod people or intellect devourers crawling inside people's heads, but glancing askance up at his sister, a teasing grin on his face, Sean said, "When were you going to tell me you were trying out for football?" "Right after if I found out I made the team," Laurie admitted. She looked at her bother, returned his grin. "Hey, bro, I made the football team."
  4. "Oh, hell no, Laurie," Sean scowled at his sister's back as he hustled up to stand next to her. "I'm your older brother, I'm not hiding behind my younger sister." "You're taller sister," Laurie hissed back. "You aren't like other brothers." "I'm not," Sean agreed stubbornly. "And I'm getting tired about being embarrassed about it and harassed about it. I might not be able to do something about the latter, but I can about the former." Sean nodded around the student parking lot. "Besides, what are they really going to do, call me Titboy? Pfft, it's hardly inaccurate. It's broad daylight with plenty of witnesses. If they want to pummel me or go for some sexual assault, I'll take the lumps and gropes to get Fucking Chet expelled at the beginning of the school year." "What's gotten into you, bro?" Laurie wondered, glancing at her brother without taking her eyes off Chet and his goons. She knew things were odd since the party and the weeks after - she'd pried some of the details out of him - but she hadn't know it had effected him so much. Sean gave her a nonchalant shrug as he stood up straight as Chet and Co. approached them. "I'm may be a freak of nature, Laurie, but there's weirder stuff out there than me. It's giving me some perspective, that my issues might not be as bad as I make them out to be." The Chet squad continued their menacing saunter towards the Cassidy's, one tall and slim, the other shorter and considerably more curvaceous, and if anything, the familial resemblance was stronger than it had been last year. Other than the lack of make-up or knowing Sean, nobody would mistake Sean for anything other than a particularly attractive high school girl. He hadn't really changed his style, but everything seemed to fit him better, his faded olive jeans were snug over his strong red sneakers, his yellowish shirt with a galactic purple ring on it fitted, his unzipped hoodie nipping in at the waist. He was still wearing layers, but he wasn't trying - poorly - to hide his figure. Even his haircut, shaved short on the sides and left long and brushed over to the side in a fall of red-gold was more feminine than not. New bravado or not, Chet was still rather tall and quite broad across the shoulders, and he could never be called friendly. Sean's finger surreptitiously slid inside his satchel - his friends could call it his purse, or murse, but it was clearly a satchel or messenger bag - and felt around for the can of bear mace, as he tried to force an unconcerned smirk on his face. "Hey, Chet, miss me?" Sean cooed in the sultry tone he used for slutty barmaids and predatory noblewomen at gaming sessions, and his guts tightening, he kept that grin and blew the asshole a kiss. "You seem in such a rush to see me." I so hope regretting this won't be too painful.
  5. Sean stared up at Devin, absently rubbing his arm. It hadn't hurt, exactly, but it was unexpected. Like a lot coming from Devin in the last few days. Mari too, for that matter - Beholders?! Sean's returning grin was more strained than Devin's, but seemed genuine all the same. "You're tall and built, we've been in the same gym class, Jauntsen," Sean said. "I'm flattered, Cassidy, but the gingers I'm interested in need a certain number of holes." Devin smirked, thinking of one particular red head. "Not what I meant and you know it, dickwad," Sean growled in annoyance, sounding far from intimidating. He was often Devin's - and not only Devin's - favourite target in dodgeball. Sean was not built for dodgeball. " Yeah, I mean, you're tall and strong and I'm... not. Attitude counts but It's not as easy as you make it seem, trust me. But I will think on it. If you return the favour and think on something yourself." "Oh?" "Paraphrasing Jurassic Park, just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. Just because you found a victim to victimize, didn't mean you had to, man." Devin gave a muted chuckle, but he glanced away first, not for the first time, especially lately, what he had in Shelly, and what he didn't. "Fair enough, fair enough." Sean lead the way into Sulli's Computers and Electronics, pushing open the door into the iron-barred vestibule, then the second door into the store proper, an electronic beeping sounding. Sulli's looked like an Apple Store, a GameStop, and a Radio Shack had a baby. The sales floor was ringed on three sides by glass counters, most of the more expensive products under the glass or on shelves and pegs behind the counters. One side of the store was dedicated to consoles and video games, both new and retro, neatly organized with out all the garish signs found in a GameStop. The other side had various electronic and computer components and products. The place looked clean and modern and was blessedly free of lens flares. Sean grinned, feeling a comfortable tingle in the air that made the faint flush fade from his cheeks. He was so glad Devin hadn't noticed the whole reason for his awkwardness. It wasn't just riding a Ducati with a guy who had made his life hell for the last several years. It was riding a motorcycle. It had been exhilirating, stimulating. He was grateful that the molded cups of his bra had hidden that he'd been standing at attention for an all points bulletin, as it were. Second vehicle is so gonna be a motorcycle... On the other side of a glass partition into the backroom, a stocky man going prematurely grey looked up from the computer he was assembling, and smiled at seeing one of his best customers. Sean was an odd one for sure, but more than pleasant to look at - like a living version of far too many guys' MMO avatars - and he really knew his stuff. Sulli hustled from the back room and made his way to the counter. "Hey Sean--" Sulli greeted him cheerfully in a slightly nasal voice, his cheer droopping when he noticed Devin behind Sean, clearly with him and seeing in him every jock who'd given him shit in high school when he was their age. "-- and guy. What can I do for you? Building another computer or here to pick up a game or three." "Not today Sulli." Devin could see the change in Sean in a place where he felt comfortable and assured. If he was the same all the time in school instead of just the few classes he excelled at, Sean wouldn't have had any problems at school. Well, fewer anyway. "Got another project I - we're - working on, just need a few things. Can you show Devin what surveillance equipment you have?" Sean said the last as he sauntered into the short aisles of electronic equipment. "What project? School doesn't even start for a few weeks," Sulli muttered. He shook his head and looked from Sean to eye Devin dubiously. "Surveillance gear?" "You know, nanny cams to spy on dad to see if he's boinking the nanny. Tiny cameras to see if your trophy wife is doing the poolboy," Devin explained helpfully with a taunting curve to his lips. "I know what they are!" Sulli retorted. "I was just expecting you'd want the newest Call of Duty rather than spy cameras." "I already have it. The tears of ten year old assholes and thirty year old manbabies sustain me, but I have varied interests." "Riiight... What do you even need them for?" "I already said. Hot nannies. Trophy wives, varied interests. Look, this is for the same project Sean is working on. Help a dude out, okay." "Oh! Why didn't you say so? This way, I don't have much... " When Sean made his way back to the counter, his arms full with the components he needed, Devin was slapping down the last fifty for the three wireless security cameras and one nanny-cam Sulli had suggested. They had recalled Clara's suggestion, and while both of them thought it was verging on paranoid, there was an alien man-eating starfish out there, and Devin had stopped for cash on the way to Great Falls. Sean also noticed a combo-pack for Borderlands 2 and the Pre-Sequel with all the DLC. Sean raised his brows. Those looked pretty high-end. "You didn't upsell him, did you Sulli?" "Of course not!" Sulli sounded affronted. "I have some low-end stuff and some high-end stuff. He wanted the high-end, and I even gave him the friend of a friend discount." "Thanks, Sulli. I owe ya. This is all kind of last minute." Sean dumped his selections on the counter. "Here's what I need." Sulli gave the components a skeptical look, but just shook his head and he began ringing it through. "What are you guys doing?" "Prank. Potato Railgun. Gotta capture the reactions for posterity," Sean claimed blithely. "Oh, fine, don't tell me." Their purchases made, Sean tetrised them into his backpack for the ride back. All of them except for the dusty pink... "Is this supposed to be a rabbit or a teddy bear?" "One of those, maybe both, Cassidy. Like you, it straddles both sides. It's very you." "Ha. Ha. Ha. Fuck you, I hate pink. " Sean strapped the pink teddy rabbit to the top of his pack with some bungee cords, then slipped the backpack onto this shoulders. "Alright, let's head back, we still have an hour to go." With less hesitance, Sean got on the Ducati behind Devin, and he barely had time to get his arms around him before they were off. With the experience of one ride, Sean was able to let himself enjoy the ride back. It didn't feel like they were going any faster than before, though Devin's control was superb and sublime, weaving around the slower moving cars on I-15. But if anything, they made even better time, shaving off a few more minutes, the engine revving with strong, steady power that surprised Devin, yet he took every advantage of it. Devin and Sean made it back to the Bannon estate just as the others were leaving the barn for showers and lunch, the Ducati kicking up a spray of dirt and gravel when Devin slewed to a stop. Sean couldn't help it, he was laughing as he swung himself off the Ducati, pulling off the helmet and brushing his hair with his fingers. "Thanks for the ride, Jauntsen, it was fun, really," Sean admitted before calling out to the others as he began to join them. "We got everything we were looking for. You guys?"
  6. Sean had stared at Marissa as though he had never seen her before when she revealed she knew what a beholder was. No, he had stared at her as though he never seen anything like her before. It just boggled his mind. And then she eviscerated Sara's idea and he recognized the Mantis again. Sean watched Sara leave with a regretful slump to his shoulders. He hesitated going after her and when Cassandra, then Lilly, followed her, going himself seemed excessive. He'd been surprised to see Sara holding back tears as she left. He hadn't expected words would do that to someone as big and strong as Sara, but if anyone's words could cut, the Jauntsens' could. Caught up in his own self-image issues, Sean had overlooked that Sara likely had her own, though if she did, she had hidden them much better than he had. Or maybe she'd been embarrassed that with her idea cut down so hard, she might be seen as a dumb musclehead. More than once, Sean had been called or assumed to be a bimbo due to his curvaceous appearance, if only by those he hadn't even gone to school with him, and it infuriated him, every time. Her idea might have been excessive in his opinion, but he totally understood her desire to protect their discovery. Or maybe it was something else... Sean had something to add before they headed to the trailer, but he hesitated for a moment. It was Sara's discovery and it felt somehow wrong to reveal what he had found out without her here. But he was curious, and the rest of the... the... - we aren't calling it the bloody Fellowship - the rest of the group wasn't going to be held up pursuing the mystery. He promised himself he'd talk to Sara later. "I have something, two somethings. The main one is I still want to know how the hell you know what a beholder is, Marissa, but we'll put a pin in that for now. The other thing is this," Sean admitted, reaching into his computer bag, then placing something slim and black on the kitchen table with a sharp click. "A phone," Marissa proclaimed with biting skepticism. "Even the poors have those these days." Sean's cute nose scrunched up with the effort not to scowl at her. "It's not a smartphone, it's not even a dumbphone, though it is a telecommunications device. Sara found it in the trailer, and handed it to me when we were leaving, to see if I could figure anything out." "And why didn't she share that with all of us then?" Cassandra queried, not quite accusingly. She would not be left out. Of anything. Anything about this. She was sure there was other stuff she totally wanted to left out on. Sean shrugged. "I... can't say for sure. It was a weird night, I think we can all agree?" Sean nodded towards Devin's drawing on the table and the cans of bear mace in various hands. "We had to get the party wound down, and the device would just be one more thing we would talk about without actually knowing anything about." He tapped it with a slender finger. "I know something about it now." Jason considered for a moment, then nodded without any judgment. It was done and couldn't be undone now. He tilted his head, asking Sean a question with an arch of his brows. "Battery's out. That's one of the problems. I don't want to leave the battery in for any length of time, in case it can be pinpointed. It's a high-end communication device, but it isn't cellular. It's actually active on Very Low Frequency radio waves. Submarines use them, so do some secure military communications. They are also slow ass waves with limited bandwith, so real-time audio transmissions are a no-go. Also means it can't be used as a bug, at least to listen to things live. This thing can make audio and video messages, texts too, and encodes them before sending them out." Sean seemed quite excited about the device, hands moving animatedly. "It's also a GPS tracking device." "Could you find where the device has been?" Jason asked, picking up the device and giving it a once over. "First thing I wanted to do, but too risky to leave the battery in long enough to look without knowing if its location can be tracked and how often they look for it," Sean said, reaching for the device, then pulling his hand back and began pacing briskly up and down the kitchen. "I opened it up. Very high end components - NSA or CIA level stuff at least. I recognize or could infer what some of them are, though I haven't seen stuff configured this way before and I can't tell who manufactured them. This thing isn't something you can get on the market. I haven't even seen something like this before." "So this thing is from the NSA or CIA?" Cass inquired leaning in close to Jase and the device, intrigue rising. "Maybe?" Sean, and most of the others, winced at the valley girl upward inflection that just slipped out. "If I had to guess, I'd say some black budget military division or something, because few other than the military use VLF. I did manage to unlock the pho- the device. It wasn't easy, I tell you, because I didn't want to leave it on long. Managed to glean a few things. When I put the battery in It was in the process of receiving a transmission. The device's call number is 007-06. There were several decoded text messages in the trash folder than hadn't been deleted yet - requests for reports from call numbers 007-02 and 007-03. Those are dated Wednesday and Thursday. And the last thing is when the battery was put in, it was also encoding a text: Locate and Investigate this transmission." "You're worried about this thing being traceable and you got all that?" Charlie asked, leaning away from the phone as though that would help. "It wasn't all at once and I read fast," Sean countered, going for Bannon-level blandness, but the tightness of his shoulders giving away that he was at least a little concerned. "It's something, at least, but I want more. I want the GPS data and find where this bastard's been. That's problem two. I can disable the GPS transmitter, I just need some time to run some tests, time mostly with it active, which has the whole probably traceable thing going on. I can get around that with something like a faraday cage or shield, attenuated to the right frequencies - regular wifi blocking isn't going to cut it. But for that, it's also more time to set up. And I need some components I don't have on hand. I can get them in Great Falls - I know a guy. We can probably get some cameras or recorders there too, he also sells nanny-cams and stuff too. So, while most of us go check out the trailer and retrieve the maps and files and junk, does someone want to give me a lift to Great Falls? And, uh, a credit card, in case we can get the surveillance gear?"
  7. Sean was running late, but he took his time biking to Jase's home, not wanting to be a sweating mess by the time he got there. The sun was bright, but it wasn't scorching yet, and there was a pleasant breeze that made the bike ride less of a hardship. Still, he really needed to look at getting a car. Motorizing his touring bike hadn't gone as well as he'd hope and he'd had to restore it back to pedal power. His car fund was growing, he could get something decent used he thought, though he would prefer something new. He had meant to head out earlier, but with success last night with what Sara had handed him the night before after the party, Sean had woken up in the mood to code and had settled into a groove, his fingers flying over the keyboard, the mouse and interactive pen feeling exceptionally precise and deft in his hands. The Party had gotten.... strange, a strange that was just getting stranger, a strange that was starting to affect him and his friends and his not-friends. Making something, creating something with his own hands and ideas gave him a sense of stability and control when everything around him seemed to be changing. This wasn't his first game - the first was just a simple mobile game, a platformer without any microtransactions, it wasn't earning him much - but this one was far more ambitious, with no team behind it, just him. He couldn't predict how well it would turn out, how well it would sell - getting an indy game to break big took a lot of luck - but he knew the effort he was putting in to it, and was proud of what he was digitally sculpting. No matter what anyone said, video games could be art. Sean had his earbuds in, listening to the music he'd composed for one location to see if it grew irritating or annoying over a longer period of time, and it gave him the pretense to ignore any honking horns or crass propositions from the occasional passing motorist. Another reason to get a vehicle. The music was good, not excellent, but good. Maybe if he could make it flare or shift at points with the actions of the player... Gravel crunched as he turned down the drive to Jase's home, and he turned off his earbuds and shoved them into a pocket his unzipped, sleeveless hoodie. He hadn't been here before, but he was sure it was the right place, according to Jase's directions and google maps. He cycled pass the light screen of trees and came to a stop, one red sneakered foot on the ground as he looked over the farm. Jase had never invited him over before and Sean had thought his friend might have been embarrassed. It looked sort of run down, but his father was a general contractor, and Sean could tell is mostly just superficial wear and tear. From what he could see, the farm was in more than serviceable repair. It was just Jase and his dad, he didn't see what Jason would be embarrassed about. Guess its just being super private. Sean pedaled up to the farmhouse, lips twisting as he swung off his bike when he saw Devin's distinctive Ducati. He couldn't help but feel a little insulted that Devin had been to Jase's place before he had, even if it was by an hour or so. He also had to resist the urge to sit on the high end motorcycle. It probably wasn't necessary, but by habit, Sean walked his bike over to the porch and chained it up, then got his computer bag from the rack over the back wheel and slung it over his shoulder. He roughly brushed his windblown golden-red hair with his fingers then stepped lightly onto the porch. He would have texted Jase that he was here, but cell reception was suspect at best out here. Still, before he even got a chance to knock on the door, there came a giggling chorus of 'Kitchen!' Sean walked around the porch and saw Lona coming up from behind the house, cradling something with the edge of her shirt. He gave her a curious look, but held the screen door open for her. "After you, Lona." Lona nodded her thanks and Sean followed her in. There was the typical exchange of hi's and hellos and heys, Jase offering food, coffee and juice. "Thanks, but I ate before I headed out," Sean said, though he still snagged two strips of bacon from the plate in the center of the kitchen table. He had eaten, but it had just been toast and a bowl of cereal he had quickly scarfed down before he'd left for Jason's place. "But I'll so take a cup of coffee." Sean stiffened at the sight of Devin and Marissa, Marissa looking entirely too domestic and comfortable washing dishes, unable to put all the torment he'd suffered at the hands and words of the Jauntsens behind him. Even if they had been rather.... decent was too strong a word. Not actively vile? He gave them a cautious nod of greeting and muted, "Hey." Sean made himself a cup of coffee, disdaining creamer but adding enough sugar that Jason was beginning to calculate the ratio of sugar to coffee. Taking a sip of his coffee, Sean peered over Clara's shoulder at the drawing on the table. Having not seen it himself, 'for real', nor it eating Captain Connors, Sean just couldn't work up the same terror or recrimination Devin felt. "This the unfortunately named cephologina? It kinda looks like it could be some sort of mutant kin or minion of a Beholder," Sean commented, adding a bit more sugar to his coffee. "Okay, really, it looks kinda starfishy to me."
  8. Sean gave Jase a strange glance, he could see Lilly's point. He hadn't seen the supposed vanishing Saber-tooth Tiger or the... the... sigh... Cephalogina, and while quantum mechanics and various other theories made a strong case - a probability even - for other dimensions, he couldn't quite fully believe them. At least, not here showing up in the backwoods of Montana. During an experiment with the super collider at CERN in Geneva, maybe... Which didn't mean something strange wasn't going on, what with the trailer and all the files and maps. It was weird stuff, which Sean would admit was piquing his curiosity. But whatever was going on was definitely winding Jase up, enough that he'd lashed out - twice by his admission - due to stress and being doubted and he was apologizing for it. That wasn't like Jason at all. He was always deliberate in his actions and what he said. It was hard not to mention the possibility of drugs and alcohol affecting perceptions, but the ones who had seen the weirder stuff were pretty vehement that they hadn't. Okay then, he could go along with it for now. "Okay then, let's get to it, then get back to the party and wind it down," Sean said with a sharp nod. "And we're either gonna have to stay a while to clean up the grounds before we go or make sure we we allot time for clean up when we come back, because otherwise, eventually it's going to draw attention, too. Let's get those pics and then get out of here." Clara and Cassandra, both clearly eager to see what was inside the trailer and to document it nearly sprinted for the dog, but Marissa still somehow beat them there despite a swanning glide, shooting them a scathing look. "Walk, don't run," she told them condescendingly. "It isn't going anywhere, Nerd Herd, and I don't want you messing up what Bannon and I already organized." "We aren't--" Clara began to protest. "Nerd. Herd," Marissa reiterated, each word biting and distinct, before slipping inside the trailer, Clara and Cassandra making a concerted effort not to trip over her heels. Sean gave the brawny Sara an apologetic shrug as he passed her following more slowly after the girls. Sara grunted and sidled away, a brooding set to her broad shoulders as she faced the trees. There was more light in the trailer now after Sean had played with the power box, making taking clear pictures easier. Marissa settled defensively by her neat stacks of notes, begrudgingly fanning them out for pics to be snapped and shooting daggers at Clara, stopping her in her tracks when she moved to reorganize them in a manner she believed more efficient. There were already several people taking pics, one more wasn't necessary, so Sean contented himself with just looking around and keeping out of the way. He'd remember everything he saw. He carefully set the radio to the settings he'd found it in and turned it off then moved over to the power box between the bathroom and master bedroom. Clara was being meticulous in her pic taking, starting to go through each file box that Marissa and Jason hadn't through, verging on OCD. "You don't have to be so thorough, Clara," Sean said, "we want to be out of here before the sun comes. And we're coming back tomorrow." He glanced at his heavy digital watch. "Well, technically, later today now." "That's just it, what if the files and maps aren't here tomorrow?" Clara countered. "What if we come back and all we find is a burned out husk?" "If they are that quick about it, we'll have a shit-ton of other problems to worry about," Sean replied. Like if they can tell this place has been tampered with and can respond to that fact that quickly, they can likely track at least a few of us down. too. Sean hadn't said it, but Clara picked up on it. "Point." Reluctantly, Clara stopped being so thorough and began taking her pics more briskly. Sean blinked the spots from his eyes from the flash when Cassandra - Fucking Cass - snapped a pic of the power box. The flash seemed to hit him like an artillery shell of light. "What's the deal with this? Anything special about the electrical box?" she asked, getting her reporter on. "Other than it being homemade, not really." Sean said, shaking his head to clear his eyes. He could see again, but there was still a green smear sliding across his vision. "I'm just going to reset the settings to what I found them at when people are done in here. He, they, whoever, could be tapping into another electrical line or there might be a small generator hidden nearby, so it might not matter. But if the power line has been set up for a particular reason, the increased power draw might be noticed, eventually. Let's not make it any easier on them, if there is a them, than we have to, hmm?"
  9. The Party "This is stupid," the Cassidy's said in unison, with the same inflection, though for different reasons, as they glared at each other. Cramming all of them into a single Jeep hadn't been Sean's intention. He had meant they should wait by the vehicles so they could use their whole bulk as cover as they waited for the others to show up. But as they waited, fear and tension rose up, and the idea of being able to get away began to seemed to take precedence and they had all climbed into Cade's Jeep... ... And continued to wait, no update chirping on their phones. In actuality, it was probably only a minute or three, but it felt like hours. Especially when the party continued unabated almost mockingly and even half their own number weren't sure why they were doing this. Sean wasn't that fond of being touched and as just about the smallest in the vehicle, he was being pressed in uncomfortably on all sides. He was definitely seeing the other girls' point. Sean grunted as Sophie Fingleman walked off with her bewildered expression. "Okay, okay, fine! We get out," Sean agreed, privately admitting to the ridiculousness of the situation without admitting it out loud. He began to push. "Open the doors." The group piled out like clowns from a garishly painted VW Beetle, stretching out kinks and pulling sweat-plastered shirts away from bodies. "I'm guessing I should have mentioned, I drove Lona here," Luis said, pointing down the row of vehicles. "My truck is down there." Three girls, a guy, and a guy who looked like a girl all stared at Luis in sheer disbelief. Charlie didn't, he was busy dancing like nobody was watching to the clashing music of the party. "No shit." Laurie sniffed in annoyance, giving her brother a cross look as though it was his fault. Luis shrugged helplessly. "I got caught up in... whatever this is, wor - getting concerned for Lona." "Well, there she is," Sean said, pointing to where he'd a smaller group of people come crashing out of the trees half way around the party grounds. Though instead of continuing to the vehicles, they were stopping to catch their breaths, and were talking or bickering or something, he couldn't make it out. "Along with Lilly, Cassandra Allen, and--" "Devin!" Tawney exclaimed, who started walking briskly, just short of a jog, towards him. "Yeah..." Sean wasn't as sanguine by Devin's appearance as Tawney was. He glanced around, hands on hips. There party was still going strong, nobody with a gun creeping out of the woods. He scoffed in irritation, lingering fear and anxiety fading to almost nothing. He nodded towards the panting group. "Let's join them, safety in numbers and all that, and they might know more about what's going on. It was probably just some dick from the party wanting to show off his dad's gun taking a shot at a beer bottle in the woods, then freaking out not expecting it to be so loud." The group followed after Tawney. Sean glanced at his sister striding beside him, giving her a sharp smile. "Aren't you so glad you came to the party, sis?" "Oh, sure!" Laurie chirped with bitter cheerfulness. "At least I danced some, instead of hiding behind a laptop, bro." She nodded to where they were going, her blue eyes narrowing. "That's the dick who probably shot off a round prematurely, wanting to show off his 'gun' to anyone who'd look." Sean watched Devin stalk angrily back into the trees, though with Devin, who knew. As Tawney had mentioned at the Fair, Devin was being... odd lately. "It's dangerous to go alone," Tawney said as Sean and the rest of them joined Lilly, Cass, and Lona, Devin being lost to sight in the trees. Sean cut his snort of laughter short when he realized Tawney wasn't quoting the Legend of Zelda. "I'm going after him." Suiting words to action, Tawney moved into a careful jog to catch up with Devin. Sean looked from her to the sweaty faces of the other girls who'd just come out of the trees. "What the hell is going on? I thought we were all meeting up at the cars? Where's Jase?"
  10. The Party Sean "So, what's it like having a brother who, like, you know?" Tawny asked Laurie, hands moving to suggest the outline of an exaggerated hourglass figure. "Has huge tracts of land?" Laurie drawled, taking a sip of her Green Apple Jones Soda. Tawny blinked, chewed on her lower lip, but couldn't hold in the giggles and Laurie joined her. "Looks like he fell off a mudflap?" Straddling the log serving as a bench, Tawny had a fit of the giggle snorts, knowing she shouldn't laugh and not able to resist when it seemed Laurie didn't mind. "That's so bad, Laurie, and I was trying to be serious." Laurie finished her soda as she and Tawny watched Liam Day run through the party for some reason, taking a moment to collect themselves. Laurie spun around so she was facing the other way on the impromptu bench and stretched out her legs before her. "Seriously? Sean is mostly like any other brother, I guess," Laurie said, her lips curving wryly. "He's the only one I have, so I don't have another to compare him to. He's just easier to tease than most, and like, I'm not going to ask him to beat up a guy who's bothering me. 'Sides, we had Teagan for that. Appearances aside, he's still a guy, total nerd into video games and computers and comic books, all that junk." She affected a lofty tone, as though none of that stuff interested her at all. "Doesn't seem to understand that ladies - or those that look like them - don't burp or fart, either or at least shouldn't be seen to." Laurie leaned back to look up at the stars and sighed with soft self-deprecating laughter. "When I was eleven, twelve, I used to think he was being greedy, having the boob fairy tied up in The Barn and keeping her all for himself. He already had more than Teagan by then. But I got over it when my own finally grew in." She chuckled with more amusement and a glance towards Tawny. "I still suspect he might have the boob fairy on lockdown though. Been hitting the boob fairy dust harder lately than Bannon smokes weed." "You didn't really believe in the boob fairy, did you?" Tawny injected with amused disbelief. "No! Of course not. Not really. Okay, not for long. Mom has a dry sense of humour, Teagan got in on it, and even Sean was a bitch about it for a while, retaliation for something or other that I'm totally innocent of." Laurie sat back up and straddled the log so she was facing Tawny directly, chin tucked in her hands, elbows on her knees. "But really, other than the occasional bouts of envy over your brother's looks - fucker barely even does anything for them - he doesn't seem all that different to me compared to the run-of-the-mill brother. This model even comes with a few extra benefits. One, he actually understands girl issues - some of them at least - since he suffers some of them too. He doesn't even blush if you talk about periods or tampons around him, and never bitches about how long it takes shopping for clothes - almost never. And two, he's super anal about his bras. He knows more about them than any girl or woman I know. Always wants a perfect fit with the best support, and somehow, he almost always finds it, even if he has to order online from overseas. There's a place he found in Great Falls, too - awesome place, we should go something. They're expensive, not even fugly, and I get my pick of those he outgrows." "Sooo, it's like having another sister to steal clothes from who thinks and talks like a guy?" "More or less. Well, not anymore, since he went all ba-dow!" Laurie said with feigned irritation, placing her hands in front of her chest then shooting them forward a foot. "And I haven't been able to talk or blackmail him into dresses, skirts, or heels. Yet. A freak, sure," Laurie admitted, finishing fiercely with, "but he's my freak of a brother." Before Tawny could comment or ask another question, the girls saw Sean walking - sauntering? Sashaying? There was definite hip action going on - through the party, head swiveling as though looking for something or someone. Tawny caught a good look at his unmistakable profile, glanced at Laurie, and just couldn't help but choke on a mouthful of giggles, recalling Laurie's comments on her brother's figure. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, it's just - you said - and then he's right- and he really does look li--" "Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice," Laurie added, causing more giggles from Tawny, and as though Sean had heard her, he turned in their direction. "Come one, Laurie, we're leaving, heading to the cars," Sean informed his younger sister without preamble, gesturing her up with a pair of beckoning fingers. "What? Why?" Laurie questioned without any motion that she was acceding to his demands. Sean's somber yet anxious demeanor stifled Tawny's giggles and she sat up, looking around the party, remembering Liam running. "Is something going on? Is the Sheriff coming?" "Nooo..." Sean hedged, pinching the bridge of his nose. In his concern for his sister, he hadn't paused to see who she was with. But Tawny was one of the nicest girls in school, and actually seemed genuine about it without being saccharine. Aside from terrible taste in guy friends, she was also his sister's friend. He kept his voice low and crouched close to them. "Okay, don't panic, but there was a gun shot." "Gun--" Laurie and Tawny said simultaneously. "Shhh! Have you guys seen any movie ever? Want to start a stampede, get someone - who might be us! - trampled?" Both girls gave a start and went to stand up, but Sean planted a hand on each of their shoulders and slowed them down. "It was just one shot, out in the woods. I haven't heard any other. But just to be on the safe side, ee're just going to go to the cars. Better cover, even better escape." "What about Devin?" Sean had to bite his tongue to stop from countering with 'What about Devin?' knowing Tawny liked him. He took a deep breath then let it out slowly. "I texted my gaming group, getting them to gather at the cars. First, we walk - walk fast, not run - to the cars, then you can text him from there, okay, Tawny?" Tawny looked dubious and Sean added. "If there are anymore gunshots, we'll call the authorities immediately, I promise, but calling them now, it'll just cause more problems. C'mon." Taking Laurie and Tawny each by the hand, he began urging them insistently towards the parked vehicles.
  11. The Party Cade, Cora, Lona, Sean "We aren't larping, Lona," Sean assured Lona, wryly amused. His head bobbed side to side as he mused, and he snorted with a bit of laughter. "But someday, I might want to try cosplaying at one of the big cons, like San Diego Comic-Con, DragonCon, or one of the PAXs." He paused, a vertical furrow blooming between his brows as he realized he had said that out loud. He gave a stilted chuckle, his cheeks glowing pink. "I mean, if any of them happen around Halloween." Sean's birthday was on Halloween and he had always enjoyed dressing up for it. It had been awkward when he began developing the wrong way, but then he had forced himself to embrace it, giving himself one day of the year to stop worrying about his looks and just enjoy it. He could kill it, dressing up as any number of video game, comic book, or other pop culture characters. He gave Luis a sidelong glance, then sighed. He thought he'd be used to explaining by now, but it had only grown marginally easier. "The mistake is understandable, but I should-" "Laurie!" Sean hissed emphatically, crouching instinctively at the sound of the gunshot, taut and tensed as Lone exclaimed, "Clara!" He tried to determine where the gunshot came from, listening for a second shot, at third. "No! Wait! You're going the wrong way, Lona," Sean whispered sharply, trying to pitch his voice for Lona's ears alone and reached out for her. He straightened, grunting in frustration, then stretched up on his toes for any bit of extra height at he looked for his sister. Liam gave Sean a look of bland expaseration, his eyes sliding down for a moment when Sean stretched up on his toes while Luis looked from where Lona disappeared into the trees to down at Sean with uncertain concern. "Is there something wrong?" Luis asked. "I... I think there was a gunshot," Sean admitted in a low voice after hesitating for a moment about whether he should mention it or not. "Fuck!" With that one expletive, Liam began running. "And Lona--" Luis started. "Went towards it," Sean finished, heart hammering, chest rising and falling with his rapid breathing. "Don't start yelling it out. It's going to start a panic." He looked at Luis, then at Cora and Cade, and Charlie beyond them. "Okay, Okay, I'm going to get my sister. Cade, Cora, go collect Snoop Dog over there, then we'll meet up at the cars. They should give us the most cover if there's more..." He looked around to see who was around, then lowered his voice anyway. Some people were already looking in the direction Liam had booted it. "... gunshots, and we can be ready to get the hell out of here. Good?" Sean barely waited for an answer as he began looking for his sister and tapped out a group text to his gamers. His phone was in his hand, yet his fingers didn't seem to be tapping anything. <Heard gunshots. Heading to cars for cover and withdraw. Nobody hurt? Where is everybody?>
  12. The Party After Cade, Sean offered his own hand to Luis, his tone one of neutral friendliness. "Sean, nice to meet you, Luis." Luis blinked at the uncommon name for what he took to be an uncommonly curvaceous High School girl. Her hands were delicate, but her fingers and handshake seemed strong, and her strange eyes of turquoise and teal were oddly direct, almost daring, though daring him what, Luis wasn't sure. Sean pursed his lips at he took his turn looking at tooth or fang, then pulled out his phone and snapped a pic. Then snapped another with the tooth and a quarter on his hand for a size reference, and began humming as his nimble fingers did a reverse image search to see if the internet had seen anything similar enough to give them a clue what they tooth may have come from. "Yeah, I meant to ask Liam about that, 'bout where he'd heard 'bout the party. The Mantis wouldn't need the 'shroom slinger when she could get her hands on Jase's stock," Sean commented while he scrolled around on his phone with a flick of his thumb, looking at pics and likely sites. He looked up and raised his voice unabashedly towards Liam, who had his phone to his ear. "Liam. Liam!" He raised an armed and waved energetically, his tone turning into a sing-song. "Leeeeeeeee-aaaaaaaam!" Even with the distance between Liam and Sean and his friends, they could hear the squeal of feedback from Liam's phone. Liam glared down at his phone, then transferred that glare to Sean, who seemed unphased. "What the fuck do you want, freak?" Liam snarled. "Where'd you hear 'bout the party from, Liam?" Sean asked pleasantly, apparently ignoring or even unaware of Liam's hostility. "No offence, but I don't think Jase or the Man... er, Mari...issa would have invited Shelly graduates."
  13. Sean, Cora, Lona Sean glowered at Liam. Liam had hit on him when he'd been in Grade 8, urged on by his friends and somehow not knowing who Sean was or aware of his condition, despite being in the same school for a year and the elementary school right next door. Liam had accused Sean of trying to trick him... then had continued to pursue him to some degree or another while chasing any other girl in school almost until he graduated. Sean didn't know if there had been a bet, if Liam was just into the novelty of tapping a freak, or if it was something else, but he'd been rather persistent until Teagan had deterred him forcefully enough that she'd been suspended for a week. But now Teagan was gone while the 'shroom slinging dickweed was still in Shelly pumping gas, his eyes on Coraline, though not without taking a long smirk at his tits. Well, fuck this. He was getting tired of hiding. He was a guy who looked like a girl with a big rack. He was well aware of that, so was everyone - almost everyone - in Shelly, and it wasn't going to change. He tilted his head and chugged down the rest of his hard lemonade, savouring the bite. He sneered around the lip of the glass bottle when he caught Liam's eyes flick back toward him for a moment, or rather, the contents of his shirt. Sean stood up and slapped the empty bottle down on the table with the laptop, his brows furrowing when he heard a clink. He glanced down and found the glass bottle wobbling slightly, glancing off two other empty bottles of flavoured hard lemonade. He could barely remember downing the other two despite having an - at times annoyingly - impeccable memory. Liam hadn't been one of her tormentors, per se, he'd never beaten him up, given him a swirly, or even really insulted him about his appearance. But Liam had made him uncomfortable and been more than a little skeazy, having 'accidentally' brushed up against his breasts or ass on multiple occasions. Time to make his life just a bit hellish. Sean laughed out loud as Lona blithely dropped the 4-1-1 on Liam with Liam standing there. Sean walked over to Lona and Liam as Cora retreated to join Luis, a sway to his hips he normally constrained without even thinking about. "Don't worry about Liam, Cora," Sean called out sweetly, standing next to Lona as he smirked up at Liam. "He'll take a 'no' backed by a girl who can beat him up. You could do it, Cora, I'm sure. And Lilly's here too and so is Sara..." Sean looked around, a mildly confused, sure he had just seen the heavily muscled girl. "... somewhere. Isn't that right, Liam?"
  14. So, we have a few songs put up for consideration as the Game's Theme. Glory by The Score "It's My Life" Bon Jovi https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vx2u5uUu3DE Machine by Imagine Dragon Live Like Giants by Extreme Music (feat. Dan Murphy) Legends by Out Loud! For now, other than the people who have proposed the theme songs, are people showing any preferences (hopefully after giving each song as least a bit of a listen)?
  15. Sean's Theme: Born This Way by Lady Gaga (Cover by Gabriella Metz), because Dude Looks Like a Lady is just too easy. Sean's Playlist 1 ) Skyrim Soundtrack, particularly Dragonborn and Secunda, epic music from a heralded game that Sean has made mods for. 2 ) Soundtracks from various Final Fantasy games, Sean thinks Nobuo Uematsu is one of the best Video Game Music Composers of all time. Aerith's Theme, To Zanarkand, Terra, and more 3 ) Tales From The Borderlands Episode 5 End Credits Song, My Silver Lining by First Aid Kit. Borderlands always used licensed music well in their games and advertising, and this one gets Sean in a good mood, while he's actually pissed that Telltale games drove themselves into the ground. 4 ) The Soundtrack from Silent Hill 2 by Akira Yamaoka - Very atmospheric, the right music can really elevate a game and this inspire's Sean to really consider music for any video game he might make. Plus it's great and creepy. 5 ) Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise by The Avett Brothers - No matter how bad things get, there's the chance for something better if you don't give up. 6 ) Can't Stop The Healing by Instalok (Can't Stop The Feeling by Justin Timberlake parody) - This is just upbeat and amuses Sean. 7 ) Melodic Wings by Shonsta - Sean just likes the sound of acoustic guitar since hearing his dad's amateur guitar playing for as long as he can remember (though his dad never played anything like this) 8 ) Wake Up by Arcade Fire - Listened to when Sean is feeling bummed, it doesn't particularly cheer him up, but it does fill him with the urge to travel, somewhere, anywhere out of Shelly, Montana, The US. 9 ) Many more Video Game Soundtracks 10 ) Green Day, Oasis, The Offspring, Beatles, Pink Floyd, Queen, Imagine Dragons, Classical and more from nearly any genre, to one degree or another, just to get exposed to a variety of music. Game Theme Proposals 1) Live Like Giants by Extreme Music (feat. Dan Murphy) 2)Legends by Out Loud! Laurie's Theme: Best Day Of My Life by American Authors (cover by Alex G) Laurie's Playlist 1 ) Shake It Off by Taylor Swift 2 ) Who Says by Selena Gomez 3 ) So What by Pink 4 ) Pa Pa Ya by Babymetal 5 ) I Am The Fire by Halestorm 6 ) Mr Blue Sky cover by Dasha Safronova
  16. Sean had given Devin a very flat look when he claimed he wasn't cool with people putting their hands where they didn't belong considering Devin did just that when he gave him a wedgie or shoved him into a locker. And if Devin was saying his influence kept the harrassment from his crew to a lower level, Sean didn't think he was doing a good job of it, considering the tormenting he still got. Chet being extra rampagey wasn't on Devin. Sean didn't see how Devin giving up his Overlordness could make things that much worse for him and his friends. If Devin and Marissa started ignoring him, Sean would count himself ahead. Glad not to be the sole focus, Sean didn't step forward as the others butted heads then seemed to come to an understanding... of sorts. His brows rose in surprise - even he hadn't heard Jase say so much at once. Of course, Devin had to have the last word, and naturally, it wasn't complimentary. On the other hand, as insults went, it was rather mild for a Jauntsen. When Laurie showed up, Sean inhaled sharply with a hiss just barely stopping himself from jumping in surprise. Sean turned around to face his sister, considering if he could work a lie, but it was clear Laurie had heard too much. "I don't think Mom and Dad would like that, Laurie. There's probably going to be drinking and smoking there," Sean said, his tone plaining indicating that 'probably' meant 'definitely'. Laurie rolled her fair eyes in exasperation. "I know that, bro, that's why I want to go. I don't do that stuff and Teagan said to keep an eye on you." It was Sean's turn to roll his eyes in near mirror to his sister, huffing in annoyance. Sisters! "Besides, if there's trouble, I'm taller and less top-heavy than you are, Sean," Laurie added with an impish grin. "I can run faster than you can." It was true, but she didn't need to say it out loud, Sean groused to himself. "Laurie..." Laurie stepped up to her curvaceous brother and put an arm around his shoulders. "And while I'd never narc on your friends, i just might mention where you were going, bro..." Sean sighed. He was her older brother, if only by a year, he should have been looking after her. But Jase had set this all up, they were supposedly off limits from the Jauntsen crowd and even Chet and Company had been hit with the Ban Hammer. It couldn't be that bad. "Well... if nobody else has an objection..." Sean hemmed and hawwed, looking around at his friends seeing if - hoping really - any of them had one, but none shared it if they did. "... I guess. But you're leaving when I do, Laurie, if not before." He gave Clara a nod. If he had forbidden Laurie from coming, likely she find some other way of going, with someone she or he were less familiar with. With what Cora had already endured, who knew where that could lead.
  17. Sean rejoined Lilly and Charlie, then the group headed towards the stables and corrals for the show animals. Hands stuffed in his pockets, Sean strode along in brooding silence. Lilly seemed to understand Sean wasn't in the mood for talking at the moment and just walked beside him companionably. But Charlie was still excited by Mr. Abraham's news, bouncing off his ideas for which Musical they should do, only getting the occasional response from the others. Sean was non-committal about participating in the production beyond helping with the lighting and sound setups. Charlie had talked him into replacing someone at the last minute two years ago, because with his memory, Sean had known the entire piece, and with his time as an Dungeon Master and doing some YouTube videos, he'd been the only one available on such short notice. And because the person that needed to be replaced was a girl and Sean looked very much a girl. And while he might not have been the performance prodigies Lona or Cora were, he did have a good, versatile voice, like sweet honeyed velvet, and more than enough experience being the center of attention. He'd been more than adequate in his role and had actually taken a small measure of pride in his performance. Sean snorted ruefully and gave Charlie a one-shoulder shrug. "I'll think about it." Speaking of a center of attention, flanked by friends, Sean was mostly able to ignore the whispered and not so whispered comments and catcalls he inevitably garnered, rebuffing them with - mostly - stoic silence, a slight reddening of his cheeks, and several middle fingers or a gesture to 'suck it'. Lilly wasn't spared, though what was directed at her was almost universally 'positive' if not necessarily welcome, while what Sean got was more varied and often more explicit. Being a guy in the presence of two very striking - in different ways- girls - or at least was appeared to be two girls - Charlie was practically ignored. Reaching the stables and corrals, Lilly murmured appreciatively over the cute or majestic animals they passed. Sean shook his head when they passed the show cats and their handlers. That seemed to him to be a showcase in futility trying to get a housecat to behave, he knew he'd never even consider it with his grey cat Turing. Some of the cats were definitely cute though, even while giving their owners death glares or looks of condescending judgment. The same sort of looks Turing shot him when he reclaimed a bra that his cat had stolen to nestle into. They were passing by a pair of stables, Laurie with Rascal and Lori and Lacey with Applesauce should be just a little beyond them, when Chet and Todd came racing out from the small alley between, followed shortly by an odoriferous Cody scrambling on three or four limbs more than two. "What the hell? Devin was behind us," Sean commented, glad that whatever the reason, Chet had been more intent in getting away than finding a new target. Sean, Lilly, and Charlie shuffled forward and peered down the alley to see what it was Chet & Co. were running from.
  18. "I'm still taking my meds," Sean mumbled by way of explanation, glancing down to avoid Dr. Cook's eyes, and twisting the toes of one foot into the dirt. "I didn't see a need to keep up the appointments with Doc Thayer when the treatments don't seem to be helping any." When Sean felt Dr. Carter's eyes on him though, he looked up and straightened his shoulders, staring right back. He might still have trouble with how his peers viewed him, as well as strangers, but he felt differently with doctors, always hoping they could find a solution, or at least answers. He was used to how guys who knew him looked at him, and how men who didn't did. He certainly didn't care for it, but it didn't surprise him... most of the time. Some of those men were old, or obviously with their wives or girlfriends. In many ways, the way women looked at him were even worse, regardless if they knew of his condition or not. Dr. Carter was looking at him differently. It was very... clinical, as though she wasn't looking at a person, but a puzzle. Sean wasn't sure if that was better or worse. Before he or the doctors could say more, Devin arrived with Tawny. After weathering that encounter, any feeling that he might owe Devin thanks withered away. When Tawny came back to talk to Drs. Cook and Carter, Sean tried to sidle surreptitiously away, while trying to appear like he wasn't listening when he totally was. He looked uncomfortable, overhearing someone else's health issues, guilty that he was curious enough that he wants to overhear them, and irritated that it pertained to goddamn Devin. He struggled to refuse feeling any pity or sympathy for the asshat. "Um, right, I don't want to intrude in what should be private medical talk," Sean said, shrugging awkwardly at Tawny. She was a genuinely nice girl - and cute - and Sean didn't have nearly the information to understand how she could be friends with someone like Devin. Her niceness should have been like Anti-Devin, any contact should have created some manner of crater. Sean jerked a thumb over his shoulder in the vague direction of Lilly and Charlie. "I have some friends waiting for me, so I'm just gonna leave you and Tawny to it." "Sean..." Dr. Cook said chidingly, holding up a finger to gently ask Tawny to give him a moment for a long-time patient. "I know, I know," Sean replied sharply with a scowl, his shoulders slumping. "I'll call Doc Thayer and reschedule... even if the treatments don't do anything." "Sean," Dr. Cook repeated. Dr. Cook was silent, and as the moment stretched, Sean flushed. "The appointments are meant to determine how effective your course of treatments and medication are being and if they aren't, what we need to change to make them more so. You know that Sean. Promise me you'll call Doctor Thayer." "I know. I will," Sean said with a resigned sigh. He didn't even know what he wanted anymore, what his ideal solution would be, other than not getting threatened or harassed anymore. He glanced over his shoulder at Charlie and Lilly before looked back at Dr. Cook. "I promise. Is there anything more, Dr. Cook, before I go?"
  19. Arriving a bit late, Sean, Lilly, and Charlie found a spot in the second row of hay bales, double-stacked they could see over the first row. Lona had been moody last several months, clearly dealing with stuff at home and the lost of her father, but Sean really had to give her props for putting it all out there. He was still working at not worrying as much about how others saw him. He didn't want to presume, but maybe he should offer Lona his therapist's number. She needed to talk with someone, and with cutting Clara off... At Lona's rendition of Sister, with Lilly grooving unabashedly to the tunes, Sean smiled crookedly, unable to see the effect it was having on Clara as he was sitting behind her. Sean's sisters had pretty much always teased him, and yes, sometimes they had gone too far. But it had been them that had gotten him to embrace dressing up for Halloween. And now with Teagan gone off and joining the military, Laurie was hanging around with him more than she used too. Missing one sister, she was using a brother who could pass as a sister to cushion the loss. Surprisingly, he didn't find it that annoying. Okay, still annoying sometimes, but not as much as he expected... except for her subtly suggesting he should try on a dress. When Lona got to I Cross My Heart, a melancholy smile curved his lips as he pulled his knees up to his chest, hands wrapping around his shins. His odd turquoise eyes with their jagged rings of teal grew tight as he forced back impending tears. Having always been delicate in appearance, and increasingly feminine while afflicted with puberty, Sean had always tried to hide his tears from everyone. It had been near five years since Sean had lost his grandfather on his father's side, but the clear pain and loss in Lona's evocative singing made echoing sentiments rise inside him, though a different song was ringing in his head. His grandfather had passed away after a bad bout of Alzheimer's, and though he had kept a good, funny self mocking deposition to the end, it had been hard, especially to Sean. With an excellent, maybe too excellent memory, the though of losing his mind was terrifying terrible to Sean. He had thought he had come to terms with it, it had been five years, but Lona's singing seemed to prove the sense of loss still lingered. When Clara went to Lona, Sean looked away in the pretense of giving them what limited privacy he could for their release of emotion and missing Jase skulk away. But his jaw was tight, teeth gritted as he breathed deep and slow, as he collected himself and pushed down tears that had threatened to well. "Hey, dude, you okay?" Lilly asked, placing a hand on his slender shoulder. Sean tossed his head of deep, vivid red hair and offered her a small grin that even seemed genuine. "Yeah, I fine. It's just Lona's song made me think of Grampa. I hadn't thought about him in while." He stood up and nodded at where Clara was holding Lona without actually really looking at them. "I know we've been hearing her play and sing for years, but Lona's good. Like, really good." Standing on a level of hay bales, Sean was able to see over the heads of the crowd and was surprised to see Dr. Cook talking to the Jauntsens. A faint frown crossed his face. Dr. Cook was a renowned diagnostician - Sean had been seeing him since he was ten. If he was seeing Devin, then the cause of his seizure must not be a simple thing. He pursed his lips, considering going over there to say hi to Dr. Cook, but didn't want to intrude, and mostly, not sure what he'd say to Devin. "I should probably go and see how Laurie and Rascal are doing."
  20. Rubbing his throat, chest heaving as he caught his breath, Sean stared after Devin as though he was some strange, unknown relative of the platypus, his eyes still wide with WTFedness. His mouth did tighten at being called a butterfly and the comment about grabbing asses - that was the pure Jauntsen he was used to. What the hell just happened? Did Devin just save him from a beating by Chourtney, or had he marked him as his personal punching bag with the headlock of death? Was he going to wake up tomorrow with Rascal's head next to him in bed? The small, voluptuous boy gave a small two finger wave back at Tawny and Devin's retreating back, brows furrowed with uncertainty. "Um, bye?" Sean muttered, then he coughed several times to clear his voice. When he looked at Charlie and Lilly, his brows were unfurrowed, but he seemed barely more certain. "And thanks, guys. I dunno if we've been in opposite land since Devin had his seizure, but lets get out of here before Cuntney and Friends recover from being Jauntsened and we miss the start of Lona's set." Without waiting for their agreement, Sean began walking briskly away, going a different way than Devin and Tawny did and ignoring the dark scowls and gestured threats from Courtney and Company. He was going fast enough that Charlie and Lilly had to lengthen their strides for a bit to catch up. Sean couldn't escape the thought that he might have to thank an complete asshole like Devin, or at least that he might owe him. It seemed like Devin had interceded on his behalf, but this was Devin! He must have some ulterior motive beyond just staking a claim like the gamers and him were off limits for the night. In his experience, it just did not compute, it was like dividing by zero. Practically on autopilot as he tried to resolve this conundrum, Sean bought a large cup of tangerine-lemonade and a bacon-wrapped corndog. Refreshed with tangy sweet lemonade and refuelled with deepfried bacony goodness, Sean began to relax as they reached the area where Lona was to perform, a growing crowd milling waiting for the show to start. He glanced up at his friends flanking him. "Okay, I'm going to chock all that up to Devin having a seizure. A glitch that will clear up after he's been rebooted a few -- oh what the hell is happening now?! Am I the one having a seizure and misfiring synapses are making see and hear things that can't possibly be happening?" As he exclaimed, Sean was staring at Bannon... and Clara. Holding hands! And Bannon looked... content?!
  21. Nina mentioned soundtracks will be Project #2, which she was planning on the weekend, IIRC, but she may drop it early, since Dawned mentioned something along the same lines.
  22. Fuck. Sean's jaw tightened, teeth grinding as he turned back to face his tormentors, his small hands balling into fists. He could laugh at himself in self-mockery about warning his younger sister about being careful while alone at the Fair when she was three inches taller than he was. But it was absolutely infuriating that he hadn't made it more than five yards after warning Laurie that Courtney and Company couldn't resist making his life hell. If they tried to pants him, he wouldn't be able to stop them. Chet was nearly as tall as Cade and wider through the shoulders. Hell, as the head cheerleader, even Courtney was more athletic than he was - and also taller. But Chet did have that splinted nose. He'd try for that, dish out at least a little pain before he - and his shorts - went down and then try to run. He turned slightly to the side, planting his feet, ready to resist or run. Sean followed Courtney's gaze down to his well tented green shirt, his weird, multi-coloured eyes going wide in feigned surprise. "Oh-Em-Gee!" Sean squealed, making his sweet voice even higher. "Where did those come from? I'm sure glad you noticed, Courtney, so you could point them out to me and everyone else." He dropped his voice back to his regular register - well, not entirely, he tried to subtly make it a bit deeper and gruffer, but it didn't help much - he just sounded like a girl trying to sound like a guy. "I've told you before, but it seems you just can't understand. I take stuff to try to stop my hormones from doing this. Stop being bitter that a guy has a more impressive rack than you do." Under Courtney's deepening glower, Sean forced himself to do something he knew he was going to regret latter. He smiled, a challenging smirk even. "And if you wanted to see my package, Courtney, you and your lackeys just had to not make a stink about me changing in the girls' locker room for phys. ed. Than you could see for yourself almost any time." "You fucking abomination," Courtney screeched, incensed. "You're going to regret that, titboy." Double fuck.
  23. Other Lives Sean Cassidy And The Gamers "Marrizigal the Azure Doom exhales a crackling stream of actinic blue lightning, the harsh light flashing about the cavern." Over the low, but drumming beat of the battle music that issued from the blue tooth speakers Sean had placed under the big table in the middle of the Wright poolhouse, Sean made a rough, cackling hiss, mimicking the sound of electric death. Standing up and reaching over the DM screen, he traced the path of the cone of lightning. "But once more the elixirs of lightning resistance Bannon's Alchemist provided you all stopped the devastating breath weapon from being near instant death. Make saving throws guys." Bannon, Charlie, and Lona made their rolls, two of them using the Sean's app on their phones, the other using physical dice, the digital and actual clatter of rolling dice blending together. Bannon and Charlie groaned while Lona made a satisfied grunt. 'Sorry guys," Sean said, not sounding sorry at all, "but even with the potion, that's 26 damage, only 13 for you, Lona." "I'm down," Bannon drawled, tipping over his miniature on the grid map, then grabbing a handful of kettle chips. "Didn't have time to recovering from getting critted last round by the tail slap. Guess Herpes the dragon got tired of the grenados." "Don't worry, I'll revive you on my turn," Charlie replied. "I still have a spell slot left." Bannon gave Charlie a short nod while Sean turned to his newest player. "Cora, it's your turn." "Um, right, okay," Coraline said, stammering a bit. The night had been going well, Sean and most of his players being understanding of the newbie. But the dragon and the smaller beasts under its command were almost dead after a long and tremendous fight and she didn't want to mess it up now. "Can I feint or something to give Lilly's barbarian an bonus on her attack?" "You can, Cora. There's two ways for you to do it in this case. You can use the Help action, and the next person to attack will have advantage. Or, as a Battlemaster, you can use the Distracting Attack Maneuver. You attack, and if you hit, you do an addition 1d10 damage and give the next person Advantage. Don't forget, you also have Inspiration from the Bard, letting you add 1d10 to a roll." Sean arched an inquiring brow at Cora. Cora glanced around the table and the consensus from the rest of the gamers was Distracting Attack. "I use Distracting Attack." "Roll." Almost tentatively, Cora took up a die, then rolled. It bounced across the map, finally landing on an 8. A miss, but by how much? Sean's face gave nothing away. "I'm using the Inspiration die." A d10 followed the d20, bouncing off it and spinning, spinning.... and stopped on a 10. "Yes!" She rolled the damage, face screwing up in disappointment. "Almost the lowest I could roll, even with the extra die." "Still you hit and did damage. With all the wounds the bands have inflicted on it, and collapsing the cave mouth so he can't escape, the Azure Doom is incesnsed. His maw opens wide, showing more teeth, and longer teeth, than should be possible, then clamps down over Kamala Drix's shoulder and shield arm and flings her across the cavern into the wall." Sean told her how much damage she took and Cora pouted. "I'm out too." "Um, bandages? We still have uses of the healer's kit. We can still fix this," Charlie said, not quite as certain as he had been. "Lilly, you're up. All the drakes are down." Lilly grinned as ferociously as her barbarian likely was. "I take a flying a leap off the ledge and bring my greataxe down on the dragon's damned head!" "Go for it." Lilly took up two twenty-sided dice, rattling them in her hand and giving them a blow, then rolled them across the table. Bounce, bounce, bounce... ~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~ Sean had gotten a ride with Lilly, as had a few others. Walking over to the poolhouse, Sean gave the pool a dubious, melancholy glance as he skirted it. He hadn't gone swimming since he was ten and his condition had made itself known. He wasn't sure if he missed it or not. He wasn't sure if he wanted to find out. He'd gone to Great Falls earlier in the day to get some new tops and underwear that fit properly. His plain green shirt was fitted and the v-neck was low enough to threaten to show some cleavage, but it wasn't overly tight and with a proper fitting bra, his boobs actually didn't look as huge and he felt less self-conscious, but he was in no way ready to wear a swimsuit. He was still waiting on a number of online orders to arrive and had only started trying to tailor some of his older clothes to fit better. The pool house was nice, a finished version of what his barn could end up being, though obviously the design would be different. Still, he was proud of the work he and his dad had done on The Barn. Clara it seemed already have bowls and plates and utensils set up for snacks and food. Even the grill was on standby. Sean scrunched up his nose in irritation. Clara wasn't playing in the Campaign and Sean was used to the gamers themselves taking care of the snacks and food. Clara was being entirely too... useful, too... there. And she was entirely too used to having things her way. Sean could see her hands twitch whenever someone moved something from her precise arrangement. When the game started in earnest, Sean tried to ignore Clara, who seemed to try to do the same for the gamers. It didn't go particularly well. Clara would be in her room, then leave, and enter the main area, for one reason or the other. It was her home, so they had no right to complain, but still it was a growing aggravation having someone there who wasn't part of the game. More than once, Sean almost asked Clara if she wanted to sit in on the game, he'd give her one of the villains to play, but every time he looked her way, it seemed she had an expression of subtle condescension on her face, as though they were children instead of the same age. Well, fine then! ~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~ "TWENTY!" Lilly crowed, reaching out to pick up the plethora of dice for the damage roll. Sean shook his head with a chuckle. "Don't bother with the dice," Sean said, then stood up, tipping over the figure of the blue dragon, his voice going dramatic. "With a roaring leap, the barbarian cleared more distance than seemed possible and brought down the greataxe with explosive strength. The broad, curved blade bites deep between the huge dragons eyes, great gouts of blood welling up with the tang of ozone and iron. Marrizigal spasms violently, flinging the barbarian from its head. Its long tail sweeps in a wide arc, knocking half the party from their feet." Sean tapped something on his laptop, and there was a wailing, lizard-like roar. Sean tells how much extra damage the dragon caused in its death throes, another of the party going down, then continues. "With an electric sigh, the dragon finally goes still, its riven head hitting the ground with a metallic thump, coins of its hoard scattering all over. The Band has succeeded. The last of the Dark Lord Devlin's three dragons has been slain. While his legions of goblinoids and orcs still vastly outnumber the defenders of the frontier city of Pale, he has lost a tremendous advantage, like aerial siege weapons. And the horde from the dragons will be a great use in building up the defences of Pale... if you so choose. Once you guys manage to clear the cave mouth of the rubble provided by Bannon, you'll have to see if the carts and cart drivers are still around. You guys won't be able to haul all this back yourself, even with the bag of holding." Sean smirked as he began packing up the miniatures, taking a quick glance out the windows. Even with the long summer days, the sun was well below the horizon, the sky gone deep blue and purple turning to black, speckled with stars. Sean pressed his hands to the small of his back and stretched. "I think that's it for the night guys. I'll write up an update for you, telling you what the haul is, and anything special in the horde. I presume, there will be the Detecting of Magic?" "Of course!" exclaimed more than one. "Right. Charlie, you get Bannon up and stabilize Cora, but I think you guys will need at least a short rest before doing much else. And don't forget, the cave mouth is blocked and you are all out of cussers and other explosives. You don't think air is a problem for now, but it might be if you guys take too long and you aren't sure how long the cart drivers will stick around, despite what they said. Or what might find them while you guys are stuck in the dragon's lair. Tell me what you guys want to do, and I'll add it to the update for next week." Sean nodded at Lona, and then over her shoulder at where Clara was lurking by the galley kitchen and the remnants of snack and food that weren't at the big table. "Thanks for hosting us, ladies. Hopefully The Barn will be ready next week, so things can go back to normal."
  24. Sean Cassidy

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    From the album: Sean Cassidy

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