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Everything posted by Sean Cassidy

  1. Tuesday Morning - Chemistry Sean looked at Kat askance as he pulled out his textbook for appearances sake - he'd already read the entire thing - and slid it across the black-topped workbench to rest in from of Kat, in case she wanted to review the assigned reading herself. Idly, he began arranging the jars and beakers Ms. Lafferty placed in front of them. Could Kat really imagine what he'd gone through? He certainly wouldn't call her masculine, but she was at least as boyish as he'd ever been until a swarm of boob fairies had paid him a visit. And while his early and excessive development often lead others to assume he was somewhat older than he was, Sean could well believe Kat garnered the opposite assumptions with her slight and short stature. "Don't worry if you haven't had a chance to do the reading, Kat," Sean assured her, Kat catching just a hint of a shadow entering his vivid, multi-hued eyes. "I'll catch you up, and it's pretty easy anyway. As for who I hang out with? Mostly my D&D group... who actually mostly aren't in Chemistry this period." He swivelled on the high stool and looked about class. He nodded at a very tall guy sitting at the front of the classroom next to a girl with glistening black hair that would shame anyone in a shampoo commercial. "There's Cade, he's a star on the school's baseball team." Sean gave a group on the other side of the classroom a small wave, two girls, another redhead and a blond, and a young man, who even at this distance, gave off a vibe of being... different. "The guy is Jase - Jason - probably my best friend. The girls aren't in the gaming group, but we've started hanging out lately... " Sean trailed off. It wasn't like he could tell Kat the real reason, that they were psychic teens in between of a waking supernatural terror-entity and a government black project who were observing them, and played some role in their creation... possibly. Speaking of which, with the chatter dying down, Sean casually rubbed the back of his neck with a hand as he circumspectly glanced around class again, this time with his senses attuned to another frequency of the electromagnetic spectrum. He gave himself a small nod, confirming what he already more than suspected was there. "My social circle has expanded this year," Sean finished obliquely, keeping his voice low and circumspectly trying to avoid giving the surveillance feeds a clear view of his lips. With a thought, he sent Cass a text, with the warning // Remember, Big Brother is Watching // followed by a simple diagram of the classroom. A rectangle, along with a couple of pizza slices indicating the likely field of view of the hidden cameras, and an arrow with the notation 'Front of Class'. "The redhead is Autumn, and the Blonde is Cass - Cassandra, intrepid reporter for the school paper. There's a couple of others not in Chem. The school's top athlete, an amazing musician, and a Drama nerd who's helping run the student production this year. It's a pretty eclectic band. I'm lucky to have them." With the subtle upturn of Sean's lips, Kat could sense how grateful Sean was for his gaming group that straddled most of Shelly High's social circles, when he had so much deal with and endure growing up. Elbow on the workbench, Sean propped his chin in the palm of a hand, waiting for class to really start. "What about you, Kat? Mrs. Kyleson said you were from France, but you speak English very well. Have you lived in the States before, or just visited a lot because of your dad?"
  2. Sean followed Kat to the desk, a natural sway to his shapely hips he no longer took pains to restrain in contrast to Kat's brisk, ducked-head swagger. A bemused grin tugged at his lips, his own fair cheeks colouring faintly. Sean was well acquainted with how men and women looked at him, both those who were aware of his condition and those who weren't. They varied, to be sure, but Kat's fleeting glances were different from nearly anyone else's he was familiar with. Kat's gaze hadn't lingered on his most obvious attributes, and he'd seen her eyes widen at they met his own, and she made her stammered comment. He knew his eyes were weird - he might even say exotic - just a one of many genetic anomalies, but few commented on them when there were easier things to remark on. He felt a small thrill of pleasure race up his spine. Sean took a seat next to Kat, his brows furrowing in puzzlement when he saw Cade and Marissa?! sitting next to each other, and seeming more than just tolerating each other's presence. He would have wondered about what the hell that was about, but kept his attention more on his petite charge. She still appeared to be embarrassed about voicing her - what Sean hoped were complimentary - thoughts. His hand twitched, but he refrained from giving Kat's shoulder a comforting pat, finding it presumptuous with a girl he'd literally found out existed all of a minute ago. "Central heterochromia," Sean murmured, and when Kat looked up from the desk with a questioning tilt to her head, he add, "My eyes. They aren't contacts or anything, but genetic mosiacism, a mutation." His lips curled with wryness, and he nodded at Kat, or rather, at her hair. "Like the one we share, red hair, among others." His hands curling into fists on his lap, Sean arched a brow at Kat, trying to affect a blasé calm he didn't fully feel. "Trust me, I get enough of the awks - awkwardness. If you want to ask about the others, feel free." Sean sighed, his eyes flicking away from Kat for a moment in reflection. "Few ever bother or want to know, when they can just assume and make wild exhortations of one sort or another."
  3. Tuesday Morning - Chemistry "Of course, Ms. Kyleson, I can do that," Sean said with a nod, lips curving in a tight half-grin. He couldn't help but still feel somewhat awkward when someone else revealed the dichotomy between his appearance and his gender before he could. Sean turned his attention back to the new student. He'd noted her arrival of course, but now gave her a more curious once-over. The girl was tiny. Despite the claims of his friends, Sean wasn't precisely short - in his mind - more modest of height for someone of the feminine phenotype, he just happened to have friends who were generally taller than average. But he had several inches on Kat. He hadn't been that short and boyishly slim since he was ten. She was definitely cute, though. For Kat's part, Sean wasn't at all what she was expecting the boy who was to be her guide at Shelly High to look like. Save for the lack of makeup and muted, tomboyish outfit, he had the fine features and dramatic figure any instagram pin-up model would envy. And a voice to match, a sweet and melodious mezzo-soprano with just the hint of a velvety rasp to make it interesting. Another redhead, though with golden highlights, hair left longer on top and swept to the side, shaved in an undercut on the sides and back. "Bonjour, Kat," Sean greeted the newcomer, his pronunciation was quite good, even if the accent was a bit exaggerated. He grinned ruefully, skipping over what he presumed her first question was going to be to answer another. "Sorry, besides that, 'bonne nuit', 'oui', 'non', and 'pamplemousse,' is practically all the French I know. But it would be my pleasure to show you around school, Kat, and get you caught up with the place." Sean nodded towards a pair of open seats towards the middle and side of the class room. "At least finding a Chem partner is already done."
  4. Tuesday Morning - Shelly High Cafeteria "It seems like Mr. Black isn't the only one testing others," Sean added, shrugging as he tugged on his shirt to shake free the crumbs from his toast off his chest. He glanced around at the others. He had the same assessment as Jase about Mr. Black and Not-Dylan. "I had a visitor at the Barn last night, and he penetrated my hard drive." "Phrasing," Cassandra said, lips twitching in a smirk. Sean rolled his exotic turquoise and jade eyes in exasperation. "Yes, yes, they found the back door and all that. But seriously, they penetrated the security on my gaming rig and the PC I use for most online stuff. And it wasn't just a hack. Whoever they were, they were like me." Sean nodded his head at his friends. "Like us, and like Not-Dylan, too, I presume. They could do at least some of what I can do." Sean's pink, cupid-bow lips quirked in a half-grin, as each person's phone at the table dinged with a text message simultaneously. // LIKE THIS // "My visitor works for a different faction than Mr. Black, I think," Sean continued, glancing at the time on his phone to see how much time they had left before the bell rang for first period. "Don't know enough if they and Not-Dylan are working together, or if they are working at odds with Mr. Black. But I did manage to track them down to their... lair, I suppose." Sean's lips tightened into a thin line. Even after learning about Dr. Cook's involvement, after finding evidence on his own, it still felt like a betrayal. "I followed my intruder to a node somewhere at the Marias Medical Center. I haven't seen digital security like this anywhere before, never even heard of anything like it except in science fiction or Shadowrun." He pursed his lips for a moment, then gave his head a shake. "Actually, I did see something like this before. When I was tracking now my visitor all matrix style - I'll try to explain later, if you guys want to know - I found a similar digital fortress at Bulwark Air Force Base. A para-rescue training center shouldn't have that sort of protection. Nor should a Medical center, no matter how serious HIPAA violations are." "Were you able to circumvent their defences?" Jase asked, gold-flecked green eyes calm and direct, adding what Sean was saying to everything else revealed so far. "Are you nuts?" Sean hissed. "I wasn't about to try to enter a dragon's den, when I wasn't expecting a dragon or a lair in the first place or having a clue what's on the other side. Especially not from my personal network connection. I gotta make a plan first."
  5. Tuesday Morning - Shelly High Cafeteria Sean nodded at Cassandra in greeting, then finished taking a long pull from the large cup of coffee he'd gotten from Bunnee's on the way to school, and gave Autumn a long blink. He'd gotten all of two hours of sleep last night, his mind too active from the intrusion and just wanting a distraction. He'd managed to overclock his thought processes last night when trying to track down his visitor, he didn't see why he couldn't accelerate other portions of his brain. He'd sat down and began to write and code for his newest game. He'd never had trouble with the actual code, but the idea he had for a new quest line was flowing easier than practically anything else he'd ever written, and the model for a new series of mobs coalesced fully formed in his mind and scampered as merrily as Rascal from his brain and into the code of his brain as he savoured the first of many coffees that morning. Sean had already eaten that morning, a delicious omelette stuffed with meat and veggies, and he had made enough that there was enough for the next two to claim them, which Laurie and his Dad cheerfully did, exasperating his mom. Carolyn's daughter and husband had much bigger appetites than herself or her son, so there wasn't a scrap of omelette left over for her. But while his brain was still firing on all cylinders, his body wasn't so sanguine about the lack of sleep. Sean might have been fine with a habitual five to six hours of sleep, but two was too little. Food and coffee was only a stopgap measure and redlining his brain was burning even more calories. Sean was surprised that he was feeling a little peckish. Sean tightened his jaw to stifle a yawn then gave Autumn a wan, but grateful smile, and nodded. "I've already eaten, but it was way early with little sleep beforehand, so I won't say no to some bacon and some extra sugary calories. Thanks Autumn. I hope your day has been starting out better than mine." Sean leaned over and cut the wheat toast with the plastic fork and blunt piece of plastic that passed for a knife, drizzled it with the remaining syrup, then took a piece of bacon with each bite. When Cassandra made her reveal, Sean tilted his head to the side, his chewing slowing to a stop. He swallowed with a forced gulp. "Mr. Dark trying to get to you how, exactly?" Sean asked, brows lowering over his large, too bright eyes. "Something - someone rather - payed me a visit last night too, though it wasn't face to face."
  6. Monday Night - Sean Sean was up late. When Laurie had revealed the depth of her intelligence and asked for his help in learning to apply it, for just an instant, he had felt a pang of pique and dismay. It hadn't been long that he had to accept that he would be shorter, less athletic, less strong that both of his sisters, the older and the younger, but he told himself that was okay. He was the smartest of the Cassidy siblings. But if that wasn't true, what did he have left? That he was bustier than both sisters combined? Not the tag he wanted. It was an unworthy thought. Initially, he'd been pissed when he found out just how much Jase had been hiding his smarts, but he got over it. Sean still excelled with computers - even more so now, considering the nature of his powers - and math and puzzles, innate intelligence couldn't completely overcome skill and experience. And he didn't want to downplay Laurie's own revelatory Shine. It was clear she wanted to contribute however she could and he wanted to help her with that. But how could you help someone be smart? People learned in different ways. He spent two hours doing the best he could, giving Laurie guideline and advice on how he learned. Like working out to build your body - like Laurie was doing since - or even before - joining the football team - you had to work out your brain too. Reading, watching, listening, were excellent start points, but for Sean, he also needed to apply that knowledge, use it, work with it, and make mistakes to really understand it. He might have always had a talent with electronics and computers, but it he hadn't taken them apart, and yes, made a few mistakes that his parents had been less than pleased about, he wouldn't be as good with them as he now was. Laurie would need to find out what worked best for her. But he did give her access to his Curiositystream and Skillshare accounts to start, learning something, anything, was better than not learning at all. Laurie didn't seem entirely satisfied as she was leaving, not even when he gave her all the references he had looked at on Psionic powers, but it was what he had. Lets see what she can puzzle together. "You might want to talk with Jase, about this too, sis," Sean said when Laurie had opened the door to the converted barn. Laurie scowled at him over her shoulder. "He's a psychopath." "But not the people-eating kind." Laurie didn't appreciate the sally and Sean sighed. "He can give you logical and objective advice. I learn stuff better one way, Jase does it a different way. Getting more than one point of view, more than one kind of advice can only help you. And really, does a simple word make him that much different? More than bloody real, actual psychic powers?" "The word and the psychic powers definitely makes him scarier, Sean." "And he can still help you." Laurelei gave her overly buxom brother a long stare, then sniffed. "I'll consider it." Then she left the barn, closing the door behind her. And then there was the other thing. The intruder, the one who had invaded the sanctity of his sanctum. The one that had to be like him. He could sense the traces of the invader's presence, like digital fingerprints smudged all over his stuff. They hadn't taken anything, hadn't changed anything, that he could tell, just... looked. But it was a violation all the same, an infuriating one - they might as well have been peeping on him when he was taking his bra off. He didn't think they were lingering in his system or network, but all the same, he taped over every camera he had. He didn't lie to himself - even with his firewalls and cybersecurity, if the NSA or CIA or other alphabet soup wanted in, they would get in, but he'd like to think that even they would have trouble. This was different. His defences had been broken or bypassed. They had been ignored. How did you stop someone like him from doing what he willed with your data, digital footprint, online presence? It was something he had been considering already, and so far, all he had really come up with was keep your shit offline and out of sight. If he didn't know where the trove was, and didn't have a wired or wireless connection leading him towards it, he couldn't hack it. But his intruder had found a way in. Sean's fault, he hadn't been paranoid enough, or at least, had believed in his own digital supremacy. But that meant he should be able to follow the intruder back. True, the intruder might have raised the drawbridge - Sean might not be able to get inside the Intruder's defences, but at the very least, he'd have a better idea of where the bastard had come from. Sean changed into something more comfortable, an old, oversized soccer jersey, worn smooth and comfy, and a pair of baggy shorts, stoked up the fire in the fireplace, then curled up in his gaming chair in front of his gaming computer. He stared at it, the screen saver flipping through screen shots and concept art from the video game he was working on. Cold fury rose up inside him. The Dark was out there, threatening his town, threatening his friends, and now this fucking voyeur. He had built his computer himself, this one and others. He had overclocked the processor into an inch of its life, liquid cooling keeping everything running in top trim. Electric synapses, in synthetic or biological media, it was all the same, when you get right down to it. What worked in one should work in the other. Unconsciously, the electrical impulses in Sean's brain began firing faster, stronger, in greater density, forming greater and deeper connections. He wasn't going to let this bitch get away. He had played at dipping his hand into the vast digital ocean, grasping at signals pulsing like fireflies, reading them, barely bothering to use an interface anymore when using his phone, or tablet, or computer. But he was going to go deeper this time, far deeper, far further than he had ever gone before. Sean took a deep breath, then dived in with barely a ripple, imagining as though he was diving into his monitor and into the world on the other side, though he never left his comfortable, encompassing chair. The internet is a series of tubes... Sean let out peals of unmitigated laughter and the virtual world about him rippled in sympathy. The movies had it so wrong. It wasn't their fault, they were limited by the medium, and only being able to imagine the experience, rather experiencing it for real. It wasn't a series of tubes or highways leading to towering skyscrapers of a seizure inducing Time's square. It was infinitely branching and merging streams and rivers of bits and bytes, leading to and from two sided pools, lakes, seas that plunged into unknown depths and enticing heights in a virtual reality as vast as outer space, yet as packed as when the doors opened for Black Friday and there was that must have toy or gadget for the season. There was the neon lights portrayed by Shadowrun and Tron, but so much more as well. Pastels, muted and dark shades of colour, matte finishes, glossy, vistas drawn with the absence of light, intermingled incandescence and a variety of darkness. The scrolling numbers of the Matrix were there too, in a fashion, if you could look close enough. Sean had seen them when perusing the comm transmissions flying about him. Here, the numbers were in an infinite palette, tight and close, to form photomosiacs, art and knowledge in one, for those who could decipher it. There was sound too, music, hums and basses in a collage of frequencies and amplitudes. It was the sound the sound of the busiest city, the thickest crowd imaginable, that gave rise to incredible symphonies and counter melodies that clashed or challenged. Sean vibrated with sheer force of the encompassing sound. There was physical sensation there too that the screen could never convey. The coolness, searing cold, pleasant warmth, biting heat.... smoothness, coarseness, things that prickled, bit, engulfed, stuff that clung and stuck and had to be scraped off (Pop-up Ads?). And there was smell, tasted as well, the bitter and sweet, acrid and arousing. Every sense, and the extra ones he possessed, was being assaulted, challenged, teased, and caressed. It was bewildering, terrifying... and fantastically wondrous. Sean had manipulated this place, had rowed about on its surface, but now he was a part of it. He had no form here save that which he conjured. He wasn't male, female, something in between here. He wasn't old or young. He just was, a self of will, bits and bytes of memory forming a core identity, and power. And someone had gone poking in where they didn't belong - Sean conveniently overlooked the fact he had done so more than once himself. He was going to find them. The digital world was incredibly dynamic, ever flowing and changing, yet it was static too, everything leaving near indelible tracks, if you knew how to find them and follow them. The hunt was on... ... Sean didn't get the satisfying conclusion to the hunt that he wanted. Someone had left neotic spoor all over the digital networks about and around Shelly - at least some of those networks must be part of Dr. Cook's surveillance system. There wasn't a single trail, but many. They didn't converge on a single point - his intruder was too wily for that, or at the least, minimally competent - but they did suggest a common point of interest in the virtual world. Two points. One was Bulwark Air Force Base, light-eating darkness laying over parts of the para-rescue training center. The other was a shadow under the bright pool of the Merias Medical Center. With what he and Sara had learned about Dr. Cook and who was really behind the program, that drew his interest and curiosity more. Sean swam cautiously closer, the psychic miasma growing stronger. A tentatively probe at the indistinct node and he recoiled. Whatever that network node was, it was beyond SOTA, it was next-gen's next-gen level stuff. And had absolutely no reason to be in Shelly, clinging like a parasite to the underside of the Merias Medical Center, however seriously the Medical community took HIPAA. For a moment, an instant, an iota of time, Sean considered trying to worm his way in, or even break through digital defences he had never encountered before, or even heard tell of. Then his better judgment got a hold of him. Suddenly, he was back in his gaming chair, blinking his eyes, his chair rolling across the floor as he kicked away from his desk. His screen saver merrily continued flipping from pic to pic before him. He'd been in there for nearly two hours, when it felt like barely minutes. He brushed his red-gold hair from his face finding it damp with sweat. What had he been thinking? If he was going to try and penetrate firewalls like that - especially if they were backed by someone like him, he wasn't going to do it from home. And if he did manage to get in, what would he find on the other side. He stared at his computer, stared beyond it, thinking, considering, as he breathed slowly, trying to calm a racing heart he hadn't realized he had. Then he got up, full lips pressing into a tight line, and pattered across the hardwood floor in his socks and manually turned off his router/modem. It wasn't full proof, but it would make things a little more inconvenient if his intruder decided to try and visit again. It took Sean a long time to fall asleep, pondering who had spied on him, what they knew, and what they could do, and what he could do about it, as he lay on his bed in the loft, petting his grey cat Turing who had nestled herself against his breasts.
  7. Shelly High - Hallways Sean, Laurie, and Sara, left the storeroom, their shoes whispering over linoleum worn smooth by hundreds of feel, in the search of lunch. Sean wondered if he was in shock, or had just rapidly grown jaded. Hearing about Devin's journey to Another Side, tangling with some other breed of sphincternator and Cass nearly dying just looking at what looked like a cooper bracelet, he was rolling with. It wasn't that he wasn't concerned, he was, but he could accept it, accept that it happened, that stuff like that was just a part of his - of their - lives now. Like how he could acknowledge the school, and most of the town, was wired for surveillance by a super secret government - former government? - project, when he still couldn't believe, for example, someone going nuts and shooting up the school, even with the influence of the Dark waxing. A bag in hand, Sean munched on some trail mix of nuts and raisins, offering it to Laurie and Sara, as he idly flipped through the surveillance feeds covering the school, another thread of thought mapping out the coverage in a file on his tablet. He planned on detailing Dr. Cook's coverage over the entire town, might as well start at Shelly High - blind spots could always come in handy. He was getting better at reading transmissions and they didn't distract him as much as he used it. It was kind of liking having picture-in-picture viewing, his 'real' senses not obscured by the signal he was watching or listening to, though it did take some of his attention. He was still amazed at how of the school was under surveillance without it being discovered, even by accident. This was certainly top tier tech, though the audio sucked, if only because of the acoustics and the number of students and staff about. Lunch was just starting, so Sean didn't see that much that was interesting on Shellyflix, mostly empty classes, students walking through hallways, a few teachers sitting down to eat their own lunch as they marked papers or got ready for their next classes. A pair of students making out in the dark room off of one of the art classrooms. His mouth tightened when he saw Sophie Fingleman striding purposefully towards the cafeteria by a different route. After his growth spurt during summer, he wasn't sure she could still lay sole claim to having the largest boobs in school anymore, and he was surprised the realization didn't disturb or enrage or embarrass him. It just... was. There were much bigger things to worry about now. Once, he and Sophie, along with Kim, had been casually friendly, but that had changed over the last year and half or so. Sean stopped suddenly in his tracks when he spied who Mrs. Meyer was chatting with in the main office. The door must've been open, because he could only make out one word in three that was being said. His suddenly stop caught Sara and Laurie off guard, and his sister had to shift quickly to avoid bumping into her brother. "What is it, Sean?" she asked him, seeing the firm expression on finely featured face. "Just saw someone in the main office who I really want to talk to. That we all really want to," he amended. There had been some general plans before, but Sean didn't want to give up the opportunity when it was right here. "Who?" Laurie said with the same slight, questioning tilt to her head Sean often did. "C'mon! You'll see, it looks like he's done talking," Sean said, picking up his pace. Laurie and Sara kept up easily, merely lengthening their stride. "Dr. Cook," Sara informed Laurie in a low voice behind Sean - she had caught the name and image blaring from Sean's mind. ~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~ They caught up to him in the hallway leading to the main entrance. "Dr. Cook, hold up! Do you have a minute?" James Cook looked over his shoulder and found one of his most noteworthy patients. Behind his red-headed, curvaceous figure stood another red-head, slimmer and four inches taller, sharing familial traits. And behind her, another girl, four inches taller than the previous one, but near twice as wide with muscle. Cook stopped and turned around, a genial smile on his face. "For you, Sean, of course." He nodded his greetings at Sean's companions. "Laurelei. And Sara Hutchins, is it?" He glanced back at Sean. "Did you reschedule that appointment with Dr. Thayer?" Sean's grin was a touch bitter. Dr. Cook might claim he always had time for him, but he had spoken to Lona, Lilly, and Clara, in the cafeteria at the start of school, and hadn't even said hello to him. He had even revealed some of the - his - conspiracy to them. Sean couldn't help but feel that as his patient for years, that Dr. Cook should have come to him first, or at least afterward. It was petty and unfair, and Sean couldn't completely dismiss the feeling despite his best efforts. "I did, but that's not what I want to talk about," Sean said, his tone heated and hard. "I want to talk about the stuff you talked with Lilly, Lona, and Clara about." "Ah! I see." Dr. Cook didn't seem surprised. His friendly eyes glanced around the hall. "I was wondering when you would come to talk to me about that. Though I'm not sure this is the best place or time." "Maybe not," Sean admitted, voice firm. "But you're here, and so are we. I think you could make some time for a long time patient." Sean flicked through the nearby surveillance feeds and found an empty classroom that usually wasn't used the first period after lunch. Sean nodded, and lead Dr. Cook, Laurie, and Sara across the hall and down two doors to the classroom. When they were all inside, he locked the door, then turned to face his doctor. The only doctor who hadn't sees his condition as something to be fixed, an error to be corrected. Was that because it was something he had done? Side effects in the pursuit of psionic activity? Was Jase's psychopathy another side effect? Lilly being a bloody amazon, or was that a different vein of research? "What did you do to us?" Sean hissed with pleading intensity.
  8. Sean's nostrils flared as he snorted in irritated disappointment. It had been like trying to grab fog. He had the sense of an electric current, but couldn't discern its... shape, couldn't even really see it, let alone grab hold of the thread and let it pull him towards the nanites. Too soon, any sense of the nanites faded away as the last of them broke down inside Devin. A faint scowl crossed his fine features as he crossed his arms in dissatisfaction when Devin bamfed away with Lona. "What is it?" Laurie asked her brother. "Couldn't manage to access the nanites Lona mentioned," Sean admitted softly. "Their interconnected transmissions were too... ephemeral for me to get a hold of. Like spiderwebs made of fog." "Bioelectric currents instead of electromagnetic currents," Laurie said. Sean arched a considering brow at his sister, but nodded. "Indeed. Similar, but different, different enough that I couldn't get a hold of the bioelectric currents. This time. I'm sure I can do it, figure out a way, with practice. Bah.Organic nanites." He shook his head, red hair swaying about his face, as he shook away his failure. Jase had already left, Devin and Lona too, if by another way, and in the huddle of Lilly, Clara, and Marissa, Sean overheard lunch mentioned. He hadn't meant to eavesdrop, but it wasn't a large storage room. "Lunch sounds like the thing to do right now," Sean said, glancing up at Laurie and Sara flanking him. "Laurie? Sara?" "Sure," Laurie said noncommittally. Sara shrugged her assent. "Probably best if we leave in groups, instead of a large gaggle, in case someone notices us," Sean suggested. In passing Cass, he nodded at her, offering her a small smile. "Glad you've recovered so quickly after the bracelet decided to abuse you, Cass, but if you feel any other lingering symptoms, make sure to go see... well, I guess Lona is out for the rest of the day, but the Nurse or something, at least." He pursed his lips, considering. "Guess we'll have to be careful interacting with any psi-active item we come across for now." Outside the storage room, walking in step with Laurie and Sara, though he had to walk a bit faster to keep up with the taller girls, Sean looked askance at his sister. "So... how did you know which storage room Devin meant, Laurie?" Sean mused casually. "It's not what you think," Laurie replied. It wasn't an embarrassed, quick retort, but rather was a cool, self-possessed explanation. A pithy explanation, Sean thought. "Oh?"
  9. Shop Room Sean put the two men out of mind when he saw his new vehicle up on the lift without any wheels. It made him feel a little anxious, especially when he didn't see anyone working on it, or Sara's unmistakable form anywhere in sight. De-tired, it felt like his Jeep was naked, or had its feet cut off. Silly, yes, but it was his first vehicle and his biggest ever purchase. Most of the other students were busy on their own projects and shopwork and barely looked up when Sean entered the class. He'd taken a shop class last year, and had helped out several students with fixing or tuning up their computers, building them one, or unlocking their phones. Sean nodded at one he was a little more familiar with, and walked over to Benny Lofton. His real name was Benedict - it was a family name - but even his parents called him Ben or Benny. "Hey, Benny, have you seen Sara around?" Sean asked, nodding up at the deep green Grand Cherokee. There was maybe a bit more rust and scratches on the undercarriage than he thought. "Just wanted to ask how it was going with my ride." "You certainly went big with your first, Cassidy," Benny drawled without any trace of innuendo as he stood his wiry frame up and cleaned his hands. He wasn't much taller than Sean and was a gearhead and a gamer foremost. "Sara's at another class, history, I think, but don't worry, it's in good hands. She'll be back after lunch." Benny looked up at the Jeep and blew out a laconic raspberry. "Maybe I should take a look at the auction, see if I can find something decent on the cheap, or a wreck to fix up." "You'll certainly find plenty of wrecks there," Sean said wryly, picturing a couple that practically already looked like a car-crusher had gotten to them. "But maybe a few turds that can be polished, and a fewer diamonds in the rough. I think I got a zircon at least." Sean gave a small, rueful chuckle. "But I like it, bullet hole and all." "Bullet hole?" "Check the tailgate when you get a chance. It was a drug-runner's car that got seized and then impressed into doing alphabet agency work," Sean admitted as he started to turn to leave. "Thanks for the heads up 'bout Sara, Benny, I'll be back later when I get a chance." "Oh! Wait a sec, Cassidy," Benny said, reaching out a hand, but stopping before touching Sean's shoulder. "Hmm?" "I just wanted to ask you something about Annwn," Benny said. "See, I got stuck..." Sean was pleased to talk about the one game he'd gotten out on Steam and the mobile app stores, but he didn't give Benny any spoilers or direct him to specific easter-eggs and secrets, but did offer him some hints for progress. Then he spent a few minutes talking about his new game he still had on the works, admitting he hit some delays as he decided to rework some stuff and focus a bit more on another subsystem. "... should be getting a Youtube vid up in a week or two, showing what's going on with it--" Just then Sean's phone chirped rapidly with several missed texts. He glanced at them with raised brows and frown. "Sorry, Benny, thanks for the chat and showing interest in the game, I'll hook you up with a game-key when its done, but I gotta go, and check on something. Later."
  10. Able to port things right to your hand, that's awfully convenient, Sean thought with not a little interest and envy. Between that and being able to port just about anywhere, he's gonna have to watch out about getting fat. Trying to make his interdimensional collect call, Devin heard Sean's voice as though from far away. "If the bracelet has been locked to Devin, or made for him, could it possible he wasn't Dark-napped? Assuming they couldn't whip one of these things up in a second, could Lady Fett or her people have been the ones to pull Devin to this Notaworld? With the express purpose of giving him the thing?"
  11. Sean felt a sharp spike of excitement at the mention of nanites. A glorious example of high technology. They should have been way beyond current levels of technology, but then again, so should have been an atomic generator the size of a fridge. Also, these came from the same Otherworld as Devin's bracelet, tech levels could be higher there, he supposed, though that made the crossbow somewhat anachronistic. Still, if there were nanites, he should be able to manipulate their functions, at least stop them all from discorporating inside Devin's bloodstream, so they could get a sample or several to study. If he could figure out what they were capable of, he might be able to figure out what the people who injected him with them in the first place are capable of. "Nanites," Sean breathed in wonder, despite the troubling revelations Devin had revealed. His thoughts and attention went from the provenance of the bracelet and explaining things to the bewildered Tawny - with the texts, he had thought Devin had told her already -to refocusing on Devin, or rather, what was coursing inside him, opening his senses to the Electromagnetic spectrum once more, the nanites must communicate with each other, those signals would give him something to pinpoint them, give him a chance to arrest their self-destruct protocols before they were all gone. Unless they were entirely organic... Organic organisms had bioelectric patterns, in theory, he might be able to figure out how to manipulate them as well... So intent was Sean on trying to save some of the nanites that he didn't notice Cass locking into place when she bent her will towards the bracelet, and was slow to react when Lona shouted the bracelet was trying to kill Cass. He almost stumbled getting out of Lilly's way when she turned and rushed to help her, Sara steadying him with a strong hand. He nodded his thanks, his eyes flicking from Jase and Cass, giving him the space he requested with an upraised hand to the bracelet on the ground, back and forth. "Maybe the person who gave it to you, Devin, set it to work only for you? A biometric - or psimetric - lock of some type?" Sean opined. Alive... He glanced up over his shoulder at Sara. "If it's alive, can you maybe... I dunno, 'talk' to it? Convince it we aren't hostile against... its purpose I guess?" Sean frowned and crossed his arms against a phantom chill witnessing what it had done to Cass. "In a certain sense, an AI could be considered alive. Considering the nanites, if this thing has a supercomputer running it, I might be able to talk to it. Or we can try and combine our efforts."
  12. Sean and Sara entered the storage room together, talking softly about the work being done on his Jeep. He gave Laurie a suspicious look when he found her here first, but his sister's face gave away nothing about why she knew which storage room Devin had been referring to. Sean's suspicious gaze was drifting towards Devin when Tawny barged in. While the sunny blonde make her demands and Lona explained - such as she did - Sean pulled a sandwich from his cooler bag, spraying a few crumbs as he chuckled at Lona's response. He was about to ask Devin what he meant about being Dark-napped, if it was something to do with his 'jaunting' or if he thought it could happen to any of them, when he revealed the copper bracelet. When Jase asked him about the bracelet, Sean quickly finished his sandwich, then stepped forward and narrowed his eyes as he focused on the Shine, his head cocked slighly. Then his turquoise and jade eyes widened as the bracelet blazed with psionic power. "It is like them, but if anything it's stronger," Sean said. "I think its Shine is being enhanced or influenced by your own, Devin." He blinked several times and refocused his vision, looking up at the taller boy. "Where did you get this? Just found it on the Otherside? The arrowheads and spearheads were saw at the museum were unique, coming from a very specific dig site."
  13. Parking Lot Among other things today so far, it had taken considerable effort for Sean to resist tapping into Marissa's phone and surreptitiously enabling its speakers to listen in to what Ms. Forster had to say to her. Just opening himself up to the idea, he'd opened himself up to the barrage of zipping fireflies that represented texts, snaps, status updates, and other transmissions spit out by the plethora of electronic devices among the student body. And despite his best intentions, he couldn't stop seeing what some of them were. Nothing overly salacious or private this time, at least. Still, he'd been distracted during his last class. He forced that sense down, replacing it with reaching out for his drone in the back of his car out of idle curiosity, so hadn't been paying attention to his surroundings as much as he should have been, especially with The Dark apparently being more aggressive lately. The whistle and lewd comments weren't uncommon, though unusual at school, but the unquiet comment about 'that has a dick?' was rare to hear in Shelly, where most people knew him, or at least of him. Even outside of Shelly, it was rare to hear, unless he revealed his condition - most of the comments he heard were directed at an over-endowed, young woman. His face reddened in embarrassment and annoyance now. It was easy to blame the Dark, but he'd been subjected to people like this guy for years. He had been ignoring them, he should have continued ignoring them, but he couldn't just let the last comment go. "'He'," Sean called back coolly, turning his head to glance at them as he continued to the shop, resolutely keeping to the same pace. "I'll accept 'they' too, if 'he' is too hard to wrap your brain around." "What?" the man said in a rough growl, taking any attention he had on the diesel tank to direct it all at Sean, dark brows knitting. The other guy - Patrick Welker Sean's mental files told him, he'd been in the baseball team, and had asked Teagan out once, who had turned him down - fumbled a bit, taking up the sudden slack his colleague left him. "I'm not a 'that' or an 'it'," Sean clarified, keeping his voice cool and calm, not confrontational. "I prefer 'he' and 'him', but I'm fine with 'they' and 'them', if you must. Sorry 'bout ruining your casual harassment of what you took to be a high school girl." He gave Patrick a tight, bitter grin. "Couldn't leave him in the dark, Patrick, huh?" Sean really didn't think they had anything to do with the Dark, but better safe than sorry. He opened himself to the Shine, to see if he could sense any of the Dark's influence on them or in the area, as well as circumspectly shifting into view of any of Dr. Cook's surveillance he could determine. He had to have something overseeing the Shop room.
  14. Sean had been developing a new respect for Devin, if not over all the shit he'd put him through the last few years, and as his twin, Sean was trying to grant a modicum of that to Marissa. If he didn't hate her, he still didn't like her. But God Damn, if Marissa didn't have it. Sean didn't feel Jason's cerebral infatuation, but he couldn't help but feel the impressed awe and increased wariness most of the rest of the class did. And not a little envy that he wouldn't ever admit to anyone. He might have been getting better at retorting against harassing comments and behaviour, getting them to shut up, and maybe even having his or her friends laughing at their expense. But Marissa had cowed the entire class with a glare and, like, two sentences. The reverberations of that glare would probably stop anyone from making a crass comment about Marissa into next week - well, if she didn't decide to spit her venom all over someone, Sean supposed - and he never seen a hair whip be so... emphatic before. Sean wished he know how to do that, at least a little bit. Not the hair whip - his hair wasn't nearly long enough, nor did he intend that it ever would - but the ability to utterly silence a catcaller that he practically choked on the regret, and made everyone around him feel for sorry for him. Ms. Forster gave Marissa a slight nod, giving her the point, even if she didn't seem to believe her answer anymore than Marissa did. Her unprofessional smirk didn't waver as she surveyed the rest of the almost unnaturally quiet class. "Well, come on, no one else willing to step up next? Aren't you all supposed to think you're immortal at this age? I didn't expect my class to be so... demure. Very well." She picked up a clip with attendance and seating chart on it. Her brows rose at some of the notes Mr. Carlson had made for her convenience. Her smirk widened a trifle. "How about you, Sean Cassidy? Why did you decide to take biology" Sean gave a small start from comparing Ms. Forster to Mrs. Jauntsen, which lead to comparing Mrs. Jauntsen to Marissa in her terrifying and glorious ire, showing off her legs in the too short pleated skirt. Not for the first time, he could barely believe Misti Jauntsen had a daughter like Marissa. Sean had taken biology pretty much for the easy science credit, but he couldn't admit that to Ms. Forster and her appraising gaze and her faint smirk. He knew new subs got notes on his unique condition, so he was treated appropriately, with varying success, along with any sudden new substitute teacher being suspicious to one degree or another. He also wasn't about to stand up to answer when his cargo pants were feeling two sizes too small at the moment. "I've learned a fair bit reading my own medical file and researching on my own to understand what it all meant," Sean said, straightening up in his desk, his voice clear and sweet, though his odd eyes had darted about for a moment when caught with his attention wondering. "But with my slew of genetic quirks..." There was a faint snicker at the back of the class, but no one dared to shout out again after just being so succinctly lambasted by Marissa. Sean's cheeks reddened faintly, but he didn't look around and his voice stayed steady. "... I figured having a basic foundation in biology would help in understanding how and why my genetics developed as they did... And it looked like an easy science credit."
  15. Cafeteria <Will do,> Sean affirmed while giving the mental impression of a thumbs up, glancing at Sara from the corner of his eyes. Having had a bit of extra practice with it during the trip to Helena, Sean wasn't quite as surprised by or awkward with the establishment of the telepathic network. Despite trying to be more assertive and less embarrassed about his appearance and condition, Sean couldn't overcome the habits of years in less than a week, and at the mention of people disrupting Jase's 'business' and his own tormentors, he couldn't help but casually look around in a well practised manner for any or them. <Add half of the cheerleading team thanks to Courtney, and two or three others,> Sean added to Lona's list, including one teacher who was notoriously strict on the female students about adhering to the dress code and many suspected he looked at them more than school faculty should. <But hey, let's not just not consider my fan club. How 'bout the rest of you? Anyone you guys can think of that might try to mess with you, like, with the play or your music, Lona, or whatever else the rest of you hold dear?> "You're welcome to join the game too, Sara," Sean offered the incredibly buff girl who was build like how any number of fantasy female barbarians and warriors should have been. "I might end up with big group for gaming, but I'll give everyone the opportunity to shine. And if it gets too unwieldy," Sean shrugged as he finished his muffin then open the top of his small carton of milk to contain all the detritus of his breakfast. "I'd might split the group and run two tables, with the help of a sub-DM, if someone is interested in the job. I'll make it work, and hopefully everyone will have fun."
  16. Cafeteria "He's like an ogre," Sean commented in a very passable Shrekian brogue, though an octave or three higher, his grin widening for a moment. Labyrinth was good, though he had always preferred the Dark Crystal. He dipped his head towards Charlie in a token gesture of respect for his choice. "I didn't know they'd done a stage adaptation for Labyrinth." "They haven't," Charlie admitted, with a slight bit of anxiety. Marissa had had a good idea, but it was going to be some extra work to pull it off. "Ouch," Sean said in sympathy. "Got your work cut it for you then, adapting it, don't want it to be all Jareth and Sarah. I might be able to help you out with the 'Fiery' bits, at least, put something together than can be taken apart on stage, maybe using some fishing line..." Sean liked putting together models and figurines, using green stuff to modify them, then painting them, and he was decent enough at sewing. He loved Halloween and almost always made his own costume. "And hopefully, the drama club can pick up pieces for the goblin costumes cheap after Halloween. Or I can work lighting again, if you're short stagehands." He wasn't sure about being on stage. He'd do it if Charlie was in a bind - like he'd done before - but auditioning for a part... Sean chuckled - perhaps to some, it might have been construed more of a giggle - when he turned his attention to Beth, Cass, and Clara. "Pan's Labyrinth would be a very different production - definitely not lighthearted. Would need some spectacular costumes to work, though anything from Del Toro would. If you're interested in the D&D game, I'll send you a link to my gaming app - makes Character Creation and keeping track of things during the game much easier and I'll write up a synopsis of what's happened so far, if you like. It's not necessary, but it'll help with getting to know the other characters and the setting."
  17. Cafeteria Sean couldn't keep a quick frown crossing his lips when first Kyle, then Beth, joined them at the table with Charlie, Cade, and Cass. He understood they had friends outside of the Fellowship, but he'd wanted to know if there had been any more strange going on during the weekend. He gave Clara a one shoulder shrug. With Kyle and Beth there, the rest of them had to watch what they said, but it wasn't their fault. It was no one's fault, really. He replaced his frown with a slightly cautious smile and gave Kyle and Beth a small two-fingered waved. "I'm always nice," Sean protested with exaggerated affront, if not complete honesty. "Pleased to meet you, Beth, any friend of Cass, yadda, yadda, " Sean said. He gave Kyle a nod. He had met Kyle before, when helping Charlie out two years ago, replacing a girl who had dropped out of a play at the last minute. "Kyle." Sean arched a dark red brow at Charlie. "You decide on which play drama club is doing this year, yet, Charlie?" Sean tilted his head with idle curiosity to see what Jason was reading, then turned his attention back to the rest of the table. Cora was leaving, and bummed with her leaving, he wasn't sure if Cade was still going to be in the mood to game. With the Dark and all that it portended, he wasn't even sure about the rest of the Fellowship's interest in gaming. "You guys have any interests or hobbies you want to reveal, see if any of us share them?" Sean asked the newcomers. "Video games, movies, certain genres of novels? I might have room for another player or two in my D&D campaign, if either of you, or you, Cass, are interested."
  18. Sean opened his mouth to issue an instinctive denial, then closed with a snap. For a few moments, he focused intently on peeling his orange, then he looked up at Sara and sighed as he slowly peeled the slices of orange apart. "Do you?" Sean asked in turn, gesturing at Sara's arms with an orange slice. Even at rest, her biceps bulged impressively. "Like the attention your muscles get? They're incredible, no mistaking, but I'm sure they aren't all positive." "They aren't," Sara agreed with a shrug. "And I do, but I don't go out of my way denying what I'm accenting. And in some ways that seems to be what your doing. I'm not talking about your condition but the way you, well, dress. And then they way you act because of others responding to the way you dress." "I don't... it's not..." Sean waffled a hand side-to-side in a bit-of-this-bit-of-that gesture. "It's complicated." He snorted wryly, and Sara couldn't help but notice it was a cute sound. "But what isn't, now, right?" He tore the top off his muffin, pulled off a piece and popped in his mouth, chewing contemplatively for a moment, then took a deep breath before continuing. "I was seriously messed up when all... this started. I was thirteen when I was first seriously hit on by a guy, twice my age, staring at my chest. I wasn't showing anything, just wearing a loose Star Wars shirt. I could have retorted I was only thirteen, instead I shouted I was a boy, then he accused me of misleading him. My dad almost got into a fight. Then there were the comments about implants, regardless of how young I look. At the time, I thought it was my fault, I wore layers and layers, which didn't really hide the fact I had tits, just made me look chunky." Sara sensed the wash of remembered shame, embarrassment, and self-recrimination roll off Sean, low emotions that the Dark would feed off. "And I quickly got tired of trying to explain to strangers my condition, especially considering it's always a crap shoot how someone will take it." Sean sighed in exasperation, then took another bite of muffin and washed it down with some milk. "Look, I'm not an idiot, I know what I look like. I don't fault people for thinking I'm a girl, or for people looking. I'd look if I saw a girl - or someone, I suppose - with a figure like mine, though I'd like to think I wouldn't be a crass as many, or as blatant. It's taken a long time and plenty of therapy to understand I can't control how others will react to me, but I can control how I feel about it and how I react to them. I used to be so ashamed and embarrassed about the attention and comments, and when people saw that it seemed to encourage them. Ignoring them, it helps sometimes, sometimes, it doesn't. Now I'm just trying to figure out how to respond more assertively." He shrugged expressively. "I'm still figuring it out.... and figuring out how to dress. Other than bras, I was stubborn about wearing girl clothes, wanting to hold onto the self-image I had as a child. Guess what, guy clothes don't take boobs into account - lots of girl clothes don't either from what I've read," Sean added in a low mutter. "I've only just started buying some new clothes, don't have much, so making do mostly with what I still have, which after my last growth spurt..." He shrugged again as he looked down, spinning a slice of orange on the table with a slim finger. "Lots of stuff fits tighter than it did. But trying to hide feels like a step backward." Sean's cheeks reddened as he glanced back up at Sara through a look of vibrant red hair. "It's... with everything that's happened, is happening, it seems so... small, juvenile to keep trying to convince myself that I hate how I look. Lately, I've looked in the mirror, and regardless of how I want think of myself, or what I want to consider myself, I can admit, to some degree, that I might actually like what I see. Sometimes at least. I might still hate how others react and comment about what they see, but that isn't on me. And I've had people in my life saying much the same for years, only I didn't want to hear it." He grinned self-deprecatingly. "Hell, Dr. Cook was one, from the first when we started going around looking for second opinions on my conditions. And who knows what that means, considering..." He waggled his fingers in a mystical manner. "... our voodoo." Sean gave his head a shake, then gave Sara a wry grin. His cheeks were still red, but she could feel a sense of relief, some weight off his slender shoulders, at having admitted some of what he was feeling to someone else. "Okay, so that's was lot of words to say, how I look at myself is in flux, and I'm gonna be making mistakes and regrets along the way... And I need a shit-ton of new clothes after spending most of what I had saved up on my car and maybe some style advice." Sean glanced away for a second and blew out a breath, trying to get the red out of his cheeks. "It's been pretty good so far," Sean said, turning back to Clara, Lona, and Jase, and consuming the rest of his orange slices. He gave them an easy grin. "Still loving having my own vehicle, even if it still needs some work." He tilted his head at Sara. "And that work might help Sara score a higher mark in Shop class, and save me a few bucks. How 'bout you with you guys? We were there Sunday afternoon, but did we miss anything 'weird' while we were in Helena over the weekend?"
  19. "I could use a bite," Sean agreed. There was an extra bounce in Sean's step as he walked briskly to keep up with the hungry, amazonian Sara on their way to the cafeteria. It was immeasurably satisfying and liberating being able to drive himself to school and about town in his own vehicle, and only a day after the purchase, the wonder hadn't come close to wearing off yet. Nor could the comments that he was overcompensating for his lack of masculinity or over abundance of feminine attributes ruin his mood when classmates had seen him drive up in his new vehicle - they weren't even completely wrong, he had to admit to himself, pragmatic reasons he had for choosing as he did aside. He'd been slightly hesitant at first to offer Little Bigfoot (as he'd begun to name his lifted Grand Cherokee Trailhawk) to the shop class to work on, but Mr. Bishop's clear confidence in Sara's capabilities, as well as his own experience with them at the auction had gone a long way in easing his worries. As did his home-made drone he'd left in the back that he'd kept a link to. He might might not be able to catch much on video, but it had audio too. If it would help Sara with her grade, bonus. Sean couldn't thank Sara enough for her help in getting his vehicle in the first place. He was wearing a pair of black cargo pants with actually useful pockets - though the hip pockets were still too shallow for his phone - and an open flannel shirt over a faded red Nuka-Cola t-shirt that was snug across his chest. Perhaps it was having a vehicle of his own, as well as growing proficiency with having fucking psionic powers, but Sean was far less self-conscious about his appearance and the snide, contemptuous, or mocking comments or glances it garnered. Indeed, with his lack of concern, it seemed he actually drew less overt attention or derision, fewer people seemed to feel the need to pick on him about. There might be more about one being victimized for acting like a victim than Sean had been willing to admit. Or maybe it was the flat expression on the hulking girl at his side. It was an effort not just to peek into anyone's phone that his curiosity turned his interest on. With his senses attuned to the right frequencies, every phone and tablet and the transmissions flying about seemed to him to be jumping up and waving their arms, yelling 'Look at me! Look at me!'. He couldn't help but look at some of the transmissions that appeared to be practically zipping right across in front of him. Most were banal stuff, the rare bit salacious. He didn't catch anything about him or the Fellowship off-hand, and was kind of surprised he felt surprised about that. Sean and Sara walked into the cafeteria and got in line to get breakfast. Sean just got a blueberry muffin and an orange and an orange juice. "Get your tits back in line with the rest of you, Cassidy," one boy snarked, sharing a chuckle with his friends. Sean snorted and rolled his eyes, setting his bottle of orange back and picking up a carton of milk instead and giving it a shake at the boy. "Thanks for keeping an eye on them, Randall. They're growing girls and always wondering off like that if I don't leash them down."
  20. Sean stopped off at his place to pick up his drones - which he intended to use for his own practice - and endured his parents' congratulations and questions about his new vehicle, his dad promising that if he got stuck in the snow, he was calling Sean to tow him out with the winch. Sean affected his escape by mentioning his friends were waiting on him, nodding pointedly at Autumn who was waiting with good grace, and he wanted to show off his Grand Cherokee to them too, worn and beaten as it was. He picked Sara up at the garage, where she'd returned the wrecker, then drove them to the Bannon Farm, let the music cycle through the regular, if still ecletic, playlist on his phone instead of potential video game soundtracks. At the moment, Disturbed's cover of The Sound of Silence was playing, and Sean drove with a wide smile on his face, fingers tapping rhythm on the wheel. You saw the road differently when you were the one driving, and in Sean's case, it wasn't only because he was driving a SUV that rode higher than most other vehicles on the street, let alone a bicycle. When you were a passenger, you just didn't pay attention to where you were going compared to when you were the driver. Still, he'd been to Jase's before, so he knew the way and it was well past noon when he drove down the dirt road to Jase's home and parked in the row with all his other friends' vehicles and climbed out Cherokee with a hop and swung the door closed in time with Autumn and Sara on the passenger side. Sean opened the door into the back and pulled out a pair of drones, when he had made himself and another his parents had gotten him for Christmas one year of fairly substantial quality - it had been his only gift that year. They didn't see anyone else, and when they followed the sign to the kitchen, they didn't see anyone there either. "Well, I guess considering what Jase can do, and what Charlie apparently did, they didn't want to be anyplace they could easily be seen by accident or might break stuff Jase rather they didn't," Sean mused. "I can locate them if they're nearby," Sara assured him. "I might be able to track them," Autumn added glancing around the ground." "I can too," Sean countered with a grin, waggling one of the drones. "Either way, we all get practice." Sara reached out mentally, seeking the mindsparks of the Fellowship, while Sean extended his own supernal senses, following the slumbering currents of digital life in his DJI drone. With a completely unnecessarily dramatic exhalation, Sean tossed the drone into the air and the quad rotors spun to life, the drone rising smoothly into the air under the control of Sean's will. Tapping into it's systems, Sean could see what the drone was seeing through the gimbal-mounted camera> It was bewildering at first, his normal vision being overlaid with the video transmission from the drone, but a few moments effort, he was able to switch more smoothly from one to the other, instead of having them conflict. It bit like watching where he was going and looking at what his drone was seeing on his phone... y'know, just without actually using a phone. Or a remote control of any sort. Awesome. "Found them," Sara drawled as Sean played with his toy. Autumn rolled her eyes and huffed a lock of red hair out of her face. Sean blew a raspberry as his drone rose higher and panned around, the excellent camera giving him an excellent view of the area. "Okay, I have too," Sean said after a moment. "And I see the way to them too." Sara headed off, Sean have to step briskly to keep up with Sara's longer strides. Sean sent his drone ahead and had it circle the Fellowship with joyful little swerves - his sister gave it the finger. Then he set it on auto when he almost tripped over a rock he hadn't seen and would have probably landed on his face is Sara hadn't caught him with a strong hand. "Oops." Soon, Sean, Sara, and Autumn were approaching the group of psionic and otherwise truly exceptional teens. Sean gave them a small wave as they reached them. "Hey, guys, sorry we're late. But I have my own set of wheels now. And I so have something to share about the Shine," Sean said animatedly as he brought the drone back to him to hover over his shoulder. "We found some things out about it too." Jason said, looking up and giving the them a wave of greeting. "For instance, it seems to be everywhere, concentrated in living things, but everywhere." The normally stoic teen's eyes were shining. Sean nodded excitedly, almost bouncing on his toes, and tapping his fingers together. "Yeah, we figured that out too, almost by accident. We had some time to kill and stopped off at the Montana Historical Society Museum. Get this, there were these 15,000 year old artifacts - arrow heads and spear heads - from a Clovis site - the Clovis were the first civilization to settle North America. And they burned with the shine, almost as bright as we do!" "Items imbued with the Shine?" Jase rubbed his chin, musing as his pale eyes rested on Sean. "That... could make sense actually. After all, if we can connect with objects, feel them, alter them." He looked at Sean. "You know what this means, of course? It's keyed into the Grand-" "Unifying-" "Theory." the two finished together, Sean laughing and Jase smiling and nodding. "There's more too." He explained about Lilly's seeming ability to choose which possibility became 'real' at the moment of most impact. "...which would also prove the Multiverse theory." he finished. Sean cocked his head to the side, assimilating the information, adding it to his own conjectures. "I've always considered Multiverse Theory a valid assumption. There's also this -despite what we might think of what Cook did or has done, those artifacts highly suggest we aren't the first - by a long shot - to have abilities like these." "No indeed. We figured that the elders on the Reservation might have tales. They did call this place the Land of Upside Down Thunder." Jase went on, looking excited which was itself an odd sight. "There's even more though. We found that our Shine interacts with each other. Like, we can affect and boost each other if touching. We're just scratching the surface of that right now." He smiled wide, looking intrigued at the possibilities. "Hmm, interesting," Sean mused, rubbing his pointed chin with a thumb and forefinger as he pondered the possibilities. "Interacting effects that build on--" "Whoa! Okay, super cool, love the shirt, bro," Laurie interrupted, holding up her hands in agitated exasperation "But he's a PSYCHOPATH! DID YOU KNOW THAT?!" Sean stepped back, startled at his sister's vehemence, then looked up at Jase, his brows furrowed. His friend didn't look different, but he had been acting different since just before school started. "So... not Asperger's then?" Jason sighed, glancing at Laurie without any particular rancor, though the focus of his stare folded her arms across herself in a hug and stepped back. He looked back at Sean. "No. Not Aspergers. I have a missing - or rather undeveloped - part of my brain. Primary psychopathy, not secondary, which is down to abuse, mental illness or trauma. I don't feel fear, or remorse, or sadness, or shame, or embarrassment. I don't form chemical bonds with people." He evinced no particular defensiveness or impatience, his eyes flicking from Sean, to Autumn and Sara, then back to his friend. "I found out when I was eight. It was the reason my mother abandoned me to my grandparents - or perhaps the final straw. Who knows? The Aspergers act - the bad one - was me trying to present somewhat normally. I don't feel compulsions to kill or torture people or small animals, or commit cannibalism. In fact, no convicted serial killer has ever been a primary psychopath. They were all secondaries." He paused, glancing at Laurie. "This came out because I was illustrating how the Shine seems to let me 'connect' to you all in a way that previously was an intellectual effort, rather than instinct. And... Since you're going to hear it anyway... I put Liam Day in hospital following his attack on Lona. Words have already been said on the matter, feel free to add yours." "I-- hm, uh," Sean said succinctly, folding his arms across himself in near mirror to his sister, his eyes going from Jason, to Laurie, then back. "Right. Words. I have those, and I'm processing more. But..." Sean looked around the group. "We're here for another reason and if the Shine is letting you connect... Let's save the words for later, and we'll talk it out ourselves, since you've already did so with the others." Sean arched a brow at Laurie. "In all the time he's been over to our place, have you ever felt or even considered Jase might hurt you, me, or mom or dad?" Laurie pursed her lip and gave her brother the side eye, then lowering her brows her eyes skirted to Jason. "Nooo..." it was obvious she was going to say more but was cut off. "And I never would." he said calmly, smiling a tiny bit at Laurie, then Sean "I'd not harm anyone who didn't threaten me or those I consider my friends. For what it's worth, your family are important to me too." He sighed. "I have a code - a set of rules for avoiding my worst impulses. It takes the place of a conscience. Liam crossed that line - and Lona has already asked me not to do something like that again without talking to her first. I agreed." "Not gonna lie, it's a lot to take in," Sean admitted. "And I'm not sure of everything I feel about it right now. But I'm a freak of nature, and that's not even counting the whole, y'know, psionic stuff. You've handled that fine enough, Laurie, what's one more freak of nature - if in a different way?" "I guess..." Laurie said as she crossed her arms again letting both her brother and his friend not to approach her, and from then on she kept a wary eye on Jason Bannon. "Tell you what." Jason said levelly, a gleam of humour in his eyes. "Let's get on with some powers practice, and if you notice me eyeing up your liver you can leave." "Fair enough." There was a crook of black humour to Sean's grin, while Laurie's tone was both more serious and more uncertain.
  21. The atmosphere at the auction was more intense today. Yesterday had just been for inspections. Today, people were focused on buying, on getting a great deal on a vehicle they could drive off the lot, on parts, or a fixer-upper they could turn around for a good profit or drive themselves. Sean was almost bouncing on his toes, barely constraining his eagerness to finally getting his own vehicle. He could have gotten a shitbox of a car earlier, like his sister Teagan had, but he had saved up to get something better... Hopefully he didn't get screwed on any auction he won and ended up with a lemon. When they got to the lot, the auctions were already going by fast, sometimes as quick as a vehicle every two minutes. Sean grunted, finding out he'd already missed out on one of his selections. Irritating, it at least it hadn't been one high on his list. Sean got into the bidding for the Rav4, but the bids ran over his self-imposed limit in a blink and he barely stopped himself from going over. He skipped over the Honda Civic, then again lost out on the Ford Explorer. He put in a cursory bid on a 2009 Corolla, but tapped out before hitting his limit, the bids going higher than he was willing to shell out for that particular car, especially one that was powder blue. It was nearing eleven in the morning when the bidding on the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk finally started and Sean wanted it, after losing out on his other bids. He tried to keep his expression calm and bland, as though it was just something he'd like, not something he wanted. He hissed silently when the auctioneer opened up well above what he had to spend, even though that had usually been the case with all the other bids he'd participated in, but the price dropped drastically when nobody bid. When it had gone down to a fifth of the opening bid, Sean was a hair behind someone else, and then the bidding started climbing again at a steady rate, then slowing. It seemed the cosmetic damage was enough to deter some bidders and not that many people were interested in a vehicle modded for off-roading, since there hadn't been a huge crowd for the Grand Cherokee and as the price rose, more left. Sean and one other guy appeared to be the most interested in it. The guy was about as tall as Cade and as broad across the shoulders as Sara, maybe in his early thirties, with a bushy orange beard and an easygoing smile on his face, wearing flannel, worn jeans and work boots, and a cap. "I see Montana ain't just Big Sky country," the man drawled in good humour between bids as laughing blue eyes flicked over Sean and Sara with idle appreciation, Sara's physique was obvious, but Sean tried to take the comment nonchalantly, refraining from fiddling with his neckline, not for the first time this morning. He was wearing black jeans, and an open flannel shirt as well - checked black, grey, and white - but under it, he wore a woman's scooped neck maroon shirt that revealed just a bit of cleavage. There were plenty of women in the crowd wearing lower cut shirts then him, but it was the lowest cut he'd ever worn. Autumn's brows had risen in surprise when she'd seen the top Sean had chosen to wear. He'd tried to be cool about it as he explained he'd been reading blogs and reddits about dressing figures like his. They claimed moderately low necks made boobs look smaller because it broke up the space between the neck and the rest of the chest. It was true the last time he'd worn a turtleneck, he'd looked like his torso was all boob. The shirt wasn't hiding his boobs, to be sure, but nothing really did anyway, and honestly, they did look less prominent than they had in the too tight cheerleader's outfit, at least from the front. And he didn't feel as self-conscious about wearing the shirt as he had the outfit either, at least not in Helena where people didn't know him. "You do you, Sean," Autumn had replied bemused, glad she didn't have to lug those things around when she ran. "You wear it well." "Montana is also Big Snow country," Sean replied to Orange Beard, "I want something that won't get stuck in it." The man chuckled. "Fair 'nuff, fair 'nuff. First car?" "I hope so," Sean admitted. The guy seemed friendly without being a creep, but Sean kept most of his attention in the bidding, in case this was a ruse to distract him. "Going big, I like that. I already bought three today. I'll step back and let you ladies have a go at this one." He tipped his had at Sean and Sara and like he said, he took a step back. "Uh, thanks," Sean said with an awkward smile, realizing he thought he and Sara were a couple. With Orange Beard taking himself out of the bidding, Sean had the highest bid. He was determined to get it this time, and he wasn't above at little cheating himself. With a bit of whispering to Sara, when she sensed the next person was about to bid, Sean made that person's phone go nuts. He only did it once, feeling a bit of guilt and more than a bit of thrills, and then he ended up the proud owner of his own vehicle! Sean claimed the keys, filled out all the paperwork, and winced when he transferred the funds. It was by far the biggest purchase he had ever made and he couldn't help be hesitant for a moment spending that much. With Sara's help, he started up his not-brand-new forest green Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, and tested out the various systems. Everything seemed to work, though the winch sticked at first, and Sara said some stuff would need to be looked at to make sure what shape they were in, and the brake pads would need replacing in a few months at most. It was good enough for Sean. He hadn't even capped out his car fund, though he had come close. "Thanks, guys for coming along with me. Now lets head back to Shelly. We should be able to make the gathering at Jase's, even if we show up late. We can tell them about those artifacts at the museum." Sean had read all he could about the artifacts and the Clovis culture when at the museum, then online back at the hotel room in the evening. Autumn elected to ride with Sean, while Sara took the wrecker, Sean suggesting staying in contact telepathically on the drive, as a bit of practice, to see how far she could keep the connection, and whether she could maintain the effect while doing something else. In turn he would do the same with Sara's phone. Sean encouraged Autumn to practice attuning to them like she had in the museum, to see if she could perceive some part of what they were doing, to try and jump start her own yet unknown psionic potential. The sun shone brightly as it headed towards its noon zenith while the three Shelly natives drove back home.
  22. Sean stared at the spear heads and arrow heads in intense wonder, his multi-hued eyes almost seeming to glow from the reflected shine he could sense radiating from them. His fingers twitched in unconscious want as he leaned in towards the display, swiftly reading the placards and committing the artifacts' providence to memory. He wasn't really considering... borrowing one of the artifacts, despite desperately wanting to get his hands on one of them - it would be impractical too, each artifact had its own placard, and they all came from the only Clovis site where human remains had been found, so any missing would be noticed almost immediately. But he - the Fellowship - could sense the psionic energy resonating from these, perhaps they could find others-- "Sean!" Autumn hissed again with more urgency, placing a hand on his shoulder. Sean gave a start, a reaching hand flinching back to his chest as he looked to his left and right, finding Autumn and Sara flanking him, his turquoise and jade eyes wide. "Whuh...? You don't see it? The shine?" "What are you talking about?" Autumn asked in confusion, just as Sara said, "What shine?" "It's like what you showed us at school, Sara, when we noticed the other brightness that was you, Autumn," Sean explained softly so he wouldn't be overheard, his words rushed with excitement. "But different. Everyone has some degree of Shine, I think - maybe everything does, if you can sense it closely enough. Some shine more brightly, like you guys... and those things." Sean nodded at the display of fifteen thousand year old artifacts from the people who first settled in North America. "They're shining almost as much as you both are." "Sean, you aren't making sense," Autumn said. "They aren't shining, they're just old rock, maybe reflecting the display lights a little." "No, not... " Sean sighed and tore his eyes off the artifacts and turned around to form at triangle with Sara and Autumn so he could address them both at the same time. "I was following the currents in the electrical system, following the flow of data from the security cams and then I noticed how some of the other patrons were reacting. I was wondering if it was something you were doing, Sara, and wanted to see if I could see, sense... a current flowing between you and them. And then I could... sort of. I could see the shine in everyone, and sense the pulse of shine you directed at those folks, Sara. And the shine coming off those." Sean flicked a hand over his shoulder at the Clovis arrow heads and spear heads on display behind him. "Okay, we all - those of us with psionic powers anyway, I don't know about Laurie, Lilly, or Cade, or you, yet, Autumn - can detect specific phenomena. Electromagnetism, Minds, Health, Life Force - which might be the same thing, I suppose - Spatial Distance, feel stuff at range. But I think we can all sense, on some level, something else, something more general, more pervasive, that... interconnects everything else. Maybe its the medium our powers work through? Not as distinct as the other stuff we can sense, but its still there, you almost don't notice it unless you try to. Like breathing..." Sean pursed his lips, then shook his head. "Not like breathing, you don't need it to live. More like... the warmth of the sun. Or gravity. I went with the sun thing because of, well, y'know, 'shine'. But the allusion works well enough. Sometimes, you don't even notice the feel of sunlight, and other times, you can practically feel it burning your skin, but the its always there, even when hidden by clouds - except of course during night time. It's not a perfect analogy. But what I'm saying is, I think we can all sense the shine, this psionic energy..." This has to have an impact on determining a true, valid Grand Unifying Theory... "How?" the girls asked in unison. Sean tried to explain as best he could, how it felt sensing/seeing electrical currents and then trying to do the same for a different type of current when he'd been trying to see what Sara was doing and then the pop of the shine in everyone lighting up. It was easier for Sara to follow what Sean was saying, switching out electrical current for the sensation of minds all around her and then going from there. For Autumn, it was much harder, without a starting reference point. Continuing with the shine-sunshine/sunlight analogy, Sean used a window in the climate controlled museum, having Autumn stand nearby with her eyes closed. And then he subtly bent the sunlight - or at least the none-visible portion of it - towards Autumn, waiting, urging, her to feel the difference, to give her some sort of reference for what he was trying to convey. Sara got it first, Autumn several minutes later, but she did manage it, and both gasped in near mirror to how Sean had. They could see how brightly the other two shone, the much dimmer brightness of other people... and the shine from the artifacts in the display case, a shine that shone near as bright as the Shellites did. "You know what this means, right?" Sean said gently. "Regardless of what Cook might claim or believe - to be fair, we don't actually know what he might believe, we so need to talk with him - we are almost certainly not the first with powers like these. Not when things that old resonate so strongly to us. And it gives us something else to investigate in regards to The Dark and the Land of Upside-Down Thunder." He had the hat and the whip from an old Halloween Costume, but it had been quite a while since Sean had entertained the idea of being an adventure archaeologist like Indiana Jones. He snorted wryly. Or in his case, like Lara Croft.
  23. "Heh heh, oh, right," Sean tried to laugh it off, the faintest blush crossing his fair cheeks as he gave Sara an awkward shrug. "I kinda did too." He hadn't really considered they might be uncomfortable sharing a room, let alone a bed, with him. He and his sisters had shared rooms when they had gone out of town for family trips - which hadn't been often, beyond when they had been looking for second opinions on Sean's condition - and this hadn't actually felt that different to him, Sara filling in as an even more buff Teagan and Autumn as a less teasing version of Laurie with even redder hair. He had been thinking Sara should get the solo bed on the basis of being by far the largest of them, but the issue was rather obvious now that it had been conspicuously left unsaid. "We'll make it work, I'm sure. If we can deal with stuff back in Shelly, we can deal with a litt- with this." Sean was aware of it, but with Sara's admission, she and Autumn noticed the subtle change in Sean, a slight shift in his gait, somewhat more feminine gestures and inflection in his voice. Maybe it was because they knew him, had grown up with him in Shelly, but Sara and Autumn could see the slight difference in how Sean was in a familiar environment like Shelly, compared to how he presented himself out of town. In Shelly, he was the boy built more like the girls in his video games and RPGs. Out of Shelly, he was perceived as a somewhat tomboyish, remarkably attractive girl, and didn't even seemed annoyed or resigned about it. Sara could sense the lingering traces of such emotions, but they were overlaid with a bolstering self confidence and acceptance. Sean couldn't determine how others decided to see, but he could work on how he much he was affected by their perceptions and how comfortable he was in his own skin. Being confrontational about his issues, especially with someone he'd never see again, hadn't usually gone well for him. Not worrying (as much) about what others thought helped a great deal with that, and almost surprisingly, it seemed in return, he didn't get as much targeted attention. They didn't need to know about him. If a passing contact with someone developed into something a little more substantial, then he could decide if he would tell them or not. Sean left his bag with his change of clothes between the end tables separating the beds, making no claims, and then turned to his companions. "I know we've had a long car ride, then a few hours on our feet, but either of you up for anything this afternoon instead of staying cooped up in the hotel?" Sean had mused on the Montana Historical Society Museum, but now, that seemed like homework for the shit going on in Shelly. They'd be back down in the muck soon enough, they could take a day off. The Dark bided every twenty-seven years, after all, what was one more day? "Maybe a movie or something? There's an Cinemark, more selection then we get in Shelly."
  24. Sean's enthusiasm to check out the vehicles started out strong, but was starting to fade some by the time they got to the Grand Cherokee. He had read up and studied the vehicles he was interested in, so he had a good idea at what he was looking at, but he had no experience at judging what was purely cosmetic damage compared to something more serious, or how just how extensive the wear and tear on the components was, or how much more they should be able to endure. Sara was a godsend, pointing out the pros and cons to him, and taking the time to explain what was what. Unfortunately, there invariably seemed to be far more cons than pros. The Subaru didn't make the cut, and the Explorer would only be a good deal with if the bidding didn't go to high. There was a 35 year old Ford F-150 that looked promising at first, but Sara nixed that one, noticing a distinct flaw in the engine. The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk would require more work on it than Sean had initially thought, though Sara still said it was the best of the SUVs they had looked at. He'd looked at the specs online, knowing it had a lifted suspension and bigger tires than standard, but seeing it with his eyes, the Grand Cherokee with the Trailhawk package and extra off-roading mods looked awfully big. Sara had had to support him with a strong hand when he balanced on one of the red tow-hooks to get a better view of the engine to see what Sara was pointing at. At least the thing had running boards to help him climb inside and he'd never have to worry about getting stuck in the snow or seeing over traffic. "This was the one I really had my eyes on originally," Sean admitted with a sharp nod, arms folded as he eyed the forest green beast. "Though it needs more work than I expected. I was worried about getting caught up in the bidding, that's why I was looking at more options. There's the Explorer, I guess. I'd at least one more option among the SUVs or crossovers though." He looked up at the tall mechanic girl, as he fully unzipped his hoodie and rolled up the over long sleeves. It wasn't quite warm enough for him for just a t-shirt, though Sara seemed completely at ease with her bulging biceps stretching her short sleeves. "You'll help me out, tuning up whatever I end up with, Sara?" "Yeah, sure," Sara replied succinctly. Maybe a telepath needs few words, Sean thought bemusedly. "Cool. Let's see if we can find me one or two more options, so I have a couple of choices to bid on tomorrow." It wasn't just his initial prospects largely being let downs that was getting to Sean, it was the all the people. He wasn't used to crowds this thick, pressing so close. He was grateful for Sara's presence, not just as a mechanic. Her size and physique gave them a wider berth that Sean was sure he would have gotten alone or with Autumn. Autumn found a Rav4 Sara deemed passable, if bare bones, and it had over 200k miles on it. When they turned to the cars, Sara was non-committal about the Corolla and a Camry that could pass for the near twin of Sean's mom's car. The Honda Civic hatchback needed a lot of work, including replacing both bumpers, but Sara admitted that getting parts for a Civic was easy and relatively inexpensive. Still, Sean preferred buying something he could drive off the lot, and the what Sean thought was a College Douche-Bro that turned from inspecting the car to inspecting him a little too luridly turned Sean off from really considering the Civic. At least his fingers didn't even twitch towards zipping up his hoodie. As they finished the inspections, Autumn took a look at a few and got Sara's advice at what to look for, Sean had wanted to a pass at the Tesla Roadster, but there were way too many around it and he decided to pass with a bit of regret. Tesla might have some issues with supply and autonomous driving functions, but by all accounts, they were well crafted vehicles. The trio left the lot and returned to the Wrecker, sometime past noon. Getting a bit hungry, they stopped off at Wendy's to grab something to eat before checking in at the Days Inn where Sean had booked a room. It was for two beds. Sean had at first only been considering Sara accompanying him, but when Autumn had come aboard, he had called back and been assured a cot could be moved into the room. "Hello, I've reserved a room. Under Cassidy," Sean said, when it was their turn up at the service desk, pulling out his phone with the reservation and his credit card. The desk clerk looked over the information and then typed on his computer. He gave the three of them a professional look, his smile friendly, his eyes appreciative though not leering at what he thought were three attractive young women. Sara caught him wondering if they were just friends or if two of them were a couple, idle thoughts, and surprisingly, not salacious in the less. "Here we are, Ms. Cassidy." Sean gave Sara and Autumn a minute shake of his head, considering it not worth the hassle of correcting the clerk, especially not with more than a few others to overhear. "A ground floor room, two beds." He entered Sean's credit card info, then handed him three keycards. Sean collected them and his phone and credit card, then arched a brow in inquiry. "I called yesterday, asking if it would be possible to get a cot rolled into the room?" "Let me see." The clerk type on his computer once more, then gave Sean an apologetic smile. "I'm afraid not, all our extra cots are in use. The evening clerk should have reserved one for you. And unfortunately, we don't have anymore rooms available. If it was an issue about double booking a room, I'd be authorized to book you a room at our expense at another hotel, but..." The clerk - Denis - gave them a sincere shrug at the trouble. "The beds are queen size, and I can make sure there are extra blankets and pillows. And for the trouble, in addition to breakfast, I can comp you for dinner. Would that be acceptable?" Sean spoke with the others softly - there were enough people at the auction, Sean wasn't sure if they could find another room or rooms for a reasonable price - then he turned back to the clerk. "Thank you, that's fine. And thank you for doing what you could." Denis printed off three vouchers for the onsite restaurant and handed them to Sean. "I always try to do what I can for our guests. I hope you have a good stay with us. Your room will be down that way, and the restaurant it just over there." Sean gave the girls a slightly chagrined look as they headed towards their room. "Well, free dinner at least, right?"
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