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Everything posted by Sean Cassidy

  1. Sara drove them past the Wal-Mart Supercenter and onto Billings. They drove past a strip mall that already had more cars filling up the parking lot than would be typical this early in the morning, if ever. They could see people getting out of the cars hitting 18th street and heading north. Sean suggested they do the same, guessing any closer parking spots were already taken and the girls agreed. Sara found a good spot near one of the exits of the strip mall parking lot, in case they needed the wrecker to haul away Sean's find. The three of them joined the flow of people heading up 18th Street and very quickly, they decided they were lucky they had found a parking spot so close, as the crowd of people and parked cars grew thicker and thicker. There were bi-monthly auctions in Helena, but the big one for Montana was only annual and people came from all across the state, and some of the neighboring ones. There had to be nearly as many people there for the vehicle auction as there were people living in Shelly. Even such a crowd, the three Shelly natives stood out, and it wasn't only because Sara was the most muscular girl - and just about the most muscular person, period - there, Sean one of the most well-endowed, or that two of them were vibrant red-heads in a sea of mostly brown and black hair, speckled with shades of blond. They got questioning looks for being three (apparent) girls with no men accompanying them, as well as being relatively young. If they weren't the youngest, they saw, they were the youngest unaccompanied by someone else clearly older. Still, there was an almost festive air to the auction, like a livestock fair, though business was still paramount. They crossed Livingston Ave. and followed the flow of people into the massive, fenced on lot filled with close packed vehicles, arranged in some basic sense order. Most vehicles showed some damaged - to the front bumper or rear end for the most part - all showed at least some to a lot of wear, and they weren't nearly all just civilian vehicles. Even from where they were near the entrance, they could see Construction Vehicles rearing over the lot, a section of RVs, some Crown Victoria and Dodge Charger Police cars, what might be a SWAT van, and a number of motorcycles. Sean's gaze lingered there for a moment before he gave his head a shake. The fun stuff could wait until he made it big. For now, something practical for all seasons in Montana. "Okay, I got most of the stuff for the auction done online, but I still have to sign in to be allowed to do inspections," Sean said nodding towards a small outbuilding set off a ways to the side of the entrance. There was a relatively long line heading, but it seemed to be moving fast. "Hopefully this won't take too long." Surprisingly, it didn't, though Sean, Sara, and Autumn all three had to endure being chatted up some by men in line with them, and in one case when two fairly obvious older lesbians’ made Sara blush, though whether it was the looks they were giving her or what she picked up that they were thinking Sean and Autumn didn’t know and Sara didn’t say. Then there was Chris, a guy who chatted amiably with Autumn, and at least looked like he was still in high school. Sean seemed to take it all in stride without embarrassment, brushing off the attention by being coolly non-committal. And while Sean didn’t notice, Autumn saw Sara position herself and flex her muscles a couple of times when certain males started to get too close to all of them , and scared them away. When they got inside the registration hut, the man manning this the desk - Ralph according to his name-tag - gave them a doubtful look that added at least two more chins to his face. He had a handle-bar moustache and a fringe of hair about his head, both brown fading to grey, and had to be in fifties at least. "You girlies have your fathers here?" Ralph asked them brusquely. "Everything auctioned is sold as is, where is. A young face and a pretty smile ain't gonna change that." That made Sean, and not only Sean, bristle. "Why would they be here? They aren't buying something. I am," Sean said sharply, pulling out several forms and his tablet from his satchel, and placing them the counter, the tablet already queued up to a site. "Any maybe my friends, if they see something that catches their eye. And I brought her," Sean nodded over at Sara, "because she knows cars better than me or my dad." Ralph harrumphed, giving Sara a quick glower under lowered, bristly brows, and none of them needed telepathy to know what he was thinking. But he backed off when Sara leaned over planting her fists on the desk top her arms straining the short sleeves of her t-shirt, “Ralph,” she said with a level tone, “why don’t you just do your job and let us worry about how we make our purchases with our money after all the sign does say all purchases final so why do you give a fuck.” Ralph flinched when the muscle-girl stood up to her full near six-foot height and flexed. “Okay, okay. Like you say it’s your money and all purchases are as is and final. Let me have those forms. Please?” He took special care going through Sean's forms and the entry on his tablet - enough that the people behind the Shellites were beginning to grumble - but couldn't find anything out of order. He stamped one of Sean's forms with more force than necessary and waved them away with a dissatisfied, "Next!" "Dick," Sean muttered as they went down the short flight of stairs, pulling up a map of the auction grounds on his tablet, that showed were each lot number was located for inspection. "At least that's done. I have my eyes on a couple of SUVs that looked to be still in running condition, including a Grand Cherokee that I think only has some minor body damage and a couple of sedans, some of which are hybrids. Oh, and Tesla Roadster that looks near mint - it was impounded from a bro who was street racing. While drunk. Who somehow didn't kill himself." Sean snorted in regretful bemusement. "No way is the bidding on that going to stay under my budget, not that it would survive a winter in Montana, anyway. Sara, if you could, point out anything you think might be good, y'know, superficial damage that won't be hard or costly to fix up. I only looked at things that looked like they could be driven off the lot." Sara shrugged, her eyes panning over the see of vehicles in all stages of mechanical life. "Sure. Why don’t we start with the ones you have picked and then after looking at those we can move on to browsing." Sara glanced over at Autumn, “If there’s anything you want me to look at just point it out okay?” Sean clapped his hands eagerly. Soon, so soon, he would no longer require his bike or have to rely on his friends to get about town, or out of it. "Okay, let's get going. I don't want to be inspecting cars all day. Maybe we can catch a movie afterwards or something." Sean pursed his lips and cocked his head slightly to the side, considering. "Or maybe check out the Montana Historical Society Museum. See if there's anything interesting there that might mean something to us after what Jase found out."
  2. "I don't think you're going to get out of the weird and terrifying as easy as that," Sean said wryly as he plugged in his phone and narrowed down on a playlist. He gave Autumn a crooked, understanding grin. "I'm still figuring out how I feel about all this too, Autumn. And it doesn't take 'powers' to be involved." Sean hooked his fingers in actual air quotes to emphasize the word. "Don't sure if others have mention the Shine around you, but not only those of us with obvious - if not glamorous - psionic abilities have it." He tilted his head towards Sara on the other side of him. "Sara showed us. Laurie has it, and Lilly. And Cade. And you do, too. Welcome to the club." "The Shine..." Autumn muttered, plopping her head back against the headrest. "What's the pay like?" "Couple hundred units of crazy a week, and several dozen questions without answers so far," Sean replied. "But there's several of us who aren't bad at cooking or baking, though, so the catering is decent." Sean held up his phone, waggling it a little, selections sliding on the screen without him touching it. "You guys mind if I try out some of the music I'm considering for the the video game I'm working on? It's mostly for ambience, so there might be some adaptation I still have to do." Sara shrugged. Autumn nodded her ascent. "Go ahead. What kind of game?" "Open world, post-apoc setting. With psionic powers as an option." Sean's lips twisted in a smirk as he set his phone in a dip on the dash and cued up the first song with a thought. "Since Bethesda shit the bed with Fallout 76, I'm looking to fill that void." They drove down I-15 for a while, listening to Sean's playlist for several songs. Autumn looked over at Sean, sitting slightly squished between the two girls. "You do all this yourself, Sean?" "I did some," Sean admitted with self-deprecating pride. He took a long sip of the hot chocolate before continuing. "Lots you can do with computers and synthesizers and enough time. Others are open source or royalty free, that I left as is or played with a bit, some I commissioned. Looking for stuff that's a bit rock, or a bit metal, or kinda country, depending on the area. Good music really adds to a game. I add music and sounds at gaming night too. Gaming night really does help me with video game design," Sean explained. "At least in plot management and in considering what the players might do. The music is a bonus." "Cool," Autumn commented with honest non-commitment. She could tell it was a very big and dear interest to Sean, but it wasn't much to her. They made it to Great Falls in good time with the traffic being light so early in the morning. They stopped at the Roadhouse Diner for breakfast, being served by an older, blonder, more jaded version of Max. The disparate young women and young man that looked like a young woman drew some attention from some of the other patrons, mostly a group of grey-haired retirees and former fields hands and men who used to work the oil derricks, but none of them said anything to them that they could hear. Sean didn't rush his plate of crepes and fruit, but it was clear he didn't want to linger and was eager to be on the road once more, wanting to have as much time as possible to look over the vehicles he was interested in before the bidding tomorrow. Sean covered the bill, the ladies covered the tip, and soon they were back on the road, travel cups of coffee in hand for those who still need to be more caffeinated. Sean changed the playlist to a varied and eclectic collection of music instead of his video game music - the girls had been kind enough to indulge as much as they had - as they settled back in the wrecker. "Well, at least my entirely selfish and personal reason to get out of town for a day and a night gives us an reason to not think about the strange for a while."
  3. The morning still held some of night's chill, but the sky was blue and clear, and with the sun just a little above the horizon, it already promised to be a warm day. A good day for a drive down to Helena, a good two-and-a-half hours away from Shelly, the site of the big, annual government auction in Montana. It was a chance to get a decent to great vehicle at a massive discount, if you knew what wanted and what you were looking at, since all sales were final, sold as is, and where is. Sean had been looking at the listings of vehicles being auctioned the last few weeks, and did what research he could online, so had a good idea of what his choices should look like. But he wanted someone more familiar with vehicles than he was with him when he went down to Helena to inspect the vehicles today before he bid on any of them tomorrow, someone who had a better idea of how much wear and tear there was, if anything needed to be replaced, how much any needed repairs would cost, and the like. And if that someone had their own vehicle to get down to Helena, that would be a big bonus. Sean's dad was busy this weekend on a contract, and while he could have asked his mom, she wasn't who Sean had in mind when he went out to buy his first car, even if his parents were subsidizing the purchase, putting in a dollar for every two he put in. They'd paid half of Teagan's car, but with his online computer work and the modest sales of his first video game, his car fund was considerable bigger than Teagan's had been, and his parents couldn't afford to match it entirely. At Bunnee's last night, Sean had shared the table with an ideal candidate for his car-buying excursion. So when the talk around the table had died down, the guy dressed up as Shelly High's bustiest cheerleader had caught up with the undeniably strongest girl in School, and likely in Shelly, at the counter, and asked her if she'd go with him to Helena for the weekend to be his car guru to look over any set of wheels he was interested in bidding on. He offered to pay for the gas, motel, and meals in exchange for the favor - he had factored in for incidentals when the idea of going to the government auction to get a vehicle came to him after reading about it last year. Sara had regarded the short(ish), remarkably pretty and curvaceous redhead for a long moment, asked him a few questions about the auction and what he had in mind, then nodded in agreement. Sean hadn't thought about it at first, but taking a wrecker to Helena was an excellent idea, in case he could get a ludicrous deal on a fixer-upper, though he was intended on getting something he could drive off the lot. There was another redhead by the counter, there to pick up a called-in order, who couldn't help but overhear Sean and Sara's conversation. After the absolutely insane and impossible day she had, Autumn could so go for a weekend away from Shelly, at least a day and night, anyway. Before she could even consider if she was being too forward or not, Autumn asked Sean and Sara if she could go with them, belatedly adding that she'd like to take a look at the auction too, to see if it might be something she'd look at again when she was serious about getting a car of her own. Sean had been surprised by Autumn's request, but he had no objections, mentally tacking on a bit more to the incidentals bill - he was offering to cover the costs for Sara, he wouldn't do less for Autumn. He would have to make sure he didn't get too involved in bidding and ended up going over-budget. Sean had looked up at Sara to see if she had any issues with another coming on the road trip, and when Sara had shrugged a massive shoulder, Sean had welcomed Autumn along, totally understanding wanting to get out of Shelly after being thrown into the Weird so suddenly today. Sara pulled up to Keane residence in the wrecker, giving the horn a quick beep just as Sean texted Autumn that they were there. Knowing they would be early, Autumn was ready and was out the door in a moment. Being the smallest of the three, Sean slid over on the bench seat so he would be sitting in the middle on the drive. After Autumn climbed in the passenger side and got settled, Sean offered her a cardboard tray holding three cups - the fourth cup was already in Sara's hand. "I didn't know if you drank coffee or not, so there's a coffee or a hot chocolate, if you want it," Sean offered with a grin. "And if you don't want, neither will go to waste." Sara pulled out back onto the road and headed for the I-15 S to take the three Shelly natives down to Helena. "I know we're starting out early, but it's a good drive to Helena," Sean said, cheery and eager to be on the road on the way to get his own car. He glanced at the radio, but Sara was driving, it was her choice of music or if any music played at all. "You guys wanna stop off for a bit in Great Falls to grab a quick breakfast, or just wait until we get to Helena?"
  4. When Cass made her teasing flirt about a tall drink of water and Jase immediately followed up with a short joke - really? A shot? - Sean was going to counter with a self-deprecating comment about maybe not being being a tall drink of water, but he did have a big pair of jugs. But he was derailed in annoyance when Jase added trying to get him into a pair of stripper heels, and Laurie seemed entirely too interested in the idea. He huffed and folded his arms. He'd gone along with Laurie's bet for a few reasons, but there had been limits. No make-up, no heels. Laurie had suggested pig-tails, but Sean didn't even have to nix that, his hair wasn't nearly long enough. Sean did learn something wearing the cheerleader's outfit, or at least had it reinforced plainly. With the Shelly High Administration wanting to do all they could reasonably do to not to sexualize the cheerleaders, the top was was actually quite conservative, the neck if anything higher than most of his own regular shirts. But it was tight on him, and thanks to simple geometry, it couldn't avoid revealing a slice of slim midriff. The skirt was taking him more time to get used to. If it was a bit shorter than the cargo shorts he typically wore, it wasn't anywhere near as revealing as the running shorts many of the female runners wore. Yet, he couldn't help feel conspicuously exposed wearing the skirt, simply because it fit loosely over his thighs instead of having individual legs. He couldn't help but to keep checking the skirt wasn't riding up, even though if it had, his boxer-briefs offered him more modesty than most female running shorts. He had been expecting all the surprise at people seeing him a cheerleader's outfit. He hadn't been expecting quite so many people taking more than a moment to realize it was him. It happened even among some of the members of the fellowship. It really showed where people's eyes - men and women - went first, and tended to lingered. Sean couldn't even really feel affronted - well, in most cases. There had been that one guy at the game practically drooling, moaning 'boobs' like a zombie until the girl at his side had elbowed him in the ribs hard enough to make him cough as she glared at him. For the most part, what Sean felt was more a bemused exasperation to bemused irritation. Where Sean hadn't witnessed Marissa making much of an effort becoming friends, or at least being more friendly, with the Fellowship - beyond Jase anyway - he couldn't help but notice Devin was, however hard it was for him to overcome either nature or habit of the last few years, ever since the Jauntsens came to Shelly. Sean couldn't entirely fault him standing by his sister, just as they had stuck with only each other side-by-side on their perceived perch at the top of Shelly High's social hierarchy. Whatever two cents he might have offered was thrown away when Cassandra mentioned the Shadowman collecting the Bear and Spike. His fair face went even paler and he shivered, hiding his instinctive response behind a long sip of his extra thick summer berry shake. Then Lona revealed being assaulted by Liam Day. Sean suppressed a shudder, a delicate hand balling into a tight fist under the table, as he gave Lona a sympathetic nod, his turquoise and jade eyes wide and bright. Being assaulted was always something in the back of his mind, compounded by what would happen if an assaulted discovered what in his mind he perceived as Sean being a trap. "Thirded," Sean added about Liam not being believed if he tried to spout stories about Lona hexing him or using 'mind powers' on him. "And we might have another option, if he doesn't leave and/or he tries skulking about for revenge." Sean plunked his milkshake down and licked dry lips as he looked around the table. "There's someone else who has a vested interest in our health and the publicity of what we can do. I'm not sure what he could do about the Bear or Spike." Sean nodded at Cassandra. "But Dr. Cook has extensive surveillance around Shelly, and seeming a lot of behind-the-scenes influence. It could be a tentative test of what he can offer, if not precisely of his trustworthiness, so see what he can do about the situation. And it leaves our hands clean. If he can't do anything, or won't, there's other options available to us." Seans eyes went back to Cassandra, intent and vivid, a hidden hand still tightly closed beneath the table "A question about Shadowman. You couldn't see his face, I know, but could you get a sense of what he is? Like, is he a, I dunno, let's call it a manifestation of The Dark, or someone so consumed with it, The Dark has near or complete control? Or is he The Dark's willing or not so willing minion?" Or does he/it belong to yet another faction we haven't encountered yet? But that was needless complication that didn't need to be brought yet, when they knew so little.
  5. Project #4 - The Game: Sean Sean sat in the bleachers with his parents and Jason, the roar of the crowd washing over them as they joined in the cheering. Sean didn't have much interesting in football, or sports in general, but he'd come out to support Lilly. But there was something more to it this evening, with his sister on the field. And after the absolutely crazy and disturbing afternoon, something as normal as cheering on a friend and family at a high school football game seemed all the sweeter. Over the field, Sean piloted his drone, filming Laurie's first football game for posterity, a private grin gracing his lips. The remote in his hands was just for appearances sake. He was controlling the quadcopter with his mind, which gave him far more precise mastery of the drone than his fingers ever could. Even better, he found out he could not only perceive the electromagnetic spectrum, he could convert it to some degree. Twisting just a few threads of photons, he was able to power his drone, giving it far greater flight time. Sean jumped to his feet as quickly as the others when Laurie made the field goal, pumping his fist exuberantly and cheering, though his slender shoulders tensed. Laurie was jumping excitedly on the field, getting celebratory slaps on the back and hugs from her teammates. Laurie turned to the crowd, and finding Sean and her parents, with a wide grin on her face, she waved and pointed at her brother. With a put upon sigh, Sean smiled ruefully back at his sister and waved. Shortly after Jase got up to get more snacks, Sean stood up too. He stretched surreptitiously, then picked up a pack he had stuffed under his seat, and assured his parents he'd be back soon before he headed off to the bathroom. ~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~ Sean stepped out of the stall and walked up to sink. Hands on the porcelain, he stared at himself in the mirror, turning this way, then that. He thought of himself as a boy, a young man, but the person in the mirror looked like anything but. And yet, he didn't totally hate what he saw, even if he didn't usually appreciate the attention he drew. He knew what he looked like, but he had tried imagining what he'd look like as a 'normal' young man - whatever that meant - more than a few times. The image that came to mind however, was always unfinished, amorphous, or ended up looking like someone else, someone he'd seen elsewhere. Taller, bulkier, but hardly more defined than that, the face, if it didn't belong to his father or an actor he seen somewhere, would be square and hard, speckled with a coarse five o'clock shadow. It didn't look like him at all, didn't feel like him. He was still figuring out what being a boy meant, meant for him, challenging his preconceptions from growing up as a reasonably regular - if still delicate looking - boy during his formative years. And with reality warping, monsters looming, conspiracies conspiring, and psionic powers unveiling, Sean was not only being forced to adapt to how to saw the world, but how he saw himself. He had thought of himself as a boy cursed with a woman's body and looks, could he reinterpret that to being a boy who happened to look like a woman, and that there wasn't anything wrong with that, that it was just different? He was figuring out who he was, but his friends seemed to accept him already, quirks and all. Why should he worry about how others saw him? The more he worried about it, the worse it seemed to get. But other people, girls, like Marissa, got as much attention as he did or more, but it hardly seemed to phase them. Let them think what they want, say what they wanted, as along as they didn't act on it without invitation. It did seem a lot of it was all about attitude - he conveyed a sense of being a victim, and so he was. Devin might be right about that, and that was an insufferable thought. So when Laurie had proposed her bet, Sean had only hesitated for a moment before agreeing. He'd known it was a sucker's bet, but Laurie had been very fidgety during supper, and he could see her nerves getting to her, first game jitters. He was sure Laurelei had the skill, he just didn't want her psyching herself up for failure, so he agreed to her teasing request to give her something extra to strive for. And if he did lose the bet, it gave him the excuse to claim - to himself at least - that it wasn't something he had wanted to do, but was a push he needed to at least start getting over his hangups. Hiding didn't help - and didn't work, denying didn't work, it was time to embrace it, just a little. He knew that was what Laurie was trying to do, in her teasing way, and others had suggested it to him, in one way or another. This was it. He cooled his face with some water, dried it off, took several deep breaths and rolled his shoulders. Then he grabbed his white and yellow pom-poms, plastered a grin on his face, and strutted out of the bathroom, the pleated skirt of the Coyote cheerleader's outfit swishing about his hips. He was doing this for Laurie and for himself, to see what it was like. Let others think and say what they wanted, he would endure. There were much harder things he was being forced to contend with compared to being intersexed.
  6. From where Sean was standing at the end of the trailer, so he could look beyond its bulk to search for any fleeting transmissions in the sky, he looked askance at Etienne. His motives might be suspect, but he hardly seemed dangerous to him, not even a bit nefarious... though Sean guessed that could be an act. He was hired to honey-pot Clara, apparently. "What kind of mercenary are you?" Sean asked dubiously. "Never held a gun... " Etienne growled in exasperation. "Because someone is hiring you for a job, even if that job turns into somethi--" "Oh no! Don't go there, Don Juan," Sean interrupted with a pointing finger, giving up the search for now and walking back towards the trailer down. "I don't want to hear it, and I really, really, doubt Clara will." "D'accord," Etienne agreed with a hard nod. "But, as I was saying, because someone is hiring you for a specific reason, that doesn't make you, make me, a mercenary. Cook, he's been so wrapped up in his own thing, sometimes, I am thinking he's forgetting the rest of the world." At the mention of the Doctor, Sean's full lips tightened into a thin line. Sean really needed to a talk, a candid, hopefully open, talk with his doctor of the last near seven years. "Yeah, well... it's not all on him, is it? You agreed to it. You shouldn't worry about learning to fire a gun because Clara might be fighting monsters. You should learn if you're going to fight monsters. Because right now, none of us really want you at our side, let alone guarding our backs." Giving him a pointed look, Sean went back into the trailer, slipping the pack off his shoulders, opening it up and pulling out the contents. The water and emergency foodstuffs went into the small fridge, something in case anyone ended up back here unexpectedly. The first aid supplies went on the counter of the tiny kitchen area. The backpack empty, Sean unplugged the weird radio and stuffed it into the pack. He wanted to study the blasted thing, and he wasn't going to always hike back up to the trailer to do it. Unless of course, the atomic generator and/or the Faraday cage integrated into the trailer had something to do with its functions. Slipping the backpack back over his shoulders, Sean hitched it up so it sat more comfortably, then headed out of the trailer and locked it back up, covering the key from Etienne with his body. Slipping his keys back into his satchel, he turned around and went down the three steps from the trailer more cautiously than he had first gone up them. "I think it's about time we, all of us, leave this place. Some of us need to recover, some of us need food, and all of us just need to go."
  7. Game Time Sean is going to the game with his parents to support his sister, and during the game, will have lost a wager or bet to Laurie, which will result in some embarrassment for him, but Sean agreed in an effort to encourage his sister. He'll likely be going to Bunnee's at least for a post game meal. Interims Main thing is Sean will be going to Helena, MT, along with Sara and Autumn, for a government auction, in which he'll be purchasing a car, so for most Interims happening on Friday and the Weekend, he won't be available, unless it's after the Game or at least afternoon on Sunday. He might be able to remote in using his powers and technology, to maybe make a cameo appearance for certain things.
  8. Right Side Up - The Woods, The Trailer The world(s) flipped, reality reasserted it, and Sean almost stumbled as everything he could see snapped back into sharp focus and brilliant colour. Relatively brilliant colour, the trailer was still a melange of beige, brown, and orange from the sixties or seventies. Everything was back to the way it should be... and he hadn't done a damned thing. He glanced out the open trailer door, looking around Etienne crossing the clearing, and cocked his head. He heard some murmurs he couldn't make out, but no exclamations or distress, and the fires, Jase's fire, seemed to be out. The... the thing seemed to have been taken care of. His eyes went back to the radio, feeling more than hearing the faint hum of power flowing through it, it and the Faraday cage. He frowned, then nudged the dials back to the settings they had originally found it on the night of the party. Like how he reached out to read a signal or transmission, he reached out to the radio, sunk into it, and flowed through it electronic circulatory system, trying to delve its secrets. Odd construction aside, it was... just a radio, as far as Sean could tell, a fancy, homemade ham radio with incredible range, able to transmit on a wider range of frequencies than should be possible, but a radio all the same. He made a small grunt and glared at it. Then his eyes widened. Transmit... and receive. He stood up and rushed to the trailer door, brushing squeezing pass Etienne, and peered up at the sky, this way and that, though he suspected it was too late to pick up any rogue or suspect transmission. Maybe the 'radio' had picked up a signal that caused the weird instead of transmitting it. Sort of like how old school hackers used to phreak telephone networks with a series of tones and whistles. "What are you doing?" Etienne asked the boy, still somewhat disbelieving that someone who looked like Sean, with curves like that, considered himself a boy. "Just had an idea, that isn't panning out," Sean admitted with a negligent wave of his hand, trying not to sound disappointed as he scanned another part of the sky. Then he glanced over his shoulder and up at Etienne, brows lowering in a scowl. "What are you doing? Did you actually come here to help us, or did you just come when Clara called to act as a chauffeur and see what we could do? Because, helping-wise, you haven't done any more than I did, from what I can see. At least didn't lose a shotgun, I only rode it."
  9. RIGHTSIDEFLIPSIDE THE TRAILER An arm over his chest to constrain it, Sean shuffled through the trees the edged the clearing then raced for the trailer. He had never held a gun in his life and he couldn't throw fire. Although, if I can manipulate electromagnetic wavelengths... He wasn't about to stick around to challenge a monster without a face without anything to hurt it with besides a pair of small fists. They might have overlooked something in the trailer, there might be something to use as a weapon, or something to provide an answer to this bewildering double image - well, not quite doubled, there were differences. If nothing else, I can use the power cord from the radio, and charged up by the atomic generator, give that... that fucking thing a zap like it couldn't believe... if someone lures it here-- "Hnng! Fuck!" Sean grunted, slipping on the steps up into the trailer in his haste and barking his shin, barely getting hand out in front of him before he hit the trailer face first. Rubbing his shin with a hand, Sean hobbled into the trailer, rubbing his eyes with his other hand as the reality of one trailer overlapped with the other. There was the one he knew, old and worn, and then the other, seeming even older and more decrepit, grimy and peeling with a burnt, sickly sweet scent. He could feel the throb of energy pulsing from the generator, and something like its echo, the same and not the same. It didn't feel precisely like its opposite, he didn't think they would negate each other, but they definitely weren't in sync. Looking for something, anything, that could help, Sean's eyes fell on the radio, the radios, offset just enough to make their edges blurry. He remembered resetting the settings back on the radio. They were different now, different from each other, each knob showing two arrows pointing at different numbers on the dials. Sean glanced back out the trailer, looking over Etienne's head, at the trees, branches rustling in different directions, and the clashing landscape, then back at the radio. Reality was out of sync, and something had come from one side to the other where it didn't belong. The asynchronous ripple had to be stilled, or Sean suspected things with more tentacles and even less face-like parts would show up. He reached for the radio, radios, focusing on one specific arrangement of settings and hoping he could get his hands on the right ones.
  10. The Right-Side-Up: Wall Of Trees & Impaled Teddy Bear Tree "I'll see. At least I should be able to trace the power flow and see if the Gennie is powering something else, and maybe get a better sense of how it even bloody works," Sean said, watching the ground ahead and being careful not to trip, his hands holding the straps of the backpack Etienne had provided them all, as he kept up with the taller girl. "Setting aside how impossible the damned generator should be, it still seems overkill for powering a Faraday cage and weird radio. Maybe it used to power some other peripherals that are gone now, moved or stolen." Puzzling over the atomic generator and weird radio, he gave Lona, Clara, and Cass an odd look when they mentioned voices and Devin, then looked around the woods, which were far from ominous under the bright light of just past noon. His heart rate increased. He didn't hear anything like they apparently did, or see anything untoward... ... except for the Teddy Bear spiked to the tree, a teddy bear that had been a prize at the Four County Fair this summer. It seemed to offend Lilly personally, who staggered towards it and pulled the spike free. "Maybe someone is using the bear to mark territory or scare off interlopers... like us, I suppose," Sean mused uncertainly. "I'll check the cameras, but Jase should have done that already." Hmm, Sean looked towards where they had concealed the cameras. They had set them to record, but disabled the wifi connectivity, so they had to check the memory manually. Still, with his new senses and a better concept on how they worked, he thought he might be able to read their memory remotely... He concentrated as he approached the wall of trees screening the trailer, peering towards where the cameras should have been, looking for roosting fireflies of electronic information, or even indications of the Jauntsens' smartphones. Maybe he could tap into the cameras or speakers of their phones, to locate and communicate with them. "No voices for me. My psionic sense seems to be attuned to different phenomena or frequencies," Sean replied to Cass as his turquoise and jade gaze flitted about.
  11. Tool Shed, Shelly High School "Yes. I mean, probably," Sean asserted, leaning back and pushing Cassandra's phone out of his face as he tried to finish his apple. He did plenty of sound editing and sound mixing for his D&D Campaign and the video games he worked on. "Maybe. Depends on what's messing with the audio and how." Sean quickly munched his golden delicious apple down to the core and stored the core in the ziplock bag his sandwich had been in. "I'll need to check the file at home using some more robust programs than I have on my tablet or laptop." Sean zipped up his cooler bag, leaving the rest of his lunch to snack on during the day, and the regarded the rest of the group. "But maybe we should focus on Jase and the others more right now, rather than how to burn Dr. Cook... or if we should." There were grumbles and the beginnings of objections, but Sean continued over them. "Yes, the surveillance is illegal and creepy - now that we know of it - but other than the stuff with Eddy - which I'm not downplaying, yet it seems we're gonna get help from him now - has Dr. Cook done anything that has negatively impacted us, or the town? Okay, admittedly, that we know of? Maybe I was a pet project for him," Sean admitted, giving Lona a sulky scowl from under a lock of bright gold and red hair, "but he really did help me. Yes, I'm all kinds of screwed up, but without him, I could have easily been all kinds of worse... well, if he hasn't caused my issues in the first place," he muttered under his breath. "He - through back channels and black ops money - has provided our small town a top notch medical facility and education system, and Shelly has largely avoided major economic downturns other rural communities have suffered. And he'll never be busted for misappropriated funds - first, the government would have to admit where the money for the operation came from, and where it went, but then we would have to prove he did misuse them, in regards to what he was allowed to do in regards to the operation. Someone sanctioned how he was using them in the first place, and then never stopped him or even looked into what he was doing. Projects like this tend to gather their own momentum, and in these cases, silence equal consent. Someone else would have to admit they screwed up, and that won't happen. You just have to look at all the waste in military spending to see that. And, he has offered to help. Yes, some, most of it, is for his own self-interest, but you said he was expecting maybe only one person to develop active psionic potential, let alone a dozen of us. But he never said we were the first. Maybe there have been others before, maybe we don't have to learn about all of this on our own, in a vacuum. Maybe with all the surveillance, he can help with locating Cody. He didn't seem to care much about him, but he might if he knows we want to find him. And does he know about the Dark and the other strange going-ons in Shelly, considering how long he's been operating here? He might be able to help with that too, of if he doesn't know, he might be able to after we bring it to his attention." Sean took a deep breath, his turquoise and jade eyes intense and vibrant, and straightened his shoulders. "I don't see the matter as black and white as some of you seem to - and yes, some of that is definitely bias - but I think there should be some more debate on the issue of Dr. Cook before we decide how to proceed, even if we don't ultimately agree. What we do all seem to agree on is seeing what's going on with Jase, Autumn, and the Jauntsens, so let's do that." He nodded at Lilly. "I might not be as balls to the walls in a fight you like and some of the others, Lilly, but most of us seem to developing otherworldly senses of one kind or another." He nodded at Sara. "She caught hints of the Dark in the minds of others." His eyes went to Charlie and Lona, "You guys seem able to sense life force and health, the Dark might cause a physiological change. Someone or something sent that message to your phone, Lona, I might be able to pick up a similar transmission again, and figure out the source or its origins. Or even just pick up traces of the Jautsens' phones if this turns into a search if it's not something mundane, like, they're just in the trailer and turned on the Faraday Cage for some reason, so I'm going with you all too." Sean dug around in his satchel, then handed Cassandra a dual USB flashdrive. "Here, put the file on this, and I'll work on clearing up the audio when I can. Oh, yeah, the fireflies were dancing around like crazy during phys ed, which made dodgeball super fun, I tell you. But then, it seemed like I could understand them, and understanding them, they stopped being a distraction, along with all the other spectra of electromagnetic frequencies in the air. It's kinda like a neon rainbow just out of sight, where I can pull out a colour to act like a filter or AR overlay. Still feel kinda odd, but it's a lot better now than it was." Leaning against the shed, Sara folded her thickly muscled arms, stretching the cuffs of her sleeves near to bursting. "I'm in too." "And me!" Laurie added, but Sean shook his head. "Not you, sorry, Laurie," Sean countered firmly. "The vehicles are about full, and age has seniority." He didn't want to mention that they all brought something unique or a particular set of skills to the table, except her. Spunk was admirable, and Laurie had a surfeit of it, but right now, it would probably get her, and maybe the rest of them, into more danger. "Besides, they might cut Lilly some leeway, but they won't for you, not yet, and you don't want to miss your first game, do you?" Laurie's face scrunched up dubiously, but she really didn't want to get benched, or sit out entirely her first time on the football field during an official game. "Nooo..." "Besides, we should have someone here, to keep tabs on what is going on, and maybe to give us a bit of cover, if it won't get her in trouble." "Gah! Fine! I'll do it, but you guys owe me!" Laurie consented in annoyance.
  12. Shelly High School "Sooooo many questions," Sean confirmed, a slight lisp to his mezzo-soprano voice due to a puffy lip, one side of his jaw reddened, as he glanced around the tool shed as though looking for something. "Most of them are for Dr. Cook." There was a soft growl of anger in his tone at the name. "But I have a few--" "I have two for you, first, Sean," Lilly said, peering at her odd friend - well, the Fellowship was all odd, but Sean was more odd than most. "What happened to your lip? And what are you looking for?" "First period of phys. ed. of the year, like always, coach ended it with a round of All For One Dodgeball. I got hit with a couple of bad bounces," Sean said offhandedly, nodding as he finished his search, satisfied that he hadn't found anything. He didn't think he had to detail what the dodgeball had bounced off, but that had hardly been the whole of it. Distracted by the fireflies of information dancing about him and still a bit clumsy getting used to his expanded curves in a more active environment, he had made an easy target. "And I was looking for any transmissions from any recording devices here." Sean turned back to the others, unzipping his cooler bag, digging out a turkey BLT sandwich on a ciabatta bun. "Dr. Cook wasn't exaggerating when he says he's been watching us. The school is wired up with recording devices everywhere, every room I checked, and outside too. Seems to be set up to cover whoever comes and goes. But the tool sheds seem clear." Sean glanced down for a moment, muttering, and shifted his weight from one foot to the other. "The... bathrooms too. The transmissions are encrypted, but I can tell they're there, and they aren't routed to anywhere in school." He raised an arm and twiddled his fingers, marking a warbling whistling with some effort. "The recordings are being sent out wirelessly to somewhere. The signals look different from bluetooth or regular cellular frequencies... I think." Lona and Clara looked pissed anew, and everyone else didn't seem far behind. "Hey, I didn't put them there, just giving you guys a heads up. Be careful of what you 'do' and maybe say - couldn't tell off-hand if they pick up audio as well - in school. I'll look for dead spots in school, and keep an eye out around town to see where else the walls have eyes and ears. And maybe see if I can track down where the transmissions are going." Sean quickly took a pair of bites of his sandwich as the gang mused on what he'd revealed, washing them down with a sip from a plastic bottle of juice. "Barely know where to begin with my own questions, but let's start with..." He turned to face Lona and Clara directly. "Are you two planning on speaking with Dr. Cook again, and if so, when? Because I'm definitely going to be talking with him. And second..." Sean inhaled a breath with a hiss, casting a quick glance towards Cora before returning his turquoise and jade (?) gaze back to the near sisters. "Is there any chance, however slim, what Dr. Cook suspected about your parents, Clara, has some truth to it? Some were quick to accuse Cora's father of being in on the conspiracy, some part of it at least. What are the chances a pair of geneticists would come to Shelly of all places, and set up shop here? In a tiny Montana town that just so happens to be ground zero some MK Ultra program that never ended. Home town or not, there must be a thousand better places for a pair of respected geneticists to pursue their practice and raise their kids."
  13. Shelly High "I figured," Sean said with off-hand wryness. He was still stunned by the revelation of Dr. Cook being behind this, or at least them, and these abilities they seemed to be developing. From the bit he could infer from the few comments the girls' had made, they made him out to be sinister on the scale of Bond Villainy, but their objectivity could be tainted by Etienne's presence. On the other hand, Dr. Cook had been rather dismissive that other doctors might be any help in dealing with his genetic conditions. Sean glanced down, his field of view largely obstructed by the preposterously prominent protrusions pushing out from his chest. It wasn't the first time the niggling thought had occurred to him, but this time he had a face to go with it. Was his fucked up DNA at least partially why he had these powers? He didn't want to believe Dr. Cook would have or could have inflicted the exceedingly rare conglomeration of genetic anomalies he possessed on him, but could he have prepared an environment where they were more likely to happen? And was being built like a particularly pulchritudinous pin-up girl the price he had to pay for his presuming psionic potential? If he'd been offered the choice, would he have taken it? He had so many questions for Dr. Cook. "At lunch, I wanna know everything thing he said," Sean exhorted Lona emphatically as the bell rang and he started going the other way down the hall for his class. Phys. ed. Yay. He called out over his shoulder, "Everything!"
  14. "What?" Laurie said, turning from frowning at her brother and the group clustered about the nurse and doctor - was that Dr. Cook? - to look at Sara and then follow her finger down to her chest. Sara had showed them a sight, and whatever was going on, she was part of it too. "Oh! Right! Don't want to be late on game day. I dunno what you did, exactly, but hope you're okay Sara." It seemed ludicrous to ask someone as incredibly built as Sara if she was okay, but she did seem kinda... off. But Laurie also didn't want to be late or do anything that might get her benched for the first game. She so wanted to kick a field goal in her first game. "I'll get that for you," Laurie said, grabbing Sara's tray of neglected and abused eggs as she stood up and flashed Sara a quick grin. "Hope to see you at the game. Grrl power, yeah?" Laurie dumped the tray in the trash in passing, lightly tossing the tray on top of the receptacle and hustled towards her first class, joining up with a pair of sophomores who had also made the football team. Glancing at Dr. Cook's back as he and Etienne left the cafeteria, the buxom boy fell into step with the four girls who had been talking with him, them. The tension was tight enough to strangle an elephant. He was a mite surprised that Dr. Cook hadn't come over to speak with him, he'd always had at least a few words for Sean when they saw each other about town, either of encouragement, some gentle chiding, or just asking how he was doing. Maybe he hadn't seen him talking with Mrs. Jauntsen? Mrs. Jauntsen had only been looking for her children, and Sean had felt a bit guilty misleading the gorgeous and sophisticated office lady. If I put more effort into how I dressed, a bit more for the body I have rather than the one I should have, a touch more upscale, would I get more attention or less, or at least more positive attention? He told her that the Jauntsens had slipped out of the cafeteria earlier, but he was sure they were around somewhere. He just didn't qualify where they were around... like, say... the trouble trailer. Sean arched a brow at Sara, tilting his head in invitation to join them as Lona made her demand of Clara. "So... " Considering what Lona and Clara had revealed of their prior evening activities, Sean had a good idea of what the ladies might have said to Dr. Cook. What Dr. Cook might have said to them in return - and it had seemed like plenty for a consultation on what was ailing Lona - Sean had a great deal more theories, having only been able make out the occasional word from where he'd been standing mooning over conversing with Mrs. Jauntsen. He had had nothing but good interactions with Dr. Cook. Better than almost every other doctor he'd met, he was one of the few who had never made him feel like a freak. "... you bust Eddy to Dr. Cook?"
  15. Haven't really considered it yet (well, I have a vague idea or two), but not sure if I'm joining the game yet or not.
  16. Shelly High, Cafeteria //Flu vax start today. Could be legit, could be cover... Could be both. Keep eyes open and stay safe too.// Sean quickly texted back as his gaze surreptitiously followed Devin's mom. Feminine appearance or not, Sean was as affected by the appearance of Mrs. Jauntsen as the senior boys she'd summoned to help her with a few soft words and a smile. As attractive as her daughter - or moreso - and without the viper tongue that lashed the students of Shelly high mercilessly but was ever hidden by the adults. Mrs. Jauntsen had always been kind to him, better than most about taking his issues in stride and not making feel extra awkward about them. It was a wonder the Jauntsen twins were her's. "I'll be right back," Sean assured Sara with a pair of upheld fingers before he trotted over to Mrs. Jauntsen. Laurie scoffed and rolled her eyes. Nearly every boy, even her brother, fell for Mrs. Jauntsen, at least a little. It didn't help that she seemed every bit as nice as Marissa pretended to be. Every Jauntsen seemed to have a way with people - that way wasn't always good. "Hello, Mrs. Jauntsen, can I help you find someone or something?" Sean asked with polite helpfulness, the corners of his lips slightly upturned.
  17. Sean's pale, pretty face was as red as his hair as he was very firmly chastened. He didn't know what he'd been thinking. He wanted to contribute and when Jase had suggested the bomb threat, he had acceded to the idea after just a moment of hesitation. With Jase so in control of his new abilities, Sean had wanted to show he could forward an untraceable bomb threat. He hadn't really considered if he should, or what the further ramifications would be until Lilly had brought them up plainly. He was terminally embarrassed and Laurie was looking at him and Jase in sheer disbelief. As Jase collected Autumn, Laurie shook her head, muttering, "Yeah, extreme much?" Sean had been concerned learning that Lona and Clara had gone to see Etienne, but it didn't seem like they had implicated the rest of them - though proximity might draw eyes their way - and they had taken the danger upon themselves. He did wish they had learned more, though. With the Party breaking up, at least for now, Sean stood up and began collecting his things. The bell was going to ring soon anyway. He watched Lilly and Clara begin to lead Lona to the nurse, a small frown on his lips, then glanced at Sara. He was still getting a handle on what he could do, so far regulated to perception rather than anything active, though with his earlier success - such as it was - he believed he could do more. But Lona and Sara appeared able to push their own abilities further, further than was healthy for them, and Jase seemed to have an envious ease with his own. What could he do to try and find Cody? Tromping through the woods seemed like an inefficient way of doing it, and the Sheriff was probably already doing something along those lines anyway. "We just learned Cody is missing, but it seems he's been missing for a while," Sean said softly for those still at the table. "Rushing off right now to look for him isn't going to make any difference than if we go a few hours from now." His frown turned doubtful. "I'll try to trace his cellphone, or at least get a record of celltowers he pinged, and the last one, to try and get a sense of where he had been, though I would presume the Sheriff is already doing that." Sean pursed his lips, musing, his eyes going to Lona, than back to the hulking Sara, considering her abilities and what he might be able to do. "If you can 'show' me this tree, Sara, I might be able to manage a reverse image search online to check pics and satellite shots for it."
  18. Laurie's deep blue eyes were wide with what she'd experienced, the brightly burning... souls? She couldn't think of another term more appropriate, Dwelling on the sight and the sense of connection, even with - shudder - the Jauntsens, Laurie had barely glanced around to notice who had lost a round with the cafeteria doors. Laurie's over-endowed brother had barely raised his ass off the bench before Clara went to check on Autumn with Jase in tow. Those two off, Sean sat back down. As a fellow Shelly native, Sean had had classes with Autumn, since kindergarten, had been paired with her on occasion, though they hadn't really associated outside of school. He was distracted too, trying to figure out if she could have been the other sun mind he'd noticed. The mental landscape didn't seem to align precisely with the actual landscape. Perhaps the mental landscape determined the closeness of minds by some other parameter than simple physical distance... What Sara had showed them, for just an instant, spurred Sean to reconsider how he perceived the fireflies he could see. It was a reasonable conjecture that they were radio signals, cellular ones specifically, judging from where they seemed to congregate, but he hadn't been able to resolve them as anything more as oddly moving bundles of light. But the balls of sunlight representing the Fellowship had been so much more if you looked at them the right way, like a stereogram. So used to playing with computers and electronics, Sean had been trying to figure out the medium to read the fireflies dancing in his sight, when really, he was the medium, he just had to look at them the right way. Hands flat on the table, Sean leaned forward, eyes narrowing as he focused hard on the zipping fireflies. Other signals, transmissions, tried to encroach on him, but he peeled them away, like veils, like filters, narrowing his vision, or other sense - he was interpreting it as vision, but it wasn't, he was sure he'd 'see' the same think with his eyes closed. The fireflies jumped out in sharper contrast, and now he could see beyond the light, see they were composed of writhing, singing waves, made from a rainbow of sound. They looked close enough for him to reach out and grab one. So he did, with his thoughts, with his will. The actual 'firefly' was gone on its way, but the idea of it remained in his grasp. He began peeling it, looking at the waves, what made them, and to his mind, it was precise, beautiful strings of numbers, sequences that painted renaissance masterpieces, baroque symphonies, that he could interpret in all their glory... "Huh." Sean sat back down with a huff than mingled success and disgruntlement. "What is it, Sean?" Laurie asked her brother, glancing at where he'd been staring to intently, then around the cafeteria. "Did you see another one? Can you do what Sara can?" "No, not that. Something different," Sean admitted. He nodded at Sara. "Looks like she can see minds, read them maybe, I suppose, I can see the entire electromagnetic spectrum, and I actually just deciphered my first transmission." "What was it?" "A snap of us, liberally stickered, especially Jase with a ridiculously big eggplant." It was a major let down for his first deciphered signal. Despite herself, Laurie couldn't keep in a snort of laughter, even as her gaze causally turned in the directly Jase - and Clara - had gone. The curve of Marissa's painted lips was wicked. Sean's grin was tight and wry. He'd been described by a veritable cocktail of emojis, and he could commiserate with Jase about what he'd go through being known to be - or at least thought to be - very well endowed, if admittedly in a different way, while a small part of him was perversely pleased someone else had to deal with it. Except... Jase probably wouldn't care that much. Though with his tolerance of people - or lack there of - and how teenagers could be... Sean and Laurie turned to face Devin with similar long suffering looks. Autumn hadn't been the only redhead who's bra he'd snapped. Well, he hadn't snapped Laurie's, but that was only because he'd only noticed that she had boobs this summer. Sean had been targeted plenty, his boxer-briefs pulled up in epic wedgies. Huh. He'd had his bra snapped plenty of times, the wide band making a satisfying and stinging snap, but Devin had never done so. Small mercies, but a mercy all the same, Sean mused reluctantly. "So, have a thing for redheads, do you?" Laurie said challengingly, while Sean gave him a scowl, recalling the torments. "Don't get your titties in a twist, Cassidies, you aren't so special," Devin replied tiredly, keeping the smile on his face and making a poor attempt of preventing it from sliding into a bit of a smirk. "I pissed off blondes and brunettes too. I'm an equal opportunity offender. I'm working on it" Lauried scoffed, Sean snorted. He certainly felt more equal than most with respect to Devin's torments. Sean opened his mouth and Devin interrupted him with a waved hand. "Don't say it, Cassidy, because I won't be able to stop the retort. It'll be just hanging there I won't be able to resist plucking it." Sean harrumphed, folding his arms tightly, but then he shared a look with his sister. They both still thought him an asshole, but Devin had been better recently, certainly better than his sister, though the mindshare had even sapped some of her venom, it seemed. For now. "Fair enough," the Cassidy's grudgingly agreed. It was harder to hold so tightly to the old - and not so old - anger and resentment after what Sara had just shared with them.
  19. Sean breathed rapidly at the sight, similar yet different to the fireflies. These were minds. The fireflies were mere... signals, rays of light, where the minds were stars, some distant - in a way - and some blazing like the sun. Most of the sun minds orbited the table... but not all. Beyond the softly glowing star minds, another sun mind burned bright. Sean blinked, his pupils dilated so far his irises were only a thin ring of alternating turquoise and teal. Silently, Sean picked up a brown paper napkin and held it out for Sara, nodding at her tray then brushing his upper lip with his other hand, before looking around the cafeteria, trying to triangulate the other where the other bright mind was in relation to them. "Did anyone else see the other one?" Sean wondered softly before turning back to look at Sara. "Is that how you see all the time?"
  20. "What... he... said... - huhg! - mostly," Sean wheezed, his naturally sweet honey-and-velvet voice hoarse and thin as he pointed at Jase. Sara was passing by behind Sean, a tray loaded up with several cartons of milk and a mound of what passed for scrambled eggs, liberally garnished with fruit, her burly slap on his back shoving him forward partially over the table and almost making certain protrusions knock over the remnants of his soda. But the explosive cough the slap generated seemed to have cleared his throat. He looked over his shoulder and gave Sara a tight nod and grin of thanks as he twisted an arm behind himself to rub his back - she'd gotten him right on the band. "Thanks." "No problem," the powerfully built young woman replied, returning his grin minutely as she took a seat at the far edge of the table, then opened her first carton of milk and downed it in one pull. The skeptical look Sara shot Bannon bounced off his earphoned-and-close-eyed countenance, but her pale green eyes were more friendly when she regarded the rest at the table. "Morning, guys." Greetings exchanged, Sean wiped the few tears wrung from his eyes and took a sip of his traitorous soda, his throat no longer feeling so raw. "What I was saying, or trying to say, Jase more or less covered. No weren't fighting, even if tensions are running. What's done is done. Unless it's put the group in more danger - okay, maybe noticeably more danger, since with everything going on, almost anything can put us in more danger when we know so little - let's try not to harp on it too much. And moderate the words and actions we direct at each other, which should apply equally to everyone." He didn't name names with his reiteration, but eyes around the table glanced quickly to Marissa and Sara. "To Jase's three points, I'd like to add a fourth, no--" Sean frowned, turning toward Jase, a brow arched expectantly. Then he tapped Jase on the shoulder. Jase cracked an eye open with a 'this better be good' look and slid one earphone off his ear. "Dude, you laid out your orders of business, I think you can at least manage to hear someone else's," Sean explained sotto voce, unphased. "I only have one, even." Jase nodded after a moment of consideration, turning down his music a degree. "Fourth, when we're talking and trying to get our own points of view across, no ,uh-hmm, powers to add weight and fireworks to them, agreed? One, someone we don't mean to will notice eventually, despite how subtle we try to be." Sean's lips quirked wryly, adding a sarcastic edge debating just how subtle some people were trying to be. "Two, it'll just lead to a war of escalation of rhetorical contrivances, which conflicts with point the third about moderation. And three, there's people involved in all this who don't have... whatever some of us have, or obvious ones at least. Let's keep discussions on an equal footing. Fair?" Jason shrugged after Sean had his say, then put his earphones back on, the music swelling behind the padded confines once more. Done with what he had to say, Sean leaned back a bit from the table, blinking, his eyes shifting about the cafeteria, the jagged ring of teal seeming to oscillate in a sea of turquoise, his pupils near pinpricks. He'd been ignoring it before, but it was almost as though fireflies on the edge of sight were flitting about the room, more than he had noticed before. Fireflies, but not fireflies. They weren't the right colour, though Sean couldn't have said what colour they were, nothing in the visible spectrum for sure. They kinda buzzed, or hummed, but not really. You know how in novels they write 'a thunderous silence' or the like, it was like that, except not thunderous, but more discreet pulses of not-sound. And the spikes of light didn't move laterally for the most part, but rather in fleeting bursts up and down. Hmm... Sean shook his head, trying to put the 'fireflies' to the side while paying more attention to the others at the table. He couldn't help to snort a little thinking about Clara's comment about harassment. While the administration tried to take a hard line on it, unless there were third party witnesses that they considered reliable and who came forward, it usually came down to 'pics or it didn't happen.' Sean could attest to that. Detention, maybe even a suspension might be handed down, but no expulsion without clear evidence, and even then, if the perpetrator had influential parents, still little to nothing would happen.
  21. Sean had sighed when Jason had picked him up, his rangy friend even more terse than usual, blaring the music loud enough that Sean had been wincing, his head pounding in time to the heavy rock. Yes, he wanted to talk with Jason about last evening, but he'd think by now, Jase knew he wouldn't force the issue, at least not so soon, if he didn't want to talk about. Jase looked tired and remote. Sean gave him a long, considering look then shook his head and hustled to the cafeteria, ignoring the looks that turned his way, easy to dismiss what people thought about him when he had so much else on his mind. The first of the Fellowship in the cafeteria, Sean claimed their usual table, using his backpack and satchel to reserve bench space for the others. It wasn't just the conspiracy he had on his mind, the missing Cody, the provenance of the Atomic Generator and Rangeless Radio, and conflicts brewing amidst the... Goddamn we need a better name than the Fellowship. His skin tingled, as though feeling the warm touch of the sun after the clouds disperse on a cool day, but there was an electric edge to it too, the potential of a fierce thunderstorm lingering. It wasn't unpleasant, by the tightening in his underwear, just odd. He was even more conscious of the various phones, tablets, and other electronic devices among the student body. He could almost feel them chirp and chatter, the indecipherable background noise of a crowd only he could hear. It almost seemed with some strain and effort, he would be able to make out what the electromagnetic babble was saying. Sean shook his head and rubbed at an ear, trying to subdue the tumult, then pulled out a tablet from his satchel to distract himself. The tablet was practically responding before he even touched it, as Sean surfed Twitter, Facebook, and Steam, making updates and responding about his first game, Annwn, and the more ambitious game he was still working on. He snorted, his new game had psionic powers in it as an option, that would help with the primer. He'd made unexpected progress on the game over the end of summer. Reviews of Annwn on Kotaku and IGN had dropped - well after release, but not unexpected from an indy developer of one, who also did his own PR - and they were quite good, and he was very pleased by the comparisons to Okami, Journey, and Ori and the Blind Forest. His game wasn't designed with microtransactions or recurring revenue in mind, but after the reviews dropped, Sean saw a distinct uptick in sales for Annwn, and increased buzz for his next game. He made some responses on Twitter and Facebook, pushed that his next game would be microtransaction and lootbox free - he had no compunctions about the blowback hitting AAA developers in the last year - and made a mental note to make a new game development video for YouTube... ... y'know, if the MiBs or psychic entities from dimension X didn't get to him and his friends, first. Hmm, or even if they do. He'd like to leave something behind that people could enjoy. As people joined him at the table, Sean slid his backpack closer to make space for them, giving them waves and chipper greetings. His turquoise and teal eyes were bright with glee, but his cheerful grin faded, noticing the tension among his friends as they claimed space at the table. He'd gotten some good news in the morning, a more than pleasant surprise after the not great meeting at Bunnee's, but it didn't seem to be going as well for others. "Oh, man!" Sean exclaimed in rising concern, seeing the looks on the face of his friends, and quickly exchanged glances that Sean couldn't decide were guilty or were something else. "Did something else happen after Bunnee's?"
  22. Name: Kethra Bloodmist Thunukalathi Class/Level: Barbarian 4 Alignment: Chaotic Good Race: Gollam Tribeswoman (Goliath) Age: 24 Gender: Female Height: 7'6'' Weight: 305 lbs Hair: Crimson Eyes: Amber Skin: Dusky blue-grey Appearance A towering, broad shouldered Gollam woman with thick red hair tied back in a braid and her rare crimson Fatemarks vivid on her smooth, blue-grey skin. Attractive, but severe, her faintly glowing amber eyes stare with penetrating directness, her massive glaive always at hand. Background The second daughter of a traditional Gollam family from the Skybreaker mountains, Kethra went to find her own path in the port city of Stonetree after losing a challenge to her older sister for primacy. With her size and ferocity, if not for her limited acumen, she quickly made sergeant in the city guard and was well respected by the sizable Gollam minority that resided in Stonetree. Then the Zafallan Empire arrived. The Archon of Stonetree capitulated, in return for being made Governor of Stonetree. At first, it was a reasonably smooth transition, but Kethra was incensed, especially as the policies of the Empire began being made manifest, specifically with the Gollam and other minorities being purged from the city, their property and surrounding lands being confiscated by noble officers. In fury, Kethra lead a contingent of Gollam guardsmen - or rather former guardmens, as they had been discharged of their positions in the city guard - to eliminate the Governor and his imperial advisor. But while the great strength and size of the Gollam tribesmen wrecked havoc through the governmental palace, they were no match against the Imperial marines and legionaries. Few survived, fewer escaped, though Kethra was one. Guilt-ridden for leading her comrades to defeat, Kethra Bloodmist fights a guerrilla war along with other disaffected against the occupiers of the city she called home, from her old home in the Skybreaker mountains, trying to raise allies among her tribesmen and other Gollam tribes in the mountains.
  23. Sean looked extremely nonplussed at the mention of working out and self-defence training. He'd seen enough movies and read enough stories to be well aware of the saying about not needing to be able to outrun 'X', just outrun the other person. He looked around the table. Two of the best athletes in the city, and even his sister was on the football team now. The top dancer, and one of the strongest, if not the strongest person in school. He knew Devin was surprisingly fit under his dickish nonchalance, and several others were dedicated runners. He wasn't built for running and all the exercise in the world wouldn't let him match most of them. About the only regular exercise he got was biking about town, and he was looking forward to stopping that as soon as he got a real vehicle. Teagan had tried to get him to work out and learn to defend himself after all the bullying and flack he got at school, and it hadn't gone well. On the other hand... he shivered, there seemed to be stronger incentive now. "Sure, I'll take the lift, Jase," Sean said with a nod at Jase, picking up his satchel and shifting out of the booth. He stood up and stretched, then pulled his wallet of out his satchel and dropped a few bills to cover his and Laurie's share, then turned his eyes towards Lona and Lilly. "I understand the need for suspicion, but I have regular appointments at Marias all the time, just had to reschedule my appointment with my endocrinologist in fact. If we assume they've already accessed my medical file, it might be look suspect if I stop going to my appointments. If nothing else, I might get a chance to poke around next time I'm there, and could probably get Dr. Cook to schedule a CT and/or MRI for me. No telling him why, beyond concern for my condition, but we could compare the newest scans to all the others I've had, see if we can notice any new changes in them, or find someone else we can trust, even in a limited fashion, to look over the scans, since we don't have experience." He pursed his lips. "I might know someone who might know someone. And he's suspicious about almost everything." Sean shrugged awkwardly, surreptitiously adjusting a bra strap under the guise of settling his satchel over his shoulder. "As for the fitness and self-defence training... I'll see. It's harder for some," he admitted with a self-deprecating grin, "and my talents and contributions are in another direction, but I'll see." Laurie quickly finished the last of her shake and onion rings and slid out of the booth after her brother, glancing at Jase over Sean's head with a look of mixed wariness and intrigue. Sean snapped his fingers again. "Oh, about that primer. Just gotta make the disclaimer that it's only going to be a rough guide, cobbled together from gaming books, Sci-Fi novels, and stuff scoured from variously streams of folklore, spirituality, and faith, with no actual evidence-based facts. And whatever else we've seen, until I get clear and direct evidence, psychics speaking to the dead are complete bullshit." Lona blinked, looking upset and Sean hissed in a shirt straining breath, faint colour rising in his cheeks. "Uh, sorry, Lona, but I can't bring myself to add that sh - that stuff to the Primer, beyond the mention of the claim."
  24. Sean had been as shocked as anyone else by Jase's savage take down of Coraline as anyone else. Jase may have been his friend while Coraline was still mostly working up from acquaintance status and a friend's girlfriend, but Sean found it hard to defend him in this, even accounting for Jase's social... eccentricities. It had been harsher, more vindictive, than nearly anything he had seen or heard from Jase. Lilly, Lone, and Laurie had already gone out after Jase, and while Sean wanted to have his own words with him, he wasn't about to pile on with the ladies - he'd talk with him later man-to... well, one-on-one, at least. Through the window, Sean saw Devin approach Cora and didn't think another person needed to be involved in that, except for maybe Cade. Sean slid a thumbnail between his teeth, deep in thought considering the Dark, its apparent influences, and the changes all - or most - of them were experiencing, trying to figure a way to measure the influence, the changes. Sara seemed to detect them, after a fashion, but there had to be another way, a way that would make it accessible to all of them. He was willing to go for a MRI or CT scan, even if it risked Eddy - or his handlers - getting his hand on them - he was going to assume they already had his extensive medical file. He could probably talk to Dr. Cook about it, and maybe get a look at a clean, anonymous brain scan and have Dr. Cook mention any odd differences between the two. Some at Marias Medical might be suspect, but after being a patient of Dr. Cook for over six years, he trusted the man. Deep in thought, he barely heard Cassandra's comment on the group's social dynamics, Clara's counter, or the back-and-forth with Marissa, save to offer them a faint, distracted tight-lipped frown. The fluorescent lights were irritating him, his pupils mere pinpricks in deep, vibrant seas of turquoise and peaks and valleys of teal. When Cade arrived, Sean updated him quietly, terse and quick, ending with being a bit vague on what exactly Jase had said to Cora, but suggesting Cade might want to talk to her sooner rather than later. Sean gave a small start when Sara stormed back in and stalked to the bathroom, followed shortly by the others. He could practically feel Laurie seething, and Sean gave Jase a disappointed glance, a hitch to his shoulder indicating that he would want to talk to him privately, later, but there were more pressing things to talk about right now. Rousing from his thoughts, Sean nodded at Cassandra. "Most of us are here now, Cassandra. Before the next bomb drops, you said you had news about what was going on at Crossroads?" Damn, Cora should have stayed here to hear this, even if would be hard to hear.
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