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Everything posted by Sean Cassidy

  1. 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.
  2. 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."
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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."
  7. 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!"
  8. "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?"
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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."
  12. 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.
  13. 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?"
  14. "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.
  15. 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?"
  16. 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.
  17. 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."
  18. 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.
  19. Holding his sister's hand wasn't just to provide only Laurie with some comfort. With the advent of The Dark and its apparent influence on the environs about Shelly over decades, Sean couldn't help but consider how that might recontextualize things. The catcalls and harassment had been more frequent, more direct, over the last year. Was that simply because he was older and had grown even more shapely, or the influence of the Dark? Or, what about - no! He didn't want to think about that. He compressed and encrypted that thought and hid it away in his mind for another time. His Dad had a brother Sean had never met, an Uncle his parents never talked about, who had left Shelly, left Montana, way before he was born. Just a hard falling out or something more sinister? Hell, the Cassidys had settled the Shelly area since near its founding, having worked on bringing the railroads out west like many Irish. There used to be many more Cassidys in the Shelly area, but the family suffered a sharp decline around the turn of the last century and now there was only Sean's parents and two siblings. Sean hadn't looked into the reason for the decline, but now he thought he should. Did anything match up to the twenty-seven year cycle? Sean shook off a shiver, took a deep breath, then reclaimed his hand from Laurie with an encouraging grin. There was a stubborn jut to Laurie's jaw as she refolded her arms, as though she'd just been humouring Sean instead of finding a bit of comfort with the contact. Sean sighed, then considered Clara's suggestion. "Maybe. But rather than the government developing these powers with super secret experiments - which I can't completely discount, considering someone managed to conceal the existence of portable atomic generator - maybe its the Dark that is the progenitor of them. People develop Psionics as a sort of immune system to counter the Dark. People could have developed them before and hid them as it seems so much other shit has been hidden here, or its taken this long, this many cycles for the psionics to develop, and the government agency mostly just watches and researches, to imitate or force the process. People mock the inefficiency, waste, and competence of government, but there's at least one thing government is aces at," Sean said, nodding at Jase in agreement. "Information, specifically, collecting it. So much of it, in fact, the problem is sifting through it to find what you are looking for. Evidently, somebody noticed something going on here and are doing something about it. And decades ago, going by the aerial photos and that damned generator! I'm not even sure how to go about trying to figure out where it might have come from. May-" "You are not opening it up!" said more than one person at the table with particular emphasis. "Wouldn't dream of it," Sean lied. He so wanted to know how it and even the radio worked. The radio had vacuum tubes, fucking vacuum tubes, or what looked like them. "Speaking of the photos, I did find out something about that, though it seems incredibly banal in comparison to what Jase found out." "Banal, perhaps, but hopefully important," Jase said pragmatically. "We'll see," Sean replied with a half grin. "I narrowed down the model of the plane to a Cessna 172, which caused a different problem. It's a popular plane, first produced in '56, and still being made now, so there's over forty-four thousand of them, the majority still in use, surprisingly. I won't bore you with the details--" "Thank gawd!" Sean shot the Jauntsens an irritated glance, but continued, "-- but eliminating dates and math hammering some other parameters, I found three planes that could be the one we're looking for, all 1967 Cessna 172H Skyhawks. One is listed as destroyed in a crash in 1986, so we'll discount that one unless both of the others are busts. One is owned by Montana by Air LLC out of Cut Bank International Airport. The other by Groggins Flight out of Toole County Airport. A Rick Geiger owns and operates Montana by Air, Jerry Groggins Groggins Flight. Trying to find out past owners of the planes will requiring filing for the information with the FAA, which might raise a flag to... whoever is watching, other wise, it'll take some finessing. Not as spectacular as what Jason found out, but we now have two solid leads on the plane."
  20. Jason had been to the Cassidys often enough over the last couple of years that Laurelei could usually get at least some sense of his minimalist social cues. Eyes already wide from hearing one of her brother's friends tried to strangle the Queen Bitch of Shelly High from too far away, Laurie leaned away from the palpable, coiling menace emanating from the guy sitting next to her, chewing on a lower lip as she eyed the fork in Jase's hand. She hadn't been there, but Laurie thought she might understand what Cody might have been feeling with a hay hook at his throat. Sitting at an angle across from Jason on the other arm of the corner booth, Sean felt his goosebumps return, more intensely than before. Like Lilly said, while just about everyone they knew might have thought about strangling Marissa, Sean couldn't believe any of them would actually do it, with Charlie near the bottom of the list. Sara maybe - maybe - on a bad day with The Mantis being particularly unrelenting, but not Charlie out of the blue, with his arms... And Jase was incensed, in his understated way, in a way Sean hadn't seen before. "Okay... okay... I'm sorry that happened Marissa, honest..." Sean was trying to sound calm and collected, but a note of sympathy peeked through his sweet, velvety voice. Sean rubbed at his temples with the first two fingers of each hand. Now that she wasn't being an utter cunt, Sean could see, or at least appreciate that Marissa was undeniably gorgeous, but under the armour of condescension, perceived status, and bitchitude, there was a young woman as vulnerable as any other - as vulnerable as he was. A smaller part noticed how flattering her outfit was, but he told it to shut up and stuffed it in a locker in his mind, out of mental sight, but never out of memory. Sean's eyes went around the table, from the Jauntsens to Lilly, giving her a nod for what she'd already said, to Jase. "Logic this through. From all your experience, do any of you believe Charlie would ever do something like this if he knew he could? Anyone notice him being extra limber or Mr. Fantasticky lately? Marissa, how many people would you have banished to the phantom zone of... of the less well off and poor fashion choices, if you could do something like that, but didn't realize it?" Sean's lips tightened for an instant, leaving unsaid how many would be so banished if Marissa could do something like that and did realize it. "How many people could you have burned to cinders with a glare or a dumbfounded stare at their idiocy Jase, if that was all it took to activate the laser vision you didn't know you had?" "Laser vision?" Laurie tried not to squeak. "He - you guys aren't super... whatevers." "Okay, fine, laser vision and phantom zone banishment is a bit over the the top," Sean huffed with exaggerated exasperation, rolling his eyes then giving Laurie a level look. "Let's say... how about if Jase hadn't figured out he's telekinetic and accidentally squashed someone's carotid artery or hypothalamus with a bit of telekinetic force." Sean held up a hand and mimed squeezing something small and eminently squeezable between his thumb and forefinger. "I squish. More believable?" Laurie sat back with a thump against the vinyl of the booth seat, folding her arms, put out but forced to concede the point. She looked at Jase from under lowered lashes. Can he do something like that? Would he? "Point." "Lilly's right," Sean said, hands flat on the table. "There's strangeness drenching us, and Shelly too. We're gonna have to figure out what we're capable of and how to control it. And quick! There was the thing with Cora's hair at lunch, and what if your mom had been walking past the dining room and seen what was happening, Marissa? A possible ass-kicking followed by a felony charge - or maybe, charges - would only be the start of it."
  21. Riding shotgun in the Charger, his eyes closed and the window rolled down, Sean could feel his coppery hair ruffle in the wind, the cool evening breeze on his face as Jase drove them to Bunnee's. He idly rollercoastered his hand against the air, enjoying the sensation of the forceful wind pocket slip and slide across his fingers. His eyes were closed but he could practically taste the long, slanting rays from the red-orange sun riding low in the sky. It had been hard to pay attention in AP Calculus and AP Physics, when all he had wanted to do was look at the progress his algorithm was making, to see what it had found already. He had folded his arms tight and fidgeted throughout the last two periods, more than one person sitting next to him wondering if he had to go to the bathroom that badly, why didn't he just ask for the bathroom pass. Back at the Barn, he found out just how much he had to sift through thanks to only having a partial registration number. But once he was able to narrow it down to a specific model of plane, he was able to eliminate hits until he got his search down to something reasonable, numbers and pics flipping by on his touchscreen laptop like a tinder user on a hundred cups of coffee. Kind of tedious, and Sean would have preferred bouncing comments and questions off Jase - even if they had nothing to do with their actual research - but Jase had his process and Sean had his own. Helping prep supper, he could let his mind wonder and picture how better to refine his search. It was just a bit after supper when Sean thought he had narrowed it down as much as he could. And then Laurie had made her entrance. Sean had hesitated only long enough for Lilly to guide Laurie to a seat about how much he was going to tell her. But Laurie had been there, he had promised to tell her, and for his part, it was always better to know than not. And while she had been at the trailer, she was still a step removed from the strangeness, at least, so far. As a sort of control, Sean believed someone on the outside able to look in, as it were, might be a good thing, give them another perspective they might miss being in the middle of all the weird. Plus, Laurie was his sister. Laurie and Teagan may have teased him, but he loved them of course, even if he wasn't that demonstrative about it, and with Teagan leaving at the beginning of summer, he and Laurie had grown a bit closer than they had been. So he'd told her everything, with a few additions and clarifications from Jase and Lilly. Sean looked over at Jase, who noted his glance with a twitch of his brow while he kept his apparently-lazy-but-was-anything-but focus on the road as he turned into the parking lot of Bunnee's. "Y'know, Jase, Laurie took it a lot better than I was expecting. I think you getting cleaned up surprised her more." ~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~ Her blue eyes wide, Laurie sat stiff and tensed in Lilly's truck that had nothing - okay, little - to do with how sore she was after her first official practice on the football team. Incessant ancient rock music blaring tinnily from the speakers, they were halfway to Bunnee's before Laurie said anything. "Okay, so that happened." The slim, tallish redhead turned to Lilly with a soft groan. "If I find out they dosed me with a hit of Lucifer's Reserve and trapped me in a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma with this freaky shit, I'm punching Sean in the tit and kicking Bannon in the balls, or the other way 'round, whatever hurts more." She gave Lilly a suspicious glower, than sat back in her seat and watched the neon adorning Bunnee's get closer. "And I have something for you, too, Lilly, once I think of it, for going along with this." ~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~ Jase and Sean waited for Lilly and Laurie to catch up with them. Laurie gave her brother a doubtful glare, slightly less doubtful when her eyes slid to Bannon, and Sean huffed in exasperation. "it's all real, no trick, no lies," Sean hissed in exasperation. Laurie sniffed, then they all entered Bunnee's together. It seemed like they were the first to arrive, and Max got them a corner booth with several tables pushed together, and took their orders, if any, and noticing Sean's better fitting clothing, gave him a grin and a thumbs up. Sean was still pretty full from dinner and only got a small strawberry shake, while Laurie got a water and a large shake with all the aplomb of a teen athlete with a superior metabolism. "I mean, how much worse can it get?" Sean, Jase, and Lilly all stared at Laurie in disbelief that she actually said that. Laurie sucked up a big sip of her chocolate shake through the straw, then looked up, brows furrowing at their expressions. "What?! Oh, I just tripped through a trope, didn't I?" Jase laughed a weird, whispery laugh at Laurie's comment. "Oh, it gets worse." Laurie stared at him, then slowly reached for her glass of water, pulled out the straw, then flicked it at the rangy young man who cleaned up better than he had any right to, spraying his face with several drops of water. "You're making it worse. Stop being weird." She cocked her head contemplatively in a manner very similar to Sean. "Okay, more weird." Sean snickered - it was clearly a snicker, not a giggle or god forbid, a titter - feeling goosebumps prickle his fair skin at Jase's thin, eerie laughter. "She's not wrong, y'know. You are making it worse right now."
  22. Okay, let's add some house rules (Or, just ignore them all and make what you like) 1 - Ability Scores: Modified Point Buy. All Ability Scores start at 8, you have 30 points to distribute as you wish on a 1-for-1 basis. Max Ability is 16 before Racial and/or Feat modifiers. 2 - Books: The PHB and Xanathar's Guide to Everything (I can hook you up). 3 - Class modifications: Instead of two set Saving Throw Proficiencies, choose any three. Start with Max Hit Points 4 - Additional bonuses: Start with 1 additional Feat, 1 additional Skill Proficiency, 1 additional Tool Proficiency, 1 additional Language Proficiency 5 - Other modifications: Sean is willing to work with his players if they really want something or to change something in a class or make a new archtype for their class. Try to be reasonable. Setting A planet of many continents and archipelagos, by consequence there are a variety of cultures (feel free to make any up). The Zafallan Empire, backed by a well trained and professional army, is expanding, though suffering domestic problems as noble families and merchant dynasties are striving for more power after being culled by the last Empress (possibly assassinated), and the new Emperor is establishing his power base. PCs are resisting the empire on a large island that is littered with the remnants of an ancient, non human empire, or trying to ignore it, at least initially. Who knows where the game goes? They might like rule under the Empire. Meritocracy was a big thing under the Empress, but the nobles have delved deep and pulled strings - many officers now have their positions bought or traded for, causing the Imperial military some issues. Oh, there are gods, but they don't grant spells or powers. Clerics, Druids, and Paladins are still things, but are classified as Arcane casters, with a different focus on their powers and spells. Clergy can be any class, just take the right background.
  23. "On it," Sean affirmed, nodding sharply then packing up the remnants of his lunch, and slinging his satchel and lunchbag over his shoulder. "I can get started now, but to find anything, if I do, it'll take me time after school, unless I'm insanely lucky." An arm across his chest and turned a bit to the side, the buxom boy hurried down the bleacher steps then hustled to the library - it had the best wifi connection in the school, and on the first day, it was practically empty - after stopping by his locker. Claiming one of the study booths, Sean set up his laptop, then laced his fingers and stretched his arms out before him until he heard satisfying popping. He slipped an earbud in one of his ears and let the playlist on his phone go. With a fierce grin at the opening of Totem of The Wolf, he started typing, his fingers flowing over the keyboard like a master pianist at a piano at two and half times speed, forming code like music. Direct manual searching would be tedious, but a well written script could crunch through the sites and databases and FAA registry even faster than he could, and collect or highlight info of interest that fell under the parameters he set. Within a few minutes, he had his script written, just re-purposing one he had written before, and amending it for this specific purpose. Then, routing through a number of proxy servers so it seemed he was anywhere but Shelly, Montana, he began seeding it on the FAA registry and the various aircraft graveyards he could find, some of which surprisingly took a good deal of searching for. He was able to access the databases and lists he wanted readily enough, glad he could overlook the military aircraft boneyards, since Lilly recognized the plane as being a civilian number. At least for now. With only a partial tail-number, Sean could only set the parameters so fine, by class of aircraft and the partial tail-number. He considered excluding dates of when the plane might have been sent to the boneyard, but aircraft, usually, when through very vigorous testing, and could be used for decades. Just look at all the 737-Max's being grounded, and airlines replacing then with forty year old 737-200s. By the time the warning bell for the end of lunch period sounded, Sean already had a good bit to sift through, numbers and photos dropping into the elaborate, indelible database of his mind, looking for the right plane before he could even try to back track to its originating airfield, and maybe even trying to find out who signed the order sending the plane to the boneyard - it could be another lead to follow. Sean set the script to work on one more boneyard, then packed up, leaving his laptop running in its bag, as he began to hurry to his next class, his worn, bright red sneakers soft on the industrial carpet of the library then slapping on the linoleum of the hallways. Hopefully he could sneak in some extra 'study time' in his last few classes. AP Calculus was next. He could sleep his way to an 100% in that. If the teacher wasn't particularly dickish about electronics in his class, that would be practically another hour.
  24. I like cosplaying... Well, on Halloween anyway, Sean thought indignantly as he deftly peeled a clementine in a single strip and started eating it one slice at a time. He could see both sides of the Cody issue as well as the ramifications, but he kept his thoughts to himself, knowing his own biases. While some of his friends might seem to be delighting in Cody Sikes being in trouble or worse, he didn't think they really wanted him dead - not truly - and would end feeling like shit if things went that far. If everyone he had ever wished dead had died, well, regret wouldn't begin to cover the depopulation that would have been perpetuated. Though he had to disagree with Devin on one thing. Some people did deserve bad things happening to them, though he wasn't sure Cody Sikes was one. Life wasn't fair, true, and Karma wasn't real, but sometimes, it could be made to be real, with some help. Absently brushing the crumbs from his sandwich off of his chest as he reached into his lunch bag for another clementine, Sean's large vivid eyes went from Marissa to the returning Devin to Jase to finally rest on Sara, his head tilted slightly in inquiry. He popped another sweet slice of clementine into his mouth, then pursed his lips for a moment. "If Devin and Marissa just made up the 'Tree', and you hadn't heard about it before, then how did you find out about it now, Sara?" Sean mused. "Or rather who did you learn it from? And do you find out anything more about it?"
  25. Sean was in the back corner of the computer lab sitting, talking softly with to Kimberly Kiebler next to him, as the teacher went through the outline and expectations for Advanced Computer Applications, catching up with her after she had spent the summer with her grandparents in Florida. They didn't hang out outside of school, but were friendly enough inside it, often lumped together in various classes over the last several years since both had developed earlier and more amply than most of their peers. "Jesus, Sean!" Kim whispered, blatantly giving Sean a good look-over and noting curves more dramatic than last time she saw him, more obvious in better fitting clothing. "Did you shake out every last bit of fairy dust from the boob fairy?" Sean chuckled wryly. "Stupid hormones. I'll trade you a couple of cup sizes for a couple of inches of height, Kim." Kim had already been tall, but along with a great tan, she'd come back from Florida nearly as tall as Coraline. The average female height at Shelby High has to be notably higher than the national average, Sean idly thought. "I should see about programming a version of Venmo for height and boobs." "Heh, yeah, but no thanks! I'd share some height, but I got boobs enough," Kim giggled. "I look like a telephone pole with a pair of water balloon tacked on. But you, you look great Sean, with those hips and ass and waist to balance you out." She gestured, taking in his clothing. "You still dress like a geek, but I guess you ain't hiding the curves anymore? By the way, love the hair." "Thanks," Sean said, cheeks colouring faintly as he flicked an errant lock of hair back with a finger, then gave Kim an ostentatious shrug. "And, yeah, it's not like I can really hide them, right? Stuff happened over summer and I realized I could keep being embarrassed and miserable, or start accepting it, maybe embracing it a little." "Woohoo. Bikinis and little black dresses next, maybe some makeup, or heels? There's some height for you." Kim teased, nudging Sean in the ribs with an elbow. Sean gave her a small grin - that sort of teasing from Kim didn't bother him, not when they'd both been teased and harassed by others in much the same way. Having someone to vent with who understood was always a relief, and Kim had never seemed to be weirded out about his condition. She'd been curious, but not prying. "Have you been talking to Laurie? Baby steps, I'm taking baby steps." "With your dainty little feet, you have to. But better that than these clown shoes I have to wear." Sean only really paid half a mind to Kim talking about her time in Florida and complaints about clothes shopping and the teacher going on with the outline. Talk about hiding had Sean thinking about his friends' - and Devin's - talk before the first day assembly. They could be cautious about any overt displays and investigations, but he thought actually hiding was already too late. And it was serious, but he'd rather know what was going on, instead of trying to keep his head down in the sand. Ignorance wasn't bliss. With Eddy at Marias, that would likely mean they already had his extensive medical file on hand. He frowned, glancing down at the most obvious symptoms of his condition. If there was a genetic proponent, beyond or in addition to being affected by some manner of radiation or other exotic particles to the development of these... abilities - not that he had super spatial sense or telekinesis - would he trade them away if it meant he could have had normal male physical development? It was a question he couldn't answer. Yet. "... and for those of you who took Computer Applications last year, you'll remember Sean Cassidy," the teacher said, catching Sean's attention with his name. "Sean will be a TA for the class once again." The teacher gave the class a rueful smile. "So if you have any questions, please ask him first." "TA, more like T&A, amiright?" Bobby Howe laughed, giving the guy next to him a high five. Sean rolled his eyes - like Bobby hadn't said the exact same thing last year - but the teacher slapped her hand down on her desk with a sharp smack. "Bobby Howe! I expect everyone to treat everyone else in this class with respect and courtesy, no matter gender or appearance or sexual orientation. This is your last warning, Mr. Howe. Please apologize to Mr. Cassidy, who has graciously offered to assist in this class." Sean hadn't offered to TA just to be nice. It was an easy A for him, in this class, they actually got to build a computer and he always had fun doing that, and he could essentially use the class for independent study or do homework for other classes. Bobby got up and shuffled over to Sean, his eyes down. "I'm sorry, Sean, I didn't mean anything by it," he mumbled, glancing up at Sean from under lowered brows. His lips quirked in a half grin. "Just meant to enjoy the scenery." "I never expect otherwise," Sean replied wryly, keeping his voice low, though Kim was obviously listening in. "But if you think my T&A are nice, you should see my cock and balls." "Argh! You ruined it!" Bobby exclaimed in mock despair. "I was trying to forget that part." He gave Sean a nod. "I can't promise I won't look - if it looks, walks, and and sounds like a duck, it's duck enough for me - but I'll try not to be an obvious mouth breather about it." "What a gentleman," Sean said, sharing a look with Kimberly, then giving Bobby a warning smirk. "Try a little better than that. I can make this class hell for you." Bobby gave Sean a little salute and went back to his seat, thinking, you already are... With his phone in his satchel - so not a purse, but because pockets in girl jeans were essentially decorative as far as Sean could tell, they might be able to hold a quarter - and going around half the class, the teacher taking the other half, determining the other students initial proficiency level, Sean missed Devin's text. He only noticed it at the end of class, and with the rumours that were already spreading, he mind spun near the same logical conclusions Bannon had. He waved at Kimberly as she went one way down the hall and he went the other, walking briskly to his locker to grab his lunchbag then the field, finding Hutchins already there. He scrambled up the bleachers, straddling the top tier to face her, giving her a nod and a 'hey' and unzipped his lunch bag. Pulling out a sandwich, he cocked his head, studying Sara. "You don't know, do you? You haven't heard anything about the Sheriff? Or Cody?" "No. Wait! What?" Sara said, looking around, broad shoulders tensing. "I'm not sure, exactly. Just wait until the others get here." Making sure there was no one around to overhear, Sean got Sara caught up on the little he'd heard or inferred from the rumours. "Devin might know more. He sent a text."
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