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Clara Lys Wright last won the day on September 13 2019

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  1. The Interrogation <That sorta fits with what you told us before, Sara.> Clara sent to the group link Sara had them in. <If Cook is just a frontman for this Project Proteus, I mean. Do....do you think Charlie might be able to be enough like Cook to bypass the scanner? Or maybe Cassie could look in on the place since we have an idea about it now, and Devin could get Sean in to do a data raid?> Aloud, she asked Etienne softly, "What were you trained to do?" "Analysis and pitches for soft targets - people that were already inclined to help us or just easy marks for one reason or another," he said, but his eyes were still on Marissa. How could they be anywhere else? "They were supposed to start training me for more field work in a year or two but-" He shrugged, "There were budget cuts and I was a new recruit. First in, first out. That's why I had to go looking for new work in the first place."
  2. Nubile? Clara mouthed to Marissa with a cringe and a blush from her seat. "It's fine," Etienne said softly to Clara, never taking his eyes off of Marissa's face. "I turned twenty-three last month. Clara's the only high school girl I've ever dated. The few other women I've dated were usually a few years older than me." He kept his hands on his knees, refusing to show defensiveness to the Queen of Shelly High; he shifted only to place an ankle on his opposite knee. He could hear his trainer's voice in his mind: Give no ground. Keep things simple. Don't ever let them see if they've gotten to you. This wasn't quite the kind of interrogation she'd been training him for. Sara nodded very slightly from her chair, one of the ones off to the side and mostly outside of his field of vision. Truth, at least this time.
  3. Jauntsen's - Marissa, Sara, Lilly, Clara and Etienne "....so, I told him we wanted to talk. I left out the telepathic scanning part, just because if we can't trust him I don't want him to know what Sara can do." Clara had shown up shortly after Marissa had finished her shower and gotten clean clothes on; the others had filed in not long afterwards. Clara was agitated, pacing around as she spoke. The doorbell rang and she froze like a deer in headlights. "It's him," Sara said. Marissa rolled her eyes at Clara and stalked over to the door, opening and pointing Etienne into the family room towards the back of the house - no way in hell she was going to tell him where her room was, let alone let him inside. The rest of the group followed and found seats on the couch and loveseat there. Marissa had pulled out a cheap folding chair she'd found packed away in the garage; he didn't get to sit on the nice furniture, either. The group stared at him and he stared; finally he held out his hands and asked, "So, what do you want to know?"
  4. "Yeah, because 'hey, orgy at the Jauntsen's' from someone like me won't send up any red flags at all," Clara said with a self-deprecating half-grin. "I was planning on going on a run with him and then stopping by Bunnee's where Sara would be in another booth and could scan him there," she said, still clearly uncomfortable with the whole thing. Not enough not to do it, mind; just uncomfortable enough about it to squirm. She shrugged at Marissa, "I can try and get him over to your place, but I don't really have a realistic reason beyond telling him the truth." She gave Sara a look, "I figured you wouldn't really want me to do that before we know if he's being level with us now." An almost wicked grin, the most amused/evil expression anyone had ever seen on mousy Clara's face before, lit up and she added, "I mean, unless we want to say it's a double date with Lona and Devin."
  5. Clara had smacked her forehead with her palm so many times in her mind, a bruise was forming from sheer frustration. Snapping at Jase for being too inflexible or Marissa for being hypocritical wasn't going to help, so for today she just ignored it. "Sara, even if it's not all of us, those willing to be in a mindlink can at least help create a bit of a safety net. At the least, if I'm connected to you, I can provide a boost for you if you need to broadcast to someone that isn't in the link. I don't know if Jase is going to be up for our plan after this now, but if Etienne does check out, perhaps he could be in the link. We could get realtime updates on what Cook is doing or whatever Etienne might be able to dig up on this 'Project Proteus'." She bit her lip, looking nervous and keyed up. "If they've also got people like us, do you think being in the link might keep people safer from being messed with by another telepath?"
  6. "The Dark is an unknown quantity. If we don't do things because '...the Dark might...,' then we're never going to do anything," Clara said to Cade, not with rancor or harshness, just the truth as she saw it. She gave Jase a look, running her thoughts through the filter of what she knew of him. "So far as we know, Sara's link can't be hacked, doesn't leave a paper trail, doesn't cost money, is truly instant, and allows us to communicate as a whole group as well as providing a link to each other's Shine-boost over distance. In short, it allows us to act as a single unit no matter how spread out we are. In short, it is giving up being isolated for advantages that could likely save your life and the lives of the Fellowship, as well as advancing our ability to fight the Dark. That tactical advantage alone is worth having us mentally at your front door, I would hope." "If Devin is willing to be a part of the link as well, his ability to 'port around gives us even more mobility when he can be told when and where we need him or something else." She gave Marissa a questioning look. "Do you know if he would be up for that? And if he can move other people? I know he can do Athenian pizza."
  7. "Wright," Clara said, oblivious to the fact that her last name also sounded like she was agreeing with Marissa on her prodigious fields of sarcasm and the need to share such bounty with all and sundry in her gracious position as Queen of Shelly. Not Shelly High. Shelly. Clara mulled over Marissa's plan; the awkward teem had planned out running for - and winning - Class President in her freshman year. Given her utter lack of peopling skills, it was probably a horrible plan. Meticulous and utterly blind to the popularity-over-skills contest that it was. "What do I do? I have a student resume I can put up," she offered helpfully. Earnestly, awkwardly, utterly uselessly helpfully. "And," she added softly, "thanks."
  8. Clara stared out over the field, her gaze both outward and inward at the same time. "That seems....mean?" There was ten year old Clara saying that, a little kid still trying to desperately make sense of the rules she'd been told and the reality of what life was actually like. "Clara, if you don't take control of your life someone else is going to do it for you." Marissa said flatly. "Why do you think you were such an easy mark for the maybe-Canadian absolutely-rapist?" "He's not- we didn't- we haven't," Clara floundered, turning cherry red. Marissa rolled her eyes. "He wants to and is still trying to get into your pants. You don't even know how old he really is. Girl, with some help you might have better options one day. Scratch that. Literally any boy in school is a better option. Even Charlie." Clara covered her face with her hands for a moment, taking deep breaths to get control over her complexion again. "I'm sorry you went through that," she said after the exhale. "Both of you. It sounds like utter hell. I'd quite honestly take the insanity here in Shelly over Malibu any day. At least monsters are straightforward in attacking you." She rubbed one of her hands over her other arm and gave Marissa a look that was utter defenseless vulnerability. "I don't know what to do with my life, Marissa. I don't need to work if I don't want to and unlike everyone around me it seems, I don't have a passion. I don't have a goal and I never really have. Even before I ripped up my binder, there wasn't a career picked out. Just rules to follow and plans on how to...to do everything well enough that no matter what I eventually fell into, I'd do it well. How can you be a CEO if you don't have any idea what the company's about?"
  9. Behind the Shed "Not like it wasn't true," Clara said, scrubbing at her face and wincing at the noon-day sunlight. "I don't get people, Marissa. I don't mean like 'I don't like people' or 'people annoy me' or anything like that. I don't get them. I like hanging out with Jase because he says exactly what he means. I always know where I stand with him and I don't have to try to decipher a dozen different possible meanings from everything, because I'm so bad at that that most of the time I don't remember that's even a thing." She laid her head back on her arms. "Why do you think I have no friends? I mean, the Fellowship is Lona's friends. If I didn't have Shine too...." She shrugged, leaving the harsh truth unsaid. "It's pretty much always been easier and nicer to everyone else to just not. Don't socialize outside of class or clubs. Just do what's got rules and goals and go home. Fill up the day with that and focus on what makes sense and when that sucks just medicate until I don't care. Simple formula and with insurance it doesn't even cost that much." She let out a sigh and shrugged again, closing her eyes. "Between Etienne, you, and Devin, I should probably just go back to that, but I can't be a Xanax zombie and do anything useful to keep us all alive through this."
  10. "I'm sorry." Clara had a lot else she wanted to say - and just enough emotional understanding at this point to know that probably 75% of it was just wanting to protect her ego and everything else was, in the end, things that could wait or be ignored. Marissa was right: she sucked at, what did Lona call it? Peopling. Peopling often involved getting that other people had pretty masks they made to cover up issues and insecurities. She had never figured out how to make one and it rarely occurred to her that others could and did. That when other people said things to her, there was more to it than just what they said. She swallowed hard, trying not to burst into tears. Also not helpful. She took a deep breath and stepped away away from the other two, slipping out of the storage locker and around behind it. She was hungry, but food meant people and she wasn't up to people right now. She slid down to the ground, back against the wall of the shed with her arms on her knees and concentrated on taking long even breaths. She'd taken her meds out of her backpack Sunday night after thinking on what might happen if she was too out of it from Xanax or Seroquel to control her Shine or help boost the others - she might not be the power players in the group like Jase or Devin or Lona, but she was their battery pack and booster. Detoxing was good idea in theory when you're doing fine, but having to deal with her emotional and social issues head on cold-turkey still sucked. Still better than being a zombie when we've got actual monsters to worry about. Breathe in, hold, breathe out. Do it again. Suck it up and deal. Hey, maybe Marissa can make a mask for me. At least she's good with make-up. She giggled a little hysterically at the mental image of herself painted up kabuki-style that that conjured for some reason, then buried her face into her arms and just repeated over and over again, Breathe in, hold, breathe out.
  11. Teagan's Init: Details:[7d2 (1 2 2 2 2 2 1)] 5 sux.
  12. Clara watched Devin turn into thin air and take Lona with him and tried not twitch with over-protectiveness. She heard the tail end of Marissa's words to Lilly and after Lilly had spoken added in, "I'm more than willing to try to move passed what's in the past, I'm just not willing to smile blandly through being constantly insulted. That, at this point, is my biggest issue with you specifically, Marissa. You insult everyone pretty or much everyone any time you open your mouth. It's unpleasant and unhelpful and wanders into felling abusive to me." Clara's tone was mild and soft, her eyes on the other girl and her body language open, arms out to the side. "Just....stop? That's all. Just manage to have a civil constructive conversation without putting everyone or nearly everyone you're talking to down to do so." She sighed and shrugged. "Even if you don't, I'll be here. I'll be here every time you or brother call for help because god damn are we all in trouble. Not flunk a class or get detention or get kicked out of school trouble but pick out coffins for empty burials because we can be kidnapped and murdered by interdenominational monsters trouble. So I may not want to hang out with you or throw you a parade or whatever, but if you or Devin call for me, I'll be there."
  13. "That's fine," Clara said in response to the points about who was going where. "My contribution is just buffing others, so I thought that could be important if getting back and forth is difficult. I don't bring as much as others for doing stuff there, so if smaller groups are wanted, I'll stay here." Her stomach grumbled and she winced in a bit of embarrassment. "So, yeah, lunch. Lona, you coming for lunch or sticking around," her lips twitched for a fleeting second into a small smile or smirk, "here for a bit?"
  14. "I'll go with you," Clara said. " He was right - if someone was stuck over there, they needed rescuing. If they weren't stuck and given the whole bracelet thing, then they likely knew a lot more about that place and maybe the Dark than the Fellowship did. Rescue or ally, either way, there's a another person involved and we should find out what we can. "Tonight or this afternoon? Do you think you can get us over to the other side now or are we trying the trailer again?" I'm so going to flunk junior year. More important things are more important.
  15. At Lilly's well-timed push and pull to get Cass and the bracelet separated, Clara looked for something to do to help. She spotted a small tin box and snatched from a shelf, pouring out the assortment of keys, nails, and other random bits of metal it had inside. She scooped the bracelet up inside of it, snapping the lid shut and flipping the catch to secure it. She gave the box a disgusted look with the catch clacked uselessly and she realized the metal had rusted through enough to destroy part of the locking mechanism. She plucked one of the random keys up and pushed it against the lid and bottom, fusing the three together with the key across the seam to keep the box sealed up. Not like cutting the box open would be all that difficult later, if needed. When Cass came to again, Clara held the box out in Devin's direction before putting a hand Lona's shoulder as the other girl moved towards the reporter. She might not be able to heal Cass herself, but she could make sure Lona had all the oomph she needed to do the job. She looked over at Devin, asking hopefully, "Any idea what just happened?"
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