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Everything posted by Bannon

  1. US History Class <I imagine that the situation warrants a mental wiretap without his knowledge.> Jason suggested in his clinical mental voice. <Slippery slope is a logical fallacy that emotionally distracts from the matter at hand by suggesting that a course of action will inevitably lead to abuses of the method. It ignores that every situation is and should be treated individually, instead positing a universal set of 'rules' that have to be followed blindly to the conclusion. 'Allow gays to marry, and it gives the green light to pedophiles and zoophiles'.> A sensation of wry amusement came over the mental link. <Naturally, I think it's bullshit. Just because we are using Sara's gift to ensure Etienne can be trusted does not mean we will then go rummaging around the prinicipal's mind for his private kinks.> <Yes, but if you decided there was a need to discover the principal's kinks, you wouldn't think twice.> Clara's mental tone was amused. Jase's lips twitched in a smile as he appeared to study his textbook. <Probably not. But that would be a separate instance of me wanting to gain blackmail leverage, not a natural continuation of interrogating Etienne.> <Alright, so how do we do this?> Sara's mental voice was straightforward and brusque as she brought the two geniuses back from their exploration of the ethical qualms of mindreading - or in Jason's case: the lack of them. <Clara is the Good Cop - she will appeal to his better emotions. I will be the Bad Cop - he probably knows enough to be wary of making sudden moves or risking pissing me off. You will be the strong silent polygraph in the background. You can draw on a link with Clara to give you a boost if you need it.> Jase advised, all business now. <Clara does most of the talking to him. Tell him that we need to be able to trust whether or not he's genuine about wanting to help - that's not a lie. Just have the conversation you would normally have. Ask him what he knows about Cook's project, whether he knows about the surveillance, where the headquarters is... What else he was doing other than spying on the Wrights, if anything? Sara, if he lies - you don't hint that you know he's lying, not even to us, until the conversation is over. Then you give us the report, let us know what he was lying about, and we decide where to go from there. We don't want to let him know we can read him until we know we can trust him.>
  2. Principal's Office Jason sighed, considering the Doctor. "Here is the issue, Doctor. It is one of trust. Right now, there is no evidence that I did anything at all. You have some video footage of Liam Day throwing himself out of a window, and me in the vicinity, and that is all. You are, in effect, asking me to confess to something. Sure, we're not being monitored - except by anything you choose to monitor this conversation with - but let's just say I don't know you, sir. I have no reason to open up to you, or trust you. Surely, as a man of logic, reason and science, you can appreciate that." He let that hang in the air for a moment. "But... I am interested in your project. What you have found out, what you have accomplished." He met Cook's eyes unwaveringly. "Tentatively, we can open up this relationship with a little quid pro quo. You want my cooperation, I want yours. Let's see... What is an appropriate small gesture of trust...? Ah. Yes." He pondered for a moment, then smiled. "I want to know why my mother is in Shelly. I don't believe in coincidences, so seeing her here, teaching... You can understand that I am suspicious. If you do not know, and that is a surprise to you too, then I'll expect you to use your resources to find out." Jason shrugged. "Provide that information, and I will talk about Friday night."
  3. Principal's Office Doctor Cook had studied all the 'activated' students. He knew some of them personally, others had always been distant figures about whom he still had a certain amount of knowledge - at least so far as their genealogy, medical conditions, genetic markers, and observed powers. This was, to his knowledge, the first time he'd ever met Jason Bannon face to face. The boy didn't freeze or hesitate, nor even blink when Cook dropped his 'I know what you did' line. Instead he took a seat unbidden, sitting down across from the Doctor with a calm expression on his face, glacial green eyes studying the older man as he leaned back with a slouch that was almost insolently casual, especially for a youth who should be nervous. "The mere fact you're raising that topic in that way implies that you already think you know and want to see me squirm." Jason shrugged, his eyes narrowing as they focused on Cook. His lips curved in a slight smile under eyes that gave away nothing other than interest. "Sorry to disappoint you, doctor. Liam's unfortunate status and how it came about means less than nothing to me." A slender hand flicked the matter aside as unworthy of consideration. "But I've wanted to meet you too, sir, and I would hate to do you the discourtesy of leaving empty-handed. Perhaps a better topic of discussion would be 'You told the girls you wanted to be an ally. Were you genuine, or are you merely a shepherd wanting to fleece his flock?'"
  4. "What do you think Ms Forster wanted with Marissa?" Sean asked Jase as they walked away from Biology, the bustling kids diverting around the brooding lanky shape of his friend. The answer was a grunt. Sean looked sideways and upwards at Jason's face, which was currently expressionless, his eyes distant. Sean was not oblivious - there had been what his grandma would have called 'an atmosphere' in the classroom when Jason and Ms Forster had had their exchange. He wondered what it might be due to - Forster was new, and Jason didn't know her. Or did he? "Too much to ask that it was to call her on her Strawberry Bullshitcake act." Sean muttered, mostly to himself. It irked him how dumb the adults were that they couldn't see that Marissa was a phony who was laughing at their stupidity from the other side of her smile. He wasn't sure if that was due the principle of the thing or due to envy that she got away with it, though. "Hey, I'll see you later." he said to Jase as they reached Sean's next classroom, his friend giving him a nod and smile before heading onward. His own next class was only twenty yards away.
  5. "Ahh, youthful honesty." Ms Forster smirked, her blue eyes studying Sean with a flash of wry, dispassionate humour in their depths. There was a faint rustle from the class and one or two amused coughs. "No, no. I like honesty in my students. Do try to separate your own condition from your studies, however. A scientist that becomes too personally invested in the outcome of a path of study starts to see patterns where there are none, or disregard data that is actually important - The phenomenon of which is commonly known as what, Mr Bannon?" The question had lashed out with quiet whip-like speed as her eyes turned to the lean form sprawling in the chair next to Sean's, narrowing slightly. "Confirmation bias, the inclination to seek out and favor data that supports pre-held beliefs or an emotionally-invested hypothesis." Jason had been studying Marissa's profile, but didn't even blink as he answered. His gaze now shifted to meet his mother's as he went on. "It can even lead to interpreting as favorable or unfavorable results - or situations - that are in fact ambiguous, simply to prop up the observer's point of view." His head tilted to one side and he smiled very slightly. "A certain amount of discipline is needed to maintain intellectual integrity, because some errors can be very costly or, indeed, irreversible in the damage they can do." he paused, then added almost as an afterthought. "To the process, I mean." Ms Forster did not blink either, but there was a flicker of something in her gaze. It might have been approval, or anger, or disdain. It wasn't amusement, that much was certain. "And why do you want to study Biology, Mr Bannon?" "I'm looking to get into Human Anatomy, Zoology and Med Prep by the end of the next semester." he answered without any hesitation or shifting of his gaze. There was a faint shifting of asses on seats and some exchanged looks amongst the other students. "That's an... ambitious academic plan." Forster returned, smiling a little now, head tilting to one side as she considered him. "Perhaps. But I'll need them - I can hardly show up to intern at the Medical Center in senior year saying 'Trust me, I already know this stuff.' Some bona fides will be required." Bannon replied evenly, his head also tilting slightly to one side - though he was not smiling. "Looking to get into medicine." she mused, nodding. "Any particular area." "I've always been fascinated by Diagnostics." he replied, a faint smile now curving his lips. She studied him carefully. "So why Zoology?" "Because I find it personally interesting, and because I can." "My, this will be an interesting class to teach." she smiled broadly, glancing at the rest of the students. "Thank you, Mr Bannon. Now, let's see... Who shall I pick on next...?" Her blue eyes caught a whispering girl. "Well volunteered, that girl." she smirked, pointing at Lori Heath...
  6. <How long do I have?> Jason's mental tone was so dry it took a moment for the others to realise he was joking. Probably. <How long do you need?> Sean asked before he could stop himself, even while he was considering adding more players to his game. The logistics would be sticky, but with a good Assistant GM it should be doable... <At least ten years. They've not begun to hatch yet.> Jason replied, a faint alien, but not unpleasant sensation of dark mirth accompanying the words. <Bio-weapon plague? Always a vote-grabber.> Sean nodded approvingly. <Agreed. Please do let me know if you start to experience any bowel problems. The incubation process is a delicate one.> That was good for a collective <EWWW> and some welcome mental laughter, one or two of the Fellowship smiling at the still-apparently-studying Jason. <If Chet is giving hateful looks, then his apparent peace with Sean can be assumed to be over too. Perhaps he's been got at by the Dark - he was with Courtney on Friday night after the game, and didn't join the party at Bunnee's - perhaps he was never genuine. Either way, we are on siege footing - go nowhere alone on school grounds, even and especially the bathrooms.> Jason's tone went back to it's more clinical, icily precise measures. <And by alone, I mean without at least one other member of the Fellowship. Get used to the fact that most of the faculty and students will be 'blinkered' by the Dark, encouraged to look the other way. Perhaps even your friends.> <We need to minimise the opportunities we hand the Dark to strike at us. It's strongest here, in central Shelly. That's where the Tree appears in the other place. This is now hostile territory> He went on, turning the pages of his book. <Sara and Sean - when Autumn gets here we should give you all a quick info-dump on the Saturday meeting's outcomes and the tasks Cassandra suggested for us all.>
  7. It was funny, a small part of Jason's brain wryly observed, how different people viewed the same thing. Beside him, Sean sympathetically flinched in tandem with the rest of the students in the class at Marissa's imperious scolding, pulling his attention almost guiltily away from where he'd been - albeit less grossly blatantly than some of the male population - ogling Ms Forster. Jase had been aware that his friend was staring at his mother, registering a kind of wry detached amusement as he imagined Sean's face when he told him. Whereas Sean, and the other guys and some of the girls, probably, had been eyeing a surprisingly hot substitute teacher, Jason saw only his neglectful biological parent, the woman who had abandoned him and now had been possibly brought to Shelly by enemy or enemies unknown to somehow exert influence or sow confusion on him. And whereas Sean, and the other students saw their Wrathful Queen ready to strike down upon them with great vengeance and furious anger... Jason beheld love. She was stunning, challenging, haughty and full of fire. Jase couldn't be cowed, or scared - but he could be impressed or struck with awe and (not for the first time) Marissa Jauntsen had impressed him. She always had, really. Ever since he'd first seen her when the Jauntsens had moved to Shelly. That he knew she was capable of fear and terror simply gave her fierce poise more impact. Of course this would be the nature of her Shine: the projection of her personality taken to a compelling extreme. She stirred him as no-one else could - which could not be normal at all, any more than Cade speaking to animals or Lilly being able to dent steel with her bare fists. His brain being his brain, he registered all of this in the first few seconds, processed it, stored the image of her dark eyes snapping with regal fire in his mental palace (in a place of high honor in the main hall), and enjoyed the effect she had on the others. He didn't hear birds singing or music playing. What he heard was the answering call to her roar of dominance, a rumble of approval from deep in the fiery darkness of his soul, beyond the icy crystalline construct of his thoughts. Even as he registered that, he analysed the sensation, this new thing not entirely carnal and not entirely cerebral. Like / respect / desire / lust. Was that love? It wasn't a chemically induced, daydream-like crush - he could still think clearly, there was no pink haze such as was described in various works on the matter. It was appreciation of her as a being that flared and shone in his sight. And yeah, he also wanted to 'appreciate' her all night long. He was a high-functioning psychopath, not a eunuch. Plus that hair flip was adorable. And yeah, she hated him right now. It was a good thing he didn't get depressed or sad, or he'd be miserable, he noted with a wry quirk of his lips. The only outward sign that any of this was taking place was that slight smile and Jason's intent gaze resting on Marissa, the copper flecks in the pale green depths seeming to brighten as he watched her resume her seat after the facile explanation of her interest in Biology. Some of it might even have been true - perhaps most of it, to a degree. But as with most things Marissa, there were layers of complexity to the construct. Something else he privately added to his reasons for enjoying her presence, as he waited to be called upon by Ms Forster.
  8. <Looked at first like someone was interfering with my business> Jason's mental 'voice' was crystalline clear and calm as he relayed what happened with the aid of images of the confrontation that were movie-like in their quality. <Then I noticed an oddness in their eyes right about when Clara and Avalon showed up.> The mental imagery stopped moving, highlighting the unfocused glare in Curtis's eyes. <Fortunately, with their help I was able to slip away without having to get unpleasant.> His meaning was obvious enough. <It seems the Dark might be making moves, trying to test and provoke us. In my case, my perceivable weakness is my temper. Others here might be tested on their own frailties.> His attention was still on his books as he 'spoke', but his tone was a warning one.
  9. "I'd imagine they'd need some puppetry for the Firey's scene." Jason said, glancing at Cassie, then at Charlie as he looked up from his reading. "With them throwing their limbs and heads about the stage. Perhaps for other scenes too. I believe Charlie was intending a lot of the goblin roles to be played by the elementary school students, with the larger roles - pun intended - going to middle and high-schoolers." Everyone bar Sean stared at Jason like he'd grown an extra head - and was tossing it around like a Firey. Sean merely smiled - he remembered eleven year old Jason quietly singing the songs to himself while working on homework for a few weeks after watching Labyrinth one Sunday at Sean's place. "I like the story." he'd said when Sean had called him on it at dinner. "It's funny, but shows that choice has consequence, and depending on the world to be fair doesn't work." A typical young Jason answer, delivered with such a sober expression in eyes too old for his young features that it had prompted Sean's mom to hug him for the first time. "What?" he asked them with a faint raise of a brow. "Never figured you for a Labyrinth fan." Kyle said with a nervous smile. "I have layers upon layers." Jason replied mildly with an enigmatic smile as he turned his pale gaze back to his books.
  10. "Savage editorials?" Jason asked mildly from where he sat reading his two books, his green eyes rising from the pages he'd been flipping at an almost indecent speed to study Cassie, a faint smile curling his lips that almost made her wish he wasn't - well, the 'p-word'. "Scathingly savage." she asserted firmly. Jase's smile widened a little. "That sounds like fun, but I'll be nice anyway." he replied before he glanced at Beth, nodding in polite welcome.. "Hi, Beth." His oddly unwavering gaze studied the 'new' face. Of course he'd seen her around and knew her by sight, but now she was re-classified: friend of a friend. Something that most people didn't even think about, the expansion of their social connections - but Jason did, for the very simple reason that without intellectual effort on his part, there would be no social connections. Bethany was now slotted into the outer ring of his 'circle', as did Kyle, which came with certain privileges and few expectations. She was pretty, with gentle-seeming eyes currently guarded as she returned his gaze hesitantly. He smiled slightly, then dropped his attention back to his reading. "Aaand that's the warm Jase welcome." Charlie grinned. "He obviously likes you." "I've never seen him take to people so well." Lona quipped as though describing a normally suspicious family pet, noting the faint smile that twitched at the corner of her friend's mouth, though he didn't glance up.
  11. Jason nodded to Kyle as Charlie's friend joined them - a gesture of polite acknowledgement. The other boy was mildly nervous as he sat across and down aways from Bannon, something Jason had learned was the tell-tale of a person with a high degree of affective sensitivity - an empath, for want of a better term, like Charlie himself. The Fellowship's thespian had been similarly on edge when they'd first gamed together, gradually learning to relax around the hard-to-read, vaguely predatory intensity of Jase, until they'd reached a point where they were (mostly) comfortable. Though Charlie still didn't actively seek Jason out, or seek to confront him regarding various behaviours. The memory of the steak knife gleaming as it turned towards him in the air at Bunnee's on Thursday night, plus the thought of Liam laying on a respirator to help him breathe was enough to dissuade all but the most concerned or curious. And then Sunday's revelation had introduced a whole new level to the Fellowship's problem - how do you remonstrate with someone with not even a frame of reference for remorse, who didn't see a quantitative difference between hospitalising a creep and stepping on a roach? Apparently Lona had, kind of. So it could be done. Food for thought... Jason wolfed down his pancakes with commendable speed even for a teen boy, absently swiping a finger through the remnants of the syrup and licking it clean in a gesture that, although uncalculated, would have caused thoughtfulness behind many a female set of eyes that may have been turned his way. Sliding his tray aside, he removed a pair of books from his satchel and began to read one, eyes flicking over and referring often to the other as he went. The resident experts in Bannonology realised that, although he appeared absorbed in what he was doing, he didn't have his earphones on - this was tantamount to being sociable and open where their friendly neighbourhood psychopath was concerned.
  12. Cassie: Rockwell - Somebody's Watching Me - She is. Always. Sean: Tim Curry - Sweet Transvestite - Duh. Clara: Herrmann - Psycho Theme - she'll snap, one day. Jase plans to enjoy the show. Charlie: Jace Everett - Bad Things - You know he wants to do them. Marissa: Valerie Broussard - A Little Wicked - So suitable. Autumn: The Cure - A Forest - Because yes. Devin: Gary Numan - The Dark - Lona: Billie Eilish - All the Good Girls Go To Hell - But it's more fun there. WIP...
  13. His mother's look of recognition and cold disapproval had been almost satisfying, causing him to smile slightly as he looked back to meet her eyes- And then, right outside the fucking school office, he was accosted. Presumably the three of them hadn't received the promised goods - which was a major concern to him, as he prided himself on honoring his word. Their tone, more to the point, spoke of annoyance, which at least had some justification if this wasn't a scam. More immediately concerning was the fact that they were taking it up with him in spitting distance of the fucking Principal. He had rules. No product changing hands directly, no transactions in person (Marissa having been his only exception until the night of the party). People left notes in dead-drops with the cash, he checked them and filled the orders. People could alert him that they had placed an order in person, but that was it. No phone calls, no haggling. Other than the initial setup, no customer ever again did business face to face with him on school grounds. Off school grounds either, for the most part. Minor leeway was given to good customers, but still - cash and dope both were exchanged through the dead-drops. To have a bag of weed thrust at him like this was completely unacceptable. "I don't know what you're talking about." he replied in a calm, low tone, pushing the bag back at Curtis whilst meeting the senior's eye. Not here, you simple-minded fuck-wit. He stepped closer, his gaze level, and murmured "If you have a problem with your dealer, I'm sure there are better ways you can get hold of him." He glanced at Tammy and Mark meaningfully, then moved to slip past them. Only for Curtis to grab his arm, Mark moving to block his path. Tammy backed up a little as she sensed the tension rise. Jason's cold gaze went down to the beefy hand on his arm, then up to the equally bovine expression of anger on Curtis's face. "We're not done." Mark declared. "I disagree." Jason said, his gaze still on Curtis, his voice still a calm and low murmur. "If there was a problem, I will set it straight. You will get either what you paid for, or a refund. Someone has tampered with my drop - I don't cheat customers." He fought for control of himself as Curtis kept a restraining hand on his arm. He could light the boy up like a pork roast... "And once that is set right, you two are cut off." "The fuck we are." Curtis snorted. Bannon's voice went from calm to cold, his eyes becoming glacial. "You brought that shit here and started sounding off within twenty feet of the school office, you remedial ass-clown. That was strike one. You ignored my not-so-subtle hint to address this later, in private. Strike two. And you laid hands on me, you cranially-deficient shit-tick. Strike three. All in the space of five fucking minutes." The hiss of his voice was liquid nitrogen. "You can find another dealer - one who caters to the crayon-eating crowd. Now let go of me before I really get angry."
  14. He froze, a sudden wild surge of mostly-dormant feelings causing his consciousness to go into a flat spin. For the students milling in the halls the lanky teen who was the subject of so much gossip stayed motionless for only a few moments, whereas he was elsewhere... "...look at me like that, Jason! I can't do this." She set the suitcase on the bed and started packing clothes into it from his closet, muttering. "Bad enough when I thought you might be autistic. Then your damn father goes and gets himself locked up for his ethical concerns..." She looked up to see him standing in the bedroom doorway, pale eyes large in his young features as they watched her. His eyes were wet, but he wasn't crying, and that somehow made this harder. No tears, no snot, just clear comprehension that he was being abandoned by the one person who never should do such a thing, and a faint evidence of pain in his gaze. "I said don't look at me like that!" she snapped, trying to push aside the nagging doubts and turning away before her own tears could flow. "Come and pack your things." ..and the Now snapped back, Jason's mind reasserting it's control as he began walking towards the school office, towards where his mother- Towards where Kaitlin had disappeared, his thoughts racing with their usual quicksilver clarity. She had smiled, and it hadn't been a mean or malicious or smug smile. It had been pleased, appreciative. Like she'd been happy to lay eyes on him. He did not hate her, not as normal people would define the term. Hate required chemical activity in the same portion of the brain that governed other social bonding reactions. Nor was he, at the moment, angry with her. His default state of mind when considering his mother was quiet contempt for her weakness and vestigial pain/resentment, a phantom ache. Stronger than those now was curiosity. What was she doing here? Because it sure as hell was no coincidence. He suspected Cook - but to what purpose? To emotionally unsettle him was a fools task - though Cook might not realized that yet. Do not assume. Work on the presumption that Cook might know his star pupil was a psychopath. What then? It would have to be societal or material pressure. She had abdicated her rights to maternal custody years ago, so it was unlikely to say the least that she could be trying to take custody of him now. Besides, he could choose which parent to live with at his current age - unless Cook took steps to discredit his father and further ruin his life... At which point Jason would consider himself to be at war with Cook's project. Surely Cook would have considered that, if he knew Jason's true nature, which meant that the question looped back around again - cui bono. Who benefited from reintroducing his mother into his life? "Shit." he muttered under his breath, a rare expression of frustration as he fixed a bland look on his face and entered the school admin office. "Hiya Mrs Meyers." he said to the administrator currently manning the desk, glancing at the blonde woman currently at the counter who seemed to be writing something down. "Jason. How many times to I have to tell you to call me Nora?" the coach's wife, a kindly woman with the patience of a saint, smiled at him. "At least once more." he deadpanned, then smiled faintly back. "I need to reschedule with the school counselor about the Medical Prep class? Friday was kind of a bear." The gorgeous blonde, who glanced at Jason with that same appreciative smile but no indication of recognition, let her eyes rove down and then back up drinking in his matured beyond his years physique. She was checking him out. Any other teen would have freaked out at A: not being recognised by their own mother and B: then being checked out by her. Fortunately, Jason had already come as close as he could to freaking out back in the hallway and so met the blonde woman's eyes with nothing more than a faint polite smile and an unwavering gaze, as if she were a stranger who had been caught checking out a youth more than half her age. "There, you're all set for study hall." Nora Meyers said, printing off a slip and passing it to Jason, who smiled back at her as he tucked it away. "Thanks, Mrs Meyers." His smile turned slightly teasing, causing her to smile back. "Why, you're welcome, Mr Bannon." she said with mock-formality as Jase turned to go, letting his eyes once more pass over the blonde woman who was the spitting image of his mom.
  15. "Multiverse theory states that every probability becomes a reality, somewhere. We're just not directly aware of them. So when Lilly sees probabilities, she is glimpsing potential alternate realities." Jason said quietly, nodding at Laurelei. "In the diner fight, the 'past' was already set. Even if it was only a couple of seconds in the past, it's fixed. Lilly can't undo Devin's decision to hit Chet. All she could do was 'pick' - subconsciously - what outcome she preferred." "That said, she is also altering which branch of reality we hurtle down. And yes, it does change us, just as all choices we make change us." he went on. "In a sense, we all do that, every day. It is the essence of the human condition - choices leading to consequences. Lilly and Cade just have a more... direct impact and can choose more solidly, making them - to the outside observer - absurdly 'lucky'. She could pull the lever on a slot machine and win the jackpot by choosing the reality where that happens." He smiled faintly. "But addressing your point that we would all be different versions or ourselves, that happens already." Laurelei looked at him askance. Jason met her gaze somberly. "I made a choice on Friday night. I made a choice today, telling you all my secret. And now you are different people - you are treating me differently because I am different in your eyes, though objectively I am the same as I was on Friday, indeed the same as I have always been." he said quietly. "Now you all have choices to make - whether to be my friend, how much to trust me, whether to go to the authorities, perhaps even whether or not to put me down, as Devin suggested." His voice was utterly calm, as was his expression. "And from those choices will come other changes, for good or ill." He spread his slender hands. "Voila - I have altered your realities. And my own." "Lilly, for what it is worth you are beyond Olympic competition now. As the others have already said far more ably than I. If you wanted to compete, to win glory and acclaim then I would of course support you. I also agree with you that it would not be a competition, any more than what I did to Liam Day was a fight." He shrugged slightly. "I am sorry your dream will need altering. I know the Olympics meant a lot to you." It was perhaps as close an expression of empathy as he was capable of - conscious sympathising with another. He stepped back and went over to his previous seat by the fire, settling on the ground with his back to the sturdy log. The lanky teen's eyes gleamed and flickered as he leaned his head back on the wood and watched the bonfire burn. Though he was still close by, still physically part of the gathering, in that moment there was something remote about their strangest member, as though he had turned his fierce intelligence inward and retreated from the world.
  16. Making sure everyone is happy with the montage in Danger Room. Pls PM me if you want any additions / alterations.
  17. Nina - I thought we were using the XP tables here - they were the last one you posted:
  18. Cade’s trick, despite the humorous comparisons, was impressive and, in addition, served to break up some of the tension caused by fresh discussion of Jason’s... unique outlook on things. People took a break for a soda and, in Jase’s case, a smoke before continuing. The breakthrough of the psionic teens ability to ‘tune in’ to each other’s Shine through touch proved important, not least of which for being able to assess whether someone had ‘Psi-Shine’ or the ‘Hero-Shine’, as Jason labelled Lilly and Cade’s gift. “With you two, it’s as though you are becoming idealised human beings – figures from story and myth. They are not usually outside the scope of human experience – great strength, speed and so on are still ‘human’ traits, which makes the Hero relatable. The Hero’s actions have massive ramifications, for good or ill.” He explained. “Heroine.” Lilly grinned, though she liked the term. “So our ability to ‘choose’ realities is us being able to steer the story.” “For good, or ill.” Jason repeated. “King Arthur was a Hero. He became king, established order and enlightenment, and then was brought low by his own failing and the failing of another Hero he trusted, Lancelot du Lac. The result was a dark age following the golden.” He smiled slightly. “A cautionary tale for all of us.” He tossed the butt of his rollup into the firepit and glanced around. “We know Sara is telepathic, so she’s definitely psionic. If you’re willing to sit down with me, Autumn, we can get you placed in the right weight class.” Autumn looked doubtfully at the Effing Bannon. He was clothed, at least. And a psychopath, a word that conjured all sorts of nightmares – and yet... He’d looked after them, in the woods. He’d stood and fought a monster (something she’d wished she’d done at the time). And although he was odd and had a way of smiling that made her tense up, he hadn’t ever threatened her. Finally, he seemed to know what he was doing. “Right.” She said slowly, watching as he moved to sit on a clear patch of grass, gesturing to her to sit opposite him. “Is this going to hurt?” she asked as she sat down, shuffling closer with some reluctance, eying the hands he held out to her in invitation. He smiled slightly, but it wasn’t amusement at her expense this time. Well, mostly. It was even, in the right light, reassuring. “Not a bit.” = = = = = Autumn had psionic Shine. Jase could feel it within her through their link, a similar vitality to that shared by Lona and Charlie. Power over life, over cellular matter. It was a rich cascade of sensation and vibrancy that made him feel stronger just by proximity to it. It had taken maybe five minutes of careful coaching, but finally he felt the field of her Shine interacting with his own as she relaxed, her sea-hued eyes on his icy green ones. She was warm and emotional, like Cassie, but restless where Cass was focused, her energy pacing back and forth waiting to be unleashed. He marvelled at the simple, yet profound insight this link could provide. For Autumn, it was an odd experience. Intimate, yet not too invasive – There were no thoughts exchanged, nor could she read his emotions like she might have imagined. Instead she was aware of Bannon’s energy – his Shine- and how his psyche reflected upon it. He was control, focus and crystalline icy clarity over a simmering, banked furnace that waited and wanted to be called upon. Like Cassie earlier, she noted he didn’t feel twisted or evil, just odd. Alien. A matter of his intelligence, or his ‘condition’, or both? Oddly, she found his focus to be stabilising, taking on a fraction of his calm fearlessness for herself while they were linked. “You feel it?” she heard him ask as she swam in the cool green of his eyes. She nodded. “Now focus on your own Shine. Be aware of it. You feel somewhat like Lona. She can heal, has an awareness of life around her and it’s relative health. Focus on the Shine, feel it.” He said calmly. Autumn focused, drawing on the calm clarity of Bannon’s energy to still her own restlessness. She felt the pale glow of the Shine... and then under it something else. The redhead’s eyes widened as she realised she could feel the life-force in her own body and, with only minor concentration, that of those around her, being able to focus on each in turn. Charlie there had a couple of minor bruises, Cassie ached a little as if from intense exercise, Lona fairly glowed with good health – as did she herself, she realised. Lilly and Cade likewise were pictures of health, whereas Bannon... “You’re hurt.” She said, blinking as she regarded him with this new sense. She had spotted the faint purple bruise on his jaw earlier, but now she could feel all the bruises under his baggy shirt and pants. He was in painful discomfort. “What the hell happened to you?” “Training this morning.” He said calmly as if that explained everything. “Don’t heal me, please. I’m learning to work through it. It’s a self-discipline exercise.” “Jesus, Jase.” Lona said as she, too focused on his vital aura, alerted by the conversation. “You could have said-“ “I know.” He interrupted with that same calm tone, smiling a little at his friend. “But it’s part of my personal training, Avalon. My choice.” “But-“ “Do I have any broken bones? Or internal injuries?” he asked rhetorically. “They’re just bruises. Bruises fade.” He met her eyes. “When the day’s training is over, I’ll ask you or Autumn to heal me so I don’t turn up to school bruised.” He said quietly. “Fair?” Lona didn’t like it, that much was obvious, but she nodded silent assent. “Thank you.” He said softly, then turned back to Autumn. “Alright, now we’ve gotten your feet wet, let’s get up and see what you –and we all - can really do.” = = = = = Sean had a pretty good handle on following and controlling the flow of electrons that gushed like blood within the wires and microchips of electrical devices. He demonstrated again by making his pair of drones dance in the air in an intricate ballet. But doing so had spurred him on to consider how else he might manipulate electromagnetic energy. He could change how it reacted inside devices, could he do it to all the other such energy about them. When he focused, he could see all the threads and fireflies of visible and invisible light, various frequencies of radio waves, and more.... "Hold on guys, I'm gonna try something, don't freak out," Sean warned them, as he inhaled and reached out with his mind, grasping all the strands of visible light and... twisted them, turning them into sourceless radio waves. The practice area was plunged into utter darkness, pitch black to all but his eyes, which could still perceive in the ultraviolet and infrared spectrum. It made his friends look very odd to his perception and took a while to get too. He could still perceive the threads of visible light he had twisted, see them starting to unravel into their true forms, but slowly. "I turned the visible light into harmless radio waves. I think, unless I did something, it'll stay like this for a few hours. But I think that'll make practicing harder than is has to be." Sean twisted the strands again, changing the frequency of the ambient photons, and as he did so, the darkness faded away, a bubble of light encompassing the clearing shifting through the hues of a rainbow. Sean grinned, everything tinted faintly green. "Pretty sure I can put on a decent light show." The light shifted to a pale indigo and Sean cocked his head to the side, considering. He could twist strands of electromagnetic energy, but could he combine them? He tried, holding his hands about a foot apart, fingers waggling as through playing with a cat's cradle. The purplish-blue light seemed to be pulled between his fingers, growing brighter, harder. The entire area seemed to grow slightly dimmer as he twisted the threads of light together in an ever tighter rope, the light shifting to blue then green... Sean felt it just a moment before it happened, eyes going wide and lips peeling back in excited panic, as he felt the tightly bound braid of light snap together. "Look away! Look away!" Sean shouted, as a searing, razor thin line of blinding green light blazed into being, forming between his hands to a point just pass one of the abandoned pieces of farming equipment, severing it in half, the edges glowing orange and the acrid scent of burnt steel in the air. The unexpected intensity of his personal laser made his stumble back and land on his plush behind. A trickle of blood trickled down Sean's nose, staining his upper lip as he tried to brush is away while he climbed back to his feet. He had pushed himself hard with that, too hard. "Um, oops? I didn't think it would be that big." “Phrasing.” Jason said dryly as he offered a hand and helped Sean up. The others snickered, tension released as laughter. = = = = = Perhaps the biggest discovery was that when Sara linked multiple psionicists in a mental network of sorts, they could tune into each other’s Shine (provided the other allowed it) and perform the same boosts as though they were touching. “This implies that the subquantum layer is one point in space – or rather than space doesn’t exist there. Cassie can see and sense over massive distances. Devin can teleport to Greece for pizza.” Jason mused. “They don’t literally project their senses or body through space, they dive down into the subquantum, then back up again where they want to be.” He snapped his fingers as a thought occurred to him. “Cassie. You said at Bunnee’s the other night that you saw what had happened in the past, with the bear and the tree?” he looked at her intently. The pretty blonde nodded, curious why he was bringing it up. “Time as well.” He said with a firm definite tone. “Time doesn’t exist down there, which makes sense because space doesn’t. So you send your senses down to the subquantum, then bring them up not just where you want, but also when. Within reason, I suppose. I wonder if Devin could teleport through time...?” “Oh, come on.” Sean looked askance at his friend. “Time travel now?” “Why not? We’re all travelling through time anyway. I can walk across the field in ten minutes. Devin can teleport across it in an eyeblink. Time and space are linked – if he can dodge one, then there’d have to be some kind of special law that stops him dodging the other.” Jase looked thoughtful for a moment, then shrugged. “It would go towards explaining the smilodon and other weirdness. Something to consider.” That set aside for now, people got back to learning the extent of their gifts and how they interacted with one another. Jase’s emphasis seemed to be on the physical – objects became easier to affect, sense or manipulate when he was assisting in a link. Lona and Autumn, by contrast, had an affinity with living organisms that made affecting those more easy when they were part of a link. In addition when the pair of them linked their Shine grew stronger, something Jase and Sean theorised to be the sympathetic wavelength of their Shine reinforcing each other. Charlie (who still was not at all drunk – the test had been a success) seemed to make tasks more effortless when he was lending assistance, whereas Clara and Cora brought the effect of massively increasing the Shine of whomever they linked with. Cassie extended the reach of a person’s powers, allowing Lona to heal Charlie’s bruises from his training with Lilly from a dozen feet away, rather than having to touch him. Sean seemed to be an extender of a different sort – rather than extending the range of a power, he extended the time it could be maintained. They all learned together, sometimes serious and sometimes playing as the afternoon wore on. The Shine seemed to replenish itself swiftly enough, provided one didn’t completely exhaust it. Some discovered power they didn’t realise they had, such as Cassie exhibiting some small psychokinetic ability – a defensive reaction to slow incoming attacks similar to that possessed by Jason. Or Clara realising she could work with the subquantum to produce and manipulate energy in a manner similar to Cora. = = = = = Sometimes linked by Sara, sometimes touching hands the psionic Fellowship members played, practiced and learned. And the ‘heroic’ ones too. Lilly and Cade were both highly athletic, somehow increased by their own brand of Shine. The two put this to the test, racing each other in sprints from one end of the field to the others at speeds that the other teens couldn’t get close to. Cade displayed uncanny aim with throwing or projectile weapons, though Lilly seemed able to drive an arrow through slim steel plating with the force of her draw. Cade’s empathy with wild creatures was perhaps not as flashy as some abilities being displayed, but nonetheless was unusual, to say the least. Arguably somewhat more impressive was Lilly’s straight right. Focusing on how she’d kicked the burning monster through a tree, she set up a roughly man-sized log and, pausing to wrap her hands, began to tentatively jab at it. After the first few impacts she stopped, unwrapped her hands, then began once more to box at the log. Her fists slammed home with more force, the bark splintering but leaving her hands unmarked, something that Sean, currently taking a rest nearby, remarked on. “Go on, Captain America.” The feminine boy grinned as he took a swig of water. “Stop tickling it.” Lilly smirked at him, but furrowed her brow as she turned back to the log. Okay. Let’s do this. The psionic teens paused in their practice as the sound of hammers splintering wood filled the air. Lilly unleashed a flurry of blows into the solid log as though it were a hanging bag, focusing her will through each contact, imagining the fishasaurus in front of her. The bark where she had been hitting the log was all gone now, her fists having started to deform and crack the solid pine underneath when, with a final explosive impact, the log flew twenty feet into the already abused farm machinery that people had been using for arrow and (impromptu) laser practice. There was a horrendous crash, then the log fell forwards with a thud. There was a pause, then Jason gave his strangely happy laugh. “Whoa.” Charlie breathed. He went over to inspect the fallen log, noting the cracked and dented condition it was in. “You pounded the shit out of it.” “Really went to town on that wood, huh?” Cora said with a giggle, her cheeks reddening as the others stared at her. “Phras- No. No, it’s too easy.” Cade deadpanned, causing another round of snickering and laughter. = = = = = The sun was getting lower, the sky darker as the teens called a halt more by common consensus than anything else. A flicker of Jase’s power caused the bonfire to bloom into life as people settled down on or leaning against the logs around it as sparks crackled and flew like fireflies in the purpling sky. “Right. Deal’s a deal. Let me heal you.” Lona said, laying a hand on Jason’s shoulder. He sighed as the aches and pains he’d suffered through vanished, first with a weird pulling sensation and then were gone, replaced with a sense of wellbeing. He smiled up at her from where he sat. “Thank you.” He said softly, then turned to look at the fire. He was content, in this moment. Tomorrow was a new week of school, and fresh problems, and old stale ones too. He wondered if the Fellowship’s experience today had bonded them at all. He didn’t feel it but then, he wouldn’t. He thought perhaps people were working better together, having an improved awareness and appreciation for one another. But he was outside that, and for a moment briefly regretted not knowing what it was like. Perhaps something like the link through the Shine, he mused, only not requiring touch or Sara’s power to access. He’d been very careful when in the mental network to guard his thoughts, which was easy enough – nothing went out over the network that the individual didn’t want to. He was aware, though, that his mind was likely not like any of the others, even the more cerebral teens like Clara and Sean. He was isolated, and yet did not register it as a pang or negative feeling. “Hey.” Autumn said from her spot by the fire, regarding him with a little more warmth than she had at the start of the afternoon. “Earth to Bannon. I’ve got a question for you.” “It’s already laundered and back at the house.” Jase replied without missing a beat, causing her to blush. “Not that.” She scowled as some of the others snickered. “You can lift a lot with your telekinesis, right?” “Right.” Jason tilted his head, curious. “And you don’t slip – like, you don’t lose your grip suddenly.” She pressed, clearly working up to something. “Not unless Clara makes me by damping my power.” He replied steadily. “Right. So, I want an airplane.” She said, her attitude somewhere between challenge and request. “An airplane.” He replied levelly. “Yep. Fly me.” Autumn got to her feet and regarded him. “C’mon. Up, up and away. I want to fly.” She was gratified to actually see him blink, taken aback for the first time she could remember. “You want me to fly you around?” he asked in a careful tone. “What, you don’t want to?” Autumn put her hands on her hips and stared at him. “C’mon, Bannon. I loaned you my hoodie-“ “I’m fine with it.” He said. “I’m just surprised you asked.” “So that’s a yes?” Autumn smiled wide. “It won’t be very fast.” He warned, but an answering smile was playing around his lips. “Running speed, tops.” “I don’t care. I’ve been freaked out, chased by monsters, visited the effing underworld and seen us all do some weird and wonderful shit these last few days.” Autumn said defiantly. “So I want to flyyyyyyyy-“ Her words turned into an excited yelp as she suddenly rose into the air and began to drift about ten feet above the ground. Some of the Fellowship laughed, others whooped or yelled encouragement as Autumn circled the fire at a safe distance, Jason’s invisible grasp on her a gentle impersonal pressure. She wasn’t motionless as she flew – Autumn found she could move her arms and legs and did so, alternating between the classic Superman flying pose and the arms outstretched like a bird pose as she banked, rose, dove and whirled, a grin on her face. She never went too high, nor did she dive too fast. He didn’t pretend to drop her or do anything to scare her, rather he just watched from where he sat, a smile on his face and his eyes reflecting the firelight. The sun was above the horizon still, it’s rays turning everything red-gold and causing her hair to flame crimson as the girl spun and danced in the air, finding that Goddamn Jason Effing Bannon was responding to her arm and leg movements and steering the way she wanted, rather than flopping her around like a rag doll. She made as if to dive and, obediently, the force lifting her made her dive in a swoop above Charlie’s head. She whooped as Bannon put her through a slow loop, then another, before he brought her gently back to touch down just outside the circle of log seating. “How was that?” Jason asked the Fellowship’s newest member, his gaze on hers.
  19. Maybe Charlie was referring to himself as 'the Daddy'? I mean, it might be possible.
  20. "I'd considered it." Jason said as he came to stand next to her, Sean, Sara and Autumn joining the loose knot of teens as people watched Cade with his new friend. It was impressive, earning the trust of a wild creature in such a short space of time. Something that perhaps Sara could duplicate, assuming her telepathy worked on animals. That sent part of the genius's mind down another path - with their abilities, so much could be learned about how the mind and body worked. They could erase disease (perhaps - Lona couldn't be everywhere at once, after all), perhaps even retard aging. And his mind forked again - Charlie and Avalon, both controlling biological cellular activity. Could they become functionally unaging? "It is huge. The scientific ramifications of what we've found out this weekend are staggering." he spoke calmly to Cass. "And I was seriously tempted to go public for no other reason than to out Doctor Cook. And I would like you to chronicle this, for future release when we need." "But...?" Cassie glanced sideways and up at his profile. "Firstly, it's not just my decision. Secondly, I plan to make use of Cook and his black budget funding. Whilst he can be of use, while the project can be of use to us- and by extension me - I will play along with his desire for anonymity." Jason's eyes turned to meet her gaze. "And third-" "Here we go." grinned Sean. "- while we are still learning to control our powers it would be a distraction - parents, authority figures, the government, the media - even once we got past the skepticism it would be a circus, and we have work to do: to master ourselves and to combat the Dark" Jase said with a tiny smile at Sean's aside. "Going public right now removes options from us and places a spotlight on us all. Plus there's the Liam matter to consider. With that incident fresh in people's minds, it wouldn't take much to spark a witchhunt - literally." Sean looked assessingly at his friend from one side, whilst Cassie likewise narrowed her eyes. "Y'know, I noticed that you always have more than one reason for doing things." The reporter said conversationally. Did he plan that..? a stray thought whispered in her mind. "I find it helps me control my impulse-driven nature. If I cannot find three reasons to justify a course of action, it's probably not sound." Jason replied blandly, though his pale green eyes gleamed as they met hers, his gaze steady. "It's the difference between being high-functioning and merely a creature of whim." He held her gaze for a moment longer, then turned to watch Cade with the squirrel. "Has anyone else been reminded of Kronk from 'The Emperor's New Groove'?" he asked the group at large, with a wry, amused smile that reached his eyes.
  21. Was thinking of doing a 'montage' post once people have reacted to Cade talking to squirrels - which made me think of this btw: You're welcome Cade. The montage would be the Psions experimenting with Attunement linking, seeing who give what buffs, bringing Sara and Sean and Autumn into the session, discovering things like Cass's mostly latent Psychokinesis (which would give both her and Jase +1 Psi when linked if she focuses on that), and potentially uncovering Autumn's Aptitude. It would probably lead to "Attunement sardines", or "How many of us can link anyway?". The answer is "all of us, and boy is it a rush for the person they're linking up behind." Outside the box tricks can also be illustrated, like Charlie and Lona linking, Lona borrowing Charlie's gift and channeling it through her own to change someone else's shape, then Cass joining the link and enabling the gestalt to pull that trick at range. Jase extending his temperature protection around Lilly, enabling her to literally hold a burning branch without getting hurt. And so on. If anyone has any ideas for cool stuff they want to see included, whether by their own character or someone elses, put it down here. Let's get some chatter going for brainstorming.
  22. 'This Ain't The Danger Room' is currently a thread with nine characters in. Of whom in the last four days, only 4 have posted. Lona (Dawn) gets a pass as her RL is full of house moving and exhaustion, and I know she'd be posting if she could. Two are NPCs, and so the rest of us can make use of them if the ST is not using them. We are now past the meditation phase. Start doing. Think of ways to test your character that they would think of. If they're drawing a blank, collaborate with someone else to seek interesting ways to depict your character. Talents, I know you powerless wonders have it toughest, but this is the time to strut your stuff.
  23. "Here." Jason said almost automatically, realising h'ed called the bottle of water to his hand already and was offering it. Cass took it with a small smile of thanks, her eyes meeting his. He was calm, but it there was a sense of wonderment she saw in his eyes, their gaze distant as he processed everything. She'd felt his mind - not the way Sara did, probably, but felt it nonetheless through that connection - and it hadn't been bad, the way she might have imagined. Fast and sharp as a blade, clear and cold as ice, focused, intent on the moment he was in and the sensory input he was receiving. There was nothing twisted or malevolent there, however odd it was. For Jason, it had been a revelation as well. That sense of... everything. All life, everywhere. And Cassie, too. It was like the subconscious sense of connection he got through touch, turned up to eleven. She'd felt warm to him, a warm emotional consciousness wanting him to see what she saw, sharing it with him through the Shine itself and then staying with him as he adjusted. And through her, he'd felt everything living for thousands of miles. And after that... Under that. He'd felt his own power respond to hers, for a brief moment he'd felt he could reach further, touch objects he could not see with his eyes. He blinked, focusing on Cassie as she drank water, and smiled at her. "Thank you." he said softly. Then he laughed, a giddy, happy sort of laugh that made the others look at him. Even Cass, who at least understood why he might laugh, was surprised to hear such a... boyish sound coming from him. He glanced around at their faces, and laughed again as he let himself fall back from sitting position so that he was laying on the grass. And he laughed. "And what's so funny?" Lona asked, peering at Cassie, then at Jase as if afraid he'd been broken. "It's beautiful. And it's everything. It connects everyone, every living thing, every object. It's the key to the Holy Grail of physics - a Grand Unifying Theory. And we can touch it. It's like - hell, it IS the Force." "More movie references?" Clara smiled a little, shaking her head. Jase waved a hand in the air. "I can lift things, Cassandra can sense things - at huge distances. Lona can encourage muscle and bone to knit back together without scarring. Charlie can sense life, and change the flow of it in his own cells - no... To manifest the sort of changes we saw would mean changing things below the cellular level." He closed his eyes, smiling. "Devin can transmit himself from one spot to another. Creating a gravitic wormhole would lead to him being turned into spaghetti, so it has to be something under the quantum layer as we understand it. Sub-cellular, and then sub-quantum? The CERN boys and girls will shit bricks. It's the only reasonable explanation!" He sat up suddenly, wincing as his bruised ribs complained, but his eyes blazed. "What we do has to be operating on a layer under what science currently understands. Cassie showed me, though... The Shine is life, or rather, manifests most strongly in living things. And those of us who have it more so." He turned to Clara pointing at her as his mind jumped to another thought he'd had earlier. "You can boost it in us, I felt that in the woods. You loaned Avalon what she needed to effectively heal Devin's leg. Can you do the opposite? Can you diminish our ability to use our gifts?" "And Charlie." He whirled and stabbed another finger at the young actor. "You can change your outward shape. Can you do more subtle things? Adapt to hostile environments, metabolise toxins - that's easy to test: you get drunk and then try to sober up. Hah." He half turned and pointed at Lona. "You can heal, and you caused pain in Liam when he attacked you. Can you do more than cause pain? Hard to test, admittedly. But if your power operates under the cellular and atomic levels, you could re-write DNA. Possibly." He rubbed his bruised chin thoughtfully, turning back to Cassie. "And your sensory abilities... Formidable. What can you sense, what can you see? So much to learn here..." He got to his feet, somewhat stiffly, and looked around at everyone. "Who wants to go first?"
  24. “Clara.” Jason’s tone was firm but quiet as he spoke up. “That’s not going to work, for a couple of reasons. One, you need to practice this too. Two, Cassie isn’t always going to have the luxury of going for a walk when things seem tough.” Oddly he didn’t project scorn or say this with a belittling tone, rather possessing a patient, reassuring air as he removed his hand from Charlie’s and moved to sit in front of Cass, facing her. “Go ahead and sit down, try to focus.” He advised Clara, before he turned his pale eyes on the blonde reporter. “Cassie.” His voice was calm, almost soothing. “Relax, and examine that reluctance. You’re smart enough to be self-aware of ‘why’ you don’t want to do something, so tell me: is it born of distaste - or fear?” Cassandra gave Clara an apologetic look and nodded. "It's okay, Clara. I think...this time he's right. I need to power through this. We're going to need everyone at a hundred, you know?" She then looked back at Jase and took a deep breath. "It's fear. I'm...terrified. It feels like..." she shakes her head. "I don't know. Maybe like how you'd feel if you were at the beach, and saw a tidal wave way out there. Getting bigger." She opened and closed her hands a few times and rubbed her palms together. He considered her for a long moment, head tilted and eyes gleaming in the outdoor sunlight, then nodded. "You're attempting to touch something far greater than yourself. It would daunt anyone - this gift's sheer potential scope is amazing." He gave her a small smile. "It's okay to be scared." The elephant in the room - that he did not get scared - passed without remark. Instead he spoke casually, his eyes on hers as he recounted a memory. "Freshman year. Home room. There was a visiting official from the school supervisory office for the district. You stood up during the end part of the talk and asked him some very awkward questions about recent accusations of nepotism in the district office. No hesitation at all, I remember." His smile warmed, reaching his eyes. "It was a Wednesday, in October." Then he offered her both his hands, holding them out to her palm-up. "Start small. Take my hands, and allow your awareness of the Shine to just encompass me, to start." Cassie chewed her bottom lip; a childish nervous tic she had yet to outgrow, then nodded and reached out to put her hands in Jase's. Then she closed her eyes...and a second later she yanked her hands back, pale faced, shaking her head. "Shit. Shit. Jesus." She covered her mouth for a second and just tried to breathe through the sudden nausea that rose up in her. "It's like trying to touch a ball of alligators. I just...ugh, there's this..." She patted her heart. "This thing, like I just know it's going to be bad. Immunization shots, when you see the needle for the first time. I don't know. God." "Okay. Okay. Lemme get my breath back. Before we try again." She sucked in a breath and let it out slowly. "It's okay." he nodded, hands still outstretched and his green eyes on hers. "Take your time, I'm not going anywhere." Cass closed her eyes. "I have to do this," she said softly to herself. "I have to do this. I have to do this." Her voice trailed off, but her lips kept moving around those words as she reached out to take Bannon's hands again. A moment later her grip tightened, even became painful...or as painful as her strength could make it. "Oh motherfucker I hate this," she whispered shaking her head. "I have to do this. I have to do this." "You're Cassie Allen. You risk all sorts of trouble to get answers, to find truth." He kept his voice even, but his tone had a quiet force to it. "You can do this."
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