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Charlie Cole last won the day on December 9 2019

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  1. "Sophia Fingleman." Sophia politely extended a hand forward to Lucius, who seemed to perform a sudden release of Charlie, turn and upright shaking Sophia's hand that somehow was swift and seemed natural. "It's a pleasure, Sophia. I've heard so much about you." "Yes." The crooning voice made Charlie grit his teeth, as a blond bombshell in a little black, backless dress sauntered over and pulled Charlie into a sudden hug, much to his chagrin. "Susanna." Charlie got out, on the right edge of polite when he wanted of course to say bimbo. "Mmm." Susanna cooed, before doing the same to Sophia, much to her surprise. "You two are so adorable. Susanna Chavel, Lucius' girlfriend, at least for now." That little reminder and dig about Hannah being divorced, well, Charlie had to hold back from grinding his teeth. "I hope you enjoy tonight's festivities and telling your friends you met the Governor." She stepped back and looked at Lucius. "Oliver wants to speak with you ASAP, Luce." "Well, then don't let us delay you!" Charlie responded, tugging Sophia along and wanting to clear away from them. Sophia followed along, recognizing her boyfriend was reaching his limit. They skirted their way down the left, Sophia having the presence of mind to grab a schedule of the event along the way. Charlie ended up stopping at a spot next to a stairwell heading up, and flashed Sophia an apologetic look. "Sorry, but they just got on my nerves. Him and that trophy ho." "She didn't seem that bad." Sophia disagreed, "though she definitely came on a bit too strong." Charlie snorted derisively. "There's nothing worthwhile about her except eye candy and the willingness to sleep with a married man." Charlie let out a huff, breathing to calm down. And as he did, something Susanna said did click in his mind, and as Charlie chilled out, he started considering this idea forming more. There is a time for the script - most times really. But the stage still allowed for ad lib and improv, and some of the best, most memorable elements in film and television came from when the actor decided to throw that in. Harrison Ford shooting the swordsman. Robert Downey Junior declaring that yes, he was Iron Man. Now Charlie thought he might just have that moment. But it probably would be good to get a second opinion just to be safe. "Sophia? Can I bounce an idea off you?" "Yes?" Sophia asked, wondering what shift Charlie was taking. Charlie checked quickly. Nope, no one around to eavesdrop. And there didn't look like there were any cameras here. The Project (and Crossroads possibly since Dr. Klein was working with them) may have gone Big Brother on Shelly, but the odds of their having a reason to focus on the country club seemed unlikely. "Right. So this is something I'm gonna explain more about Date Night, but in our previous investigations, Cassie dug up dirt on the prison and shady stuff going on there. At the meeting yesterday, the Sheriff said the state government approved the prison's construction. Atop of course, their utterly illegal and wrong lab." Charlie explained. "I can get Dad to give me a chance to meet Governor Bullock in private. Tell him about the covered up riots, mysteriously dying inmate, name drop Major Taggart so there's a convenient adult in authority who can back us up. Convince the Governor to investigate the prison - and Crossroads is going to have to waste time and connections trying to cover their butts. Sure, they'll probably bounce it in the end, but it's not something they'll expect to see coming. So... good crazy or just crazy?"
  2. "Yeah, oh course!" Charlie quickly chipped in, with a moment of embarrassment like he was half his age and did something silly. "I'm sure she'll say yes." "Good." Hannah's good mood and voice seemed to suddenly turn impish again, and Charlie felt the back of his neck tingle like a warning signal. "Because I plan on having her over for dinner soooon!" "Mom!" Charlie groaned, as any teenager did at those dreaded, awkward parental words. As a law of the universe, whenever parents want to meet their teenage offspring's boy-or-girlfriend, it's always too soon. The conversation didn't last much longer after that. Charlie and Hannah said their farewells and Charlie hung up. He exited and Sophia joined him, hand tangling up with his. "Everything go alright then?" "Ish." Charlie waggled his hand. "Apparently, in the interest of not getting stuck with the philandering butthole," Charlie paused on reflex, somehow still expecting his mom to pop up and chide him, "I need to play nice and go to this event of his tonight at the Marias country club. Will you be my plus one and bear the slings and arrows of cruel fate with me?" Sophia giggled, and Charlie had to work at keeping his eyes up, despite the jiggling. "My dramatic Romeo. I suppose I will." "Excellent." Charlie beamed in relief. "And now to call it in." His smile disappeared, or perhaps looked suddenly fake, as Charlie dialed up his dad. "Hey kiddo." Charlie sighed. "Well, I'm coming to your fancy party tonight." "That's great-" "And I'm bringing Sophia." Charlie cut in, before that man could get his hopes foolishly up. "I was thinking it would be more of a father-son thing." Lucius replied, trying to wiggle around where Charlie was going with this. "You've got how many dozen guests." Charlie shot back, not planning to relinquish the conversational momentum. "Wasn't going to be one to begin with. Sophia's my plus one. Non-negotiable." "Well, I was looking forward to meeting her." Lucius mused, trying to rewrite the conversational outcome into one he'd desired all along. "Great." Charlie said, not meaning it at all. "Time and dress code?"
  3. Charlie and Sophia had the chance to catch up together, hug, kiss (with unwanted commentary from Devin), and Charlie promised to secure that reservation within the next few days, before they split. Other members of the Fellowship and their families had straightforward, happy reunion scenes. Charlie of course, came out to a waiting Lucius Cole, trying to look somehow like he was taking the high road, and a glowering Hannah Fuhrman, whose expression bespoke of an inner voice that wanted to bellow 'Cad, scoundrel, ruffian!' at her ex-husband. They stood apart several feet, despite giving the impression they were divided by a canyon. At least Susanna did not inflict her existence onto this moment, which was a blessing at least for Charlie. Hannah was quickest off the mark, swooping in to enfold Charlie in a tight hug, with a stream of "Oh, my baby boy" and "What the hell are they doing in that hospital?" Charlie, who did know what was going on in this town, patted her on the back and offered his best reassuring smile. "False alarm, Mom. Nothing to worry about." "Makes me wonder what our taxes are going towards," declared Lucius, ignoring the disapproving looks of Hannah and Charlie to come over and clap a hand on his son's shoulder. "We can gripe at dinner. All three of us. My treat." He raised his hands defensively. "Not gonna be petty after something like this. Besides," he added with a grin, "I think your mother would like to hear about your new girlfriend." How did he find out about that!? Worse, Hannah looked like she was willing to take that temporary olive branch. Exeunt a deeply curious mother, smug father and embarrassed Charlie.
  4. Charlie was a kindly, empathetic person. All who knew him knew this was beyond question. At the same time, the Fellowship knew that he, just like the rest of them, had been made to learn how to deal with the new reality thrust upon them. A reality of unearthly powers, literal entities of malice, and corrupt quasi-governmental and corporate organizations. They'd already seen him turn into a thing of shells and spikes and mercilessly butcher alien hell-creatures. Unlike those things, these were human beings, and Charlie, being the kindly, empathetic person he was, respected human life. Yet, the various mercenaries, guards and staff had demonstrated they did not respect human life in the slightest, by the work going on here. Even if they were unaware of the specifics going on in this underground complex, the men and women could easily have discerned that these activities were illegal, immoral, unethical, totally wrong. The men at his back trying to shoot him had chosen to help aid and uphold Crossroad's crimes, as were the four mercs in front, raising their guns ever so slowly in Charlie's vision. Charlie had innate control, enough to ensure that nobody was going to die... ...But after the armored blur finished his work, the scene was not pretty. One left an imprint in the wall, another had been struck in the gut so hard he appeared to be trying to remember how to breath. A third's legs were projecting at the wrong angles. The last was reducing to a slow crawl on his stomach, and his ears were bleeding. None of them would likely walk normal again, if at all. That was plenty punishment enough. Charlie turned and raced back to rejoin the others. Maybe this would unnerve Crossroads enough to make them hesitate, or at least wait to collect a bigger force, giving Devin the time to port everyone out.
  5. Autumn was following Devin in like it was practically a requirement. Jase was entering too, though he at least had the sense to keep a 'hand' so to speak on the door to keep it open. Charlie was about to protest, before his life-sense pinged two more people coming around the corner. Both of them guards, whom paused as their attention shifted from chatting to the figures down the hallway - the chitinous form hurtling at them... Charlie slammed both into the floor hard, sending them out cold. Nobody else coming, but that was close. Huffing, he began dragging the two - with Cade's help as Cade caught up - into the open room. Charlie sighed as he saw the sabertooth tiger and ocelots. "Guys, yes this is interesting but we're on a time limit and you're lucky I got these two before they could call the alarm. We can break in another time." Well, not until Devin learned how to make those long-distance jumps less explosive and painful. But Devin didn't need to know that right now.
  6. Charlie found his head was throbbing like crazy, there was a severe ache in his leg, and his throat felt like it was coated in a combination of phlegm, acid, and the essence of 'noxiousness'. No, wait, that was the bottle of cleaning agents. Somehow, by freak chance, the bottle had a sharp tear in it, and everything was positioned just so that a portion of its contents had gotten into Charlie's mouth and throat. Already, the autonomic portions of his psionic powers had kicked in to prevent it from actually harming him, but now Charlie went ahead and hocked it up. The terrible mixture of fluids arced and landing on the shaking form of Devin. Equally purely by chance. Nothing to do with Charlie considering the merits of the humble camel. Then those processes clamped down on the nervous system, so Charlie could move to sitting, then on his knees, and then push up off the floor. "All my hate right now."
  7. Charlie walked over to Sophia and gestured to a far corner in the room. "Come on, let's talk." Sophia followed him, but it was very clear she was getting to the bursting point. So in the corner there, they could get some semblance of privacy - or at least a respectful lack of eavesdropping (maybe). The question was how to go about this. Devin would probably make some grand, crass gesture. Of course, that was Devin Jauntsen, who shared 50% of the DNA of Marissa, so that was right out. Yes, Lona was dating him, but that still didn't make his suggestions sound ones, considering he'd labeled Charlie's new, unexpected girlfriend as 'Fingerbang.' Charlie ended up pulling Sophia into a deep hug, resting his head on her shoulder. "I get it." He softly whispered into her ear. "It''s ridiculous, it's crazy, and you got tossed in at the deep end. We'd probably all be like you - except Jase - if we'd gotten thrown in the same way. What happened is we wound up getting drip-fed in, bit by bit. And I didn't tell you any of this, because I didn't want to freak you out. But trust me Sophia: we know what we can do. Crossroads doesn't. We're gonna go in, laugh at what Crossroad tries to do, come back, and then I'm going to take you out on a date. Your favorite food, the movie you want to see most and I'll explain to you how this all happened." Charlie finished it up with a deep kiss on the lips and then pulled his head back. "How does that sound?" Ok, a dramatic gesture then. But Charlie was an actor. How could he do less?
  8. While the twins were placing down the rules to Jason - which Charlie was secretly unsure of whether Jason would follow or circumvent in a rules-lawyering fashion (he still was trying to get a handle on Jason's psychology), Charlie got up and joined Sean, placing his hand on Sean's other shoulder. "You'll need the boost." Charlie softly said, focusing his Shine into a pulsing rhythm, giving Sean a sudden sense of the sheer life around, even in such a sterile environment. Charlie caught the look on Sophia's face, weirded out and still overwhelmed, and he winced. I am so gonna make it up to you.
  9. Charlie had taken his seat and listened thoughtfully. And watched thoughtfully too. Cook definitely was in the hot seat - the spot of Pepto-Bismol - indicated the obvious stomach upsets the Fellowship had been causing him. Jason felt a mental link curl out and politely offer to metaphorically shake his hand. Surprisingly, he recognized it as Charlie's. *If it helps to throw Cook off-balance, allude to his stomach aches.* Charlie's attention drifted away though, absorbed by the thrust of question and reveal - and Cook had left the room at Giles' orders anyway. Giles was calm, composed and very high fashion. She certainly seemed the example of a mysterious weirdness-investigating society that had seen it all - so to speak. Contrary to Marissa, Devin and Jason's pre-meeting assumptions, the Aeon Society sounded like people the Fellowship could work with. Sounded, yes, but the point was that the group wasn't dealing with a monolithic Project, with multiple different viewpoints and goals. But she had skipped over something that drew Charlie's interest. After she answered Cade, Charlie jumped in. "Moving back in the discussion, what was that experiment you were working on?" Because if the Dark had interfered, well, was it just for the energy or did it have an interest there too?
  10. Charlie turned his head to Sophia. "Psychic, actually." She gave him a disbelieving look - since psychics generally didn't turn into giant killing machines - but Charlie met hers back. "Hey, the others got the more classic powers. Wasn't like we got to vote." Then the conversation turned to the Dark with Sophia's confusion. "Evil force of evil." Charlie whispered to her. "But I'll never let it hurt you." Cheesy or not, it worked enough for Sophia to squeeze his hand and smile.
  11. Marias Medical Center - Team Fucked Charlie paused and waited as the last spike-handed creature flailed ineffectually, because smashing it apart with a brisk one-two of the piercers. Casually kicking the guts and gore over to the side, the teen's armored form turned around to see if there was anyone else in need of assistance. Jason - for all that he might be an abrasive friend - was very often right. The mantis shrimp had been a great idea.
  12. Marias Medical Center - Team Fucked They looked like some undersea nightmare, in Charlie's opinion. If these four were charging them, he shuddered to imagine what might be heading for Sophia. No, he had to trust to Devin, and focus on the ones in front of him. Charlie took a breath and tried to find the positives. He'd grown since the encounter with the Coochiesaurus, being little more than instinctive claws and feral swipes. No. Since then, Lilly had taught him self-defense. It probably didn't mean more than knowing how to throw a punch, but that was fine. Because Charlie's real asset was the ability to shapeshift, and transform his body beyond human bounds. Jason had taken care to give Charlie some useful inspiration from the world of real life zoology. Like, for example, the mantis shrimp. Charlie did some more internet research and agreed. In another life or death throw-down against the supernatural, the mantis shrimp was a very good model to work off of. Now, he stepped up with Sean to the front, took the mental image and concentrated. Muscles and flesh contorted and twisted. Skin mottled and then warped itself into hard plating, a carapace engulfing his body. Next, they stretched out, a second set of limbs, ending not in hands, but in sharpened points. Emerging from behind the shoulders, these showed evidence of joints somewhat like elbows, giving them definite flexibility. Sean's ill-aimed lasers blew out the lights, but Charlie felt his bio-sense would give him enough to gauge. One, two, three... The monster that had dared to get closest to Charlie didn't see it coming. It couldn't have, as the pincers lashed out with the speed of a high-powered rifle and skewered deep into the Deep One-like creature's guts. It could barely let out a cry before the piercers lifted it up and dashed it to the ground. It lay still, burst like a goopy rubber tire, pungent dark fluids tinged crimson by the red emergency lighting spattering across the walls and floor.
  13. Team Ow - Charlie Initiative: 3 Gabe Roll: [10, 9, 8, 6, 5, 4, 2] Result: 3 Chimera (with 1 extra Psi point spent): Gabe Roll: [10, 10, 5, 3, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1] Result: 2 Allocated Successes/Tags Pool: Armor - Complete 3, Hard Armor 3, Soft Armor 2 Weapons - Hardened Quick-Strike Fists: Melee 0, Enhancement 6 +1 Speed Scale (Running) Psi: 4/10
  14. Charlie briefly responded to Jason's summary with a sheepish "my bad". Had Kat not come in with Sean, he would have made a quick recap of the three players now active in Shelly. The Fellowship didn't count, since they were trying to figure things out - and since all the other sides seemed to not care about their game board being comprised of a whole town of people - find out how to stop them. Even the fact that they were probably being recorded wasn't an issue, because it's not like he'd be saying anything Cook didn't know. Even if Cook and his spooks didn't know about the Dark, Etienne would have filled him in, right? Etienne couldn't screw that up, right? Anyway, Charlie would have simply commented they had plenty with the Project - hands-off as they currently were - and the Dark driving people to attack them without: assuming it didn't try something new. Instead, Kat had come in, and the byplay had passed for a few moments before Charlie realized he should ask Sean to introduce her, so she didn't feel uncomfortable and rudely ignored. As such, the universe would lose a great moment of drama. Instead, it would settle for making the shift sensation that much stronger. Charlie was instantly worried about Sophia, but Jason had a point. "So we have to draw them after us, away from everyone else."
  15. Sean Cassidy stunk. That was Sophia's opinion of her fellow big-breasted gamer. Why, was a subject of the usual teen gossip and rumor, for Sophia had never shared the motivation behind her dislike of Sean to anyone, not even her newly-minted boyfriend Charlie, whom was friends with Cassidy. But that was at most, a 3 on the Bothering Scale. No, the real problem was Jason Bannon. Bannon was shady as fuck, a criminal and Sophia had heard about the Hayhook Incident. Being assaulted by seniors didn't give him sympathy points with her, not for a dope dealer whose junkies turned on him. But it made her wonder why sweet Charlie was friends with Jase, much less sitting worriedly with hands clasped in the waiting room with her. This was the start of a relationship with her crush, so Sophia wasn't going to give him a hard time, and even came along with him. But it was weird. Almost as weird as what happened when Mark Belcher grabbed Autumn Keane and she grabbed him back... assuming her eyes hadn't played tricks on her. Cade came by and nodded. "Jase's looking forward to seeing people." Charlie smiled and got up. "Glad to hear it." His smile dropped itself briefly as he caught the last portion of Marissa, Devin and Jason's conversation. "Looks like you're recovering well if you're back into Sherlock form. I'm happy to see that, but a little miffed too. This is my first time hearing of a Man in Black unrelated to The Princess Bride, but definitely not yours. I'm sure you had a good reason for not saying, but it would have helped to have known." Charlie blinked off the images coming to mind. "Especially if he wasn't so merciful."
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