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Everything posted by Marissa Jauntsen

  1. Marissa, Week of Labor Day/Ep. VI: Off-Camera: Marissa will be memorizing and practicing the cheer playbook for the Homecoming game. At school she will be behind the scenes using her special brand of rumormongering to slowly repair the reputations of Sean, Laurie and Lilly. Her plan is elevate their status by the Homecoming game, at the minimum (and if the team wins, it might further help Lilly and Laurie.) School and After-School Vignettes: Wednesday: School. Burgers after school with Jacob Lilly. Thursday: No school. Charlie's funeral. Nothing planned, but Marissa will take to doing her homework down in the Branch-9 facility where it’s quieter and more friendly than her home. Mostly after hours when only the watch staff is on duty. Friday: School. Marissa will be searching for her brother, wondering if anyone has heard anything from him. Homework in the Branch-9 base, where she will stay as late as she can before returning home. Saturday: Marissa disappears. Sunday: Marissa is gone. TBD: Work with both Annette and Taggart on developing a proper training regiment for herself and her brother. Get tested to discover her capabilities and limitations regarding her abilities. Save her post before talking to Annette about the Library of Shadows side-quest so she can reload and learn the most beneficial conclusion.
  2. If people were talking Shelly’s Queen couldn’t hear them. The sullen melody of music that played through her iPods all but drowned out those of lesser she status she passed by in the halls but she still noticed how they pointed, whispered and watched her as she walked past. The battle with Not-Cody had placed a lot of things into perspective for the gorgeous starlet of the small Montana town and the fight with her mother last night had certainly cemented more and more of her changing ideas as she retreated to her bedroom last night wracked with anger. She had argued with Devin last night too, she was certainly still mad at him, but regretted some of the things she’d said and knew that the two of them would need a few days to calm down. She loved her brother and while he was never against her he was also never truly on her side either, always willing to give her the tough love she needed to crack the crystalline blur of her own spite and pettiness. She loved him for it, but that didn’t make him any less of an asshole. She swiftly keyed the combo to her locker using the school combo keys she and her brother bought of Amazon. Students were not allowed to own them, obviously, but they were a hell of a time saver. Benjamin Burnley continued to sing in her ears as she selected first few books and accessories, she’d need for the first few hours of classes as she hated making continuous stops to her locker. “So,” Tammy slithered up to Marissa’s locker. “Guess who stood down from the Cheersquad last night? Katie’s mom called and told my mom that she’d decided that cheer leading might be a bit too dangerous for her and that leaves us an opening. I thought I’d be the first one to tell you.” Marissa plucked the iPod from her ear that closest to Tammy. “What?” With a sigh and a roll of her eyes Tammy repeated herself. “Guess who stepped down from the cheersquad?” “Katie did.” Marissa said simply, having already known the answer. “I spoke to her yesterday and she agreed to step down from performing any of the more complicated cheers.” “Wait, what?” Tammy sneered. “In return, I get her spot on the squad, and she is still an honorary member of the squad, goes with us to all the games and is permitted to cheer the team on, in uniform I might add, keeps her accreditations in the chance she wants to attend a university later.” The Ice Queen of Shelly’s voice was to monotone and matter-of-fact that it sent a chill down Tammy’s spine. There was something off about Marissa today, her composure was on point but her words, her posture… her everything, just seemed hollow and empty. “Um,” she pressed her palm into her chest, addressing herself as she spoke. “I don’t recall agreeing to any of that. If deals are going to be made, as the head of the cheer squad, I have a right to know and frankly, I say no way. No offense, but if you want to cut deals, you should have come to me first. We’re not-“ “Already done.” Marissa replied with all the mirth of Wednesday Addams. “I spoke with the principal and the coaches already. They think it’s a great idea. It shows the school is accommodating to students with special needs, allows Katie to keep participating in something she enjoys, and avoids any unfortunate lawsuits should she attempt to perform beyond her capabilities.” She closed her locker, having slid the last few books she needed within her designer school bag, plucked the other iPod from her opposite ear and slipped them back in their charging case before dropping them right in the bag along with everything else. “Oh, and she sits at the cheer table during lunch with us for the rest of the season.” Tammy’s jaw dropped in abject horror at the notion of allowing Uggo-Katie sit with the cheer team at lunch times. “Why are you doing this!? She’s a fucking freak, Marissa and-“ “And what?” The empty, icy glare in Marissa’s eyes carried the same weight of certain tall, lanky junior at their school who was fond of hay hooks and wonton violence. She leaned towards Tammy causing the cheer leader press backwards into the lockers until she couldn’t press any further. He head hazy, heavy almost as Marissa’s voice seemed to vibrate in her skull instilling her with doubt, worry and fear. “I’m a freak too? Because I don’t want the crown anymore? Because I hang with nerds? Katie is alone and surrounded by people that, no matter what, are always going to hate her. I know what that’s like. Now,” she slung her bag up over her shoulder and turned away. Tammy was too shaken to notice he pinkish-violet shimmer the cascaded through Marissa’s eyes. “I’ve something to go take care of. If anything about that deal doesn’t strike you as acceptable, just pick a hill to die on and I’ll meet you there.” With that Marissa was already on her way to meet up with Cade, leaving her mojo to swirl and stew in Tammy’s mind.
  3. "Okay, okay," Carl waved his hands about, shaking his head. "Coyote, bubbles, protection, magic powers... I am so lost. If this Coyote guy is a god, how come he doesn't just do something. Why give our kids magical powers?" "Are we really supposed to sit here and swallow that 'aliens' are real and they trapped a demonic in an alternate world or some such nonsense?" Misti scoffed at the idea, shaking her head and dismissing the idea. "Because he's tired, Dad." Marissa answered her father while looking at him, then turned her gaze to the rest of the assembled parents. "Imagine a long time ago. Humanity is still understanding fire and down from the sky come these people. Aliens, to you and me, sure, but to those back then these people manipulated fire, lightning, were stronger, faster, and wielded technology that would even seem magical by our standards today-" "-now read a few myths groups of these people settle in various corners of the world and lo' and behold, civilizations springs into being." Her brother picked up on the heels of his sisters line of thought. "At the center of each civilization appears to a pantheon or cloister of ancient, powerful beings who strangely enough almost all possess the scarily similar origin stories and their 'people' all seem to build surprisingly similar structures all across the world, despite never having met. They all have magical tools and weapons that defy explanation. Magical smoking mirror portals, hammers the explode with lightning, helmets that made them invisible." "Devin has taken to calling them 'Antes'. Short for antecedents, but he can't use words that big." With a playful grin Marissa slapped down the middle finger her brother put up to her face. "Or precursors, or forerunners, whatever they were, Coyote was one of them a long time ago. Whether there were hundreds or just Coyote and his brother a long time ago, we don't know. Fact remains, that the Dark has grown powerful with age and by feeding on all the suck in the world. Apparently humans don't mesh well with Ante DNA, it's a slow process but over generations he introduced Ante-genes into the populace and kept them deluded to prevent things like birth defects. An immortal I can only assume that took like, a hundred generations, maybe? Once saturated, he brings those populations together and effectively controls the allele frequency, forcing genetic mutation among humans." "And how did he do that?" Carl asked, still trying wrap his head around his daughter speaking so intelligently. "Sex, Dad." Devin happily provided the answer. "Lots of sex. Like sooo much sex. Sex on sex. Breakfast? Sex. Lunch? Sex. Peanut butter and jelly? Not before sex. Walk to the Seven-Eleven? Prolly gonna involve sex," he shook his head sighed. "Man, it is so cool being a god." He took a moment to wink at Annette. "Anyway," Marissa smirked at her brother. "Coyote needed more Antes to battle the Dark and it's taken him years to foster us, but we're imperfect, at best. Failures at worst. Rest assured that there are answers on that ship, but we can't do anything with it if it's out of phase like that." "Piece of cake." Devin scoffed. "Dimensions are my specialty, and I already have a plan. Which comes after we rescue the people trapped in there. Since the facility was built by Aeon and the government a long time ago, I'm assuming you guys have access to the blueprints? I mean, I would hope. All those people there need to eat and sleep and to their research, so it can't just be a cave in a mountain with a ghost ship in it. We'll need those." "Absolutely not," Misti shook her head scoffing and laughing at once. "You two are not running off to assault some government funded terrorist organization. You are all forgetting that you are minors and what this organization has been filling your head with and having you do is highly illegal." Devin nodded, pursing his lips in understanding. "Sorry, Cassie, Ms. Allen. We'd love to help you rescue your father," he gestured to Cassie's mother. "Your husband and bring him home safely so you can be a family again, buuut our mom says we can't help make that happen for you. Sorry." His mother scowled at him with a look that said she might evolve laser vision right there o the spot. "That is emotional blackmail, Devin." "Don't tell me," he shrugged. "Look them in the eyes and tell them that. Oh, and I learned from the best." "Aww," Marissa hugged her brother, smiling lovingly. "You said a nice about me." The teenage teleporter relaxed in his chair and met his mothers glare with matched intensity and gestured for her to look in the direction of the Allen's and deny them assistance from the Jauntsen family in front of all of Shelly's other parents. Devin certainly played at being dumb, but it was moments like these that showed he an incredibly proficient grasp on how the Game was played, all he needed was the proper setting and the right reason.
  4. "No need," Devin said before anyone had the chance to even considering 'thinking it over'. "Because Site B is going to happen. It's not a negotiation or a hope or a 'maybe sometime when we have time' scenario. Cassandra's father is being held there and we're going in to get him." He shrugged and looked to Annette. "Tell us or don't, but rest assured between Cassie's sight, my long reaching reconnaissance and Jason's penchant for murder, we're getting him out out of there." "Devin, calm down." Marissa said. If she was bothered Autumn's exit she didn't show it. At this point meetings weren't complete unless someone stormed out but she was considering asking Devin if he could place portals on the exits of the next meeting that just dumped everyone right back into the meeting room if they tried to pass through them. That'd be fun. "I am calm," He chuckled, shaking his head at the lunacy that while one of their family members was being tortured the Project wanted to talk about clearances and read-ins. "I'm just tired of people talking like we're not just going to do it anyways. We're sixteen, for crying out loud, adding all the tension-building caveats or warnings doesn't dissuade us in the slightest. We're gonna go. We're gonna bring Cassie's dad home and when were done, we'll decide if the government or the Project have the proper clearance and read-ins to be briefed on what we saw and did there, kay?" "So yeah, talk it over if you like, I guess." He looked to Cassie and offered her a warm smile that seemed to apologize for how he acted earlier. "I'm going. With or without you guys. If Cassie's dad is out there, he deserves to be with his family. That's why we're here and that's what we'll do." From her handbag Marissa took out a small notepad and pen and slapped them on the table before sliding over in Cade's direction. "Write that down. Take notes. That's how you impress a woman."
  5. "But you would have," Devin said softly and without malice in his tone. "That's the point of what Marissa was saying. Collectively the Fellowship is dangerous and seems to feel that it can operate with impunity and dispense justice in any manner it sees fit without worry or concern of repercussions. You lack leadership, oversight and accountability. My sister is worried that your continued, collective actions is going to end with our family being hurt as a result of the bad press you don't seem to care too much about. At no point should I ever have had to argue with anyone about the importance of not killing people. Our sidebar Jason, it was a debate. You were literally trying to justify killing people to me. Me. A dude in high school who just wants to get laid and barely skate by then blow all of my parents money on eight years of college so I can live in their basement until I'm fifty." "Put a gun in Cade's hand, he'll shoot dead anything that gets in his way, because grandfathers no one has ever seen before taught him how to be some Montaninja. Even Charlie, the forms he took were on your suggestion and they were chosen for their raw ability to eviscerate. Not to protect, but to destroy. Today it was monsters, but he listened to you, trusted you, and upgrading to people would have been no problem because he shared the same look in his eyes that you have in yours when dying time's near. That because abundantly clear after he tried to strangle Marissa in our kitchen. Dude had some dark thoughts, and they weren't always there until this mess came along and you started reinforcing his need to kill instead of protect." Devin slid back, relaxing in his chair. "Look, I know we're beating a dead horse with it Jason, but once again, you escaped lying by simply omitting the truth. Do you think we don't notice when you do shit like that? You didn't 'just attack someone because' and we all know what you did to a defenseless person who had no chance against you. You weren't protecting Lona that evening Jason, you just wanted to hurt something and she gave you a most convenient excuse. I know, because we risked a felony to keep you out of juvie." "It's pointless." Marissa shook her head in frustration. "Fact Check True: One of you geniuses wanted to blow up a bridge. Fact Check True: Devin had to actually convince you guys that killing is wrong. Fact Check True: Jason followed Liam to his home, hung out outside his window and then proceeded to bounce him off of every wall in the house until nearly every bone in his body broken. We still don't know to this day what actually happened because Lona isn't talking and Liam is still eating through a straw. Good job, hero. Not a single soul in this room is counting the two who tried to kill you this morning Jason, it was self-defense. We might not get along, but that doesn't mean I want you hurt, or worse, despite my conniving, backstabbing nature," she sneered. "That was him?" Carl asked. "That whole mess with the Liam kid?" The Sheriff nodded his head through pursed lips. Often times he really wished Marissa, for as beautiful as she was, would just stay pretty and stay quiet. "Christ," their father added but honestly didn't seem to bothered by the news. "Poor kid was folded like a pretzel." "He was in our house, Carl, with our daughter!" Misti didn't seem to take the news as well as her husband did. She shook her head and buried it in her hand while rubbing her temples with her thumb and middle finger. "Jesus. You two are going to be grounded until you're three hundred." She looked to Gar. "And I'm sure you're just peachy with all of this, right?" "No, no, Mom it's okay." Marissa consoled her. "Jason has given his word that he would never, under any circumstances, ever hurt me, or any of us." Devin looked over to his sister. "Oh yeah, you mean how it's impossible for him to lie, yet he can use any manner of subtly and subterfuge to avoid being anything close honest?" "Yeah, that's it!" Marissa said cheerfully. "So, see? We have absolutely nothing to worry about! Everyone is safe." There wasn't a scientific word for how fast her false smile straightened into a scornful expressionless visage. "Like I said... this is pointless. Let the Fellowship do as it pleases, they're Annette's problem. The Dark needs to be dealt with and we're the only ones who can do it, so, as it stands, Branch-9 and Proteus need us, all of us. So we'll do our part. I would recommend a very short leash for them though."
  6. "Now that's a load of crap," Marissa snorted. As the attention all turned to her she looked up from her phone. "When Devin vehemently demanded a no killing rule you clowns had the audacity to actually argue with him about it. Now, this was only after you psychopaths had already racked up a body count, what with Jason shattering people's bones and Charlie slicing everything in his path to ribbons. It wasn't until the prison and after a lot of arguing that you guys agreed to my brother's 'no killing' rule." "Dirty laundry aired," she paused and repositioned herself in her chair, crossing her legs. "I bring that up because we're teenagers. Yes, we have super powers, cool, super powers are tight, I'm with you. We, however, are not the military, nor the police. We are not judge, jury, nor executioner and some of you more than others have a hard time grasping that fact, while others can't even grasp it at all. If Taggart and his boys want to run through Crossroads shooting and blowing things up, fine, that's their job. They're sanctioned to do that. We, are not. Frankly I don't want America showing up on my family's doorstep and dragging us out into the night to beat us and burn us at the stake because one of you morons couldn't keep it in your pants and branded 'our kind' as violent, unstable... what's the term? 'High functioning-psychopaths'?" "Monsters are one thing," she sighed calmly. "But people? Killing people isn't our style, Annette." "Our." Devin swirled his hand about a bit, symbolizing that Marissa was referring only to the twins. "How the Fellowship chooses to handle their business is on them."
  7. "Jason is correct," the lovely brunette's voice rose up just moments after he'd finished speaking. "But I feel more clarification is in order. The dark, lowercase, like radiance, is simply a force of nature. The inexorable pull of entropy and we all possess it within us as well. The Dark, capitalized, is an entity, a being that uses that force of nature against us and this world, possibly even others. As we use Radiance against it, it uses Darkness against us." "And what is this 'entity' exactly?" The sheriff asked. "Not to get ahead, but it was once a being of flesh and blood, like you or I. It succumbed to the corruption and I guess just transcended, becoming for all intents and purposes, a god, and no, I'm not using that term lightly. That is exactly what this creature is. Simply put, The Dark, capital, corrupts the dark, lower case, and uses that fundamental force of the cosmos against us. Those of us with radiance can push back, or even cleanse that corruption, near as we can tell." "Like the tales of the Devil, The Dark doesn't seem to be able to outright force people to do things. It prefers to corrupt them, over time, but the choice has to be theirs, it seems. I knew Cody very well, and he may have been a sleeze-ball but he wasn't that far gone. I could see conflict, the boy he was, wrestling with the creature he'd become." While her thoughts ventured back to last night, back to what Cody had become she rubbed the bridge of her nose to calm the influx of emotions rising behind her eyes and words. "We call people manipulated by The Dark, 'Shades'. Problem is, we have no real means of identifying who is normal, and who isn't until the corruption begins to change them." "Change them?" Dana asked quietly, looking at the images rotating in the room. "We'll get to that," Marissa, in an attempt to not take things too far ahead politely dodged her best friend's mother's question. "I just wanted to clarify that radiance and darkness are not, in and of themselves good or evil. We could use our radiance for all manner evil if we so chose to, that wouldn't mean we were suddenly tapping into some darkness-" "-we'd just be colossal jerks." Devin added. "Exactly. Evil isn't born, it's made," his sister agreed. "So, for clarification, we are generally referring to the entity we call The Dark, and as Cassie weaves more of our encounters for you, you will hear the term more often, as it has a tendency to show up at the most inopportune of times."
  8. "Excellent," Misti said with a smile that lacked and and all caring for the proceedings. "Well, as you all know, I'm Misti Jauntsen and this is my husband Carl. He's a Federal Wildlife Officer, and I work for the school's administration department, so I know you all quite well, if only by reputation," no one missed the side-eyed glance she offered to Gar, whose reputation as a drunk was not unknown. "While I'd love to say he and I have been fully able to grasp the happenings of the last few days, I unfortunately cannot. We've agreed to listen with as open of a mind as possible, considering some of the things we've seen," she offered her son a glance. "So, who wishes to start?" As their parents eyes fell on the twins the two looked around the table and smirked evilly and simultaneously. They leaned back in their chairs, Marissa crossing one leg the other and Devin resting an ankle on his knee. Devin shrugged. "Good question," he said. "Who would like to go first? We always used to, but now, it's not our circus-" "-not our monkeys." Marissa finished as the two sat and waited to see who would pick up the mantle of spokesperson for the Fellowship.
  9. In the interim the twins tapped away on their phones, sliding through their social media accounts, and pausing only to lean to the other to angle their phones to smirk or chuckle at each other’s choice of memes. They spoke quietly amongst themselves in hushed tones, sharing with each other their opinions of the content but by and large kept to themselves. While his children made small-talk Carl leaned over a bit and addressed Gar as quietly as one could across the Arthurian-sized round table. “Hey,” he opened, getting Gar’s attention in a voice that was not particularly low. As silent as the room was, even the twins’ hushed conversations about Bebe Rexha, Dua Lipa and the direction of their music. “You and Hank end up with anything over at Verden the other day?” Gar shook his head. “Hank’s good at hearing about the ‘best spots’, not so good at hearing about the ones that actually have fish in them.” Both men chuckled. “I appreciate what you did the other day, by the way. I knew I had re-applied.” Carl offered a dismissive curl of his lip and waved a hand. “Eh, two days is nothing. There are bigger crimes in the world than a two-day expired license. Oh, I talked to Tammy, too, she cleared it all up. Your new application was on the bottom of the stack. They’d bumped several locals down to process al the new licenses for that small mouth tourney coming up.” “That’s right,” the gruff man nodded, his finger bouncing along to the invisible thought in his mind. “Forgot about that. You managed to talk Tammy into bumping up an application? People been trying to get her to do that for years.” He mused. “Her daughter is sweet on Devin,” Carl smirked. “That helped. The rest is smiling despite wanting to unholster my sidearm and end myself.” Gar nodded with another chuckle. “Yeah, she can be a handful.” “Try Holden’s Hollow,” Carl tapped his finger on the table. “Busted a few guys there about a week back and they were dragging in bucket loads. About eleven-hundred in fines all told.” “Was it edible?” He asked. Carl offered a shrug. “Got me. I don’t fish. I’ve kept my interest more in the regulations than the sport-” “-or pulling disgusting, unwashed things from the water when you can get them filleted and clean from the store.” Marissa chimed up with a look of disgust in her expression. Her distaste for nature and things that happened outside the radius of her WiFi connection were nigh legendary. “Thank you, Monkey.” He smiled but didn’t look back his daughter, who wouldn’t have seen him anyways through her phone as she fumed at his calling her his pet name for her that she thought was retired when she was... six. "She’s not really an outdoorsy type.” “I gathered,” Gar politely nodded and decided not to press the matter as Marissa’s eyes darted from Jason to Cade and then narrowed in suspicion as they were the only ones present who knew she’d been taken fishing. “Yes, well,” Misti interjected in a volume that filled the small room swiftly. It appeared that there was warm conversation taking place and that could lead to people possible be cordial and pleasant with one another and the black void that pumped ice-water through her veins just couldn’t cope with that possibility. “We’ve certainly better things to do than sit here in silence all night.” She was addressing no one in particular, but it seemed like Annette was intended to take the brunt of it as this meeting place was what she’d offered. “If the others are not going to bother to show up, I see no reason to waste our time-“ “You get used to it,” Devin mused with an eye roll and a chuckle as he scrolled his phone, never bothering to address anyone specific. “It's like this every time. That’s why I wanted this at the house, so when they ghosted us, we weren’t stuck with a drive home. Cassie’s probably out taking pictures of raccoons in Bunnee’s garbage and in a few moments, she’s going to realize ‘oh my god, that was today?!’ and start peddling as fast as she can. Kat’s was most likely on her way but saw a butterfly and wandered out into the wilderness, and Sean doesn’t show up to anything unless Jason personally drags him to it. Autumn is just late for everything. We’re fairly sure that’s her superpower.” “I thought you were exaggerating, Devin, dear.” Misti sighed in frustration. “But so far, I concur: they do appear hopeless.” “Told you.” Marissa said with a huff, never taking her here eyes from her phone. "'Five more minutes," their mother said calmly, but matter-of-factly. "Then we either begin, or we're leaving."
  10. “I’m not coping, Autumn,” the gorgeous brunette replied as she dropped the shoe box on her bed. With a twist of her waist, she looked at her bandages in the mirror she began peeling off her clothing, heedless of Autumn’s presence. One thing was certain, Marissa wasn’t shy. “I’m legitimately sorry for what happened to Jason and as hard as it is for people to understand, I feel guilty as well. But Jason isn’t capable of doing people the curtesy of caring so I no point extending that same curtesy to him. The best I can do for him is to see that it doesn’t happen again.” She slipped into expensive lingerie as she spoke to her best friend, a fancy white ensemble that would have served as better dental floss than underwear, never concerning herself once for how Autumn might feel about being in a room with a naked Marissa. “I don’t understand why when Jason is uncaring and unfeeling everyone is okay with it, yet when I get that way, suddenly I’m ‘just coping’.” She sighed as she slid over her sweaterdress and admired her tussled in her mirror with a glimmer of amusement in her cheeks as did so. “I’m totally down with hanging out with you, Autumn. Been down with it for days now, but you’ve had other priorities.” She began brushing out her hair a bit and twisting it this way and that as if trying to decide on a hairstyle for the evening. “We’ve been bust lately, I know. Still are, I suppose, as it seems like we never have a spare moment. Again, I’m not mad, I understand we’re all busy. So instead of making plans, which I’ve tried to do and been blown off a dozen times, you just let me know when you’re ready and I’ll meet you wherever. Okay? That way I’m not interrupting anything you already have going on. You’re my bes-… my only friend, Autumn. Of course, I want to hang out.”
  11. “Am I not?” Marissa replied with a dreadful calm in her voice. “Did I not bleed for all of you? Did I not give Enterich misleading information on all of you when my parents lives were at stake? Did I not make concessions to reach out to Jason and speak with him at the training session and yesterday, even today? Do I not consistently reach out to remind you about all the homecoming things I want to help you guys with? Do I not wear a smile as my best friend fucks the guy who told me he loved me?” She turned and faced Autumn, arching her back a bit to work out the tape on her skin. “Autumn, I’m not mad, I’m tired. I’ve dealt with quite a bit, from Sean not even being able to give me a proper greeting in my own house to knowing that Jason feels it’s just my nature to sell all of you out to save my own ass. Even Cade’s only hanging around because I promised I’d fuck him again once I’m feeling better. It’s obvious you guys don’t like me and that’s fine. I can live with that, at least it’s the truth.” She walked away from Autumn, heading over to her walk-in closet where she disappeared for a moment before walking to her bed with a shoebox in her hands. “These are the shoes I was talking about, for Cassie. They’ll look fantastic on her I’m sure, a modest heel too, to add that formality to her outfit, unlike mine which make me look like every dance is a reason to go clubbing.” She offered a smile mingled with a light laugh that showed how truly emotionally detached she was about everything she’d just said. “If you could get those to her, I’d appreciate it.”
  12. “Several,” she replied calmly. “If you’ve come all the way up here, there is no doubt a conversation on how ‘my storming out never solves anything’ on the way. You’re welcome in anytime, Autumn, you don’t need to knock like a stranger.” Marissa’s room was every bit the ‘princess palace’ Autumn remembered. White curtains, a huge four-post, queen-sized bed, that was home to numerous stuffed animals, a few looking quite old and well worn. Her large vanity was just to the right as one entered, the makeup she owned was organized with care across its surface while various pictures were neatly framing the large mirror where the teen did put on her face each morning. Her bed was just a few steps across from her door, and she stood at the foot of it still debating which outfit she going to wear. “So,” she held up her sweaterdress in one hand, and her skirt and half-turtleneck up in her other by their respective hangers. “Be honest, which do you think I should wear? I love the sweaterdress and we’re kind of all secret agenty now, so I can totally pull of the Lana vibe, but there are some really hot military guys in the hospital playing at being orderlies or something, and this skirt and top will really get their attention, I know it.” "It'll probably also get your parents' attention, too," Autumn pointed out as she stepped inside the veritable shrine to femininity. In flannel, denim, and old sneakers, the redhead felt distinctly out of place; but then, that would've been true anywhere in the Jauntsen home, probably. "The dress looks more... Hm." Frowning a little, she glanced from the gorgeous brunette to the outfits she was proposing. "Professional, maybe? And no. I'm not here to talk about you leaving. It's your house, and I'm going to need at least until tomorrow to stop screaming internally after-" Glancing back toward the door, she gestured vaguely in the direction of back there. "-After whatever that was. You and I have plenty of stuff to talk about, but not tonight. I think we can probably at least agree on the fact that it has been a whole day, and I'm kind of over it. So, for now... peace?" "For now," she shrugged, dropping the skirt/turtleneck combo on the bed. "Although, I don't know what you're expecting to change from now until then. So," she strolled to and opened up the massive walk-in vault she called a 'closet' and proceeded to select a suitable belt and the the suede boots she had in mind for the sweaterdress. Tan knee-highs that probably had a price tag on them that could pay for Autumn's first semester in college. "What's on your mind?" Honestly, I don't know what I'm expecting to change, either, Autumn grumbled internally, leaning back against the wall next to Marissa's makeup table instead of sitting in front of it, or on the edge of the bed. Some instinct in the back of her mind urged her not to stray too far from the door, despite the other girl's eerily calm demeanor. Sure, she'd said she didn't have to act like a stranger, but... wasn't she, really? "Well, for starters, you said you talked to Coyote, so I kind of wanted to know what's up with that. Like, how did you get in touch with him? What other stuff did he tell you, about Enterich and this Library, or whatever?" She paused for a moment, blue eyes studying the self-proclaimed Queen Bee's perfect profile as she emerged from the closet. It was hard to tell if Marissa was upset, offended, or just hiding everything behind that mask of hers. Or, realistically, whether she even cared at all to begin with. Marissa placed three belts on her bed next to her selected outfit, all of varying thickness, and plucked up the outfit she wasn't planning on wearing and hung it back up in her closet as she spoke to her bestie. "I shouted," she said simply. "A lot." She came out from her closet and addressed Autumn. "Honestly, I had no idea how to get a hold of him, so I simply drove over to where everything started, the bridge Sara wanted to blow up, and just screamed his name and damned him for not having a cell phone, until..." she shrugged, obviously not able to accurately describe her thought. "There he was." "He told me a lot of things, like the only we're getting through this is together, all of us." She peeled off her crop top, exposing a couple of gauze squares that each had dime-sized red stains from wounds that hadn't fully healed yet. Puncture wounds from the various teeth that somehow, she survived instead of being torn apart. "Coyote gave me a good cry, and I needed it. He helped me realize that I was a part of the Fellowship, be it by choice or circumstance, and even I had my part to play in keeping Shelly, and all of you safe. Aside from that, he only mentioned the library by name and hinted that one of our benefactors might what it is or its location." She winced slightly as she faced her mirror and reached behind her, pulling at the tape of one of her bandages. "Mmm," Autumn nodded. Most of those statements she wasn't touching with someone else's arm holding a 10-foot-pole; right now, anything to do with feelings, teamwork, friendship, cooperation, or even just being 'part of something' was off the table, as far as she was concerned. The Jauntsens had already made their stance clear and arguing about it right now wasn't going to change anybody's mind. Even later, as Marissa had pointed out, the result might be the same. And... In fairness, even Autumn had only sort of considered herself loosely attached to the Fellowship, rather than an actual member of the group, and even with admonitions that they needed to work together in the back of her mind, in the forefront were more immediate and pragmatic concerns. "So, if we really need him, yelling works, I guess. Good to know." As she watched her implausibly beautiful BFF (?) grimace, a twinge of empathy twisted in Autumn's stomach. Neither of the Jauntsens had wanted help with their injuries after the fight, no matter how much she'd tried to convince them, but it was still hard to willingly let them walk away with the bare minimum of aid. "Looks like you're healing pretty quickly," the redhead added quietly. There wasn't any unusual redness or swelling that she could see, which was a good sign; if Marissa had wanted help now, the young vitakinetic wasn't sure she could do much about it, after giving Dale her life back. "It doesn't look like you've got any kind of infection or anything. How does it, um... How does it feel?" "I was almost devoured by a demon, Autumn, and it tried to chew me," her voice got flat and showed a mild tone of annoyance. With the last square peeled away she folded them up and tossed them in the small brass wastebasket alongside her vanity. "How do you think it feels? It hurts. I scheduled an appointment with Branch-9 to run some tests, just to make sure there's nothing wrong with me." She prepped more gauze, daubing the little squares with something that looked like Neosporin. She offered two to Autumn while she pulled her long, dark hair up over her shoulders. "Would you mind?"
  13. Marissa tossed a sweater dress on her bed next to a skirt and top she'd already picked out, she craned her head to judge which of the two outfits she liked more. The white sweater dress would go great with the knee-high suede boots she liked, but hadn't had the chance to wear yet, but the red skirt with the black half-turtleneck top would really make her hips and butt pop when she walked. Then again... tight, like the sweater dress, really showed off her figure and it drove the uptight parent's of Montana out of their minds when they saw her out and about. Decisions, decisions... she looked down at the bed as her screen lit up with a text from Cade. "Alexa, mute the kitchen." She scooped up her phone and read. A slight smile crept across her face. Cade was sweet, in his own adorable way, and tapped out a reply, biting her lower lip as her thumbs tapped away at her screen. [[I'm not mad, Cade, it's okay. If he wants to just 'decompartmentalize' (and then claim he's not, I guess? I don't know...) people out of his life, that's on him. I've school, college, saving the world and Homecoming on my plate. Trust me, he won't notice the vacancy, so there's certainly no reason I should. Thanks for checking up on me though, it was sweet of you. ]]
  14. "Well," Marissa shrugged. "Since the discussion is over, you're all welcome to leave. Good talk." "I will see you all at the meeting later, for which there will be snacks, sodas and pizza. Now, if you'll all excuse me I have to go get ready. I'm hoping to try and look halfway decent tonight despite how I'm feeling," she padded from the kitchen and from there they heard her swiftly step up the stairs. Her voice was muffled from the top of the stairs when she she called down. "See yourselves out, if you don't mind."
  15. "Then I'm wrong, Jason." Marissa said flatly, shrugging. "We're at war Jason. We can't always control the outcome and sometimes we have to put our faith in the people around us and their abilities. I know it's hard for you to grasp, Jason, because you don't know what it's like to be wrong, but for the rest of us sitting down in class who don't remember that article we saw in the dentist's office six years ago about the silver crested wabbajack are most likely not getting those points towards their grade." She seemed to be keeping her cool, despite this was usually the point where the two of them would devolve into an argument. "'What if I'm wrong' is something I live with everyday so it's no surprise you actually consider that, what with you thinking you control every situation and every outcome with a cold stare, arms crossed on your chest and a simple 'this is how it's going to be' attitude." "What if I'm wrong and he kills my parents anyways? What if I'm wrong and he just kills me instead? What if I'm wrong and he finds out I told Annette and Taggart?" She shrugged, looking from one hand to another as she gave each example. "My last several days has been nothing but walking on eggshells and pondering 'what if I'm wrong', so please, spare me which end of your ass you pulled that logic from." "And I do get to make that decision, Jason, because I did and if I have to, I'll do it again. I was in the wolves' den and I didn't have time to simply launch off texts of consent. I went to Annette and Taggart because Dr. Cooks notes, which contained details details on all of you, happened to be the property of Branch-9." The lovely brunette seemed unreasonably calm as she explained herself, while her words may have seemed harsh or blunt, she didn't in anyway seemed to be particularly angry or being cruel for cruelty's sake. "I didn't need your permission to use their resources and risk letting you guys know so that you get my parents killed and offer Devin and me nothing but a stoic glare and empty apology before you all just went on about your day. You're smart Jason, we all know you are, but in the really-real-world where everyone isn't a psychopath and we have feelings, and emotions, and social skills, we do things like call the police, call the FBI, call the U.S. Marshals, or go to the local underground secret military base and you address professional enforcement officials. You don't go to the psycho down the street and hope for the best." She pointed out the window towards the street to accent her statement. "I'm willing to take risks, Jason and be wrong, because all I have is average intelligence, an above-average body, and I'm surrounded by people who have consistently displayed an inability to provide me with the level of competency that I required in my time of need, so I outsourced. If a situation like this arises in the future, I will assess competency at that point and make a decision I feel is best to direct the outcome in a way I consider favorable." "I've already expressed the extent to which I can be trusted," she seemed distracted for a moment as she noticed the polish on one of her nails was chipped. With a disgusted expression at the imperfection in her usually flawless appearance, she sighed and shook it away, pressing on. "No situation can be perfectly accounted for. I've already said I'd warn you to the best of my ability, but frankly I'm not trusting any of you with things as grave as my family's lives, simply because you're part of the club. Those were my parents, my call, not yours. I am not some variable to be controlled." "You're seeking to promote people who can't do the job simply because they work for the company instead of seeking to hire those more competent and capable who don't work for the company." She smirked. "I mean, okay. You guys feel free to do as you please, but unlike Jason I can't control every scenario or it's outcome simply by standing there and telling people how it's going to be and if I don't get my way I'll shut them out because I don't get what it's like to be a flawed, scared, normal human being. I made a call and if I have to I'll make the same or other calls too if that's what the situation demands at that time. You wanna hate me? Hate me. You wanna compartmentalize me out of your life? Feel free. After all, there are only so many Radiants and our numbers have already dwindled by five in three months, so if you think turning your back on your limited allies is the intelligent thing to do, by all means, I won't stop you." She addressed everyone holding her arms out as if inviting a challenge. "I wasn't put here to live up to your standards, nor you, mine. So do whatever you feel is best, the war will still be here tomorrow."
  16. "Ho," Marissa chuckled as she wrapped her arms around her bae. She squeezed him gently in a show of appreciation for his speaking up. He'd honestly shared his thoughts and not all of it was positive, and she was completely okay with that. She looked up at him. "Slow down there, cowboy. We don't even know where Enterich is." "Look," she let him go and addressed the group once again. "I'm more than self-aware when it comes to how self-serving I am, I can afford to be, I have goals and aspirations plus we're wealthy and I'm attractive, and have way more going for me than any of you." She shrugged nonchalantly and didn't seem in the slightest way to be in intentionally trying to insult any of them, but in her typical way, she managed to do so with aplomb. "And that's okay. I don't want you to feel that I think less of you simply because you're 'lesser'. If you want to know if I can be trusted, the answer is 'no', because my definition of trust is a lot different than yours. You can trust me to always do what needs to be done, be it lie, cheat, manipulate, and not leave several bodies and police cold cases in my wake while I do it. You can trust that I won't do anything to intentionally harm any of you unless there is simply no way to get out of using you as bait or leverage, providing I'm certain you'll survive the hazard. Information, people, places, opportunity, the system; these are my weapons and the enemy isn't playing fair so neither will I." "I didn't believe in this," with both hands she pointed to the floor, encapsulating everyone present in a single gesture. "In us, until I saw us doing it. We were there, together, fighting that thing and we were winning and for a moment I had the clarity to realize that maybe this was actually possible. That we could actually do this... fight back and win, especially after all the hurt this thing has heaped onto us." "I was going to try to warn you, Jason." She addressed the silent, slender wallflower. "Even with Anette and Taggart supposedly handling your protection I figured Enterich would try something. With everything happening so fast and one fiasco after another it just didn't happen... I thought I'd have more time and he wouldn't acct this soon, I have to live with my inaction almost costing you your life. While I can't guarantee that I won't intentionally put you in danger again, but I can say you won't be blindsided by it like you were today." It seemed that was the closest as apologies came when it was the Queen of Mean dealing them out. "As far as Enterich goes, he has payback coming," she chuckled menacingly at the thought. "But he's not our priority. We don't have enough information to even begin looking for him. Revenge is going to happen, but we need to be smart about it and not allow it to sidetrack us," Jason noted the subtle glare she gave him. "We don't even know if he can be destroyed. For now I think our focus should be on Site B, Cassie's father, and trying to solve the mystery of Enterich and the Library of Shadows should be our side pieces."
  17. "Yes, I suppose we should," their hostess addressed Autumn's comment to being. Her brother passed her, holding up her car keys and jangled them up in front of her face. She snatched them, silencing the small bits of metal along with the large plastic fob. She offered him a confusing look, knowing that she'd given the keys to her mother and his only reply was to tilt his head in Cassie's direction. The Princess of Jauntsen Castle looked in Cassie's direction and mouthed a silent 'thank you' for returning her vehicle. Setting them on the glass-top stove that the collective was pretty sure cost a million dollars and prepared as well as cooked their food while also doing their taxes. She leaned against the counter behind the island, crossed one leg over and folded her arms. "So, I suppose I should start from the beginning. Those U.S. Marshalls that attacked Jason this morning also visited us about a week ago. Our real name isn't 'Jauntsen', we moved here to Montana three years ago under Witness Protection and those Marshalls were here attempting to harass us while asking questions about our parents." She spoke with her hands as she continued, not slowing for a moment as she addressed everyone with occasional looks in their direction as she expressed how skilled she was at public speaking. "A couple days later they pulled me over on the way to school. They gave me a card with an address on it and told me to be there, alone, or they would come after our parents. The address on the card took me to my first meeting with Enterich. He claimed to be a member of Crossroads and his offer was simple: either I collect data on all of you and give it to him or he’d destroy our family. Go after our mom and dad, either lock them away or kill them, or both, hell, I don’t know.” “You might be wondering why I didn’t tell any of you,” the brunette’s feet padded the tiles as she began to pace. “Simply put, while I'm pro-bungle when it comes to you handling your day-to-day life problems, I don’t trust you to handle my affairs. You’re either clumsy, ignorant, or,” she looked at Cassie in particular to express her last thought on the matter. “Loud. Or in my brother and Jason’s case, outright barbaric. He was quite explicit in his statement that if I told anyone he’d hurt my family, and the last thing I needed was all of you telling me ‘everything will be fine’ and then getting my parents killed because Devin and Jason went around kicking in doors and lighting everyone on fire and punching them in the face because they threatened me. While I know you would have meant well, I had zero faith that you could keep your promise and be subtle without putting my family at risk.” “So, I teamed up with Courtney,” she shrugged and then swiftly raised a finger to stave off questions. “Before you ask, it’s because she’s the only telepath we know who could have read my anxiety and discerned what was really bothering me when I told everyone nothing was wrong. I had to control the flow of information and she was the only weak link, by making her a part of my team I was able to maneuver her actions and decision-making in a direction more aligned with my goals. We discussed the situation and after some input from Courtney, and a good cry in my car, I decided the best course of action was to consult with professionals who have training and experience: I went to Annette and Taggart and informed them of what had transpired. Anette thought it best if I met with Enterich, upheld my end of the bargain and secured my family’s safety while collecting intel on this guy. I agreed and we went to work.” Marissa paused momentarily to take a drink of water, her eyes shifting to the microwave’s clock to estimate how long before the pizza arrived. “The information I was to give Enterich was carefully vetted info we gathered from Doctor Cook’s old notes on all of us. The plan was to tell him what he wanted to know without telling him anything at all. At this point, Courtney had issues with sending me into the dragon’s lair without backup, so I was in full Queen Bee mode to keep her head in the game and prevent her from running to tell all of you. She helped us parse the information and scrub it for anything that might be too much to tell him and after that, I waited until Sunday.” “As you might expect, he asked me more generalized questions as he read the information. My task was to be evasive, so I simply resorted to a litany of insults and minor cruelties to express how little I knew about any of you, or your abilities.” She paused and smirked, that evil little twinkle sparkled behind her eyes. “I’ll admit, that part was fun. He only seemed interested in Jason, however, which didn’t make sense at the time. Everyone else he just asked general questions about and discarded, but he took a special interest in our golden boy over here,” she gestured to Jason. “I was quite clear with him that if he attempted anything that not only would Jason live, he, and we, would be very pissed off and that would end the mark of his existence. A promise,” again she raised a finger to accent the point she was a bout to make. “I whole-heartedly intend to keep.” “Afterwards I briefed Annette and the project and I did not tell them about the hundred grand Enterich paid me for delivering the intel to him. I figured we, as a Fel-“ she sighed, still hesitant to refer to herself as part of the group and accept her place amongst the nerds and outcasts of Shelly. The adrenaline of impending doom wasn’t hanging over head any longer and without demons or The Dark looming, and the current subject matter, she didn’t feel like one of the group. “Team, might as well get paid a little bit for all the effort we’ve been putting in. It’s in my closet and the moment we had some breathing room my plan was to present it to everyone, at which point I would explain the Enterich sitch… but here we are.” She splayed he hands out to address everyone. “If Enterich was planning on hurting anyone, he didn’t say or let me in on his plans. He only said that Jason was obvious problem that needed to be dealth with, at which point I issued him the warning. I told Giles all of it and it was her and Taggart’s responsibility to do what they do in order to keep us safe and until I was sure I wasn’t going to do anything that would compromise the lives of my parents.” “That day at training, Cassie, I was telling you to back off Enterich because your snooping could have made him think I snitched. Your constant inability to let shit go could have gotten my parents killed,” she said flatly, but calmly. That morning I slept with you,” she looked to Cade, unabashedly putting their sex life out there for everyone to know about (not that they didn’t already). “I needed to get my head out of the dark places it was in. That evening I went and called on Coyote. I met him and… it was enlightening. Enterich is apparently some sort of demon a fear demon, he called it a cythaul or something, I can’t quite recall what he said. It’s a part of the Dark itself, like The Tree, but mobile. I also learned of something called The Library of Shadows. I’ve had Courtney running recon into the heads of everyone at Branch 9 and Proteus to discover what that might be before confronting Annette with it.” She sighed. “And that’s the gist. That’s why you saw me with Enterich, that why I collected money from him, and the moral of the story is: everyone has secrets. Just because I’m not working with you guys, doesn’t mean I’m working against you. Now…” she inhaled deeply and let the breath go, centering herself. “I assume you have questions, tirades, diatribes and accusations… so, floor is yours.”
  18. "We shouldn't need to do anything with them," Marissa said matter-of-factly. "Frankly all we've done so far is tear our own worlds upside down to suit everyone else's wants and the people who've seen necessary to thank us for it is... oh, wait... no one has actually done that yet. All we have is a military organization who wants to exploit us, and mysterious organization who wants to exploit us, a demon that wants us dead, another mysterious organization who wants us dead, oh, and for some reason, we are still accountable for our any missed assignments on the day we go to Charlie's funeral. When does the world offer up a little praise on our direction? And by praise, I mean making sure we all get to go to decent colleges and that our families will be taken care of while we're serving someone's agenda." "S'what heroes do, Emjay." Devin shrugged and looked his left towards his sister. "We save the world because it needs sav-" "Fuck that." Marissa cut him off. "This isn't a comic Devin. Or one of your stupid HBO high-budget series... this is real life. One of us already had his future taken away from him trying to help people who we all don't give a shit, or wouldn't if they knew. You think the military or Giles cares? They just want us working for them, keeping us on their leash. I think once this business is squared away we need to start asking for answers and if they don't want to give them, we take them." "Oh, like what EmJay? We know their totes shiesty, they're the government!" He laughed. "We all know their bullshitting us." "Well, it cost Charlie his life." Marissa said flatly. "They could have been watching out for us, they could have been training us, they could have been doing something. We're out of our league, at least, I thought we were, until I was there and I saw us fighting and winning and surviving. I know it's possible, I know we can do this but if we're with them there's no way in hell I'm doing it for free. If we go solo, we'll need a lot of money to make that happen and hella PR. We're stuck."
  19. "Sean," Marissa glared at the effeminate young man through narrowed eyes before scoffing and rolling her eyes at him. "Can't say hello to me, Cassidy? Really? Just my name? That's the game we're playing? If you have a problem, say something. You're allowed, you know. It'll do you far more credit." "It's all good," Marissa replied, her attention pulled from Sean. "I ordered a few pizzas, since we have this and then we get to collectively have to deal with all our parents at once. I'm hoping cheese and pepperoni might help us all fight the urge for ritual suicide." "Truth," Devin added, bee lining it for the fridge. "You two want a Coke?" Their hostess waved her hand, indicating the whole of the house. "We're still waiting on Cassie and Cade, so make yourself at home, you two should know where everything is or just talk amongst yourselves." If Marissa had any issues with Jason in her home or being in close proximity with him, she didn't seem to show it. In fact, it started to feel almost deliberate that her attitude was spiking back and forth around him just to keep his inability to process social interactions like everyone else on edge. With her, who knew? Anything was possible. "So," she padded around to other side of the island and rest on her elbows. "When am I going to see this Homecoming dress of yours? I need deets if I'm going to plan a makeover for you." She turned her attention to Sean briefly pointing to Autumn. "Talking to Autumn, not you."
  20. "My passing out? I'm doing well enough," Marissa politely smiled, informally letting Kat know that it was okay to talk about. "I called the medical people at Branch-9 and asked if they could make time to see me and figure out what's wrong. I think it's related to my abilities, at least, I hope it is. A part of me wonders if we all could have caught something from that biohazard of a dimension we came back from." She rolled her eyes and sighed. "Why we're all not in quarantine is beyond me." Devin handed Kat her coke and slid another across the counter to Marissa as she nodded in acceptance to his offer of one. "I was just low blood sugar, this time. So I'm hoping they can help me out. By the by, I needed to go to the medical center anyways, so I can kill two birds and all that. Thank you for asking, at least someone cares." She directed her tone towards her brother. "I care, sis! C'mon," Devin smirked as he leaned against the kitchen counter. "I need you to be okay so I can keep making fun of you." "Don't you have a Canadian girlfriend to call, or something?" Her eyes narrowed with a return salvo. "She exists. You met her." He shrugged, defending his bunker on the Canadian girlfriend front. "Did I though? Lots of psychic powers being thrown around, especially around the time you two were 'dating'," she air quoted. "I'm convinced it was all a mass hallucination."
  21. “Em?” Devin yelled loudly as his backpack slid off his shoulder and he closed the front door of their home. He passed through the foyer and took a right into their massive kitchen/dining room area and saw half the contents of the fridge splayed out on the island like an orc raiding party had stopped by for a bite after looting and pillaging. “Emjay!” “Down here.” Marissa called out from the basement where the Jauntsen twins entertained guests. The Mirror was congratulating her on another successful workout as she was standing but bent over, hugging her legs in a display of her excellent flexibility. Slowly Devin walked about the island in the kitchen looking at all the food that was either gone or in various states of either half eaten or mingled with foods that should never be eaten together. Lunchmeat was torn open while lettuce and condiments were carelessly cast about the island’s surface. Every last remaining pudding cup looked like it’d been licked clean while two different soda cans were left on their sides next to open and empty juice cartons. “Jesus Christ,” Devin whispered to himself as tried to look away from the culinary train wreck as he followed the sound of her voice down into the basement. He thumped down the stairs, mindful of his aching muscles although they’d seemed to have loosed up quite a bit after being active for most of the school day. He saw his sister bent over and stretching, her ponytail sprawled falling to the carpet. “What hell, Em.” He thumbed towards the stairs. “The fuck happened up there? You okay?” “Oh my god, yes.” She sighed, standing up straight and arched her back to work out the rest of stretch. “I feel great, now. Guess I was just hungry.” “Em, that’s not hungry!” His thumb shifted to a finger as he pointed upwards. “That’s a full-scale raid on the fridge. Where did you put it all?” “I know, right? I’ve no idea,” she answered with more pep than he’d heard in a long time. “Most of me still hurts all over, but look,” she turned slowly, showing off the excessive amounts of skin she put on display when she worked out. “Most of the scratches are gone, Deej. Not even a scar.” He brother inspected her, looking at where he remembered a few of the larger cuts to be and sure enough, she was right; they were gone, not a red mark or a blemish. He traced his thumb along her side, where one of the larger wounds was just that morning, before Jason’s accident. “Fuel.” He said softly. “Hmm?” his sister asked, stepping away to retrieve her water bottle. “You needed fuel, Em. You were more injured than all of us. Shit, one of this things tried to eat you, I saw the entry wounds from its teeth, there’s no way… Emjay, your body needed to fuel the healing, that’s why you went all hungo. We need to call Annette, you need tests, there’s more to your abilities that mega-thottery.” “I’m not a thot, fuck off.” She snapped back, while chuckling. “And relax, I already called her. Thank to the school, Mom thinks I’m pregnant, so, yeah, there’s that. I’m going in so the Branch people can have a look at me and figure what the hell is going on. While I’m there, I’m going to shut Mom up by scheduling an appointment with Doctor Lassiter for a Paragard, since Dad’s insurance covers it.” “…a what now?” He asked. “A whoziwhatsit.” she replied. “That makes girl parts not do mommy stuff.” He nodded slowly. “Oooooh. Don’t you need a parent’s permission? Mom is I’m sure okay with you being safe, but after this, I think you’re banned from dick until like… 2090 or something. Just a guestimate.” “She knows she can’t stop me from having sex Deej, barring locking me in my room, and even then, you can teleport and open portals. I think Mom and Dad both know at this point; all they can do hope we’re responsible with our choices.” Devin laughed. “Which you obviously weren’t.” “We were!” She protested. “Devin trust me, there was nothing left to impregnate me by the time he put the condom-“ “I don’t need to hear this!” He clasped his hands over his ears and loudly proclaimed ‘lalala’. His sister was relentless and simply resorted to pantomiming every seedy, disgusting sexual act she and Cade had committed with a series of tongue in cheek gestures, hip thrusts and implying there was, at some point, the insertion of a fist into a cavity. As she slowed down, he gently lifted his hands to check if the coast was clear. “And then it was my turn…” she smiled wryly as he turned and fled upstairs, screaming ‘lalala’ as she chased him to their respective rooms upstairs while she loudly yelled every foul act, mostly made up, since he could no longer see her gestures. He only knew freedom after he’d slammed the door to his room. Grinning evilly, she retreated to her own room and prepared for a shower. They’d have company soon. ---===[@]===--- Between the work out and the shower, Marissa was feeling better. Her body still ached, her muscles feeling like sludge, but her and her brother had always toughed it out and pushed themselves, especially while not feeling well. No longer hungry, she went to clean the kitchen only to find that her brother was already on it. “Best bro ever,” she pecked him on the cheek and smiled as he shooed her away. “Nuh uh, you can’t kiss me anymore, I know where that mouth has been,” he joked. “Puh-lease,” she rolled her eyes, grinning. “I know your number. There’s no telling how much herpes you’ve smeared on my cheek. Rebecca alone you’ve been with what? Six, seven times?” “Uh, four.” He corrected her. He side-armed in a change of topic. “Feeling better? Everyone should be here soon.” “No,” she shrugged. She’d changed after shower into comfortable leggings and a crop top sweatshirt that exposed her midriff and hung off one shoulder, covering the sports bra she wore underneath. Her sweatshirt read: ‘Can’t talk right now. Doing Hot Girl shit.’ Her feet were bare and patted softly on the kitchen tiles. She was in light makeup, reasserting her position as the only girl in Shelly who wore lip gloss while dressed for lounging. “But I’m faking it well enough. Pretty sure this is going to be a complete shitshow, but, it is what it is.” “And if this doesn’t end positively?” he asked while wiping down the island and tossing the paper towel in the trash that was filled with the remnants of the fridge. “Then it doesn’t.” She shrugged and chuckled. “Made it through sixteen years of my life without them, Deej. Pretty sure I’ll be okay for another sixteen or so. I have superpowers, plus I’m gorgeous. This girl will be fine, trust me.” She drew her phone from the pocket on the thigh of her leggings and tapped to open an app. "I'm kinda peckish, think we should order pizza for everyone?" "Are you serious?" Devin looked at his sister in absolute amazement.
  22. 1300-ish, Shelly High School The Snickers bar didn't do much, in fact, she was hungry again about thirty minutes later. With eyes closed she stood at her locker, hidden by the small door, taking a moment to collect her thoughts and just relax. She could hear the school all around her, the chaotic garble of too many people talking all at once, the occasional squeak of a shoe across the waxed floors, locker doors slamming closed or popping open. It was almost hypnotic and she felt like she could just curl into a ball fall aslee- "Um, excuse me?" She breathed. If she ignored it, it would go away. Right? "E-excuse me? You're Marissa, right? Marissa Jauntsen?" She opened her eyes and lazily spun about to face whomever it was trying to get her attention. Lunchtime. One hour... just one hour to herself, was that too much to ask? It was, said the cosmos as she tried to guess why Steve Rodgers, before the serum, was trying to flag her down at her locker. Sandy blonde, 90 pounds soaking wet (with a brick tied to his ankle, hopefully), and unpleasant to look at he certainly wasn't anything she'd consider interesting. His teeth were straight and his eyes were a pretty shade of silvery gray. "What," she asked lazily and like she hadn't heard a word he'd said up until now. "Hi, I'm, uh, Garett." He smiled nervously and offered his hand which she just glared at as her eyebrow slowly raised up in confusion. "Great." She slid her book into her locker, having realized just then that she'd been holding the whole time. "Don't care." Garret lowered his hand, his cheeks flushing slightly, "Oh, uh... so, um, you're Cade Allister's girlfriend, right?" "We're not putting a label on it," she said on reflex. She turned from her open locker and looked at Garret. "You're still here... why?" "Yeeaah, why wouldn't I be?" he tried to smile past her attitude. Truth was she intimidated the hell out of him most days, but today she just seemed less like herself and more approachable. "But you two are going out, though, right?" "Yes, no... sort of," Marissa, exasperated let her shoulders collapse and she just faced him, shaking her head in annoyance. "Why? What's it to you, anyway?" "My friend, didn't know if you had a date for Homecoming and wanted me to ask you for him," he pointed across the way and heads of two other students disappeared behind lockers. "Ronnie." "Wilkins?" she said with a disgusted look on her face. "He never bathes. I have a class with him, we can smell him from three seats away... no, nuh uh, no way in hell, ever. Plus, he's a Freshman. Tell Ronnie to stay in his lane. Maybe his pillow is free that night, Gary." "It's uh, Garret." He pointed out. "Don't care." She also pointed out. "Um, what about Sean Cassidy?" Garret added. "Sean is a guy, Barret." "Garre-," he shrugged. "You know, never mind. I'm cool with Barret. No, the reason I was asking was because you hang out with Sean, right?" "Sean hangs with me," she corrected him. Her gaze got as hard as it could, given how miserable she was feeling. "So if you have a problem with him, you have one with my brother and me. Now, why do you want to know about Sean? Hurry up, you're like a little mosquito, and you're starting to bother the hell out of me. I don't even recognize you, are you a Freshman too?" "Wh-what? N-no," this was why she scared the crap out of him. She spoke and flipped to angry faster than he could think of what he was going to say. He swallowed hard, trying to relax and say what he needed to before she went nuclear. "I mean, yes. I am a Freshman, but I don't' have a problem with Sean... we heard he's a gamer and were wondering if he had any open spots in his gaming group? I was hoping you could... um, p-pass my info along to him, please?" He presented her with a torn piece of notebook paper with their numbers written on it in obvious gamer handwriting. "I have a raw damage wizard I've been wanting to try out and was hoping he had the room." She stared at the paper for a good long moment, brow raised in mock appraisal of the weeb specimen so brazenly standing in front of her. What happened to her? When did the nerds and losers of this school decide that she had fallen so far that they could simply just approach her like she was one of them and not their royalty to be worshipped? She sighed deeply and snatched it from him. "Surefinewhatever," and stuffed it into her jean pocket. "Now go away, Glen I we're done." "See? Now you're not even trying anymo-" she forced her past him with a slam of her locker and made it three steps before her world began to spin. She stopped as the walls wavered and the ceiling weft about slowly her eyes rolled back and Marissa fell backwards... Garret yelled for help from won of the teachers and Courtney hazily appeared in her field of vision as a blurry mess right before her world went black.
  23. "Give," she said deadpan, opening and closing her hand expectantly. "I'll pay you back, swear, I'm just starving right now." If Cade had only known how serious she was being, he would've rummaged faster. She'd tore through two plates of scrambled eggs, toast, and hash browns just a couple hours ago and her stomach was churning like she'd gone days without food and was standing downwind of a pizzeria without a penny to her name. While he dug for the Snickers she allowed herself a momentary weakness to smile at how sweet he was the moment he wasn't paying her any mind. She collected herself as he straightened and handed her the candy bar. "Thanks," she said, almost playfully. "I uh, have to get to," the bell rung loudly in the hall and she smiled, looking down as it interrupted her. As it finished she continued. "Class, yeah. Um, see you later, okay? Text me, just don't get your phone taken away or I laugh at you." "Get to class. Shoo." She tippie-toed up and pecked him on the cheek, before stepping into her own classroom.
  24. “No,” she said solemnly, sighing a bit. ‘Like shit’ was an amusing turn of phrase that twins kept hearing, either directly or whispered, and since they both looked amazing on their worst day, Marissa was starting to wonder what Shelly’s basis of comparison was. Either way, with no makeup and her hair just kind of doing ‘whatever’, she was obviously not feeling well. The fact that she hadn’t copped attitude yet or even complained was his first red flag. “Not unless you have a Snicker bar, or you can miraculously fix whatever the hell is wrong with me. God,” she complained to the ceiling. “I feel like Jell-O stuck to a skeleton.” Her taloned finger poked into his chest a couple times, it pinched, but it didn’t hurt, telling him she wasn’t actually bothered, or she just didn’t have the strength to care today. “Dick move not going to see Jason this morning,” she reprimanded him quietly, side eyeing someone as they walked past the two of them while they talked outside the class. “But I understand why. Not much you coulda done anyway and it was nothing but the Hot Mess Express wiping Jason’s mouth and baby talking her invalid little doll. Devin’s new alien sex toy showed up, she’s pretty, so if you look at her I’ll kill you. Oh, and Cassie showed up too, but I left before she could lament her father or start prying into everyone’s business like she’s welcome there. All in all, you didn’t miss much. But, I swear to God, if I ever get shot in the face and you ghost me at the hospital, I will find you and I will dislodge your soul and keep in a fucking jar." “He’s fine, by the way.” She bit her lower lip, something she didn’t do very often. He didn't have any real emotion for which to relate it to for her, considering she only really ever showed 'angry', 'angrier', and full blown 'lost her shit', but he was pretty sure it seemed like she was genuinely relieved as well as concerned. “For which, I’m glad. I may not like him overly much, but I don’t want him hurt, or even killed for that matter. Not unless I do it, of course.” Her faux-bae tilted his head and offered her a disappointed look, scolding her with his glare. She smirked evilly and recoiled her head into her shoulders a bit. “I’m kidding!” Shrugging away her grim humor, she half-smiled, looking into Cade’s eyes while resting her palm affectionately on his chest. “Sorry about promising you time together,” he knew what she meant by ‘together’. “With last night going like it did, and now me feeling like this, I’m just really not at a hundred percent, hold out a bit longer for me?”
  25. It was an intense and awkward ride for the twins as they drove back to Devin’s motorcycle. They’d talked at length about what was going on and her brother was not the least bit happy about it, expressing the sense of betrayal he felt over her not letting him in on her plans. Marissa cursed under her breath as she watched him speed off at sixty in record time. She offered an apologetic and mirthless smile towards the Sheriff as she passed him and his men slowly as they were concluding their investigation of the scene. As she pulled into a parking spot at the school not long after, she found him at the school, leaning against his bike and waiting for her in the parking lot. A smile crept to her lips as relieve set in at knowing he was still willing to talk to her. Even after going home, washing up, and changing, they still looked like bums, at least by their standards. Devin hair didn’t have so much as a spritz of product in it, which was almost unheard of and his clothes looked like they were his ‘around the house’ jeans and faded old tee. Marissa was still in jeans and old band tee shirt covered by a black hoodie that made her whole look seem like she’d stolen it from Autumn’s playbook and just palette swapped it. She approached him and they both turned to face the school, walking towards it in perfect stride with the other. “Speed helps me think, and I still don’t agree with it, Emjay.” Devin said calmly as they approached the two doors of the school. “You should have involved us, and now, I have to choose between family or Fellowship.” “And?” she asked evenly. “Which team are you on?” “Family, always.” Devein said confidently as the two pulled open the double doors and were immediately assaulted by the sounds of school kids moving through the halls, yelling, talking, and carrying on. They’d arrived just at a class change and the halls were in their typical state of anarchy. “But the Fellowship is your problem. I’ll keep you safe, but I’m not protecting you. Not this time.” “Fair enough,” she shrugged and smirked as they strolled into their dominion. ---===[@]===--- Even as everyone gawked at her, Marissa strode through the halls like she was the Queen of Shelly high. No one had ever seen her at school, or in public for that matter, without her makeup on let alone dressed like she’d just turned over a Goodwill donation box. Still, her unique powers and impeccable luck in the genetic lottery, would have let her rock a burlap sack and still rock it as a solid nine. Even now, she was ten, sporting a wholesome, natural ‘Montana girl’ look that still had the guys at school wondering who they had to kill to get a date with her. Mumbles were made and she saw a few people cautiously point at her while trying to keep their judgements and opinions private, but it didn’t bother her in the slightest. Everything on her body hurt and she wasn’t in any mood for daily politics, maybe tomorrow. A part of her felt that maybe word had gotten out about her and Fellowship rescuing Tawny and Sophie, who the twins stopped by and peeked in on as they left the hospital and both seemed to be doing okay, only tired and sleeping, a lot. On the other hand, she wondered if somehow rumors of the shooting had gotten out already. Social media was a bitch sometimes. “Oh. My. God.” Courtney said slowly and with no measure of hiding the shock in her voice. “Emjay, you look like shit.” She chuckled nonetheless, glad to see Marissa alive and well at least. She was with Stacey, Tammy and Samantha, the cheer elite of the cheerleaders of Shelly High, which wasn’t saying much considering Shelly High’s cheerleaders and the football team made up almost twenty five percent of all high schoolers in the small down. “Rough night?” She winked with a smirk. “You know it was,” Shelly’s Queen couldn’t muster a smile though. She was too tired, in pain, and was dying for a snack. Why was she so hungry lately? “So, look, I need to get to class, but while I have all of you here, I want to sign up.” “For what?” Stacey asked suspiciously. "And since when do you get to call her 'Emjay, only her broth-" Marissa craned her neck a bit to express how obvious her point should have been, cutting Stacey off in the process. “Cheerleading.” Tammy scoffed and snickered. “Not looking like that,” she laughed, mocking Marissa’s disheveled, no-makeup day appearance. “Besides, we’re full up.” “Okay,” Marissa smirked and nodded as the basic bitches of Shelly High had their fun. Courtney smirked as she looked her fellow cheerleaders, knowing they were a few words away from a shitstorm. “Tammy, you better appreciate this while it lasts,” Marissa motioned down her body. “Because you’re a five on your best day and the moment if I apply so much as a dab of eyeshadow, you’re back to being a basic two and some frat guys better than nothing, whiskey dicked Saturday night. So, stop thinking your witty and edgy, and just make room on the squad for me. Kick the chubby retarded girl off.” “We can’t,” Stacey huffed. “She’s chubby.” “And retarded.” Samantha added. “But, she contributes nothing to it.” Marissa coldly stated, her words laced with scorn. “If she can’t do the routines, and she can’t actually cheer, then why is she on the goddamn squad? If you can’t fly a plane, they don’t let you pilot.” Stacey shrugged. She agreed completely, but it wasn’t her call. She gestured to all the ladies present with a twirl of her finger. “Choir,” she stated. “We’ve all said the same thing, but apparently if people aren’t good at anything but they’re destined to be a financial burden on the rest of society for the rest of their lives, we have to let them be a part of everything. Rules or some shit, like... I guess they're people to? I don't know.” “No, fuck that.” Marissa shook her head. “I want her gone.” “She can still be on the squad,” Courtney said as a devious expression lit up her eyes. “But in the event of an injury, we reserve the right to bench her and replace her. She still gets a uniform and yearbook photo.” “Good, see? Now that’s what I appreciate,” the evil brunette gestured towards Courtney. “Positive problem solving, not handing me excuses.” Make sure these three look like the guilty party. Already on it. Courtney smiled. “Don’t worry, we’ll work something out. In the meantime, I know your size, we’ll get you a uniform ordered.” “So,” Samantha’s brow furrowed in a mixture of confusion and irritation. “Just like that, we just do what she asks? Don’t we vote on this sort of stuff? I don’t recall being asked if I was okay with Marissa being on the cheer squad. She’s not Queen anymore. I mean, look how those nerds have her dressing… it’s like… you don’t even care anymore. What happened to you?” “Sure, we’ll also vote on if that video of you drunk and grinding on Kieran goes viral too,” Courtney chimed up. She sarcastically added. “Let democracy in the eyes of the Lord, reign.” “Oh,” Samantha calmed a bit. “I mean… she’s not that good anyway, and Marissa is an actual trained gymnast. God helps those who helps themselves, and our Heffalump isn’t doing much to help our practices or our team… but nothing serious, I like watching her try to dance.” “Fair enough,” they all said at the same time, nodding in agreement. Apparently, they all enjoyed the special girl’s dances. “Great,” Marissa smiled, her business concluded. “Get on that. Email me the schedule when it’s done.” With that she walked off. To say she didn’t feel right wasn’t quite enough to cover how she was coping. Evil was easy. She had a shitty morning, a shitty evening, and all she wanted was one day without drama where she could sit back, listen to music, get herself off a couple times, and nap… a lot, like every other teenager in Shelly seemed allowed to do. Her usual routine of taking her frustrations out on the general peon populace (read: everyone) wasn’t sitting well with her this time. Why did them hurting the girl to secure her a position on the cheer team seem… heavy? She felt consumed by a some… weight and for a moment thought it might be Jason using his powers to press her into the floor. She sighed and text Courtney. //Let me talk to her first. I’ll let you know what’s up.// A thumbs up ‘booped’ onto her screen and Shelly’s Evil Queen (in transition(?)) marched off to her class, hating the fact Courtney probably knew that Marissa was going to change her mind before she did. //Feelings suck. I hate them already.// She tapped out as she passed by people in the hallway. Courntney smiled and replied as Samantha and Tammy expressed their disgust with how bossy Marissa was. //Try being horny all the time.// //I am.// Marissa smiled, rounding into the doorway to her next class. The redhead covered her mouth, concealing her smile and tapped a reply with her thumb. //LOL// ---===[@]===--- “Hey!” Laurie’s greeting was an energetic one as she approached Devin, happy to see one of the Fellowship had actually made it to class today. When he closed his locker and she saw his arms and neck and eyes darkened by bruises she stopped and lurched away in shock. “Christ… wow. You look…” “Like shit, yeah.” He barely managed a smirk. Between being in constant agony and Marissa bullshit stew she was serving up piping hot, he just was feeling today at all. “Been getting that a lot.” “I was going to say” like Misery beat you with a shit stick and dumped you in the Gutter of Abject Horror where you were sodomized by those who could only described as ‘the stuff woven from pure nightmares.” She smiled and shrugged. “But we can go with ‘like shit’ if you want. Sure.” “Points for creativity, Red.” He grunted slightly as he shifted his weight to support his books. Her cheer softened somewhat as she saw that typically witty and chipper Devin was not present. At. All. “What’s up?” “Nothing,” she shrugged like she didn’t need a reason. “Just was wondering if everything was okay. Sean left out in a hurry and…” “Everything is fine.” Her friend said flatly. “Meaning…?” she pressed. “Meaning,” he looked at her. “Not a conversation for here.” “So, take us somewhere else and we’ll talk, lunch is like right around the corner and-“ “D-Train is closed, darlin’,” he shook his head. “Duty kinda jacked me up for a bit. I’d be lucky if I could open a viewing portal the size of a penny right now. Sorry.” “Oh, sorry,” she winced, now looking concerned. Her green eyes looked him over and shown a light of compassion at his current condition because of what he and the others did to end up that state. “I didn’t know.” Devin didn’t seem particularly bothered. Laurie was just trying to be supportive and by the very virtue that she was treating like a human being these days, and dangerously close to a friend, meant he was getting somewhere with her. “S’cool, soon as I’m back in the game we’ll go chill somewhere, okay?” “Seriously? Where?” her eyes seemed to sparkle like stars and each glimmer was a possible destination. “Wherever you wanna go.” Devin tried to laugh but it sounded forced. He rolled his shoulders to flex the soreness in his body as they kept walking. “Oh, and uh… your brother is a badass. Little dude is a fucking cannon. A glass one, but a fucking cannon, no doubt. He held his own like a champ, be proud of him.” “I am,” she smiled and nodded with measured confidence. “Of all of you, honestly.” She bashfully chuckled and feigned pushing her hair back behind one of her ears. She stopped and thumbed behind her. “This is, uh… my stop.” “Cool, I’ll uh, see you later?” He nodded his head, motioning further down the hall. “I’m further on, but lunch or something… if you want.” “Yeah,” Laurie smiled and sounded more eager than she intended. “S-sure… cool. Well… uh… bye.” Devin laughed softly, even his lungs hurt. Was that even a thing? “Later, Red.” He hobbled on down the hall and towards his next class.
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