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Lilly Pryor last won the day on August 17 2020

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  1. Lilly watched the exchange between Marissa and the adults at the table and sighed to herself. Things were clearly not well between Marissa and Jase, and did have a point, even if it was not brought up in the most tactful of ways. 'It's often not what you, but how you say it.' appeared to be a lesson that Marissa had never learned, or was choosing to ignore for any number of reasons. In the end, just Lilly and Hank were let at 'Camp Bannon' as it were as Lilly watched Marissa walk off. "She means well, even if she not show it in the best of ways. I think she's just not used to caring about people so she gets a bit overly protective or something. I dunno." Lilly said to Hank. "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions." Hank responded, to which Lilly nodded. "Yeah. I know. We all have issues. I just hope we can get some of them worked out before it's too late." she replied. "You mean like you and throwing your tryouts?" Hank asked. "Yeah, that's one, at least." Lilly said, lifting up her sunglasses to sit on her forehead, holding her hair back and out of her face. "I just didn't know how to tell them. I mean, yeah, it's been weeks since we started getting these... abilities, but it's still happened really fast, you know?" she said, almost looking for some agreement. "And before I knew it, it was time to leave for the tryouts and I still didn't know how to talk to them. It's like, I didn't want to disappoint them for giving up or whatever." "But you didn't give up, did you? I don't know too much about you, but from what I do know it's pretty clear that you're no quitter." Hank said as his calm, some might say cold or calculating, eyes looked her over. "Yeah, I guess, but I couldn't tell my parents that I and dropping a dream I've had and worked so hard toward for years because it's nowhere near a level playing field anymore because I can... because of what I can do , you know, now. It's cheating." Lilly said and then added, "Or at least it is to me." with a shrug.
  2. -< Previous Night >- Lilly stepped off the porch and headed, the dirt and gravel crunching with each step she took. Her strides were neither meandering nor purposeful as she headed toward her truck, thinking about the day and the one to come. Reaching her truck, Lilly tossed her iPod and gloves onto the passenger seat and then opened the the door which, as usual, protested at the motion. She took a seat and pulled it shut, slipping the key into the ignition and giving it twist causing the old engine to roar (or maybe cough) to life. The old pickup headed down the long driveway of the Bannon farm as Lilly thought to herself about the life, especially that since the night of the bonfire when their lives were irrevocably changed. Since then they had discovered the strangeness of Shelly and it's cycle and everything that came with it, from secret government experimentation to the presence of other... entities... with a vested interest in Shelly. And now it was on them to take care of Cody, or the Horned Man or whatever he was now and The Dark or whatever, breaking the cycle. They were just teens, teens with amazing abilities right out the MCU movies, but still just teens, and upon their shoulders a lot was resting. Before she knew it, Lilly's truck was heading down the long, stretch of road cutting through the countryside to connect Shelly proper and Bullwark AFB. She had been lost in thought, driving more or less on autopilot, but the buildings, or lack thereof, pulled her focus back to the moment. She clicked off what passed for the sound system in the pickup. The old, crackling speakers, which were not helped by the usual volume she listened to her music at, fell silent as she drove down the solitary road, the rhythm of the engine and the whistling of the wind through the rolled down windows replacing her usual music for the rest of the trip as she thought about tomorrow night. As usual she pulled up to the gate, pulled out her military I.D. and held it out for the guard with a smile. It was barely even a formality seeing as she was Lt. Col. Pryor's daughter and she had, over the course of a few years, met most, if not all, of the security personnel under her dad's command. That, combined with the fact that there were very few spouses or children on base made her stand out. Still though, they did take their job seriously, so protocols had to be followed. "You have a good night, Lilly." the guard said as he handed the card back to her, waving her through. "Thanks. You too, Roy. You going to the Labor Day thing at Champion Fields tomorrow?" she asked as she tucked her I.D. in her pocket. "Is there anything else to do around here?" he replied with a grin. Lilly let out a small laugh and shrugged. "Touche." she responded adding some flare to the pronunciation and then put her truck in gear, driving through the gate and following the familiar route to her home. "I'm hooome." Lilly announced as she came in the door and jogged up the stairs to her bathroom. After a quick shower, she reappeared downstairs to find her parents watching the late game and eating some dinner with a plate waiting for her. "Thanks mom." Lilly said as she grabbed the plate from the kitchen counter and walked over to join them, plopping down on the sofa and folding her legs to cradle the plate as she cut off a bit of the lemon pepper chicken. The trio watched the game, riding the ups and downs of it as they ate their dinner and caught up in between. It was a fun time with her parents, and made Lilly realize just how little time she had been spending with them as she got older. Yeah, that was only natural, she figured, but reflecting on it now, it was not something she liked. Bill Pryor glanced over and could see the faint expression on his daughter's face and, like usual, decided to just rip the band-aid off. "So why'd you sandbag at the tryouts." Bill asked simply. The question caught Lilly by surprise, her gaze snapping to her father who was still watching the game. "What?" she asked. "Come on Lilly. Don't play games with me. I know your times and distances. You under-performed. I want to know why. Was it the pressure?" he replied, meeting her gaze as he spoke. "It wasn't the pressure." Lilly sighed, her shoulders slumping as she looked at the floor. "Okay. Then what's his name? Is it that Jason we met at the game?" her father asked. "There's no boy, dad." she answered as she rolled her eyes and looked at her dad with smirk. "Okay. Okay. Her name then?" he asked unsure, prompting Lilly to throw one of the small pillows on the sofa at him. "There's nobody, okay?" "Is that the problem then?" he asked cautiously. Lilly rolled her eyes in the overly dramatic fashion common to teenagers. "I would rather not sit here and discuss my love life, or lack thereof, with my parents on the living room sofa, especially when it had nothing to do with the tryouts." Lilly sighed. "Okay, then what happened?" he asked again, then time pausing the game. Lilly set her plate aside on the coffee table and pulled her legs to her chest, wrapping her arms around them and frowned. "I just... I dunno. I guess it's not what I want anymore." she finally let out. "For months know I've been feeling this way, but, I dunno. I didn't know how to tell you. I mean, at one time I really did want it, but now, not so much. I just, I dunno, kept doing it and going through the motions because it's what I've done for so long and what was expected of me, what I was supposed to do and be. I needed some time to figure how to and then BAM! there was the tryouts and I still didn't know how to tell you." "Soooo you just made the whole trip a waste of time and money?" he asked, his expression a bit more serious now. Lilly clutched her legs a little more tightly to her chest as she tried to hide behind them. Despite all her newfound abilities, nothing was a match for the disappointment in her parent's voice. Lilly nodded and looked at her knees, feeling rather small and powerless at the moment. "I didn't want to do it, I just didn't know to tell you that it's what I wanted anymore. I didn't want to disappoint you. But I guess that's what I ended up doing anyways." she finally said, letting out. In a way it felt good to finally say it, but that was small solace in comparison to what she said. "I'm sorry. I really am." she said, almost sobbing as she closed her eyes and rested her forehead on her knees. Cassandra scooted closer on the sofa and slipped her arms around her daughter, holding her close. "Honey, changing your your mind it not a disappointment to us. Feeling like you couldn't tell us is a bit disappointing, I'm not gonna lie, but we're your parents. We want the best for you, and we love and will support you in whatever you do, whenever you figure out what that is." Cassandra explained as she gave her daughter a squeeze with her hug, feeling some of the tension leave Lilly as she did so. "You can always talk to us. Always." Bill added as he got up and sat on the arm of the sofa, reaching down to rub Lilly's back. "Take some time and figure out what you want to do. But, you know, being the first woman NCAA quarterback would not exactly a bad thing. Just saying." he added, finishing with a bit of humor. Lilly could not help but let out a laugh. "Yeah, no pressure." she said as she lifted her head, resting it again her mother's as she looked up at her dad. "Of course. No pressure." he reaffirmed with a faint grin tugging at the corners of his lips. -< Labor Day, 2:30-ish >- Lilly's pickup pulled in not long behind her parents' car, parking beside it. She hopped out and walked around the back, lowering the tailgate and hopped up into the bed, sliding the small grill, cooler and other things the family had brought to the tailgate for easier access,. Bill took the loaded cooler, Cassandra gathered the umbrella and large bag while Lilly grabbed the small grill. Thankfully it did not take them long to find a decent spot to set up in the large field. "I'll go get the chairs." Lilly offered, not particularly waiting for a response from her parents as she took off back toward the truck at a jog and grabbed the folding, aluminum chairs. Cradling the chairs in her arms she headed back toward her parents, catching sight of Coach Meyers who nodded to her as she passed by. "Hey Coach." she greeted with a smile as she jogged past. "Have a good day, Pryor." he responded. Lilly turned around, jogging backwards to face Coach Meyers. "Sure thing, Coach. You too!" she said as she turned around and barely caught the glimpse of a couple walking across her path behind her, causing her to spin to avoid them as she continued on, turning back around and never slowing. Coach Meyers watched the teen's evasive action with some interest, totally avoiding the couple, the small scene bringing some ideas to mind... Lilly trotted up and set down the chairs as her parents were busy setting up the grill and doing a little bit of last minute prep to some of the food to be grilled. One by one she unfolded the chairs and set them out in a semi-circle under the shade of the umbrella. "So how long till the food's ready?" Lilly asked half jokingly, already teasing her dad a bit. "Grilling is an art, and art cannot be rushed." Bill retorted, causing Cassandra to roll her eyes. "Yeah. Well we're getting a late start thanks to the breakdown and we haven't eaten, so step on it, Picasso." Cassandra said walking up behind her husband, resting her hands on his shoulders and giving him a peck on the cheek. "So a little less 'Picasso' and a little more 'paint by numbers', eh?" Lilly quipped causing her mother to laugh. "Exactly. See? She gets it." Cassandra said with a grin to Bill, who just shook his head. "Everybody's a critic." he muttered. "Love you, Dad!" Lilly said, giving Bill a quick hug. "I'm gonna go scope out the vendors real quick as we can work out a plan of attack." "Okay. Don't take long." Lilly moved through the crowd, waving or offering a quick hug to friends and teammates here or there, occasionally getting tips on some of the best vendors and generally carousing. It was a beautiful day, the atmosphere was vibrant and jovial so Lilly was doing her best to soak it all in while she could. She finally spotted Cass, Marissa, Jase and his dad along with his friend, Hank. Lilly bit the side of her bottom lip for a moment as she thought about he Fellowship's plan for that night. She had wanted to ask her dad some things, but it would have been more than a little odd and she was not ready to raise suspicions, much less lay everything out on the table to her parents right now, despite what they had told her the night before and did not want to deal with her dad's reaction to the plan to walk into the lion's den. Hank though, was a veteran, and from what she gather, had seen and been through some shit. Not only that, but he was 'in the know' when it came to the Fellowship, so he could probably offer the best advice. Gar was in on it too, for that matter, maybe he could help out too. With a nod to herself, as if making up her mind, Lilly stepped out from the crowd and approached the small group. For her part she had her long, brunette hair down and was wearing sunglasses, short, denim overalls which showed off her legs rather well, with a black crop top underneath and her feet were her seldom seen Chuck's. Lilly smiled and waved as she walked up."Hey guys." she said, greeting her friends and then lifted up her sunglasses to look to the two adults. "Mr. Bannon. Mr. Graskle." she said, greeting each of them with a respectful nod as well, as she was taught. "Happy Labor Day everybody."
  3. Lilly and Cade had been tossing the football back and forth talking when Cade heard Jase's offer and tossed the ball back to Lilly before departing to take Jase up on the offer to freshen up. Lilly looked over behind herself, whipping her ponytail around her shoulders and saw Jase leading the way to the farmhouse, floating cooler in tow behind him and turned to follow herself. As Lilly headed toward the house she spotted Kat and Courtney up ahead and considered them for a moment. She still had not particularly met Kat yet, but she certainly knew Courtney, and she had managed to bury the hatchet (or at least it *seemed* that way) with the twins, so she figured why not go for broke? Courtney had been a terror at the school, especially to Sean, but if the Jauntsens could make a change, then Courtney should be afforded the same chance too. That did not mean it would be easy, but anything worthwhile rarely is. "Hey Courtney. Wait up a sec." she called to the redhead as she squeezed the football in her hand and, with a skip, started casually jogging to catch Courtney, who had slowed her pace and was giving Lilly a look that was a mixture of surprise and confusion. "Yeah?" she asked almost curtly as Lilly drew near. "Hey." Lilly greeted as she slowed to a walk alongside Courtney. "I just wanted to say that I can't necessarily speak for others, but I wanted you do know that I don't really care about what you did in the past, at least before the attack at the hospital. You threw your lot in with the rest of us, are here now, and are probably gonna be risking your ass with us Monday night, so that's all that matters to me. Anything from before, as far as I am concerned, is water under the bridge. Cool?" Lilly's mind was virtually impenetrable to the young telepath, but she could still get a sense of her emotions and she at least didn't sense any deception from Lilly. There was still a faint shadow of irritation there, to be sure, probably just from seeing Courtney's after all she had done to the Fellowship in the past, but there was now a kernel of posivity there now that could be nurtured. One would never totally let go or forget past slights, but is was certainly possible to move past them, and for her part, Lilly seemed to be honestly trying to let go of their past. Courtney was slightly taken aback at first. She knew that Devin and Marissa had been accepted, or forgiven, or whatever, by the Fellowship, but hearing those words from Lilly Pryor the first time they had spoken (which was never friendly in the past) in weeks was not something she had expected. The corners of Courtney's lips were slowly tugged up as she smiled at Lilly with an odd mix of thankfulness and irony in her smile. "You don't know everything I did... But thanks." she replied. "Everything? I'm sure I don't." Lilly acknowledged with a shrug. "Maybe you can fill me in some time?" she said, leaving the offer out there and then continued, "But until then, I do know what you did last week, and you're here now, so that's good enough for me. People change, and yeah, maybe not always for the better, but they should at least be given a chance to do so, and to be accepted for who they are instead of who they were.. or who you thought they were." she said with a warm smile and small wink as she strolled alongside the redhead with the farmhouse growing ever larger before them as they drew ever closer to the old structure. "Thanks." Courtney said sincerely. It was kind of odd to hear Courtney Adams being friendly and sincere after they way she had talked to, well, pretty much everybody at the school for years. At the same time though, Lilly could also see a bit of the how and why she behaved like she had with Cook's influence and simply being a telepathic teen. People all wore masks and thought things privately in the sanctuary of their own minds that they would never say aloud due to politeness, fear and a multitude of other restricting factors. But to hear that from everybody, to know how people truly thought about you, others, and everything would have to make a person cynical at the very least. Navigating high school while doing so, had to be even worse. "No problem." Lilly said to Courtney with a small smile and nod as they set foot on the porch. The teens gradually made their way to the farmhouse, trickling in here and there as they finished their own activities, conversations or simply finally noticed that the others had gone inside. The nine teens filled the small kitchen, some sitting at the table while others leaned against the counters. Occasionally one or two would slip out to commandeer a bathroom to change or freshen up while more snacks and beverages were distributed among them. Jason opened the refrigerator door and several cans of Coke floated out, moving from person to person until each as accepted. With a nod Lilly shifted the football she had been idly toying with in both hands to her left and accepted a proffered can of Coke with her right, holding the can near the top with her thumb and middle finger as she used her forefinger to pop the tab. "You know, I've been thinking about Monday night." the brunette teen said and then took a swig from the can. "Like, so far every time any of us have crossed over to the Land of the Upside Down Thunder, they've gotten stuck there for a time. So I'm thinking it might be a good idea for us to bring some supplies, like water, snacks, power bars, first aid kits. You know, just in case. We never know what might happen or who might be hurt or drained or whatever. Hopefully we won't need of it, but best to be prepared." she suggested and took another large swig from the can of Coke.
  4. Lilly had lain on the ground by the plough for a bit, laughing to herself and catching her breath as considered what she had just done. Not but a few weeks ago she would have considered it unbelievable, but now the teens lived in interesting times. Their paradigms were expanded in remarkable ways with the addition of psionics, alien or extra-dimensional entities, malevolent forces and secret groups and conspiracies seeking to use or control them. Compared to what most of the rest of the Fellowship could do, the lifting of the plough was not less believable. Staring up and blue sky and the faint wisps of clouds that occasionally drifted by, Lilly began to consider what she and the others might truly be capable of. They were a handful of teens upon whom's shoulders the possible fate of their world, or reality, or whatever rested. Now they were, for the first time, be proactive and take the fight to Cody and The Dark, and though optimistic because, like, how could one not be after seeing what they could do when they actually got on the same page and worked together, Lilly also had some doubts about everybody returning. If they were going to do this, then she needed to know who was going and plan accordingly. 'Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst' she remembered her dad saying on more than one occasion. It seemed like good advice now. After a bit of thinking and consideration of several things, Lilly finally rose and looked around. Spotting Tawny, Lilly approached and, unfastened the velcro on the back of her weightlifting gloves, slipping them off. "Hey Tawny." she said with an upwards nod of the head as she got close to the beautiful blonde and held her gloves in her teeth for a moment as she bushed herself off. Taking the gloves back into her hand she smiled and continued. "I was a little surprised to get back into town and see you here, but I am glad you are." "Heya!" She squeaked with delight with the prospect of meeting someone new, the pure hearted blonde offered a pearly smile and a wave. "Yeah, me too! A lot been happening, a week ago I thought we were the only ones with powers, and now you guys have had them this whole time and... like, wow with them." Tawny knew of Lilly Pryor, just had never really met her. She didn't play sports, and mostly kept to herself but over the last couple of years they'd seen each other plenty in classes. Her being a strong advocate of Team Devin didn't earn her much in the way for credibility, but despite people's reactions she never quit stating how wonderful of a guy he was if people asked (they usually didn't). "I saw you lift the thingie," she smiled. "Wow. I would have cheered and clapped but with all the craziness going on between fire and magic gates and mind reading... I don't know what I'm supposed to be impressed by. Is super strength your power?" She covered her mouth gently, like she's something wrong. "Sorry... is it okay to ask? Devin said the Fellowship can sometimes be like a dysfunctional prison yard and I read you can get 'shanked'," she air quoted. "Whatever that is, if you ask people how they got sent there. Do you guys have like, a rule book or something?" Lilly's smile grew into a small laugh as she shook her head at Tawny's question. She was a bit refreshing, after dealing with the others. Yeah, Cassandra has pluck, but Tawny was sweet and perky and almost innocent. "There's no rule book, and Devin can, let's say exaggerate a bit at times. Yeah, sometimes there is difficulty getting everybody going in the same direction, but no, nobody has been violent with each other, aside from sparring or whatever in training. As far as my powers, I am not entirely sure. It's like.. well, kind of a long story. But I guess the short of it is that it seems while pretty much everybody else's shine gave them mind powers, mine seems to have internalized into my body. I am still discovering what I can do, honestly. I mean, I've felt stronger and faster and stuff, but it took a while before I realized I might be able to do that." she said, nodding toward the plough, "or run as fast as a car, or hop six foot fences like they were hurdles on the track, or run up the side of a building. Today was the first time I really had a chance to let loose some. And there's other stuff too, like all of my senses are better, which makes eating pretty awesome, but locker rooms and restrooms... not so much." she laughed. "We thought we were the only ones too, and kinda freaked out at first since we did not know about the study or anything and the way we found was a bit, disturbing. Anyways, finding out there's others is kinda like, I dunno, finding relatives you didn't know about. I mean, we're all different, but we all share this experience, and that is somebody that nobody else will ever be able to really relate to or understand. And yeah," Lilly aid as she glanced around at the others thoughtfully for a moment, "we might argue and bicker some, but we are like a family and families do that. We always know that we get each other's back though, and that includes you too." Lilly said elbowed Tawny playfully in the arm. "Yeah, the, um, 'study'," her cheerful tone slowed some. "It wasn't a great place to learn things. Dr. Cook wasn't a very nice man." Her smile faded but then quickly returned. "Yeah," she recovered. "Deej said you guys were all really great and that if I needed something I could just bug the heck out of you all until you gave in and gave me my way." She giggled. "Well, he didn't say 'heck', but, you know," she twirled her finger to move forward with the conversation. "So, um, you had to give up on the Olympics, huh?" Suddenly aware that it might be a touchy subject she extended her hand to silence Lilly before she could reply. "Oh, I'm sorry, I'm not trying to pry. You don't have to answer that, of course. The twins were talking about it earlier." Lilly's smiles faded a good bit at the question and she nodded as it returned a bit. "Yeah." she said with a sigh. "I mean, for a few reasons. I couldn't leave everybody with all this stuff still out there, threatening my friends. Besides that, I feel like it would be cheating. I suppose there is some sort of arguments that 'it's not cheating, just superior genetics like any star athlete' or whatever, but I feel like it would be cheating." Lilly looked away and off to the distance at nothing and no one in particular for a moment as she thought it. She was not happy about what she had done, or at least what she had to do to get it done. "Yeah, it sucked to watch my mom's face each time. Disappointing her was, well, rough. I mean, she was not disappointed in me, because she knew I would do my best, but more like disappointed for me. And I hated doing that. My mom and dad have been nothing but supportive and now it's all for nothing and that money is wasted, even just the money for the trip. It's like-- I dunno. They just saw me go and fail. They would be fine with that though, as long as I did my best, but I didn't It's just-- They don't even know truth of why, you know?" she said, blinking a few times to clear her eyes of some tears that were threatening and then finally bought her gaze back to Tawny. It did not take Marissa's intuitive eyes to tell how deeply it affected Lilly, and yeah, most of the rest of the Fellowship knew she threw it and gave up on her dream, but probably did not grasp how it affected her fully. Lilly took in a breath and forced a smile. "What fun is it anyways when you know it's not even contest?" she asked with a weak grin, giving Tawny another playful elbow. "Anyways, Cook is an ass. Don't worry about him. We got you and we'll help you as much as we can. You can do the same stuff as Jason, right? Move stuff and make it hot and cold or whatever?" she asked. "Hey," in came a surprise Tawny hug. "There is a time for all of that." She broke off the hug and stepped back. "They don't know now, and sure, maybe there is some small measure of disappointment, I mean, they're human, right? They have feels and they love you and totes wanted you to have your dream. Remember though, there will come a time when you can tell them, and then they will understand. It's sort our curse, I guess, a bunch of broken teenagers stumbling to figure out how to save a small town from fairy tales and Netflix critters." She paused and shrugged, offering Lilly an unassailable smile. "You know what though? I like being broken. You know all those cracks? I like to think that how the light gets in." "I, um... I can." She didn't seem confident in her answer. "Can move things. Fire I can only stationary things, like little fire sculptures, I can't um... 'fwoosh'," she spread her hands about and moved them around like she was casting a spell while making fire noises. "Like he does. And, cold only happens when I have an outburst... like freeze a water bottle or the, um," she seemed really embarrassed and her cheeks flushed crimson. She silently mumbled. "Pipes at our house. Jason said he could help me learn to control it, so, we'll see." "Well, Jason can help you with that. Honestly, all of can probably, at least somewhat, even me. Like, I might not know how to exactly guide you to do what you do, but I can, like, help you practice control and stuff buy trying to throw stuff at me or something. I dunno. We can all help, but Jason probably the most. Just- Just keep it, I dunno, professional, I guess. Feels and stuff are not his forte." Lilly explained and then looked around at the rest of the Fellowship doing their various training, sitting or horsing around. "As for the cracks, well, that's just wabi-sabi." Lilly said with a nod. "Huh? Did you lip go numb?" Tawny asked, somewhat confused. "No, no. Wabi-sabi. It's, like, a philosophical ideal. Beauty in imperfection, essentially. Like, it's the crack in the Liberty Bell that makes it special. I never thought of us that way, really, but I guess you described us pretty well. We're all cracked, or even somewhat broken, but that is what makes us special and beautiful too, I guess." "I thought that was the green stuff they give you with Sushi?" She asked with an adorable sincerity. "Maybe we can figure something out, sure. Right now I'm plum tuckered, Cassie was throwing things at me for a good ten minutes already. She has a good arm, let me tell you." "Oh!" She blurted and reached out grasping Lilly's arm. "You're still going to Homecoming, right? Jacob Crocker asked me on Friday to go to with him, can you believe it? Please tell me all this stuff that's going hasn't made you reconsider. I won't lie, it's awesome to finally have friends, and the secret society of powered teenagers is way cool... I was hoping I could, um," she went all bouncy-flouncy for a moment trying to build the will up to finish her thought. "I could maybe be show off a few of my new friends at Homecoming, maybe kind of show the school that I'm not some super awkward perky Christian girl? It's been a little dry for me in the 'people who like me' department since I started having outbursts and setting things on fire. Granted Marissa destroying me socially didn't help either, but... it's her way. I don't begrudge her." Lilly blinked, a little surprised by Tawny's small outburst. She had always known Tawny, or at least what little she knew of her, as being fairly quiet and reserved, so seeing her so animated was something new. "Yeah. I'll be going. I mean, I got a few things I need to do first, but yeah, I should be there. It should be fun. And if the football team keeps winning, I could even make Homecoming Queen. I promise to be a benevolent Queen, should I be so honored." she laughed with a fake, haughty demeanor. Slowly though her smile faded as she took on a more serious mein, considering things to come. "Actually... I wanted to talk to you about Monday night. Are you going to be there? I mean, don't get me wrong, you absolutely do not need to go or feel pressured or anything. Nobody will say or think a thing if you sit it out, so don't feel obliged or anything at all. I mean that. Seriously." she stressed firmly. "Honestly? I'm not sure. Deej and I got into a big fight about it already. He doesn't think I need to be there, but I know he's just trying to play the Knight." She somberly sighed and shook her head. Her animations slipped away and soon she was fiddling with her nails. "I feel I need to be. We've been chosen for something, to protect lives and help people. I wouldn't feel right walking away from that. He feels that I'm not ready, and I think he also wants to protect me." "And I appreciate it, I do, but, my heart says I need to stand my ground and be there. So, you know what? Let him be mad. He's young, pleeeeeenty of time to get over it, believe me." She offered Lilly a smile. "Besides, I'm the back up. No playing hero for me." "Really, the only person who can ever say if you are truly ready or not is you." Lilly offered, returning the smile. "And honestly, even if you can;t do much on your own, I am pretty sure you can still link up with other's to boost or help them or whatever, so there is always that." she added with a small shrug. Lilly thought for a moment, considering what they were planning on, her gaze once again on nothing it particular for a moment before to looked Tawny in the eyes once again, resting her hands on the blonde's shoulders. "Seriously though, I am not telling you to stay or go. We each have to make that decision ourselves. This will be dangerous, though, so just don't make a decision out of guilt or some feeling of obligation. If you decode to come though, just know that we got your back." Lilly reassured, slipping her hands away only to offer a fist bump with a warm smile. "Oh, I know." She smiled and shifted her weight a bit, no longer fiddling with her nails as she bumped her fist to Lilly's with a shy, yet broad grin. "How about you? If you want to talk or anything, I mean, I know this is not really normal, for, like... any of us, but... we're all we have to talk to. I'm a great listener. With all that going on you're carry quite a bit of mental and emotional stress. If you need to vent...," she pursed her lips. "Y'know... vent." "I've just never really been one much to vent at people, you know?" she added with a shrug of her strong shoulders. "I'm an only child, and kept to myself a lot before we moved here, so I learned to let stuff out on the track or field. A good workout and the natural release of endorphins can do a lot. And so can a great piece of baklava." she said with her crooked, half grin. "Baklava? Those Russian face mask thingies for cold weather?" Tawny asked, confused, prompting Lilly to let out a small, good natured laugh "That's a balaclava. Baklava is a dish. I think it's actually from Turkey, the place, not the bird, but it has spread around most of the Mediterranean and beyond. It's like a dessert lasagna, but with layers of crisp, puff pastry instead of pasta, and with honey and chopped nuts in between instead of sauce, meat, cheese or whatever. It's sooo and my yaiyai-" Lilly explained, getting another confused look from Tawny indicating that she had lost her again. "Sorry. 'Yaiyai' is a common Greek term for grandmother. You see, I'm Greek and Spanish on my mom's side, but I can speak German, go figure." she said with a shrug and continued, "Anyways, she makes the best baklava. It is, like, life affirming." the brunette teen explained, almost drooling as she thought about the dish for a moment before pulling herself out of her reverie. "But yeah, maybe sometime I might need to vent. I mean, we all change." Lilly replied with a smile, appreciating the generous offer from Tawny and didn't want he to feel like she had dismissed it, which she hadn't. "Holy shikaka! I just had the greatest idea!" The young blonde had a sudden burst of excitement. "The next time we do one of these things, why don't we make it, like, a barbeque or something and we can all bring a dish. We don't have much time of summer left, but Jason has a barn and the loft, we could all get together and celebrate after we, you know...," the excitement faded from her voice as the topic of battling the Dark once again seemed to linger in the air. "...well, providing it doesn't turn into a massive clusterfluff." "So, German, huh?" It was an obvious ploy to change the topic away from anything Dark related. "I speak horse. Our ranch has been in my dad's family for a few generations now, I guess. I like them. They're noble and strong and love big... but *ooohhh *are they ornery if you're not treating them right. We currently are taking of ten, we have eight, and two are visiting for, uh," her demeanor took on the smirk of a fourth grader, but the chagrin of teen not comfortable with saying something out loud. "...'study hall' purposes. It's a weird situation, because usually the owners would have come and picked them up by now, but they couldn't make the trip and probably won't be until around Christmas, but by then with the snow and whatnot." As the talk of horses arose, Lilly had to smirk slightly at the Montana drawl that Tawny worked so well at concealing came out in full. "We'll probably have them until spring. What with boarding costs and 'study hall' it looks like we'll be okay this winter." She laughed as she caught her drawl. "Sorry, I'm rambling. You're dad is military, right? I think I saw him at school once, in uniform." "Yeah. He is head of security for Bulwark. There are good and bad things about being the Lieutenant Colonel's daughter on base." she chuckled and then stopped as something occurred to her. "What is it?" the blonde asked, looking quizzically at Lilly. "You know, knowing what he know now, it certainly makes the fact that the base was named 'Bulwark' have a lot more meaning. Huh. I wonder..." Lilly replied, letting her voice and thoughts trail off for a moment as she considered the name and just how like various groups had known about The Dark and Site B and all of it. Lilly shook her head, dismissing the thoughts for now as a small smile came back across her face. "Anyways. Yeah, a pot luck sounds cool. We should run that by Jase. He's prolly go for it. And we should go get a burger or something sometime. "Oh yeah! That would be great!" the Tawny agreed perkily. "Cool." Lilly replied as the pair drifted back over toward the others.
  5. Slipped her earbuds back in and turned on her playlist again. The next song queued, starting soft at first as she shook out her limbs and did a couple of quick stretches while glancing around the farm and makeshift training area, taking in the terrain. She bobbed her head for a few moments as the track began to shift. She started at a normal jog and began to accelerate to what was easily a sprinter's pace, but for her it was a casual effort. She made a lap around the area, getting used to the speed and into the music, seeking escape in the sweat and exertion. Her conscious thinking stepped back and she began to just move and react to the terrain and improvised obstacles. She approached the barn and shifted her balance and footing, running horizontally along the wall in defiance of gravity almost to the end to change her direction before foot touched ground again. She slider under and dove, flipped, tumbled and hurdled over obstacles easily 6' tall. She almost looked like liquid, moving with such fluidity through the terrain, never stopping and barely slowing for the briefest of moments, getting more and more bold with each obstacles as her confidence in her abilities grew. Lilly used walls, trees and farm equipment to push off of to change direction, keeping her speed to around 20 mph at first, but gradually pressed on the gas, keeping it conservative out of safety for the others and respect for the farm. Finally she found herself running right at the barn again, only this time as she drew near she pushed off with a foot, her leg flexing to propel her up at an angle toward the wall, changing the direction of her inertia. Step after step came in rapid succession on the old barnwood, her toned legs pushing her farther and father up the wall until she nearly crested it. At the top Lilly slapped the roof before running back down the wall to land safely on the ground. The entire display looked almost effortless, like the young athlete was hardly even trying, and judging by the speed she had when she started up the wall, almost any onlooker could have guessed that she could have gone much higher had there been enough wall. With a smile, and even more confidence in her abilities, Lilly jogged to her truck at a normal jogging pace and grabbed the gym bag that perpetually lived there. She jogged back to the plough and dropped her bag by it, unzipping and fetching her weightlifting gloves and chalk bag from it. Casually she walked around the huge metal farming implement, slipping on her gloves and strapping them tightly as she looked for good places to place her hands. Once she completed a circuit around the plough she grabbed her chalk bag withdrew a small handful of the powder, rubbing it between her hands as the excess drifted away in a small cloud. Lilly approached one end of the plough and shook out her arms and carefully placed her hands. With a grunting of effort Lilly lifted the end of the plough, breaking it free of the dirt that had accumulated and hardened around it. Lilly shot one foot out behind her, shifting her stance, her tight rear flexing as she lifting the plough higher and higher. Shifting her grip in it in a flash, she stepped under it and lifted the end over her head, holding it there for a moment with a smile as some of her friends stared on. With some more effort, the end plough was once again on the ground. Lifting the end too some effort, but she knew she could do better. Chalking her hands again, and this time slapping them together to remove any excess in a cloud in front of her, Lilly moved to the middle of the plough. She took a few deep breaths and placed her gloved hands on the sun-warmed metal. Digging her feet into the ground, the young athlete exhaled, her amazonian physique flexing and her face contorting into a mask of exertion and her gaze intense as the teen began to life the two ton piece of farm equipment from the earth, quickly stepping under and then lifting it higher in a 'clean and jerk' weightlifting motion. She led it for a few seconds and then let out another, louder grunt of exertion as she lowered it, more or less safely, to the ground once again and then fell on her back, laying there, sports bra clad breasts and bare, washboard abdomen riding and falling quickly as she caught her breath with a huge on her face and began laughing.
  6. Lilly watched Devin and Jason spar with a mixture of surprise and awe. It had been barely six weeks since the bonfire, and now some of the Fellowship seemed to have mastered their abilities or nearly so, apparently even discovering new abilities just now. It was pretty amazing. Cassandra came back over to Lilly from where she'd been razzing the boys, and Autumn, after their match. She had a big grin of the 'shit-eating' variety on her face and offered up her hands in a supplicating gesture. "Sorry about that," she said, "Some things just have to happen. Uh, so...where were...oh yeah, you were asking about Aeon and Annette." Cassie frowned and thought for a second, then shrugged. "I don't super duper trust them? Like, I think Annette believes what she was telling us. Her heart seemed like it was in the right place. Buuuuuut...I mean, look what happened. It seems to me like this Aeon outfit is at best not very competent, because when they took over, they obviously left a lot of bugs under a lot of rocks. At worst?" She shrugged again. "I don't know. It sounded like they're a scientific think tank. Maybe they just wanted to see what would happen with some deniability." "Either way, I'm not letting them off the hook. Once we know what they knew and when they knew it, we'll know if they're guilty of conspiracy or just negligence." Cassie worked her shoulders then and tilted her head slightly, gazing at Lilly thoughtfully. "So...I remember you were pretty good with like, martial arts and stuff. Think you could show me some pointers? I feel like, if I'm going to be hanging out with this crowd, I'm going to need to know at least the basics." Lilly listened intently and taking Cassandra's opinion to heart. Cass had always had pretty a pretty good gut, even before her powers, so Lilly gave her intuition a good bit of weight, nodding at her plucky friend's answers. When the talk shifted to some hand to hand pointers, Lilly looked a little surprised. "Whoa. Really? Yeah, sure." she said with a smile and nod, moving out from where they had been sitting to get some more room and motioning Cass to follow. Lilly stretched her arms a bit as she walked, pulling one and then then other behind her head with elbow up, swinging them around and in front of her and so on until she finally reached and good stop and stopped, turning to face Cassandra as she followed. "Okay, a few things. First, you should stretch and limber up so you don't hurt yourself, even if just training a bit or doing drills." Lilly explained as she began to show Cass some stretches, helping her friend as needed. "Second, third and fourth is conditioning, conditioning, conditioning. The better it is, the better off you are. I'm not saying to you need to be a workout nut like me, but start jogging, maybe some light weights, because the worst feeling is seeing that your opponent has more gas in their tank than you do. I jog every morning and you are welcome to join. Aside from that, if you every want a jogging or workout buddy, just give me a call. I got your back." she said with a grin and wink. "Fifth is practice, especially sparring, because the biggest mistake people make is losing their cool. They panic or fight out of anger and those are good ways to make mistakes and ware yourself out. It's not as easy to stay calm as many people think." Lilly said and then grinned again, adding, "I mean, barring some psionic shenanigans or something." she laughed. "You need to keep your head in a fight, and the best way to prepare for that is to simulate it as much as you can in a safe environment, hence sparring. It's not quite the same as a real fight, but it is as close as you can safely get and it will help you out." she explained. "Next is know you limits. You need to fight your fight, not theirs. We all have strengths and weaknesses. You'll learn to play to your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses." Lilly took in a deep breath and let it out in a long sigh. "Now, all that aside, let's have some fun and see if we can't make give you a few surprises to bust out on darklings or mercs or something." Lilly said with a grin. "Lesson one, defense. Make fists and hold your arms up like this..." Lilly said, showing Cass a basic boxing guard. Once she hands her hands up, Lilly threw a few slow motion punches, showing her friend proper technique and how effect the guard could be when used effectively. Lilly then dropped her guard and held up a hand. "Now keep your hands up and punch my hand. Technique first, then you can start hitting harder." she instructed, holding up her hands to be targets for Cass to practice on. As she pair began to train, Lilly glanced over at the others and said, "So Jase and Autumn, eh? That's... yeah. And then Marissa and Cade? I never would have seen that coming." she mused. "And then Lona is moving? That's gotta suck for Devin. They seemed happy together. Or at least what I saw of them." she said with a bit of a frown. "I would say we should at least throw Lona and Clara a going away party, but that might be pouring salt in the wound. I dunno." she pondered, punctuating her frown with a small shrug. "Yeah," Cassandra agreed as she threw punches at Lilly's hand, trying to imitate what she'd seen in movies and TV shows. Lilly could immediately tell that Cassie had probably never thrown an actual punch before her entire life just from how she stood 'normally' with her feet together rather than with a wider stance, and in how she was using her arms instead of her back to try to convey force. "It's kind of weird really. Everyone leaving more or less at the same time...I need to look into that. Maybe someone's trying to break the group up," she shook her head. "Devin's feeling it though. You know him...he doesn't really show it, but you can see what's hurting him in what he doesn't talk about, you know? As for Jase and Autumn, I'm like ninety percent sure it was Autumn that kicked that off, and Marissa wasn't happy about it." She glanced behind her, verifying that Marissa and Cade weren't anywhere nearby before adding, "I'm kind of wondering if Cade's a rebound...but it does seem like they're genuinely into each other too, so..." Her fist socked into Lilly's hand again and Cass winced a little and shook it out as she pulled it back. "Anyone ever tell you that your hands are really...solid?" "Thank you?" Lilly said with an expression that was a mix of confusion and a grin. "Anyways, stop trying to hit hard for now. This is about technique, not power. You got to get the foundation of technique first." she explained and then moved behind Cassandra. "First of all, your stance needs work." she pointed out as she used her own foot to move Cass' foot a bit, adjusting her stance. "Don't that feel better now?" she asked and then stood beside her friend before she even answered. "And thrown the punch like this..." she said, throwing a few slow-mo punches while standing beside Cass she could better see the technique. Once Lilly was satisfied after watching a few of Cassandra's improved punches, she moved back in front of her and held up her hands again for targets. "Technique, not power. Do not worry about hitting hard right now, just do it right. Power will come in time." she explained as she glanced at her hands and shrugged a bit. "Since I got my shine, I've noticed I am stronger. Like... much stronger. So far, I have not been able to get enough weight on the bar that I could not lift it. I mean, I have to be careful about putting that much weight on a bar so that nobody sees, but yeah. You guys' shine gave you mind powrz, and mine seemed to have internalized into my body in various ways." Lilly said with a shrug. "Anyways... So it sounds like Devin and Mari have been playing relatively nice, or at least trying to? And I guess Jase, I dunno how to put it. I guess Autumn has done him some good?" she asked, glancing over at the twins and then Jase and Autumn before returning her attention to Cass. Cassie rocked herself backwards and forwards with her feet wider apart, and shrugged, then resumed punching. Her form WAS better, but mostly in comparison to how bad it had been before. "Don't get me wrong, Devin is still basically an eleven year old, emotionally...and Marissa is still a seventeen-year bitch," she said. "But yeah. They're on board with the program. Courtney too, even though she was working for Cook before. Just...watch your brain around her. I'm pretty sure she likes to eavesdrop." She took a deep breath. "As for Jase...he's had some shaky moments, but I think Autumn is doing him good. If nothing else, she's giving him a very good, tangible reason to try to play nicer with people. Even if it's just because he doesn't want to gross her out, or scare her off." Cass paused then to push her increasingly sweaty hair up out of her eyes. "It's weird how tiring this is even though I feel like I'm barely moving," she complained lightly. "I mean, I think I'm in decent shape. I bike or skateboard practically everywhere. I go jogging sometimes. I'm in PE class. Sheesh. Okay, lets...can we mix it up a little? Teach me some wax on wax off stuff." "Well, yeah. You are using muscles in different ways than you are used to, so yeah, it's gonna get tiring quick. Just holding your fists up does it pretty quick." she spoke from experience and then glanced back over to Marissa and then Devin, biting her bottom lip slightly with a wistful sigh. "Yeah. I really need to apologize to them though. I was too caught up in what they had done that- Well. You know. They are trying and risking their lives, just like the rest of us. I mean, yeah, it's probably just gonna be ignored or whatever, but that's not the point. I owe them an apology." Lilly said somewhat thoughtfully as she considered the twins for a moment and then brought her attention back to the task at hand with a small shrug. "Anyways.. Okay, for now one of the better things you can do is trips. It sounds kinda cheap, but a kevlar vest or chitinous hide or whatever doesn't do jack to help you stay on your feet, and it is hard to shoot or fight from your back." Lilly explained as she lowered her hands and moved closer to Cass. "Probably the easiest way is to just step in and push, using their own weight against them." Lilly pointed out as she stepped closer to her friend, repositioning her foot behind Cass' with just a flick of her ankle and then pushed slowly while holding onto her friend's arms, letting her feel the trip. At no time though did Cass have any fear of Lilly dropping her after feeling her taller friend's steady grip and her arms barely flexing, easily controlling Cass' weight. With a causal exertion, Lilly pulled Cass back to her feet and said, "Now you try. And go ahead and knock me down. Don't worry about it. I get worse on the football field." she instructed. As the pair got closer while practicing, Lilly asked, "What about Tawny and the new girl, Kat, you said?" After the momentary shock of the 'trip' demonstration, Cassandra managed to grin for a second, absorbing the irony that she, of all people, was now some kind of gossip-engine. But hey, maybe that wasn't all bad. Gossip was kind of like news? For teens? And she had already given Lilly the rundown on all the important stuff, why not do the human interest stuff too? "As far as I can gather, Tawny's been a friend of Devin's since they were kids, and she's got a massive crush on him," she says. "Kat's pretty new to the gang, and I don't have a read on her yet. She's French, I think. Or maybe Canadian? I'm fuzzy on that." She took a stab at trying to duplicate Lilly's move, but after a few tries it became abundantly obvious that Lilly was still helping her a great deal by letting herself be tripped. She hadn't quite gotten it down from a single demonstration, and Lilly was just so much stronger that it was like trying to wrestle a statue. Frustrated, Cassandra backed off a few steps, then said, "What about blocking a punch or something? Or...or what about kicks? I wanna do that thing where you spin-kick so fast you sort of helicopter fly." "Well, that guard is really the most effective block. Most of the stuff you see in the movies is not all that actual effective in a real, true fight." Lilly said as she mulled over what Cassandra had shared with her for a moment and then shrugged. She would introduce herself and get a read on Kat on her own anyways. "As far as flying helicopter kicks and stuff? Yeah. No. Without some psychokinetic fuckery, those aren't happening. I mean, I don't even bother with turning kicks most of the time. They tend to be telegraphed." she explained as she took a step back and took a stance. "If you want to kick, you need to remember that you kick with other to top of your foot or the heel, depending on the kick and NOT you toes. That a good way to break them. I mean, yeah, granted, you will probably have shoes, but still, you are generally not going to get the kinetic energy transfer with your toes." Lilly instructed as she demonstrated a few kick slowly,, showing which part of the foot made contact with each. "Unless you have good flexibility, your kicks are going to striking the waist down, and since this is self defense crash course, and I hate to say it, but probably the most effective kick for you will be to straight up kick a guy in his junk. Yeah, kinda of a bitch move, but if your life is on the line, then you'll learn to live with some dirty fighting." Lilly laughed, demonstrating a basic groin kick. "Aside from that, kicks have more power, yeah, but if it gets caught, then you're pretty well screwed. A low kick might be able to trip or unbalance and opponent though, especially if it unexpected." Lilly pointed out as she lightly demonstrated a low kick to Cass' calf, letting her just feel a bit how much even a fairly weak kick could affect her balance and reached out to grasp her friend's hand when she stumbled a little, catching her easily. "Seriously though, at this very moment, you are probably best off getting up your guard and going for a trip or groin shot. It could legitimately save your life." Lilly pulled Cass back to her feet casually and gave her a pat on her upper arm. "Now, let's see if you can get any combinations going. Just try at like twenty or thirty percent power. Technique and repetition is your friend. If you want to keep training after this, I do a weekly lesson on the weekend, or just give me a call and we can train." Lilly offered as she moved very slowly, putting up only minimal resistance to let Cass practice on her. "So, how open do you think the twins and Jase would be to me talking to them, and you know, an apology? I mean, Jase seems at least somewhat willing, but those took seem to be avoiding me, which is about a good as could expected, I guess." taking the time to talk a little more, seeing if Cassandra could keep her head and focus on her striking while also answering questions. Cassandra pursed her lips as she considered that question. "Jase would be fine with it," she decided. "I think as long as you're clear about saying what your mistake was, and sincere about being sorry for it, he'd go with it unless he decides you can't be trusted. Devin and Marissa..." Cass frowns, "...I think they'd test you. Like, they'd let you apologize, and then they'd try to provoke you or piss you off or something. And then if you get pissed off, it's sort of confirmation that the apology isn't sincere." She shook her head. "And if you don't...they might still not accept it. Maybe Devin would. Here's the thing though...I think you should still do it. For one, it'll make you feel better. You know? Clear the conscience. For another, I think they need to see people being sincere towards them. I get the feeling they haven't had a lot of that." Cassie shrugged. "Okay. Combination. So like..." She threw a couple of punches, then tried to trip Lilly, then started to try to kick but realized she was a bit too close after the trip and broke it off. "Ugh. Give it to me straight Kung Fu Doctor. This is going to take me, like...fifty years isn't it?" Lilly could not help but laugh Cass' question. She had tried to stifle it, but failed and shook her head, giving her blonde friend a pat on the shoulder. "How long it takes depends on how much time and effort you put into it. We can train whenever you like. I'd suggest at least once a week and maybe step up your cardio. Lighting some light weights would not hurt either. But honestly, it comes down to technique and repetition, repetition, repetition. Just work on the few things I showed and we can go from there." Lilly suggested. "It's like dancing or sports. It looks easy enough until you get out and try to do it yourself. It's all the time and hard work that makes it look easy though. You did good though, for your first time. Honestly. High five." she says with a smile, holding her hand up for Cassie. Lilly's smile faded slowly and she let out a faint sight as her thoughts turned to the twins and Jase. "Well, I decided I was going to apologize days ago, so that it happening. Them accepting it or not is kinda moot. it is something I should do regardless. I owe them that." "I had a lot of time to think as I sat there, watching the other heats at the Olympic trials between throwing my own. Think about myself, all of us, the situation we are in. All of it. I was.. I mean, they still did what they did, for years, but I was too caught up that to see that they were making and effort... or at least their version of it. And that's my bad. I think I was just looking for a chance to show that they were not really on board, just like they probably look for proof that nobody is really their friends. So it was like irresistible force meeting unmovable object. And because of that, we all suffered in various ways. We did not work together as well as we could have. Friendships were stressed or never got to form and on and on. I own my part in it, and I'm sorry." she said to Cassandra sincerely. "Right, well...if you're looking for an editor, I give it a thumbs up," Cassandra said, lowering her fists and smiling. "Go tell them." Lilly motioned at Cassie to put her hands back up. "You're not done yet. Try another combo." The high school journalist sighed and pushed her hair back. "It's just...one of the things I want to do is not just learn how to use my fists...I want to use my powers too. No amount of preschool remedial Bruce Lee moves will impress a giant Evil Tree, or Cody when he's all hopped up on Darkballs. I need to figure out how to use what I can do to help me." She put her hands on her hips and looked away. "The only way I can think of to do that is take it less safe." "Then we could always do the Inspector Clouseau thing." Lilly offered. "Say what now?" Cassie asked. "Inspector Clouseau, in those old Pink Panther movie. He walks around and has this guy randomly ambush him, never knowing when or where he might strike! It will force you to use your powers. Every door, cupboard, box or hamper could contain a parcel from paaaaaain... and the postage is duuuue!" Lilly explained with a grin, hoarse, mockingly evil voice, and clearly fake karate chop. Cass couldn't hold it together and the pair fell out laughing for a moment as Lilly's silly, over exaggerated theatrics, taking a few moment to compose themselves until they were finally laying in grass, chuckling occasionally as they caught their breath. "Seriously though, we can train sometime and I can come at you hard, or at least harder, and we can see if that helps inspire you to use your powers in new and inventive ways. They say that necessity is the mother of invention." she offered to her plucky friend as they sat up in the grass and calmed down further. "Just think about it and give me a call later. We can work something out if you. Until then..." she said as she rose to her feet, "I'm gonna get some water. Want one?" "Nah. I'm good. And yeah, I'll think about it."
  7. Lilly inwardly sighed as the trio excused themselves. I wasn't unexpected, and in fact with was a slightly better reaction than she had anticipated. She had hoped for better though, but it had only been a week, a week that Lilly had to reflect on the past events while, she supposed, the others had things that kept them busy. Both sides had their part in the bad blood, even if the twins had not seemed to ever acknowledge their part. It was utterly irrelevant to Lilly now though. Nothing good was going to come from digging in heels and trying to lay blame on each other. Nothing was going to be resolved either if they kept running way from or, at best, avoiding each other. Still, it was better than the twins lobbing insults. So at least they seemed to be trying to preserve some sense of unity for the sake of the group and that was a change that did not go unnoticed. The thought made Lilly a little more hopeful, but only time would tell. Lilly shrugged, setting things aside for the moment and took another bite of her pizza before moving to sit by Cassandra at her beckoning. Lilly ate her slice of pizza as her plucky blonde friend filled her in on the events of the past week, though the eating of the stopped rather quickly as she sat there, just holding the pizza and listening in a mixture of surprise, shock and at times disgust, among others. "I think I'm gonna be sick." Lilly said, clutching one arm across her washboard abdomen while she dropped what was left of the pizza slice in her lap, her face a mask of discomfort. "Dude, I am sooooo sorry I wasn't here." Lilly said, dropping her head and closing her eyes with a frown."I just..." she sighed, her voice trailing off. "It doesn't matter." she stated with a shake of her head. "You needed me and I wasn't there. I will do my best to make sure it never happens again. I mean, we only have each other in this mess. I'm just glad everybody is okay." There was nothing that any of her could say to admonish Lilly any more that she was already doing herself, despite her absence being (largely) out of her control. Her friends had stepped up though, putting an crap aside and working together as a whole, even going so far as to rescue Etienne. Lilly was a little surprise to hear that Devin, of all people, was the one who was so adamant about it too. He showed the kind of man he was that day, by all accounts. Lilly allowed her hope to grow ever so slightly at the thought. Even Mari had stepped up and help in her own unique way, which though it made Lilly happy to hear and even a bit proud, she was also disappointed. Not in Marissa though, but herself. She had let herself be too caught up in past to see what was right before her. The twins were honestly trying. 'Don't judge people by their worst mistakes.' was something her grandmother had told her. Lilly hoped others would share that sentiment and that she could set things right. "Okay. Okay. Okay." Lilly said, changing her focus and trying to organize her thoughts about what Cassandra had told her while still trying to process it all. "Well... Has anybody went looking for, or tried to approach, Todd Asper? Do you think he might be the cyber-empath that Sean was dealing with in the system?" she asked Cass before continuing, "I mean, from what you've said, Crossroads would certainly put a kid with those abilities to work." "And how much do you trust This Ms. Giles and Aeon? I know how they might seem legit, but how much do you think we can trust them? What does you gut tell you?" she asked her plucky friend.
  8. Lilly gave a nod to Jase as Cassandra ran up and hugged her, welcoming her back. She returned the hug with a warm, happy smile. After being away from all of her friends for a week, and the state in which things were in when she had to leave so abruptly, a welcome like this was rather nice. "I mean, it was just the trials and, you know, not having my phone for week." she added with a laugh and nod when the hug was broken. "Well, it's good to be back. I mean, I couldn't exactly abandon my friends. I'm glad you're all okay." she said as she looked around the assembled teens, though she rolled her eyes and shook her head slightly with a small chuckle at the antics of Devin, Marissa and Courtney. "And yeah. When I finally got my phone back, Sean said that a bunch of stuff had happened but couldn't tell me over the phone." she recounted as she walked over and selected a slice of pizza from one of the boxes and took a bite. "Is this pizza from New York?" she asked, pausing her chewing to talk out of the size of her mouth as she folded the lid over to look at it. "Of course is actual New York pizza. I should have known." she laughed with a shrug, chewing her bite as she walked over to took a seat in the grass, sitting indian style. "So anyways, what's up? I mean, it's gotta be a pretty interesting story, given some of the new additions." she asked, glancing to Kat, Tawny and Courtney.
  9. Cassandra Pryor took her eyes off of the narrow, rural road for a moment to glance over at her daughter as Lilly sat there, looking out the window, staring off to nowhere. She had been pretty quiet the whole trip back, though she did not seem overly angry, upset or disappointed. Still it was unusual for her usually cheerful daughter to be some somber. "You okay honey? You did your best, and that's all that matters." she offered before adding, "Besides, there's always next year." as she reached over to pat Lilly's thigh in an attempt to console her daughter. Lilly blinked and took in a breath, her attention snapping back to the present. She gave and weak smile to her mother and nodded. "I know. Maybe I was spread a little too thin, you know with football and all. But at this point, I may as well finish the season and then go from there. I don't wanna let the team down." she suggested with a small shrug. She did not lying to her mother, or at the very least misleading her, but Lilly doubted that just coming out with all the truth would be a good thing at the moment, if ever. "Yeah, maybe." Cassandra Pryor acknowledged. "We can take a few days to relax and regroup and then take a look at your sports and activities so we can plan for next time." which drew a nod from her daughter. It was not much, but it was good enough for now. Gradually the terrain began to grow more and more familiar. She let out a small sigh of relief as the turnoff for Bulwark AFB came into view, a sigh that did not go unnoticed by the elder Pryor. "Glad to be home finally?" she asked with a warm smile. "Yeah. I kinda just want to get my mind off things for a bit. See how the team did and all that." Lilly replied. She did hate missing a football game, after all, and actually was curious how well the team did, but that was all mostly just cover. ---+--+--+--+--+--- Lilly picked up her phone on the kitchen counter and turned it on as her father patted her on the back. "You'll get'em next time." he said, trying to encourage his daughter without pushing too much or making too big a deal about her performance. Lilly raised an eyebrow and glanced over her shoulder at her dad and nodded with the same weak, forced smile that she had given her mom just minutes before. "Better than yesterday, everyday." she said to him, repeating the little mantra she was taught some time ago in the infancy of her athletic career. The response made her dad smile and nod in return as he moved past her, giving her another pat on the back on the way out to the car to grab their bags while Lilly scrolled through her messages and missed calls. A few of the number she recognized from trading numbers with some of the other athletes she had met over the last few days, or they simply identified themselves with a text. It had been annoying, to put it lightly, not having her phone, but as usual, her dad had kept it to make sure she could 'focus' on her performance. She had learned long ago that her protests were futile, so she grudgingly accepted it and just dealt with the consequences of being utterly out of touch with her friends and the rest of her social life for the better part of a week, which, for a teenage girl, could be devastating. - Hey. I'm back home now. How's things been? What's up? - she typed and sent off in a text to Sean. - A LOT. Wb, btw - Sean replied. - ??? - she tapped back. - They're all at the Bannon place. You'd best get them to fill you in. Airwaves aren't secure. - came back from Sean. The message caused Lilly to blink and pause for a moment, trying to guess in futility what her friend could mean. It seemed there was only one way to get answers, and she was going to need to talk to some.. or most.. or maybe all of the Fellowship anyways. "I'm gonna go for a run." she announced more than asked her parents as she grabbed her earbuds, adding, "And maybe pop over to town for a bit." "Okay honey." her mother relented as she walked over and gave Lilly a kiss on her forehead. Lilly gave a weak smile and stepped out the door into the garage, clicking the button to open the door. Light spilled in, slowly at first, but grew ever brighter, gradually illuminating the near darkness and her old '57 Chevy pickup, revealing all the rust and well worn scars the vehicle has accumulated with age. She walked around the truck, letting her hand play over the flecks of paint, bits of rust and spots of bare metal. It was not much, but it was hers, purchased with her own, hand earned money. Lilly opened the door and hopped in the driver's seat, giving the old door a sharp yank to close it with one hand as the other slipped the key into the ignition. With a flick of her wrist the old pickup coughed and groaned to life. The sound system, or what passed for it, began spewing out tunes, which she promptly killed. This was not a usual trip to town or to see her friends. No, she had some thinking to do. ---+--+--+--+--+--- A short while later Lilly pulled up to the Bannon driveway and, while not exactly creeping down it, she certainly was not racing down it either. The farm came into view, along with the various vehicles parked there. Was that Courtney's convertible? WTF? What could have possibly happened that would lead to Courtney being here at the Bannon farm along with the rest of the Fellowship Lilly simply could not fathom. Then again, not long ago she would have said the same about Marissa's Mercedes or Devin's Ducatti. Shelly was a truly strange place. Lilly pulled up and parked, her music turned off and not announcing her arrival like usual. She sat there and gripped the top of the steering wheel, resting her elbows on the bottom of the wheel and her forehead against the wheel, between her hands with her eyes closed. For a few moments she sat there and then took in a deep breath which she promptly exhaled and opened her eyes, setting her determination before exiting the truck. The sounds of singing found her ears on the usually quit farm. First once voice, then another and another until it sounded like most of the Fellowship was singing somewhere behind the barn. She followed the sound past the barn to the makeshift practice area that Jason had set up where she saw the Fellowship, twins included, along with Courtney, Tawny? and a small girl she did not recognize, all sitting around, eating pizza and many of them singing Smashmouth's "All Star", though Sean, Charlie, Clara, Lona and Sara were all absent, for whatever reason(s). Lilly leaned against the barn, watching and listening for a few moments, smiling faintly herself. She was happy to see her friends so happy and having such a good time. After what they had been through, from both internal and external forces, it was a pleasant change. Lilly noted the newfound closeness between some of the gathered teens, such as Mari & Cade and Jason & Autumn, taking note of it, but filing it away for later. After waiting for a few moments until after they finished and Mari 'scolded' them, Lilly straightened up and approached. She was wearing a gray sports bra, black & gray patterned athletic leggings, with her hair up in her usual high ponytail and she looked like an amazon with a physique that would make Wonder Woman jealous. She was athletic, beautiful, fit and toned with a six-pack that would frankly make even most boys envious. Her demeanor was easy going, as usual, but those that knew her well could discern something else behind it, a seriousness or determination that she was keeping hidden just below the surface. "Hey guys." she says with a warm smile and a wave. "Sorry I'm late. I just got back into town. Sorry to disappear like that, but with everything going on I had forgot about Olympic trials, and my dad takes my phone so I can 'focus' while there." she explained. "How'd you do?" Cassandra asked. "I didn't make it. I must have had an off week or something. So it looks like I am stuck here for now." she jokingly said with a half smile. "Hey Court. Tawny." she said to each of them with a nod a smile before looking to the new, new girl. "Hi. I'm Lilly." she said to Kat, introducing herself with a warm smile. Lilly then looked to Jase and took a deep breath mentally. "Hey Jason. Can we talk for a minute, when you got time?" she asked, motioning away from the group with a slight tilt of her head, hoping he was free now, or at lease could extricate himself from Autumn long enough for the two of them to talk. She had to set some things right, and this would just be the first step.
  10. I always took the yearbook sheets as us at the beginning of the game, before xp, much like in AWS we kept a baseline sheet. If you are looking at the yearbook entry then a person's sig is gonna be right there too.
  11. Lilly watched as the others filed out and then Clara left, clearly upset, only for Marissa to go out after her. Maybe by showing her showing Marissa willingness to move past, well, the past, and come together things had finally made a turn with the Jauntsen twins. Only time would tell. Lilly walked over the small, metal box that Clara had put the bracelet in and inspected it. "Huh. That's new." she said and then opened her pack and put the box inside. Things seemed to be going well, so Lilly decided to press her luck. Maybe it would help with talking to Jase about... things. He was not too hard to find. The bleachers were generally where he was found at lunch if he was not at the table with other others. She could see him at the top of the bleachers, laying back and staring up at the sky rather than his usual reading, which was just slightly unusual. Lilly took a breath and exhaled. She was not terribly looking forward to some of what was coming, but like it or not, some thing need to be said, if not resolved. She walked up the stairs on the side of the bleachers, effortlessly hopping a few steps at a time until she reached the top and walked down the row, finally stopping to sit by his feet, which she patted, getting his attention. Jase, deep in his thoughts, was surprised by it and lifted his head to look down the length of his long, lanky body to see Lilly sitting by his feet. Her presence intrigued him as he considered that it had actually been days, Friday morning, in fact, since the two of them talked alone. No doubt she would have things to say about what was said that morning, and the events since then. In fact, after the Liam incident, he had been surprised that she hadn't yet even approached him about it. "Hey." he said with a nod to her, tugging on the cord to remove his earbuds as he pressed 'pause' on his music player with but a thought. "Hey." she replied back simply, her mood a little more subdued than her usual upbeat self. "I wanted to talk to you about a few things, if you have time." Jase simply nodded, holding his earbuds in his hand, which Lilly glanced down at. "Seriously. No music or book reading or, I dunno, re-reading a book from memory or whatever. This, or these things, are important. Well, mostly." she said. Jase considered her for a moment and then tucked to earbuds into a smaller pocket on his bag. Lilly sighed, ordering her thoughts a bit and then proceeded. "You know the Heaths? Lori and Lacy? Well, Lori's family's property borders Grainger Road. Lori and her dad were fixing their fence line over the weekends and saw... well.. more heard than saw my truck heading down Grainger Road both days, and seeing as the only thing down Grainger Road is your family far, it wasn't too hard for her to figure where I was going. So that lead to a few things. The most obvious being that the farm might not be as, I dunno, secure as we thought. People are watching after all. And yeah, we're all friends... mostly... but it does probably look a little unusual for us to be spending that much time at your place suddenly. Second, Lori and Lacy came to me this morning, thinking that because my truck was spending so much time at you place that... they thought we were going out, and asked if we were to make sure." Lilly sighed. "So, like, things seem to at least look a certain way to people, which will only feed the rumor mill. I nixed it though, so there was not doubt. Because, you know, how could we possibly be going out when I am not supposed to care that much about you?" she added. Lilly slipped her phone out of her pocket and held it in her hand, looking down at the dormant device. "And to make things even better, now I am getting creepy, anonymous texts like Lona did, which I assume is the Dark, or Cody as the Dark's pawn, doing it to mess with me or us as a whole. It seems, based on what's happened to pretty much all of us just today and the Man In Black Friday night and his comments to us,, that the Dark is now very aware of us and probing for weaknesses." He was silent for a long moment, face impassive and his green eyes - shining as they caught the light from the sky - studying her face. She wondered, and not for the first time, what it was like to look out on the world with that chilly, crystalline lack of self-doubt, fear or remorse. Probably lonely, except he didn't feel loneliness, now did he? As smart as Jason was, he likely had full awareness of his isolation, but without the attendant sadness or angst. She'd never thought of it in those terms, but it was low-key horrifying as much as saddening. "So they heard your truck, but saw nothing." he stated rather than asked, calmly. "They are aware that we - as in the group of us - hang out at my place a lot. There is a possible danger there - they might decide to drop in on us socially. Weighed against that is the fact that if we suddenly stop, they might suspect we have something to hide." "Right." Lilly nodded. Jason smoothly sat up, folding his long legs Indian fashion as he faced her. "We should probably not cancel power practice. But look for alternate venues so we can vary where we do it. I know a hidden, out of the way place." he mused, thinking of his lab and the old mining buildings there. "We can discuss it at practice this Sunday, but otherwise cut down the amount of time we spend there" His eyes, which had gone a little distant, focused back on Lilly's lovely features with the clarity of a bird of prey's gaze. "And the Dark - or their agent - is attempting to torment you too. That makes sense. Test the links, find the weak spots. It's what I would do." he noted, still scrutinizing her. "And why are the Heath girls so curious about your or my love life, or lack of it?" "Because, if you and I weren't going out, then Lori Heath was hoping you would ask her to the Homecoming dance." Lilly answered. "I dunno if you have a date for the dance, or if you are even going. If you are going, but don't have a date yet, you should really consider her. I mean, aside from essentially knowing she will say yes, she is cute, and sweet, and funny. " Lilly explained, talking up her friend to Jason. He shrugged, head tilting slightly as he considered her words. He knew Lori Heath by sight - when the Bannons had first moved into the old Wilson Farm the Heaths had dropped round in a neighbourly way, only to find a withdrawn, haggard man and his quiet boy with the keen, too-steady gaze. Though they hadn't been made unwelcome, they generally left them to themselves after that, existing in a polite distant kind of cordiality. And of course he'd seen her around school, shared classes with her. "I wasn't planning on going." he said, not unexpectedly. Jason never showed up for dances in previous years, had only bothered showing up for games when his friend had been taking part. He studied Lilly's face intently, trying to find visual cues. "You are her friend. Do you think I should ask her? I'm not exactly..." he searched for the right word. "Typical." "I.. I can't really answer that. Or rather, I am not one that should really be asked." she said. "She's one of my best friends and the Heaths were some of the first friends I made here. I know I want her to be happy and have a good time, but I also don't want to see her hurt either." "I mean hell, we are, or were I though, good friends, and look at what you said to me." she pointed out as she looked down at her bag in her lap. "I dunno. I mean, if you could say that and treat me that way, then maybe you and I never really were friends." she said with a shrug, watching a zipper on her back slide back and forth as she tugged on it in each direction. "But if she is crushing on your or something, then she'd be even more... I dunno, easier for you to hurt, I guess." she explained, looking back up and to Jason. "So really, the only person who can answer that is you. Only you know how you'll be." "I did not intend to hurt you." he told her quietly, his voice softening slightly - something Lilly's logic told her was conscious socialization rather than effective empathy. Still, it could be classed as 'cares enough to make an effort'. His brow furrowed in focus. "I was trying to warn you not to expect me to be other than I am, to adjust your thinking so that you did not walk blithely into a thorn-patch thinking it was a clear path." He glanced down at her hands as they fidgeted with her bag's zipper, then back to meet her gaze. In contrast with her restlessness, he was a picture of composure. "If you were not a friend - if I did not care for your well-being - I would not have warned you." "I see now that it was clumsily and cruelly done. And that is the problem as I see it - with the finer emotions I am so damn clumsy, Lilly. The emotions I do feel strongest are better described as passions - they rage and rampage around inside me, primal monsters seeking what they want with no conscience to cut in and restrain them." He smiled faintly at her. "I wanted to protect you, and I hurt you instead. I wish I had thought more about my words, and maybe examined the sentiment harder too." "After all, it's not exactly like you're a helpless idiot." his smile teased into a grin at one corner. "It was a shitty thing to do, or say, dude." she said flatly, holding him accountable even if she might maybe forgive him. "Especially the day of a game too." she added with a sigh. "I mean, you tell me that you like me... like, like me, like me, and then tell me something shitty like that? I was like, 'WTF? Was it because we never went on a date? Because if that was the case, then that was kind on you, not me.' or whatever." she pointed out. "And you don't get to say who I care about or how much, no matter how well intentioned you may be. "I care about people, especially my friends. I always have. And that was hard on me when we were moving every few years. I would make friends only to leave them behind. Like, you know I still talk to my friends from Germany? Most of them were other American kids on base, but I also met some townies. Some of them are even talking about coming for a visit." Lilly sighed. "Anyways... You, Sean, and the Heaths are among my first and oldest friends here, followed right behind by Cade, Charlie and Lona and some others. I care about you guys and want what's best for you all." she said as she looked at him again. "I already knew about you when you said that shit Friday morning. You say it was for my protection, but I think you sell yourself short. I mean, yeah, you might not ever be totally 'normal' or whatever, but you can certainly be a lot closer to it. It looks to me like you kinda use your... condition?... as something to hide behind, or a bit of an excuse to not put in the work. It just takes you making the decision and putting the effort." "And yeah, I think Liam has a grasp on your 'passions' dude. I..." Lilly paused, considering her own feelings on the issue for a moment. "Honestly, I wanted to beat the hell outta him myself too. And maybe I would have done it if you hadn't. I dunno. I guess I'll never know, but I like to think I wouldn't have. So, like, on a one hand I know where you were coming from and I cannot really blame you... But on the other hand, there is is a difference between having certain impulses and acting on them. Look, I know Lona's talked to you, but you should know that what you did kinda spooked most everybody. if I had been the one to do it, they would have still been spooked, maybe even more so, but.. I dunno... You left without a word and beat the hell outta Liam. Like, seriously. My mom works at the medical center and told me about it. I mean, fighting monsters is one thing, but I think everybody seeing you do that to him, especially using you Shine to do it, it was just, I dunno, overkill or crossing a line for many, I think." she explained. "I understand protecting your friends and wanting to hurt somebody that hurt them. I really do. But you have to temper that." she warned. "I mean, I have wanted to put Devin and Marissa through a wall for stuff they have said done long I ever had my Shine..." she said as she looked down at her hands, "...or whatever the heck I have." Then a thought struck her. Something said at the bonfire the night before. "Huh. Maybe after the bonfire I subconsciously did what you said, and 'defined' myself more or whatever..." "Possibly." Jason nodded, his expression once more becoming neutral in the wake of what Lilly had had to say. Whatever he thought about her accusation of him hiding behind his condition, or about her lecture on Liam, was shut away behind the impassive mask of his gaze. "I think our gifts are very much defined by our personalities, drives and psyche." He unfolded his legs, standing and stretching as, distantly, the bell rang signalling the end of lunch. "I'll bear in mind what you said." he told her with a slight smile as he picked up his satchel. "I'm glad you spoke to me about it, and hope you'll consider accepting my apology for Friday morning." Lilly stood and slung her pack back over her shoulder. "It's okay. And thanks for coming to the game." she replied, wanting to move past it. "And Is that an honest, not simply said to placate me, 'I'll bear in mind what you said'? Or is it some 'I'll give it all the consideration it's due' BS?" Lilly asked with an eyebrow slightly raised and the faint hint of a smile on her lips. She knew Jase, and was more or less fluent in 'Jase-Speak'. "I give everything the consideration it is due." Jason replied with a sly sidelong smile as they walked down the steps. "And I also bear everything in mind that people say. So the answer to your question is 'Yes'." "Ass." Lilly said with a small grin, giving him a 'playful' elbow to the ribs as the started walking down the bleachers. "Oh, and WTF with the double standard dude? Like, seriously. I ask Devin a direct question about what he is feeling or thinking, honestly trying to at least start working things out with him, and Clara interrupts, answering for him, for some reason, and you're all mum. Then I, however inadvertently did the same, just trying to support Marissa's idea and contribute and make amends, and you scold me in front of everybody? WTF is up with that? You crushing on Marissa or something?" "Medically impossible." he shrugged, still smiling under unreadable green eyes. "Crushes are chemical bonds that take place in the pre-frontal cortex. Unlike Oxycontin, which also acts on other parts of the brain and is released primarily during sex to help with bonding, the various neurotransmitters for 'crushes' have no target with me. No fear, no crushing, no sadness, no heartbreak." "As for Saturday - it was an ugly day with ugly emotions flying around distracting everyone, and by the time it got to your slip my patience was paper thin. The earlier thing I let pass, to try and focus on the actual business at hand. When I thought that we were about to lose a contributor because of your slip, my patience disappeared." Jase looked at Lilly as they headed across the playing field. "I did not intend to appear to be playing favorites. If the two events had happened in reverse order, then Clara would have gotten the rebuke, not you." "Hopefully people are starting to knit a bit better together. Time will tell." "Well, I am sure it certainly looked to people, and felt and to me, like playing favorites is exactly what you were doing, unintentionally or not." "I am not responsible for people's perceptions, or their emotional responses." He stated in his calm, inexorable fashion. "People see what they choose to see, and emote accordingly. If you feel you were treated unfairly, then all the logical debate and evidence to the contrary is unlikely to sway you, even if you have to resort to the position that I am lying to you." He cast a sidelong glance at her, unsmiling. "Is that your position?" "Dude. I didn't call you a liar. I just said that it looked a certain way to people." "And yeah, you might not have direct control over other peoples' perceptions, which nobody has, but what you say and do can certainly increase and decrease this likelihood of people seeing things a certain way, of even make it crystal clear or remove other options from consideration. So saying you have no control over how others see things is only partially true, and also lazy. I know you know better than that, dude. You're too smart not to, regardless of you condition." "I did not say I had no control over it. I said I was ultimately not responsible for how they choose to process what they perceive." Jason's tone had dropped several degrees in temperature. "I act as I choose to act, speak as I choose to speak. If people have a problem with it, they can take it up with me, as you have. I will then factor that into my next set of choices. But I do not define myself through the eyes or expectations of others." "Also..." he paused, eyes narrowing. "That is the second time you have implied that I am somehow lazy, or using my condition to hide behind so as to excuse some deficiency of character. I wonder, Lilly. Would you accuse someone in a wheelchair of using their condition to hide behind so they would not have to walk up stairs? Or, and more apt, would you accuse a blind man still learning Braille of using their condition to hide behind so they did not have to read a textbook on nuclear physics?" Though his voice did not raise, there was a quiet fury to his tone. "I come out from behind my mask. I confide in my friends. I make every effort to try and see the world through the eyes of those I care for despite my condition actually making all of those things hard. It's not perfect: some things I am just not capable of - you can describe a painting to a blind man, and he can build an image on your words, but he will never see the beauty you do. Is any of this sinking in? Or should I perhaps accuse you of using your lack of intelligence to excuse your insipid willful ignorance?" Lilly stopped and looked at Jase wide eyes for a few moments as the corners of her mouth turned up. Slowly her mask of composure was failing as she snorted once, trying to control herself, and then burst out into infectious laughter. She often had a smile on her face, but with events over the last several weeks, Jase had seen her face sad far more often than ever before. It had been a while since he had seen her so joyful, as this was clearly not sarcastic or taunting, but true, honest laughter. Jason had stopped in tandem, half-turning towards Lilly with an icy hardness in his eyes, his stance shifting slightly, almost autonomically in preparatory defense against a possible attack - something the trained athlete noticed and evidence that he had been getting some training from somewhere. At her laughter his eyes had narrowed even further, but curiosity gradually replaced the guarded wariness. Curiosity, and puzzlement. "And what the hell," he asked, not as much of the previous fury in his tone, but with an edge there still, "-is so funny? Or perhaps your mind just went 'ping' like an elastic band snapping?" His head tilted slightly, trying to read her expression, obviously suspicious that the laughter was a sign of impending madness. "Are you okay?" "Oh yeah. my 'small mind' from my 'lack of intelligence'." she laughed in a silly, deeper, more masculine voice as she rolled her eyes, her beautiful features contorted into a mask of mirth as she doubled over from laughter. Straightening back up, she lifted a hand and rested it on Jase's shoulder, an act that to any onlooker he seemed apprehensive of, but Lilly seems to pay it no mind. "Dude." Lilly laughed, "Do you ever listen to yourself? You sound like a Bond villain or something sometimes." she managed to get out as she began to gradually regain her composure. "Chill, dude." she chuckled. "I'm not attacking you or anything. I'm just saying that I know you can be better. I can see it in you. You do not need to be alone on an island all the time. And yeah, you might not even be the exact same as the rest of us, hell, I am sure you wouldn't even want that..." she chuckled, "..but with some work, I know you can be closer, but still be yourself." she said with a smile. "Trust me, I work daily at being 'better'. Primarily on the 'forbearance with fools' part. Oh, and having a vocabulary and using it doesn't make me a Bond villain." Jason said, relaxing a fraction, the look in his eyes going from icy to merely cool. "That would take also having zero imagination or common sense and using my genius to try and hold the world to ransom with an improbable superweapon rather than, oh I don't know, just founding a Fortune 500 company with the patents I can churn out." As Lilly snorted and let out a giggle at that, Jason's lips twitched in a tiny smile. "Plus what is it with the death trap thing, or telling the hero the plans 'because they're going to die anyway'? Why kidnap the sexy female agent and force her into an exploitative outfit when, with a little imagination, you can make the hero seem like the preening fuckwit he usually is and have her volunteer to wear a bikini for you? Or indeed, nothing at all." Lilly was in a full on gigglefit now. Jason's smile was sly, the gleam in his eyes the downfall of saints. At least, female ones. "Point being, Lilly, Bond villains ain't got nothing on me." He finished with a half-step back, slow spin and an understated stage magicians's flourish, ending with a slight bow in her direction. "And with that, class awaits." "Sooo, what you are saying is... that you want to get me in a bikini." Lilly laughed as she started walking again. "Who wouldn't?" Jase asked in a dual confused and yet matter-of-factly tone.
  12. "Well, then why are you two pissed off at us? Seriously. No BS and from your own point of view." Lilly asked honestly. "Because us putting shit aside to work together is fine in the short term, but it still leaves a wedge between us, even if it is not presently being pushed on. We've seen today that it looks like the Dark is messing with us now, probing us for weaknesses and such, so sooner or later the Dark will probably find that wedge and begin beating on it like it owes it money." she explained as she adjusted the strap of her backpack over her shoulder. "Separated as we are, even working together, means we do not have full access to each other's resources as we would if we were on one team. Freaky mind powers or reality warping abilities or not, you still have some great ideas and have most of the school wrapped around your finger." Lilly complimented. "We, as a whole, need to get our shit together for us to have the best chance possible of winning this fight. And yeah, we might not ever be friends who braid each other's hair or whatever, but we can still get along a lot better than we are now." she offered. "We've pretty much all had some part it making the situation so fucked up, me especially. and I own that, but I'm also trying to get past it and make it right. So how about us honestly working toward un-fucking it? I know we are not going to get this all worked out, here and now, in just a few minutes, or probably even a few days or hours, but it needs to start somewhere. So if not now, then how about getting together to start talking this stuff out and see if bridges can't be mended, or even built?" Lilly asked.
  13. I would assume it excludes Lilly, Cade and any other non-Psi as well.
  14. As the impromptu meeting began breaking up Lilly walked over to Marissa who raised an eyebrow as she was approached, "Hey. I just wanted to apologize for Saturday." Lilly said to her. "Regardless of what others might've done prior, or what double standards were in play, I still shouldn't have interrupted you like I did. I was only trying to help because I thought you had a great idea, but I shouldn't have done it that way. It was rude and my bad and I'm sorry." she said sincerely to Marissa, though she had doubts as to any impact the apology would have. It was irrelevant though, because regardless it was the right thing to do.
  15. "I'm in too, if you'll take me." Lilly said without hesitation. "She helped you," she said to Devin, "and so it is only fair we return the favor. Maybe we can make a difference for them there. It could even be like a scrimmage game against the Dark." "Though I should mention that something's happened." she said with a small sigh. "My ability to 'pick' seems to be gone. I can still peek ahead a second or two, but that's about the extent of it." she clarified before continuing, "On the other hand... I feel even faster and stronger than I was when we tested ourselves yesterday. Like, way more. I feel like I could catch a car... on foot.. and then pick it up over my head." she explained. "I mean, it's like you all have your psi powers that let you do all manner of things, while I seem to be made to oppose the Dark, or these monsters, or whatever, in direct physical conflict and/or protect you guys. So if you are walking into danger, then I got your back. Just let me know where and when." she said with a nod.
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