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Coraline Hess last won the day on August 26 2019

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  1. "I'd be pissed if someone reported something like that that happened to me without me wanting them to. About as personal as it gets," Cora offered into the silence echoing after Cass's question, not really trusting herself to speak higher than a whisper, intently studying the table and thoughts, feelings, fears, whirling behind her eyes. One finger traced tight, frantic circles on Cade's forearm underneath the table. Now she really wanted to go home. Great. Just great. Who needed some great evil shadow tree thing when you had just plain, old people around? "Not that he should get away with it. Just... Just... Be careful, " she continued in that same, soft tone before adding to Cade, "I want to go home now. That okay?"
  2. "Won't help, Charlie. Might as well sit down," Coraline interjected flatly before shifting her attention to Sara, gesturing at Lona, "What she said. We don't need to be together 24-7. Most of us are going to be hanging out at least part of this weekend working on this stuff. If the Apocalypse comes before Monday, we'll deal. Honestly? I just wanted to be here to congratulate our football stars, get enough info not be completely lost tomorrow, and then go home and sleep off this crazy day. I'm done, and most of the bad stuff didn't even happen to me. A few people want to skip and get caught up next meeting while they take care of themselves? More power to 'em. They'll be sharper for it next time." She frowned and leaned against Cade, wondering if this brushfire of a conversation would break up in time for her to put some practice time behind her and settle her thoughts.
  3. "You'll both have excellent seasons if you've worked half as hard as it looks like you've worked," Cora chimed in warmly, losing her smile and chipper tone as she glanced at Bannon, "...Assuming nothing else goes sideways, of course." "Annnyway, yeah. Congrats on the win. Good way to end the day," she picked up again, gamely forcing a smile back on her face, "Do I want to know why is Sean dressed like a cheerleader?" "Bet," came the deadpan response from the buxom genius, prompting a raised eyebrow and an 'Oh. Okay.' from the tall brunette in response. Coraline knew she was pretty, wouldn't intend to dance in a leotard and tutu for a living if she didn't have confidence in her looks, but God Damn, that uniform left very little to the imagination, and Sean was very, very pretty. She shuddered to think about attempting a pirouette or tour en l'air looking like that, and was thankful for small mercies. "Devin joining us? I still have to thank him for the save up at the trailer," she wrapped up genuine warmth filling her voice again, gratitude for a second save.
  4. Coraline let the chatter flow over her, eyes flicking over Cade to make sure he had no obvious injuries before throwing herself into a hug with him and letting herself breath again. The fracturing kaleidoscope of light and dark had stopped. The monster was gone. Hopefully. And everyone was 'okay' for a given value of 'okay', thanks to Lona. And Devin. Just thinking about the near hit made her squeeze Cade tighter, wordlessly needing the stability on offer to beat back the bramble of fear the memory offered. She was going to have to work a lot harder. And talk about letting the spider continue to spin his webs over them? Oh, well. If that was vote... She wasn't feeling up to challenging anyone right now. "Nothing Bannon wasn't already doing, Cade, if it wasn't just him hitting it again," she breathed in a whisper, uncertainty gnawing at her, before sucking another breath and finally pushing away from him and looking at the group, falling back on the tried and true in the face of existential uncertainty, "I'll split that bill, Jase. Pizza sounds good. Pizza and football later maybe? Go Coyotes."
  5. THE WOODS Chaos. The world strobed between light and dark, rot and growth, right and right, but, as the unwholesome cloud engulfed her, Coraline whirled to face the combined thunder of flame and firearm behind her. Her heart quite firmly perched in her throat as she caught sight of the thrashing, screaming thing. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck..! Already keyed up on adrenaline and horror-story teddy bear trophies, seeing the world flicker through it's nightmare/reality masks, she threw an arm in the direction of the thing and wished for it to stop moving, stop being dangerous and terrifying. Just Stop. The area around the screaming monster went dead silent, converted instantly into a burst of heat that engulfed the glistening aberration.
  6. The Camp in the Woods One, being picked up in a Humvee by the Evil Cold War conspiracy and told that it was all okay was setting all kinds of alarms in Cora's head. Lilly was right. This whole conspiracy thing needed to be burned as soon as possible. Besides adding known as psychic to the mix couldn't hurt her chances for school any more than having a madman plotting to *breed her with someone like a prize dog* really could at the end of the day. Hopefully. It made her shudder to think. Two, whoever had nailed a teddy bear to a tree had seen way too many horror movies. If that thing started moving or making noises, someone better have a lighter or else she was going to try to kill it with fire even more as soon as possible. Three, with one eye on the surrounding trees for potential crazy serial killers, she was hearing things. Well, not *things*, Devin, or something that sounded like a bad recording of Devin played underwater during a concert. It didn't sound like a happy Devin, whatever he was saying. Dark eyes shifting around the trees, Coraline sucked in a breath and exhaled, forcing herself to remain calm. "Yeah, I heard him, too," she answered the musician, "Didn't sound good. Anyone got an eye on the trailer yet? Is it still there?"
  7. Cora had let the chaotic flow of conversation flow over her, appetite dead as she processed everything, leaning into Cade and soaking up his physical nearness with dancing fingers. This was happening. They were doing this. Who might be right about whose parents didn't matter right now. Problems to solve. Besides, if they asked, she could truthfully say she ran off into the woods with her boyfriend. How normal was that? "And me. I've been taking kickboxing lessons at the Center, so I'm less helpless than I was that night. And... Maybe I can blow something else up with me with my... powers?" she let out, sounding less than certain on that last bit before recovering with a nod, on firmer ground, "Besides. It might be Cody. I'm going." "But, one last thought before I forget it... How do we get Dr. Cook indicted in a way he can't worm out of it? Because it seems to me he's given us our grand finale to take his organization down and free this whole damn city from him on the first day we met him," she wrapped up with a smile, seeing a patch of sunlight amidst the brambles of fear and uncertainty. Their boogeyman had a boogeyman, and one weakness meant others existed. Right?
  8. SHELLY HIGH SCHOOL Bzzz bzzzz. Bzzzzz pop. Pop pop Bzzz bzzzz. Pop bzzzz. The pressure in Coraline's head made every flicker in the lights overhead feel like a personal insult delivered right in her ears. The sensation got worse over time, gnawing in ever-bolder snatches at the edge of her focus. Note taking was out of the question, a few half-completed scribbles dying off as she focused on seeming attentive, tossing up socially acceptable smiles whenever someone shot a questioning look of concern her way. At least until Clara's text came in. It took her five or six tries, between the buzzing and having to sneak glances at her phone, but when she did get it... What. Just What. The scowl moved in and firmly pushed the half-hearted smiles to one side. Okaaay. Think. Some Cold War reject had effective control of the school and the town or at least claimed he did. Did she have anywhere..? The classroom where the club met? No. Gym, training rooms? No. She looked out a window and huffed in a mixture of pain and frustration. She just might as well admit to herself, she just wasn't sneaky enough for... Her roaming gaze paused as she fixed on a familiar landmark, hours of failure and sweat and occasionally blood painting the small building near the edge of the school grounds in bright colors. Yeah. Sucks. Toolshed 3 might work. Far enough out the smokers usually don't bother and out of sight of the main building. And sent to the group. Coraline went back to enduring her headache that was probably not just a headache, picturing Dr. Cook in a lab coat cackling as lightning danced in a jar behind him. Just so weird. The headache going away like magic was immediately replaced by the concern something might have happened, had already happened.
  9. It had taken *a lot* to hold her tongue when Lilly went off on them and trashed a perfectly good if, yes, extreme distraction to cover the... Ha ha ha... Fellowship's departure, the strain only fading from her face as an annoying static buzzed into being at the edge of her vision. A broken leg to cover the ache of a stubbed toe. Okay. Okay. Okay. That couldn't be good. Just... Do what you could, focus on that, and she'd solve the problem eventually. Cass's nudge brought her out of her fugue, smiling at the blonde reporter, an actual smile, "Yeah. I'm done. Thanks again for last night. Can I get your number? Your board idea was rather brilliant." The two girls traded numbers, fingers tapping out the digits in a small bubble of relaxing normality amid the uncertain chaos and parted ways to their respective first periods. Which left Coraline the small problem of who to try and catch a ride with. She really wanted a piece of Cody, 'The Dark' or no, part of that mess had been him not it driving. Stank too highly of 'the Devil made me do it' to completely write off his role in it.
  10. Lips pressed to a thin, bloodless line, by the sheer quantity of 'not good' going on around her with this messed up group, Coraline sucked in a breath, held it and exhaled again, expression grim. Much as she wanted to storm off again, she had enough classes with enough of them to make that... awkward. Besides, some of them weren't souless assholes. And she wanted to be in the group that found Cody, if only to tell him off to his face when he was safe or help take him down if he *was* the problem. Something proactive like last night. Lona and Clara had acted, gaining a lot of little hints in the very dangerous process. The fact this 'Doctor' couldn't or wouldn't just openly snatch them all up, gave her a few embers of hope. "Clara's... right. So someone trip a fire alarm in a way that makes it seem like a glitch and we split up in the confusion, look for him. Work the problem. Only so many woods in the area, right?" she offered softly, bracing internally for more backlash from the group but beyond caring at the moment. Screw 'em.
  11. "No idea about any 'other ones', but shine is the right word. Sometimes, briefly, since the trailer, the entire world goes grey. Except I'm blue, and just now... Sara made all of us blue. A power about seeing powers? Would that be stupid as it sounds? Anyway... Intense." In the brief window of wordless perception brought on by Sara, Coraline's mind was a spherical swarm of rainbow-shaded marbles swirling around a small, intense star of determination, choreographed around one another in shifting troupes by unheard music in an orderly fury that somehow didn't collapse into collisions and shattered glass, sparks lancing between them. Great sheets of crystal hovered in sentry at the edge of the system, twice as thick with spikes and arc lightning in the direction of Bannon. Concern laced the tall brunette's expression as she looked at Sara, "What did you do? Are you okay? Tell me you guys found a way to sneak us or at least her into an MRI. If doing something hurts, I've always been taught to at least find the why before repeating a move. Probably applies to brains as well as bodies."
  12. "I'll keep that in mind, Charlie. He's given me enough talks about doing the right thing the right way for me to throw one or two at him *if* you're right," she returned, breathing out and masking her hurt behind a smile, bracing for the unpleasantness of the coming gauntlet at the pre-class meeting of the 'Fellowship'. Hadn't Tolkien's version broken up over that ring or whatever when Sean Bean tried to kill Elijah Wood? "We're late for whatever bullshit Bannon is dictating today. Wouldn't want to miss it," she concluded with a final glance at the two boys before hustling into the cafeteria where, surprise surprise surprise, Bannon was holding court again. Joy. She pulled to a stop to next to the twins, smiling a honest little smile at Devin that lit up her face. The expression cooled as she swept over the group. "Morning, guys. And Bannon," she greeted with a wave, forcing her voice not to drop flat on his name, "I blew myself up on purpose last night, so if there are ghosts, they're very cooperative ghosts. You?"
  13. "Nothing a little drain cleaner in Bannon's water bottle couldn't cure," Coraline responded flatly, waiting a beat to add, "I'm kidding. He was actually..." She trailed off, eyes going abstracted as she was drawn back to the night before, after the warm glow of Devin's random act of kindness got her out of there in one more-or-less emotional piece, half an hour to bed time, phone off because she was in no mood for any more potential flack... "Come on, come on. Just once. If this is really me... Just... Go!" she shouted at the punching bag, door to upstairs closed, fists up in a defensive stance, glaring daggers at the inoffensive object. "Just Once, Now. Do Something," she growled, seething as she suddenly pictured Bannon's cold, oh-so-superior face on the bag. She lashed out. "Come! On!" Kick. Thump. "Prove! That!" Jab. Thump. "Fucking! Smug!" Cross. Thump. "Jerkass! Bastard!" Kick. Thump. "Fucker! Wrong!!" Jab. BANG! Everything got lighter for a second, just in time for a bloom of light and heat to send Coraline flying on her ass and the punching bag swinging wildly on it's chain. Maybe a little bruised and definitely emotionally raw, the tall brunette laughed and laughed from the padded floor, acutely glad for the sound-muffling walls. "...Helpful. Sort of. Bastard doesn't know me, doesn't know dance, doesn't know my family. If this... whole thing... was half as evil as you're all painting it, they'd have just dumped toxic waste in the reservoir and removed the whole town years ago. Cleaned up most of the wild variables in one go. Has to have shades of grey in there, and that means some light to balance the dark, too. Won't find it if we don't look. I'm still looking," she finished, voice soft but intense, venting a sleepless night's worth of theory to Cade, gathering up her backpack, "Not that I'm telling the others that. They'll just shit on me again. I'm going to find my proof, safely, and *then* jam it down their throats until they choke on it. Hesses don't wallow. We work."
  14. OOC: Stuff in Italics will be Cora's little handwritten notes all over the bundle of printed sheets she hands to Sean at some point. IC: Kamala Drix, CG, Tiefling Fighter 4 Languages: Common, Infernal, Giant Background: Acolyte (Shelter of the Faithful) Personality: Quotes and misquotes sacred texts and proverbs of Kord in almost every situation. (Seems like a cool god.) Ideal: We must help bring about the change the gods are constantly bringing into this world. (Love this random table.) Bond: I would die to recover the ancient relics stolen by the Empire. Flaw: My piety sometimes leads me to blindly trust those who profess faith in Kord ( Stupid Random Table. Going with it.) STR: 18 DEX: 12 CON: 16 WIS: 10 INT: 11 CHA: 16 Proficiency: +2 HP: 54 AC: 16 Attacks *Longsword, +6 to hit, 1d8+1d4+4 Slashing *Light Crossbow, +1 to hit, 1d8 Piercing, Range 80, Loading Saving Throws *STR +6, DEX +1, *CON +5, WIS +0, INT +0, *CHA+5 Feat: Tough Racial Traits: DV 60, Resistance to Fire, Thaumaturgy Cantrip, Hell Rebuke (1/long rest) Class Traits: Protection Fighting Style, Action Surge (1/long rest), Brute Archetype (+1d4 damage) Skills: Athletics, Perception, Insight, Religion, Survival Proficiencies: All Armor, All Shields, Simple/Martial Weapons, Flute (Musical Instrument) Gear: Chainmail, Shield, Longsword, Light Crossbow, Dungeoneer's Pack, Holy Symbol, Flute(Mother's Legacy, Maybe???) Gold: 15 Sean, So. Yeah. Refugee orphan to the island from the country next door that got the axe from the Empire taken in the temple of Kord. Just a little too burned to commit to full paladin, but loyal to the creed none the less. Probably messed something up, but that's what practice practice practise is for... -Cora
  15. Coraline sucked in a breath. And held it. Just long enough to rein in the 'fuck you' she had on her tongue, a dizzy light-headed feeling of rising heat pouring into her head. She stood up, grabbing her duffle bag. "Thanks, Cass. but I think the jury's in and out in two minutes here" she offered, posture stiff, "You know what? I think there's a reason you call this thing the Dark when it *could* be a mirror. Look for the worst in people and you'll find it Every. Single. Time. I'm as guilty as anyone, today especially, but I'm trying, okay? Enjoy your meeting." She turned and hurried towards the door, forcing herself not to run. Fucking Bannon.
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