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Catherine 'Kat' Barras last won the day on May 6

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About Catherine 'Kat' Barras

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  1. "Yeah, I've been drawing and painting for ten years. I started with stick figures and then my mom made me take classes, because my stick figures were way too pretty." She snorted, then added, "I can show you when we get back." Sean nodded in agreement, and the conversation went on about Sean's games, the one he had already made, and the one he was currently working on. The two teenagers took back the short conversation they had had in Art the last Thursday from where it stopped, discussing concept arts Kat was currently looking at on her phone, commenting what Sean's new monsters could look like. Later on, the petite redhead discovered, with interest, that Sean actually did all the voices and a large part of the music for his games, and the conversation turned towards editing softwares. "Since you got this... crazy voodoo stuff, do you actually use any editing software ? Or do you crack yer whip n tell the bits where to go ?" She asked with a half-mocking grin. "A little from column A, a little from column B." Sean pursed his lips, head tilted slightly, then amended with his own self-deprecating grin. "Okay, a lot from column B, especially the last few days. I've been working on the game engine for the last two years. Not to brag, but I think it's pretty good and robust, with variable applications. I saw what Unity and Unreal were doing and made my own version. And I've programmed a modified autoencoder and a generative adversarial network to better modulate my voice for different characters. And since my little recording area in the barn isn't the best, I have to do a lot of post production stuff to clean up the music and voice work. But now?" Sean glanced at Kat sidelong, his grin widening as he made a whipcrack motion before his hand went back to the wheel and he shifted lanes in early preparation to get off the Interstate. "The software is still there, I can just exponentially make it do so much more, so much more efficiently. Look at my phone" Kat looked down at the smartphone in her hand. The concept art for something Giger-esque with too many legs faded away to be replaced by a string of black zeroes and ones on a white field. "Assume that is what the coding for any software I use looks like," Sean said. "Now, I can make it do this. Same software, just able to bend it into new shapes." The ones and zeroes, shifted, melted, tightened and writhed into new patterns and shapes. They were still strings of ones and zeroes, but were now being used like a continuous strand of paint to form gorgeous representations of Julia sets, ordered chaos. Kat blinked, just realizing it had taken her a moment to notice that the image on the phone wasn't just black and white, but was a panoply of complementary colour, which added another layer to the complexity of the coding. "It's sorta like that. Has your own psionic awakening helped you with your art? And I would like to see it when we get back." "Uh..." The petite redhead stared amazed at the screen before her eyes. "Can't tell yet. But holy shit, that's cool !" Hearing about a power and seeing it in action was totally different, she mused. "I did learn more about the... non-telepathic stuff. Remember about how I talked about molecular structure ?" Her curvaceous friend nodded, focused on the road. "Well," she went on, "I think it's waaaaaaay more than that. I have a theory, but it's batshit crazy, and needs a little bit of context." The svelte French girl closed her eyes, massaging her temples, then took a deep breath and fumbled in her bag, pulling out her notebook. "First -and I'll keep on using that term until I find a cooler one- I have three Third Eyes. One is telepathy stuff, like... your mind is unique -in several ways -" she added with a chuckle, "and I was able to tell you were in the street before you parked your car, earlier. The second one is weird to describe." She closed her eyes for a moment and turned the one she was talking about on, glancing at her friend. "Like, if I use it right now, you're like... shining, and there's this weird feeling of something all around." She turned it off and went on. "But that's not the most interesting one. The last one, from my conclusions, allows me to see when and where people do stuff related to Shine. If I focus on one of them, I can tell what they're actually doing. And that's how I discovered that I can manipulate energies. Earlier, I litterally bumped my phone off my desk and Magneto-ed it right back to my hand." Kat was getting excited just by talking about it, and she reached for her jacket, pulling out a lighter and a pack of cigarettes, before turning to Sean, doubt in her eyes. "Uh... Can I ? It's your car so... I feel like I should ask." There was the faintest crinkle to Sean's nose. "Would you mind waiting until we get to Great Falls? It's only about another twenty minutes. It's just, y'know...?" She nodded and stuffed lighter and cigarettes back into her jacket, reaching instead for a pack of chestnuts coated in chocolate from her bag, ripping the top open and stuffing a couple of these in her mouth. "These will do for now, then." She said after swallowing her snacks. "Right, so my theory is : this... other power I got is just about breaking the laws of physics, as in, the physics we're taught in high school. That's my wild guess. Hell, I changed how gravity applied to my phone for a moment, a couple days ago I tried to densify air ! That's lit !" Sean chortled at Kat's wondrous enthusiasm, his slim, strong fingers drumming on the steering wheel. "Funny you should mention breaking the laws of physics. Jason and I have been working on a grand unified theory. We suspect our psionic powers operate on an underlaying, er, layer of physical reality as we know it, a subquantum stratum, one that's more... malleable to conscious influence. We aren't breaking physics, I think, so much as being able to trick it." The two redheads leaned to the side as Sean pulled onto the curving off ramp, coming back upright as they entered Great Falls proper. Sean rolled to a stop at a stop sign, then turned right. "At a guess, it seems like like you're able to manipulate fundamental forces and molecules? Atoms, maybe?" His dark brows furrowed, considering what Kat had told and what he knew of how the powers of the rest of the Fellowship functioned. "More generalized compared to specialized like me, where I can only manipulate the electromagnetic spectrum. Broad instead of deep. Hmm." Sean had his car only for a little over a week, yet he drove through Great Falls with a sense of familiarity. He'd been going to Sulli's for years, first for video games, then for computer components, and finally to sell his own PC builds on commission. "I wonder what else you could do. Clara - she's kinda sisters with Lona - has powers sort of like yours. She's able to... kinda buff or debuff how well others can use their own powers. I wonder if you can do that too, Kat." The car parked close enough to the shop Sean had in mind, and they both got out, Kat grabbing her bag and her jacket. She pulled out a cigarette from her pack, tucking it between her lips, then stopped her motion before lighting it up. She looked left and right, then glanced at Sean with a childish grin. "Combustion ?" She had to try, after the talk they had had. She set her lighter back to the pocket where it belonged, then placed her thumb and index finger around the cigarette's tip, much like one would hold a coin to show it. With a bit of focus... There we go. She could feel the air she 'held' between her fingers, the thing she called her powers flooding her brains with molecular structures. The cigarette is the fuel, air is the oxidizer, all I need to do is to give it a little nudge... After a moment of watching Kat staring at her nose like it insulted her, Sean was about to tell her they should probably start walking, but suddenly the tip of the cigarette began glowing red, producing a thin line of smoke. Kat's hand fell to her thigh, then she took a draft. "Hey, you did it !" Sean tried, but the petite redhead seemed disappointed. She picked the cigarette between two delicate fingers, and grunted after a puff. "I was expecting a flame... So much for boasting about it..."
  2. She was lying on her bed, like a starfish, once again fiddling with telepathy while quietly digesting lunch. She was amazed at how far her perception of minds could extend to. She was currently stretching it to a rough hundred and fifty feet, but felt like she could do double, with some effort. She now made sure to be very delicate with her handling of minds, after Courtney had given her pointers, the day before. She retracted the immense web her mind had become to focus on the neighbor, the one with the oak and the squirrels. He wasn't currently home, but his wife was. Boredom, tranquility, and... was she listening to some music ? That had to be blues. The loud purr of an engine distracted her from her mind analysis, and she reinstalled her spying web, catching the familiar scent of the driver's mind. Sean. Shit, what time is it ? 2PM already ? Sean came to a gentle stop as he parked on the side of the road, then clambered out of the jacked up Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. He loved his vehicle, knicks and scrapes and all, but even he had to admit it was awfully high for someone of his modest height and was eternally grateful for the solid running boards it was equipped with. Kat could hear the knocking on the door and the soft footfalls heading towards it, recognizing the gait as Tess'. Tess opened the door to find a very striking figure standing there, a redhead with an undercut hairstyle and odd eyes, wearing a black t-shirt, faded olive cargo pants and an unzipped blue hoodie with yellow trip with 101 imprinted high on the left, that did nothing to conceal a remarkably curvaceous figure. "Hi, I'm Sean," the teenager said in a rich, sweet melodious voice, switching a heavy plastic bag holding various computer components from one hand to the other. "I'm here to see Kat. I'm helping her build a gaming rig - a computer - for her." "Oh." Tess' eyes widened in astonishment as she realized this was the boy Kat had mentioned. This was far from what she was expecting however. "Oh! Yes, of course, please, come in, Sean. I'm Tess. I'll go let Kat know you're here." The dark-haired woman went up the stairs, gently knocking at the teenager's door. "Honey ? Your friend, Sean, is here." She could hear some fumbling, and opened the door, curious. "Is everything alr-" Kat was standing in front of her wardrobe, wearing nothing but slim blue jeans, and bras. In one hand, she held a white and bronze sailor top, and in the other, a flowered blouse in chocolate tones. Tess chuckled. "The blouse will do fine..." She rolled her eyes and added : "I'll tell him you're getting ready." She was already halfway down the stairs when she heard a yelled "Thank you !", and chuckled once more. "Kat's getting ready upstairs, she shouldn't be long. Would you like anything, a drink maybe ?" She told the young boy once she reached the hall. Tess caught Sean glancing up the stairs, then hid a grin as he shifted his weight from one foot to the other with a hint of boyish impatience with the female 'getting ready' comment. That was the same, at least. "Yeah, sure, I'd like that. Tess," Sean said, still just a tad uncomfortable using an adult's name, even if Tess didn't look that much older than him. "A cup of coffee with too much sugar would be great if it's not too much trouble, but water is fine." "Oh, I can make you some coffee, no problem." With a short gesture inviting him to follow her, she went to the kitchen and proceeded to make some coffee, throwing a quick glance back at her guest. "So, you... share some classes with her ?" She asked, busy with a filter. Sean took a seat at the island, turning on the stool so he was sitting sideways to the island, so he didn't have anything 'personal' pressing into the edge or plopped on the surface. He sat his bag by the base of the stool. "We share Chemistry and Art in the morning," Sean said, trying not to feel slightly self-conscious. Tess was young, not all that much older than him or Kat. He was used to how most adults reacted to him when they knew, their obvious and not so obvious tells about what they really thought about him. Tess was being very polite and gracious that when he caught the occasional slip up and noticed the wondering in her eyes or posture, it was a little jarring. "But I've also been showing Kat around the school, making sure she knows where everything is, knows how things are done, officially and unofficially, and has the little extra bit of paperwork. That kinda stuff." The dark-haired woman turned back towards the teenager, leaving the machine to drop water onto the coffee by itself, and flashed a charming smile to the strangely shaped boy sat by the island. "How nice of you !" Of course, she already knew that, she remembered very well the conversation she had in the car with her boyfriend's daughter. "Oh, speaking of Art, did she tell you she draws and paints in her spare time ? I've seen some of it a couple days ago, and it looks pretty good." She added with an approving nod, before grabbing a mug from a cupboard, and setting it in front of Sean, along with the sugar. "You'll dose it the way you like it, eh ?" "Thank you," Sean said with a smile and nod, dumping in enough sugar that most coffee connoisseurs would call it a felony. Sean took a sip, and smile in satisfaction as the sweetness and heat of the coffee. "I didn't she drew and painted. I draw some and paint miniatures, but most of my artwork is done digitally." "Interesting," Tess murmured, making her self a cup of coffee. "Just art to share, or to sell?" "Sell, sort of. I mean, I'm on several sites. And I have done some concept art. But it's more for my roleplaying games and the video games I've made. I've done one, and am almost done with another." Sean's grin widened in private delight and amusement. "I've made a lot of progress lately."
  3. The petite redhead half-gasped, inhaling her companion’s breath in doing so, yet did not recoil, and time seemed to slow for a short second of uncertainty. Courtney could both feel and sense doubt in Kat’s reaction, but the very reason Kat chose to follow Courtney out of Bunnee’s swept it away, as the slender teen shifted her weight to one arm, moving a timid but delicate hand to the naked shoulder of the other girl. She closed her eyes and returned the kiss with piqued curiosity, exploring the shape of her lips with her own. Courtney’s mouth slightly curved into a triumphant grin as she pressed on, her palm cupping the thinly clad pixie’s cheek. She folded her legs to sit up, freeing her other hand to brush it up against Kat’s nape and slowly tilt her head backwards, and tossed a leg across the French girl’s waist, setting her knees on each side while her fingers ran along Kat’s neck and shoulder blade, summoning shivers in their wake. At this point, Kat needed to remember how to breathe, her heart racing and stealing way too much oxygen from her lungs, and as she softly broke off the kiss and opened her now fairly bloodshot eyes, she didn’t regret the sight of the crimson-haired beauty haloed by the sun who was towering her, staring at her with hungry eyes. She was in for all of it. She had been bad at catching the hints, even if she pinned that on the weed, and as she was about to voice her comment, a voracious kiss sent it into oblivion, lighting up some -if not many- red lights in the petite redhead’s mind while she laced her arms around Courtney’s neck. That’s Bannon’s regular weed. The high was doing a formidable job at keeping her breathless, as an unstoppable flow of sensory input overflowed the teen’s frail focus and blew her mind - the cherry scent of Courtney’s cherry-red lipstick as she bit on her upper lip, the floral aroma, jumbled with fruity sweetness, of her skin as her mouth trailed on her cheek, pecking here and there, mingling with the intoxicating smell of strawberry her hair released as it brushed on Kat’s nose, while Courtney’s warm lips explored her jawline, then her neck, extorting a rattling sough of gusto from the petite redhead, who buried her nose in the crimson mane, drunkenly and avidly breathing its smell. Kat’s fingers hardened on the cheerleader’s shoulder as she pulled herself closer, feeling white teeth playing with the skin of her neck, and a shiver ran along the spine of the petite redhead, feeling much like a prey being toyed with by a predator, followed by Courtney’s fingertips, dancing up the alignment of vertebrae until they stopped on the clip of her bra. Click. The sound bounced and echoed throughout Kat’s buzzing jungle-mind, and black bra joined blouse, jacket, blue jeans and sand-grey booties on the floor as Courtney pressed on her assault on the smaller teen with an impish grin, a scrupulously manicured nail tracing the outline of the tattoo on Kat’s shoulder, quickly followed by lips burning with expectation, pecking on the small dots of ink darker than midnight, in contrast with pale skin in desperate need for more sun - and more caresses. A rasping sigh lost itself in the sudden cooler breeze picking up, unable to smother the warm embers awakening in the petite redhead’s innards, as Courtney’s mouth began moving lower and lower while her hands did their magic, riding up the slender teen’s ribs, brushing against the soft and mellow skin of her humble breasts and wringing another appreciative groan inside Kat’s throat. A firm hand slowly pushed her back to lay down, two brown eyes locked into hers, glistening with hunger - Kat could hear the beating sound of her blood pulsing to her temples, could feel the heat slowly invading her cheeks, the soft fabric of the blanked under her back, the long forgotten feeling of someone else’s hands on her skin. A familiar face, framed with short and dark hair, flashed in her mind, and for a split second, she felt ashamed, then scolded herself. Why should I care about an ungrateful demanding asshole ? The thought shattered, replaced by something more raw, commanding she gave her attention to the Now. The touch felt electric, violently soft, Courtney’s lips blowing a short, smooth kiss to the tip of her nipple, causing the svelte French girl to inhale sharply, her chest heaving as her mouth opened in a silent gasp. That… was new… Take that, Erwann. And then it came back, again, and Kat ran a hand into the cheerleader’s hair, gently pulling her head closer as if asking for more. The cherry-red lips parted on the mellow, pale skin of her breast, and a mischievous tongue darted, nimbly flicking on her pink, erect tit, coaxing a doleful moan from the petite redhead, before venturing on her sternum. Courtney’s hands were roaming around Kat’s ribs, her fingers tracing the intricate lines of the Celtic patterns, so dark that they seemed to drink the sunlight. The soft caresses left shivers in their wake, hands dancing on skin in a sort of back and forth strangely mimicked by the petite redhead’s pelvis. As Courtney’s tongue traced a burning line to her collarbone, Kat lifted a knee to push on her buttocks, cupping her cheek with a hand and lacing the other arm around her back, and planted a fierce kiss on her mouth, rolling on the blanket to gain the high ground, her grey eyes darkened with lust and mischief drawing a wry smile on the crimson-haired beauty’s features. The latter didn’t expect this playful show of strength from the svelte French girl, whose body was beginning to adapt to the rough - at least in her eyes - training she endured every morning. Kat’s breathing was sharpening, matching the pace of her beating heart supplying the heat necessary to ignore the now cooler temperature of the evening. The sun was now close to the horizon, and the occasional breeze running across the area had turned into a mild but constant flow, playing with the coral locks falling before Kat’s eyes as she bent over the gorgeous body laying below hers. The petite redhead blew them off without a thought, picking another soft kiss from Courtney’s cherry-red lips. She thrilled when the other girl’s hands locked onto her waist, pulling her closer, and then began, in turn, exploring her companion’s skin, with lips reddened by kisses - and lipstick - and shivering hands, slipping those under the strap of Courtney’s red bra and pulling them off her shoulders, her mouth following the faint mark they left till it reached her breasts, venturing near her cleavage then backing off towards her neck, her lips, stretched by an excited grin, landing there a humored peck. She could feel the vibration of Courtney’s soft whimper of protest in her throat, could not ignore the warmth of the arms laced around her waist, pulling her closer and closer till her chest was pressed to the other girl’s, and a third time, she voraciously pressed her mouth onto Courtney’s, while the scent of her skin once again blew her mind in a colorful blast of floral aromas. She timidly poked Courtney’s lips with a flick of her tongue, as if asking for right of way, her breath spreading its warmth in a silent but excited giggle, and the snug barrier opened, greeting the intruder with renewed interest, Courtney’s tongue suddenly leading a heated dance while her arms released their lock around the petite redhead’s chest to get rid of the bra straps, one of her hands then sliding down Kat’s back to rest on her buttocks while the other began brushing against her belly as Kat broke off the intense kiss and took a deep breath. Delicate fingers caressed around her ombilic in concentric circles, going lower, and lower, surreptitiously sliding inside her panties, inch by inch, kindling the aroused heat overrunning the slender teen’s whole body. Kat’s stomach suddenly produced a malcontent growl, depicting how much she lusted for the crimson-haired beauty, but also reminding her that weed generally made people hungry for food. This had the effect of a cold shower on her, and the sudden change in her expression startled the cheerleader, whose fingers stopped at the very boundaries of the petite redhead’s forbidden fruit. Courtney raised an inquisitive eyebrow. Kat swore in French, and reached for her jacket, pulling herself out of Courtney’s warm embrace, and fishing her phone out. “Fuck !” She swore again, noticing the hour. “I’m. SO. Late ! My dad’s gonna kill me.” A wicked giggle chimed in her back, and she glared at the gorgeous beauty staring at her, resting on her elbow with her bra pulled down around her belly. “Oh, that is adorable.” A mischievous smile crossed the cheerleader’s features as she watched the petite redhead dressing up as fast as she could while letting go of a profusion of profanities that would make a French sailor turn pale. She sat down and adjusted her own bra, before grabbing her blouse with a frustrated sigh. A few moments later, both of them were dressed, and Courtney was slowly walking back to the car, the blanket now rolled and folded under her arm. “Hey, Kitty, I’ll drive you home.” She offered the slender teen who followed her with worry painted on her face and apparent lipstick marks on her lips. “Thanks…” The petite redhead replied, rubbing the back of her head while heading towards the passenger door, her jacket thrown over her left shoulder. “Your dad’s gonna look at you funny if you don’t do something for these,” Courtney pointed at Kat’s lips and shot her an impish grin, and a warm pink flushed the French girl’s cheeks, who grabbed a tissue and her phone from her jacket, and tried making the obvious less obvious, after sitting in the car. The Senior high school cheerleader closed the trunk, and took a couple strides, reaching the driver seat. An awkward silence floated between the two young women, broke an instant later by the taller redhead. “Hey, that was fun !” Courtney gave her a warm smile, her eyes studying Kat’s face. The statement lingered on the petite redhead, who was thinking about what had just happened, and drew a faint smile on her lips, stirring up something warm in her chest, slight reminder of the intense heat that had driven her crazy a couple moments ago. She glanced at Courtney, her grey eyes shining with appreciation and her cheeks still flushed with a charming pink, in contrast with her pale carnation. “Yeah, that was fun !” As the engine started, a wider grin stretched Kat’s lips as she added : “Guess now I know where to look for weed…” Another wicked giggle echoed through the nearby woods as the car made its way towards town.
  4. Courtney smiled, pursing her lips as her eyes roamed the intricate lines and swirls of the tattoo and the pale, pale skin it traversed. "Very nice." she said, leaving Kat unsure whether she meant the tattoo or the view. She smiled again, taking a puff of the joint then extending it towards the petite French girl as her free hand patted the blanket invitingly. "Come back over here and get some sun." The svelte French girl fell on her behind next to Courtney, grabbing the joint and drawing on it, her features painted with relaxation as she offered her now barely clad body to the sun’s warm embrace. As far as she remembered, she didn’t sunbathe often. Being a Breton, she had of course been to the sea several times, but she didn’t like sand. Sand was irritating, it got everywhere. She was definitely the indoors type, although her repeated interactions with Shelly’s youth might come to change that. Courtney sighed contentedly and leaned back on her elbows as the warm rays bathed both of the pale-skinned girls, though Kat’s skin was almost dazzlingly pale as it reflected the sunlight. A red-tipped fingernail came up lazily and traced some of the pattern on the smaller girl’s shoulder, marking the contrast between the ink and the white skin. “You should definitely get some after-sun lotion on you when you get home, Kitty.” the more mature-seeming redhead said in a soft tone as birdsong disturbed the air overhead and the caress of Courtney’s hand became a little more firm as it moved across and down Kat’s back and over her opposite hip so that the petite girl was in a half-embrace. “If I had lotion here, I could rub it on for you…” Courtney murmured wistfully. “Shame.” After a last draw on the joint - which joint was now sternly diminished compared to its original size - the petite redhead passed it on, leaning on her elbows and against the taller frame lying right by her side. Skin to skin contact didn’t bother her, focused that she was on her surroundings, her mind scanning every stimuli enhanced by the weed, the warmth of the arm crossing her back, the almost undetectable breeze that shook a couple leaves every now and then, but also the twirly backwash affecting her balance, which caused her to rely on the contact with her companion’s skin to somehow feel still. Jesus, that’s how it feels to smoke after fasting for so long. She deeply breathed in through her nostrils, her olfaction driven crazy by the smell of Nature, the dry grass, late summer flowers, dry and dusty dirt from the road, the heady scent of the dissipating joint smoke curls, and the more heady scent of Courtney’s flesh now oh so close to her face. After-sun lotion… She’s probably right… “You’re probably right… Shame…” She replied, oblivious of what Courtney implied, captivated by everything. She was aware of a faint movement from Courtney as she dragged the last puff from the shared joint then, sitting up, stubbed it out carefully on a flat stone, grinding the butt of the roll up until it was not even smoldering before laying back once more. “Well, that’s Bannon’s regular weed.” Courtney sighed, tucking a hand behind her head as her other hand continued to idly caress Kat. “To think, before the summer I had him pegged as a loser part of Sean’s loser club of loserness, tolerated only because he dealt grass. I didn’t even bother trying to read his mind, I was that convinced he was a nobody. And now, Marissa has him on lockdown and I missed my window.” “Marissa?” The French girl remembered the meeting at the bleachers, the dark-haired beauty and her radiating presence. She also remembered the hospital, and the uproar, flashes of red light, and the same girl shaking her off her fright. Marissa… and Jason ? That seemed unlikely. She took a minute to appreciate how warm the sun kept, savoring unsuspected pleasure at the heat’s caress. This seemed like a good excuse for her to plan on more tanning as long as warm days were a thing. She slightly moved on her elbows to get closer to the beautiful young woman lying by her side, pressing an arm against her companion’s skin, gently nudging her. “Isn’t she dating… that big guy… Cade?” “Looks like, sure. But she told me last Friday night to keep my hands off Bannon and he was hers.” Courtney turned slightly towards Kat, propping her head on her hand and leaning on an elbow as she spoke. “I was all set to see that as a challenge between Queen Bitches, but now we're friends so…” she gave a one-shouldered shrug.. “She might be dating Big Montana. But she's got Bannon on layaway and I pity the girl who makes a pass.” Kat’s lips pursed into something close to a pout, as she thought about what she knew so far about Marissa. Not much. “Queen ? Bitches ? Queen Bitches ?” She asked in an amused voice. “You guys own the school ?” She added, looking for facts to supply her few impressions. The answer was a soft snort, followed by a chuckle. “I guess?” Courtney said. “I don’t know how it is in the land of adorable French pixies-” and her fingers trailed up Kat’s arm almost ticklingly. “-but here the hottest girls run the social scene, and the social scene runs the school.” She sighed softly as her fingers toyed with the ends of Kat’s short hair. “I used to think that was all that mattered - and now there’s actual monsters and psychic powers and Marissa and I are friends and the Nerd Herd are kinda cool - some of them anyway.” She traced the line of Kat’s jaw with a fingertip, then gently turned the smaller girl’s face to hers. Courtney smiled slightly, leaning closer. “The world’s gone mad, Kitty.” she whispered, her breath a puff of warmth on Kat’s cheek right before she pressed her crimson lips to the surprised French girl’s.
  5. “So, you smoking, Kitty ?” Courtney asked, her eyes on the lighter as Kat passed it along. She tucked the joint between her lips, igniting the other end and pulling a long draft, exhaling a dense cloud afterwards, eyes closed. She extended her arm, offering the blunt to the petite redhead, who seized it between two slender but delicate fingers, before bringing it to her mouth, pulling an equally long draft on it. Kat closed her eyes. It had been a long time since she touched weed, and as she released the smoke, the world swayed a little. “Oh God…” She set her hands to the ground behind her, leaning back, her face to the sky, her mouth still open as she enjoyed the feelings, long forgotten, of the premises of a high she hadn’t experienced in at least a year. From her mouth erupted a giggle, turning into a short laugh, her lips stretched in an open joyful grin. She didn’t regret following Courtney out of Bunnee’s. It was like she’d almost forgotten what it was like, to have fun. She took another draft before holding it back to the joint’s owner. “Yeah…” She said, bitterness in her soft voice. She glanced at Courtney. The gorgeous redhead obviously wanted to hear more. “My ex-boyfriend… got me into weed.” The high was slowly installing itself into Kat’s jungle-mind, like a program on a computer, and her emotions began seeping around herself, acrid bitterness laced with nostalgia, carried by her will to move on and her failure at achieving it, like a breeze too weak to root out the tree of her grief. A cloud of smoke raised in the air as the joint passed from hand to hand, quickly joined by a second one. “He is- was funny, handsome, and really cool to hang out with.” “How comes he’s your ex, then?” Courtney asked, raising a curious eyebrow. She could tell by the scent of grief surrounding her companion that something had happened. The petite redhead rubbed the back of her head, smoke blurring her thoughts. It felt as if all noises around her were a tad louder, birds chirping, the distant roar of a car engine, a soft breeze caressing the foliage of nearby trees, the babil of red squirrels fooling around, an undeniably feminine voice next to her. Kat shook her head. “In France,” she explained, “when you reach 11th grade, you pick a section out of three, Litterature, Economics and Social Sciences, and Sciences. The school ultimately decides which one to put you in, according to your grades during 10th grade and what you wished. Erwann wanted Sciences, but he wasn’t working enough… way to say he wasn’t doing anything, really… So I kinda… woke him up.” Her expression told there was more to it. The joint changed hands for another round. “Then what?” Courtney asked, her curiosity piqued. This was clearly not break-up material, Courtney thought. That dude should’ve been grateful for the help. “Then he turned into a workaholic. And after that, he dared calling me out on grades when I was doing more than fine. Asshole said he worried about me painting instead of working, and was being a real bitch about it.” Kat angrily pulled a long draft from the blunt, exhaling the smoke in a long sigh, before handing it back. Courtney’s eyebrow twitched, and she came closer to the petite redhead, laying an arm around her shoulders. "Kitty, he sounds like an ungrateful, demanding asshole. Don't settle for that treatment." The svelte French girl shrugged. “We broke up last November. I’m done with it.” Something in her voice said otherwise. She was sort of afraid to share too much with someone, her experience with Erwann being a painful memory. The teen’s faith in feelings of love had been shaken. Was it worth loving someone, when they could give you so much pain in return ? Her features darkened for a moment, then she turned to Courtney, noticing only now how close she was. Her vision swayed a little, and she blinked twice. “What about you ? Any… romance-related drama?” Courtney's dark brown eyes, which had been warm and studying Kat's face, shifted away as she shrugged. "Not really, Kitty." she said offhandedly, taking back the joint and drawing on it. "I try to avoid that kind of drama in my own life." Crimson lips quirked. "It's hard to fall for someone when you can see they don't really care about you as a person." Kat rolled her eyes, those getting discreetly bloodshot. "I wish I had Shine back then..." She thought about what Courtney just said, and added, "So, nobody interesting enough to date in Shelly High?" "Depends on your tastes." Courtney smirked naughtily. "If what gets your lady-parts humming is jock farmer's sons who will either go on to college to study Agriculture or else go from graduation to work on the farm... Then there's plenty." The smaller teen made a funny face. "Nothankyoubye." Courtney chuckled, then her eyes fell on Kat's tattooed arms. The Celtic patterns were starting slightly above the wrist, then got lost under the plaid blouse after the elbow. "So, where'd you get that, Kitty ?" A scrupulously manicured nail tapped on her forearm, and as Kat turned her head to answer, the joint was being held right in front of her lips, ready to be drawn on, but Kat was getting too high for her to care about the impish grin drawn on the bustier - and thinly clad - redhead's features, and she pulled a long draft on the blunt, casting the smoke aside. "Uh... t'was my birthday gift from me to me. Took me some time to design it with the right proportions. Also, costly... Alice, my best friend, helped me afford it." Courtney raised an intrigued eyebrow. "Costly ? How much we talking about ?" Kat looked up in the sky, trying to remember. "All of it, I'd say around 2k." The cheerleader's eyebrows jumped sky high hearing the bill. "All of it ? That's expensive for just an arm tattoo..." Her eyes narrowed suspiciously, she asked, "Show me what all of it is." The petite redhead stood up, almost staggering, facing the sun, and began unbuttoning her own blouse, turning her back to Courtney. The blouse left her shoulders and joined Kat's jacket on the floor. Then the smaller teen removed her jeans, standing there in her black underwear, bathed by the sun, showing off perhaps what was Kat's most beautiful chef-d'oeuvre. She slowly spun on herself, in a dance-like manner, so Courtney could glance at all of it.
  6. //DISCLAIMER// The Ride The petite redhead’s crystalline laugh chimed along the road as she felt the wind run through her hair, warmed by the sun. Although her exuberance wasn’t the only reason for her laughter, she did enjoy this collision with raw elements - those being rather merciful on such a sunny afternoon. Lifting rather quickly from Shine and powers, the conversation had turned around Shelly High’s, quite substantial in content, rumor mill. After noticing the petite redhead’s closing features hearing what was being told about her friend Sean, Courtney had decided to change target, seeing that Kat didn’t take the mockery about the boy’s appearance really well, instead choosing to unleash the fruit of teenage boredom on the blonde reporter, Cassie, on Charlie, Autumn or Jason, to the shorter teen’s amusement. Most of those Kat didn’t really understand, given that she was completely new in the landscape and knew close to nothing about the people living here, but it was certainly fun hearing teenagers blabber about mind-boggling theories, some of these couldn’t be taken seriously even out of context. “Okay,” Courtney grinned. “This is a soft one.” She quickly glanced at her passenger. “Sean part of Anonymous?” Kat chuckled, then actually considered the rumor. “To be honest… After all that’s been going on… a real shitfest by the way… I wouldn’t even be surprised if he was.” Courtney pressed on, her grin widening. “Him hacking the NSA, the CIA… Disney???” “Why Disney ?” The petite redhead replied, giggling. "You know, I don't think they realize that they might be close to the truth." “Oh, and also, he’d be spying on everyone through Shelly’s security feed.” “Creepy…” A couple minutes ago, the Senior high school cheerleader had refueled at the pump station, and Kat had bought some snacks. She was currently busy with a bar of Snickers, and after swallowing a rather large portion of the chocolate bar, she turned to the driver. “Kay, what about Autumn?” “She’s probably a witch, or a Wiccan or whatever. Nobody spends so much time in the woods for,” and Courtney made air quotes with one hand, “reasons. Also, some say she turned down her parents when they offered to buy her a car.” She rolled her eyes and added, “Girl Scouts… Savages traipsing around with twigs in their hair and spending more time with animals than with human beings…” The petite redhead snorted first, then raised a curious eyebrow at the comment, but Courtney shrugged it off. Then, “Jason ?” A shiver ran along the spine of the bustier redhead at the thought of a pair of green cold eyes. "Smart. Cold-blooded… Well, you were there when he was talking to Cook and the other Project peeps. Deals weed, but is really cagey about it - sheriff would love to get him but hasn't found any evidence. People say rival weed dealers just disappear. I've never seen what he's thinking, and believe me I've tried. And he's, uh, gifted." She made an unmistakable gesture groinward. "Saw that with my own two eyes." Her grin was equal parts mischief and salacious. Kat rubbed the back of her head, her cheeks suddenly heating up. “Yeah… “ Something in the tone of the smaller teen raised suspicion in the cheerleader’s mind. “Yeaaaaaah ? Cmon, Kitty, spit it out.” Courtney shot her a teethful grin. “Ugh, fine. Back on Tuesday, before I left with my Dad… Jason was sittin’ there, and… these grey sweatpants, I swear… Like a plaster mold on his junk.” "Right?" Courtney grinned wide. "I swear he had no idea that every pair of female eyes in the room was looking at him sideways... Except you. You might as well have had a neon sign over your head." Half-laughing, half-growling, the petite redhead replied, "Stop it ! It's embarrassing enough to think about..." The car engaged on the Main Street, passing by the swimming pool, climbing the road to a small hill past town limits. They passed a lone house, then engaged on a dirt road large enough for a car and a half. She parked the car off the road and Kat raised a curious eyebrow, as the driver got out of the convertible and pulled a large blanket out from the trunk. “What ?” She asked, then slightly shook the rolled blanket. “Cmon, the weather’s perfect for a little sunbathing.” She shot her an impish grin. “Besides, you curious about Jason’s weed?” She added, her free hand diving between her breasts, pulling out a joint. “Nobody lurks round these parts, Kitty.” Kat chuckled, shaking her head in disbelief, then pushed the passenger door open, jumping to her feet and following the gorgeous redhead to where she was setting the blanket down, some fifty feet away from the car. She watched as Courtney set her cherry-red heels - matching her lipstick, Kat thought - aside and slowly unbuttoned her cream-colored blouse, dropping it on the blanket, revealing the red bra one could’ve guessed under the translucent fabric, then sat down, extending her long, round legs, her pale skin - it reflected golden undertones as it drank the sunlight - contrasting with the crimson skirt stopping half-thigh. She was holding the joint, waving her hand so the petite redhead could see it. She patted the blanket on her side, enjoining Kat to come and sit. “Kitty, I’m not gonna eat you.” She said with a playful wink. <Yet.> She added, her voice ringing in Kat’s mind with mischief. She then burst in laughter as a warm pink invaded the petite redhead’s cheeks, who finally decided to sit on the edge of the blanket, removing her sand-grey booties and her socks. Kat composed herself, then pulled a lighter out of her jacket, before setting said jacket next to her booties and finding a spot to sit, closer from the weed, and Courtney. Kat felt like she was entering a lioness’ lair, and she was the prey.
  7. Saturday : Power-Gaming Introduction Waking up before the alarm goes off. Sliding the alarm off right when it goes off. Yawning. Sitting on her bed. Standing up on the wooden floor. Opening the window. Staring at herself in the wardrobe mirror. Down goes the shirt. Down go the shorts. More staring. Panties on. Sports bras on. Sport shorts on. Sport shirt on. Kat went down the stairs, ready to meet her daily fate. The grim shadow of her tormentor casted a strange shape on the hall, projected by the tall and athletic figure of her father. “Hey, Dad.” Said her hoarse and sleepy voice. The man who was her father seemed well awake, alert and on the lookout, as he was every morning. “Hey, baby girl. Ready for some scouring ?” “Whatever.” She replied, with a cute yawn revealing a cuter set of white teeth firmly aligned on her maxillary and her mandible, half-hidden behind soft pink lips neither too slim nor too thick for her heart-shaped warmly-toned features. His daughter was definitely getting some tan, with the beautiful weather they had had these last weeks, Josh thought. He would not be surprised if enough sun exposure would reveal her mother’s freckles on his daughter’s for now smooth skin. He knew too well how the weather was generally, in Brittany, far enough from the sea like Rennes was. A grey sky punctuated by timid periods of cowardly sun. He also knew too well how much time his daughter spent inside, rather than being out there, enjoying the weather. This was partly the reason why he insisted on this morning jogging. To instill a bit more life in Kat. Since that incident with the Jaffré boy, she had progressively closed in on herself. Each time he visited, his daughter only seemed more and more the ghost of herself. She had never been much of an outside person, always much of a pale little girl who abhorred the sun, but it was getting worse. When Isabelle had called him and asked for him to take care of Kat this year, he had seen an opportunity to put back a smile on her sweet face. And according to him, there was only one good way. Action, rather than words. “Oh, I’m gonna wake you up.” He said with a grim smile, and his daughter shuddered. Then both of them went into the sunny morning. -------------------- Running. Panting. More running. More panting. Death. Rebuff. Surpassing. She was bent, hands on her knees, butt against tree, spitting the lungs out of herself. Blood was pumping hard and loud from her heart to her face, her limbs, everywhere, on and on. “Top.” Her father snapped, and she reached for her throat, her pulse, and began counting, mimicking her father as he stared intently at his wristwatch. “Stop.” He snapped, fifteen seconds later. “How much ?” “Forty,” she replied in a wheezing voice. “Better than yesterday. And on a little more than one and a half mile.” He nodded approvingly. “See ?” He added with a wink. He stared at her for a moment. She progressed faster than any runner he had trained with, even if it was on a smaller scale. Something in her strides was… off. Lighter. Graceful. Even when tired and hammered by the effort, his daughter found a way to move those legs that felt… light. Maybe that had to do with what those kids were able to do. He remembered Major Taggart warning him that his daughter had shown abilities, ‘yet unquantified’. “So, I’m making progress ?” Kat gasped out, pulling him out of his thoughts. “We’ll see after the sprint…” He replied, and his daughter rolled her eyes, leaving the tree and following him on the way back home. -------------------- Sighing. A gentle moan under the caress of the warm water, streaming from her hair down to her shoulders, sliding along the bend of her back, the curve of her butt, warming and relaxing the growing muscles in her butt and legs. Her body was adapting rather well to the treatment it endured every morning, partly thanks to the teenager’s voracious appetite, and partly thanks to the teenager’s mindset. After every torture session, she felt alive. Tired, but alive. And after each breakfast, she felt a newfound surge of energy. It felt good. She wanted more of that. Kat lifted her chin to meet the shower flow face to face while it washed away the thin layer of sweat covering her body. Relaxation. -------------------- Today, she decided that this morning, she would focus on the other side of her powers. Knowing she was a telepath, and having received a couple pointers was for sure a couple steps forward, but there was this other thing. Thanks to her getting used to telepathy, she had a rough idea of where to dig for the other side of the coin She was sitting on her bed, cross-legged, controlling her breathing. It was easy to find, really. The world turned darker, but nothing really changed, and she blinked, surprised. She felt like something had been turned on, but she could see much difference. She turned it off. Then on, then off again. She rubbed the back of her head, perplex. She retreated in her jungle-mind, and opened the chest casually, fumbling around, occasionally dismissing parasite thoughts buzzing around her like mosquitoes. Suddenly, her vision turned darker, once again, but this time, something else was there. Like juxtaposed to reality. Like water rippling into matter. She frowned. That was a third Third Eye. Confused, she shook her head and turned it off, rising to her feet to take notes. On her desk, her phone buzzed, and as she reached for it, she accidentally bumped it off. “Shit !” Time seemed to slow down as the mobile phone fell to its inevitable demise, the word slowly forming on Kat’s lips, and she reached for the device. Dull slapping noise. Kat blinked twice as she straightened up, rising her hand in front of her eyes, staring at the phone, stuck to her open hand. She shook it. The device remained immovable. She shook it again, swearing in a low voice. Still there. Then she realized something was actually happening. Intuitively, she turned the second version of her Third Eye on, looking at her hand. Information flooded her, and she gasped, slowly recoiling and sitting on her bed, puzzled. “That’s awfully convenient,” she muttered to herself. She understood a couple things. First, the sensory stuff she had used in the hospital was actually what she was using right now. She could feel it. Second, it seemed to actually work on powers. Third, if she focused on a detected power, it gave her a rough understanding of what was happening. Fourth, she actually had changed gravity’s pull on the phone from the Earth to her hand. Roughly. It felt more complex than that, but she didn’t have the words to even explain it to herself. She extended her hand palm down above the bed, then turned the thing off, and the phone fell onto the bed. It confirmed her second postulate. She had to take notes. Things were getting sooooo much more interesting. --------------------
  8. “See you on Sunday, then.” The gorgeous redhead shot a playful wink at the tinier redhead. “Bye, Kitty !” Kat stepped on the sidewalk and closed the car’s door, waving as the cherry-red convertible slowly moved away, then out of sight. Her fingers skimmed over her lips as the phantom of a kiss faded away. How she felt about that, she was uncertain. Three hundred and seventeen days ago. That was the last time her lips met with someone else’s. At least until today. And today had been her first time with a girl. It didn’t go farther than first base, but she still felt strange about it. The ride had overall been very nice. Courtney spent a good hour unravelling Shelly High’s rumor mill to Kat, to the petite redhead’s amazement, and, she had to admit, delight. She had never been in a convertible before, and driving with the top down, with this warm sun and good company, had been an experience she enjoyed, a lot. Courtney had been really cool with her. And… something else. Like an open, lavish offer to pleasurable shenanigans. An offer Kat had decided to accept. She wasn’t one to turn down fun times. Her Dad’s voice interrupted her train of thoughts. “Hey, baby girl.” She turned towards the open door, only to notice her father’s pressing gaze to his own wristwatch, accompanied by a raised eyebrow. “I assume you were with one of your friends ?” Kat rubbed the back of her head, her features painted in an apology she struggled to voice out. “Yeah, I… She...” She fell silent. “Next time, maybe you could send Tess a text. You had her worried !” Her father’s tone was soft, but is features were closed enough, and she recognized a rebuke when she heard one. “I’m sorry, I was having fun and I completely forgot…” The petite redhead’s cheeks were burning with shame. Had she not been so busy making out with Courtney, maybe she’d have noticed the three missed calls her phone was displaying right now. Her father’s face grew brighter as he relaxed. “It’s fine. I know there won’t be a second time. Right ? Come on, we left you some chicken.” Kat wished there was a hole she could bury herself in, but there wasn’t any. She walked up the couple stairs leading to the main door - her father gently brushed her hair as she passed the frame, heading to a dinner her stomach had been demanding for quite some time now. The End
  9. Kat paid for her Ice Tea, then headed towards Courtney’s table, glancing at her surroundings. The waitress was nice. She definitely liked the place, and decided she would come back there, and try every burger. But not now. She was curious. If she remembered what Courtney did to her in the conference room correctly, then they were both some sort of telepaths. She had to talk to her. “Hey, can I sit ?” The gorgeous redhead, hair immaculately styled and with her cherry-red lips pursed as she drew on the straw in her milkshake in such a way that it might cause a monk to rethink vows of celibacy, looked up from whatever solitary thoughts she was indulging - and she did look deep in thought - as Kat's voice intruded on her consciousness. The momentary look of irritation at being interrupted by whoever disappeared as she recognised the petite French girl, and she smiled and waved Kat to the seat opposite. "Kitty! - Do you mind if I call you 'Kitty'? 'Kat' seems so... flat. No offense." she said cheerfully, honey-shaded eyes warm as she leaned forwards. Her cream-coloured blouse was low cut, and also translucent enough that one could make out the red bra underneath as she smiled. "How are you finding Shelly? Other than... You know." She made a little 'grr', obviously meant to be a horrible Dark-spawned abomination, then uttered a little whispery scream as though she were frightened, pantomiming the entirety of Kat's first day in Shelly with two sets of noise and gesture. "Uh..." The petite redhead took a seat in front of Courtney, setting her drink on the table. "Sure, whatever... Town's quiet, weather's nice. I might get a sunburn !" She took a sip of Ice Tea, sighing in relief. "Hmm, good God... Okay, so, I've been working on my... Shine, today, and... You remember what you did in the conference room ?" She put her hands on both sides of her own head, shaking them a little. "I'm pretty sure I could do that with... say... a lot of training. Lemme try something." Kat once more reached inside of her jungle-mind, opening the wooden chest with golden frames, then tentatively poked at the redhead's mind in front of her. And encountered a solid wall that formed almost as a reaction, so suddenly that it felt like she had walked into it and bumped her nose. "Whoa there, cowgirl." Courtney admonished as she sucked on her straw with a smile, but her eyes were warning. "You did not just walk up and stick your hand in my blouse, Kitty. Well, no you didn't, because if you had, I'd probably be okay with it. But that thing you just tried without my okay? That is a no-no." She put her head on one side, consideringly. "So, you definitely have the ol' TP. But you can't just go dipping into brains, Kitty! Especially with other 'Shinies'. There's risks and stuff." Kat blinked twice as she bounced of the wall and lost her focus. Bamf. The chest closed. She rubbed the back of her head, pink softly flushing her cheeks. "Kay... Sorry..." After a couple seconds of brain lag, she processed what she just heard and her cheeks turned crimson as she added, confused : "W- What ? "R-I-S-K-S." Courtney rolled her eyes fondly. "Like, some brains you want to feel the edges of first before just diving on in - because some people have minds like a sewer. Major ick. I don't mean having sex thoughts or picturing you naked 'ick', either." she added darkly, then smiled reassuringly. "And, of course with Shiny people, there's things like my barrier, which you just felt, or like Devin - who has some kind of weird mind that's slippery - you can feel it, and his emotions, but you can't actually get in there very easily, like his thoughts are as all over the place as his body. And then there's Jason." she finished, offering no clarification of what that meant. Once again, Kat blinked twice. Okay... "Thanks for the tip. And what I meant was..." She raised a curious eyebrow, still feeling the heat in her cheeks. "You'd be okay with my hand in your blouse ?" She wasn't very comfortable with the question, but it escaped her lips before she could hold it back. She took a long sip of her drink, trying to hide her discomfort. "Oh, you are just too cute." Courtney peered at Kat over her milkshake with a glance that was equal parts 'aww' and wicked as the tinier of the two redheads felt a foot lightly caress the inside of her calf. "Well, I'd have to say I'd prefer it in a less public setting... Nothing like a little cuddling to get one's mind off problems. Buuut... Your mind is on my mind rather than on my body." She arched an eyebrow. "Right?" The petite redhead almost coughed her drink out, managing to swallow it with extreme difficulty. Fuck. "Right..." She took a moment to compose herself. "Jason said I was a packed lunch for the Dark, yesterday, and he..." She tried to pick the words that felt right. "He offered me a training session on Sunday, so I'm trying to... do my homework before the test, you know. That'd save both of us some time. What can you do with telepathy ? You made my mind clearer the other day. What other areas should I dig in, can I actually speak in your mind, can I... transfer thoughts, images, like the Cloud, you know ?" <Yes, speaking mind-to-mind is easy> Courtney said whilst taking a drink of her 'shake. <So long as the other person cooperates. Transferring images, sensations, thoughts and so on, likewise easy. I can feel and alter emotions, read thoughts, probe deeper memories and even alter them - though that gives me a headache and is hard to do - and I can link several people together so they can all talk mind-to-mind. Not read each other's minds - other people only get what you send.> She smiled brightly at Kat. "Anything else you want to know?" "Wow." She took a moment to consider the gorgeous redhead sitting in front of her, surprise painted on her face. "Smooth. Real smooth... I already said that..." Once again, she rubbed the back of her head. "I guess all I have to do is experiment... with Sean, or Jason, whatever... or you ?" "Well, I had Dr Cook and his eggheads helping me, and I still learned how to do most of what I can do alone..." Courtney said, plainly mulling something over. "I'll do you a deal: I'll show you what I've picked up, but you get me in with the group training seshes. I'm tired of being on the outside of the Shine group." Kat pondered the offer for a moment. She really liked rubbing the back of her head. "Hmmm. I guess there's no evil in trying. I'm spending the afternoon with Sean tomorrow, so I'll ask him to bring that up to Jason... I don't know if there's any group training planned, to be honest, Jason only mentioned making me a harder meal for the Dark to get, but that only makes it another question to ask. We need all hands on deck, right ?" She offered Courtney a quick smile. "That's a deal for me." "Great." Courtney smiled brightly, her foot still caressing Kat's leg. "I can't wait to get to grips with Jason... 's training." she said as though there had been no significant pause. "So, when we're there, I'll share my insights with the gang - and you." She took a happy pull on her straw, then asked in her mental voice <Sooo, what are you doing for the rest of the day?> Kat didn't know how to answer that question. She was neither confused, nor puzzled, but rather confuzzled. She wasn't one to crave for heeds, but even if Courtney's approach was unsettling to the tinier redhead, the latter didn't resent the attention, far from it. She realized she actually didn't have any plans for the evening. "Well... I told my Dad's girlfriend I'd be home for dinner, but apart from that, nothing much..." She said as she once again rubbed the back of her head. She then shot a glance at the redhead sitting in front of her. <You ?> The question, sent clumsily, reached Courtney, carrying the scent of uncertainty, curiosity, and a hint of boredom. "Well." Courtney finished the last of her shake with a decorous slurp, then blotted her lips with a napkin. "I'm going to take a little drive around Shelly. It's a nice afternoon, the sun is out, and there's likely to be plenty of skin on display at the playing fields. It's a lovely day to drive around with the top down. Do let me know if the gang agree to let me join in their reindeer games." She jotted down her number on the napkin and slid it over, then gave Kat an arch look as she stood up. <And if you want to join me, maybe we can do more fun stuff than driving - I'll be outside for a few minutes still...> She sashayed off, and when Kat glanced at the number, it was hard not to notice that the digits were written over the red lipstick print... Or that there was a little heart at the end as punctuation. Kat stared at the napkin for a couple seconds. Her mind was empty. A feat that few people achieved with Kat. And Courtney did it twice. And only once with Shine. It was all clear now. Next week or so, they might all be dead. Rotting corpses in a Dark world devoid of its Light. Kat grabbed the napkin, carefully folded it, and stuffed it in her leather jacket’s pocket, then followed Courtney outside. Fuck it. Who would care if she was a little late for dinner ? Why not have fun ?
  10. Kat rubbed the back of her head. I'm gonna get wrenches thrown at. That's humor, Kat. I know. I can't read this guy. That's because you're not looking at his eyes... Fuck you- Fuck me ! She turned to Sean, and asked in a low voice : "Should I be worried ?" She wasn't sure why she asked. She kinda liked the idea of spending an afternoon with Jason. Maybe she'd manage to get to know him better, even though the task might reveal harder than she imagined. "No, no, Jase isn't going to actually throw any wrenches at you," Sean assured the smaller red head with a dismissive wave of his hand as he packed up the remnants of his lunch into his cooler bag. "It's from a stupid movie that I can't pass up watching when I see it on TV..." Sean paused, pursing his lips and rubbed his pointed chin with a pair of fingers. "Weeeell... it's very unlikely he'll throw any wrenches at you. He's fine, it'll be fine, you'll be fine." He flashed her a quick smile that Kat was sure was meant to be reassuring, but was a hint of something a little... enigmatic? Mischievous? Doubtful? Something to the grin that gave Kat a shadow of doubt. "It's fine, Jase is a good if uncompromising teacher... so I've heard." "Ugh..." Kat rolled her eyes and grabbed her backpack. "You can't stop being fun, can you ?" After a short pause, she added : "Don't answer that." Then she began going down the bleachers. "I have Maths, gotta hurry. See ya in Study Hall." "Seeya then, Kat." Sean's grin widened as he waved, before getting up and heading to his own class. He'd already passed all the math classes Shelly High offered and so didn't share this one with Kat.
  11. “I won’t be long, it’s just a walk ! Back in time for dinner, I promise !” Kat had decided to know Shelly better. After all, she knew her Dad’s address, but what good would it do to her if she had to use her phone to find her way ? The weather was gorgeous, way different from Brittany, and she kinda liked it. After Sean called, she felt like she needed to go outside, having spent most of the day inside. She had bartered her short skirt and her tee-shirt for a clean pair of slim black cotton trousers, and a linen plaid blouse - teal and redwood - she had gotten from Wednesday’s shopping, and elected her favorite Franco Sarto booties to be graced the contact of her delicate feet. She didn’t feel at ease enough, in Shelly, to stroll around showing off her naked legs. Earlier in the afternoon, Tess had come back from her shift and complimented her on the painting still drying on the easel. Kat had no idea what to do with it, but she didn’t want her first painting - even if it was on a thick sheet of paper and not a canvas - after a year long break to end up in the piles of drawings and paintings on her desk. She was mulling over that thought while striding around the neighborhood, enjoying the contact of the sunlight like she never had in her life before. Guess I needed big changes in my life to feel alive. Her phone buzzed in her back pocket, and she shifted her leather jacket from her right to her left hand, then grabbing the device and unlocking it. //Encore un weekend sans toi. Nul. Pk ta daronne a fait ça ? :((( // Another weekend without you. Sucks. Y ur mom had to do that ? :((( // The petite redhead grinned at the text message, her thumb fluttering over the tactile keyboard to answer it. //Toi aussi, tu me manques. // I miss you too. // Alice’s text quickly followed. //On se fait un FaceTime ASAP, ok ? Je suis bientôt rentrée. // We FaceTime ASAP, ok ? I’m home soon. // // // //Sure // Kat replied with a smile. She then tucked the phone back in her pocket. She had been quietly walking for ten minutes, randomly using her telepathic Third Eye to scan the surroundings, getting more and more used to the mechanic, when an oddly familiar feeling came to her. She had spent some time with that mind in the past days, she knew it. She glanced at the restaurant the person seemed to be in. The sign read ‘Bunnee’s Burgers’. And behind the glass, sitting at a lone table, minding her own milkshake, Courtney.
  12. Kat had followed the conversation with growing fright. Things were not looking good for the seventeen years old redhead. She didn't know how her powers worked yet. Hell, they even randomly activated if she wasn't focused enough, which was... sort of a once-in-a-lifetime event for Kat. She crossed her arms, hands clamping on her elbows. Her brains were working at maximum speed, as usual, devouring the sensory input surrounding her, the idle chatter of other groups of students lunching together on the bleachers, the heavy steps of someone running across the field, the surprised gaze on everyone's face as Cade announced he had a rifle, with its ammunition, the tense atmosphere growing between the members of the Fellowship, her stomach barely satisfied by the ridiculously small amount of food she had eaten, the uncontrollable shake of her breath in the perspective of actually fighting more horrors straight coming out of a horror movie, Sean's slight hint of worry in his eyes as she took a deep breath and he glanced at her, and so, so much more. "How the hell did Cody get into another dimension ? I don't get it. I thought only Devin could be yanked in there when he doesn't wear the bracelet, and that's because poofing in and out of places is what he does. So how ?" She quickly glanced at the others before adding : "And pardon my French, but... what is Homecoming ?"
  13. The rasping sound of a pen dancing on a sheet of paper. The caress of a summer-y breeze through the room. Kat was sitting at her desk, taking physical notes, since she knew oh too well mental notes were easily lost in a micmac of thoughts, for her. After sweeping through her surroundings with her mind, it appeared, crystal clear to her, that she was using some sort of telepathy. Each time she touched a human mind, she felt like she was in front of them, and could talk to them. She wouldn’t dare trying it… After pondering, she decided she would ask Sean about it. Something else bothered her. She perfectly remembered what happened on Tuesday. And right before she got that damn headache, she did something. Something that had nothing to do with telepathy as she apprehended it. Since her first chemistry/physics classes in France, she had known roughly what was the molecular composition of the Earth’s atmosphere. But that day, she could feel it as if the very atoms appeared to her. And she tried to do something to them. To… thicken the air, yes ! Also, when she detected the five shrieking beasts in that corridor, she wasn’t using her Third Eye - as Jason had called it - the way she did today or on Wednesday. It felt different. Its telepathic version was clearly like poking at living beings, and nothing else. The other version of it, that she used on Tuesday, felt way denser, she didn’t see the group of teenagers as static minds, but… The mental image she had was quite hard for her to describe. That day, the teenagers were radiating… Shine, yes, that’s what they called it. They were radiating it like waterskins ready to burst. And the space between everyone that day, it didn’t feel as empty as it did when she used the telepathic Third Eye. There was something, but she was not able to put a name on it. Like strata to reality. It wasn’t quite there, but it was. She was writing her thoughts down, when a catchy tune rang in the room, pulling her out of her reflexions. Her phone was ringing. She left her chair to grab the mobile phone, vibrating and ringing on her bed, and pressed the little green button on the tactile screen. “Allo ?” "Hey. Kat? It's Sean," flowed her buxom guide's distinctive melodious voice through the phone. "I, uh, just wanted to call, to see if you're okay. You've seem... distracted the last few days, kinda bummed. Is there anything I can do to help, even if it's as a pair of ears to let you vent." "Oh, hey, Sean ! That's sweet. I've been doing a lot better. I actually slept last night, so that helped." "Good, good. That's good. I didn't know you weren't sleep well. Was is stuff at the hospital, or something else? If you don't mind me asking," Sean added hastily. "I'm sure it must be rough on you, feeling like you're playing catch up." Kat remained silent for a short moment, then replied : "Uh, playing catch-up sounds about right." After another pause, she added : "What you said yesterday actually helped me. I've been fiddling with my... powers ?" She heard Sean murmur in acknowledgment. "Mmm. We all started somewhere. Some earlier and more extensively than others." It was Sean's turn to be silent for a pensive moment. "I hope any, um, accidents, if any, were minor ones." She couldn't help but snort a little. "Actually, no accident, yet. I've been doing a lot of thinking, taking notes, and I think that, I'm a telepath. I'm not a 100% sure, but I think I am. But there's more to it, and I don't really know what." She took a quick look at her notes, then went on with her thoughts. "Remember when we were in the hospital ? I tried to do something that had nothing to do with telepathy, like... restructuring the air or something. And, uh... I think I have two different kinds of... Third Eye ? That's what Jason called it, right." Yes. Third Eye, if we are using classical psychic terminology," Sean agreed. If Kat was a telepath, he wished Sara had stayed instead of moving out of state with her father, at least to give Kat a few pointers. "Most of us have a more tightly focused type of psionic expression, even if that focus is quite versatile, but I think a few of us have a broader... array of application." Kat heard a rhythmic tapping, as though Sean were typing or rapping his fingers in some sort of surface. "If you'd like someone to bounce ideas off of or help you figure out what you can do, I can see what I can do. Or see if Jason is free - he might have a better chance of helping you if you can manipulate molecules." Kat kept silent for a moment. "Hmmm... Actually, I just thought about the fact that I wanted to call you, but I gave you my number and didn't ask for yours. I know tech is your area of expertise, and I'd like to get a good gaming rig. I wanted to know if you'd help me with that. But I guess you could also help me getting this... stuff, with superpowers, sorted... yeah, I'd very much like you to help me with that." "Sure, I wouldn't mind at all with that. And I can build you a sweet gaming rig." Sean sounded chipper, enthused, able to help with something he had remarkable experience with, even before all the mojo and voodoo. "I think I have all the components here to build you something decent, but if you want something particularly top of the line, I might have to take a run out to Sulli's in Great Falls." She sat on her bed, delighted. "That sounds great ! Can we do that tomorrow ? Oh, and I'm paying for it. No arguing about that." Sean made some insistent noises that it wasn't necessary, but not for long. He did assemble PCs as a side hustle, and was justifiably proud of his work. And he was having some ideas of converting his Grand Cherokee to electric, and that wasn't cheap. "Only because you're insisting." Kat could hear the smile in Sean's tone. "And Saturday is fine, perfect. I didn't have any big plans." That wasn't quite true. He'd been taking huge strides on coding and playtesting Regenesis the last few days. But he could takes a few hours of his time to help the petite and cute redhead. “Nice !” Through the phone Sean could hear the wide smile accompanying the word. “That’s a deal, then ! Thank you Sean.” “I’ll pick you up, say, at 2PM, that works ?” “Yeah, sure ! See you tomorrow !” “See you, Kat.” She hung up, then dropped the phone back on the bed. “Yay !”
  14. Kat didn't mind Marissa's snarky comment, silently agreeing with the fact that, yes, her own whining at how unfair her life was brought nothing substantial to the topic at hand. She timidly waved at Autumn - while the freckled redhead tried to catch her breath, her legs welcoming the rest their owner was giving them - then got back to listening what was being said, closing the empty lunch-box on her thighs and stuffing it back inside her backpack. She still didn't quite understand what was the group's dynamic, but then, she mostly spent her time with a single one of them, which didn't help her knowing the others better. What kind of alien ? That's an odd question to ask, she thought. From what she understood, the only link between the Man in Black and the Dark was their enmity towards each other, so the Man in Black would definitely not be an agent from the Dark. Jason's question raised more of them in the mind of the petite redhead. Were there different kind of aliens ? What was the reason behind this sudden interest in extraterrestrial beings ? The slender teen kept mum, still feeling quite like the outsider in this meeting.
  15. Sean stiffened at the mention of Site B, his hands balling into fists inside the front pockets of his hoodie. He had an idea or three on how they might be able to get to the Other Side, but glanced away, not wanting the others to see what Site B meant for him, what not going there might portend for him, and his eyes fell on Kat. She was sitting in her own bubble, half-listening, half-elsewhere, her open lunch-box on her thighs. It didn't matter how tired or lost she could seem to be, Sean remained impressed by the speed at which Kat ate her food. It was like it disappeared before his very eyes. He sidled a little closer to her, shifting his hips on the bleacher bench. "Are you okay, Kat?" he asked, keeping his lovely voice low so he didn't interrupt the others. "I know this must be a lot to deal with, and it's not fair you have to in so short of time. We at least got more than two or three days. Is it all this?" Sean nodded towards Cass. "Or something else?" Kat shook her head at the sound of Sean's voice, running away from the dark thought she had been mulling over. She looked at the strange boy sitting next to her. Her... friend. Yeah, she definitely liked him. He was nice to her. "Yesterday, I almost got ran over by a car." Sean's weird turquoise-and-jade eyes widened and he gave the slight girl a quick once over, at though looking for obvious injuries he might have unaccountably missed. "He didn't hit you though? Bastard was probably texting. Where was this? When? I can look to see if anything was caught on camera so you can report the asshole." Surprise painted on her features, Kat raised her hands. She did not expect her friend's reaction to be so vehement. "Wow, peace. T'was my fault. I was gone shopping with Tessa, and on the way back to the car... uh..." She rubbed the back of her head, trying to find the words. "The world turned... darker ? And there were all these shiny balls and I could feel how they felt. Scared the hell out of me... I don't know how, but I think I've been on the road, then ended up in another street, and then Tess found me-" The more she spoke, the more her voice cracked, as if she was living the experience yet another time. Tears started filling up in her eyes, uncertain of when to begin their course on her cheeks. Sean hesitated for a moment. He, personally, was quite reserved with being touched, fully aware it was due to his own self-consciousness, and still struggling to overcome it. Other people were different. Tentatively, he reached out to cover one of her tiny hands with one of his, giving it a slight squeeze. "It's... um, it's fine. It's okay. Tess found you." Who's Tess? "And you're here now. Sounds like you turned on Psion-vision without meaning to or expecting it." "Psion-vision?" Kat rasped, trying to choke back the incipient tears. "Psion-vision." Sean nodded affirmatively, then shrugged one shoulder. "Okay, it's not vision precisely, but usually it's the sense that comes closest. As far as we can tell, everyone with power like us can... sense certain phenomena, which overlays our usual senses." Sean's voice was still low, but it was smooth. There was a rhythmic cadence to it, as though he was he was giving a verbal presentation, or setting the scene as Game Master, giving Kat something academic to latch onto, to distract from her emotional distress. "Jase can extend his tactile sense at range, Autumn can sense all manner of things about your level of health and your biochemistry. And I can 'see' all wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum and 'see' - sometimes 'feel' might be more accurate - the electrical impulses in someone's brain and nervous system." He gave her a commiserating smile and squeezed her hand again. "If I was still figuring things out and suddenly saw all these fireflies buzzing about or streams of light flowing around inside people - or feeling what those shiny balls were feeling in your case - I know I would be royally confused and discombobulated. Don't blame yourself, Kat. Just learn from it, so next time it doesn't surprise you. As much." Kat nodded silently, pulling out a kleenex to dry out the tearlings, her breath returning to a calmer pace. It felt good to talk about it. To confide in someone. "I just feel so... weak and useless... I don't even know what I'm doing here..." Her voice carried the weight of her contempt towards her own cracks.
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