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Everything posted by Jaunt

  1. It shouldn't take long after Devin and Tawny's blow out on September 4th for the rumors to begin as to the reasons why. More than likely it will center around Tawny finally dating someone (which is in line with Marissa finally dating someone too), so there's no telling what the student body will come up with. Fellowship shouldn't have any trouble getting word that Devin and Tawny had an apocalyptic blow out and are no longer friends. Especially with Tawny currently dating Jacob, Autumn's life long friend. Whether they care or not, is on them.
  2. New Divide I remembered black skies The lightning all around me I remembered each flash As time began to blur Like a startling sign That fate had finally found me And your voice was all I heard Wednesday, September 4, 2019 Marias Medical Center. Evening. Hospital staff stood behind their stations and patrolled the halls on their rounds as Devin made his way through the white tiled passageway within Marias Medical Center. He recognized a few of the faces from the secret base in the sub-basement levels beneath the complex, the ‘security’ here were sometimes swapped out with military personnel to better keep an eye on everything going on both above and below ground in the strange town of Shelly, Montana. The plastic wrapping in his hand crinkled as he held the several flowers wrapped therein tightly. Roses, her favorite. White, pink and red petals offered a contrast to the bland white walls and doors and the ugly woodgrain handrail that split the hallways down their center. The familiar scent of all the sanitizers assaulted his senses while in the back if his mind he mused that with all the time he’d been spending here recently that they should give him a job. He tapped three times on her door before letting himself in. With a nudge of his shoulder, he rolled along the door and into the room Tawny had been calling home for the last few days since her abduction and assault by the Not-Cody creature. She was still in bed, IV running and heart monitor still beeping away despite her being in relatively good health. She was tapping something away on her phone as he entered and her face lit up, her smile a panacea for the all the negativity in his life lately. “Heeeeey,” she beamed as her phone dropped into the roiling folds of the fluffy blanket her parents had brought her from home. She leaned to face him, holding her arms out wide expectantly for the hug he owed her. Tightly he held onto her, the plastic crinkling like a bag of chips with a very low chance of surviving an upcoming movie night. “Are those for me?” She asked when they finally broke their embrace. She already knew the answer, but like most people, didn’t assume. “Um, y-yeah,” he replied almost breathlessly. He didn’t understand why he was so embarrassed or anxious to be delivering flowers to his best friend. “Hope you like them; I got your favorite. Figured some color…” he paused and looked around the room where a variety of floral arrangements from her own family and the families of the Fellowship along with what everyone at the school had sent her and realized that, maybe he thought too small. He hesitated with his next words, something uncommon for the normally flippant teenager. “Oh, uh...,” he chuckled. “Guess you kinda got the hook up on color. My bad.” “They’re beautiful, thank you.” She smiled back, punctuating his chuckle with one of her own. “Guess all it takes to get people to stop treating you like a bible thumping freakshow,” she gestured at all the arrangements. “Is to get kidnapped by a demon. Who would’ve thought, right?” Devin smiled, but he didn’t say anything. His eyes seemed lost in all the arrangements and as he looked at them, he seemed to look past them. “Hey, you okay? I know that face. What’s up?” “I uh,” he approached the other arrangements strewn all over the room in front of her bed. They covered the stand under her television, they were resting in the chair, on the windowsill, everywhere. “I just have a lot on my mind. Not sure how it all fits together or what I should do about it all.” He placed the roses with another arrangement, resting them gently alongside the one the PTA had sent her. He saw the small card his mother had signed with a few words of well wishes. His stomach tightened at the thought of dealing with his family after he’d left Marias. “But, it’ll work itself out or it won’t right?” “In time,” she said cheerfully. “Anything I can help with? I’ve been out of the drama for all of forty-eight hours, I’m famished. Oh, how’s Em?” “She’s okay, I guess.” He shrugged and approached the foot of her bed. “We visited you yesterday, but you were still pretty tired. We caught you sleeping. Look, um, I know Marissa can be a pain in the ass, Tee, but,” he paused, taking a breath to collect his thoughts. Here he was, fighting with his sister and the two of them weren’t talking and yet still, he couldn’t help but defend and protect her. “She really does care about you, you know? It broke her heart to see you hurt, Tee, like someone had gone after family. I just wanted you to know that… she does love you.” She gave him a confused look as if to say ‘why are you telling me this’ with nothing more than her expression. “Devin,” her voice wavered as her confusion found its way into her words. “I know that. Marissa’s mean girl act hasn’t worked on me since I told her about my Chris Evans dream and she told me about her Mathew Daddario, Zac Efron and Emeraude Toubia four-way fantasy.” Devin tilted his head slightly at that revelation. Tawny just shrugged, seeing the ‘WTH’ wrapped tightly in his expression. “I know, I know, the girl needs Jesus. Like, for real.” “No,” he shook his head, managing a half grin. “She’d probably sleep with him too.” A snort escaped Tawny before she covered her mouth and then face in mild embarrassment. “I shouldn’t laugh at that.” The corners of her wide smile were escaping along the edges of her delicate hands. Still, he hesitated, despite the ice breaker his mind was still wrapped up on all that had happened, how he felt, what he’d gone through and the revelations he’d discovered in his, and the Fellowship’s, venture to rescue her and Sophia from the Hellscape the Not-Cody was hiding in. Still though, how was he supposed to come to terms with feelings that he didn’t even understand. Last week he was telling Tawny, and getting yelled at for it, that he couldn’t or didn’t, rather, love her the way she loved him and now here he was… trying to tell her how he felt, and he couldn’t even get the first sentence out. Christ, dude, come on. Just tell her. He mentally chastised himself. “So, um, I came to realize something too,” nervously he picked at the footboard of her hospital bed. “I, uh… I uh, know that we kind of talked about this last week, but uhh…” She chuckled, finding his bashfulness to broach whatever subject he was trying to touch on. “Deej, come on. It’s me. You can tell me anything. We talked about a lot of things last week, be specific.” “I want to be with you.” He said with more conviction and honestly than any words he’d ever spoken in his life. “Something changed when I felt like I would never see you again Tee. My heart, I guess… realized I am wasting an opportunity to be with that someone.” “You loved Lona two weeks ago,” she countered in a tone that told him she was not finding this joke at all funny. “Yeah, I know, I know…” he raised his hands to his head, shaking them as if to clear his mind from a fog. “Look, Lona and I didn’t last long, and I care a lot about her. She opened my eyes to the fact that I could, maybe, possibly be wrong about overlooking people superficially when they are, in fact, truly wonderful on the inside. So, yes, she holds a very special place in my heart, no doubt.” He sighed deeply. Resting on the footboard of her bed he leaned in on the support of his arms and looked at her. “But when you were taken, something in me Tee, something in me just woke up. For you I could overcome any fear, fight when I have nothing left, for you I’ve literally walked through Hell and would do so a thousand more times.” She shook her head as the anxiety goblins began tying her gut up into knots. “Devin, no,” she said calmly. “Don’t. Don’t do this.” She’d just been told she could go home in the morning; she was looking to getting her life back in order, she’d been talking all morning and afternoon with Jacob: her new boyfriend. Her first boyfriend… and in came the whirling dramanado that was the Jauntsens. If she swore, then the Devil would be blushing with the thoughts in her mind that were swirling into storm clouds. “Do, what?” He shrugged. “So, we’re from ‘you can tell me anything’ to ‘anything… except that?’ I can’t help it Tee, it’s been eating me alive and with all the other crap going on in my life I just wanted to come and get it off my chest, to tell the one person in my life who understands me better than anyone that I get it now. I was an idiot, I know that, but you were right. I was blind and being stubborn and I was letting the greatest opportunity in my life get away from-” “Let.” She corrected him. When he stopped to process her reply, she looked at him with serious eyes. “You let me walk away. Deej, I’m sorry. I’m with Jacob.” “For Homecoming, yeah, I know. I’m taking Cassie. It’s no big. I’m not saying right now, Tee. You’ve been through a lot and I’m not trying to push or anything, we both have plans for Homecoming. To not make it weird we just go about our lives, and we can maybe talk later, after afterwards, you know?” He shrugged with a weak smile on his face. She’d never seen Devin unable to muster his iron-clad composure veiled behind quips and sarcasm, yet here he was, barely able to argue his way out of a hole he’d dug for himself. “Lord in Heaven, Deejay, you’re not listening. No. Not just for Homecoming,” her cheeks reddened as the blonde bit her lips and shook her head in frustration. She bordered on furious, and her day was going so well too. “You destroyed me that day, Devin. Ruined me.” The redness in her cheeks began to swell into moisture in her eyes. “I quit pining for a guy who was never emotionally or mentally available for me, let alone mature enough to think that maybe, just maybe that if he wanted to be loved he had to try and love me back. You don’t love me, Devin. You love the idea of me: pretty, fawning all over you, willing to just do anything and everything while I hang on your every word-” “No, Tee, it’s not like-” “No, you spoke, it’s my turn.” She practically snarled at him as the first tear ran down her cheek. “And now that I’m with someone, now that I’ve gotten over being that stupid obsessed girl who’s been in love with you since the day I met you, now… now you want to come in here and ruin that for me, too? How petty are you? You don’t want me Devin, you just don’t want me with him.” She’d not gotten over him and she knew it. The thought of Devin being in love with her and them being together was something she’d dreamt about for years, but there was just too much hurt now, too much drama. She knew the moment she ran to him it’d be great for a few weeks until he got bored and ran off to some new crush. It was Devin, after all. “No.” He argued. “I don’t care that you’re with him, I don’t. I dropped the ball, I get that. Tee, I’ve never been surer of anything in my life, and we have years of friendship. You’ve been seeing him for what? Less than a week? All I’m asking for is a chance, I swear to you I’m not the guy I was-” “A week ago?” Her lips pursed in doubt and she goose-necked like she was straight outta Harlem, were they pulling girls aside in school now and showing them how to scold dudes? “You managed to find some life affirming guru on a mountain summit who’s totally made you rethink how much of an unfaithful, immature, emotionally unavailable jerk of a man-slut you are who, after three frickin’ years still doesn’t even know my favorite flowers are daisies! Daisies, Devin! My best friend of three years would have known that, but I suppose it’s hard to hear me talk about my favorite things over the sound of your own inflated ego whistling one-liners and balloon-farting your ‘oh-so-cooler than everyone else’ macho bull crud at decibels only you can’t hear! You don’t care about anyone but your own selfish, arrogant self!” The words escaped her lips before she thought about what she was really saying. Maybe it was the pain meds she was on that had dampened her usual bright and cheerful filters or maybe, she was just mad at him, and the drugs helped her finally speak her mind to the man who’d kept breaking her heart and making her a love-drunk laughingstock. Either way, what she said wasn’t intended and she certainly felt, now that she’d heard it out loud, that it was far harsher than it needed to be. “Wow,” all he did was nod slowly nod his head. Sobriety came swiftly after words uttered behind anger and fear. She cupped her mouth briefly to collect her thoughts and finally, as she lowered her hands, calmly tried to make amends. “Devin, I didn’t mean it like tha-” “Like what?” He backed away from her bed, arms splayed out, putting himself on display for more judgements. “How many other ways can that be meant? What guru on the summit are you talking to that can make ‘you’re a shit human being, Devin’ come out sounding like ‘wow, I’m so glad we’re friends, bestie’.” Now it was Devin whose eyes seemed to moisten as anger and embarrassment mad their home behind his eyes. “It’s all good though, Theresa.” Like an angry parent, the use of her given name told her that he’d taken what she’d said really personal. “Better the truth is out there to avoid confusion later. So, you have Jacob, cool. Enjoy. Sorry to bother you with all this petty bullshit I call ‘my emotions’. It’s just me being immature, I guess, but don’t worry, it won’t happen again.” “Devin, I didn’t mean it like that.” Truer words were never spoken. Tawny loved Devin, she knew she always would and knew in her heart that she never wanted them to be apart. Even if they never ended up together, and realistically most high school friends didn’t, she just wanted him to always be in her life even years from now when they both had families of their own, meeting up for a weekend barbecue or horseback riding. She was not a hurtful person, she didn’t entertain negative thoughts about people but when it came to her best friend, the love of her life… well, he just got her so dang gum mad. He was everything she just said he was, but also wonderful and loving and compassionate… and the hospital drugs really weren’t helping. “I’m just angry and overwhelmed. They have me on som-” “No. You spoke. It’s my turn.” He tok’d that back at her with the skill and grace Serena Williams going for a gold. “You see me in the halls? Keep on walking to Jacob. You walk past my house? Keep walking to Jacobs’. I’m sorry to have bothered you with all my petty, immature bullshit.” He turned to walk away and made it three paces before he suddenly turned back to face her. “You know… I don’t even know why I bother with people anymore. You’re all the same. I’m done with you. All of you. You and Jason and Autumn, Marissa and my parents… I mean Jesus fuck! You think I don’t know how I am? You think I don’t know? I invented me, and I can reinvent me. So, keep on seeing whatever person gives you the best reason to make whatever excuses push you through the day just so long as you, and everyone else, do me a favor, Theresa… just keep. Fucking. Walking. I’m already tired of protecting a world that can’t even protect itself.” “Devin!” She raised her voice above his raising up to her knees in the hospital bed to assert a measure of control over the situation. “Lord in Heaven, calm down! I said I didn’t-” She winced, her eyes squinting at the sudden blast of violet energy and displaced atmosphere. She sighed and collapsed back into her bed, choking back tears as her best friend just literally broke up with her before teleporting away with the last word. “Oh…” she sniffled, wiping her cheek. “That is getting so dang annoying.” The night air was bitter and cold, but Devin didn’t feel it. He was numb from pain and emotional anguish. He shuffled down the residential street, he wasn’t sure which one and he didn’t rightly care, his arms slouched, and his head seem to hang lazily on his shoulders like it was too heavy to be supported by his lack of caring anymore. Cars were parked on either side of the road, shadowed by the dull white light of the streetlights that bleached the road in a slick sheen. His breath danced in the air as the Montana Autumn was swiftly gaining traction in the small northern town. The streets were empty and the silence in the air was almost deafening when one was left with nothing but their own thoughts. A thousand things danced through his mind like a parade of mad demons in the narrow hallways of his headspace, opening every door they passed screaming loudly and stepping in long enough to trash the place and then move on. His mother was a roving nightmare and anger and selfishness on par with his sister. All she wanted was control over her children and their abilities, possibly in some scheme to profit from the stardom that could come from them being some new manner of ‘super beings’. His father put up a good face in public and he’d play the good dad role for a few days at home, but soon it’d be right back to the bottle and not caring what his son or daughter was doing or whose lives they were ruining. Marissa was just typical Marissa, unwilling to accept her part in any of the fiasco around her but quick to remind everyone of their part. The Fellowship was a mess. They didn’t want leadership or oversight to make sure they were going to perform their duties of protecting the world responsibly, all they desired was the free reign to act with impunity on the off chance they screwed up and could shrug and pull a classic ‘my bad’ and go on through life ignoring that it ever happened. Yet he just couldn’t bring himself to care. Maybe Jason was right. Maybe life was just as easy as he made it out to be just do whatever you want, hurt whomever you please and just shrug and say ‘I did what I did, oh well’. After all, no matter what Devin did or how hard he tried no one was going to see him as anything more than the wise cracking, afraid of commitment, smart ass, right? Being tasked with protecting the world, seemed like a waste of time. Sure, Cassie deserved to have her father back and that… other kid deserved to be home with his family, but… why was he fighting to protect a world that didn’t want peace or happiness? All the people of the world just wanted to fight and judge and cast stones at everyone else. He should know, he did it all the time. Maybe Jason and the Fellowship were right: no leadership, no rules, just everyone doing as they please shrugging off the responsibility. He stopped and inhaled, letting his breath clear his thoughts. Yes, the world was a stupid place and didn’t make any sense. Yes, The Fellowship didn’t make any sense either, but they didn’t want leadership and oversight, so they weren’t his problem to deal with unless they threatened the world. It would have been so easy to simply pull a Joker and have a ‘wait til they get a load of me’ moment, but that just wasn’t him. Let the world and everyone in it see him as the selfish, quipping, smart ass. With a shrug he could remind them ‘yup, oh well’ and get onto important things. Let the Fellowship stay stoned and keep dealing all the drugs and sit about playing all the video games and doing airplanes in the yard until they were blue in the face. They weren’t his problem. He exhaled softly, relaxing. He’d told Tawny how he felt, and he meant it. They were done, sure, and just because he didn’t want anything more to do with her didn’t mean those words were hollow. Love didn’t die just because friendship did. He knew what she thought of him now, and that was fine, it was certainly her right to do so and he couldn’t say, honestly, that he was blameless. Whether he was at fault, in whole or in part, wasn’t the issue, the issue was: sometimes the hero didn’t get the girl, sometimes the hero didn’t get the happy ending he was hoping for, but he still had a job to do. She was with Jacob now, and Jacob would protect her while Devin protected the world and that’s just the way it would be. Let them stay stoned and wasted. Let them play their video games and waste away. Let them love and be happy. Let them be. Devin Jaunt had a job to do.
  3. Devin, Week of Labor Day/Ep. VI: Off-Camera: Devin will dedicate a lot of time to recovery, giving his self time for his injuries from the fight with Not-Cody to heal. He will continue his usual workouts, but at a lighter pace as to not aggravate any of his existing injuries. School and After-School Vignettes: Wednesday: School. After school he will go visit Tawny in the hospital. Thursday: No school. Charlie's funeral. If Cassie’s player is around and able to commit to the time, Devin and Cassie could get together later that evening. If Cassie’s player is not available, Devin disappears right after the funeral. Friday: Devin will be gone. Saturday: Devin will be gone. Sunday: Devin will be gone. TBD: Devin will approach Taggart about proper training. Devin will need more that +1 Harsh Language and Witty Quips to defeat The Dark and if the military isn't smart enough to realize that, then he'll come to accept that they are fucking retarded and seek out Cade's grandfathers in the hopes they will train him in the ways of Murder, Death, Kill. Get the plans for Site B and begin reviewing and memorizing the lay out and working with the other specialists and officers on a plan for breaching the facility. He will also perform distance recon to survey the site and understand it's exterior. Co-Op/Multiplayer with Marissa on the Library of Shadows side-quest.
  4. Devin had barely said two words to his sister after the arguments from the night before. Marissa and their mother were shouting at each other for a couple hours and when that was over the younger twin retired to the upstairs and started on her brother. It was probably the loudest they’d been with each other since they were, ten? Twelve, maybe? They didn’t fight often but when they did it was obvious in the telling behavior that both seemed ‘off’ in some way. The usual ‘synched’ nature by which they, as twins always seemed to move in, think in, talk in, just wasn’t there and they seemed like two totally different people let loose from a hive mind; confused and overwhelmed by the world around them, alone and exposed. That was how Devin felt now, alone and exposed as he walked down the halls of the school towards his locker taking in the gossip about the week’s events. He was a hero in one tale, Jason and Autumn were the hero in another and somewhere in it all he just stopped listening… or caring… he wasn’t sure which happened first but by the time he got to his locker he felt like the only person in the school, just alone and uncaring. “Wow,” Courtney’s voice broke the melancholy silence and deepening void of his empty locker. “So much hate and anger. Are you going all darkside, Devin? You would be so hot as a goth. I will personally buy you your first pair of leather pants and mesh shirt, I swear to God.” His shoulders slumped and he sighed, rolling his eyes as he turned to face her. “What’re you talking about?” She waved her palms in circles all around his space. “This, dude, woah. You are all kinds of out of whack. What the hell happened?” The lovely redhead meant his aura, the emotional state that she easily read from people that only her and an exceedingly rare few others could read. She saw emotions like colors and waves of heat or coolness that wafted from an individual. “Are you okay? C’mon, it’s Courtney, talk to me. I even have black eyeliner if you want to borrow it.” “Nothing to talk about, I’m fine.” He lied with the select choice of words that told the listener everything was far from fine. “And I don’t want any eyeliner, Christ. My parents had a meltdown after the meeting last night. Marissa and I are not to be involved in any thrilling heroics and can only,” he paused and looed around, noticing that they were really the only two in ear shot. Still, he lowered his voice and leaned closer to her. “Use the Project’s facilities to test our abilities to make sure there are not physical or mental drawbacks.” Courtney raised an eyebrow and looked at him like he was delusional. “Seriously?” “Yeah,” she thinks we’re going to teleport to Fiji and get cancer from the trip or something, I don’t know.” He turned back to his locker and began setting his things for the day inside. “I don’t know, she’s crazy, hon. Probably just looking for some way to turn royalties from us, who knows?” “Shit.” She curled her nose pouted her lips a bit. “Sorry, Deej. Wish there was something I could do. Hey, cuddle therapy later?” She gleefully giggled in his ear. “Always works for me.” “I’m not sleeping with you, Courtney,” he smirked, shaking his head at her persistence. She shrugged and backed away, grinning herself. “Today.” She corrected him. “I’ll wear you down.” She nudged him with her elbow. “Kidding… kinda, but hey if you need someone to talk to, I’m here. Where’s Em?” “Dunno,” he shrugged, still placing his books in his locker. “We’re not talking right now.” “Oh, shit,” she took a step back and placed her fingertip on her chest to express her shock. “God damn, what the hell is going on in this school? You two are thick as thieves.” “After the fight with our mom last night she came in and started on me. We fought.” He didn’t look at her but stopped his organizing of the day and shook his head. “Like, really had it out. We’ve only done it a few times in our lives, but we’re getting older. The words are harsher, the buttons we’re going for are easier to press. It was bad Courtney, I mean bad.” “You want me to go talk with her?” She showed more care and concern in her voice than usual. With the excising of the tree and the cancer that it brought to Shelly, she’d felt like a haze had been lifted, a weight from her shoulders, so to speak. She could think clearer, and generally had felt better about her mental health in the last forty-eight hours than she had in years. “No, it’s fine,” finally he turned to face her, his tone was still barely more than a groan. “She needs a day or so to calm down, I do too, I think. Things are just,” just then another redhead approached. Laurie Cassidy looked rather basic and plain by comparison to the fiery goddess of fashion and popularity that was Courtney Adams. Her jeans didn’t stack up to the expensive skirt Courtney wore and her tee shirt was laughable in the presence of the designer red top Shelly’s second-hottest student was wearing… and she wasn’t even going to consider the designer push-up lingerie underneath it all that made every curve of her body pop and got her into all the college parties. Devin offered the new arrival a nod to acknowledge her. “Messed up, right now, you know? Probably best to leave it be for now.” “As you say,” the beautiful redhead said with an uncaring shrug. She side-eyed Laurie and permitted herself an evil smirk at the sophomore’s expense. “Seems someone wants to talk to you, so I think I’ll go find your sister and do the exact opposite of what you suggested.” “Thaaanks,” he replied with a slow drawl. “Appreciate that.” “Cassidy,” Courtney smiled to Laurie after her acknowledgement and offered Devin a ‘mwah’ before strutting off. “Adams.” She shared her brother’s dislike of Courtney. After years of bullying and torment from Shelly’s equivalent of aristocracy, she harbored no positive opinions of her fellow redhead. Still, a part of her was anxious and even envious of the entitled little tart. She was good friends with Devin and was an example of the sorts of women he hung around with. Although she hated to admit it, over the last few weeks Laurie had found herself developing a small crush on Devin and despite knowing how ludicrous that sounded (even in her head), still, she knew what an attraction felt like, and this was it. It sucked too. Now she couldn’t help comparing herself to all the other women Devin hung around with and keep making comparisons of them to herself. Courtney was beautiful and although lacking in kindness possessed a link with Devin on flirtation level that made her uncomfortable just listening to. She knew they weren’t serious, but also knew she could never flirt with him, or any guy like they did, oh, and she was beautiful. Tawny? Although very down home like Laurie was also so beautiful and was so alive and had a connection with Devin on an emotional and personal level that seeing them together laughing and joking it was almost impossible to think they weren’t already dating. Autumn, Lilly, Cassie… the list went on and Devin always around attractive women and no matter the forum was always carefree and unphased; always capable of being himself and owning a room. He was handsome, charming, athletic (God was he athletic…) the list went on and, in the end, like most times she’d thought like this her brain eventually reminded her of the very simple truth: he was out of her league. Men weren’t the only ones who went through dating anxiety when is came to those were attracted to being ‘better than’ or ‘out of their league’, and when it came to Devin, he was on a level she couldn’t hope to reach, and, in part, some of that anxiety was the fault of her own insecurities. Laurie, however, wasn’t any of those things. She wasn’t beautiful by the standards Devin surrounded himself with, she certainly did not have superpowers, save being invisible to the guys she was attracted to, and didn’t possess that connection to him that the other women in his life did. Like his sister had pointed for the last several years: Laurie was a nobody. A saving grace in her favor was: it was Devin. Crush on him or not, attainable or not, Devin wanted to hook up with any woman who gave him more than half a second’s notice, making him not the sort of guy she should, or would want to date anyway. It would end horribly so it was fortunate that he was so far out of her league. Still… he was certainly good looking and being seen with him did wonders for her popularity at the school. Win, win. Hey, the Twins weren’t the only one’s who could play The Game at Shelly High. “S’up, Red?” Devin asked her. He’d noticed the way she seemed lost in thought in as Courtney was walking away and felt she needed a jostling into the present. He looked at Courtney as she walked away, her hips swaying in that practice manner Marissa taught her, and then looked back at Laurie. “She’s trying. I know that’s hard after all she’s done, but she’s trying.” “What?” She asked, suddenly realizing Devin was talking to her. “Oh, no, I’m not thinking about that. Still, it is kind of weird, her being decent to me and Sean now. Her and Marissa are trying, so I’m willing to be civil.” “I think Marissa is done with people for a while, so don’t expect too much.” She couldn’t help but notice his dispirited tone. “You okay?” “Not really,” he shrugged, blowing off her question with an answer that just begged for more questions. “But no amount of talking is going fix it. IT’s one of those things you just have to ‘get through’, you know?” “Yeah,” the sophomore nodded through pursed lips. “I won’t interrupt your brooding for too long then,” she managed an awkward smile that seemed bolstered slightly by Devin finding that amusing and smiling along with her, though it was short lived. “I just wanted to say thank you for the text last night. Sean filed me in everything, but still, it felt nice to be included. You guys have been really chill with me, letting me in on all the secrets and I appreciate it.” “No sweat,” Devin offered her a compassionate smirk. “I’m glad he filled you in too. Secrets are like cancer around here and all those older and wiser than us seem to think they’re protecting us from ourselves by making sure we’re kept in the dark about things we need to know to protect them. It makes no sense to me, honestly, but look, we’re all in this together so don’t ever hesitate to come to me if you need to, okay?” “Thanks,” mentally she scolded her brain, absolutely forbidding it from making her cheeks redden, but it didn’t listen, and she could feel warmth flush her freckled features. Why did he have to be the nicest jerk in the world? “Um, probably not my business… but, uh… things were pretty heated in there last night. You guys hash that out? You all cool with each other again, or…” she used ‘or’ as some used ‘so’ as punctuation, hoping he would fill in and end her sentence for her. “How many guys on the football team are you friends with?” he asked. “Uh,” taken off-guard by the question she simply shrugged out her first thought. “None, I guess. They’re all immature assholes. Compounded that my brother and I are kinda on their shitlist at the moment hasn’t help my opinion of them much either.” “But for an hour you’re legion. Dedication and motivated towards victory because you’re a team. Your personal issues are put aside because winning is more important than pettiness.” He stated. “That’s kinda EmJay and me with the Fellowship. All of us were chosen to do a job, so we’ll be there, we’ll be legion, and we’ll win, because what’s at stake is more important than our differences. That’s what a team is.” She frowned. That wasn’t exactly the answer she wanted, but she heard hope somewhere in all of that. “Sorry to hear that, but surprisingly deep coming from you. I’m impressed.” “Yeah,” he managed a smirk. “I’m…” “I know, I know,” she rolled her eyes, giggling. “’All kinds of impressive’. Legend in your own mind, more like.” She managed a laugh, but noticed he didn’t do more than smile and seem to silently agree with her jokes. He must have been in a bad place, she thought. Devin was supposed to be the happy, go-lucky, comic relief… how bad were the issues with the Fellowship, she had to wonder. “Hey, um… walk me to class?” “Yeah, sure.” Her crush’s morose tone didn’t instill much confidence in his willingness. “Come on,” Laurie huffed. “Quit being so glum. Walk with me, talk with me, and I’ll try to boost your popularity a bit. Y’know, given what I have to work with and all…,” she shot him a smirk. “Oh, well,” he swept his arm out for her to lead the way. He seemed accommodating and open to the humor, but his voice and body language told her that his heart really want into it. “By all means, lead the way. Whatever I can do to repay such a kindness, do let me know.” “Oh, I will, no worries.” Freckled cheeks flushed as the enamored sophomore led Devin down the hall. She did most of the talking while they talked and they did their best to ignore the inane rumors and hushed whispers of typical high school politics…
  5. "Always," Devin replied to Teresa. Again it wasn't that he said it was in the how he said it. Devin could make anything sound like he was any girls next Prince Charming. He turned his attention to Cassie, that million dollar, child-star actor, smile looking handsome as ever on his features. "I'll, um, give you a call or a text, kay? If you're up for it, I could really use a shoulder to vent on." Whish she knew he meant 'neck to hickey on', but it was Devin so you had to take it for what it was worth. "I uh, I gotta get going," he looked towards the door where his parents had already filtered out in pursuit of the furious Marissa. "I have a feeling things are about to go nuclear when we get home, so... y'know... if you've been saving some dank memes to lighten my mood, tonight would be a good time." "Keep us posted, okay?" His homecoming date asked with some concern in her voice. "Sorry again." "No, it's fine," he shrugged in an attempt to maybe shake off the invisible monkey on his back. "Had to happen eventually, so... sooner the better, right?" He smiled at them both. "G'night Mrs. Allen, Cass."
  6. As the Jauntsens stood they produced business cards, much like Annette. Why an administrator at a school would need a business card wasn't particularly clear, but then, the parents didn't know that Misti, despite being a total bitch, was a PhD in Behavioral Sciences with a Masters in Psychology. "We're going to make sure the rest of these people have our information since Mrs. Giles made it abundantly clear that her organization in completely inept at keeping its assets safe and incapable of providing us any measure protection, it appears we are all we have." "No, Mom," Marissa sneered as she collected her large designer bag and stuffed her phone and note pad back in it. "They are all you and dad have. We're done with you. And if you think for a second you're going to find some way to profit from our abilities, you're gravely mistaken." "Marissa," their mother glared at them, keeping her voice low. "You and your brother are already on thin ice tonight. Don't push your luck." "Or what?" Her daughter glared back. "You'll send me to a military academy? Do it. In eighteen months they have to let me go and I'll not only have my abilities, but I'll have the rest of my life to dedicate to ruining yours." Misti seemed taken off guard by the sudden hostility but was also fully aware that her own daughter was a borderline sociopath, after all, she (sort of) raised her. "I'll meet you at the house, let me know if I need to start packing." With that their daughter simply scooped up her bag, tossed it on her shoulder and stormed out like one would expect and angry teen to do, her heels thumping on the carpet before clacking loudly and echoing in the hall outside. Misti sighed. "Unreasonable, as always. Devin, talk to your sis-" "Nope." Devin chuckled and shook his head. "This is your mess. Like she said, we're done. We put up your bullshit all our lives. Controlling us, trying to profit from us. Never once letting us just be kids and now this? You clean it up. Excuse me, I have something I need to say to someone." He was still an obscene amount of pain, like every muscle was pulled and aching all at once, but he felt he could he might be able to pull off one good, short distance hop. Besides, all the parents were in the know now and Devin loved to show off. Before his mother could enact a reply his eyes shimmered purple and his form broke down into lavender and purple motes of millions of atoms and... he was gone. Popping out of sight of his mother and reappearing in front of Cassie and her mother in a violet shimmer and soft, audible *bamf*. Mrs. Allen jumped with a start, even Cassie flinched, closing her eyes and flexing her fists tightly until her nails were digging into her palm. All the parents, at least those who'd never seen what Devin was capable of, couldn't help but stop and just stare in silence for a moment, unsure of what to say or even do after seeing something like that. Fists clenched, Cassie took a breath and glared at Devin. "I hate when you do that." His shit-eating grin didn't calm her mood at all. "Just wanted to catch you before you left," he said, dismissing her complaint and dodging her being mad at him like he usually did. "Hey Mrs. Allen," he nodded and smiled at her. She didn't say anything, just awkwardly smiled and nodded back. "Look, Cassie... I know you're mad at me and you're right, you totally should be." The son-of-a-bitch went and turned on his charm, taking special care to make sure that anyone could hear him if they were interested in listening could hear him paint himself as the cavalier willing to swallow his pride and apologize to his Homecoming date without a care as what others thought about him. "Things got heated earlier and I was a complete jerk. I just wanted you to know that I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. I was wrong and I'm sorry."
  7. “Well,” Misti’s voice rose after Lilly’s with that ever present, condescending sneer. “That’s a very impressive speech, young lady, but rest assured my husband and I will keep our own counsel as to what manner of activities our children will be participating in.” “Hostage rescue is best left to those with proper training and authorities,” she looked at Cassie’s mother without a single expression of compassion in her features. “It is regrettable that your family is going through this sort of experience, it truly is. As Ms. Giles already pointed out, these people already opened fire on soldiers, once. What do you think they’ll do when your daughter is in their sights?” She looked to the other parents and continued. “Or your son, Miyakko. Or your son,” she looked to the Cassidys. “Regardless of how confident they believe themselves to be they are still children. Whether they choose to accept that or not is not the issue. The actions of the Bannon kid alone and his blatant disregard for the law is proof enough that they are not responsible enough to bear the burden of these abilities. The boy is a high functioning psychopath, and you want to turn him lose on people? American people at that?” “This is, without a doubt the most difficult thing to process in all my years, and I’m not saying I don’t believe it. I’m saying that until Devin and Marissa are eighteen their welfare and well being are our responsibility, and I’m permitting them to run off into some dank mountain cave to fight demons or monsters or whatever the hell-“ she rolled her hand a bit, over and over, to express her uncertainty. “That we simply just cannot allow.” “Mom!” Devin protested. Marissa craned her head, fuming. “You can’t be serious! We’ve already-“ “Enough,” was all she said as her glare reminded everyone who Marissa’s mentor was in the Evil Queen department. They way the twins lost their fire in a heartbeat made it obvious that despite all their rule breaking and do-a-they-please mannerisms, they were still beholden to the rule of their parents. “This is bullshit.” Devin raged with enough attitude to remind his friends that he was the guy who tackled Chet and broke his nose for no apparent reason. “Another word,” she rose her finger to silence them. “And I will have you both in a military academy by weeks end.” Both of her children glared and squirmed like they wanted to burst with expletives. “Try me.” “That out of the way,” she composed herself and continued as her children stared daggers at her. “Mrs. Giles your facility seems to be the only in existence that specializes in these sorts of phenomenon and so I’m willing to let the past be the past, since it’s obvious no one really seems to be aware of their children are doing or where they are.” The slight jab she took at the competency of the other parents didn’t go unnoticed. “These abilities do need to be understood as well any possible detrimental effects they could have on their bodies in the long-term. We can arrange times for them to meet with your staff and assess their potential and an any possible side effects, but they are, under no circumstances, to take place in military, or para-military endeavors they may place their lives or the lives of others at risk.” “If you truly wish to help our children understand these strange new abilities, then prove it by helping them, not sending them off to be slaughtered.” Misti and Annette locked eyes and it felt like a comic book where both parties were shooting eye lasers and the strength of the beams just kept shifting slightly in the favor from one of them to the next, but neither said anything at first, they just stared and postured as they prepared their next argument.
  8. "Seriously?" Marissa head dipped in absolute wonderment that Sean waited until now to bring up the Todd information. "Christ Sean, that would have been nice to know around the same time we decided Site B needed to happen." She raised her hands up in surrender. "You know what? Fine. I-I don't even care. I can't even care at this point. We are going to end up dead, or worse at this rate. We're an absolute hot mess." Devin sighed deeply, obviously irritated (some more). He just shook his head and like his sister raised up his hands in absolute surrender. "Just tell us what your plans are for Todd and we'll work them into the rescue, I guess. Now, instead of infiltrating and locating one individual, we need to scour the facility for a second one, which Cassie could have been doing already, and hope we can make it to them. Great." He chuckled as he leaned back. "I give up. I just... I plain give up. Maybe I just don't comprehend the intricacies of your dizzying intellect, but you win. You guys officially win. I have given up."
  9. "Lilly," Marissa said calmly, her tone almost enchanting. "Enterich is a fear demon, he got to you and me as well. I know it couldn't have been easy, and we're all here for you, but there is no lack love within the Fellowship. I literally went to bat for these nerds and I'll do it again in a heartbeat. But we don't agree philosophically, morally-" "Ecumenically." Devin added. His turned to him and just shook her head. "Stop helping." "What?" He shrugged. "I thought you were doing a 'thing'. A pirates 'thing'. Fine... go ahead, whatever, man." She sighed and continued. "Look, we might like everyone the way you'd prefer we did, but that doesn't mean we're not a team. We have to be because we're the only ones who can do this. People don't like us because we're domineering and opinionated, we get that, but we're decisive and results driven. A few of you are about as useful as a glass hammer when it comes to getting things done in a manner that won't have us lying to authorities or racking up a series of felony charges. Like blowing up a bridge, for example. We're not directing our ire at a single individual, although a single individual is responsible for a majority of the poor life choices." "We are concerned about how other's actions reflect upon us," Devin chimed up, helping his sister out properly. "America is hardly the land of tolerance and understanding and we are freaks, mutants. Unlike some whose opinion is to burn and decimate anyone who comes at them, we'd prefer to not have the CIA, FBI or our neighbors trying to kill us because one of you decided to get retarded. You want freedom to do as you please, so we're giving you that freedom, go nuts. You're Annette's problem now, we don't know what else to do." "Uhh..." Carl raised his hand. "Smilodon? Implants?" The twins just sighed and shook their heads.
  10. "I've one, yes," Misti rested her arms on the table, allowing them to lend her support as she leaned in a bit in her chair. "Precisely how many times were our children used to perform covert raids on terrorist cells? That you or this Taggart are aware of, of course." Marissa rolled her eyes while shaking her head but went directly back to swiping on her phone. She didn't let is escape her that she'd left some finer details out, but that wasn't on Cassie. Devin noticed too, he just was done caring. The the teleporter rolled his eyes as well and allowed his head to collapse into his arms on the table. After a moment there was a 'thok', 'thok' sound as he tapped his forehead in frustration on the hard wood. "Christ, Mom," he complained. "Do we trust them? Not really. But no one made us do anything. We chose to go after Etienne on our own. These guys," she gestured to Annette, since she seemed to representing all the 'they's' this evening. "Couldn't have stopped us if they wanted to." Carl also leaned into the table, cradling one hand into his other. "Wait, wait, wait..." he shook his head. "This Etienne guy is who now?" Marissa didn't look up from her phone and the tone of her voice couldn't sound anymore bored than she actually was. "He's some Canadian guy, kinda hot, sexy accent. I guess he was some prodigy who graduated high school, got a degree and managed to get through spy school all in before he was twenty three, twenty four? Anyway, despite all those skill he decided to work for cook so he could sleep with high school girls." Her mother's gaze slowly panned and fell upon her. Marissa was unwavering thought and simply shrugged while meeting her mother's stare. "I know. I didn't understand it either." It was Carl's turn to roll his eyes and he exhaled softly while shaking his head. He plucked up his bottled water and smirked to Annette. "You wouldn't happen to have anything stronger, would you?"
  11. "Leapfrog ahead?" Devin said while Cassie reached for her water whet her throat after part one of the Fellowships epic tale. "You left out the part where you came to my house that evening and totally went all handsy on my abs." Cassie's cheeks swelled like a chipmunks when she choked on her water and her mother turned her head a shot her a look of pure 'excuse me young lady'? Devin flipped his finger about his mouth, calmly advising Cassie. "You got uh... a little something... um, yeah... you two hash that out..." He nodded to the ladies while Devin earned himself baleful glares that demanded blood and pain from Cassie while a few others from the Fellowship, well used to his antics by now, tried to suppress a grin. Devin may have been an irritating guy most times, but he was never short of entertaining, especially in these rather tense moments. He produced his phone and showed it to everyone then looked at Sean. "Dude, you mind?" He then slid his phone into the center of the massive table. "For those of you who don't know, I'm an artist-" "-and here we thought you were some punk who whose only talent was running his mouth and torturing our kids." Sean's father Jack interrupted him. Whatever temporary truce had been struck between them before the Not-Cody battle seemed to have dissipated at the news of Devin jaunting their daughter half way around the world to do God-knows-what, at God-knows-where. Through pursed lips Devin nodded and soaked it up. The Fellowship could tell, just form his poise and tensed nodding that Devin wanted to go balls deep and run a train on Jack's attitude, but instead, he composed himself and smiled politely. "Fair. I do talk a lot. So, I'm going to let that go because your daughter kinda has a thing for me-" "NoIdon't!" Laurie swiftly intercepted the conversation and then looked at her parents like she'd been accused of something she didn't do. She shook her head at her parents. "I don't." "-and," his glance across didn't go unnoticed. "Redheads are all the rage right now." There was an audible 'thump' from under the table as Marissa suddenly shifted, but never allowed her attention to be pulled away from the table. Devin grunted and tensed to one side, the side closest to his sister. "You were saying, Deej?" Marissa asked him, her lips curling into a smirk that falsely told how she was hanging on his every word. "Anyway," he grunted, collecting himself from the stabbing fist that met his side just moments prior. "Sean, you find it?" "I've found a lot, dude." Sean said, his eyes glossed over as a terabyte of data flowed through his mind in a series of 1s and 0s. "Is there any girl at school that hasn't sent you a selfie?" "There's a few I wish hadn't..." Devin added with a hint of sarcasm. "Me too. This whole phone needs to be set on fire and tossed into a volcano afterwards." Sean added with a grin of his own. "I think this is what you meant." From Devin's phone there was a brief upside down pyramid of light that encompassed nearly half of the the table itself. All the angles were visible, though see-thru as in its center Sean pulled the images from Devin's phone and in two dimensions, like large playing cards, the artwork Devin had drawn of all the monsters they'd faced rotated there in the center of the table. Sean's mind manipulated the data while simultaneously manipulating the light waves in the room to turn that data into floating holograms. "I've drawn dozens of them," he continued. He pointed to the one Sean was rotating, a blackened cloud of ink and tentacles with a gruesome jaw of sharp, stiletto-like teeth. "That's what came after us in the forest that night." The artwork scrolled and rotated, lingering long enough for all of them to see. It wasn't just the monsters that Devin had drawn, he'd illustrated entire scenes he was present for, providing a still frame visual of everything the Fellowship had gone through, like a story book others could follow along to as Cassie talked. Every argument was drawn in detail, the Fellowship around the table fighting like cats and dogs, Clara and Devin yelling from opposite sides of the room at one another as Lilly stormed out in frustration. The creature they battled not far from the old trailer, the one that nearly tore Devin's leg off, was brilliantly displayed in a scene where everyone was doing their best to not lose their shit as it's barbed and mouthed tongue was wrapped around Devin's leg as he screamed and frantically tried to crawl away. He'd captured the essence of The Dark wondrously with graphite and charcoal, a monochromatic testament to the visceral beauty of horror. "These are what keep me up at night, Mom, Dad. The night terrors, the insomnia, me spacing out and staring at nothing for minutes on end. We've asked all of you here today because despite our differences we've all managed to do what needs to be done to protect Shelly and it's people. Were you to ask me a month ago if I were to be hanging out with Sean, or Autumn? Hell no. I'd probably be beating up Sean in a bathroom or tipping Autumn's books out of her arms so I could watch her bend over to pick them up." Her glare told him that she was not ammused. "What? You might have been a pleb, but girl, you still got dat peach, hnnng." He flexed his fingers like he was squishing something soft. "Ah, the good ol' days," Marissa added with a smirk as she reminisced. "But we can't do this alone," he continued, shelfing his antics and soberly addressing everyone once again. "We can't carry this burden on our own, we need help and lying to all of you doesn't help us or anyone else. We need you to understand that a few weeks ago we were all punk kids, sure, but now... now we're friends." He chuckled. "Horrible friends who still don't trust each other, but we're getting there... slowly but surely, I think. So watch," he motioned to the pictures then to Cassie. "Listen. And while you may not trust us at first, I think we'll get there, slowly but surely." Annette surprised a smile behind her steepled fingers. There were times she wished she could bottle whatever it was the Jauntsen children had in their words. At only sixteen, they had a knack for working a crowd and she hoped that between Cassie, the twins and the testimony of the others, this night would end on a positive now.
  12. "Far as I know, ma'am," Devin answered Cade's mother with one of the first times any of them had heard him sound respectful to an adult. "Apparently, blindly opening a cross-dimensional portal and pulling nine people through it ruptures every blood vessel in my body." He shrugged nonchalantly and chuckled. "Who knew, right? I feel like went an entire practice against everyone on the football team without any pads on, but aside from that I think we're okay." "I'm not sure whether it's stubbornness, our powers or pure tenacity that keeps up all stitched together, Mrs. Allister," Marissa added, looking up from her phone. "Physically, it seems I'm healing faster than I should, so there's that. Mentally and emotionally, however... well, I was almost swallowed whole and torn to pieces by Lovecraft's illegitimate children. But respectfully, how does the medical profession define the term 'healing as it should' after one is almost torn apart by other-dimensional monsters?" "It's a bit stressful," Devin cut in, before his sister's words got to scathing or had a chance to be sharpened to a fine edge. "We've a lot on our plate right now and we've barely slept, let alone had a chance to rest or recuperate for days now. There's always something everyday we have to do or someone we have to save or somewhere we have to be..." "It's called growing up, dear," Misti happily cut in with a honed edge of matronly sarcasm. Marissa rolled her eyes as Devin's narrowed. "Is it?" Davin asked. "Just out of curiosity how many ancient dark gods have you and dad had to take on your professional, adult lives? Hmm?" He leaned in like he was listening for something he wasn't hearing. "Is that a 'none'? Yeah, don't confuse being in the bleachers with a lost of good play ideas for actually being on the field. We're not pulling down nine-to-fives, Mom-" "-we're almost being bitten in half. We're being shot at, we're damn near killing our selves every time we push our abilities because everything out there," Marissa pointed to the door. "Is ancient, powerful and evil and we're a bunch of high schoolers who by all accounts shouldn't even be out there having to do it... but we are," her words were hiding the growing flood of emotions she was keeping in check behind her robust levy of composure. "And we're doing it to keep you and everyone else safe. So please, stop with the patronizing 'growing up' crap." "It's not 'growing up', Mom," Devin's words were calm and compassionate as his voice emulated the caring tones of someone trying to make another understand. "It's duty. We were born for this. We're the only ones who can do it. We don't like it sometimes, sure, or even each other... but if we don't hold the line no one else can. There won't be anyone else who can protect you or Shelly or the rest of the world. It just," he shrugged. "Is what it is."
  13. The Juantsen family met at the medical center. The twins meeting up with their mother and father after they had spent some time speaking with Tawny and Sophia, both of which were still tired and frazzled from the previous day’s events. They didn’t press any issues with the two victims of Not-Cody’s violent kidnapping of them and were, thankfully, still unaware of the full extent of the suffering Sophia had endured. Still, they had an opportunity to at least make an appearance and remind them both that they were in their thoughts before leaving them to rest. They hadn’t spoken much to their parents about what powers they possessed or any of the Branch-9, Project/Crossroads, although they had given vague explanations, so they weren’t walking in blindly. Still, as they entered the room it seemed more like a setup for government head hunting than it did an opportunity for the families of the children to speak openly and honestly amongst themselves. The room was bugged, the government lap dog was sitting patiently and professionally at one end of the table, and she even offered false platitudes in her greeting and spouted the obvious ‘I’m just here to observe and mediate’ garbage. The problem Annette faced with the Jauntsens was that they were all very intelligent and proficient manipulators, and to them, this was seen for exactly what it was: an opportunity to observe, collect, and produce intelligence work on the families of the children who possessed extraordinary powers so that could disseminate across the various government agencies. “Thank you all for coming,” Annette said as the Jauntsen family took their seats. She noted how Misti, Devin, Marissa and then finally, Carl, sat, sandwiching their children in between them, a classic ploy to allow the to deliver looks, gestures or even a touch without having to move to far. They weren’t the best of parents, but they were here thinking of the best way to keep their children from saying of doing anything that might be used against them. “The others will be here shortly, I’ve word they’re on their way.” “So, this Proteus organization… you’re what?” Carl asked, craning his head a bit to imply a measure of distrust. “Research, Special Ops?” “Perhaps it would be best if we saved questions for me until the end, after the ‘Fellowship’ has had their opportunity to say their piece.” Annette’s smile was textbook, her words carefully chosen, and she noticed the way Misti seemed to be paying less attention to what she said so much as how she said it, reading micro expressions, measuring the flush in her cheeks, her pattern of eye movement. “Afterwards I’ll conclude with a few words to help alleviate any concerns.” Marissa sighed and rolled her eyes. “Christ. Crossroads and Proteus are essentially the same thing, they look for people like us, study us, find out what makes us tick and-“ “-essentially put a collar around our neck to make sure we’re jumping through the hoops that benefit their agenda.” Devin chimed up to finish his sister’s thought. “The difference is Proteus at least seems to have some manner of moral compass, so in the end, they’re not so much our allies as they are business associates and the lesser of two evils.” “That’s not entirely accurate,” the beautiful liaison said calmly but with still a hint of frustration in her voice. “And a bit unfair.” “From your point of view,” Marissa’s reply was like a swift razor blade seeking a throat to cut. “We did battle with an ancient demon who kidnapped our friends and where were you and Proteus and Branch-9? We had baseball bats and tire irons, where was Proteus and Branch-9? Jason was almost killed today in retaliation for my spying on Enterich at your request. Where was Proetus and Branch-9? We wanted to have a calm meeting of the families to sit and discuss everything that’s happened to us up to this point and tell our parents what we could do and how we wanted to apply these new found talents-“ “-oh, wait… here’s Proteus and Branch-9!” Devin expressively held out his hands placatively towards Annette, feigning trying to convince her of what he was saying. “‘Don’t have it in the comfort of your own homes, please, allow us to escort you to an isolated wing of the hospital by way of military escort and feel free to make use of our most-certainly observed meeting room. Please. All we want to do is help’.” The twins did not seem at all pleased with Branc-9 or Proteus and the hard gaze they both gave Anette spoke volumes beyond their initial appraisal. “I’ll tell you what unfair is, Ms. Giles: when it’s easy not to believe in gods and monsters until you wake up one day and realize you are one. Then spend two months trying to figure out which one you are all-the-while trying to piece together which of these factions wants to be buddy-buddy with you now simply because you can make their lives really complicated if you're not on their side." Annette sighed and cast a glance at their parents while trying not to say any more than she had to. “Don’t look at us, Ms. Giles,” Misti offered a cold smirk. “I assure you, we’re the least of your troubles this evening. Secret installations, meeting with our children without our consent while willfully placing them in danger… irresponsible at best, outright negligent at worst, but as you said, we’ll discuss that later.” “Wait,” Carl interjected, raising a hand while leaning to face his daughter. “Jason was almost killed today?” “Yuuup.” Marissa’s lips popped on the ‘p’, but she didn’t look up from her phone. “Huh.” He nodded. “Well, damn. Poor kid. Glad he’s okay.” Misti rolled her eyes and rubbed the bridge of her nose in frustration.
  14. Devin took a couple steps in chase of Cassie. "Cass, wait. All I was saying was...," but she was already gone. He thought of following her but, like Jason and his sister, and even him at this point, it seemed like everyone needed a bit of time. He sighed and fell back into the counter's edge, leaning there as he sighed in frustration. “God dammit.” "I already went there, guys." Devin shook his head, raising a hand to halt further venture down that line of thought. "According to Marissa, Coyote told her that he arranged for us to come out to Montana. He needed us here, so he cooked up the whole issue that relocated us. And yes, we know what it is: my dad is an idiot. My dad is a genius with money and investments. When he realized that the company, he was working for was embezzling money from their customers, he had the great idea to embezzle it from the company, but instead of giving it back the customers, he laundered it out of the states, set up untouchable accounts and essentially made the money disappear. He got caught, he turned evidence on the company to save his ass, we got relocated to here... and then he made all the money reappear and invested back into the businesses of the very same customers whose money he stole... it's complicated." He shook his head and waved away the numbers from his mind as they blocked the view of Cassie's butt in jeans walking out of his kitchen a few moments ago. "I know she’s difficult, guys, but Marissa, like me doesn’t spell things out for people. She’s expecting you to pay attention. This morning when I got Jason’s text and said something had happened to him she had he keys and was following me out the door before I could even consider trying to stop her. If Jason needed a hospital, what was I going to do? Take him on the back of my bike? Guilt, spite, dislike… regardless of her feeling for Jase, she was ready to drop everything and be there for him.” Devin looked at the two that were left, he nodded in Sean’s direction. “She’s already working on fixing the problems you have at school after the cheerleader uniform stunt. You didn’t ask her to, and you don’t have to, she’s going to fix it because, try and keep up here: that’s what friends do.” “What’s she been given lately? Her and Autumn might be up there hating on each other right now, but it at least it’s something. Relationships are built upon and improved by conflict and understanding… Autumn at least tries before she tells my sister to fuck right off. You said it yourself, Sean, you’re not trying… so what do you expect? My sister wants actions, not words. She doesn’t want you to tell her you’re her friend… she just wants you to be her friend, dude. She’s already got your back at school, bro. You expect my sister to do all the work while you piss in her Cheerios?” Devin chuckled and shook his head. “That’s gonna be a hard check to cash there, buddy. Let me know how it turns out.”
  15. "She needs friends," Devin said with no hesitation in his voice. "But, what do I know? I don't have a one-thousand I.Q., or an icy-jade stare, so obviously I'm not qualified to tell you how to set personal standards for yourself, so I could be wrong." "Stop coming to me for the answers guys." he sighed and shook his head. "Either step up to the plate and figure your shit out, or don't. Either way, stop wasting both hers, and your, time." A moment later his phone vibrated, so he'd obviously turned the volume down, and he glanced at it, sighing again. She'd sent him something, considering she was still listening through the homes monitoring network, but he clicked his phone off and tucked it back into his pocket. "Well, feel free to hang out until the meeting. We can head down into the basement. Pizza is on the way, we have the consoles down there so we can get Smash or Mario Kart action going. Your call guys. Also, waiting out in the car or going home is an option too if you need to shower or just don't feel like being here. Not my circus, so you guys just do what you feel, no one's feet are nailed to the floor."
  16. "Well," Devin sighed, chuckling again. "Yes Jason, and we did all that stuff together. We supported each other and my sister was the only one left out there alone with no protection or cover because the people she wanted to go to was... this," he gestured to the collected group. "I wouldn't trust us either, I might be pissed at her, but I understand why she didn't feel comfortable bringing the information to us, but you've obviously made up your mind. I still don't think you actually understand what my sister was trying to convey which strikes me as surprising from a guy who strives to 'understand' things." He rolled his shoulders as constant muscle fatigue and aches plagued him throughout the day. He winced slightly as his shoulder tightened but didn't really let it bother him. "We did something great yesterday, we saved a lot of people and that's all cool and dandy, but we are far from a team, further from friends, and lightyears from a family. We all know The Dark isn't gone and at this rate it's not going to be our problem for very long. Victory last night aside, I really don't think this is working out. After the meeting tonight I think its best we just go our separate ways. I signed up to be a part of a team and this just isn't it. We all saw it last night: Jason is the only guy who can hurt these things, they were immune to everything else we threw at them so by and large the rest of us aren't necessary except to ride the bench while he blows everything up. Sean to a lesser degree, but it's hard to count the guy who can't even be bothered to be a part of the team in the first place." "I didn't sign up to be Jason's personal transport," he shook his head. "And I certainly didn't sign on to be coldly dismissed and treated like a non-person simply because someone's black and white expectation of how things should be doesn't match mine. That shit might have worked on Cora, dude, but Marissa and you are similar in stubbornness. Cora cared, Marissa doesn’t. She and I were doing fine for sixteen years before you guys came along. Honestly guys, do you think you have contributed anything to her life in the last couple of months, that if taken away would be missed? The Fellowship, everyone in this room… you’re already forgotten, dismissed and she’s moved on.” He sipped his Coke and finally looked to Cassandra, who he’d not replied to yet. “Marissa has been dealing with feelings ever since Jase told her he loved her and is now sleeping with her best friend.” He raised a hand to stave off any possible barrage of how or why things were the way they were. “I don’t care what other versions of the story are, I really, really don’t. Every time she’s tried to talk to Jason she’s been cold shouldered by him. She’s legit afraid of him and afraid for Autumn because Emjay feels that while Jason might say he’ll never hurt one of us, his actions in the past have proved that his judgment is clouded by a drive to kill anything that he perceives as wrong and unnecessary. Where do you think my sister fits into all that? She’s opinionated, aggressive, ambitious, her way of doing things is drastically different than his and if history has taught us anything: it’s that Jason will threaten or set on fire anything or anyone that doesn’t conform to how he feels things should be.” “So, yeah, she’s working through some shit. Like wondering which day her family is going to wake up and find her an effigy in the front yard. He doesn’t feel fear. He doesn’t know what it’s like to live with something like that, but after all his actions and his complete lack of credibility he feels ‘I would never do that’ is enough butter cover the entirety of my sisters emotional toast and put her worries to rest.” He had a devious smirk on his lips as he looked to Jason. “How’s that been working out for you?” “Cade and Marissa aren’t actually dating, it’s a farce she constructed so that she could still be a part of things and hang out with us while Jason is around… and maybe a bit of an attempt to make him jealous until she realized that he just doesn’t care. Cade’s a security blanket. A little extra muscle at her side so that she can feel safe when she’s in and around spaces Jason is in. Look, I know my sister and I have some karma coming our way, but her living like this is not healthy, so as she navigates the hell of her comeuppance, yuk it up if you’re so inclined.” He spun his hand in a sign of showmanship, encouraging people to take their pot-shot while they could. “If you’re looking for a story, drop that in the school paper.” “I told Em she was on her own with you guys,” he took another drink from his Coke and leaned in the doorway to the kitchen. “She did it, it’s her storm to weather. I’m not putting in any good words for her. I’m not asking you to forgive her or begging you to accept her or what she did. But the door swings both ways, if I’m not on her side, then I’m certainly not on yours either. If it’s in her nature to just be backstabbing, well, that’s now your storm to weather, because if you think didn’t hear you, our Alexa can broadcast any room in this house and I know her, just because she left doesn’t mean she wasn’t listening to the people she invited into her home. Your team is swiftly dwindling, so I recommend you guys locate the cancer and excise it, be it a person, a behavior, a procedure… something isn’t working for you guys, and I feel for you, I do, because the war doesn’t stop just because your army isn’t ready. But hey, not my circus, not my monkeys.” His phone played the 'Wicked' song as he fished it from his pocket and smiled wide as he leaned there reading the text. "It's her. I'm an asshole for ratting out her Alexa trick, apparently."
  17. "Frog that carries the scorpion?" Devin chuckled, but it wasn't the humored sort of chuckled, it was that obvious kind that people made while they told themselves they weren't going to make a scene. "Implying that it's in my sister's nature to just stab everyone in the back? Wow, dude. Y'know... my sister's holier-than-thou schtick is an act. You guys don't know her like I do, she's a scared, confused, sixteen year old like the rest of us and prone to emotional and irrational choices when backed into a corner, unlike some of us, she feels fear and if you've never experienced it before, I recommend you stay in your lane. Like she said, Jason, you don't understand things like that. Things like 'being wrong' or being afraid." "Look, people, I'm livid she did what she did. Positively pissed, but she's family and I love her and I also understand why she did what she did and I know if backed into a corner like that again, she'd do whatever she needed to to survive it so that she could get back to us and rally the troops against whatever it was... like she's trying to do now," he looked to Jason while he opened the fridge, offering him another Coke as he took one for himself. "Surely with the collective IQs in the room you guys noticed that?" He paused, a smug grin on his face. "No? Not surprising. The frog and the scorpion line, regardless of everything else you say that's the truth of what you think and feel about my sister. Regardless of why she did what she did, or who she ran to, or who she put into harms way, that's the truth of it: just a backstabbing bitch because it's in her nature, right? I'm sure there's one or more of you besides him that think the same way and just aren't saying anything, that's fine, I don't blame you, I love her and she annoys the shit out of me all the time." He set the extra Coke on the counter for anyone who wanted it. "She's not as bad you think she is, and she had a point: there are very few of us and now, there seems to be one less, while I hate the outcome I'm glad at least one of us had the balls to get something done and actually made a decision that gleaned useful information. Now we know what Enterich is and we know that Proteus is hiding things from us, like this library. What did the rest of you do last week before Cody? Snog your girlfriend? Get stoned? Sit in a computer chair while the rest of us practiced? Fish? Try and get in Laurie's pants?" He looked to Kat and paused. "...okay yeah, I can't even venture a guess. Point is, she got more done last week than all of us combined." He feigned shivers like he was excited for something. "Already we're one down after guests show up and decide to insult my family in our own home. Wow. Can't wait to see what we have in store for the meeting. I'm all giddy." His can hissed as he popped the top and knocked it back. "Tonight is going to be such a shit show. I can't wait."
  18. "Tell you what," Marissa offered a polite smile but Autumn could tell she was irritated. "When you decide you have time, you let me know, okay? We all have our priorities, I get it." The doorbell rang and her eyes blossomed. "Ah, that's Cadums, back in a jiff." She swiftly padded off, her bare feet tapping on the tiles as lightly jogged to the door. Devin nudged Autumn and nodded towards the patio door. "C'mon, we'll take a look." He led her out of the kitchen and onto the patio which overlooked the massive swimming pool and the back yard beyond the pool's gated in area. They could hear Marissa walking in with Cade so he could mingle while they all waited on Cassie. He leaned on the clear-stained, wooden railing railing. "Pool, obvs. So over there," he pointed to an area about the size of a tennis court with various matts and rails and bars and Autumn didn't even know what... "Over there is the gymnastics floor. Balance beam and parallel bars, but mom won't let us get asymmetric bars because she says we'll kill ourselves." "Wait," Autumn stopped him there and looked back into Marissa talking with people as she handed Cade a drink. "Marissa does this stuff too?" "She can, yeah. Been at it as long as me, I just found a passion for it," he shrugged. "She's more tumbling, flipping, handsprings, flexibility, dancing. A floor show girl, y'know?" "Imagine that," she chuckled as the sun shaded her hair into hues of copper. "Right?" Her host laughed a bit and pressed on, pointing to a small area about half that size built right next to the gymnastics floor. "Over there is our gym. Kettle bells, dumb bells, weight bench all that, but Marissa's just been using The Mirror since we got it. Except for Yoga, we do our Yoga out there, except when it snows. Everything here is designed for flexibility and strength training, not getting buff, but getting toned and fit. The floor makes a great spot to practice skills safely, especially if a fall is involved and we have matts and everything else. Here, we could teach you anything you wanted to learn, or, you know... just come by to work out. 'Bout time I saw that peach in Yoga pants anyway, right?" His eye brows bounced a couple times as he grinned at her like the devilish dog she'd come to know.
  19. "Welcome to casa del Jauntsen," Devin invited Kat into the foyer and then to the right where he and Marissa were waiting in the kitchen/dining room. As always his sister was a vision of beauty and Kat could tell she wasn't even trying. Although not shallow or concerned with the opinions of others, it still left a pang of jealousy in the pit of her gut as she reflexively drank in every perfect curve of Shelly's Queen and se wondered if that was part of Marissa's powers too. As she stepped through the threshold the large kitchen was on her left and an open dining area was on her right. One thing about the Jauntsen home was that it was swimming in natural light and directly across from where Kat stood was a sliding patio door that led out to a deck that over looked the pool below. Marissa was standing next to the island in the middle of the kitchen area, resting her hip against it as she tapped away on her phone. If she knew Kat had arrived she hadn't acknowledged her yet. Everything was expensive, from their dining room table to their refrigerator that had an instaview door that allowed people to see inside without opening the door but remained tinted and opaque any other time. Why people needed a eight thousand dollar fridge or a five thousands dollar Skorpio Keramik dining room table (imported from Italy, of course), completely escaped her until the switch in her head flipped, reminding her that she was in the Jauntsen home where big and flashy and expensive were their everyday. "You're just in time," Devin said. "Marissa's ordering pizza because she's eating for two after her boyfriend knocked her up." A roll of paper towels bounced off the side of Devin's head as he smiled and tried to hold in his laughter. "Fuck off! He's not my boyfriend!" Marissa hissed, slapping her phone on the counter and glowering at her jerk of a brother. Just as swiftly her expression switched to something more amiable and she smiled at their guest. "Hi Kat," she greeted the squirrely new girl with tone and cordiality one would expect from someone who'd been mastering etiquette since a young age. "That's your take away?" Devin giggled. He knew Marissa wasn't pregnant, thanks to Autumn's diagnosis, but as her brother he just couldn't let it go without having a bit of fun at her expense. "Whew, for a second there, I was worried that the real problem was Cade knocked you up." She huffed and rolled her eyes, turning her attention to Kat. "Hi, Kat. Welcome to our house, we're just waiting on the others to arrive so make yourself at home. By that I mean you know where everything is at your home, so you have no need to wander about touching or picking anything up, because it's your house... you know why it's there, so you leave it alone." "Christ, Marissa," Devin chuckled. "I think Kat has better things to do than come to our house to break or swipe our shit. Excuse her, Kat she's temperamental." He leaned in and whispered to her. "Pregnancy hormones, most likely. "Asshole," his sister fumed. "I'm not pregnant, and I'm just drawing a line in the sand, Devin. How much do we actually know about her? Aside from her being French, so she's probably a great runner and her fashion choices easily mark her as someone who must be supporting a drug habit?" Devin just looked at Kat, shrugged and laughed. "Welcome to my everyday in this house, Kat. Wanna Coke or something?" He stepped towards the fridge, bending down to swipe up the paper towel roll from the floor as he did, carelessly tossing it into the empty sink basin.
  20. Devin offered the the redhead a quiet 'no problem', comfortingly rubbing her shoulder while she was near them. His smile told her that he had her back anytime she needed it. "No need to thank us," Marissa's voice was a soft series of whispered, treating Jason like he was asleep when he wasn't. "After last night, this was a cake walk. Together, we can handle anything. Things are just going to get weirder around here, I have a feeling. We have to stick together." In typical bestie fashion she hugged Autumn, letting the fragrance of her body lotion and lip balm adopt the energetic redhead's orbit as she stepped out to speak with her dad. "Speaking of," she backhanded her brother's arm. "We need to get going and at least get to school at some point. We still need to change to get you your bike, so with the crowd, it might be a good time to vacate. So," she looked to Ellie and Cassie and saw an opportunity to be, well, her. "Say goodbye to your girlfriend or, girlfriends... or however the three of you are working this out." With that she stepped out of the room, surprisingly devoid of her usual clacking heels, her soft-soled Chucks were virtually silent on the hospitals floors. "She's right," he said looking to Ellie. "I do have to get to school, but after I'll come visit you and we can get you those clothes we were talking about, okay? Sorry I can't sty longer." Ellie nodded in agreement of clothes shopping. The concept of a 'makeover' didn't sit well with her, as she felt she was fine how she was and what could they possibly make her into? "I understand. Later then, I look forward to seeing you again, Devin." "Hey," he said softly to Cassie as he moved in behind her on his way out. He leaned over her shoulder slightly, to talk in her ear, and the way he placed his hand on her hip in passing seemed far more than friendly. "Hell of a morning, huh? I'll get you spun up later, I know you have ten thousand questions." His words were a tickle on her neck, dancing along her until it finally sent a faint chill down her spine. "Call you later, okay?" The way he slid his hand across her lower back, letting his fingertips glide all the way across so as to not have to stop touching her until the last possible moment. The shiver down her spine became a jolt of electricity that woke up a few sleeping parts of her brain. She hadn't ever really had a crush on a guy before, but... Devin (of all people) was certainly making a strong argument for candidacy. "Jase, we're heading out," Devin pointed at his friend, and as always, he was loud. "Only shots I wanna hear about are the Jell-O ones you're doing from the cleavage of these hot nurses, alright?" Just then an attractive nurse was passing by the door and she smirked at the young mans statement. He noticed and pointed to her, smirking. "Yeah, I'm talking about you. You know I am. She gets it! Later peeps." He stepped out with his hand in the air to bid farewell to everyone. "He's incorrigible." Jason said as shirtless Devin faded off into the hospital halls. "Yet," Ellie pointed out. "The body language of the females he's addressed so far have all shown signs of their attraction to him. There is something to be said for boldness."
  21. Adventure: “I don’t know, you know? I can’t live like Sean. I can’t spend my life in imaginary worlds when I have this one, right here to explore with like, unlimited experience credits or whatever they’re always trying to collect. South Island, New Zealand. Paris. Bora-freaking-Bora! You ever seen that place? Holy crap! To me there has always been something alluring about the forbidden and exotic. I’m a ‘why’ guy. When I see a closed door, I always ask myself ‘what’s on the other side’? Don’t even get me started on if it’s locked. That simple example sums up a constant internal drive I have to just be in the middle of things where all the interesting stuff is happening. From climbing a mountain – okay, I don’t actually have to climb anymore, but you get it – to celebrating holidays around the world to even trying to sneak into Site B, bruh if it keeps me moving, I’m down. Life is too short to pass up the chance to get out here and see everything, do everything and be a part of every little or big thing you can, right?” Assessment: Jaunstsen, D. (heretofore referred to as Subject JAUNT), possesses an intrinsic desire to, as he put it, ‘be in motion and stay that way’. With his unique powers (teleportation, see reference b.) Subject JAUNT appears to entertain a constant desire to be on or in the middle of some manner of ‘adventure’ where he seeks to keep his attention span engaged. It is possible he has minor Attention Deficit Disorder. Recommend: full medical and psychological screening. In the meantime, engage him with anything that will hold his interests, such as travel, or ‘secret’ assignments and he should be manageable. Autonomy: “Dude, like… I like people, I do, but there’s just something about being alone. (I) Felt alone my whole life, so I guess I just don’t think about needing other people. Woke up, did what I had to do, watched our parents go do their things and leave us in the hands of a nanny, which was cool, I guess. We had this one (nanny), Debra, who was so hot. She got fired for getting freaky in the hot tub after hours. There was so much yelling, but I got to see her naked though, so that was cool. But, yeah, (Subject TEASE) and I have been doing things for ourselves for so long, that we just feel like it’s our default setting. We’re just doing our thing waiting for the people in this chapter to fade away. It’s what people do: they show up for a while, make you happy, talk about forever… but there’s no such thing. Y’gotta be ready to take care of yourself, y’know?” Assessment: Obvious obsession with women (see notes, too many references to list) aside, Subject JAUNT exhibits signs of a deep desire for autonomy yet can’t do so without including the importance of his twin sister, Marissa (refer to, Subject TEASE [Analyst Comment: Who came up with these objective names?]). Despite bracing for the end of attachments Subject JAUNT obviously ears for and craves attachment, consistently placing himself in a position for emotional vulnerability, even though he has no faith in the permanency of such relationships. His sister, Subject TEASE, is the key to securing Subject JAUNT's order and discipline. Recommendation: Interview with Subject TEASE. Excitement: “I’ve always been addicted to that high that comes with streaking down the road on my motorcycle. You are aware that when I’m not traveling to other dimensions and battling demons, I’m curb stomping para-military security forces, right? See, you’ve never used my powers; you’ve never felt your mind in connection with everything around you and then? You do the impossible. Dodging bullets, streaking through intervening space so fast that we don’t even have a number that high, so we call it ‘instantaneous’. The beat of the heart, the anxiety and tension of the moment… and the adrenaline? Oh, god, girl, you don’t even know and I’m sorry that you never will. I can totally see why Taggart’s dudes love what they do, are addicted, and often go to therapy for it. As soon as we go hot, I go from six to midnight. Plus, have you ever had sex after almost getting eaten by an otherworldly demonic vagina worm? It’s… primo, I’m telling you. I’m pretty sure I need this in my life, I’ve found my niche. Y’know?” Assessment: So much to unpack here. From a strictly 30,000-foot view, Subject JAUNT is an adrenaline junkie and displays borderline traits common to those who’ve found themselves in numerous violent skirmishes and can dissociate themselves from the value of their own life or the lives of others (Analyst Comment: Possible PTSD). This further backs up the assessment that Subject JAUNT requires a full psychological screening. Inner Harmony: “I’m a dick. I’ve always been angry at the world, my parents, everyone around me, I guess. I’m not really sure the reason why, I guess it’s because I’ve felt it’s not fair that other people have gotten to live their lives normally while I’ve been a prisoner in my own upbringing. Practices, auditions, acting gigs, more practice. There was no time for me or [Subject TEASE] to ever just be ourselves, you know? We got bullied really hard at home and that just made me angrier I suppose. When we moved, we thought we’d get back at everyone and be the predators instead of the prey, but that never really sat well with me either. Still, I went along with it until I just couldn’t anymore. Ever since, something has just felt out of balance, I guess? I don’t wanna be ‘that guy’ anymore, but I’m still so pissed. Hmm? That’s just it… I don’t know. A friend once told me: ‘[Subject JAUNT] if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.’ I feel like that’s my everyday now, I’ve no clue where I’m going, so… I suppose it doesn’t matter as long as I’m here, right? Walk any road long enough and it has to lead somewhere, that me: always walking and hoping to see that souvenir shop that’ll make the whole journey worth it. That thing that’ll balance me.” Assessment: Subject JAUNT only seemed to appear lucid and focused during this portion of the session where he reflected on the sort of person he felt he was now, compared to the destination of the person he’s trying to become. Unsurprising, like most teenagers around his age, he’s found himself in a conflict of self as he searches for an identity. This is common as the brain develops and we stop acting from our emotion center and begin relying more on our logic centers, which fully develop in most adults somewhere in their early to mid-twenties. This was also the only portion of the session where Subject JAUNT did not directly attempt to seduce [SESSION LEAD]. Pleasure: “I mean… work hard, play hard right? The workouts, the movie nights, the traveling all over the world… it what makes all the madness in life worth it in the end, right? You can't do this everyday and not expect to, at some point, take some time for yourself and unwind? Hiking, food, snowboarding, chilling with the Fellowship… man, that’s what life is about. We’re not here for a long time so we might as well have a good time, right? Bali, Tahiti… you ever been? No? Shame, they’re are gorgeous. Hey, uh… what’re you doing this weekend? Why is always my age you ladies bring up first? I don’t see a ring on your finger. I mean, those places don’t have the same laws, we do here, and I wouldn’t tell if you didn’t. But, hey, it’s cool, I get it. If you change your mind, let me know. You, me, this weekend, could be awesome.” Assessment: Subject JAUNT possessed more neurosis than can be detailed within the scope of this project and his forms of decompression and relaxation seem mostly involving spending time with his friends and try to sleep with any woman he finds attractive. It is the opinion of this Analyst that Devin could not function without this down time and a lack of decompression in high stress, high tempo operations would result in his insubordination or violation of good order and discipline in order to seek it out. While that’s not necessarily a destructive behavior, it does leave him open for possible poor decisions or manipulation form internal or external operatives. Follow-up Secondary Core Values associated with Subject JAUNT: Challenge, Cooperation, Friendship, Health, Leisure, Recognition, Time Freedom, Wisdom ---===[Tear Line]===--- To: Garret Q. From: Katie F. Subject: Subject JAUNT Garret, You’ll find the Subject JAUNT session material is attached. The guy means well, but like most his age he’s a mess of emotions and he’s overwhelmed by the world at large. He has a ton of issues, but I think his intrinsic measure of personal pride and desire to defend ‘us’ and the world at large don’t make him any major security risk. That said I recommend a full psychological evaluation. We did three polygraphs, and he passed the first, failed the second and the third using all the same questions. The kid knows how to lie, the machine didn’t even register so much clammy hand when he said his name was Seventy-two. He’s either sociopathic, pathological, or honestly believes his name is Seventy-two. -Kait F. Discloser Liaison, DIA (Intern) P.S. Thank you again for approving my leave on such notice. Something came out of nowhere and I need to handle it. Should only take the weekend, see you Monday!
  22. "Hey," Devin smiled big as his eyes fell on Ellie. He seemed genuinely happy to see her and approached the lovely blonde alien. "'Well' is a relative term, everything hurts. We got beat up pretty bad, but we made it. What're you doin here? I was planning on coming to see you after school today. And yeah, totally true, I talked you up, like... a lot. In the bed there, that's Jase. He's not much of a people person, even when he's not going out of his way to ruin my shirts, and I think Cassie and Sean are on the way, so you'll get to meet them soon, too." "Yeeeaaah," Marissa's head cocked slightly to put her brother in her sights. "Deej? The hell?" "Oh!" He suddenly remembered that he hadn't really explained much aside from an introduction. "This is the girl I was telling you about. The Teulu from the void who helped me and gave me the bracelet when I was hunted in the Upside Down Thunder school. She followed me here for sex, duh. I mean look ant me, right?" He gave Ellie a quick appraisal. "Speaking of traveling... uh, I think this is all she has for clothing, Em, you think maybe you could do something with her later? Maybe you and the girls hook her up with more than one outfit? We're not sure how long it's going to take to get her home, so, she's kinda gonna need some sisters to lean on while she's here." "Well, she appears to be the culmination of how 'boring' evolved', but I suppose the Fellowdiva's and I probably have more than a few cast off lying around." Marissa shrugged. "But I'm going to need more than good faith to go on... what's her story? Why is she here?" She looked to Ellie, realizing she was addressing the wrong person. "Why are you here?"
  23. The Fellowship... they also seemed tougher, harder than one might expect from the typical youths of Shelly, Montana. Neither of the twins particularly worried, not after the loss of Charlie and the nightmare they battled the night before and... well, just Shelly in general. Marissa offered Autumn a silent nod in acknowledgement and watched as she walked off down the hall to to get his water. Together the twins walked into Jason's hospital room and took their first looks at the recovering telekinetic. Jason's eye followed them as they walked in. Devin rolled his shoulders and pulled his blanket tighter around him as the cold of the hospital offended his delicate Californian comfort level. Marissa tapped out one last text on her phone before sliding her phone into a back pocket on jeans that were baggy. It was the first time he'd ever seen her as just a plain, young, teenage woman without the mask and costume that made up her daily regalia as Shelly's glamourous Ice Queen. He could decide which version was lovelier. "You owe me a shirt," Devin quipped as he leaned against the footboard of Jason's bed and injured young man knew that was the closest the 'bro' was going to get to an 'I'm glad you're safe' sentiment. "Pants are a freebie, I'm throwing those in because they were old." His sister approached Jason, she was almost predatory in her silence without the loud clack of her heels to betray her position. His her typical disapproving look and unimpressed expression she gave him a once over to see that they didn't need amputate anything in order to save anything else, and when satisfied her lips relaxed into a slight smile. She bent over him and pressed her lips to his forehead, a short, gentle kiss and although she wasn't wearing any makeup she wiped it away with her thumb afterwards. "You look like shit," she chastised him, finally. "But I'm glad you're safe." "Aww," Devin taunted her and she offered him a reply of a single digit and unamused expression. "Dude, don't do that shit again, I'm serious." "Yes, I know," Jason smirked sarcastically. "Because this was in my itinerary right next to 'learn Mongolian' and 'order more of the good coffee'. Nice to know you care, though." "Oh, we don't," Marissa was quick to correct him. "But we lost Charlie already and..." she inhaled and exhaled in a rare moment of her shattered composure. As always she was swift to recover and the cracks in her social exterior mended. With those mended cracks, like clockwork, a bitchstorm was in the forecast to blow away any remnant of her feelings. "Well, frankly, I don't have time to be ordering a ton of funerary skirts. It's bad enough your name has to be in every conversation that takes place in this town, do you have to steal someone's funeral thunder too? Christ, give someone else a day for a change, Lord knows he earned it." "Yep, she missed you." Devin smirked. His sister's faced scrunched up as she shot her brother a look that said a number of insulting things. "No. I didn't. And piss off, go get shirt or something." "I am," he smirked. "I'm waiting on that hot nurse to comeback with one of those disposable scrubs tops they have around here. "I think she's a first year learner-doctor-thingie, whatever they call those. Wish me luck."
  24. "Just got a txt from him, omw there now w my dad. Meet us there, please? Not sure exactly where he is. Trying not to freak out." Marissa's console spoke to her as he silently cursed to herself and made a three point turn in some random Montanan mouth-breather's drive way and sped on back in the direction her brother flew off in on his motorcycle. Devin's wheels laid a patch of black as he squealed to a halt. With a few seconds he was off his bike and running to Jason. "Hey, I know you," was all he said as he leapt over Marshal Marshall, and knelt down at Jason's side where he was leaning against his Charger. Bloody and wheezing and slumped over, Devin did the only thing that came to his mind first... He slapped him. Jason opened his pain strewn, weary eyes and glanced up to see Devin. He managed bloody smile. "Dawg, what is it about you that makes people wanna be all up in your guts?" Devin huffed, using his limited knowledge of basic (very basic) first aid to take a look at his friend. Prevent further harm, prevent infection, save life... the three core fundamentals of first aid and here was Devin using them for the first time on freaking gunshot wounds. "S'car," Jason wheezed and coughed. "Chicks dig the car." "Very funny," the bruised teleporter-on-hiatus looked at his friend and gave him a sarcastic look. "Shut up, dickhead. I'm trying to save your life before my sister shows up and vetoes the idea, and considering I already have blood on my seventy dollar jeans, I'm just saying... things aren't looking good for you my man." Jason was trying hard not to laugh. He knew what Devin was doing: keeping his attention on him, not what he was doing as he tore open Jason's shirt and began to inspect the wounds. His world was getting hazy. He was losing blood, not fatal amounts, yet, but it was surprising how much a single hole in the torso could just pump out until there you were... getting drowsy and watching your breathing increase. Devin pulled his own shirt off and with a tug it ripped and provided him with rags with which to apply pressure to his head and try to clean the area around his ribs to see the wound better. "Dude... I know this hurts. I can see the bullet bro, but if I pop it out of there, you could bleed to death." Jason winced as Devin placed the rags on his head and applied pressure, while wrapping around the remains of his shirt and tying it tightly. It wasn't pretty, but he didn't have a lot to work with. Marissa, thankfully, squealed to a halt directly behind her brother's Ducati. She slid open her phone and popped a pin at her location for Autumn to follow. Her door swung open and like her brother made a mad dash to the scene... only to stop at the Marshalls who were lying on the ground in what science would later quantify as a metric fuck-ton of pain and oodles of regret. She knelt down beside and Marshall Marshal and cocked her head smiling. She patted him on the chest and said, "See? Should have called. S'wahtcha get." "Em! Emjay," Devin called for his sister, trying to lie Jason down and keep his head turned up to the blood had to fight gravity. "Help me out, Jason isn't looking good." "Nooooooope," her lips popped on the 'pe'. She stood from Marshal and walked to his partner, smirking evilly at the sight of her roasted little giblet arms. "Sounds like an Autumn problem, oh, brother dearest. She wanted him, so she gets all the drama and bullshit that goes with his psycho ass." She turned to face her brother, opening her arms wide to indicate the mess. "I mean, fuck Deej, we just saved the world. Like just, just saved it... what? Twelve hours ago, if that? He couldn't go twelve God forsaken hours without pissing off or attempting to murder someone? I mean, what the fuck, dude! Like we don't have lives!? Are we even going to address just how inconsiderate of him this whole fucking mess is?" She waved at the bleeding telekinetic. "Hi, by the way." "Keep them open dude, look at me," Devin glared into Jason's emerald eyes, seeing the way his wounds were fading the light behind them. He smiled and chuckled with fading confidence, slapping Jason's cheek a few times to rekindle his attention. "Bro, believe it or not, she doesn't want to see you like this. This is her playing hard to get." "What?" Marissa huffed, looking up from Marshal Dale at the sound of her brother possibly talking shit about her. She looked back at Marshal Dale, smirking. Silently she started treating her for shock, which, thankfully wasn't too hard. "Wow. Bet when you woke up this morning you weren't thinking about this cluster fuck right here, were you? Noooo, of course not." "Tourniquet!" He shot back. "I need, and don't have a tourniquet. He's bleeding pretty bad." She grunted and rolled her eyes at how Jason's problems were, once again, inconveniencing her. "Get my gym bag! It's in my trunk! There's towels in there." "Go get it, then! I have my hands full!" He yelled. "No!" She shook her head and yelled back while she elevated Marshal Dale's legs. "I'm busy too! Let Autumn go get it! It's her fucking boyfriend. You think if you brought Lona home ODing on heroin, and don't look at me like that's a stretch, that I'd make it my problem? Her dumb ass wants to OD let her fucking OD... Jason can't go twelve hours without trying to kill people, chances are he prolly had this coming! Have we even stopped to consider what he did to provoke them?" "You're such a bitch!" Devin gently rest Jason's head on his hoodie, which was also, like Devin's hands, sticky and crimson. He dashed off to Marissa's trunk to get her gym bag, pissed but realizing that for all her faults she made sure the trunk was popped by the time he got there and sure enough, there were three towels, one for the work out, one for her and one for her hair... like clockwork. "Fuck you," she yelled back. "You deal with him while I, once again, play accomplice to, and once again, cover up a Jason-Fucking-Bannon crime scene. Yaaay..." she sarcastically clapped like she was happy then stopped, looking suddenly ashamed as she looked down at Marshal Dale. "Sorry, that was insensitive of me." She looked to her brother, who was now making copious use of the white gym towels. "So, remind me again just how lucky we are to call him a pal?" "Not now, EmJay," Devin grunted, his hands working swiftly and meticulously to save Jason's life. "I've got shit to do and you're seriously pissing me off right now." He didn't listen for a reply from her, if she even offered one. Problem was, she wasn't wrong. Besides not having all the facts, this was beginning to be a common problem for Jason: leaving bodies mangled in the streets. Still, they tried to off him in his car, he could tell that, at least. It was his life or theirs so Devin wasn't questioning the choices made. Marissa though, she just had that irritating way of whispering dissention in his ears and she was hardly, if ever, wrong. He tapped Jason again, getting his attention. "Bro, I can't wait, okay? If Autumn doesn't get here soon, dude... I have to get you help. Jason!" He smacked him again, keeping the teens eyes focused as best he could as they lazily started closing. "Jason... she has a minute... you? maybe thirty seconds. You come first bro, I don't think she'll be pissed about that... stay with me..."
  25. Everyone had herd it at least one in their lives: 'you think it hurts now, wait until tomorrow'! Well, screw those people, Devin had thought all through the morning as every bruise and small injury he'd endured the night before was alight in throbbing pain. Every movement caused a wince, standing was a chore, walking hurt, sitting for some respite form the pain was an exercise in masochism because all it did was remind him that the moment he stood, it would all flare up again. It had taken him ten minutes to put his pants on, another five for his shoes and somewhere in the neighborhood of 'I'm so done with today, already' to realize that he was already running late. His sister was no different. Today, the Queen of Mean had discarded all semblance of regality as she leaned against the island in the kitchen lazily sipping her coffee as he entered the kitchen on foot. Teleporting was too painful for him at the moment and he was taking it easy. Chucks, loose-fitting jeans and a faded t-shirt earned her a second glance but when he realized she was wearing zero in the way of makeup, he couldn't help but wonder if he was actually dead and never survived the fight. Perhaps this was his purgatory... to live with normalcy for all eternity. "Uh, Emjay... the hell happened to your face?" "Blow me, Cocksmear," she grumbled from over her mug, glaring at him from narrowed dagger slits that currently hid her eyes behind them. "Marissa," their father, who was stirring up some scrambled eggs on the stone while their mother was at the table on her phone, scrolling through websites centered around normal people suddenly acquiring abnormal abilities. "Don't call your brother a cocksmear." "Thank you," Devin said while opening the fridge and grabbing the orange juice. Carl slid some scrambled eggs off from the pan and onto one of the plates waiting behind Marissa. They already had the toast and a couple slices of bacon and were just waiting for the final touch. What was it about finding out your children were super heroes that made parents finally want to parent? "It's about time I get the respect a god deserves around this place." His father slapped him in the back of the head. "Shut up, cocksmear." Marissa choked on a laugh, spurting up coffee bubbles onto her nose. "Eat your breakfast." "Marissa, sweetie, I'm not finding anything on the internet." Misti approached her daughter, phone in one hand while her other took her daughter's arm and began turning it over, inspecting it along the forearm and wrist where the night before Marissa had numerous minor abrasions and lacerations. "Perhaps this resistance you have to things is also accelerating your healing? You look eighty percent better than last night, most of your minor injuries are fading away... this is amazing. I just can't believe any of this." She glanced up at her daughter, sans makeup and horrid choice in attire for the day and sighed with a shrug. "Well, forty percent better, at any rate." "Yeah, well," Marissa sipped her coffee again, "Everything hurts. Muscle aches, head hurts, I can tell the wounds are fading, but it still feels like I got ran over by a damn truck." "Amen to that," Devin grumbled, fork in hand and eggs in mouth. His phone began playing 'ki ki ki, ma ma ma' from Friday the 13th and with a smirk he glanced at the screen. His fork hit his plate without a word and began moving with purpose out of the kitchen to get his coat and keys. "What?" Marissa asked, knowing her twin better than anyone. "What is it?" She walked away from her mother and chased after him. "Is everything alright?" Misti asked. "It's Jason." Was all Devin said as his keys rattled and he tucked his phone in his pocket. "What, he finally kill someone?" Marissa mused with a sarcastic smirk because it was way to early for murder to be happening. Right? Her brother looked at his phone again, then back to her. He tapped out a reply, supposedly to Jason, while he spoke to his sister. "Possibly. He used the word 'neutralized' so... in Bannon speak they're in several pieces and he's pro/conning which stumps to have sex with first... or they're chained up in his basement slowly turning over a spit roast while he masturbates with a pile of his own feces." He chuckled and shrugged, faking a confident smile. "You know how crazy people are." "I'm going." She said sternly as her pocket vibrated. "Fine." He blew her off. "Meet me there." Marissa grabbed her keys and and left after her brother, checking her phone once her parents were out of view. *// He's hurt. Go get Autumn, I'll pin the location so you can find us easier. She silently cursed while she was both driving and texting her parents to assure them Devin was just being an ass and making fun of Jason while also texting Autumn... *// Jason needs you. He's hurt. On my way to get you, send me a pin.
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