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  1. Grace nodded at her half-brother, still disturbed by the idea that there were dozens or more half-siblings of hers running around the planet. She'd given up on family so long ago, and her opinion on her heavenly Father was about as low as you could get. Now there was family all over the world, including cousins, and they were all Scions or Gods. So, she concentrated on the task at hand instead. She stepped carefully through the area, looking for clues as to how the child was brought here and any unusual animal markings or anything left behind by something more human.
  2. Grace nodded at the other Band from her seat at the spool and shrugged. "Welcome to the team, then. I think the more help, the better. I also think we should split up." She held up her hands before anyone could start quoting horror movie statistics. "Right now we're just gathering info. Some of us know medicine and might pick something up from...from the morgue. We should research what kind of creature likes livers, and I'm not talking about a trip to the zoo. And a few of us can go to the dump sites and see if we can see something the cops missed or couldn't look for. No one goes alone, but we cover three times the investigation in much less time." She stood up, nervous energy from anger and disgust keeping her at a constant state of uncomfortable. "What'd'ya guys say? I'd be best at the dump sites, personally. Probably so would Wolf."
  3. "No," Grace stood and took the file from Fischer after he'd looked through the entire thing, "I'm saying don't treat it like it's just as important as solving the Sunday crosswords." She held the file out to Beth. "You're here to learn from us too, remember? One of the things you have to learn to deal with all of this is that it is real and acting like it ain't is gonna get you and maybe one of us killed when reality catches up and bites you in the ass."
  4. Grace had been silent through the laydown of the new problem and then the back and forth of her bandmates and the newcomer. "Beth," she said quietly, quietly enough that most in the room would have to be quiet and lean in to really hear her. "This isn't just some gross puzzle to solve." Her words were carefully chosen and her tone was perfectly measured to keep the seething rage running through her from spilling out into the room in some spectacular but ultimately useless display of anger at the World. "This isn't just a way to skip class or pass the time. This is life and death and those are real children there. Real families that will never recover from their absence. That isn't just a folder with a new mystery to solve, it's the very definition of tragedy and injustice. So don't treat it like the Sunday crossword, okay?"
  5. Grace hustled out of the room. Mercedes' taunts just flowed over her, being not directly aimed at her and so boring in the face of something important to do. She would never admit it out loud, but she actually enjoyed being a Scion and if it got her out of boring Spanish class? All the better. She did start when a non-Bandmate was named, giving the girl a curious look that might have been just a little too intense to be friendly. Out in the hall, she nodded to her bandmates, then asked Farrow, "What can we do for you, Sherriff?" Her eyes flicked over to Beth again, obviously but silently questioning her presence.
  6. Grace nearly missed the little life drama unfolding for Nadya and Niles; she'd come to school after picking up Natalie from her new foster home and the extra commute had almost made her late today. The commute, not the stop by Starbucks for must-deal-with-people fuel. She was sipping at her grande latte whatever when Niles made his move and it did actually make her smile. No matter what Nadya said, Niles had had the guts to ask. Grace didn't even have a date for the dance and wasn't sure she was going to go. An anti-dance party with some adult drinks and good gossip sounded just as appealing and a lot less work. Then again, there was still time to be asked out or for someone to pique her interest enough for her to do the asking. Not much time, but some. Either way. Really. No big deal.
  7. I voted for story upgrades. It makes more sense and makes it more interesting to me.
  8. Grace nodded, honestly a little relieved. It was a smart idea to have a good place to train and the acreage around her foster's house wasn't probably going to be large enough territory for a Namean wolf. "That's an awesome idea," she said. Her tone wasn't exactly excited, but it was the most positive response they'd seen out of their recalcitrant Bandmate in a bit. "Maybe we should check out the place before we take her there, though? I mean, we know all the Weird Shittm that exists now and maybe there is a reason no one's bought it. Either way, we can scout out the best place to set up our Band HQ and what all we want to do to make it a good place to train and hang out."
  9. Grace looked tired. Not the tired of just muscles and sinew, but the near shell-shock of combat tiredness. She'd sent Coute home as soon as the fighting was over, so he could recover and she feel guily and enraged without accidentally unleashing it on him. Mentally, she'd been cussing up a storm at her divine father for hours now. "My fosters have a bunch of land behind their house and I bunk out in the Barn." At the few raised eyebrows, she rolled her eyes and added, "They reno'd it into rooms for the kids close to aging out. There's only three of us there right now, so I could probably keep the...puppy...there and she'd have room to roam. I can't really image trying to housebreak her or keep her crammed up in a room all the time."
  10. Grace watched the group scramble. Inside, she was screaming incoherently, but outwardly she seemed perfectly calm when she pulled out her phone and dialed a number. "Dane? Where are you? Okay, I need you to do something for me." She gave a quick recap of what had happened and directed him to the family he was closest to, which happened to be Nadya's father. She hung up and touched her hand to her necklace, trying to figure out a way for this to end in something other than a funeral. Cuate? Any suggestions? Could you reach the barn in time? Or do I need to steal a car? Her eyes were already scanning the parking lot of the Drip, but without much enthusiasm. 'Cause I got to admit, I'm pretty shit on hot-wiring cars.
  11. Grace listened silently throughout the pitch, her eyes lazily tracing the little movements of Every-British-Bad-Guy-Ever's head and hands. There was a lot you could learn about a person from how the communicated - how they gestured and who they looked at when they weren't making pointed veiled threats. Threatening the family, that's a Bad Guy 101 and he does seem to love the classics. Also the 'oh poor things, but WAIT, I can help'. All he needs right now is a cat to pet and a catch phrase you can't get out of your head like bad commercial jingles. She'd pulled a chair up to the open end of the table and now sh wrapped her knuckles on the table and nodded to Marius. "Okay. So that's done." She stood up, looking around at her Band and ending on Marius. "Y'know what I told my sperm donor when he showed up? Shove off and fuck yourself another try at a good little soldier. I don't do this shit for Them. Fuck 'em, they suck. But everyone else? They don't deserve your shit either. So I'm gonna tell you the same thing. Fuck off." She almost said more, a whole torrent of words building behind her lips. What's the point? He doesn't need my reasons or to know my priorities. She took another look at the other Scions, then shrugged. "Do what you got to, guys. Who knows if he actually can get you out, but if that's what you want, go for it. I sure as hell ain't gone give you orders about your life. That's your call." She nodded a last time, then turned to make her way out of the Drip. She needed a smoke or something. This would be easier if I actually smoked.
  12. Grace frowned in thought, then shook her head at Nadya. "I don't know. He seems to know who we are, enough to have tracked us back to school and left that note. I think he'll notice if someone's missing. Besides, Salem seems horror movie enough that splitting up makes me pretty nervous." She looked the note over again and sighed. "I vote we just go. We should let the others, the other Bands, know what's going on, and Mr. Syracuse, of course, but I think we should meet up with this guy. Maybe he's cliched villain enough to need to give a monologue on his Evil Plans or something." She waved the letter in the air, "I mean, look at this. It's like he's auditioning to be our Joker or something."
  13. Grace was propped up, two legs of her chair hanging in the air and her cellphone resting in her lap. She'd ignored Coach Finger's assessment because whatever. She started up a group IM with everyone except Rachel and Fischer, typing quickly. Don't bother, he love's the chance to put us all down. Look, let them go, then we'll cut class and follow after. We can be back up if they get into trouble with the monster or if Coach Compensating tries to pull something. Or Eric and his band decide to make a competition of it or whatever.
  14. Grace stared at Nadya for several moments, then let out a long, low sigh. "Yeah, I guess from the way everyone's talked about us, all of the gods are pretty much players, right? I've probably got dozens of half-siblings running around." Weird. She returned Nadya's grin, though it seemed a bit strained. "I don't think we're gonna be trading birthday cards and doing Christmas together, somehow. Thanks for letting me know. I'll...see you tomorrow?" She waved goodbye but didn't really wait for an answer before turning and making her way up to the old-style farmhouse sitting back from the road. Once she heard the rattle of Nadya's car fade into the distance, she struck out onto the few acres her foster parents had behind the house. She needed time to think and it was late enough that both the main house and converted barn where most of the kids lived would be busy with dinner, chores, and the usual gossiping and bitching. She couldn't deal with it right now; there was a large tree on almost the opposite side of the property, that overlooked the Salem Woods. She climbed up into the large old branches and hung her backpack on a convenient spur out of the wood. A brother. Right. Should've guessed I wasn't Tezzy's only blow-by. Gotta breed them up their cannon fodder, after all. Damn it, why does this have to be so shitty? I should be thrilled to find an actual relative and all I can think is 'well, I'm probably going to end up watching my brother get massacred by monsters some day. Yay for that.' Her hands were clenched tightly in her lap, her nails digging red troughs into her skin. Why couldn't I have just been a normal orphan? Then the Trinity's wouldn't have given me up and I'd have a normal home, a normal life, and I would be worrying about stupid middle-class shit instead of waking up from nightmares where the whole damn world ended because I screwed up. "You would not enjoy a normal life, Grace. You would be bored." Grace scowled at the the jaguar warrior perched a few limbs up from her. "I didn't ask you, Cuate. And stop snooping around in my head. It's creepy." "Your thoughts are carried in your blood, kitten," he said, jumping lightly down to join her on the larger limb. Somehow the nickname coming from him wasn't cute at all; he saw her as a young jungle cat - deadly but naive. "Blood you have spilled in your anger at your place in life." He gestured to her hands and she saw a drop of red fall onto the tree bark. She uncurled her fingers and winced at the red welts where her nails had cut through. "So, what, I should be just shouting for joy because my life's all fucked up, but hey, at least I'm not bored?" He sighed and gave her a level look. When she didn't back down, his lips twitched in the ghost of smile. She was a child, and prone to childish whining, but she did not break easily. He decided talking with her at the moment would be wasteful and incredibly annoying, so instead he jumped hard on the branch, knocking her off balance. "In your first battle, you hid behind me. That is forgivable, kitten. Once. Come, time to learn to hunt!"
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