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October 26 - 27th, 2019 Marama, Cook Islands The suggestion of a Stormer get-together had been an off-the-cuff remark by Davian in a meeting about how to market Nova Solutions as a corporation to work for. Ideas were bandied around and finally Davian laughed and threw out, "Well, it's October. We could throw a Halloween Stormers party." He should have known better. Ryan should have stopped him - teleported him out of the room or to another continent before the words escaped his lips. But he didn't and Deezy heard them and now Davian was making invitations and arrangements after convincing his father to let him use the private island they owned in the Cook Islands. Deezy and Ryan were responsible for getting the physical invites out, but Nova Solutions also made a press release (using Layton Industries media arm for now) inviting "all Stormers, regardless of nationality" to the Nova Solutions Halloween Storm Bash on October 26th and 27th. The island was in three parts, with the largest speck of land hosting an amazing stretch of beach with the sprawling beach house nestled just under the canopy of palm trees towards the center of the island. Cabana were set up along the beach along with a large tent home to a massive buffet. Everything was festooned in Halloween - spiders, skeletons, witches, zombies, and ghosts peaking out from every corner; candy apples, mummied sausages, and smoking punch bowls with witch's brew were tucked in with dozens of other Halloween'd gourmet foods. Inside the house, bowls of candy were scattered around, cobwebs dripped over the ornate surfaces and the servants were dressed like dancers from Michael Jackson's Thriller. Davian was dressed in sandals, a simple Grecian toga with gold braiding, and a laurel crown around his head; he looked every inch the young godling he was honestly raised to be. We've got real gods, now, he though ruefully to himself and chuckled. No more pretend. As the first guests began arriving through Ryan's portals, he effortlessly took up the duties of host, greeting and making people feel at ease while also making a mental list of just who all actually did decide to show up. "Welcome, everyone! Happy Halloween!"
Monday, October 7th, 2019 Deezy landed in Seattle with a list in her hand. The helicopter wasn't hers, of course, it was Davian's. Having a loaded friend was handy, even if Deezy was well aware she was racking up a 'bill' to be assessed not in cash but in favorable terms later. That was fine. There would be pleeeeeeenty of money to go around. That was of secondary importance to her though. Useful as a means to an end, and also a good way to fill otherwise boring moments, but not the objective by itself. The first item on her list, a trip to the world-famous Starbucks HQ for a fresh cuppa joe. It was delicious. She treated Davian to one too, seeing his free chopper ride and raising him one. Checkmate. The second item...required Davian to get a company car. She was going to just rent one, but he insisted, and for this it actually did make a difference to roll up in a sleek, blingy roadster instead of a Honda Civic. Deezy had even gotten kinda dressed up, though her navy blue suit had already gotten rumpled. She seemed to have that effect on pretty much anything she put on. Instant rumple. It was fine though, she still looked about 1000% more professional than usual. The third item on her list: the horizon. Specifically, Horizon Delivery and Transportation. Davian had thought the move was rather odd until Deezy had let him in on something...at which point he was all in. And so it was that a black and silver Lexus prowled into the Horizon D&T parking lot and pulled into the Visitor Parking place nearest the main entrance. From within emerged two figures. A tallish man in a pressed black suit, and a young woman in a navy blue blazer and skirt, with red hair in a tight ponytail and librarian glasses propped on her nose. For Ryan, it might have taken a moment to recognize her as Deezy, from Quarantine. They headed into the lobby and went to the receptionist's desk. "Hi," Deezy said cheerfully. "Is Ryan busy?"
The drone of the plane had lulled Davian into a sleepy stupor even though he'd been sleeping for most of the flight anyways. Darrik had managed to get them bumped up to first-class seats by flirting with the flight attendants the evening before and the larger, plush seats were doing the best to pull Davian into full slumber. They'd put the armrest between the seats up last night and Davian had leaned against his boyfriend, snuggling under the blanket they were sharing and trying not to worry about the reception most likely waiting for them in New York. ,, It wasn't just Alexis, even though she was the reason they were flying halfway around the world. The US Ambassador to Algeria had been trying to get him to go back to the States for over a year - something about an R&D military think tank that wanted to meet him. More like dissect me, he grumbled to himself, if that's even really possible anymore. It was based just outside of DC and Davian had little doubt that there wouldn't be some "amazing coincidence" of some of the scientists being in New York while he was visiting his sister. Hell, they were about as subtle as bricks through windows, if the Ambassador was anything to go by; he wouldn't be surprised if they were camped out at the airport, just waiting for him to land so they could "accidentally" bump into him before he even had a chance to get his luggage. ,, He debated changing his appearance before they got off, but Darrik couldn't do that and they knew who he was travelling with. Besides, he grumbled more in his head, his apprehension making him unusually surly, I shouldn't have to sneak around like some criminal just to visit my sister on our birthday. His eyes flicked down to the backpack at his feet, the only contents being his identification and the velvet box with Alexis' presents in it. He wasn't a rich man, though he could probably make himself so easily enough if he wanted to, so long as he didn't mind either counter-fitting money, flooding the market with rare items like gems or precious metals, selling his soul to the US (or most other countries') military industrial complexes, even less scrupulous corporations, or charging people for his ability to heal. None of those options made him feel anything above greedy and corrupt, so for right now he and Darrik lived modestly and he only splurged on making expensive things when it was necessary. And bribing his sister with expensive jewelry to be at least somewhat nice to him on their birthday was, after some prodding from Darrik and the memory of the last time he'd spoken (fought) with Alexis, sadly probably pretty necessary. ,, The sunrise had been chasing them across the Atlantic for hours now and the ding of the seat-belt sign finally went off, signalling the first step in their descent back to earth. Davian reluctantly sat up enough to buckle himself in and put down the armrest. It wasn't worth the argument with the stewards about his ability to fly on his own and dematerialize off the plane if it started to crash. Nobody like to talk about plane crashes and it just sounded crass to say that it wouldn't really bother you. The blanket and it's stored warmth from the two men stayed put, though. He wasn't ready to give up on the comfort and perceived shield it and his lover provided against the worry of what would happen after they touched down. His eyes tracked passed Darrik and out the window, staring out at the clouds and the ocean beneath them. ,, Twenty years ago today he'd been born. Seven years ago today he'd lost almost everything in the car crash on the way to their birthday dinner. Four years ago today he'd become something else, something not quite human anymore, saved his sister's life, and abandoned her all on the same day. Two years ago today he'd finally made it to the US Embassy in Algiers after escaping from Dr. Solace and met Darrik for the first time. Everything about his family, past and future, seemed to sit on this day. He glanced down at the backpack again and sighed. Please let this work, he prayed to the universe, hoping someone or Someone was listening.