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Aberrant: Mutant High - [MH-Plot] The Proposal (Complete)

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"I was mostly joking, but hey that idea sounds good"

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She said scratching her head.

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"I think they still do. "

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She said smiling, her mouth watering a little, thinking about the tacos.

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"Alright... let me get changed first then, then if some of the folks that left get back in I can ask again."

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She grinned grabbing a different outfit from her collection, one that matched what she was wearing coming in. "I'll be right back."

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"Oh, and Natalie, dear, clean up your drool, it's making a mess of things and I wager cleaning the floors here is an extensive job. At least until I build cleaning drones to take care of that... hmm would be good for security as well... anyways, be right back."

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Note
Not intending to leave for anything, as I assume everyone will be back shortly. I'll wait for Dave on this one. So... quick wardrobe change!

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"By all means, lead the way," he smiled at the diminutive shapeshifter. He watched as the tiny girl skipped off and followed and turned to the other girls. "Shall we?"

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The little group made their way to one of the campus buildings in a somewhat awkward silence. Morri was still gripping Marco's hand and slipped her hand into one of Sonja's and the three of them walked across the lawn. In the building Kia let the foursome to one of the janitor closets. In the back she pressed a secret panel and the back wall slid open revealing an high tech looking elevator. The four squeezed in to the slightly too small space and were quickly whisked into the sub basements.

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When the doors opened the piled out and Marco got his first real look at the underground facilities. "You have got to be joking!" he said, drawing the attention of larger group still admiring their new costumes. They all looked at the new voice and there was yet another moment of awkward silence before Kia cheerily piped up. "Hey guys! So we brought Morri back and....umm... Marco too. It's okay, he knows about everything so um, yeah." She beamed at the room.

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Drumm nodde to Kia as if to say everything was fine. "Welcome back Morri, and welcome to our little gathering Marco."

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Mr. Hunt cleared his throat and Drumm sighed, pulled out a 20 and handed to the old man in the white suit, who plucked it from his hand and slipped it into his pocket. "Yes, welcome young man. It's about time you got here."

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"Welcome to the Arena." Drumm said about four minutes later, with a cadre of super mutants in tow. Caitlin's comment didn't trigger a fight with Warren, although everyone could tell he wanted to jaw her. Had Alex and Oneca not said something, he probably would have.

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With arms outstretched wide the Arena was less than impressive. It was simply a massive room the size of a couple of gymnasiums with a honey comb pattern etched in it's polished, stainless steel walls. The ceiling was incredibly high, about equal to the length and width of the room itself. Along the southern wall about half way up a half circle protruded from the wall several feet lined with windows. A control room, or, the Hub, where Violet did most of her work. She was up there now with a large smile on her face waving happily to everyone down below. "Hey guys!" Her modulated voice boomed from unseen speakers. "Up here!"

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"Not very impressive..." Curtis said aloud. "It's just..."

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"Open air." Sonja finished for him. They both looked to Drumm, sort of nodding.

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"Well, yes, and no." Dr. Hunt said as he walked to the front of the group, taking up the role of 'tour guide'. "This room makes use of 'hard light' to create terrain and objects that look and feel real."

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"T-that's impossible!" Curtis protested. "I've read all the material hard light theories and the principal behind it is... unlikely at best. Not even I could make sense of half the algorithms."

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"Miss Vincent, if you please." A sift ball suddenly appeared in Dr. Hunts hand. If phased in like you might see on Star Trek, molecules shimmering and sifting about in a circular pattern until they took shape and texture. He tossed it to Curtis and the young genius caught it and held it in amazement. "I'll explain the other half after the tour. For the rest of you, who care less on how it works and more on 'what does it do', this room can simulate anything using tactile holographic technology-"

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"Like the holo-deck on the Enterprise!" Sakurako eagerly finished. The twenty dollar bill moved from Dr. Hunt's hand back into Drumm's.

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The Director had a smile that would've made the devil blush. "I told you someone would say it."

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"Anyway," the Doctor smirked and went on with his explanation. "Yes, like the holo-deck. Ladies and gentleman, what this means is... well, it's probably best if I show you. Miss Vincent, load Tactical Simulation: Dreadnought."

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Same as with the soft ball, four massive energy fluctuations spiraled and shimmered until Dr.Hunt was standing there before the group with four massive, twelve foot tall Dreadnoughts standing behind him. They looked at locked onto the large group, their eyes flashed with targeting computations, and the forearms expanded into the massive spinning laser cannons they sported around the circumference o their arms. "Mutant signatures detected. Terminate."

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"Oh, not cool..." Alex muttered. The group simultaneously tensed up and unconsiously 'powered up'. Alex was soaring and glowing. Oneca had dark energy coalescing about her arms and hands. Warren had a quarter in each hand charged to capacity giving him a purplish aura. Curtis had stood in front of Sakurako, shielding her and was already breaking down the cybernetic response pattern needed to control one of he machine's weapon systems. Sonja flexed and the seams of her pants almost tore. Caitlin tensed up and black claws grew from her finger tips, instincts quickly began to take over...

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"Pause simulation." Doctor Hunt said calmly. "Relax. It's alright. They're just solid images."

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The group calmed, but were hardly relaxed. "So, this room can create anything? Illusory though it may be, it can create, anything?"

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"Indeed." Providing we've a program for it. "Miss Vincent, load the Bad Boys program, if you'd be so kind."

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"Oh! One of my favs!" She squealed over the speakers. The giant robots faded away, breaking away in awesome display of separated pixels. In their place appeared four very familiar faces. Alex, Warren, Daniel and... Curtis? He was riding a hovering platform with a small army of drones swirling all about him. They were outfitted in their uniforms, but had a strange... angry look to them (not a far stretch for Warren, but the program version looked out right pissed!).

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"You can even train yourselves... against yourselves." Director Drumm added.

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Daniel had moved in front of DIana, at the appearance of the Dread, and seeing it shift to approximations of himself and others, he nodded. "Awesome." There was a look in his eyes, and he seemed almost happy. "Do these programs have different levels of difficulty, in as much as I would assume at lower levels they wouldn't really be capable of harming us. Are there settings to simulate real situations, where we can actually be hurt?" It seemed common sense, but he wanted the parameters of this place spelled out.

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"Not that I'd jump to that right off, but it's important to know what we could be getting into."

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Sakurako adjusted her glasses. "Daniel's right... might be a good idea to know where the failsafes are in the operating system before we continue forward. That and I sincerel hope there isn't a "Evil Me" in the rogues gallery you constructed, Doctor... might turn out bad. Particularly if she knows what I know about medical matters..."

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"The good thing though, that I can train for any medical emergency without even needing medical cadavers! This truly is a gift to science." She smiled, looking like she was grinning from ear to ear. "That and we can have beach parties in the winter! I mean we can't always be serious business in here."

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She scratched her head. "I mean... I'm sure someone had thought about that possibility, right?"

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"The actual you doesn't do anything, what the hell's an evil you gonna do? Be even more useless?" Warren had, over the years, absorbed the powers of several different mutants, but never had he considered the possibility of battling himself. Considering his ego could, arguably, be one of his mutant abilities, it quickly became logical to him that only he could provide an adequate challenge for himself.

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"C'mon Danny Boy... only way to play the game is to set it to 11." He smirked as he appraised his 'hard light clone'. "Go big or go home, pretty boy." He leaned in, inspecting the 'paused' clone of himself. "Huh, you even got the scar above my lip... nice."

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"And we can use this place? Anytime we want?" Warren asked, looking about the massive room.

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"Uh, yes, Warren." Director Drumm replied, looking a bit skeptical when it came to anything the death mutants sowed an interest in.

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"Good." He pointed to Caitlin. "You. She-Bitch. Let's go. Here. Now. I owe you from the locker room, or didja think I'd forget?"

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"Oh, believe me," the redhead retorted as she strode forward without hesitation, "that's an accounting I'm more than happy to give. Just don't let yer runaway mouth write a check yer arse can't cash. Don't worry," she added with a grin that showed more teeth than a teenage girl should possess. "I'll try not to smear yer eyeliner too much."

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She turned to the Director, green eyes alight with a feverish intensity, an expression only he and two others in the room had ever seen on her pretty, freckled, girl-next-door face. "Y've got yer first guinea pigs, so how d'we do this?"

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A bit taken aback, Director Drumm cleared his throat. "Well, we get out of your way, and the two of you, um, do your thing until you fell like quitting... or can't get up, I guess. Violet, be a dear and give them some scenery."

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Instead of objects, the room itself shifted and from nowhere it became a large stadium. On one side the stands were filled with roaring and cheering Caitlins, on the other was a compeltely silent and morose gang of Warrens, ill content with everything from the popcorn to the foam fingers. Around them ring surfaced, even lifting them with it as it elevated and fenced itself in like a UFC octagon (to keep on lookers safe).

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"There's still much to do, so please, you two don't take too long." Drumm asked. "This ought to be good."

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"Catch." Warren said calmly as he took a few steps toward her. Having never seen Warren in action she easily dodged the purple, shimmering quarter as it darted past her head with nothing more than a sway to one side. Child's play.

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Or not.

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Alex winced, he saw it coming before anyone else did. "This is going to hurt..."

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The blast from the quarter behind her sent her lurching forward where Warren was waiting. As she flew forward so did he. The clothesline was well placed and any normal person wouldn't be breathing afterward, but Caitlin was a beast. Her Barbies hit harder than Warren. She slammed to the mat, holding her throat, waiting for her body to set things right, which it did. Warren hadn't even walked away before her iron grip clasped his ankle and easily pulled him off his feet. Effortlessly she threw him into the cage where he fell to the ring like a man who'd just hit a brick wall.

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"Nice," He chuckled as they both stood up. He had no idea she was that strong. They were both flying blind. "No finesse in your game. I like that. Come at me Cupcake, lessee what you got..."

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"No," Sonja corrected Alex from where everyone was watching. "That is going to hurt."

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"Woo! Go Caitlin!" Kia cheered, with a little hop and wave for good measure. "Show 'em who's boss!"

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The force of the impact made her wince in spite of herself though, and she aimed a smile that was a little marred by a concerned wrinkle in her forehead at Drumm.

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"They're really going at it. This is safe, right?"

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Curtis watched the whole thing, mouth agape. This... really? Hunt had produced technologies that Curtis hadn't even figured out with casual ease? That was a bit of an ego-deflater for the super-genius, but he shut his mouth and thought about it. He'd really been far too restrained and limited by the mundane confines of the Academy resources now.

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Time to fix the gap.

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Curtis spared a few moments for Caitlin to whip through the air and kick Warren, who evaded enough to protect his nads. "Beat him, Caitlin." Curtis agreed approvingly, but not speaking above normal conversation level. He slipped over to Doctor Hunt and fixed him with a firm look, even if it couldn't be seen.

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"I need all the documentation you have on the hard light systems. And all the other advanced technologies accessible in this complex. Knowledge is power, and there's a great deal of work to be done."

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Sakurako starts cleaning her glasses. "So... two students in our program are fighting each other over a perceived slight and we're just... watching? Doesn't this look wrong to anyone here?" Mouse pleaded, it was natural for her to bring it up, although she had no clue over why this was happening as whatever incident took place was not heard of to her knowledge... well that and no one tells her much of anything.

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She adjusts her outfit. "Well... as I'm incapable of physically stopping this... can someone point me to where the first aid equipment is, just in case?" She said with a flustered, disappointed tone.

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"Well this escalated quickly"

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She said looking at the brawl.

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"What pissed them off anyways? Or are they just breaking in the place?"

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She said looking toward Saku

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"Good god, Mouse, do you ever unclench? This is a training room. Fighting is what you do. Besides, that," she waved towards the fracas, "is just foreplay, trust me. They're toying with each other and no one's getting more hurt than they can handle." She watched the two for a moment and added, "And it's hot, not that I'd expect you to, y'know, have a libido."

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"You're getting your ass handed to you by a girl!" she shouted to her boyfriend, always the supportive one in the relationship. He was right, though, Caitlain was all instinct in her fighting and Oneca was pretty sure Warren could take her once he got a feel for her....heh...images far less to do with actual fighting flickered through her mind and her grin became decided lascivious. Now there's a thought....and apparently I likey the girls. Or at least the three-ways. She cleared her throat, cheeks flushed, and tried to remember if she'd said that aloud or not. Mouse wasn't turning into a strawberry and stammering away in mortification, so she figured she'd probably managed to keep it to her inside-her-head voice.

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"If you can't handle her," she called out again, all sultry teasing, "I'll tap in for you, babe."

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Sakurako gulped. She was petty close to Kia... and Glacia was in eyesight... well with glasses on... but there was Daniel too...

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"W... well... a... at least I don't go about settling my differences in a bloodsport." She said, crossing her arms. "I'm a doctor, not a MMA fighter."

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She raised her head, her nose in the air, but her indigence was falling flat. She knew she couldn't fight out of a wet paper bag, and she was a straight up chicken shit to violence. It saddened her that Caitlin was so angry... she was cute, in her own way, but cute...

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"Besides... Caitlin isn't cute when she's angry..." She says, loud enough to be heard, before gasping, her hands over her mouth like she was keeping her last bit of air before drowning...

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Oneca chuckled and crossed her arms, eyes still on the fight. "No, Mouse, she ain't cute when she fights. She's fucking hot. Big difference there, but then I don't suppose you'll understand for a few years still. I'll get you one of those Sex for Dummies books for your birthday, m'kay?"

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The teasing was almost good-natured, at least as close as Oneca's teasing really ever came to good-natured, but then she was a bit bloodthirsty and definitely no doctor. The fight was fun and damn if she wasn't going to enjoy the eye-candy while it lasted. She made a mental note to get Violet something sexy as a thank-you for Caitlain's outfit.

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She grinned, all teeth and dark amusement. "It'll have whole new ways for you to play 'doctor', little Mouse."

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Standing behind Alex, one arm draped over his shoulder, the other still holding Morri's hand, Sonja watched the fight over her boyfriend's head. Though she would never admit it, she had to agree with 'Neca. Caitlin was fucking hot, with that red hair and the artfully slashed green body-stocking hugging her athletic frame. The redhead's almost animalistic ferocity reminded her a bit of Morri too.

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And as a jock and athlete ever since she could remember, who competed against the boys more often than not, Sonja was always in favour of seeing a girl beat a guy. At pretty much anything. That it was her sister's boyfriend getting his ass handed to him was just a bonus. Loyal girlfriend that she was, she would of course have been in Alex's corner if he had been in the ring.

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"Give him hell, Caitlin!" Sonja crowed, pumping a fist in the air.

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Since Drumm and Hunt didn't seem too concerned, Sonja wasn't either. Caitlin apparently regenerated like Morri, from what Alex had mentioned and what she had seen, and Warren was a tough-as-shit douchebag (who admittedly, wasn't as much as a douchebag as he pretended to be). It was just especially exuberant sparring to her - plus they got a chance to see how well this super outfits worked, during practice.

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Still, just in case instincts and badassitude took over, Sonja grew to fourteen feet tall, and prepared to grow even bigger, in case she had to separate the two of them to prevent them from going too far.

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It also gave her a better view into the raised ring.

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Alex folded his arms and sighed, leaning back against his Amazonian girlfriend as he watched Caitlin and Warren burn off some excess energy and tried to view it as an opportunity to learn something useful. Unfortunately, it was mainly an opportunity to watch two fast, strong, tough mutants beat on one another. One of them being a shapely mutant of the female persuasion wearing a skinsuit...

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Okay, there were some positive aspects.

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Anyway, the Arena had some possibilities, but Alex didn't really see himself getting much use of it as a one-on-one sparring ring. He'd either not use his main offensive ability, and get beaten shiteless by his opponents, or he would use it, and run out of opponents quite fast. Though some sparring might not be a bad idea so he could learn to do something other than render his opponents down to atoms, now that he thought about it. But the main use he planned to make of the Arena was tactical - teamwork exercises against holographic enemies, practice runs for tricky operations, and so on. He glanced up at Sonja... well, at the underside of Sonja's boobs. He leaned sideways a little and peered around the swell of her bosom at her face.

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"It looks like fun." he said with a good-natured grin. "Do others get to play, do you think?"

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"Quite frankly, I don't know, Natalie." Sakurako said, adjusting her glasses. "Although again, I am not approving of this display over a disagreement. IF this was actual training, I am fine with it, but this..."

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She had a look of distaste of events unfolding. She sighed... "I'll be right back."

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She looked in the hallway, outside the simulator and finally found a first aid kit and brings it back with her.

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Note
I'll take Sakurako off camera for a couple beats. Probably when the fight is over with.

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Aradia, on the other hand, had no such compunctions. In the spirit of friendly competition, she cheered on whoever had just struck the best hit. She was standing next to Alex and Sonja, and she grabbed onto the railing, stepped up onto the lowest rung, and leaned over it screaming, like a die-hard fan at an NFL game.

"HELLZ YES! Nice one, Warren!!! Oh my god, she's gonna -- OH!! That had to hurt!"

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"It looks like fun." he said with a good-natured grin. "Do others get to play, do you think?"

"I sure hope so! This is gonna be awesome!" she said, watching her two fellow students go at it. "Dibs on the next fight! Who's up for it?!"

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"I'll get in the ring," Kia suggested with a grin and a few punchy motions that were a lot less threatening when she wasn't twenty feet tall and covered in armored chitin.

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"I've been practicing some since that giant robot. Don't worry though, I'll go easy on you."

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Sakurako sits down next to Natalie with the medical equipment she found and waits. Adjusting her glasses.

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"I see things haven't gotten too far out of hand yet. Nothing a ice pack and some over the counter pain killers won't fix."

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She sighed. She was more against the two in the ring fighting for reasons that to her were stupid. Training was training. Sakurako gets up and shouts. "Look, prolonging this is only going to increase your chances of serious injury!!! Finish this quickly and try to be humane about it!!!"

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She obviously had no clue about these two. Or about fighting in general other than it was painful. She just hoped a defibrulator wouldn't be needed. She couldn't find a portable one.

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A hand on Sakurako’s arm drew her attention to Morri. The red-eyed mutant was staring at her with those creepy, glowing eyes. “War-ran, Kate-lan need fight.”

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“No they don’t!” Sakurako was almost shaking in her desire to stop the needless pain and suffering.

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“Yes. Need fight now, in good place, not in real fight.” Morri gazed around at the room, having only barely understood what it really was and what it could do. “Safe-place fight. Not safe-place out there.”

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“They don’t have to fight at all!”

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“Need fight. Need know who higher than other.” To Morri, this was a dominance fight, nothing more and nothing less. In a way, that’s exactly what it was, only it wasn’t about dominance but respect: Warren didn’t have respect for Caitlin as a person, and she was determined to have it, even if she literally had to hammer it out of him.

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Sakurako crossed her arms. "We're not a pack of animals, Morri... we should be able to live together without knowing who is on top."

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Sighing, she shook her head... "No... no we're not... we're just teenagers. Damn these hormones."

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Caitlin did look like a hot mess in this fight.

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She gripped her knees. Now even she sort of felt that something like this needed to happen once in a while. And this was the safest place to have it happen.

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She adjusted her outfit and looked to Morri. "Sometimes... sometimes you just gotta put the knuckles up."

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"Maybe you can learn a bit about fighting non-lethally. Although I don't know fully yet what you're capable of... in fact I don't think you are aware, even at this point." She said, adjusting he glasses, if only because she was curious. Then there was a thought from the dark, reptilian shadows of her brain.

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"That would be something... Curtis and I..." She said, hoping she kept it low enough for no one to here as it was her internal monologue sneaking out.

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"I'll get in the ring," Kia suggested with a grin and a few punchy motions that were a lot less threatening when she wasn't twenty feet tall and covered in armored chitin.

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"I've been practicing some since that giant robot. Don't worry though, I'll go easy on you."

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":I guess I'll call the winner."

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She said putting her hands behind her head.

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"Don't worry, I'm a bit tougher than I look"

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Warren danced about the octagon; hitting Caitlin was like hitting solid steel, but he continued his assault, striking with lightning speed that barely caused her to flinch at the impacts. He decided to try and knock her off balance, leaping high into the air and using his forward momentum to crash down upon her. She caught him by the throat, effortlessly holding him aloft with one arm. Her smirk was borderline evil.

"This..." he struggled to free himself, grasping her wrist with one hand while he tried with his other hand to pry her thumb loose from his neck. He wasn't having much luck. "Is... gonna... hurt... ain't... it?"

"Aye," Caitlin's smirk was ear to ear. "Tis'."

"Ugh... cra-" Warren closed his eyes and braced for the impact. When Caitlin slammed him to the mat of the hardlight octagon, she did so with such force that the virtual landscape rippled and 'crackled' slightly, like bad reception, until the system compensated and refocused. The fact that it needed to compensate illustrated to all the observers that it must have been pretty damn hard.

Everyone looked away with a wince or grimace, except Dr. Hunt. "Mess with the bull, lad. Mess with the bull. Words to live by, look it up sometime."

"Great, I'm being taunted by a blind Colonel Sanders..." He winced, trying to get up but everything hurt. "Damn good hit, round one goes to you."

Caitlin wondered if it just another of the emo boy's tricks or sneak attack set-ups. To hear this hardass offering honest praise and losing 'gracefully' just didn't seem his style. Guys like Warren didn't tend to present themselves with any sort of honor or code, yet he seemed sincere enough that she offered him her hand to help him up. It was about that time that the hard light scenery faded away, leaving Warren to come crashing down several feet onto his back again. Caitlin simply fell, landing on her feet, but looked up to the control booth with a frown.

"Sorry! Sorry!" Violet shouted through the mic. "It's just, um... well, Director Drumm, Dr. Hunt, I think you should see this!" Dr. Hunt quirked a brow, hiding an amused smirk. "Sorry... I mean... umm..." She struggled to find the right words, which was very unlike her. "Oh, hell with it, just listen! And stop giving me that look..."

Suddenly the entire room was nothing more than a series of flat, hard light screens that seemed to simply hover there in place. Each was the size of a theater screen at the movies but each showed something different, the theme however was the same: anarchy. Every news channel in New York was covering what looked to be the biggest riot in national history.

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A pair of mutants were running through the streets, one hurling plasma that melted the asphalt at the feet of innocent bystanders trying to flee the scene. The second raised glowing hands high to the sky and multiple strokes of lightning struck the shield wall of officers in their riot gear, scattering them like roaches. On another screen, rubble from buildings fell from the sky, smashing cars, injuring or killing those trapped inside as massive gargoyles and masonry flattened their vehicles. Tear gas filled the streets on one screen only to be whirled up into a cloud and sent back to the officers who launched it. Mutants laughed at the attempts of the peacekeepers until the humans seemed reluctant to keep pressing forward, looking mildly afraid.

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The camera shook as the cameraman focused on the sky. Several large shapes soared in and hovered in place. Dreadnoughts. The massive giants slammed down into the pavement and without warning began firing into the crowds. Distinguishing between citizen and mutant seemed of little concern to the machines as war broke out along the streets of Manhattan.

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"As you can see, all-out war has broken out in the streets of Manhattan just minutes ago when a peaceful, anti-mutant protest turned violent with the arrival of The Brotherhood. What started as heated words exchanged on both sides turned deadly when people from the crowd began hurling more than words. The Governor has declared a state of emergency in the downtown area and the Department of Homeland Security has deployed a regiment of prototype mutant neutralizers to the scene. We'll have more as it develops, and once we can get to a safer location..."

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Sakurako adjusted her glasses. "Well... that was not only sudden, but unexpected."

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Shaking her head she spat out a curse. "There is going to be civilian casualties... we should get the hostiles away from them so that emergency personnel can get in there."

She adjusted her glasses. "Seems we'll be testing our new uniforms after all, right? Speaking of which I should switch to my other uniform... That and get whatever medical equipment I can carry from sickbay."

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Curtis gaped, then started bringing himself back into the mindset for cybernetic hacking. "Very well. Comic book timing and everything." There was no mirth this time, in his voice or expression. "Leave the Dreadnoughts to me," the geek advised everyone else. "I can deal with them without running that much risk of collateral."

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Although that was a tall order... unless? Well, that option could work. Curtis considered. Assuming the software designers for the Dreadnoughts weren't the ancient graybeards of coding.

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OOC
What is Curtis planning? Wait for it, kids!

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Daniel's eyes narrowed. "Well, at as stated, we're suited up, and our is to halt things just like this..." He looked over to Director Dumm, and Dr. Hunt. "We are going to go, yes?" He knew they weren't at all ready for this, still sometimes you just had to jump feet first and hit the ground running.

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He looked around at his fellow students. This was no game, people would get hurt, they might get killed, but they would have to trust each other to work together to keep both of those as close to nil as possible.

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Sakurako nodded. "Right, I should get ready."

"Comeon, Natalie, we got a crisis to resolve!" Sakurako said, waving Natalie to come along as she runs out. "Should take me three minutes to be all set... enough time to have whoever intends to fly that aircraft we got to go through the proper flight checks!" She stopped in place, Daniel's comments sitting in. "Come on, Daniel, be serious! Of course Dr. Hunt is sending us out... why else would he have set up all this!" She shook her head. "No time for delay here come-on!" She runs out to start gearing up, she wagers this proactive response will buy some time... if they don't go after all... at least she knows how fast she is in getting suited up.

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That... and focusing on what she thought she should do to get ready pushed away the spike of fear tearing into her gut. At least her field suit has a helmet.

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Natalie nods and heads to suit up.

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"Really was hoping to get a face mask made for this before we went out for the first time. Oh well."

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She said zipping up her suit.

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"I guess I'm on damage control. I'm probably gonna need someone to cover me if things get too heavy."

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She said putting the ball bearings in her everyday wear's pockets' in her suit's pack. She may not look it but she's nervous. Had they had time to train, fine, they'd most likely make it out in one piece. But Bam, day one, and they already are being tossed into the grinder. They've had no time to practice or in some kid's cases, put aside their grudges for the sake of the mission.

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Oneca flew over to Warren's side, checking to make sure her boyfriend wasn't bleeding out or dying from a concussion while everyone else was plotting how to debut as Big Damn Heroes against the government's Tin Men and The Brotherhood. 'Cause those were awesome odds twenty minutes after deciding that grouping up and putting on spandex (well, whatever the hell their outfits were made of) trying to save the world from the world was a shiny idea. Her eyes flicked up to the carnage going on in Manhattan and even her cynical heart had to admit that it was just wrong. She might talk a lot about letting the world burn and she was pretty sure she'd already damned her own soul, but just sitting by and watching the sheeple get slaughtered in the streets for the shits and giggles of some psycho mutants was something that stoked even her to a righteous anger.

,,

"You okay, babe?" she asked as she landed next to Warren.

,,

He winced and sat up, rubbing his head. "Peachy," he groused, but he didn't seem permanently broken anywhere. He watched the screens and grimaced. "What the fuck?"

,,

"Looks like someone started the war without us," she murmured back, crossing her arms as she glanced over the different news feeds. "Pricks didn't even send invites." She sighed and gave him a look, trying her best to sound disaffected and cool. "So, we're gonna go crash the party and hope both sides don't squish us like bugs, aren't we?"

,,

Warren could always see through her bullshit; his hands clenched at his sides and he nodded, ignoring her sarcastic tone. "Damn straight. You ready for this?"

,,

"No," she answered truthfully. "None of us are." She shrugged, "So sad, too bad, war's here anyways." She tugged her cloak around herself and focused on the silver "bracelet", feeling it slide around her skin as it followed the patterns of her thought into a full outfit under her current clothes. Corsets and skirts might look hot, but they were hardly the thing to be flying around a battle zone in; as usual, fashion was the first casualty of doing anything serious. It took her a moment to undo the laces on both corset and skirt, both falling to the ground at the same time that she shrugged off the voluminous cape. The outfit underneath was still black, of course, but had given in to the practicality of pants - skin-tight and black, of course - and a black halter top that scooped down the back and showed off nearly all of her tattoo. She picked out the lacing for her corset and quickly braided her hair back to keep it out of the way, threading the black ribbon through it and using it to tie of the end to hold everything in place. She was still in her belts & buckles heeled boots, but they were pretty good for stomping on things that annoyed her anyways and she was so used to heels at this point that flat shoes felt weird to walk in.

,,

She fidgeted for a moment in the new outfit, tugging at it as if it wasn't already form-fitting to exactly her measurements, then called out over to the 'adults'. "Hey, Sanders, if you're got the goods on the future, a little more heads up next time, hmmn?" She looked around the room, then held out her hands. "Well, are we going or are we just gonna stand around and stare at the tv like dumbasses?"

,,
Oneca's Outfit
OnecaOutfit_zpsb815874b.jpeg

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Oneca's bluntness snapped Aradia out of her horrified reverie - she had, indeed, been staring at the projection in horror, even as people died on the display in front of them. She drew in a sharp breath, and nodded slightly. So much for preparation and training.

,,

"She's right.. c'mon. Let's move it!"

,,

And with that, she disappeared in a small burst, presumably heading towards the hangar bay that they had travelled through previously in the tour.

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"I..." Kia stood rooted to the spot, gazing at the display with mute horror. For once she didn't have anything cheerful to say. Seeing those images was like living those awful few seconds fighting for her life in the street all over again, only worse. She didn't want to go there. She really didn't.

,,

"...guess so," she finished. The decision seemed to stiffen her resolve though, firm up her backbone. It was going to be bad, she knew, but she wouldn't be alone, and this time they wouldn't be taken by surprise. They'd be okay. She'd be okay.

,,

They just had to be.

,,

Standing a little straighter, Kia turned to look at the other stragglers and said, "I'm going. Even if you don't want to fight, there's other ways you might help out too. Even if it's just helping people get safely out, or stuff like that. Just...think about it. Those people need our help!"

,,

And she turned and ran off towards the hangar to catch the last flight outta here!

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Sonja glowered at the monitors, unconsciously swelling larger and larger, until the top of Alex's head no longer even reached her knee and she was able to look Violet straight in the eye on the observation level.without have to look up. She had encountered the Dreadnoughts twice before, she knew how indiscriminate and destructive they were in the pursuit of mutants.

,,

Wonder of wonders, Sonja found herself agreeing with her sister once more - a disturbing habit. This was going to be very dangerous and they weren't ready for it, but the only thing worse than getting involved would be to standby watching and doing nothing. Even though it would have been idiotic, it was a struggle not to kick it into overdrive and run for Manhattan right away. Instead, with a struggle of effort, Sonja forced herself down to her 'normal' size, though she still seemed to grow larger and small by a few inches with each breath.

,,

"I've fought the Dreadnoughts before, guys - they are dangerous - but whoever is willing to go, get on the jet," Sonja said, giving 'Neca a nod, then meeting Alex's eyes, glad, but not surprised, to see matching determination reflected back. "All people are seeing are mutants going wild and robots destroying everything in their path trying to stop them. We gotta show people there are those willing to stand up to both. C'mon, we'll make a plan in the air."

,,

The towering blond girl strode briskly for the hangar on her long legs, her glowing boyfriend at her side, strikingly beautiful face smooth and tight with confident determination.

,,

But inside, her heart hammered with fear and anxiety. When they got to the battlezone, Sonja knew she was going to be a big target, literally. She could barely keep herself at seven feet as it was. There were a lot more than just a single Dreadnought this time, let alone the Brotherhood, plus all the non-combatants to clear out of danger. They wouldn't be able to save them all. Painting herself into a huge bullseye, it was going to hurt. A lot. She might even die. But every attack aimed at her was one less aimed at bystanders, her friends, Morri, her boyfriend, or her sister.

,,

It would have to be worth it.

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As the other teens clamored to run headlong into the chaos, Caitlin could only stare for a moment, utterly dumbfounded. Were they actually serious? Did they really think this Dr. Hunt was going to pat them on the butt with a smile and send them toddling out the door after a quick tour of the Hunt-cave into what was already a massacre? Did they actually believe the craziness they were talking?

,,

"Whoa, whoa, whoa!" she yelled, pushing a few sweat-damp strands of coppery hair out of her face as she moved quickly to catch up. "Are you guys out of your ever-loving minds?! They've got the military, civilian law enforcement, random bystanders, crazy mutants with who-knows-what powers and a shit-tonne more experience, aaaaand giant mass-murdering robots who apparently can't be arsed to differentiate between any of the above!" She scowled at the other students as they scrambled to be first on the Crazy Train. "Y'know what we've got? A bunch of high school kids, with minimal awareness of our abilities, no experience working together, no leadership structure, and a plane that doesn't have a pilot! Hell," she gestured toward Sakurako, "you couldn't stand the sight of a bloody sparring match a few minutes ago, and now you want to go charging off headfirst into a warzone? Do you think it's more likely we'll help, under the circumstances, or make things worse? Are you really willing to see your insides outside your body? To do that to someone else? To see it happen to your friend? To destroy buildings, machines, human beings, and see them all crushed as if they meant nothing?" Her green eyes blazed like sunlit emeralds, fiery and hard, as she scanned the faces of her 'teammates.' "That's what this is gonna be. It's not gonna be about noble bloody speeches and high ideals." She paused, her fists clenching at her sides as the memory of Primal's laugh echoed in her ears. "It's just gonna be about blood. And if you aren't sure you're ready for that, and I mean really ready, sit the hell down, because you'll get somebody killed."

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"Whoa, whoa, whoa!" she yelled, pushing a few sweat-damp strands of coppery hair out of her face as she moved quickly to catch up. "Are you guys out of your ever-loving minds?! They've got the military, civilian law enforcement, random bystanders, crazy mutants with who-knows-what powers and a shit-tonne more experience, aaaaand giant mass-murdering robots who apparently can't be arsed to differentiate between any of the above!" She scowled at the other students as they scrambled to be first on the Crazy Train. "Y'know what we've got? A bunch of high school kids, with minimal awareness of our abilities, no experience working together, no leadership structure, and a plane that doesn't have a pilot! Hell," she gestured toward Sakurako, "you couldn't stand the sight of a bloody sparring match a few minutes ago, and now you want to go charging off headfirst into a warzone? Do you think it's more likely we'll help, under the circumstances, or make things worse? Are you really willing to see your insides outside your body? To do that to someone else? To see it happen to your friend? To destroy buildings, machines, human beings, and see them all crushed as if they meant nothing?" Her green eyes blazed like sunlit emeralds, fiery and hard, as she scanned the faces of her 'teammates.' "That's what this is gonna be. It's not gonna be about noble bloody speeches and high ideals." She paused, her fists clenching at her sides as the memory of Primal's laugh echoed in her ears. "It's just gonna be about blood. And if you aren't sure you're ready for that, and I mean really ready, sit the hell down, because you'll get somebody killed."

,,

Warren grinned from ear to ear as he slid on his new coat. "Yeah. This is gonna rock."

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"Whoa, whoa, whoa!" she yelled, pushing a few sweat-damp strands of coppery hair out of her face as she moved quickly to catch up. "Are you guys out of your ever-loving minds?! They've got the military, civilian law enforcement, random bystanders, crazy mutants with who-knows-what powers and a shit-tonne more experience, aaaaand giant mass-murdering robots who apparently can't be arsed to differentiate between any of the above!" She scowled at the other students as they scrambled to be first on the Crazy Train. "Y'know what we've got? A bunch of high school kids, with minimal awareness of our abilities, no experience working together, no leadership structure, and a plane that doesn't have a pilot! Hell," she gestured toward Sakurako, "you couldn't stand the sight of a bloody sparring match a few minutes ago, and now you want to go charging off headfirst into a warzone? Do you think it's more likely we'll help, under the circumstances, or make things worse? Are you really willing to see your insides outside your body? To do that to someone else? To see it happen to your friend? To destroy buildings, machines, human beings, and see them all crushed as if they meant nothing?" Her green eyes blazed like sunlit emeralds, fiery and hard, as she scanned the faces of her 'teammates.' "That's what this is gonna be. It's not gonna be about noble bloody speeches and high ideals." She paused, her fists clenching at her sides as the memory of Primal's laugh echoed in her ears. "It's just gonna be about blood. And if you aren't sure you're ready for that, and I mean really ready, sit the hell down, because you'll get somebody killed."
,,

"I'm not running... not no more, Caitlin." Sakuako said, stopping in her tracks, dead serious in the tone of voice she had. "What I want to know right now... where do you stand with this? Because I might need to depend on you in the clutch, that and If I do my job right none of us will end up dead. I just want you to trust me, okay?"

,,

"Thing is this was never safe... never simple... and never easy. We went about in this school day by day worrying about whoever liked us or who was pissed off at us this day over some perceived slight that now, out there seems like a lot of bullshit, doesn't it? This is what we agreed to do, Caitlin. It's our bed and we will sleep in it. If it's our coffin or where we lay our head for the night is up to us, isn't it?"

,,

"Hell, I don't know if I can trust you guys in something like this because I am scared shitless at the moment thinking of what we are up against... but Dr. Hunt chose us for a reason. I'm not going to disappoint him. What you should ask yourself, is are you up to this? There isn't no grace period with what we're about to do here. It's all in or go home now. And to be honest I'd rather die for something noble than not knowing I could stand for something better in the world."

,,

"Now I gotta get ready, and I think everyone else here that is on the fence make a decision now... because we gotta know whose got our backs out there and I gotta know how much in medical supplies I gotta take!"

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