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IC: S1:E3 "Homecoming"

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"Homecoming"

It had been a few weeks since Marius and his antics had left the Scions of Salem High on edge. They put up a good front, but he'd already demonstrated that he was willing to cross lines they weren't and go to any measures to succeed at whatever it was he was planning. They were kids, whether they wanted to admit it or not, none of them had ever experienced real evil and malice until that day Marius send his goons to murder a noble guardian in the mountains of Savoy State Park or plan the assassination of the Scion's mortal families.

For whatever reason though, he'd disappeared into the mists of Salem's many mysteries and left the young students of Salem High to their devices. The Faculty had been on edge about the whole affair and decided to investigate the matter, being the new Scions on the block though mean that the task was given to the more experienced Band of Eric and his group of misfits and assorted sociopaths. Mr. Syracuse and Coach Fingers visited the giant wolf pup, the surviving offspring Honiahaka, the Guardian of Savoy. They even tried to take it away to a better home in one of the 'Realms' separate from the World. That was an exercise in futility, not only did they a get a severe mutiny from the Scions who rescued the nemean pup, but the pup itself refused to allow anyone but the Scions anywhere near it. It had bonded with them, and refused to leave their side.

They had 'moved in' to the old Carlton Stables, an abandoned old estate that had been up for sale for years. It made for a cool 'club house', although Fisher was asked never to call it that ever again... for any reason. Training was going well under the gestapo-like regiment drawn up by Rachel. Nadya felt like her time with Coach Fingers had somehow made her just as evil... Rae-Rae was actually forcing her to work out, and not even in her heels! Austin and Fisher, with their two 'lance' style weapons made for an exciting to watch spar, amazing the ladies from time to time with maneuvers right out of some of the coolest martial arts movies. Still, both of them combined had a hard time matching Rachel blow for blow, she powerful, but relentless in her attacks and if she got a hold of one of them... it was over. All the while Wolf would sit on old wooden crates while the kids sparred in the open yard often times while Laurie played a lovely tune on her violin as Wolf howled and yipped at them when they took a hit or did something that looked cool.

On a lighter note, after almost a month after he incident at the Salem Witch Museum, Natalie Myers was released from the hospital and was staying with some friends. She seemed well enough, but was severely depressed over the loss of her father and the strange events that happened that day. She was going through a lot therapy and was medicated out the wazoo, Grace and Darcy were being excellent friends to her, as well as they could anyway in her perpetually despondent state. She avoided Rachel at all costs, sometimes shooting glares at her or mumbling strangely to herself as they passed in the hallway. Still though, she was attending school and was trying to get her life back on track...

What the Scions faced now was something far more dark and sinister than any plot cooked up by the Titans or Marius. What they faced in the coming days was a trial of emotional and mental fortitude. A challenge of one's ability to make good decisions and stand out as a model and example among their peers... yes... it was a dreadful time looming over Salem High, for around corner loomed the jaws of: The Homecoming Dance...

Spoiler

Kick it off people.  Set the stage, I'll follow.  You character can be at home chilling, hanging with other Scions, whatever... It is Monday.

Disclaimer: Whomever posts first sets the time... so if Grace posts first and says she's in third period math, then everyone is in third period from that point on and we kick the story from there, if Fisher posts first and having breakfast before school, the time is before school and we go from there.  Read your fellow player's posts!

 

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Rachel stared in the mirror she wanted to head butt her reflecton but that would just get her expelled. It didn't matter what she did how hard she worked out, even spending time with Wolf couldn't distract her for long. The thoughts kept coming back, kept running through her mind. It was driving her crazy.

The door to the girls bathroom opened and two freshman came in. Rachel glared and they both flattened themselves against the wall as she brushed past them out intot he hall.

She stood for a moment the flow of kids making thier way to where ever they were heading before the first bell but not her she was looking for something...some one and there he was her nemesis, Billy Troup. Her pulse picked up and a little fire came to her cheeks when she saw that he was talking to Darcy...again/ Her lip curled intot a smirk and her fingers popped as she made and released fists as she marched toward the two by the Trophy case.

Billy saw her before she got there and moved intot a somewhat defensisve stance a protest on his lips that never got out.

Rachel closed the distance and grabbed the boy by his shirt lapels and kissed him.

Kissed him hard.

On the mouth.

"You better not be lying about changing or so help me I will kill you deader than dead." Came her breathy voice when she pulled her lips from his.

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"Seriously?!" Fisher's incredulous voice piped in, cutting off the moment sharply. He shook his head as he walked forward to the knot of three, having seen Rachel's dive-bombing smooch. "That's why you were so riled up about Billy - UST?" Rachel found a vein pulsing, reminded of their talk at the diner and opened her mouth to correct Fisher, but the nerd went on without a beat. "Glad that's over with."

Heedless of the Aesir Scion's potential anger, Fisher meandered over to Darcy with tunnel-vision focus. Well, he didn't have to worry about being jealous over her with Billy any more. The great debate he had waged mentally in the night had come to a climatic decision.

"So Darcy, I was hoping you would go with me to Homecoming... platonic or romantic as you prefer." His voice sped over the second part of that, with fear of embarrassment hastening it. "You don't have to answers now, uh, see you later."

Flushing, Fisher practically darted off. The die was cast.

In more ways than one. Eric by now would be discovering the homework flow had been cut off.

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Billy was in absolute shock.  Was it sexual harassment if you liked it... and wanted another?  Darcy was completely dumbfounded, considering the two of them were just arguing about Billy going over to her and asking her to Homecoming.  As agents on the inside of their alien inner-circle they stood a better chance of toppling the interstellar regime before it had a chance to take root.  Billy wasn't wasn't having it though, he was dead set on the notion that she wanted him dead.  Very dead.  So dead that there actually wasn't a word for the level of deceased she wanted him to be.

"Uh... huh... wuh...," William stammered, trying to figure out of Ashton Kutcher might have a camera crew somewhere waiting to punk his ass.  It completely baffled his mind how she managed to just threaten his life and her warm breath on his lips made it sound... not so bad.  "Hi." He managed with bumbling poise of an epileptic at a rave.

"Uh, wow," Darcy interjected, hoping to bring her beleaguered colleague back to that little moment called 'now'.  "That's uh... quite the coincidence because we were just talking about him asking you to Homecoming!"

"No we weren't," he said with the nervous chuckle of a man about to die.

"Yes we were." Darcy corrected him swiftly and Rachel was pretty sure she was enjoying this.

"No. We weren't."  He tried to be stern but constant fear welling up in the 'we want to live' portion of his brain made it fall short.

"Sure we were, I had just mentioned she was there and that you should sac up... but you were like 'lesbians don't date guys, Darcy'," she mocked a manly tone for his voice.

William's eyes grew to the size of tennis balls and he managed fearful, awkward smile at Rachel.  "Could, you... excuse us?"

Rae-Rae wasn't sure what was going on as William huddled close to Darcy and the proceeded to have a whisper argument that was hardly whispering.  "Are you trying to get me killed?!"..."Dude, she just kissed you, ask her out."..."She bent metal near my head with her fist!"..."She was flirting!"..."Darcy, you said she was a-!"..."I will tell her about the wet dream you had."

"Do," William shot back towards Rachel like bamboo reed.  "You wanna go to homecoming?  A guy.  I mean.  Me.  A guy, me...go with?"

It was right around then Fisher arrived and asked Darcy out.  Apparently weirdness was the order of the day.  Darcy stood there, now looking like William did just moments ago, but with her heart beats low enough that she wouldn't be mistaken for a rabbit.  She composed.  "Um, did I just get asked out by Fisher?  To Homecoming?"

William chuckled and casually pointed as mousy Fisher scurried off to avoid embarrassment.  "Heh, that guy's adorable, Dev."  Realizing Rachel was still in front of him he swiftly dropped his finger and took a more deadpan expression.  "I, uh, mean... that in a totally non-offensive way, of course.  That took courage... I applaud him."

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Rachel couldn't believe what she had just done but dang if it hadn't felt good, she really wanted to do it again and was about to when Billy opened his moth and ruined the fantasy.

She stood dumbfounded as the two  infront of her had their weird exchange about her in front of her and she was about to tell them that she could her them when billy turned back to her

On 8/13/2017 at 0:03 AM, Dave ST said:

"Do," William shot back towards Rachel like bamboo reed.  "You wanna go to homecoming?  A guy.  I mean.  Me.  A guy, me...go with?"

Homecoming?!? She hadn't considered that and was surprised at how cool she suddenly felt that he had asked her out even if it had been in a chaotic and stumbling manner.

The Fisher interrupted them and did his weird thing.

And fled.

The three of the stood watching Fisher dart around the hallway corner

On 8/13/2017 at 0:03 AM, Dave ST said:

William chuckled and casually pointed as mousy Fisher scurried off to avoid embarrassment.  "Heh, that guy's adorable, Dev."  Realizing Rachel was still in front of him he swiftly dropped his finger and took a more deadpan expression.  "I, uh, mean... that in a totally non-offensive way, of course.  That took courage... I applaud him."

Rachel looked at Billy, William...god those eyes, that chin, those lips... "Did you mean what you said?" She had tuned everything else out but Billy and herself.

"Oh yeah the little guy is way brave even if he did run away after..."

"Not that you idiot," She stepped closer to him again, "about taking me to Homecoming? Did you really mean that?" She was looking deep into his eyes now, she didn't need magic to know if he was telling the truth now, she would know with her heart.

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1 hour ago, Rachel Cooper said:

"Not that you idiot," She stepped closer to him again, "about taking me to Homecoming? Did you really mean that?" She was looking deep into his eyes now, she didn't need magic to know if he was telling the truth now, she would know with her heart.

"Y-yeah," Billy replied.  Man she was intense.  Her stare seemed like it could cut lead.  She was being nice enough so he tried to relax, the fact she threatened his life on two separate occasions still had him on edge.  He managed to compose himself nonetheless.  "Well, to be honest, childhood mistrust aside, and I'm not saying the mistrust isn't warranted, it's just... I've kinda had a thing for you ever since before you kicked my ass all those years ago.  Since I got back and knew you were you I've been dying to ask you out, the problem was you were you and you wanted me dead... and everyone says you're sort of... y'know... into women."

One of Rachel's eyebrows rose high enough to high five her hairline while Darcy turned away to conveniently finish a text message.

"But... y'know, lesbian or not.  Yes, I'm serious.  If you would like to go with me, I'd still consider myself one hell of a lucky guy."

Quote

"So Darcy, I was hoping you would go with me to Homecoming... platonic or romantic as you prefer." His voice sped over the second part of that, with fear of embarrassment hastening it. "You don't have to answers now, uh, see you later."

Darcy tapped away on her phone while Rae-Rae, of the Vidar Rae-Rae's, got her smooch on.  --Okay... did you just ask me to Homecoming and bolt?  I didn't quite catch all of it because you were, of course, mumbling, but yeah, we can totally go.  Someone's gotta keep an eye on you.--

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44 minutes ago, Dave ST said:

One of Rachel's eyebrows rose high enough to high five her hairline while Darcy turned away to conveniently finish a text message.

"But... y'know, lesbian or not.  Yes, I'm serious.  If you would like to go with me, I'd still consider myself one hell of a lucky guy."

"Humph," she straightened Billy's shirt where she had grabbed him. "Okay I'll go with you, I think your telling the truth about changing and I was unfair and didn't give you a chance when you showed back up. I apologize for the way I treated you. And well... um... I  kinda  like you too." She chews her lip and looks a bit embarrassed admitting that. Then her very expressive eyebrows furrow and she gets that angry gleam in her eye, "Now about the lesbian thing, there is nothing wrong with being a lesbian or gay or anything like that people are people, but I'm not. So, who exactly has been saying that I am?"

"Oh, no, I didn't mean to imply there was... they just tend not to go to Homecoming's with guys, that's all I meant."  He defended himself rather tactfully, she had to admit.  Most guys would have attempted some stumbling back peddle attempt to prove they weren't some sorta homophobe. "And, well, to be honest sort of everyone... but I heard it from Darcy."

At the sound of her name Darcy lifted her head from her phone where she'd been buried all this time.  "Huh?  What?  What'd I do?"

With Billy's words most of her anger faded, she gave Darcy an appraising look. "Nothing I guess, It's just.... Never mind." She hefted her book bag. "I better go get ready for class. I"ll see you later Billy."

With a last smile at the first boy she had ever kissed, she headed off after Fisher.

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Austin was having a good day, inasmuch nothing terrifying or terrible had happened.  The day was still relatively young.   Homecoming was coming up and he had yet to find a date.   Hell, he'd not given it much thought, if he was being honest with himself.  Still there was one person he could think of that he'd not mind going with.  It wouldn't be a date or anything like that, not in the serious sense, but it could be fun.   With that thought, he set out to find the other Scion of a Sea God, Yokiko Kuromizu.  She seemed to be the most sensible of the group, and the worst that could happen was her saying no, which wouldn't really faze him much.   

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Yokiko Kuromizu, Scion of Susan-O was not difficult to locate.  She had a ritual, like all things in her life, school was a discipline to be mastered and so she could be found every morning in the school's cafeteria preparing for day wit a double check of all her assignments as she ate a healthy breakfast.  She was rarely with her Band at this time, as she prepared for day in silent contemplation.

As Austin entered he saw her.  There weren't many people in here this time morning, most had already cleared out for breakfast and wanted to waste some time before class or complete unfinished projects.  He approached her calmly and for the most part, quietly.  Preparing his request to accompany her to the dance wasn't easy, after all, just because he was emotionally stunted and unphased rejection, didn't mean that's what the ladies wanted to hear or see.

"I assure you, Austin," Yokiko spoke up when he was but a few paces away.  Her English was calm and heavily accented.  She never looked up from her work and continued on with her the personal assessment of her assignments.  "The investigation in Savoy is being handled by us, and I have been asked to not discuss it with you or anyone else but Sheriff Farrow.  You're wasting your time coming to me."

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"Actually Yokiko, that's not why I'm here.   This has nothing to do with the investigation, or even our bands.   This is strictly us."  He smiled easily enough.   She was all business, so perhaps this was a wasted effort, but he was resolved to see it through, no matter which way it went.  "I came here because I wanted to ask if you'd go to the Homecoming Dance with me, that is if you're not already going with someone else."  There it was, no big grandiose fanfare, they were scions, it wasn't really necessary, at least to him.   He was absolutely sincere, and totally at ease, He didn't exude overblown Confidence like Eric,  his was quiet and mostly understated.  

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Yokiko stopped her writing.  Still she didn't look at him.  Her gaze was locked on the papers in front of her.  Her hair was covering the side of her face that Austin was standing at, she refused to look at him until it subsided.  No one had asked her.  Everyone was afraid of the creepy, quiet Japanese girl who had strange customs and no interest in their social hierarchy.  She felt control returning to her and she calmed her childish desires for acceptance and friendships.

She stood and faced him.  Ceremony such as this needed to be met with eye contact, not sitting down hiding from the individual expressing interest in attending a formal gathering with her.  She tried to compose herself, but she was a teenager before becoming a Scion... one was still newer than the other.  "N-no.  No one has asked me.  Not many people speak to me.  I am left mostly alone except by my Band mates, of course."  Her poise was that of a warrior nonetheless, she stood straight stared dead into Austin's eyes.  "Before I accept or decline, I am curious: why me, Austin?"

Spoiler

Do not say "because the ST gave me the idea."  I swear, I will smite you.

 

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"That's certainly a fair question.   I asked you because there's no one else I'd rather ask."   That was actually true too.  The rest of the swim team was mostly guys, and none of the girls were single, and While he was friendly enough, Austin really didn't have many true friends.  He smiled that kilowatt smile and nodded.  "I'm kinda surprised really that nobody's asked you already.  "  

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Nadya was running late to school, not that there was anything new in that. Most people at school thought she was incapable of being on time for anything, or just got caught up in one scam or another. It wasn't true - pulling off a proper heist or con usually took relatively good timing. It was about expectations. But late often enough, and then if you're late for an actual reason, people won't question it.

In this case, her car had just need a bit of extra pleading and threats to get started this morning, but mainly, it had been her stop by the Carlton Stables to see the pup that had her running late. Nadya never had a pet, had never wanted one, but she couldn't help but be charmed by the oversized nemean wolf pup, even if she tried to convey a lackadaisical aloofness in regards to him around the others.

Nadya had brought Chopper - Stand By Me was a classic and being able to say 'Chopper! Sick Balls' tickled her fancy, even if she'd only used the name so far where the others couldn't hear - a butchered lamb and a new chew toy. Stuffed animals and hemp rope from the hardware store with knots in it, the pup had chewed through with puppy enthusiasm, so she'd gone bigger. She had managed to 'find' some thick hawser line from a mid-size cruise ship moored at Salem Harbor.

Chopper had fun playing tug-o-war,, fetch, and chasing her or her chasing him for a while. Thank gawds! working out with Coach Rae-Rae and her own ichor seemed to have endowed with some hidden muscle, even if she insisted on her wearing flats. Rae-Rae didn't buy that she needed the extra height to put them on a somewhat more level footing. But the pup already weighed at least as much as she did it and seemed to be getting bigger every day.

"Seeya later, buddy," Nadya cooed, giving him a hard scratch in the thick fur around his neck and letting him lick her face. "I wonder what people would say if I brought you to Homecoming? In a doggy tuxedo with a top hat. Would you like that? I think you would."

Nadya tromped into school in a good mood, wearing proper, chunky heeled boots, liberally speckled with steel studs andlaced up to her knees with electric blue laces matching the streaks in her hair. Almost everyone was spazzing out about Homecoming, but she wasn't. It totally had nothing to do with Mercedes' campaign of bitchy slander that had people looking at her as if she was a walking STD or the whispers about how many guys she planned on bringing to Homecoming and how old they were.

Gods damn! She's holding a grudge. I didn't even know she liked him!

She wouldn't give Aphrodite's what-should-have-been-an-abortion the satisfaction of chasing after a date. She might have failed at playing Marius, but she and all their loved ones had survived her failure and she would learn from it. She felt good and she looked good. Even Coach Fingers couldn't claim she carrying around any extraneous fat around any more, just enough to give her some sweet, tight curves, shown off to effect in equally tight jeans and a corset-top.

This was the twenty-teens, bitches - she was a proud, independent woman and didn't need a date to go to Homecoming. She had her eye on a dress already with a pair of shoes she just had to have. It was those with dates who half to watch out for her! Besides, going to Homecoming stag just give her so much more opportunity for some fun.

Which was not to say Nadya was opposed to going to Homecoming with someone, if they asked her and she found them interesting. Dane was a good looking, mellow guy, but Nadya wasn't sure if he going to ask Grace or vice versa, and besides, she liked him better as a fun than anything more than a friend.

But thinking of dates, Rae-Rae better have done something about Billy. Otherwise, she was going to have to take a direct hand and she was sure Rachel would hate that. But even it Stretch was taller than her, she was quicker and wilier - she'd be able to stay out of reach until Homecoming. Then Rae-Rae would offer her all her gratitude.

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Fisher examined the text, and immediately beamed like a high-powered searchlight. Objective completed, mission successful, victory! Quickly he typed a response back. --Wonderful! And yes, I guess I did, but yay!-- Then the latter part of her message caught up to his conscious thoughts. --And what do you mean by keeping an eye on me? I can totally take care of my self.--

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On 8/18/2017 at 5:00 PM, Austin Lange said:

"That's certainly a fair question.   I asked you because there's no one else I'd rather ask."   That was actually true too.  The rest of the swim team was mostly guys, and none of the girls were single, and While he was friendly enough, Austin really didn't have many true friends.  He smiled that kilowatt smile and nodded.  "I'm kinda surprised really that nobody's asked you already.  "  

[Austin]  She managed a half smile out of politeness.  She didn't believe him, of course, their Bands had rivalry going on at the moment so suspicion was the word of the day.  However, she was planning on going to Homecoming, and would have hated to go alone.  She pondered for a moment then extended her hand.  "Mā, watashi wa ukeiremasu."

She realized she spoke in Japanese and blushed slightly, and politely half bowed.  "Apologies, old habits.  I accept your invitation."

[Nadya, and everyone else, sorta, but mostly Nadya]  Niles Horne, one of Salem's elite in the nerd community, approached Nadya as she was setting down her 'Book Bag of Holding' that seemed to carry all the World's stuff (some of it was even hers).  He'd been mackin' on her for awhile now and it wasn't any really big secret.  In fact, he seemed to be the only person in Salem High that didn't believe the slanderous rumors about her.  The only problem with that was she was looking for a guy more like Dane or Austin or Fisher... who was slightly goofy, handsome, fun, and understanding.  Niles was none of those things.  He was a smart guy with a flair for all things chess club.  He was a walking Steven Urkel stereotype, complete with the unfashionable suits and bow tie in horrendous colors.

He wasn't a bad guy, he just really wasn't her type and everyone knew it.  She'd already sat down and was sharing gossipy tid-bits with everyone else (Rachel, Grace, Fisher, Austin) when cleared his throat to get her attention.  She knew he was there, she was just trying to politely ignore him.  With closed eyes and a sigh she turned about in her seat to face him as her 'friends' looked on attempting to conceal their smirks and grins (terribly, she had to file away for revenge plans later).  "Niles... hi."  She stared with a strong first name... but the greeting fell short of enthused.

"Nadya," He started, taking in a deep breath and puffing his chest out with confidence.  "Would you like to be my date for Homecoming?"

The class laughed, it was low and mostly throaty chuckles and failed attempts to keep in their outburst of laughter.  Niles ignored them, he'd been forged in the fires of teenage elitism.  He waited patiently for her answer.

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He reached out to take her hand, his smile and the look in his eyes revealing the truth of what he said.  "That's great.We can meet up later on today to talk about the details if you like, Though it might be best to at least swap phone numbers in case something comes up."   With her nod, the two of them did so, and he smiled.  "I'll talk to you later Yokiko."  He had thought about asking if they could meet for lunch, but he imagined that she ate with her band, much as he did, and didn't want to intrude.   He bid her goodbye and headed off to class.   Being on hand when Niles mustered the courage to ask Nadya to the dance, in front of the entire class no less.   

Even if she shot him down, he had to respect the courage it took to ask her in front everyone, gossip be damned.   

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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. 

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Nadya blinked, about to burst out laughing when the class beat her to it. Then her lips tightened into a firm line. With all the shit Mercedes had been shoveling her way, she wouldn't - couldn't - mock him in front of their classmates. The barbs of teenaged mockery struck Niles dead on, but she'd give him credit for bearing the brunt of it and not flinching, his eyes locked on hers. She'd known he was sweet on her for some time, and just was willing to admit it took a certain amount of guts to make the attempt.

But he was a Steven Urkel and she was more interested in a Stefan Urquelle. Unlike most of her Bandmates - she believed anyway - she was sexually active, if not nearly to the salacious extent rumor suggested. She had her desires, preferences, and interests in regards to who she'd like to date, or do more with. And Niles rated... a generous zero on any of them. The bow tie just made her shudder inside every time she was afflicted with the sight of it.

"Niles, no, I wouldn't," Nadya replied directly with no preamble, keeping her voice low after the tittering petered out. There was no need to lash him with the denial, but she wasn't going to sugar-coat it either. Better to rip of the band-aid instead of peeling it off and letting think he still had a chance. She sighed. "Look, I could spin all sorts of excuses and platitudes, but honestly, I'm not interested and it wouldn't be fair to either of us if I lead you on. So, thanks for asking and good for you on having the guts to ask - few guys do - but I'm gonna have to say no. I'm sure if you ask someone else though, Niles, you'll get a yes from someone."

She met Niles's eyes directly then nodded, telling him their conversation was done as far as she was concerned, but giving him a moment to say his piece if he wanted. Hearing snickers beginning to rise, Nayda's face darkened as she whirled in her chair and rounded on the class.

"Hey! At least he had the guts to at least ask!" Nadya exclaimed, jerking a thumb over her shoulder at Niles. "How many of you who aren't already going out with someone were able to open your mouth to ask a girl who is so clearly o-" Whoops! "-not a sure bet?" Nobody said a work and Nadya nodded sharply and crossed her arms. "That's what I thought. Dude has the biggest balls in the room right now, so cut him some slack, yeah?"

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Niles pursed his lips, gently closing his eyes and nodded in acceptance of the rejection.  "No need to apologize, Nadya, I understand completely.  I appreciate your honesty, however."  With a kind smile he withdrew himself quietly.  The class offered up a few 'awwws' and chuckles in an unsympathetic manner but Nadya didn't seethe point in chastising them any further.  She couldn't necessarily stop teens from being teens, after all.

The remainder of the morning seemed typical; classes went swimmingly, the students stayed blissfully ignorant of the fact that there was a legendary war among the gods happening right under their noses and doubly ignorant that a few of the students in Salem High were children of those gods and secretly keeping their friends and peers safe.

Around third period as the ladies of the Band were bored to tears while the males were once again swooning over Miss Elliot as she attempted to teach them Spanish.  Grace already spoke Spanish so she generally took the time to doodle, or text, or... anything except speak her native language.  There was a light rap at the door as Sheriff Farrow poked his head in.  "My apologies, Miss Elliot,"  He held up a small manila file folder in his hand. "I just need a word with a few of your students..."

"Nadya's right over there Sheriff," Merecedes pointed out Nadya.  "What did she steal this time?  Some old ladies pension check?  Maybe you could remind her that she's not in Gypsy Land anymore and here in America, we take baths and showers."  Her hangers on shared a laugh at Nadya's expense.

Everyone liked to pick on the poor kids, some things never changed.  "That's cute Mercedes," Sheriff Farrow said, giving her a nod.  "Try setting an example, not being one, darlin', but you're right, Nadya Lu.. Loo... Nadya, Christ, you'd think I could pronounce it by now.  Grace Trinity, Fisher Capra, Austin Lange, Rachel Cooper.  Oh, and, Cotter, Beth Cotter.  Could I see you out in the hall please?"

"Loser alert..." Mercedes joked, as she tossed a wadded ball of paper at Beth.  "Dun, dun dunnnn... what'd y'do Beth?  Help Nadya and her delinquents rob an ATM or something?"

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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. 

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Beth swatted the ball out of the air and snorted at that.

"Nah, it's all part of my intricate plan to take over the city. They already arrested one of my minions who has a gun sewn up into his guts. I just need Nadya and her gang to take the fall after I fake my death to escape."

The other kids started getting up and Beth grabbed her knapsack and stood as well. As much as she didn't appreciate sheriffs breathing down her neck, the odds were whatever he had going would be marginally more interesting than another class period.

Despite the flaccid jokes that were being passed around like herpes at a frat party, Beth was like...108% sure the sheriff wasn't here to be enforcin' any of them there laws on the kiddies today. Arrest warrants weren't served up a' la carte. If Nadya had been up to something, he'd take her. If her hangers-on had been part of it, maybe them too. But Beth hadn't been hanging with them, or even been around them, so it didn't make sense to think he'd take her AND them at the same time.

Also, jurisdiction was off. Unless the Teen Gang had been fucking things up in other cities. As for Beth, she figured if they came for her it'd proooooooobably be the FBI. Most of her transgressions were of the cross-state-border variety, as online offenses tended to be.

And finally...he wasn't actually arresting anyone, so...yeah, shot that down. Splash one MiG, Maverick now lets blow this thing and get out of here. Oh shit, yeah...she could just jet after this and no one would even notice. All for the low low price of listening to Sheriff Jagoff Von Scrotumchin blather for a few minutes.

Best sheriff ever.

Out in the hall she gave Grace a grin and winked at her.

Ha ha, the wink said, I totally know what's going on and you don't.

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Nadya rolled her eyes in ostentatious exasperation at Mercedes as she hopped to her feet and slung her book-bag over her shoulder. Though mostly Americanized, Nadya never failed to be amused and puzzled by what people thought of the Romani and tried to insult them with. Coming from a nomadic tradition, the Romani had strong rules and traditions about cleanliness to ward off disease - too many, and some were just outright silly and chauvinistic in her opinion.

Still, her car - the interior anyway - was cleaner than any of her peers she'd ever been in and if her home with her father wasn't totally neat and tidy, most would think they had a cleaning service instead of doing it themselves. But there was no point in explaining that to Mercedes, so Nadya just grinned breezily at the taller Scion, giving her a mocking wave in passing she followed the Sheriff out into the hall.

"Have fun in class Mercedes," Nadya trilled, "I'd ask if I could copy your notes, but I want to pass."

Looking guilty being the first step in being convicted guilty, Nadya clacked out into the hall in brash innocence. No point in admitting guilt if she wasn't, and especially if she was. Nadya was a bit surprised Sheriff Farrow had asked Cotter out too - she was new to Salem and she didn't know much about her, other than she was good with computers.

As if I'd need her help with an ATM. Just catch them punching in their PIN, then pinch their debit cards - nothing to it.

On 8/26/2017 at 1:40 PM, Beth said:

"Nah, it's all part of my intricate plan to take over the city. They already arrested one of my minions who has a gun sewn up into his guts. I just need Nadya and her gang to take the fall after I fake my death to escape."

"I'll remember that for the next time you aren't in class, Cotter," Nadya commented with a wry grin before arching a questioning brow at Sheriff Farrow.

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Fisher joined the others in their response to the Sheriff's summons. Mercedes' being a bitch aside, it was a good question as to what he wanted to speak to them about. If Beth weren't here he would assume Scion matters, the war against the monsters and all that, but she was. And Fisher didn't know her all that well - unless she was a Scion too? Dane had been one without a Band. And Laurie had arrived and joined their group... there really were a lot of godly children all in one town, Salem or not.

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Austin was somewhat concerned at being called out, especially considering the group was mostly his bandmates.   Wisely he remained silent for the most part while they obeyed the sheriff.  "I know I didn't do anything,  what about everyone else?  Anything we need to know?"

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Although she often saw them in the halls (and, of course, in the library), as a recent transfer, Laurie was usually in different classes than the rest of the Scions in the band. When Sheriff Farrow pulled her out of Algebra, she wished she'd been in a different school. She could feel her face grow hot with embarrassment as she put her notes away and slung the strap of her book bag over her shoulder, following the laconic lawman into the hallway. This was not going to improve her reputation; at least, not in the social circles that appealed to her. The sunny blonde offered up what she hoped was a convincing smile and a tiny wave as the others filtered out of Ms. Elliott's classroom, relieved that, whatever was going on, she wasn't alone.

When Austin spoke up, Laurie shifted the omnipresent violin case to her other hand. He was difficult to read, this son of Poseidon, and it was going to take her some time to work out what his mannerisms implied. With a slow shrug, she replied amiably, "Well, if you're addressing the group, it's probably a bit late for a last-minute confession since the Sheriff is here already."

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"Young lady has a point, and I certainly didn't call you out here to stare longingly into everyone's eyes," Sheriff Farrow began.  Cooper was the last one out, and seemed surprisingly in a good mood this morning.  The Sheriff waved for them to follow him.  "Walk with me."

They walked to the library and the Sheriff didn't say a word.  He just escorted them like they were all in a heap of trouble and he walking them back to the crime scene so they could explain what they did before he fed them to a Kraken or something.  The library already had interdimensional access to Archimedes's private god sanctum... would a Return of the Jedi Rancor pit really be that far of a stretch?  They arrived and took a seat around one of the large tables.  They didn't really fear interruption as the library never really seemed to be all that busy.  He tossed the folder onto the table and it pun about shedding it's contents to expose pictures of crime scenes.

"We got missing children, children."  Farrow nodded towards to folder.  "If you're squeamish, you may wanna pass on taking a look but I recommend one of you sac up, because whatever is taking them needs to be found and dealt with.  This ain't a looney or a serial killer, this our department.  Cotter, you're working with these kids for now, you wanted in on all this, well here you go, this is what it means to be the World's guardian.  I've got three dead kids and two more missing.  Impress me."

It didn't show on his all business exterior but they knew missing children was one of those things that no officer of the law wanted to deal with in their career.  He had a good poker face but secretly he was seething.  Now, I'm giving this to you kids, cause frankly, I barely trust Eric and his deviants to wipe their own ass let alone trust them to give something like this the seriousness it requires.  All they care about it power and glory.  They ain't learned yet that power and glory come on their own with the weight of one's deeds."

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Rachel snatched up the folder and photos and gave them a once over, as she finished looking at each photo, searing it into her memory, fanning the fire of vengeance, she passed it to the next scion  sitting beside her.

Once through the pictures she opened the folder and started reading.

"Why is Cotter here? She isn't part of our band." She asked her voice flat and toneless all remnants of her earlier exuberance gone.

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[Rachel, Integrity, Success] It was hard for her to remain stoic at the sight of the pictures.  The three victims were all between the ages of seven and ten and appeared to had be attacked and devoured by some sort of animal.  A part of her wanted to set them and take a moment to reflect on the grizzly nature of how three young lives were snuffed out too soon.  Instead of outward emotion she processed it as an inward furnace of vengeance and rage.  Whatever did this, would pay.

[Rachel, Medicine, Fail] The folder contained the medical examiner's report on each of the murders.  It was filled with a series of incredibly long words that Rachel could have easily been shortened down to something more simple.  She recognized a few of the name for bones, and words for abrasions and contusions... but didn't really have a reference for how it could help them solve anything

"Miss Cotter is not part of your Band, no.  She is however, alone, much like Miss Brightman.  Their Band mates were supposed to have arrived by now, but unfortunately they won't be making it.  Titan's got to them on the road.  They'll be missed." The simplicity with which he dispensed his condolences told them all he'd had to say those far to many times in his career.  "In the mean time, work with her, show her the ropes, all that.  Just keep in mind that y'ain't gotta like each other, but out there each of you is all that's between some monster and your Band mates getting home to their family."

"Now, I ain't like the others around here.  You're all Scions, young men and women torn from your youth to defend the World for a bunch of people you don't know one whit about.  I've been there, I know.  Far as I'm concerned you have the right drink, fuck, and cuss as much as you like... as long as the job gets done nd you never forget why you're here.  Protect these people.  Find these kids.  That's my motivational speech."

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The folder was frustrating so she passed it to Fisher, "Can you figure this out? See if it can help us."

She considered what the Sheriff had said and looked at Laurie, she had been instrumental in saving their parents. And Grace, she too had been a stranger to them when this all started. Then she looked at Beth. Someone else they didn't know.

"Sorry about your friends." She said sincerely to Beth then she looked up at the Sheriff. "We'll do this because it needs to be done and because it is the right thing to do. Beth can stay if she wants.

Your a good man Sheriff, but  we are not the team of misfits and castoffs for Salem or anywhere else, We are not a replacement depot. We are a Band." She stands up to face the sheriff. "In the future we decide who works with us not you. Okay?"

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"Y'think that's why she's here, Cooper?  Hell, Victor said you had fire in your belly."  Sheriff Farrow took the wooden match out form his mouth and used it to accent his point.  "Since you kids have started doing this you've put your lives on the line and always come out on top.  You put others before yourself and no matter how bad the cards have been stacked against you, you've found a way.  You've called in help and that ain't east to do, you've stood in the eye of the storm and battled to your last breath, hell, you even risked your neck to stand face to face with a nemean wolf... I can't think of any Scion as green as you pulling a stunt like that and walking away.  You even took in it's little pup and are mercifully raising it.  Most woulda skinned it for a trophy by now.  I can think of six deviant bastards off the top of my head."

He chewed his match again.  "No, Cooper, it ain't okay.  Although I do admire your gumption.  See, Cotter isn't here because you kids aren't the cast offs, or the runners up.  This girl's here to learn how to do things right.  How to be a selfless, brave, balls-that-clank, fat cracklin' cosmic power of the gods, hero of the World.  I need more like you kids, so get Cotter and Brightman up to speed."  With a wink and a smile he clicked his tongue.  "Do me proud."

Sheriff Farrow was never one for praise, but there it was.  Sure he came at Cooper with attitude, but attitude was the only setting Cooper had these days.  Like them Farrow had a job to do and he was doing it.  While Eric and the others combing the mountains with busy work Farrow had come to them for something that involved actually protecting the people of Salem.  He trusted them with this.

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"Oh boy," Beth enthused, totally deadpan. "Will I get to learn the true meaning of Christmas too? Or the power of friendship? Gimme that."

She grabbed at the folder.

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Fisher however, already had the folder in his hands from Rachel now, and fended off Beth's attempts to grab at it. It was hilarious actually, to see Beth trying to grab and grab while Fisher kept shifting it away from her reach, even while somehow able to focus on its contents. Except his face kept getting darker and darker in expression, because really, this stuff was unbelievably horrible. He had practically thrown up over Gollumichael's handiwork, but this, he was so stoic it bothered him.

Finally, Beth gave up, snorting and stuck out her tongue. "Eh, not like I really wanted it."

"I'm sure." Fisher growled, his composure cracking at at her immaturity. Gods, even Nadya took these things more seriously!

"These kids were eaten. But not for their flesh and organs like you'd think. About three quarters of their muscle and all their bone marrow. Here's the really sick part. All their organs were untouched, except for their livers, which were removed before they were eaten."

Spoiler

Fisher has Medicine 1, so he can make the roll and add Epic Int.
Int + Medicine: 5D10 = [4, 2, 10, 1, 4]
2 success + Epic Int (2) = 4 succ.

Information given by Dave already added in the post.

 

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Despite her petulance in being denied the folder, Fisher's words sparked Beth's interest. There was, at the heart of her, a deep love of puzzles and conundrums.

"Three quarters...and all the marrow..." Beth looked away, her lips moving silently for a moment. Whatever it was didn't really seem to care about the meat of a body. It just wanted the marrow. Getting ALL the marrow in a body wasn't easy. There were a lot of bones to break. You'd have to be methodical about it. You'd have to want it. The muscles were just in the way, Beth figured. Target of opportunity. But the prize, the REAL prize, was the liver? Yeah. Taken first. Before the bodies got all fucked up. Before there could be any accidents. The livers were important. They had to be...pristine?

"More," she said, looking back at Fisher. She held a hand out. "Lemme see the file. Names. Dates. Places. Medical histories. All of it."

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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?"

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"What, you mean don't solve it?"

Beth looked Grace in the eye. "We're all going to deal with this shit in our own way. You don't get to tell me how or why I do what I do, and you don't get to lecture me about how I will or won't feel about it. Just be glad we're on the same side."

She made grabby motions at Fisher. "Genius, seriously. I'm going to have this thing solved by the time you actually give me the fucking case file."

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"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."

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She snatched the file and waggled her eyebrows.

"Oh, I know it's real. This is me, bein' real. Keepin' it fer realz, yo. You don't even KNOW how I treat things that aren't real. That's when things REALLY get bad. This is me at my Sunday best. Now, if you're done wagging your finger, there's a thing you should know."

Beth tapped the file and opened it.

"My money's on blood. Place your bets everyone. Blood for the win." She snapped her fingers at Fisher. "I said that before I looked at the file. Notarize it. It's official."

Her eyes widened on seeing the photos in the front of the file.

"Hoo. That is some messed up shit, right there. Hey, Constable. Does this have the whole police report? Everything?"

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"Everything you need is in there, police reports, medical examiner's report, where the three bodies were found, everything,"  Farrow answered Beth, looking less than impressed with the young lady so far.  "Well, I see you kids are gonna have your hands full with her, so I'll leave you to it."

He only got a few steps away before he turned around and pointed at Beth with his hat.  "Oh, word of advice, youngin'.  This ain't high school any more.  We put you with them cause there is strength in numbers.  Those monsters out there can smell you now, and they're always hungry.  Just cause we put you here, don't mean they gotta keep ya, so you might wanna practice those people skills of yours, unless you think you're a one woman army... and if you ever call me anything but 'Sheriff Farrow' again, I'ma shoot ya."

He turned and walked towards the door.  "You kids know my number, call me if you need anything."

Spoiler

You may RP until until you're officially ready in begin the investigation (after school).  If you have more to say, say it, if not we'll fast forward.

 

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Austin had simply listened to the speeches and watched the interactions between their newest member and the others.   In passing he did get to see one of the pictures in the folder and felt the urge to hurl, but tamped it down.  "Well that's something straight out of a nightmare."   

He looked to the others.  "Off the top of my head, does anyone know of anything that would simply bypass everything but the liver and bone marrow?   Given that the marrow is the source of blood cell production I think that's a big key to it like she said."

 

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"Ding ding. And the liver helps filter blood," Beth says distractedly as she flips through the case file, her eyes scanning rapidly over the pages. The specifics were the vital part now. Were the bones actually broken, or was the marrow just missing? Were there incision marks around the abdomen, or was the body just clawed open, or was the liver just mysteriously gone with no sign of how it was removed? Anything that all the victims have in common? Any patterns between the killings like times or places? If the cops did their jobs...it'd hopefully be here.

Otherwise they'd be doing some footwork.

(OOC - Investigation to see if anything else in the case files seems significant:

Investigate: 7D10 = [2, 8, 3, 6, 8, 6, 10] = 43

3 Successes, plus 2 Epic Int = 5 sux.)

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