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Justin OOC

Episode V side fic: Clearing the Air

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Posted (edited)

Thursday Night

After talking with Sean, Cade had gone home and hidden the rifle.  Only Haruka and his mother were home.   He sighed, not caring about where his father was now, and pulled out his phone.  It was nearly ten, late but he knew the person he wanted to talk to was still up.  He couldn't recall having called Devin before, and wasn't all that surprised when it went to voicemail so he left a simple message.   "Hey Devin, it's Cade.  I'd like to talk about some things.  I'm heading to Bunnies, and I'm buying if you'd like to meet me there. "

With that he head to Bunnies, and went and sat in the booth the Fellowship normally sat in, made his order and waited.   He had a feeling Devin would come, possibly thinking this was about Marissa.   He wasn't planning on discussing her at all really,  he had other reasons for this, but as an older brother himself, he knew he'd give the speech to any boy she ever brought home.   

He sighed, waiting for either Devin to show up, or his food to arrive, wondering which would first.   It was strange, in as much as he really did expect Devin to show.  

 

Edited by Justin OOC

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Devin peeled off his shirt and gave it a sniff.  He'd just worked out in it, he knew it was damp and probably smelly, but he was a guy and that was the sort dumb things guys did.  He dropped his ear buds on the choatic tangle that was his bed, and half his wardrode, and his school bag storage.  He was supposed to clean this weekend, but knew he wouldn't.  He rolled his shoulders and spared a moment to gaze upon the beauty and wonderment that was his perfection in his door mirror, when his phone rang.  He it said Cade and raised an eyebrow.

He could have answered it, sure, but he didn't want to appear to desperate.  Confused he walked down the hallway to Marissa's room and poked his head in the doorway to her room.  Sure enough she was there, sitting on her bed, reclined and comfortable with her back on the headboard and her laptop in her lap, probably working on the next installment her lame fan fiction of romance and lust in a realm of high adventure and sorcery.  It was enough to make him hurl.  If she was here though, and safe, what would Cade want to talk to Devin about?

His phone went to voicemail as he pondered how he was going to deal with his sister's new lust bug.  It's not that he cared who she dated, as long as it was her choice and not some douchey guy like Chet getting all handsy with her once in awhile and begging her to just go out with him already.  That always irritated him.  This was probably one of those side conversations where the boyfriend thinks that by being nice to Devin he'd spill all of his sisters secrets and likes and dislikes.

He hopped in the shower and made his way to Bunnie's.  He never talked to Cade, so this was one opportunity he just couldn't pass up, plus, free food.  His motorcycle found it's home in the usual spot he'd chosen for it far way from where people might scratch it or bump it with their cars and made his way looking stylish as hell, because, Devin.  It only took him a moment to locate Cade and with a few nods to the people from school he knew that were here late getting burgers, he made his way to the table.  He offered Cade a nod as he sat down.  "Whud up?"

Max was at the bale in the span of a heartbeat, following up behind Devin as he sat down.  "Hey you two," she gave Cade a wink and her face went deadpan as she put her attention on Devin.  "Thougt I smelled the pungent musk of 'try hard egomaniac'."

"I love you too, Max.  I can admit it, why can't you?"  He teased her.  "Why are we playing these games, Max?  We both know your looking for a real man in this town."

She nodded through pursed lips, half concealing a grin.  "You know, Devin... you're right.  It's true.  I totally am.  So when you two meet one, please, send him my way.  Until then, enjoy being high school.  I'll get your usual drinks, Cade, watch him."  She pointed to Devin with the rpen like he was a rambunctious five year old waiting for mommy to tun around so he run off and get the family kicked out of the place.

Devin smirked and leaned back, relaxing.  "I'm wearing her down.  So, what's up, and... if she dumped your ass already, I haven't heard about it yet, so don't look at me to help smooth things over."

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Cade let out a small chuckle at the back and forth between Devin and Max.  "God man, is it your mission in life to flirt with every woman you meet?"

The smirk didn't go away, and Devin just shrugged.  "We're all great at something."

Cade sighed, went on.  "Sure.   No, Marissa hasn't dumped me, and honestly I didn't call you to talk about your sister.  I didn't think you'd really want to, and God knows what she'd do to me if she found out you told me anything like that, or that I even asked."   He took a sip of his drink,  winced, and rolled his shoulders.   "Sorry, still recovering abit from earlier.  Sean helped me run some tests, and while we learned alot, it wasn't painless."

"I really did just want to talk with you tonight.  You said some things today, before you asked Cassie out.   That was pretty great, by the way.   I think you two will have fun.  I still need to ask Marissa to go."  He offered a real smile.  It had surprised him out of the blue, Devin asking Cassie out, and really surprised him.   It wasn't like he was one to talk, Cora'd barely left and he agreed to start "Dating" Marissa.

""I wanted to talk or at least offer to listen.   Is there anything you want to talk about?  I know you and your sister certainly act like you think we're all idiots at times,  but it's just us here.  I know I'm not a genius like some of the others, I don't have abilities like everyone else.  I still want to help, however I can.  I am concerned about you, after this morning, and before that.  You've been there for us, and I'd like to return the favor."   There it was, though perhaps awkwardly said.   He didn't really know how to talk to Devin, beyond just the same direct approach he applied to most everything else.   It wasn't like they'd hung out before, and hell before this, Cade had backed Devin, and especially Chet down from teasing Sean more than once without violence in Devin's case, and with it in chet's, though he knew that wasn't really helping the situation. 

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Devin grumbled and looked at Cade like he was about to request his man card from him.  "Dude, you drug my ass out here to play high school musical with me?"  Were it not for the promise of food, and he was very hungry, chances were good he would have already had some scathing quip as the punctuation to his exit.  Food was food, however and no teenage boy could resist free food on an empty stomach.

Deflection was Devin's greatest skill, aside from getting rejected by women do to his numerous personality flaws.  Still, if he had date for every problem he had swirling around in his mind at the moment, he'd not have any free time from now until the End Days.  "Alright, fine, I'll bite.  I'm hungry anyway.  So where do you wanna start, Dr. Phil?  You wanna start how I can barely sleep lately?  I'm up working out until three or four in the morning and can barely function at school because I'm afraid that any minute I'll be carried away to that place again and hunted down?"  Or how all of this shit we're going through is unfair?  I mean, why us?  What did we do to deserve sort of responsibility?  That's the sort of things that are roiling through my mind while you guys are giggling about homecoming or playing your stupid fantasy games.  I feel like you guys don't take this as seriously as I do, despite our lives being on the line.  I've almost died, Cade, twice, and it scared the shit out of me.  I'm not you.  I didn't go to some secret military training camp since birth and was trained to be some die hard soldier that never feels fear and isn't afraid to die in service to Sheriff Dad."

"This shit's affecting me, bro," he shook his head.  Max slid their drinks onto the table and Devin puckered his lips and gave her an air kiss.  Max smirked.  He was adorable, sometimes.  After promising to return in a moment to collect their orders, she stepped away again.  "You guys... I don't know... I feel like you guys realize exactly what is on our shoulders and that lack of awareness is going to cause one of us to get hurt, or worse.  I can't let that happen, but I can't be everywhere at once.  You know?"

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Cade did just what he said and listened, and there were some valid points.  He'd asked himself some of the same questions, but had no real answer for it, certainly nothing that would help in this situation.  

"Nah man, nothing quite like that.   I figured maybe you just wanted to talk to someone without being judged.    Maybe some of of the group don't see things as so dangerous, I mean hell Kat just sorta got thrown in the deep end, but I think you're wrong. We all know how serious this is.   We've all faced danger, had those guards actually gotten a shot off, I think any of us would have been seriously hurt.  Perhaps not the same extreme you have, and yes, it sounds like that's had more effect than you've let on to us.   No one's backed down from it though.  That might be foolish, I mean we are all just a bunch of teenagers with attitude.  Almost dying, yeah that'd scare the hell out of anyone.   I think most cops, most soldiers will tell you they all face that fear, but they master it.  They have to, or they can't do their jobs.  We're not soldiers or cops, but we're going to have to do so too.   "   

He took a sip of his drink.  "You are right, it isn't fair.  We didn't do anything to deserve what's happening now,  but our choices are deal with this ourselves, or wait and let the Dark hunt us down .  As much as I want to believe leaving Shelly will make our friends who moved safe, I know that can only hold true while the Dark is focused on us, here.  I won't presume to speak for anyone else, but I'd prefer to fight the Dark, even with the limited means I have to do so."

"You looked like Rambo in that raid, like you were going to be perfectly at home with a weapon in hand, and ready to use it.  Before that, with the shotgun..."   It was surprising that Devin had picked up on that, and Cade admit to himself it was true. 

"Yeah, i have always hunted, and I'm familiar with firearms, but I do admit Since all this started, I have gotten to be a better shot, and just more comfortable than I already was.  It's a good thing I didn't really have to, the gun wouldn't have worked."

"I'm not without fear, Devin.   I'm not some little robot who just does what they're told.  Yeah, I held my dad in high esteem because of who i thought he was, but it took a very long time for me to get to that point, and I'd never thought he'd make me go back to how I felt before.  I can just lock it away, submerge my fears for abit, and maybe even the fears others.   That's the only way I can keep on.  I can't just be anywhere I want with a thought, shoot lasers, or move stuff with my mind."

"He shook his head.  "I'm guessing you tried the various sleep aids and such?  If it's really bad, make an appointment with a Doctor.  Hell I know my mother would see you, and she might be able to give you something to help.   Yes, I know that's just treating a symptom, but the only one who's going to really be able to reduce the stress you feel is you man.  Working yourself to exhaustion doesn't seem to be working, and if you're too tired when there's an attack, you'll blame yourself if someone's hurt.    It's a different scale, but when we were in the semifinals last year, I only slept two hours before that game.   I was up all night, stressed out, and I didn't tell anyone.  I just let it eat at me, and despite what everyone says about how well I played,  I know I wasn't at the top of my game because I let it stress me out, and we lost because of that."  It was something he had never told anyone else, aside from his mother.   It wasn't until he had that he really got a good night's sleep again.

"Maybe there's some way you can use your power to anchor yourself, so that you can rest without concern.   I dunno.  I don't want to see anyone hurt either."

 

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Posted (edited)

"Reduce the stress?  See a doctor?  Cade," Devin leaned in, resting his arms on the table.  "Something spent four hours in the Thunder, hunting me and trying to kill me and where were you guys?  Not forty eight hours before that something else almost tore my leg off.  What am I going to tell your mom, huh?  'Oh, hey, the reason I can't sleep is because I was out battling interdimensional demons with your son and almost died.  A couple times.  So, how's life going for you?'  I'm sure that will roll over well."

"This is why I don't bring shit up to you guys, besides all of us barely knowing each other, and everyone still not really liking me all that much, you guys listen, but you don't hear anything.  You talk, but you don't say anything.  I mean, where are you when the team needs a leader?  Because I've been stepping up to do my best and I think we can all agree it's only a matter a time before Autumn and Cassie are wearing less, making out more, the world is in ruins and there's fire everywhere.  I am not the kind if guy you want running the show.  The school looks up to you, bro, so where are you when the team needs you?"  He wasn't drinking, just playing with his straw and poking at the ice in his cup with it.  Whether it was his sister at home, or Cade here, Devin was never the best at communicating his problems to others.  He didn't think anyone could him with them, so he always thrived to handle them himself.  "I have problems, I know I do.  This shit is affecting me and I'm scared.  I jump at shadows, I hate being alone, and I don't think you or the rest of the team can help me.  You guys don't relate.  You don't actually understand what's wrong with me, but I do and 'go see a doctor' or popping a few Tylenol PMs really aren't gonna cut it.  I survived four hours in the Thunder alone, I can handle this alone too.  Enjoy all your dating and weekend outings, I'll handle things on me own."

"Jason is on a short fuse, so it's only a matter of time before he kills for pleasure or sport.  The group training was 'airplanes' in the yard.  Sean and I don't talk.  You don't seem to really be involved unless there's something to shoot.  Cassie is about as effectual as spit balls, so I don't see how she's going to battle this thing.  Autumn will be too stoned to even realize what's going on.  Charlie... I don't even know and my sister?  She's definitely going to drive you all to either kill her, or yourselves, at some point.  I vote you kill her, so I can have her room.  It has the nicer closet."  He shook his head and finally took a drink from his soda.  "Dude.  We are so screwed.  And here I am thinking I can somehow protect you guys.  When I say it out loud, I know there's no way I can help a single one of you."

Edited by Dave ST

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Cade shook his head.  "Alot more went on at that first training session than that Devin.   Just because you weren't there, don't assume we did nothing but have fun."   Cade's tone was abit defensive.   "We actually learned a fair bit, or at least the others did.  That's where Sean learned about his abilities, and where we learned that we can synch up and attune ourselves with each other to expand our abilities."

He sighed.   Max came over, and Took their orders, and Cade inwardly winced, feeding two teenage guys wasn't cheap, especially when they both seemed to be starving.   When Max left again, he continued.

He looked out the window before looking back to Devin.  "Cassie wouldn't even know she had powers were it not for that session, it let her break past her barriers that were keeping her from what she can do, so don't denigrate the effort everyone put in."  

"As to everyone not liking you, I think that's unfair.   We don't really know you.   Yeah some of that is on us, some of that's on you.   I'm at least willing to try to get to know you.  Not the way you present yourself in front of everyone, yeah you can be a snarky ass with issues, you've got that on lock.  Honestly I get enough of that at school.  Is that really how you want to be seen by the rest of us though?   I don't think so man.  Be you man."

He sat there having taken one of the napkins, and he was actually folding it over and over.  Before too long he set it on the table, a pretty good origami crane, considering it was made from a napkin in a diner.  "You say everyone at school looks to me, you want to know why I'm not stepping up to lead, to herd these cats.  I don't see myself as a leader.   I never have.   Playing baseball, running Track, they call me team Captain, and I got the job because nobody wanted it.   I do what I can in those situations to be a good example.  I give everything I've got to the team."

He looked down.   "It isn't like that with the Fellowship. I never lead the party, I was content to play at the Center, to be the one who can be depended on, who is reliable to a fault.    Now with all this going on, I admit, I'm abit jealous of what some of you can do.   You've got pretty much one of the coolest powers ever.  I'd say I feel like the team's Hawkeye more than Captain America.   I haven't felt like a leader, because I don't feel qualified."

He finished off his drink, and sighed.  "We're all scared, probably even Jason too.  None of us knows how this is going to play out, and we're all trying to live normal lives while we deal with weirdness we have to deal with.  As for you and Sean, you need to work that out.   You can't just expect him to forget and forgive everything in the name of expediency man.  Would you honestly if the roles were reversed?"

"You say you aren't the sort to be a leader, but here you are.  You've already said your worry is how to protect everyone else, That's something a leader worries about.  Yeah, I worry about everyone too, so I get the irony in me saying that, but it keeps you up.  What you've experienced, and how you know we're not ready to experience it.  You're so convinced we aren't ready, that we won't be able to handle it, and yet What have you done to help us get ready?   We can't get ready for something we know nothing about.   Share your experiences with us, help us to understand, and then we can actually work towards hopefully ensuring we won't have to face it, but if we do, that we'll be at least somewhat ready for it."

 

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"Nothing can prepare you for feeling trapped and helpless."  He replied calmly.  "I can't prepare you, because you've never been there.  You've always had mommy and daddy fawning all over you.  Same with the rest of you, except Jason who never feels anything, so talking 'feelings' with him is utterly pointless."  Devin raised his hand to pause Cade as the large teen loaded a rebuttal.  "Let me finish."

"It was the same for me too.  Emjay and I are spoiled, we both know it, but in the time I was there all my attitude, money, and expensive toys didn't mean a damn thing.  In the spans of time I had to stop and rest, all I could think was 'I'm going to die here, and no one except Marissa is going to care.  Our parents are horrible at their job and made us into horrible people.  I have no friends... I mean, that was it, dude.  No more Devin and it dawned on me that that is how it for all of us... one day, we're just, gone... and no one cares.  I deal with problems on my own because Emjay has enough of her own, I'm her brother, I'm supposed to look out for her, always have." Devin shrugged and as Max passed them carrying food for another table in a skillful balancing act in her arms.  He offered up a  flirtatious wink and a 'how you doin'' nod to her to which she replied with a smirk and a shake of her head.  After she delivered the food to the other patrons she walked past the boy's table again on her way back to the kitchen, flicking Devin in the side of the head as she passed him.  The young man smirked, flailing a hand at her that would have smacked her leg but she was too quick for him, this time.

"I'm at a crossroads, I guess.  I'm trying to fix myself, be better than the jerk I was, that I know I was,"  His straw danced in his soda glass as he speared for ice cubes some more.  "But it doesn't exactly come with an instruction manual.  I'm lost, confused... I guess?  I don't know.  I mean, you do something nice for someone and they just shrug and expect you to do it again, they don't care, but, you treat them like crap and never forget it and whine a bitch about it the rest of their lives.  I mean, come on, get over it people. I have."

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"That's just how most people are Devin.  I'm sure I don't have to tell you that.   Eventually though, people come around.   You have been better, Devin.  That's part of why I'm here.  I see you trying to change, to be a better person, in your own way than you were.   Everyone else sees it too man.  Not just you, but Marissa too. We're all in this together."

He sighed.  "One of the cornerstones of friendship is unrequited Commitment.   You don't do things for a friend  because you expect them to be reciprocated.  It's great to be able to count on your friends being there to help you, but that's not what makes you friends.  If you only help them to get them to help you, you're just using each other.   It has to be more than that."

Cade looked and caught Devin's gaze.  "For what it's worth, I trust you Devin.  You've had my back, I've got yours.  If you need help with something, just ask.   If I can help, I'll do whatever I can do.   
 

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"Well, if that's true, then the opposite is also true: if you do things with the expectation of forgiveness, then it should be granted.  Either way, I have more important things to worry about than being buddy-buddy with you plebs.  In the beginning, like at the party, sure man, I was all about trying to set shit right in my life, I mean, I could have really hurt Chet and Marissa and I were and ,still are, on a hell of a downward spiral."

"But now?"  He lazily shrugged his arms and shook his head.  No matter how many times he thought about it or even said it out loud, he couldn't seem to wrap his head around the fact that all of this was real and actually happening.  Were they put her to defeat The Dark?  Were their abilities a product of them being an opposing force to The Dark and without it to battle them, would they lose their Shine?  "We have this Dark thing to deal with so I don't really have a lot of time for hand holding and skipping through the magic gardens of whatever turbo-homo, soccer practice land of rainbows, sunshine and waifu sex pillows that you're pulling all that 'friendship is glitter and love' bullshit you're spewing."

"I get that you're trying to help, and I appreciate it," he said after he paused to sigh.  "I know how friendship works, my mom has a PhD in Behavioral Science," which until now Cade had absolutely no idea Devin's mother possessed a Doctorates in anything except being smoking hot.  "But we get, maybe, one day a week that isn't filled with something or other trying to kill us.  We spend that day relaxing, but we don't do it together.  We all have lives and others we would rather spend that time with right now and frankly, making and building up friendships isn't in the cards right now.  The group needs some form of leadership, but they're not going to follow me and we don't have time to build up that trust.  For everything we figure out, now more problem drops into our lap."

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Cade sighed.   "Yeah okay fair enough man.  I won't press the issue further.  We don't get alot of time to live normal lives, and I won't infringe on yours.   The offer's there though.  I don't have all the answers, I never will.  I'll be there to listen should you want to talk, or hang out."   

Max brought their orders, and left, and Cade knew she was expecting a nice tip, what with all they ordered.    When she'd left,  he dug in.   Abit later, after the first burger, he nodded.   "You call for leadership, I know you won't back Jason, you're convinced the others won't follow you.  Why do yo think they'll listen to me, Devin?   Would you actually listen, if I made a call and stuck to it? "   He took a bite of another burger waiting for the answer.   Leading in sports wasn't life and death, and that was all  he'd done until now.   This, if he was to do it, he'd have to know he had their trust.
  

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Posted (edited)

As Max walked away they continued their conversation.  Cade chewed his first bite and noticed Devin smirking at his burger bun.  The sesame seeds on it were scrapped off in the shape of a heart.  Cade shook his head.  "How do you do that?"  Devin laughed silently.  "One minute you two are insulting each other and she's picking on you for being in high school, and she puts hearts on your burger?  he's like twenty-seven, Dev."

"Twenty four."  Devin smirked, taking a bit of pride that Cade was taking notice in his skill at flirtation.  "She live here in Shelly with her mother, in the summer she enjoys taking time with friends to drive down to Nevada and party in the desert at a couple of concerts they throw out there each year.  She a hundred and twenty seven pounds, her measurements are thirty-eight double D, twenty-seven, thirty-four, and yes, they're real.  She has blue eyes, and she's a Gemini.  She doesn't drink or smoke, surprisingly and enjoys reading and, get this, knitting.  She can knit.  Blew my mind."

Cade could only laugh as Devin dropped the knowledge.  "Alright, I'll bite.  How do you know all that?"

"Because, yes, I flirt, but I do something way more important than just flirt, I listen.  See, being a douche is... just being a douche.  Whether she's sixteen and goes to school with us, or she's twenty-four and works here, when you take the time to throw a smile, flirt a bit, make it humorous and pleasant... and before you know it, you've made her laugh.  Then next time to you talk, ask something, tell her something about you, flirt a bit more.  Most important thing though, is to listen and remember.  A hottie like Maxine, adores the fact that I can honestly remember what color her eyes are.  You think most guys come in here to look at her eyes?  I know I'm never going to get anywhere with her.  I'm not her type, I'm too young, yadda, yadda... that's why she scrapes the hearts for me, to tell me that I never have a chance, but she loves me anyways for being the annoying fucker that I am because I make the work day fun for her.  A little witty and verbal sparring."

"I say that to say this: yes.  If you stood up to lead I would follow you, in my own way."  He picked apart his burger as the few months Cade had really gotten to know Devin (sort of) he noticed the kid was the pickiest of eaters.  His cheeseburger had to be plain with no condiments or veggies and Ma knew that so she always made sure the burger was fully assembled for him, just to spite him.  "You say some epiclly stupid shit like 'let's blow up a bridge', then no.  I'll assume your on that dumb shit Jason grows and challenge your call.  I'd follow any of you into Hell, because if this keeps up, that looks like our next stop."  He took a bite and chewed, mumbling something with a mouthful of burger.  He didn't catch a word of it, but Devin was very passionate about the words.  He swallowed and took a sip of his drink.  "Let me try that again... I'm not saying you have to be the leader, or that we even need one.  I'm saying that we are in this together.  If were going to fight demons and possibly die, then I want the people I'm with to have something to say about it.  Don't keep all the ideas to yourself because those could be the ideas that could have saved a life, and don't tell me you don't have ideas, because that's total B.S..  They'll listen to you, Cade, because you're Superman.  You have a black belt in wrestling bears, knowledge of automatic weapons, you're expert marksman and archer, and are more an army of one than most veteran Army guys.  You're the kind of guy who people like us, regular teenagers, can look up to.  You know shit, bro, we'd trust your tactical input and knowledge of warmongering.  In the mean time, until we get our shit together, I suppose I can try to keep this jackhole secret society we have going from falling completely apart.  Think about that while a take a bite from this tasty burger."

Edited by Dave ST

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"Who'd have thought you'd give me valuable life advice?"   he smiled   "Then again, I have lived here in Montana my whole life.  You haven't.   You've got experiences I can only imagine. One day I will leave, there's no Baseball teams in Montana, but there are times when yeah, I realize I don't really know how things work beyond this place..  It's all pretty simple here,  even going to bigger cities here.."

"I bet that's another reason you see the need to stir the pot.   You found it all pretty damn boring, didn't you Devin?"

Devin was still eating, and Cade smiled.  "It's a Fellowship not a secret society.   No decoder rings, no catchphrase, though  "What the hell?" is probably in the running at this point.   As for me standing up and you backing me up in your own way, I'd expect no less.   Blind obedience is for the Military, and the goal here for all of us isn't just to beat the Dark and survive, but to survive and live our lives how we want afterwards.   I know I don't want to be some pawn of the military, or society, or whatever the hell else is out there.   I can't imagine anyone else does, though I could see your sister setting out to take them over."

"That's my end goal for the group, to get everyone out alive and free."  He took up another burger, and began to eat.

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