Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent.   Posted by Retro DM.Group: 0
Marcus Lunesby
 NPC, 4 posts
 Genius
 Unrecognized
Fri 26 Apr 2019
at 10:25
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
 As soon as the door was sealed, Marcus sat down at a nearby computer terminal and started typing up his notes. If he was impressed by what Garrett did inside the room with the weapons, it didn’t show. He was busy observing, recording, and making his own theories and guesswork about the nature of Garrett’s new martial ability. Typing away rather quickly at his keyboard, one might have thought Marcus was completely unaware of anything else.

He stopped when the boys decided to challenge one another. He scratched the stubble on his chin, as though contemplating some grand mystery, then produced the remote once more, entering in another code and smirking. Another panel flipped around, this time revealing two sets of Kendo sparring armor.

“Those should fit, might be a little loose.”

OOC: The sparring armor gives you an AC of 16.

This message was last edited by the player at 10:30, Fri 26 Apr 2019.

Whitney Zabka-Cabot
 player, 31 posts
 I will not bow
 I will not break
Fri 26 Apr 2019
at 16:26
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
The kendo armor flipped from one of the apparently many hidden panels in the wall. Whitney realized he should probably be wondering how this lab knew to prepare so well. Instead he chose to focus on the immediate problem; having two muscle memories was an inconvenience at best and a danger at worse.

“Thank you, Dr. Lunesby. We should probably continue avoiding serious injury today.” He picked up the armor. It was unused, but functional. Another thing prepared for something like today.

Hands almost guiding themselves, even donning this practice armor felt like a rehearsed action. It was not that it was difficult, putting clothing on isn’t rocket science. Whitney remained unsettled. Having trained his body his whole life, he understood what it could do. Right now, for the first time in a long time, Whitney’s body felt outside of his control.

“Try not to flinch.” Whitney let his body adopt an unfamiliar stance. Purposely leaning into his new knowledge, he tried to take it all in. If he could make this his own and not just something borrowed, maybe it would mean something.

“On three.” Whitney stared at Garret’s eyes, trying to get a read on his opponent.

“One.” Garret had put on the armor like it was old hat.

“Two.” His stance was similar, but like it was trained by another school. Perhaps their knowledge came from separate sources?

“Three.”

Whitney let himself lunge at his opponent. The air whistled, its wake attempting to catch up to the bamboo. One crack resounded in the room. The weapon had landed on Garret’s helm with force to spare.

Whitney had not wanted to strike his opponent's head. Before he could formulate a coherent thought, those practiced movements did not stop. It was like unleashing one fluid motion and he had only just started.

Speed. A velocity beyond any he had pushed himself before followed two more strikes.

Stop.

He did not stop.

But he did miss. The following double strikes missed their opponent and Whitney stumbled. It wasn’t perfect, but at least he knew he had some agency. This could be adapted.

Garret readjusted his stance. Ah. Let's see how I am on defense.

Whitney used Action Surge for last two attack rolls. Attack rolls 23, 5, 4.
Garret Blake
 player, 47 posts
 Do good deeds
 Stay out of trouble
Fri 26 Apr 2019
at 18:03
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
Garrett put on the armor, staring at the floor more than at Whitney as he did it. He didn't like this. This rush of energy and the sudden angry adrenaline flowing through his head. He felt the helmet slip over his head. Lines and bars crisscrossed his perception.  It wasn't a field in front of him, though. He didn't feel like he did charging down-range looking to catch a pass from Dave or Gabe and put it into the inzone. That was the familiar thing. The good thing--and taking that dummy apart Garrett had felt it for a hot minute.

When he turned and retrieved the bamboo sword, staring down Whitney across the space between them, he felt that terrible gut-churning feeling that had filled him from boots to brain before. No. Don't go there.

He shifted his feet as Whitney played with his stance. He was sweating in a way that he shouldn't have been.

That had been a real blade in his hands a few moments ago. This wasn't. Chill.

The Diamonds hadn't been using blades, either. Nor had the people who swung bats at his head. You didn't need a sharp edge to fuck someone up beyond recognition. His fingers flexed around the grip.

Chill.

"Tell me Garret, what do you think will happen if the likes of Damon Stone has developed these same powers?"

He tensed as he slid into the stance that seemed natural.

"Don't cross me Blake. We're going places. Don't throw this away."

His mouth went dry. If that was the case, if there was even a chance that Malun was right... wait, why was he thinking about this now? Focus. It was Whitney. Whitney had told him he should try him unless he wanted to do this to July, and all that noise was in his head again. Shift. Head in the game. Garrett, head in the g--

MOVEMENT.

Whitney blurred forward. The other boy had always been fast, but this was so much faster. His core twitched and his hands snapped up to parry the strike. It was a blur of too late, too slow, and then WHAM.

A burst of arresting numbness flushed across the left side of his face. The room tilted and he staggered. Registered that in a few seconds that was going to hurt a lot. But everything else was blacked out by the immediate rush of realization that he'd let himself get distracted and taken a strike to the skull that would've turned his brain into two chunks. Oh no. Oh no.

"Guess if your not a fan, we’ll rough you up inst--"

NO.

Whitney's next two strikes missed as Garrett acted on raw (new?) instinct. He rolled right with the impact, over his shoulder and surged upwards as Whitney reset. Behind his helm his eyes were wide as saucers. Target. Where target. There. Exposed arms extended out to the side. Hit to arms would remove sword. Open up more.

That would do.

Garrett swept across the middle, snapping the bamboo blade across the centerline, behind the reach of Whitney's weapon, and straight into the meat of his forearms. Destabilized. Moving sideways. Remove threat.

The blade carried through the cut, down. Lower targets. Legs. Good. Then Garrett's body rotated and the line of the strike took Whitney just below the knees.

Nobody else would be hurt. Nobody else.

A rush. Here. Now. This was a training room. A training room.

Before he could even take stock of what he'd done to the other boy. Garrett staggered back, let the sword slip, and dropped down to one knee. Breathe. He needed to breathe. Fingers ripped at the buckles and pulled off the head protection, taking in a sudden, loud gasp of air. An ugly bruise was spreading across the left side of his face.

Oh no.

What did he do.

"Shit," he choked, voice ragged and slightly frightened. "Shit, are you okay?"

This message was last edited by the player at 18:19, Fri 26 Apr 2019.

Whitney Zabka-Cabot
 player, 32 posts
 I will not bow
 I will not break
Fri 26 Apr 2019
at 18:32
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
Garret busted through his defenses. Masterfully getting blows on Whitney's arm and than down to his knee. It was also quite painful, even with the armor.

Whitney had been to much in his own head to offer a proper defense. Garret had properly taken advantage and gave him two strikes for his trouble. Apt punishment for pulling back, he supposed.

A deep amusement rose in him. It had been a while since he'd had a good fight.

"Shit. Shit, are you okay?" Whitney felt better than okay.

Whitney let out a long unguarded laugh while taking off his helmet. The sound of it was derisive, but it did cut the tension. Looking down on Garret's panic, it was all too ridiculous. The guy had beaten him soundly and was worried about some pain. What trivial concerns.

"Those strikes were technically perfect, but they didn't feel like yours." It was certainly his strength though. The schmuck hit like a mac truck.

Whitney extended his hand to Garret.

"Thank you for the bout. As you now see, we have a lot to learn about ourselves."
Jason Drake
 player, 34 posts
 Welding, forging, wood
 Working with my hands
Fri 26 Apr 2019
at 21:07
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
Witnessing Garret cut a wooden dummy into pieces was like something right out of a movie. It shouldn’t be real, not without years of training at least, but it was right in front of him. Jason had to consciously close his mouth. Whitney’s archery had always been good, but this was different, somehow. That same boy had just blasted practice arrows through a giant snake earlier in the day, and Jason was fairly certain he couldn’t do that yesterday. It had to be connected to that object, and the energy wave. His friends were super human, now.

And they were about to fight each other.

It happened a bit faster than Jason could react. They donned armor and clashed with kendo sticks, both of them showing ability they hadn’t had before. It was astonishing, and a little bit freighting, to see it on display. When it was over, he had to take a moment to process it all. He could hear Malun and her father clicking away, typing up their notes, and he could hear July practically holding her breath. He stepped forward and into the room, sighing.

“Jeeze you guys, I thought this was sparring. Your lucky you didn’t break anything!”

Then he felt something. Some tinge of that fire that was part of him now, it wanted to come out. He blinked, and looked at his left hand. His finger tips were glowing.

“...well that’s new. Hold still Garret.”

He gently placed his fingers over Garret’s head where he had been struck, and the glow seemed to flow from his hand into the other boy, and the bruise he just incurred subsided, leaving almost no trace of injury. Jason took his hand back, looking at it again. Still glowing. He touched Whitney’s forearm, and even through the padding, it seemed to work, and Whitney’s pain subsided, both in his arms and legs.

Jason took a deep breath. “That was way different from before. It came from the same place as that blast, but it wanted to heal. It’s like a well I can draw from and use for... well at least two things. But now it feels lower than before, like there’s a hard limit.”

OOC: casting Cure Wounds on both Garret and Whitney.
Garret Blake
 player, 48 posts
 Do good deeds
 Stay out of trouble
Sat 27 Apr 2019
at 02:43
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
Okay. The other boy was okay. Garrett closed his eyes for a second as the dizziness flooded in along with the throbbing that accompanied a goof thwack to the temple. Whitney hadn't been seriously damaged by the switch-flip that had happened in Garrett's brain. A switch that hadn't been flipped--frankly--for awhile. Belatedly he realized the other boy was offering him a hand. That was new.

He took it as the words rolled over him, blinking once or twice and wincing in a motion that carried down through his whole frame as if he was trying to shrug it out of his system with his broad shoulders. "I don't... yeah, I don't know where this is coming from. It doesn't feel foreign, so much as this sense of being able to do things I'd forgotten how to do--"

Garrett took Whitney's hand. Gripped it firmly before letting go. Good game. Good game. His back itched faintly, along two lines across his shoulderblades.

"--or something. I don't know. I couldn't do this yesterday. I..."  Weird. Must've been the armor. He wasn't used to it. Reaching back he started to undo the armor. And maybe itch that spot. "... You're welcome. And I'm sorry. I lost control."

I lost control.

Then Jason was there from... somewhere? And there was a sudden balm on the side of his head. A soothing wave of energy that simultaneously deadened pain and restored feeling to the numbness. He flexed his jaw. There was still tension and a faint tingling where he'd been hit, but damn... that was amazing. His eyes widened. "Jason. Holy shit. Jason you can heal people?"

"That's... amazing."

He shook his head. Of course he could. It was magic. Amazing magic. This was just... the implications were too much to work through at the moment, so he just let it go, taking off his kendo armor and doing his best to lay it out in an orderly fashion before exiting the training room. Maybe Whitney didn't feel he needed to apologize, but Whitney also wasn't the only one here. Standing outside the door, still breathing heavily, he looked back and forth between July and Mr. Lunesby.

"I... lost control, in there. For a moment. I shouldn't have," He paused. A whole host of emotions behind his tired, composed face. "I'm very sorry."
July Coates
 player, 39 posts
 i'll sing along
 yeah with every emergency
Sat 27 Apr 2019
at 16:48
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
Garrett's sudden mastery over a blade he'd almost certainly never touched was weird as hell, but undeniably cool. She'd dropped his arm, taking a step back to give him space, and focused her attention back on the training room. She'd seen Whitney shoot a few times before, and that had certainly been impressive. Watching him casually split an arrow was something else entirely. That couldn't be possible, and he'd made it look like child's play.

"Dude!" July laughed brightly, unable to contain her enthusiasm, "That's some Robin Hood shit!"

Whitney didn't celebrate his achievement. Instead he turned his focus back to Garrett, goading him into a fight with laser precision. The energy in the room changed in an instant. July's stomach dropped. She knew Whitney well enough to read into his words--he wasn't actually suggesting Garrett carve her into pieces. But she knew Garrett, and knew that he wouldn't give a damn what Whitney had meant, just what he had heard. His whole demeanor shifted, and before she could open her mouth to defuse the situation, Garrett had taken the bait.

July frowned as Mr. Lunesby simply offered them armor, as if this wasn't an awful idea. She exchanged a concerned look with Jason as the two donned sparring armor. 'As safely as possible', Mr. Lunesby had said, and she supposed it was better than nothing, but she couldn't shake the anxiety. Worrying her lower lip, she forced herself to watch.

Whitney moved faster than she’d ever seen before. Before she could process that, he was in Garrett’s space. She could hear the dull thwap as Whitney struck Garrett's head, and her relief that his next blows failed to land was cut short by Garrett’s answering strikes to his arm and leg, unrestrained in their viciousness. The whole thing was over in a matter of heartbeats, but July found herself lagging, trying to process it all. Between Garrett’s distress and Whitney’s bark of laughter, the emotional whiplash had her thoughts into disarray.

Jason, at least, had presence of mind to do something. Not just something, but straight up healing, dispersing the bruise that had been blossoming across Garrett’s face with only a touch. That was…

“Whoa,” July breathed, finally managing to put her thoughts in some semblance of order. There was so much to unpack about that. Jason could heal. That was nothing short of miraculous.

I lost control, he’d said, and Garrett looked so tired, so hollow, and every instinct in her told her to go to him, to chase that away with quips and jokes until he was laughing and fine, but her feet wouldn’t move.

She’d known, of course. What he had done. Not a lot of the details. She’d never asked, had never felt the need to. Noel said he was cool now, and she’d trusted that. Did trust that. He’d always been kind, unfailingly gentle. She’d never seen anything like this from Garrett before. I lost control.

“It’s fine,” July said with a smile, “No harm, no foul, right?”
Marcus Lunesby
 NPC, 5 posts
 Genius
 Unrecognized
Sat 27 Apr 2019
at 18:57
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
It was hard to read Marcus while he was in his note-taking-analysis mode. He worked like some kind of machine, typing away at his terminal, observing the actions of the two boys through his observation camera in the practice room. After Jason entered and displayed healing powers, Marcus found a point to stop his data entry and make some remarks.

"Hmmm hmm hmm. According to the readings from my in-room SuNaSL, you boys are emanating a very low signal when you fight. This is only a theory, but I suspect your recent infusion of power and these new combat abilities are intrinsically linked. You show the competence of fighters with at least a year or more of dedicated training, which is quite intriguing. Your own bodies have integrated with these movements as though they had always been yours. Young Mr Drake's display of healing is quite profound. I'd be interested in testing it's limits one day, but for now I think it's best we not barge into the ER wing of the hospital just to see what he can do. Also not very low key."

He adjusted his glasses, looking over his typed up notes.

"Your movements are also beyond those of regular humans. I'd expect this much from young Mr Cabot, with his Olympic training, and perhaps even from young Mr Blake, but it's rather beyond even both of your own athleticism. This energy apparently makes you 'better', though exactly how is unclear. What I did observe is a lack of complete control from both of you, which I can only surmise means you'll need more time for full mastery of this."

He looked to July and Jason, an eyebrow raised.

"I think those boys should rest for now. I'm interested to observe you two, whomever decides to go first."

And then a look to his daughter, a slight smirk on his face.

"Anything to add, Malun?"
Garret Blake
 player, 49 posts
 Do good deeds
 Stay out of trouble
Sun 28 Apr 2019
at 05:55
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
The adrenaline was ebbing away for real, this time. Garrett could feel the tiredness creeping in. The tingling on the side of his face that either hadn't been entirely fixed by the magic healing, or was the result of it. Or neither. Or both. His limbs felt heavy, and that seemed ridiculous because he'd pushed himself through harder things over a longer period of time. It was hard to tell how well he was processing what Mr. Lunesby said. Made them... better? Deadlier? Faster? Stronger? More Powerful than before?

Bionic Man?

He would've laughed if he wasn't so tired.

"lack of complete control from both of you."

Both of them? He hadn't... really been able to process all of that before. Maybe. The other boy had launched himself forward with almost impossible speed and precision, true. He'd hit harder than Garrett would've guessed, true. Doubtless whatever was infusing them both was hard to manage.

But it hadn't been power that had made Garrett snap. It had been everything that came from being hit by it. Did that mean it was different? He... didn't know. Thinking about it too much would only make his head hurt. You still shouldn't have let that happen, dude.

Then he looked at July. Her face was a churning mix of emotions. Her hands were fidgeting. She looked like she was going to worry her lip bloody. In that moment he couldn't tell if she was angry or worried or something else entirely, but he did know one thing: she'd never looked at him like that before, and that... his gut constricted and his hands felt sort of numb. A lead weight settled into his feet. The floor suddenly had twice as much gravity. Stop. Stop staring.

"... right," he said, giving his best effort at a smile. "I just... I hate hurting people." A throat clear followed. Garrett needed to be helpful. Do something.

"I um..." he shifted on his feet, then looked like he was trying to do something with his hands. Then he breathed out and put one hand lightly on her shoulder. "... we're all here." He said after a minute. "Just... do what feels right."

He let go, walked past her, and slumped down onto a heavy crate, resting his head against the cold wall. Everyone was okay. Everyone was okay.

Morals. Morale.

"Alright you guys got this. Kick some ass."

Idiot.

This message was last edited by the player at 14:06, Sun 28 Apr 2019.

Mariko 'Malun' Lunesby
 player, 37 posts
 Obligatory child genius
 Don't touch my PortCon!
Sun 28 Apr 2019
at 16:32
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
Unlike her father, Malun's recording process did not stop at all when watching Jason heal. If anything her typing got faster. Whatever she was thinking, she didn't betray on her face, her expression was intense and focused, with a laser intensity that might have been unsettling on someone with a more intimidating frame. On Malun's childish appearance it was rather more comedic.

When directly addressed, she blinked out of her focus and turned to look owlishly at her father for a moment, "Hmm? Ah...yes, actually I think much could be learned from having them perform not simply combat maneuvers against each other but using sports performance as a measure. IF there's one thing sports fans are good at, it's statistics. The performances of athletes are rigorously recorded by their supporters and analysts, we can have Whitney and Garret test their raw physicality against those metrics to better measure the improvements there without their newfound combat skills also being a factor."

"As to their lack of control, that's only to be expected." Malun shrugged, "this is still a very new experience and it's been a rather stressful day. However, that does imply that the augmented skills and abilities are still firmly controlled by the conscious and subconscious mind rather than the mind being controlled by the augmentations, as they are only showing skills they did not possess and not showing a level of discipline that they haven't learned or would be unusual to display after today's events."

Turning her attention to Jason and July, she nodded again, "Healing is perhaps the most incredible and useful ability we've seen thus far. Jason, I'll be happy to help you test the extents and limitations of that when you believe you have more...in the tank, so to speak. That is something I'm very interested in recording the exact specifications of, as much as possible at least."

"As for July's mental affecting powers..." Malun took off her glasses and rolled her neck around to loosen up her tension, "I would actually prefer that they be tested on me. The nature of the tests and types of equipment available show that you are clearly anticipating further combat situation, and if I'm going to be of any use in the field instead of simply hiding in the lab, I need to know my own ability to resist strange powers."

"Besides," the small girl then smirked at the tall one, "if there's anything I'm not worried about, it's the resilience of my mind. And I'll get better data on it if I experience it directly. Whenever you're ready."
Jason Drake
 player, 35 posts
 Welding, forging, wood
 Working with my hands
Sun 28 Apr 2019
at 19:25
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
While he was glad that he could heal the physical injuries, Jason could tell Garret was still bothered by his lack of control. Whitney probably was too, just knowing his perfectionist personality, but Garret was trying to be different, and different meant not hurting people, at least not people who didn't have it coming. He was about to say something, but July seemed to have it handled. Good.

The red haired boy did his best to understand Mr Lunesby's and Malun's analysis of things, and for the most part he did. He didn't exactly like the idea of walking into a hospital just to heal people, since he wasn't quite sure how to control everything just yet, but the possibility was intriguing. There were implications to having such a power that he wasn't sure he was comfortable with. Not like I can give it away, right?

He nodded along when both Marcus and Malun talked about the seeming lack of control, and looked back to Garret and Whitney. "Well, seems like you shouldn't worry about it too much. We've got a whole bunch of new stuff to explore, and this place to do it in, right? We'll figure it out. And I guess if you mess each other up I can fix it, kind of? Just don't go overboard." He smirked.

Looking back to Malun, he nodded. "Sure, yeah. I'd like to have better control of it. I'm not like, Jesus or something, I don't think I can heal just anything, but some things? It's hard to explain, but when it I used that it felt like there was a ceiling as to how much it could affect. Like, a torch only gets so hot, right?... anyway, let me see what I have left."

Right, time for his test. Jason took in a deep breath, waiting for Garret and Whitney to leave the room. When they did, and closed the door, he spoke, louder than normal, trying to make sure everyone heard him. "So, I figured out one or two things while I was at home! Watch this!" Holding his right hand up, like he was holding a bowl, Jason produced a small orb of light. It was very bright, at least as much as a strong flashlight or lamp. He sent it up above his head, and it seemed to hover over him wherever he walked in the room.

"As long as I keep it in the back of my mind, this thing can last a while!" he said, still loudly. He picked up two of the pieces of the wooden dummy that Garret had previously cut apart. He focused hard on them, closing his eyes and breathing heavily. As he did so, the wooden bits seemed to sew themselves back together. It didn't look fantastic, since wood wasn't supposed to do that, it left a visible scar where the cut had gone through, but the two pieces were now together again.

"That one is more limited. I can fix small stuff, like my socks that had holes in them, but the repairs to this aren't very strong." He demonstrated by breaking the wood apart over his knee. "If I spend more time on it, I could probably put the whole thing back together, but like I said, it's not a strong bond. You already saw the fire thing and the blast thing. I can still make that fire, but I'm all out for the big stuff."

He paused. He felt... something. Something else. "Okay um, this is weird but there's, like, a second source? Like my main power is out but I have a secondary supply for stuff, but different stuff. Sorry, I'm not great at explaining this. Let me just, um..."

Then, Jason turned invisible. It only lasted six seconds, but it was probably the most intense thing he'd done up to that point in his life. When he came back into view, he blinked.

"Whoa."

OOC: Casting Light, Mending, and then racial Invisibility.

This message was last edited by the player at 02:22, Wed 01 May 2019.

Garret Blake
 player, 50 posts
 Do good deeds
 Stay out of trouble
Tue 30 Apr 2019
at 01:26
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
Out of all of them, Jason had gained the most amazing abilities of all. Healing. Generating flames. And now the ability to vanish? That was... that was beyond insane. Amazement flashed across Garrett's eyes where he sat, and his smile widened. "Goddamn, dude, are you sure you're not Jesus?"

Leaning back, he rested the back of his skull against the cold metal of the wall. This was a lot to take in. Everything had changed in a short span and his brain hadn't even had half a play to work through the implications. It was trying to now, but it just... wouldn't go.

So he breathed in and out, and watched July. He could tell how uncomfortable she was with this. It was etched on every angle of her posture. And he also knew that he couldn't just say something that would one-and-done make it better. He couldn't even tell how Malun's words would land, but he knew the girl in front of him abhored nothing more than the idea of hurting people.

And he wasn't sure what to say about that, so he just said--quietly enough that perhaps only she could hear: "I believe in you, July."
Whitney Zabka-Cabot
 player, 33 posts
 I will not bow
 I will not break
Tue 30 Apr 2019
at 22:23
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
What should have left bruises for days was instantly healed by Mr. Drake’s newfound ability. Trace amounts of soreness and pain lingered, but Whitney was familiar enough with injury to know that would soon pass. This newfound magic, for lack of a better term, had its limits. Jason said something about his power source or something. Truth was, Whitney was having trouble concentrating. Whatever he had pulled, whatever that speed was earlier, had taken something out of him. It felt great.

Whitney barely registered moving himself out of the space or even putting his tie back on. Reflecting on it later, Whitney would describe it as moving on auto pilot. His mind was too busy racing, his body felt like it could go ten more rounds. Discipline and training had taken him so far in life, but this feeling was electric. He needed to push further.

People were speaking. Ms. Lunesby no doubt gave some keen observations. And Mr. Drake shuffled into the room to show off his stuff. It was muffled though, background.

Whitney blinked back to reality; the moment Jason had blinked out. The boy just displayed a veritable library of tricks before making himself disappear. An impressive show to be sure. The next to show off their new power was July. Whitney was rather curious to see what she could do.

Whitney took a proper look at his friend. Her normal composure had met its own limits it seemed. Sometimes people needed an out. “It is getting rather late. We have plenty of time to figure out what else we can do. I’m afraid if we take much longer, Mr. Woolsworth will tear apart the house to find me.”

This message was last edited by the player at 22:23, Tue 30 Apr 2019.

July Coates
 player, 40 posts
 i'll sing along
 yeah with every emergency
Wed 1 May 2019
at 02:14
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
Neither Mr. Lunesby nor Malun seemed particularly concerned by what they'd seen. If July hadn't been paying attention, she could have been forgiven for thinking they were talking more about a spot of unusual weather than the existence of...of whatever all this was. Superpowers? Magic? Toxic radiation? She felt crazy for even thinking it, even as all of her senses told her this was real.

Malun offered herself up as a test subject to her whatever, and July went very still under the other girl's sharp gaze. Arms still folded, her knuckles flashed white, plastic crinkling in her grip--right. She'd forgotten about the zebracakes. July broke eye contact with Malun, busying herself with discarding the treat, biting back the sudden spike of panic. She was relieved to find that Jason had stepped up to demonstrate his talents, sparing her for a few moments longer.

Jason was...incredible. She could almost taste that smoke again as he shaped light to his whims and stitched together the dummy with nothing but his will. Before she could truly process it, he blinked out of existence. July flinched, starting forward--and then, just as suddenly, he was back. Unharmed. Fine. He was fine.

And it was her turn. Garrett murmured something, but she could barely sort through her own thoughts. She'd never felt so uncomfortable having eyes on her like this. Usually she was perfectly at home on stage. Usually, of course, she had some clue as to what the fuck she was doing.

It is getting rather late. We have plenty of time to figure out what else we can do. I’m afraid if we take much longer, Mr. Woolsworth will tear apart the house to find me. July looked to Whitney. He was giving her an out. She could just go home. She didn't have to do this. That reminder was grounding, solid earth beneath her feet, and relief flooded her veins. She needed answers, but she could still do this on her terms. She flashed Whitney a grateful smile, taking a serrated breath. Right.

"I'll be quick then," She told Whitney, leaving the thank you unspoken. She turned her gaze to Malun and flashed a tight smile. "I, um...let's come back around to the whole mind stuff?"

July flitted towards the training room. She wasn't even sure what she was doing, only that the warmth in her skin had flashed to an inferno, and that it knew what to do. She sank into that impulse, the door opening with a flare of heat, snapping shut behind her with barely a thought.

It was quieter in here. July took stock of the room, at the weapons lining the wall. The fire seemed to flash white hot at the sight of an épée at the very end of the rack. She could practically feel its weight in her hand, but July forced her blue eyes past it, to the ravaged dummies. Later, she promised the fire, and it seemed to accept that. She walked the length of the training room, fingers flexing, sparks of harmless flame dancing along her calluses, the heat a comfort in the sheer insanity of the moment. Reaching the dummies, she reached out with a foot, rolling what had once been a torso several feet back from the wall. Okay. She cracked her knuckles, flames extinguishing with the motion.

"Right," July murmured, tossing her bangs out of her face. Okay. Deep breath. Her feet shifted, the fire surging forward, scorching her throat raw as she screamed.

It was like a bomb went off. The remains of the dummies rocketed back into the wall as the shockwave of her voice slammed into them, wood splintering under the force. The world was muffled, a high pitched keen ringing in her ears, drowning out her ragged breaths. The fire in her skin hummed, as if contented, and she had to admit--she did feel a hell of a lot better.

Her ears were still ringing as she left the room, but July's footsteps were lighter, and some of the tension in her shoulders had melted away. She was dimly aware of her fear, but it was drowning in the wake of that incredible heat, and she couldn't help but laugh, riding the best rush of her life.

"Holy shit--" her voice cracked on the curse, protesting at the abuse. "Can I get a cup of water? Then we can do mind stuff."


July uses thaumaturgy to open the door, prestidigitation for flavorful finger flames, and Thunderwave to WRECK SHIT.

This message was last edited by the player at 02:25, Wed 01 May 2019.

Garret Blake
 player, 51 posts
 Do good deeds
 Stay out of trouble
Wed 1 May 2019
at 03:15
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
The next few moments weren't easy. Whitney gave the out, and he saw it, and the murmur of his own words felt they were wrong. Pushing where they shouldn't have. The change on his face was barely visible as he let himself fade behind the others, feelings rising and ebbing and settling in his gut in a cocktail of unspoken complication.

Then she decided to move forward. A small smile crossed his face. Courage. A tiny nod. Show them what you've got. Kick ass, July.

He fell silent as she moved. Sparks danced across his vision. A swirling wind of lamps and firefly lights illuminating her tall frame stepping through the door with a wordless, mesmerizing power. A puissance rolled across him even before she opened her mouth. When he closed his eyes, she was a silhouette still, etched in fire against the black. Brighter than the sun. He opened them again. The lines of her face, the curve of her chin and the motion of her hair. arrested him. The elegance and power she moved with. Unknowing. All this potential, and a wonder contained within her slender frame cut him straight through.

Garrett just watched. His heart beat faster. He got lightheaded. The raw static of a tingle raced through him, would've bolted him in place and sent his mind reeling if it weren't for the simple fact that he already knew what it was. A flash, and he was back on Noel's porch, two weeks ago, watching July and her best friend trade experiments of melody back and forth while a bunch of kids played in the yard. She'd looked at him. Smiled. And Garrett Blake had been burned up by the sun.

He watched the sparks dance around her figure, fill the room up as the cresting wave of her power built. He felt the silence of potential hang in the air. For just a second he couldn't breathe.

"... Every time."

Then the wave. The sound tore through him with brutal force, rattling his bones and teeth. The fire of it blasted his veins. A breath held without recognition escaped him. His ears hurt like hell and his head was splitting. Straightening in his seat felt... extremely awkward, but the tall boy made his best effort anyway. One hand planted against the wall as she stepped back out through the door. She looked happy, at least for the moment. The smile. That smile.

And every painful extrapolation he'd already worked through.

So he suppressed his impulse. Instead fixed her with a broad, genuine grin.

"Damn, July," he breathed. "Just... damn."

This message was last edited by the player at 05:41, Wed 01 May 2019.

Mariko 'Malun' Lunesby
 player, 38 posts
 Obligatory child genius
 Don't touch my PortCon!
Wed 1 May 2019
at 03:24
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
Malun had already located a faucet in the lab, so it was no trouble for her to fill a convenient receptacle with water and walk it over to July, "Here."

Then she looked in to take a more detailed look at the damage wrought by the tall girl's demonstration, "Hmmm. Well I think you can safely claim the 'least subtle power' award." There was no fear in her voice, simply curiosity...but from this close July could easily see Malun's eyes racing to take in every single detail of the room, a frantic ocular motion that was not at all in keeping with her placid tone.
July Coates
 player, 41 posts
 i'll sing along
 yeah with every emergency
Thu 2 May 2019
at 02:52
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
Malun brought her a glass of water, and July flashed a quick smile in thanks, draining it in one go. It was crisp and cool, soothing the ache in her throat, but it did nothing to ease the fire still humming in her skin. She felt like she was running twenty degrees hotter than usual, like she might ignite if she breathed too sharply. Shifting the glass from hand to hand, she took a steadying breath, trying to slow the hummingbird pace of her heart.

"Well, I don't think anything about me could ever be mistaken for 'subtle'," July quipped, looking back at the remains of the dummies. She'd put a sizable dent in the wall with them, and even a few hairline cracks had emerged. She'd done that with just her voice. It was objectively terrifying, yet it wasn't what truly scared her.

Mind stuff time.

"Alright. Lets like...sit down, or something," she directed to Malun, shifting from foot to foot, overfull with nervous energy. She drew a stool up to a table directly across from the younger girl and settled onto her perch. Her hands kept fidgeting with the glass, sliding it back and forth, back and forth, back and forth between her palms. "So, that whole 'kick its ass' thing, I tried it on Noel. To prove to him I wasn't going crazy or lying, you know? Anyways, it apparently just feels like...crazy weird. It doesn't seem to hurt, but just like...if it does, let me know and I'll stop, okay?"

Fidget. Her heart felt like it was going to break her ribs in a desperate bid for escape. She closed her eyes, drawing on that fire, and the world just...fell away. She inverted the glass, stilling it. All she knew was heat. Rhythm. Clap, clap, one two three, clap, up down. Clap, grab, top, bottom, pass, slam, down. She sank into the pattern, blotting out the world. When she opened her eyes there were curls of that familiar golden light slowly rising from her skin. With a breath, they peeled away, spiraling through the air to entwine around Malun. She could feel the moment the light made contact, the fire sprinting along golden pathways, flooding the younger girl with heat and sparks.

"I've got my ticket for the long way 'round, two bottle of whisky for the way. And I sure would like some sweet company, and I'm leavin' tomorrow, what do you say? When I'm gone, when I'm gone, you're gonna miss me when I'm gone. You're gonna miss me by my hair, you're gonna miss me everywhere, you're gonna miss me when I'm gone."

She'd never sung like this before. She'd always had a decent voice and a fair amount of training through choir, but this was different. Her voice was richer, smokier. July knew in her bones that she could hit almost any note, that she could belt with power and precision she'd never managed before. This rhythm was unknown to her, but her the glass danced between her hands without so much as a stumble.

"I’ve got my ticket for the long way ‘round, the one with the prettiest of views. Its got mountains, its got rivers, its got sights to give you shivers, but it sure would be prettier with you. When I'm gone, when I'm gone, you're gonna miss me when I'm gone. You're gonna miss me by my walk, you're gonna miss me by my talk, you're gonna miss me when I'm gone."

Gooseflesh raised along her bare arms, a shiver spilling down July's spine as the fire slipped away, and her hands broke the rhythm, setting the cup down sharply. The golden threads of light dissipated with a sharp breath. For the first time since the fire had awoken that afternoon, she felt cold. Dizzy. The heat in her skin was weaker, more embers than flames. There'd be nothing left if she did this again.

"Well," July said with a tired laugh, mostly to fill the awkward silence. "That was...something."

July Coates rolled a 24 on a performance check. Using bardic inspiration on Malun and stealin inventin the shit out of Cups cause this is AU Earth bay beeeeeee.

This message was lightly edited by the player at 17:13, Thu 02 May 2019.

Mariko 'Malun' Lunesby
 player, 39 posts
 Obligatory child genius
 Don't touch my PortCon!
Thu 2 May 2019
at 04:36
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
Sitting down as requested, Malun waited patiently as July built up her rhythm. Her focus sharpened as the magical energy started to gather, and without any hesitation Malun's fingers started to fly over the keyboard of her PortCon to record her observations.

Unlike usual, she also began to observe out loud.

"Increased clarity of focus, typing accuracy and visualization, I can tell that I'm making fewer typos than usual." Malun's eyes increased the speed of their rapid motion, flicking at nearly hummingbird speeds to nearly match the speed of her thoughts, "Enhanced conceptualization, understanding, memory...somehow. But as soon as I focus too much on any one thing everything else seems to...ah. I see."

Malun's eyes stopped their rapid motion, her eyes locked in a stare directly into July's, "That's how it works. This is a pool of potential, it doesn't provide general enhancement but is utilized by focus of the recipient. The feelings of increased performance are simply the increased confidence that any ability can be improved by this power, perhaps the confidence and feeling caused by the power itself as a form of passive instruction on its use. It's taking actual focus from me to not use it...no...I did use it, it's gone now."

The intensity faded, the small girl blinked, "It's a wild pool of raw potential that wants to be used. I tried to hold onto it in order to study it, but my desire to understand the power wound up using it on that very same effort. Interesting."

Her fingers flew over the keyboard again, and a flash of a grin hit her face as she typed a command and then her voice appeared in the mind of the girl sitting across form her. ::So...did you write that for Garret specifically?::

OOC: Blue text in the ::s is telepathy, of course~
Jason Drake
 player, 36 posts
 Welding, forging, wood
 Working with my hands
Thu 2 May 2019
at 16:37
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
As much as Jason was impressed with Garret, Whitney, and even himself, he was still awe struck by what July could do. Making a door open without touching it was some cool Jedi level stuff, and the little flame tricks were interesting, but then she almost destroyed the room she was in. With her voice. Someone like her, a trained and talented musician, could now use that talent to somehow make shit happen. He guessed she'd need the least training to control this new magic stuff. She could be the most powerful among us.

Her song demo, which on it's own was a nice tune with catchy lyrics, demonstrated what she had done before with Garret, this time with Malun. She could do it to anyone, it looked like. He followed Malun's explanation of what it was as best as he could. So it's like an inspiring thing. That's crazy useful.

"Damn, July. You hit the jackpot. You already know how to sing and make music, and now it's magical. Do you... do you think it like, chose you? Because of your talents? I mean I have no idea how this stuff works but I don't think the magic singing would be suited to any of us other than you."
July Coates
 player, 42 posts
 i'll sing along
 yeah with every emergency
Thu 2 May 2019
at 19:31
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
The lab felt ten degrees cooler. July shifted on her stool, untying Noel's dark green flannel from her waist and slipping into it. It didn't help much. What was it Malun had said? It was potential energy? It followed that by giving it to others, there was less for herself.

"Weird," July said to Malun, who seemed to have turned the golden light into insight, mapping out the nature of this...magic? It felt weird to think of it like that, but what else could she call it? She could speak and sing to people and give them a tangible boost to their efforts, complete with shiny golden lights. She could put dents in walls and splinter dummies with a scream, could whisper knives and messages into minds. Magic certainly described that.

"Maybe?" July answered Jason's question helpfully. She shrugged after a moment. "Maybe it just was working with what it found?"

Static. July wrinkled her nose, pressing her fingers against her temple. Something was in her head and her thoughts were shifting, accommodating. Malun's voice crackled in her skull, like it was coming over an old radio. It tasted artificial, like pop rocks, but without any of the sugar. So...did you write that for Garret specifically?

What? No! I, no--it's a folk song. The chorus, I mean. The verses just...happened. I don't know how, I don't write lyrics.

She couldn't help but glance over her shoulder at Garrett, dark brows knitting together in confusion. He was watching her with an inscrutable intensity. She broke eye contact swiftly, uncertain what to make of the flop of her stomach and the spike of her pulse. Why would you thi-- She cut herself off, turning her attention back on Malun. Never mind. Your thoughts taste very...static-y. I don't know if that's because you used your computer thing to connect. Jason's are really smoky, kind of like a campfire dialed up to eleven. Noel's taste like horchata, which is pretty excellent.
Mariko 'Malun' Lunesby
 player, 40 posts
 Obligatory child genius
 Don't touch my PortCon!
Thu 2 May 2019
at 19:38
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
Malun paused breifly as July responded, then visibly shrugged, ::Static is perhaps a good way to describe my thoughts. Good to know I can do this on command and maintain it...but if I understand it correctly I have to initiate mental contact via the nervehack, I will not be able to receive thoughts projected at me if I have not already connected. Perhaps we should develop some manner of signal to alert me when one of you wants me to establish connection to allow for silent communication.::

Another keystroke and she broke mental contact, looking back over to her father, "is there anything else we can or should test for this evening, or is it time for everyone to head home and get some rest?"
Retro DM
 GM, 35 posts
Thu 2 May 2019
at 21:09
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
Marcus was still typing away when Malun asked if they should pause for now. “Hmm. We have gathered a lot of data just from these exercises, and it is getting late. I think we can end our session here, I’ll need the time to process the findings so I can tune the laboratory a bit, and perhaps help you all find ways to control it.”

When he finished, another, yet unheard voice spoke. It was a woman’s voice, and sounded vaguely familiar.

“Quite impressive, kids. Never seen anything like that, and I’ve seen a lot.”

From the back corner of the room, unseen and unheard until this moment, was Ms Calhoon, their science teacher. She was wearing a black sweater and black leather pants, a black hairband keeping her hair back out of her face. She was looking at one of the monitors, which seemed to be tuned into the room where everyone had been practicing. She walked forward, smiling at the teenagers in her friendly sort of way.

“I’m the associate Marcus mentioned to you” she said, producing a white bow tie from her pocket and pinning it to the collar of her sweater. “It’s good to see you, kids. I’m glad you came to us.”
Garret Blake
 player, 52 posts
 Do good deeds
 Stay out of trouble
Thu 2 May 2019
at 21:43
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
He'd never heard that song before. No. That wasn't it. He hadn't heard those lyrics before. Not even. He hadn't heard so much as the rhythm. When July's band made something new, there was always a period ramping up to it. She and Noel would toss something back and forth, play off one another. Their front-man, Mike, was more the lyricist while the two of them would do rhythm and base shit.

That was... so far beyond anything he'd ever heard or seen her do before, and he'd seen quite a lot. He was still working through that when she glanced his way and he had to fight to keep his expression even, just... watching her and trying to not feel like a creep about it. When she went back to talking he glanced down. This was too much, and he was too tired. A long breath in and then a slower sigh as he mentally diverted himself. Were they having some sort of... mental conversation?

Then Ms Calhoon spoke from the shadows, and Garrett turned. His eyes widened just slightly. They'd been told someone else was coming, that Mr. Lunesby had an associate... but he still felt distinctly unprepared for it being their science teacher. More frustrating, they hadn't actually been directly deceived, because Malun's dad hadn't actually lied to them at any point. Still. Garrett had this distinct sense that he was being led by the nose, piece by piece, and not getting things as... up-front as he'd like. None of them were.

"Hey Ms Calhoon," he said. So. She knew. That was one teacher, now. One person who they all saw basically every day. This was now a step past one inventor, his genius daughter, and a bunch of underground facilities. It was starting to feel a lot more... suspect.

The tall boy slowly stood up from where he'd sat. His brows drew together. "Okay... I wont speak for anyone, because I don't have a right to. You've helped us figure some important things out... but at the same time, this is starting to feel an awful lot like something that's been going on around us for awhile, without our knowledge."

His posture didn't change that much, but something about it said that he'd abruptly shifted from accepting and go-along to distinctly suspicious. "I don't want to seem rude or anything, but I really, really don't like that feeling. I've seen this show. Lets just skip the entire first season's worth of secret-keeping and go right to the season-one-finale end-reveal right now. Not tomorrow. Not 'when-you-think-we're-ready.' Right. Now."

This message was last edited by the player at 21:52, Thu 02 May 2019.

Mariko 'Malun' Lunesby
 player, 41 posts
 Obligatory child genius
 Don't touch my PortCon!
Thu 2 May 2019
at 22:04
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
Her teacher's voice caused Malun to blink in surprise for a moment, then she slid her gaze over to appraise the woman she knew less about than she thought she did, "...ah, Ms Calhoon." Malun's expression remained calm after the momentary surprise and her tone was very neutral, "Further explaining father's insistence on my attending this particular public school and depending on both how long you have been at the school and now long you have known my father, a potential explanation for why Gridley was chosen as our place of residence at all."

Garret's insistence on immediate answers did not surprise her, but she also didn't react to it. She didn't need to. After all, she knew very well that at this point she knew enough that if she decided to go digging they wouldn't be able to hide anything else from her for long.

What's more, she knew that her father knew that as well. How could he not?
Jason Drake
 player, 37 posts
 Welding, forging, wood
 Working with my hands
Fri 3 May 2019
at 00:02
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
While normally very observant, Jason had somehow failed to see Ms Calhoon enter the room behind them. He didn’t hear any steps she made, and even when he was looking at her move she barely made a sound.What the... has she always been that quiet?

It was slightly jarring to think that one of his teachers had been a stealthy ninja woman the whole time. She never gave him any indication of that before today. He blinked several times as she spoke, trying to process everything going on in his head now. Garret had some very pointed questions, and Malun had some quick deductions. Did he have anything to say?

“...uh, wow. Didn’t see that coming.”