Chapter 2: New Kids On The Block.   Posted by Retro DM.Group: 0
Retro DM
 GM, 38 posts
Mon 6 May 2019
at 22:53
Chapter 2: New Kids On The Block
The weekend, and whatever plans the five teenagers had for it, were just turned upside down. Now that they were allied, however tenuously with The White Tie Society, they had 24/7 access to the secret lab, and to the knowledge that the Society had gathered so far. Granted, they didn't know too much about the super natural energies now permeating throughout the world, yet. Their data gathering network was surprisingly large, and both Marcus and Ms Calhoon were often busy going over field reports. They paid attention to the training of the teenagers as much as they could, watching and reading in shifts.

OOC: Whatever training you did is up to you. Any other actions, like crafting or buying stuff, run by me first please :)

-------------------------------------

Saturday came and went, and everyone returned home to get some much needed rest for the next day. With their powers expanding rapidly, the kids were showing a lot of promise, but they were still pretty drained at the end of the day. With all the amazing things that happened to them the previous day, you would think they'd catch a break. Nope.

That night, the five teenagers found themselves in a dream. A shared dream. They could see each other clearly, though they couldn't speak, they could still move around and gesticulate, and were able to convey their own surprise. When Malun tried to use her PortCon to communicate telepathically, or by displaying words with it's projector, it also didn't work. This caused the rest of them to try out their powers, and those didn't work here either. This place, even though it was a dream, seemingly had rules they couldn't break.

The dream they walked was a large, open field, surrounded by a distant forest. It was day time, and the ground was patchy with grass, and wet, as though it had just rained the night before. As they walked, they eventually sighted figures in the distance. They approached cautiously, still unaware of who it was they were approaching, and what their intentions were. From a closer distance, but still far enough to be hidden, they could make out some details of the five figures.

A tall man, clad in black and white Samurai armor, with glorious white wings spread wide, and a dai katana in his hands. A grey-skinned, half-giant of some kind, with firey hair, plate armor, a shield, and a mighty hammer. A female devil, black hair slicked back between her bejeweled horns, clad in etched leathers and a lute in her hands, magical energies coursing around her. Another man with an ostentatious but none the less imposing long bow, wearing the colors of nobility, two quivers of arrows slung on his back and hip, and a magical aura surrounding him. A short woman wearing the robes of an academic, a massive tome hovering just over her left hand, her right coalescing a powerful spell.

These five powerful and heroic figures were all facing away, staring down the distance towards a gathering of evil. Monsters of all stripes, running stampede style towards them. The teens watched as the hoard approached, closer, closer. Right before they clashed, the dream ended, and they awoke. At least, most of them did.


It's Sunday morning.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:07, Mon 06 May 2019.

Jason Drake
 player, 40 posts
 Welding, forging, wood
 Working with my hands
Mon 6 May 2019
at 23:34
Chapter 2: New Kids On The Block
Jason awoke with a gasp, panting as though he had just run a mile. He did his best to calm his breathing, taking in slower and deeper breaths until he was mostly calm. “What. The hell. Was that?” He said out loud to no one. He looked at his alarm clock. 7:40. Okay, morning. Mornings are normal. Let’s do a normal morning.

As he stirred from bed, the red haired boy felt something that wasn’t there the previous night. A small linked chain hung around his neck, with a medallion attached to it. He held the strange object up, looking at it’s design - a hammer and anvil. He looked over the strange script on it, which, somehow, he could read. “Moradin protects.”

“...what’s a Moradin?”
Mariko 'Malun' Lunesby
 player, 44 posts
 Obligatory child genius
 Don't touch my PortCon!
Tue 7 May 2019
at 01:01
Chapter 2: New Kids On The Block
Sleep? Who needs sleep. Not Malun. After eventually waking up Saturday around lunch, she had spent the entire rest of the day and long into the night working. Her lab door was shut, background music drowning out most noises and she only left it to use the bathroom and grab some food from the kitchen...which she promptly took back into her lab with her to eat while continuing her work.

Waking up at roughly 8 AM when she had only gone to sleep at nearly 4:30 was not on her agenda.

Her eyes blinked open with a bit of difficulty, her mind had entered high activity despite having been soundly asleep a moment prior but her body wasn't quite there yet. It took several minutes before she was able to actually get out of bed and stagger over to her dresser to start pulling on a change of clothes.

As she stared at her mirror, hair a mess and eyes red, Malun leaned on the dresser top and grumbled into the wooden surface, "...clearly supernatural. I don't dream. If this becomes a persistent phenomenon I am going to file a protest. Need to check with the others, confirm shared experience. Whitney is closest..."

Her head slipped and thunked down onto the dresser top, "...after breakfast."
Whitney Zabka-Cabot
 player, 37 posts
 I will not bow
 I will not break
Tue 7 May 2019
at 16:00
Chapter 2: New Kids On The Block
Whitney awoke violently. His sheets were twisted and partially kicked off his four-poster bed. Swinging his legs over the side of the mattress, his hand gripped one of the rounded mahogany posts. His bear chest was covered in sweat and heaving. Missing.

The young man’s fingers traced the carving on his bed. As if tracing the gentle lines would calm him down. It did not.

The figures in the dream. The one with the bow, clad in white and gold. It wasn’t quite right. Missing. His thoughts weren’t forming, his normal train of thought was now a loose collection of emotions and half formed concepts. Half aware of himself, Whitney swayed to his feet. An old TMNT t-shirt, faded blue from long use, was on the floor. He had just enough presence of mind to slip it on as he walked across the hardwood floor. His feet were cold, but it didn’t matter.

The emotion of need struck him, and he raided one of the storage closets that held his mothers’ various candles and incense. Missing. Towels, knickknacks, assorted candles littered the floor as he routed around. Not exact. The aroma just needed to be close, it was the ritual that mattered most. He took a few whiffs and felt satisfied; these would do. Whitney would have wondered what that ritual was, but he was already preoccupied with his next task.

A bundle of scented sticks in hand, the master of the house ignobly made his way to the greenhouse attached to the side of the house. Missing. Running to the herbs, his hands found cool dirt. Smelling and searching, the green house was left a mess. Close enough. Whitney’s fingertips dug into the earth and removed what he needed. Needed.

Using his shirt to carry his bounty, Whitney took the door that led outside the greenhouse. His feet becoming dirtier, the stone path dug into his feet. Vaguely aware of the feeling, he might have been disturbed. Missing. It didn’t matter at the moment though.

Whitney finally got to the grill and with one free hand he opened it up. Looking at the grill top, he tossed the metal aside. The sound of heavy metal clattering on stone echoed off the house into the surroundings. The grill, little more than a giant metal bowl with some leftover charcoal now, was almost what he needed. Missing. The contents of his shirt were hastily thrown into the container. Begin. Whitney glanced around and found a bag of charcoal in the nearby shed. He placed the charcoal into the grill. Arranging it just so. Missing. Using the ash from previous uses of the grill, Whitney traced lines onto his arms and face. Soot covered; he finally lit the charcoal. The intense and the herbs began to light.

Then things got weird.

The charcoal took on a normal warm glow at first, but soon grew dissatisfied with the color orange. Blues, Violets, hints of Reds ever-present, all shifted in front of his vision. Entranced, he began to mutter. “Missing. Return to Form.” The words, English. Not personal enough. This needs to be special. “חסר. חזור לטופס.” There is was, the weight he needed. The herbs and the incense mixed together, burning much slower than they should have. The ritual itself changing the components to suit its needs.

Time passed. Missing. Return to Form. חסר. חזור לטופס. Time passed.

“I name you. אני שם אותך” A Barn Owl of white and gold sat perched on the open lid of the grill in front of him. “Hektor.”

Whitney uses Find Familiar.

This message was last edited by the player at 16:03, Tue 07 May 2019.

July Coates
 player, 50 posts
 i'll sing along
 yeah with every emergency
Thu 9 May 2019
at 01:35
Chapter 2: New Kids On The Block
July awoke with the scream of spell fire and the crash of metal ringing in her ears. She jerked forward, long fingers grasping at pale pink sheets, chest heaving as if she'd just finished running suicides. Blue eyes darted around the empty room, taking stock of her surroundings. No monsters. No war. Her room remained the same as ever, the pale pink walls plastered with band posters and polaroids. The vanity was covered in a spread of makeup, several dried roses hanging above its mirror. A dark green flannel was draped across a large amplifier sitting next to a bass and a cello, and a few clothes were scattered across the floor. July ran a hand through her two toned hair, drawing her knees to her chest and trying to make sense of the dream.

It had felt so real. The fire in her skin roiled, adrenaline still humming in her veins. July's fingers slipped out of her mane, and she snapped, willing a flame to hand. She ran it harmlessly across her knuckles, back and forth, back and forth, before she closed her palm tight around the flame and snuffed it. She had yet to find use for that flex of magic, but her heart rate had at least slowed.

It wasn't even eight. July was never up this early on weekends, preferring to sleep in as humanly possible. There was no way she was going to be able to fall back asleep after that dream. However, that didn't stop her from pulling her comforter over her head and burying her face in a pillow.
Garret Blake
 player, 63 posts
 Do good deeds
 Stay out of trouble
Thu 9 May 2019
at 02:48
Chapter 2: New Kids On The Block
Garrett's eyes snapped open. The exposed beams of his ceiling came steadily into focus. Gold light flooded through the window, and he could hear the sounds of birds. The slow rise and fall of his breath was a rhythm in his ears. Fingers flexed briefly against the blankets. Real. This was... real.

He closed his eyes again. Opened them. Ache. A deep, shuddering breath. Calm. Posters on his wall. The image of Henry Rollins with his arms folded staring down dissonantly across the space from the opposite wall where Kenshin Himura posed with his curving reverse-blade sword. Another breath. All real. And no getting away from, or out of it, either. That dating sim game sat jauntily on top of the playstation.

Very slowly, Garrett pushed himself up, shifting off the blanket and planting his feet on the floor, running angular hands through his matted bedhead. Deep breaths.

a gift not meant for you.

He gulped, alone in his room. There were noises downstairs. Right... Mom was home today. Her day off. Normally he would've made her breakfast, but exhaustion had hit him so potently last night that he'd overslept and now...

Slowly, the large boy wrapped broad arms around himself, clad only in boxers and a sleeveless A-shirt that clung to his shoulders and chest before hanging loose around his middle. Another deep, fearful breath. His normal face stared back at him from the mirror awkwardly hanging from the back of his bedroom door. The same as ever. Not the same at all.

Garrett swallowed again. Mom. His voice was tiny in the quiet, messy bedroom.

"... How on earth am I going to tell her?"

This message was last edited by the player at 02:49, Thu 09 May 2019.

Retro DM
 GM, 42 posts
Thu 9 May 2019
at 22:38
Chapter 2: New Kids On The Block
As Malun looked into her mirror and mused to herself, her PortCon blipped to life, displaying another message as it had before.

::To improve database functionality, I request connection to an internet capable machine. One or two hours should be sufficient. All that is required is a compatible wire.::

------------------

The owl that Whitney had summoned considered him carefully, tilting it's head sideways, then opposite. It gave a quiet hoot, and Whitney took this to mean it would be friendly towards him, though how exactly that message was conveyed is hard to pinpoint. Hektor turned his head as Woolsworth came outside and saw the mess Whitney had made. He made a tired sigh.

"I presume there was a sufficiently good reason for this, young master Whitney?"

------------------

July could tell her mother was already awake by the smell of what she believed to be pork mole. She cooked this sometimes on the weekends, usually when she could tell someone (July) was feeling down or emotionally strained. Not the most traditional breakfast food, but a nice gesture none the less.

------------------

As Garret lay still, he could hear the radio on downstairs. His mother was already awake, doing whatever she did on her day off, which (when Garret didn't cook) usually involved a brief breakfast bagel and household chores.

----------------

Jason's house was internally quiet, though externally he thought he could hear his father on the porch with his mother, talking about something in the local newspaper. His dad worked odd hours as a handyman, so it was impossible to tell when he'd be home, or for how long, but he usually spent as much time with his mother and Jason himself as he could.
Mariko 'Malun' Lunesby
 player, 45 posts
 Obligatory child genius
 Don't touch my PortCon!
Sat 11 May 2019
at 01:35
Chapter 2: New Kids On The Block
"Hmm?" Malun looked over at her PortCon, which was sitting on her bedside table, "ah...yes, that seems prudent. Can you run a search on various sites to see how far afield from Gridley supernatural activity has been reported while you're at it?"

Trudging over to the bedside table, Malun picked up her PortCon and brought it over to her desk computer, hooking it up to run before she went to go have breakfast and try to finish waking up.
Garret Blake
 player, 66 posts
 Do good deeds
 Stay out of trouble
Sat 11 May 2019
at 23:03
Chapter 2: New Kids On The Block
Garrett slowly stretched. The first sound he heard other than mom was the sudden scraping of nails on the floor... and then an explosion of gray-furred muscular energy thudded into him. He stumbled and was immediately buried in the mass of 100 pounds of steel-gray fur and enthusiastic dog-kisses. For a few seconds everything else was gone, and the tall boy laughed as he put Duke Marmelade the huge lab-pitbull freak-of-nature into a headlock. "DUUUUUUUUKE. C'MERE YOU BIG DUMB MEATHEAD DOOOOOOOOOF."

For a few seconds, boy and tog tumbled on the floor with the latter trying to playfully devour the former's hand while Garrett mimed eating the huge pup's head.

Eventually he had to stand up. Duke flopped on the floor, his big old gray dog-eyes watching as Garrett crossed the room to his desk. The land line was plugged in, big old clunky tan phone on its base with its spiral cord curlng into the wall. It was a risk, if his mom picked up the other one downstairs, but still.

Then he noticed it. The feather. Sitting on his nightstand. Real.

Oh. Shit.

He picked up the phone. The dull dial tone echoed in his ears... then he punched in the numbers, took a deep breath, and paced back and forth as he waited for Jason to pick up.
Jason Drake
 player, 41 posts
 Welding, forging, wood
 Working with my hands
Sun 12 May 2019
at 00:56
Chapter 2: New Kids On The Block
Hopping out of bed and getting dressed for the day, Jason considered the strange symbol now around his neck. Looking in the mirror in his room, it seemed to sit well, or at least didn't clash with anything he wore. He wasn't a fashionista, but as far as he could tell it didn't draw undue attention to itself. Not sure why I can read it. Maybe I should try writing in that script? Man I'm failing Spanish but I can somehow read this?

Then the phone rang. Jason had a line in his room, for both internet and his cordless phone. He saw the call ID, it was Garret. Could it be the dream? He picked up.

"Hey Garret. So I had a weird dream about all of us last night. When I woke up I had a weird symbol around my neck that talks about some entity named Moradin. How was your night?" He said all matter-of-factly, selling it with dry humor.
Garret Blake
 player, 67 posts
 Do good deeds
 Stay out of trouble
Sun 12 May 2019
at 05:17
Chapter 2: New Kids On The Block
They all dreamed it then. Garrett blinked. He pressed a hand to his head, trying for a few futile moments to sum up exactly how it was supposed to feel when you'd just done... what he did. It was still firing through his brain even as he sat exhausted from a night of sleep that wasn't all that restful. Garrett rubbed his eyes. Right. He had to say something--that pause was longer than he intended.

"I... okay, so uh, you saw that too." Another awkward pause followed. "And... Moradin. Is that... I'm sorry that sounds like maybe something I've... no, I'm sorry. I have no idea what that is. It kinda sounds like that muffler place with George Foreman in the commercials?"

He cleared his throat with a slightly awkward cough.

"So I don't know how to start so I'll just... say it I guess: My dream kept going after the part where we were all there. And there was this... guy named Swan, I think. He gave me a feather. Apparently my gift was..." he didn't normally stutter or trail off this much, but the words weren't really coming out.

"Jason I just swore an oath to a dream-man over a feather and a jug of sake next to a pond to hunt down evil as long as my sword-arm bears weight and I'm pretty sure this is gonna complicate basically everything and also... I might need a sword? I think?"

Dammit. This was all coming out wrong. One hand ran irritably through his hair "So um. Yeah. That happened."
Jason Drake
 player, 42 posts
 Welding, forging, wood
 Working with my hands
Mon 13 May 2019
at 16:28
Chapter 2: New Kids On The Block
Jason blinked on his end of the phone. Garret's explanation of his further dream was like something out of the anime they sometimes watched together. It also sounded just like the typical recklessness that Garret would participate in. He thumbed the strange necklace, trying to think.

"Okay. That's new. You drink sake? Never mind, dream man, dream sake. We do know where to get a sword, though. Maybe we should all gather up this afternoon and compare notes?"
Garret Blake
 player, 68 posts
 Do good deeds
 Stay out of trouble
Wed 15 May 2019
at 02:01
Chapter 2: New Kids On The Block
"Uh, mind-sake," Garrett said. "So kinda? I don't know. It didn't actually really do anything to me." He paused. Pressed a hand to his head. The wings. The terrible shadows. He felt like he needed to say something about that, but it just... wouldn't come out. He wanted to. But teeth clenched. The flash of black eyes across his vision.

"Yeah," he murmured. "Yeah lets compare notes. I'm sorry to not be more of a listen. I think... This is just a lot."

Another pause followed. Garrett ran a hand through his hair. "I have this bad feeling man. Like I'm going to be dealing out a lot of hurt, and I don't know what that means. I've spent two years trying to get away from it."
July Coates
 player, 51 posts
 i'll sing along
 yeah with every emergency
Sun 19 May 2019
at 02:02
Chapter 2: New Kids On The Block
Paprika. Cumin. Garlic. Peppers. Clove. Cocoa. Damn, that smells good. July grumbled from deep within her pile of pillows and comforter, blue eyes shut tight. Sleep was nowhere to be found, no matter how dearly July didn't want to face the day. She buried her face deeper into her pillow, as if the silk could block out the world.

It almost worked. Half an hour passed and she had almost managed to fall back asleep. The knock at her door cut through the silence, and July was jolted back into her senses.

"July," Her mother's soft voice followed the knock, "Are you up?"

"Mmf."

"Coffee's ready."

"...m'up."

It took a few minutes for July to muster the willpower to kick free of her prison of comfort. Bare feet padded across plush carpet, nimble fingers grabbing the brush from her desk and working the rats nest into something more manageable. July frowned at the roots of her bangs in the vanity mirror. Already time to bust out the bleach again. Grumbling, she tossed the brush in the vague direction of her desk, stumbling over the ragged hems of her plaid pajama pants towards the bathroom.

A fresh toothpaste stain marred the front of her Mighty Mighty Bosstones tank as July dropped into a chair at the table. Her chin landed in one palm, the other occupied by an enthusiastic ball of energy masquerading as a dog. Penny pushed up into her lap, earning a particularly inarticulate grumble from the exhausted teenager. The golden retriever writhed in delight as July's fingers found the spot behind her ear, and despite the trauma of being awake, July smiled.

"Your coffee, sweet pea," July's mother, Eleanor, set a steaming Stanford mug in front of her before wrapping an arm around her shoulders in a side hug. July murmured her thanks, leaning into the contact. "You're awfully warm. Do you have a fever?"

"No," The word came out louder than she'd meant. July's mother raised an eyebrow, a hand already on her daughters forehead, her expression turning concerned.

"You're burning up, July."

"I'm fine, mom! Really!"

"You're not. Let me get the thermometer. I'll be right back."

July made an ineffective noise, trying to stand up to derail her mother, and was promptly knocked back into her chair by Penny's sheer zest for life, jolting the table. Coffee sloshed over the rim of the mug, and July swore, wincing at the chastising Language! her mother called from the other room.

She hadn't even managed to drink any of the desperately vital coffee when her mother returned with a small plastic thermometer. July begrudgingly stuck the probe beneath her tongue.

"One hundred and three point six. You're staying home today," Her mother's concerned voice confirmed what July had already learned in Mr. Lunesby's lab the previous day.

"I feel fine though," July protested at her mother's worried look.

Her mother simply arched a brow, tapping the thermometer alongside the digital readout. 103.6 F stared back at July. There was no way she could tell her mother that Mr. Lunesby--Gridley's resident eccentric--had given her a clean bill of health in his highly illegal underground lab, having ruled her heat a harmless quirk of the...whatever had happened to them. Her mother would have an aneurysm. And then tell her father, who would have an aneurysm and then do everything possible to get said highly illegal underground lab shut down.

"Seriously! Mom! I'm not sick," July insisted, gently pushing Penny out of her lap and finally, finally taking a drink of her coffee. "Promise."
Jason Drake
 player, 43 posts
 Welding, forging, wood
 Working with my hands
Sun 19 May 2019
at 17:12
Chapter 2: New Kids On The Block
Jason paused a moment. He could tell, even across the faded signal of his phone line, that Garret had worry in his voice. He felt like he should say something to help his friend, but the right words didn’t always come quickly. Another pause. He exhaled.

“Garret, sometimes protecting people means dealing out the hurt. Sometimes that’s the only way. Don’t worry about it too much, you’ve got me to keep you in check. I’ll see you later.”

He let Garret say whatever his parting line would be, then hung up. There were still things to do before meeting back at Malun’s, not the least of which was figuring out how to pack his new armor without too many questions.

“Okay Jason. You’ve got this.”
Garret Blake
 player, 69 posts
 Do good deeds
 Stay out of trouble
Mon 20 May 2019
at 00:20
Chapter 2: New Kids On The Block
"You're right," Garrett heard himself say. "Thanks man. As always."

The conversation ended. He looked across the room at the small collage he'd made a few years ago out of scavenged anime magazines. Faces of heroes stared back at him in cartoon relief. Maybe it was as silly as some people had said. A bit on the goofy side... but when he'd been a skinny, angry kid dealing with the cauldron of anger and rejection that burned way down deep? It had sure helped to see some heroic rolemodels kicking ass and being good to the people weaker than them.

And now? He walked across the room. Callused fingers wrapped around the handle of his baseball bat. The feather rested on his desk. His other hand wrapped around it. The sounds of his mother going about her routines pulled at his heart. He could hear her humming as he got dressed. Jeans. An athletic tank to fight against the heat. Sneakers. He stuffed the bat into his backpack. The handle jutted out at an odd angle.

She'd always taken care of him. Watched over him every second since the day dad left the picture. Duke made a noise at his side as he stood at the bedroom door, and he scratched the big dog's ears. "She's always looked after me," he said under his breath. "Never faltered. Not once. She's looked after the people of Gridley tirelessly, even when she'd lost everything."

"My turn."

Saundra Blake was a sleight woman, medium height, with hazel eyes and blonde hair she usually wore up in the same ponytail that old yearbook photos said she'd had in high school. Practical. Kind. Her eyes brightened as she looked up at the sight of her son descending the stairs. "Garrett! I'm sorry, I meant to have breakfast ready but it was such a long shift last night and, well--" she sighed, pausing and turning off the vacuum. "--here, let me see what I can whip up. There is coffee though."

"Mom," Garrett paused.

"--oh don't start, I know you were out late, and your mother used to play rugby so it's not like I can't put something together with protein--"

"Uh, mom?"

"--and just because you've decided that all your other obligations aren't enough doesn't mean that your mother can't decide to--"

"Mom," he held up his hands. "It's fine. Let me."

She stopped. Let out a long sigh, then a warmer smile. "I really can burn eggs, can't I?"

As Garrett moved past her, shuffling pans and opening the fridge, he grinned. "Like nobody else."

She laughed and sat down at the small bar on the other side of the counter with a ghost of the smirk her son sometimes flashed. "Someday some young lady is going to run you down for those chef skills, kiddo."

"Mom!"

A laugh was her only response.

Eggs. A bit of milk. Butter. Salt. Pepper. Some peppers and Mexican blend shredded cheese. Oh hey, they still had some mushrooms! He pulled out the knife and the cutting board. Taptaptaptaptap went the blade through ingredients. Sliced mushrooms. Peppers. Green onions. Butter in the pan. Sizzling followed. He took a drink of coffee with a bit of cream and whistled. "You want two or three?"

"Two please."

"You sure, rugby ace?"

"Yes, Garrett. My heavy lifting days are behind me."

"Oh c'mon, I'm pretty sure you could still back-squat me if you wanted to."

She shook her head. "Just cook, you brat." One hand touched her forehead. She was tired. "Do you have any plans today?

A pause followed. He handed her a second cup of coffee. "... Uh, yeah. I'm meeting Jason and July for a thing with some others."

As he was plating up the pair of omelettes, his mom briefly arched an eyebrow. "And how are things with July?"

"And Jason, Mom. And they're fine."

Her smile was annoyingly knowing. "Of course."

The tall boy flicked a piece of uncooked mushroom at her. She caught it and stuck her tongue out. "How long will you be out?"

He paused, unsure for a few seconds, then answered "I'm not totally sure, I'll call though, if it's gonna be after five, okay? Scouts honor."

A deadpan eyebrow arch worthy of Giles on that Buffy show followed. She reached down and scratched Duke behind the ears as the big dog plopped down beside her.

"... was-a-cub-scout-for-two-months-honor?"

"You're really reaching there, kiddo."

Garrett slid into the seat beside her after plating the food. "What can I say," he replied with a confident kiss to his mother's forehead. "I learned from the best."

It was about an hour later that he got his stuff together. A long flannel with rolled up sleeves. The jacket. His helmet as he walked out to the dirtbike. He'd sworn an oath, and as he moved, he felt it settle on him. Heavy, but manageable. He smiled down at the big dog with his intense eyes. One more thing to do.

He picked up the landline in the garage, hesitated for a second, and dialed the Coates house.

"Pleeeeeeeease let this one go well."

A pause. A voice on the other end. Garrett swallowed.

Polite. Decent. No rudeness. Professional? Right?

"Hi Mr. Coates, it's Garrett Blake. May I speak to July?"

Hooooooooo boy.

This message was last edited by the player at 00:26, Mon 20 May 2019.

Whitney Zabka-Cabot
 player, 38 posts
 I will not bow
 I will not break
Mon 20 May 2019
at 20:34
Chapter 2: New Kids On The Block
Whitney’s senses came back to him. Endorphins surging in him, he couldn’t even muster enough appropriate shame to look sheepish about his actions. He looked to Woolsworth and then back to Hektor. The young boy was covered in ash and dirt and wore the goofiest smile.

Absentmindedly and ineffectually, Whitney began to brush off the various sediments that he had smeared on to himself for the ritual. “Woolsworth, I had the most powerful need. It was like waking up in the middle of the night parched with no other thought except for a glass of water.” Giggling to himself, Whitney spun around on the balls of his feet. “I needed him, Woolsworth. This is Hektor.”

On cue, as the young master held his arm out, Hektor made a quick hop onto his new youthful perch. The barn owl was large, but Whitney hardly noticed the weight. The talons were careful not to grip too tight, but it occurred to Whitney that falconry equipment might be in order.

“I summoned him, Woolsworth. I spoke him from some,” his head swirled, provided knowledge that brought to him the smell of incense and old paper, “celestial plane. Whatever that is.” Pride bloomed in his chest.

Whitney recalled his actions upon waking up and began to realize what he himself must look like. Looking around and at himself, he had apparently smeared his handywork all over his shirt in an attempt to clean himself. He let out a staccato laugh, like little knives piercing the air with his own joy. “Why, I must look quite the mess. I hope our staff wasn’t too inconvenienced.” Poor, Mary was it? She was probably trying to sort all the candles and incense that Whitney had strewn about earlier at that very moment.

“Don’t worry. No doubt this is another boon from my,” another barely suppressed stab of laughter came out, “unusual encounter the other day.” Whitney turned his attention to Hektor and began to pet his head. His white and gold feathers seemingly undisturbed from his own charcoal covered fingers. As if the being’s existence was above casual dirtiness.

“I shall assist in the clean up before taking care of myself. I should share this new development with our shady new friends.”
July Coates
 player, 52 posts
 i'll sing along
 yeah with every emergency
Thu 23 May 2019
at 04:38
Chapter 2: New Kids On The Block
Her mother kept fussing. She meant well, and she wasn't wrong to do so, but that knowledge didn't make the situation any easier. She accepted the glasses of water, declined multiple blankets, and insisted, repeatedly, that, no, she really did feel fine.

"Mom, seriously, I don't have a sore throat, or a headache, or sniffles, or anything. I feel perfectly fine," she reiterated from her sprawl on the couch. Arfur had made a home for himself in her lap, and he was clearly relishing the attention. Fully caffeinated, fed, and cuddling her favorite grumpy old man, July's mood had improved drastically over the past hour.

Her mother tutted, clearly not assuaged, but she mercifully backed down.

"Alright. Just...let me know if you need anything."

"I will. Promise," July called over the back of the couch, watching Arfur's face intently as she played with his ears, grinning as he twitched them in mild annoyance. She blew a puff of air in his face, laughing as he snuffled in response.

"Be nice to your brother," Her father's baritone drifted across the living room. July looked up to her father's chastising look over the paper. Henry Coates was a tall man with piercing blue eyes and a respectable shock of grey at the temples of his neatly coiffed black hair. The round, brown glasses perched on his nose softened the sharp angles of his face. A faint smile tugged at the corner of his mouth as he dropped his gaze back to his crossword. Penny lay at his feet, the only human she had mastered any degree of calm around. "Or I'll give him your room and you can sleep in the kennel."

July shot the dog in her lap an amused look.

"You'd let me sleep in the room though, right Arf? 'Of course I would, July, you're my favorite sister, I would never betray you'," July lifted the small maltese's front legs, dancing them about as she put on his posh voice. Arfur snuffled indignantly. "Sorry dad, but I think your pl--"

The phone rang, interrupting July's sass. Her father shifted, shushing Penny with a firm word, taking the phone out of its bay. July settled in to play with the favorite child dog.

"Coates Residence." A pause. "Ah. Hello Garrett. One moment."

July perked at the sound of her friend's name, meeting her father's gaze. His gaze was neutral as he nodded towards her. July shifted, placing Arfur on the couch before she padded across the room towards her father. He gave her a measured look as he passed her the phone. July had long since stopped paying attention to her father's quiet disapproval of her friend, and she simply smiled as she took the phone. She was quick to abandon the living room.

"Hi, Garrett," July's voice was bright as she answered the phone, a wide smile creasing her features. "What's up?"
Garret Blake
 player, 70 posts
 Do good deeds
 Stay out of trouble
Fri 24 May 2019
at 00:03
Chapter 2: New Kids On The Block
"Ah. Hello Garrett. One moment."

It's a breath out when Mr. Coates hands him off so quickly. It could've gone a lot worse, and he was never sure exactly what to expect from July's dad. Today, however, he'd braced for what amounts to mostly nothing. A few shuffling seconds and July's voice filled his ears from the other end of the line. Okay cool. His brain took a second to reorient itself because he'd honestly spent several minutes psyching himself up for a thing that never happened.

A quick delay followed. Then he remembered that she was still waiting for him to talk.

"... H! Sorry. I was just getting ready for that thing today, and I know it's not for a little bit but I've got my stuff together I could. Um. Come pick you up and we could maybe hang out before?"

Fuckin' genius, dude. Real nice.

He coughed. A little awkward. Hoped she didn't catch that part. "I mean, assuming you don't have family stuff today."
July Coates
 player, 53 posts
 i'll sing along
 yeah with every emergency
Fri 24 May 2019
at 04:26
Chapter 2: New Kids On The Block
Had the call dropped? Wait, no, Garrett was speaking. Meeting up sooner to hang out? July glanced down to her stained shirt and raggedy pajama pants. She could probably get dressed and a face put on before he got to the house. But there was the whole issue of her mother's fussing and insistence of resting. July glanced down the hall towards the kitchen, where her mother was humming along to the radio and tidying up.

"No, I mean, we don't have anything, I don't think," July turned away, idly fiddling with a blonde bang. Lowering her voice, she winced, "And like, I'd really like that, but my mom kind of has it in her head that I'm sick. The whole fever thing. I haven't figured out how I'm going to convince her to let me leave the house."
Garret Blake
 player, 71 posts
 Do good deeds
 Stay out of trouble
Fri 24 May 2019
at 07:16
Chapter 2: New Kids On The Block
Shit. He hadn't counted on her parents not letting her out. Garrett took a second to compose his thoughts. There was the immediate tug of war between the fact that they really did have to go do the thing today and the fact that July hated doing anything that would seriously upset or worry her parents. He's always wanted to respect that... but at the same time he also knew that this was sort of a coping mechanism to manage the fact that she was planning on running off to LA in two years to become a SKA legend.

Right. That's still happening.

He brushed it aside. Priority one was figuring out whether he was actually bothering her by suggesting it. Priority two was figuring out how to get her out.

"Okay so," he said, sitting down beside the receiver and trying not to notice his furiously tapping boot. "I guess question one is... do you think that heat is a side effect of that magic... stuff? You were pretty warm on the ride home from the Lunesby's house the other night, and every time you used your magic, I saw sparks flames. It was really pretty."

Beat. Absent thoughts that he shouldn't have been dwelling on.

"Okay so, I think I might have an idea. Do you think we could talk them into letting you go over to Noel's for his mamá's amazing taco soup? I could pick you up there, and drop you off after with none the wiser."

A pause. "I mean, other than Noel."

One more pause. Then, glad that she couldn't see the creeping red on his face, he murmured "I... had weird dreams last night that I'd like to talk to you about if I could. Also the irony that I am now conspiring to help you get out of the house while trying to make a better impression on your folks is... well that's something to chew on."