“What’s the difference between good and evil? Who decides what is just? We all have our own ways of saying it and our own ways of going about it, but in the end it all boils down to one thing. There is only right and wrong. There may be multiple rights and multiple wrongs, but that doesn’t mean there is a mixing of the two. It’s either one or the other.
When someone who is evil does wrong they believe it to be just in their own minds. Some of the greatest tragedies in the world come to pass because of an evil man’s justice... yet does that make it right? If they see justice in it does it make it right to simply do as they please? Could someone take everything you hold dear away from you but be justified in it because they believe themself to be right? Of course not. If a man gives you a gun and say that you must shoot one of two people placed before you are you justified to take a life then? Or are you simply in the wrong for killing someone? There is no median when it comes to action.
So I say this. To do wrong is an injustice against all those who love you, who hold you dear, and who care for you. To lie, to cheat, to steal, to take what isn’t yours, to manipulate, to craft excuses for your wrongdoings and to take others for granted. Those are the very sources of injustice. They tear apart the hearts of others and leave them empty and wanting. An excuse crafted from a lie is nothing more than garbage and it’s an injustice to form them into words.
There is always a right or wrong, although it may not always be obvious and there may be more than one right or wrong it is always present to those who are willing to see it. It may be based on character, but that character is solely based on justice. Whether you are a just person or plagued with injustice, that will craft your rights and wrongs.”
[i I will start by saying this. I’ve been rather tired lately. Things haven’t been going well for me and my mind and body are taking quite the toll for it. I’ve just been distant, but I need something to keep my mind running so I came up with this. If you’re interested then please continue on. If not that’s completely understandable.]
Power is drawn from within us, of course. Our experiences, our pain, our suffering, our love, our hope, it tempers us and refines us. In this world we unlock our potential through our experience. In that sense our power will be unlocked the moment we decide whether we will be good or evil. For instance a man who lost his family to a murderer might unlock their potential through that pain and suffering, becoming an officer the the legion to fight for peace and justice. Or a man who was raised by an abisive parent and treated like dirt their entire life might become a recluse monster hungry for blood and filled with anger, their potential driving them to destroy all those who never helped them escape their trauma. In that sense there is really no way to temper or prepare someone before their potential is unlocked to decide their path afterwards. They must come to it on their own.
In this world potential can manifest in many ways. One person’s potential might cause them to gain the ability to float or heal or simply gain more physical power, while others might breath and control elements or call upon monsters or sprout wings and fly. It is not uncommon to have the same potential as another, although it is very rare for specific things. It also Varys depending on the experience. A man who almost tripped and was hit by a car might gain the potential to lift said car a person who fell and was hit by a car might gain the same ability but be able to lift an entire building. The level of stimuli can greatly effect the potential which is why it always varies between the type of person.
In this world you will all be taking the roles of students who are preparing for graduation. Some of you may have already unlocked your potential and others may not have. Either way you’ve been working hard all year and it’s paying off. While some will proceed to look for normal careers others may seek to join the Legion and fight to assure that others don’t use their potential to do wrong. Your lives are just truly beginning and now is the time to celebrate.
You’ve worked hard to get where you are now so remember it and mold it into your hearts. All experiences are a catalyst to unlock your true potential. In only a few days you’ll all be attending your graduation so classes will be rather relaxed with no real work to be done other than preparations. Take your time and talk with your friends and classmates, share memories and talk about your futures. This is a time to be happy.
When making a character pm me just a few simple details, I won’t be asking for much because I’d rather we learn about you in the actual story itself. Just stuck to the guidelines and let’s have some fun.
Age: 17-20, this is technically high school. But I’ll stop at 20 for any repeat students.
Potential: If you don’t want one yet then just put LOCKED. If you do have one then give an explaination of how it works and try not to be too overpowered.
Short Description: Let us know a small bit about your character so we know the basics. Nothing too deep is needed here.
I won’t have many rules, but we will have an easy 350 characters minimum. Don’t try to kill off any other people unless I give permission. Romance is allowed, it’s no big deal to me but try to keep things somewhat relaxed here or go offsite to settles things. Fights are expected, but don’t expect them to end in single turns. This is life and death afterall. Cursing and stuff like that are fine, I’m well aware that some character personalities are heavily dependent on that so I won’t be very strict. That being said I will intervene if anytime gets out of hand. If you have any questions feel free to ask. Pictures aren’t needed for characters, but if you don’t use one your first post MUST be descriptive of them so others can identify your character.
That’s it. I’ll place character info below. Aside from that have fun and I’ll probably make another thread for group chat later on.
Potential: Jherrichho’s emotions and feelings form entirely different personas that if too strong can take control or manifest outside of him in the form of himself but with heads replaced by shadows. These are Pain, Hate, Love, Sadness, and Fear. Although he is completely capable of feeling these things it is always possible to be overwhelmed by his feelings and potentially become one of these personas or lose control of it. They can’t move too far away from him and if it ejects from him he can no longer feel it and loses a fifth of his strength. All of these personas have their own effects when in control and as such will put a strain on his body.
Pain-Completely ignore pain threshold to power through hardships but doesn’t negate the damage.
Hate-Breaks the strength barrier that keeps the average human from exerting too much power to protect your own body.
Love-Causes injuries to heal at an increased rate. Impact will improve healing rate substantially.
Fear-Wildcard, effect varies based on level of fearfulness and the fear itself.
Short Description: Jherrichho, a distant yet caring person. He’s taller than average but not too tall, always wearing a hat over his short hair and has almost black brown eyes that contrast with his caramel skin. He tends to keep his distance and prefers to not get attached yet can’t seem to ever turn away new faces. His heart is always in the right place, but that trust in others tends to get him hurt. Not everyone is kind after all. He’ll always smile when talking with others but frowns when left alone or deep in thought. It’s never a good idea to upset him though, he really dislikes his potential.
Potential: name: Tea House. Chrys can produce teas from her skin, but these teas each have special properties derived from her first experiences tasting a normal version of that tea. She can only produce teas that she has ingested before, so nothing poisonous. Teas that produce an enhancing or weakening effects for physical attributes only last five minutes, teas that produce plain negative or positive effects last ten minutes . No individual can be affected by more than three of her teas every six hours, additional teas will have no effect. Each individual tea can only produce one effect. Chrys can be effected by her own teas. She can manipulate the tea itself like water manipulation, using it as a weapon in and of itself— but this only applies to the tea she creates with her Potential, not any other liquid. Creating too much can severely dehydrate her.
Short Description: Intellectual and a bit standoffish at first, but her Potential indicates that she is probably more complex than she seems. She doesn’t use her ability in public very often, and despite the fact that her ability is almost an ultimate Support-type ability, she prefers to work alone and has trust issues. Likes to read a lot, and is always seen carrying a large thermos of hot water and a big bag of various types of teas.
Potential: Maurica can share her mind with small animals. When she is doing this she can "speak" with them in simple images/memories. If the animal is willing, Maurica can take full control over the animal. The longer she stays in control of an animal, the more she starts to think like one. While sharing minds with an animal, Maurica loses all control of her human body and it goes limp if she starts to control the animal.
Short Description: Maurica is a blunt girl who doesn't scare easily and is a fierce advocate of animal rights. She has a pet rat which she saved from being run over by a car shortly after her own father was killed in a car crash. The rat is called Jason and goes everywhere Maurica does.
Maurica is a stout, fair skinned brunette with curly hair and deep brown eyes.
Short Description: Captain of the basketball team, cross-country team, tennis club, class president, newspaper editor, and valedictorian. A diligent student who has done the most that she can with the time she has available to her, and who still tries to make time for others. Known to do volunteer work over summer.
Short Description: A quiet individual who looks to investigate and research potential. He has done work with the school newspaper investigating incidents involving potential and also works with various clubs to do the same. The motivation behind his thirst for knowledge is unknown, but none of his teachers complain.
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Jherrichho smiled at Nathan’s honesty. He was glad that he chose to tell him the truth, but also not fully happy with his response. What did he mean by a “turn”? Had something gone wrong when they retrieved the videos? Or maybe they saw something in the video that was of greater cause for concern? Either way all he could do was hear him out.
[i [+purple Learn what you can, I’m going to rest. You can handle the rest of this.] ]
[i [+maroon Of course. I’ll be careful, don’t worry.] ]
He crossed his arms and sighed slightly before running a hand through his hair. [+maroon “Alright, if something that we should worry about is happening then I’d prefer if Chrysanth could also hear it. I don’t want to leave her out of any of this..”]
In another part of the school Counselor Chessi and Principal Dunman sat in the principal’s office, each with a hot cup of coffee. The room was rather bland with only a single desk and a small table off to the side. A picture of a sunset hung on the wall yet the inspiration had obviously come from outside of the dome, it was set on a beach in which none existed on the inside.
[b “Do you believe that nothing will come of this? I told you we should have done something sooner”], Chessi questioned him. She wore loose comfortable clothes that sagged on her slender frame. Her glasses with a bright green rim were fixed perfectly over her hazel eyes, blonde hair just slightly brushing above them. At a first glance anyone would mistake her for a college student and yet she was a few years younger than Dunman. [b “Everything is under control. Hallion takes orders directly from our lord, so long as we follow them there’s nothing to fear”], he responded while sipping from his cup of coffee. His brown suit was cut perfectly and his loose black hair just barely touched his shoulders. His eyes were also black yet his hair managed to give off more light than them, giving them a matted look. [b “You’re worrying too much over nothing. Just let it go.”]
Chessi stood and paced back and forth across the room slowly, stopping after a few seconds and turning to him with a childishly worried look. [b “How can I let it go? I’ve been telling you all that I don’t like using my potential from the start I can displace memories but it’s just that they aren’t gone forever I’m just simply making you forget about them but if someone sees the memories I’ve hidden then it cancels out my potential and they remember that memory but if they see me use my potential then they remember everything! What if the Underground comes for me and uses me to make everyone remember everything and-“]
[b Enough Chesshire! You always panic like this. No one is going to get you and the Underground doesn’t know about you at all. We’ve kept you well hidden well so that won’t be a problem. Your potential is unique, we’re going to need it to do Lord Destruction’s tasks. You know that.”] She sat back down and looked at her cup, taking slow steady breaths. [b “We still shouldn’t be doing this. It’s wrong to do this to people, especially the children. There aren’t many student in this school who have been exposed to my potential, but I can’t imagine the strain they feel when they feel their memories again. All that emotion all at once, it must hurt. We shouldn’t be doing this, Asmm.”]
A sigh escaped his lips before a took another sip from his cup. [b “It’s not about whether it’s good, it’s about doing what we must. It’s not an honorable job and yet it’s the one we must do.”] Chessi stood and made her way toward the door. She stopped before opening it and turned to talk to the principal one last time. [b “I hope you’re right. I wanted to help people, to make people feel better and yet all I’ve done with my knowledge is help you torture people. If any of them manage to get those memories back they’ll remember all of it, and you know exactly who the worse person to have remember anything we’ve done to them is. I’ve done all I can to make him as inactive as possible, but ow long do you think that will last? I’ll be in my office”], she said just before opening the door and stepping out into the halls.
Vellum was stopped in her tracks by Chrys' voice. She was embarrassed and frustrated, even more so now that Chrys had begun talking again, had admitted she had lied so easily, so callously, had not even tried to deny it. Not that she could have after a demonstration like that. Chrys was a smart girl.
Despite wanting terribly to tune Chrys out, to let her mind wander, Vel paid close attention to every word that came out of Chrys' mouth. Most of what she said Vel already knew or had guessed, and the rest of it was of no interest to her as she would be leaving soon anyways. Well, most of the rest of it anyways.
[+orange "I think I owe everyone here an apology,"] Vel said with a sigh after she was quite sure Chrys had finished speaking. [+orange "So I'm sorry. Oh, and Chrys? I'll be holding you to that promise,"] she said in a way that might sound like a threat if you were paranoid. Mostly it just sounded tired. Vellum was tired.
Vel quickly scanned the room, studying each of the girls' faces. While she might not approve of what the kids were doing, she certainly approved their dynamic, or at least what she'd seen of it. The intelligent females saving the hapless males' butts. Though maybe Molly was hapless too, Vel didn't know enough about her to make a proper judgement. She'd have to be wary of Chrys. Chrys was...nevermind what Chrys was. Dangerous.
She let her eyes settle on Maurica for a while. Her baby was all grown up. What was she if not a mother?
[+olive "You can go now, Mom."]
[+orange "Yes. Right."]
Vellum scooted out the door, simultaneously relieved she was out of that situation but also a bit hurt by Maurica's eagerness to get her to leave.
Maurica was still giddy with power from when she had told her mom to stop. She didn't know she could make her mom do that. She didn't know she could make anyone do that. Maybe she had more influence than she thought.
So, when her mom seemed to stare at her a little too long, Maurica told her to leave without fully realizing what she was doing. And her mom left without a word.
It was then that Maurica started to wonder just what she could do with her potential. Could she get into human's minds? Could she forcibly take possession of someone? Could she emotionally manipulate someone into doing what she wanted--literally? She had never tried, and up until this point, she had thought she never wanted to. But now, with the revelation she had true influence upon at least one person in this world, she wanted to know exactly what it was she could do, even if she never used that knowledge.
The rat was suddenly awake on Maurica's shoulder, much more awake than he was before. He must have been woken up by the door her mom had closed rather abruptly. He turned around in circles until Maurica bent over and touched the ground with her fingers, upon which he quickly scurried down her hand and began exploring every crevice of the room.
Maurica stood up, no longer worried about Jason. He knew the floor wasn't a bathroom and human things weren't his teething objects. He wouldn't do anything stupid. Instead, she turned to the two girls, Molly and Chrys, and apologized.
[+olive "Sorry about my mom. She can come off as a bit--I don't know. Brash? She's not so bad once you get to know her."]
[h3 [center Nathan]]Once the doors closed they could be sure that they were alone. The requirements of the room meant that it was one of the best insulated in the building which guaranteed they had their privacy. It also guaranteed that if Jherrichho went wile again that there would be no one to save him. Nathan had survived encounters with potentials before, however none of them had a potential near Jherrichho's level. After the other he had witnessed though he felt safer with Jherrichho than the alternative.
What Jherrichho said did nothing to reassure him of their trust though as the young man admitted things would have been more damaged if Jherrichho had to collect the tapes himself. Sure his potential was not exactly stealth oriented, but even the idea that he would have gone that route was uncomfortable. School security would not be able to stop him if he went wild like before. Nathan kept his cool though as he hoped it was just an inference rather than a truly unpleasant implication.
[b “That can w-,”]
Nathan managed only two words before Jherricho began to demonstrate his potential for him. He had wanted to do this under better conditions where he would be able to get a more thorough analysis. There was a reason that he had worded his agreement so carefully after all. It just meant that he would have to request more of Jherrichho later. If things were as he suspected they would be working together even more now.
He wore a serious look as he watched Jherrichho and analyzed as best he could .The look gave him minimal details into the way Jherrichho's potential worked, but combined with the video he had a clearer picture of things. It was not purely physical like he had initially estimated based on the focus it required. Enough new information that Nathan felt comfortable that Jherrichho did intend to keep his end of the bargain. That was enough to prove him worthy of trust for the time being.
That trust waned though as Jherrichho laughed before switching to a dead serious expression after asking if he had watched the tapes. The mood whiplash left him stunned long enough for Jherrichho to get out an almost an entire speech. He caught himself though when he realized Jherrichho had paused long enough for him to answer. Although he took a moment to breathe before he gave a reply.
[b “Yes we watched the tapes. That's why I didn't see fit to just hand them over before we had a chance to talk. There's something more that I think you need to see because I'm pretty sure things have already taken a turn.”]
[h3 [center Molly]]Molly was happy to praise Maurica's talents for what they were, but it seemed that the response was not as positive as she hoped. Vellum's tone did not seem pleased to discover this information. The best Molly could do at that point was give Maurica a look of support. She had dealt with enough parents to know not all of them were as supportive as her own. Unfortunately there was not a good opportunity to take her aside to support her given their current circumstances.
While Vellum did not seem as supportive as Molly's own parents she did at least seem reasonable enough to leave her daughter to it. [b “It was lovely meeting you as well.”] Another benefit of interacting with so many authority figures was that she was very good at keeping up pleasantries whether she meant them or not. Of course it was nice to know more about Maurica so there was enough truth there for her to be confident in the partial deception.
Wait. That was all it took to stop the room. However it her rant that followed that carefully precluded any interference that sent shivers down Molly's spine. She had experience with this kind of cold clinical analysis, but she was used to being on the same side as the analyst. Being opposed to someone with that kind of processing power was quite the frightening event. It did help to explain why the rest of the newspaper group seemed hesitant to hang out with Nathan though.
Molly knew Nathan well enough to know that could analyze like that by virtue of his odd personality that included an obsessive curiosity. A befitting talent for someone into investigative journalism, or detective work which she recommended as a fallback given it would mean they could continue to work together if she joined the Legion as planned. What made her most uncomfortable was the fact that Molly knew every journalist in the dome, and just about every investigator period thanks to her being scouted for the Legion. Vellum did not belong to any such organization as far as she was aware.
Despite the building fear Molly kept the terror from her face by masking it with genuine remorse, as she still disliked being dishonest with an authority figure. Instead she let her body build up tension to prepare in case Vellum got violent. A woman with this kind of analytical intelligence could easily be involved with the group from the video and that meant things could get bad. Chrysanth had proven herself capable in situations like these and since she knew Vellum Molly trusted her to handle herself. Maurica was Vellum's daughter and Molly trusted Maurica enough that she would have kept Vellum away if she were outright abusive enough to be a danger to her. That left Molly as the most likely target and forced her to be ready in case of combat.
The tension that she built up only slowly subsided as Vellum switched gears and revealed she seemed to be more interested in keeping Maurica safe than in actually putting a stop to whatever it was that they were doing. That was enough for Molly to trust that she was unlikely to be a member of that dangerous group. However her tension only fully subsided when Maurica's meek protest took the rest of the wind from Vellum's sails. If she was still willing to hear Maurica out that meant she was trustworthy enough for Molly to relax.
While Vellum seemed ready to leave after Maurica's protest; Chrysanth interrupted it as she admitted that their tale had all been a lie. That caused Molly to turn her attention to Chrys, but she made sure to keep from glaring at the other young woman. Perhaps this was a sign that there was a good reason that Chrysanth had never responded to any of her attempts at friendship. After yesterday's strange statement, her odd relationship with Jherrichho, and this latest outburst it was clear that her classmate was not quite right in the head.
Chrysanth, perhaps against expectations, chuckled at Vellum’s rant. She liked the woman, always had. This didn’t change that, the opposite in fact. Chrysanth didn’t have much patience for naivety, after all. So she raised her head and nodded once at Maurica’s mother.
[+teal “Yes, I lied,”] she admitted easily. [+teal “Partially. Jherrichho really was sick, and we really are worried about him. But the truth isn’t necessarily something I’m sure you want to know—although, if it helps at all, it’s none of the usual teenage things. Drugs or whatever else normal teenagers do,”] Chrys shrugged. [+teal “You’re smart enough to know that this little bubble isn’t perfect. Jherrichho and I are planning out what we want to do after high school. Maurica, Nathan, and Molly are just helping. As for trouble...”] Chrysanth shrugged again, not sure how she would word it for a moment until she settled on: [+teal “Well. We’re not exactly kids anymore, are we?”] the teen’s face went completely serious. All of them, being about to graduate, we’re either eighteen or about to turn that age before the end of the year. [+teal “If I’m completely honest, I’m not sure what is going through Nathan’s head right now. He might be confused and worried about the future, after the things we’ve talked and wondered about. But Jherrichho and I, and probably Maurica as well, came here to figure out for ourselves exactly what Nathan is upset about.”]
She thought for a moment, tilting her head as her Neptune blue eyes observed the only parent in the room.
[+teal “If it helps, I can at least promise to protect Maurica from whatever backlash our little teenage crisis might cause, but I seriously doubt you’ll have to worry. As soon as Jherrichho and I get a couple answers to our questions, we’ll be out of your hair.”] and Chrys meant it, too. She wasn’t about to let someone get hurt if they didn’t have to be. Maurica had done nothing to her, had given Chrysanth no reason to just leave her in harm’s way. But once it was feasible, she [i would] cut ties with anyone who couldn’t pull their weight. Everything that was happening seemed too important for weak links to remain very long.
Chrysanth, while being patient enough she supposed, was nearing the end of her rope. She needed Vellum gone. She needed to figure out what was happening so that she could plan her and Jherrichho’s next move, or at least discuss it with him. If Jherrichho was in danger, so would she be. After all, they were too similar to not attract the same danger. She stubbornly kept her eyes away from the screen that would hold her answers.
[+purple [i In time. Take a deep breath, girl. The woman will leave eventually.]]
He was caught off guard by the action Chrys had taken. This side of her was unexpected, but it was much easier to get things done with her taking the lead. Jherrichho smiled slightly seeing her acting so different and made sure to not let it distract him from his current objective. Of course he wouldn’t be getting what he came for so easily after making a deal. It was his turn to fulfill his side of the bargain.
Jherrichho moved at a steady pace, making sure to not seem as if her were in a rush as to not draw suspicion. He’d leave this situation in the hands of the girls and take care of his business as quickly as possible, moving into the dark room with Nathan. It wasn’t until the doors had been closed that he sighed and removed his jacket, placing it on the nearest chair. [+maroon “I’ll start by saying thank you for all of this. A lot more damage would have been caused if I had to take care of it, but it was much easier this way. That being said, I’ll take up my part of the deal now to get this over with as soon as possible. Due to us being in the school I’ll have to exert a lot of control and I can’t use anything that could be potentially dangerous so bear with me. You won’t be in any danger as far as I know. This should be the least I can do.”]
[+purple [i Are you sure about this? I had a feeling that idiotic trust of yours would keep you from going along with my plan, but are you completely sure your secrets can be so easily revealed?] ]
[+maroon [i I’m no liar, but I’m also not so reckless. Although I’d like to trust that nothing happened I’m going to assume that they’ve seen the tapes. How else would they know if they got what we needed?] ]
[+purple [i That is pure speculation! You don’t know that at all! Your power isn’t something to just play around with! You’re just looking for an excuse to be trusting for no reason!] ]
[+maroon [i Just give me a bit of silence.] ]
He focused on his fears. The fears of being discovered by anyone listening in, of the woman outside the door discovering their purpose here, of what would happen to those he would call their friends. He shrunk it down with reassurance but let the thought itself run wild, conjuring up a small bit of fear within himself and releasing it throughout his body. He looked down at his hands which were now shaking and removed the bandages from his arm. [+maroon “Okay, pay close attention. I can’t do this for long”], he said as the black marks etched themselves into his skin, a thin plume of black mist rising from the marks as his eyes flashed from purple to white. [+maroon [i Not too much, just a little bit and-] ] his thoughts stopped along with all of his movements. He sat completely still for a moment, the marks stopping halfway up his arm. It was as if he had turned into a full statue before a memory pierced his mind.
[+purple [i What is this memory?] ]
[i So long as you have a purpose, a reason to keep on going, what is it that you should fear? So long as at least on person you love lives what reason do you have to fear? Do you fear life? Death? The inevitable? Or simply yourself? Throw those fears aside. We will always be with you...]
He closed his fist as a tear rolled down his cheek, his arm quickly reverting back to normal as his eyes went back to their original dark brown. He took a deep breath and sighed before laughing off the foreign memory. [+maroon “Alright... that’s over... now tell me something. Did you watch he tapes?”] The look on his face had suddenly become more serious than before. His eyes locked onto Nathan’s to spot any traces of distrust in his answer. [+maroon “Don’t take it the wrong way, I trust you guys one hundred percent, but it will make things easier to explain if you’ve seen them already. I think I might need your help again in the future. Not for a something like this again, but just in case things take a turn for the worse if my suspicions turn out to be truth.”]
[+purple [i What are you planning? What are trying to do by letting these people in?] ]
[+maroon [i We may very well need their help in the future. Just let me do what I’m doing and stop interrupting.] ]
[+purple [i Don’t forget where you stand! I am not yours to order around, that much you’d do best to remember. I worry not for your safety but for mine and mine alone. You are my catalyst and all of your recklessness can cost me my life as well as yours, so don’t think I’m here for your amusement. I rest because you keep both of interests in mind, but these actions put our safety on the line, [b my] safety on the line. [b Control yourself... Jherrichho] .] ]
He winced at the voice in his head, remembering back when all of their conversations would be like that. He wiped the tear from his cheek with a bit of confusion. That memory wasn’t one he could remember, but it seemed so vividly familiar. Almost as if he could recognize it from somewhere. He pushed the thought aside for the time being. He could think on it more later. For now he had to settle things with Nathan and the others.
As soon as he spoke, Vel recognized the boy's voice as the one belonging to the boy who had called earlier. It helped that she already knew his name, as she made sure to get everyone's name. It made it easier to catch people in the act, without having to give away anything that make people suspicious. Because a potential is a bit like a fingerprint; once you know what a person's is, it isn't that hard to track them down.
Though she rarely had the opportunity to catch someone in the act of anything, she still made sure to gather their names. People are pleasantly surprised when you remember their name a few days after your first chat. However, Vellum learned the hard way that people don't react so well when your last and first conversation was over a month ago and you yell [+orange "Hi Avery!"] or whatever their name happens to be across a public grocery store.
Vel opened her mouth to respond to Nathan when two more students walked through the door, which surprised her quite a bit, but she quickly regained her composure. That was when one of the students recognized her--and Vel recognized the student.
Chrysanth. Vel hadn't seen the girl in quite a while. Something seemed a bit off about the way she reacted to Vellum, but Vel shrugged it off. People change. For that matter, so do memories. It's possible she remembered the girl differently than she actually had been. It didn't matter, really.
Chrysanth paused to look over at the others after asking a question Vel had initially assumed rhetorical.
[+orange "Of course,"] Vel responded. Her voice sounded stiff and a bit nervous, but she hoped that Chrys would just assume that she didn't really know what she was talking about, and was agreeing out of politeness. Meek little Vellum? With [i secrets?] Poppycock!
Then Chrysanth realized who Maurica was, and asked a question that Vellum wasn't sure if she should answer. Or if it even needed an answer. Maurica didn't seem to think it needed an answer, either that or she was staring off into space ignoring everything, so Vellum stayed quiet too.
And then Vellum had to sit through, well actually [i stand] through, as no one had offered her a seat, a series of lies, so well executed that Vel herself would be inclined to believe them had she not known otherwise.
It took all her self restraint to not run away as Chrys was digging about in her bag, and even more to take the tea. She even managed a curt thank you and a smile. Because it had finally dawned on her why Chrysanth seemed so odd. She was seething with confidence and power, even charm. These traits combined could take down even the strongest of potentials--and it made Vel very nervous.
Maurica was flabbergasted. Flower was actually Chrysanth from the tea shop, which meant Nathan, who she finally had a name for, though it didn't seem to suit him somehow; she'd have to review her understanding of the tall boy, had either lied to her or been lied to. On top of all that she was still quite spooked by the notion that someone could make themselves entirely invisible to her, as not even her mom could do that.
[+orange "Artistic talent? Well, I'll be,"] said her mom in a way that suggested that they would be having a chat about this later. Maurica shrank into herself.
She had never lied to her mom and gotten away with it. For a while she thought that that was just a superpower all moms had, but as she grew older it became quite obvious that this was not the case. So, she had resigned herself to believing she was just a terrible liar. It was much easier for Maurica to swallow than the other options: her mom was either a genius who had decided to be an artist despite the low pay, or had been lying about not having a potential.
This was the perfect scenario in which to test her hypothesis. If Vellum walked away, Maurica was just a bad liar. But if she didn't...
[+orange "Well then, I suppose I'll leave you to your plans. Not much sense in me hanging around here. It was lovely meeting you all."]
She was leaving. Just like that; Maurica [i was] just a bad liar and her mom was still a good person.
Maurica's stomach dropped to her heels.
[+orange "The person who called Maurica this morning introduced himself as Nathan, not Jherrichho."] She put up a hand to stop anyone from butting in and continued talking. [+orange "The obvious solution here would be to say that Jherrichho didn't have Maurica's number, so he called Nathan to tell him to call Maurica and tell her your plans. I picked up when Nathan called because Maurica is a sound sleeper and she doesn't own a cell phone,"] Vel said by way of explanation. [+orange "However, given my knowledge of the situation, that is still obviously a lie. I brought Maurica here because she said she thought Nathan was in trouble. While she does have a tendency to exaggerate, Maurica rarely flat out lies to me, so I assumed the situation was urgent and dropped her off here, saying if she wasn't back in fifteen minutes, I would come in and get her. And over thirty minutes later you two finally show up! So, unless there is some amazingly complicated explanation to all this, you just lied to me, Chrysanth.
"Now, you all obviously want me out, so how about we make a deal? Either you tell me the truth, and I'll leave you alone for good, or I'll remove Maurica from...whatever this is, and you'll never see her again."]
[+olive "Mom, stop,"] Maurica protested, finally gaining the courage to do something more than cower and wish her potential could make her invisible.
Vellum visibly deflated. She looked at Maurica, then the others [+orange ], and turned to leave, whispering sorry under her breath.
[h3 [center Molly]]Molly kept quiet throughout the entire demonstration of what had happened. The sight of the creepy man that somehow made them unaware of the bell, Jherrichho's display of his powerful potential, and even the more terrifying man that was able to stop it. She did not so much as let out a squeak, although her hands did begin to visibly shake after they were shown operating from the office.
[b “You're probably right. We should wait for the others.”]
The words were shakier than she would have liked, but she at least managed to get them out. Chrysanth and Jherrichho may not exactly be friends, but they had to have a better idea of what to do now than she did. That was the hope that kept her upright at least. Her unsteadiness was demonstrated when Maurica's curse got her to jump into a partial fighting pose in response.
The sight of her shaking hands in front of her elicited a strong glare until they steadied. She kept the harsh look on her face until she heard Maurica greet someone after opening the door. These two would surely understand what she was going through, but she had to keep a better poker face for the public. It was enough that they had to know the truth.
Molly stood at attention as the adult entered, but relaxed with a friendly smile when Maurica introduced her mother Vellum. She even managed to give an appropriate wave to greet the older woman as Maurica stumbled her way through an explanation. The poor dear even trailed off before she could introduce Nathan, however her fellow conspirator just took it as an opportunity to introduce himself. He was used to these situations from Molly's knowledge and so she left him to it.
Nathan's introduction was followed by the timely appearance of Chrysanth though. Who apparently had prior knowledge of Maurica's mother Vellum thanks to growing up in the local apothecary. Whether it was due to this or the circumstance Molly could not help but stare at Chrysanth in her friendly state. It was not something she had ever had the pleasure to partake in before.
Chrysanth's appearance was followed by Jherrichho who seemed to make a beeline to Nathan for understandable reasons. He did make sure to greet everyone though before they excused themselves. That put the onus on Molly to help if Chrysanth needed any support with the story that she was feeding to Maurica's mother.
Support that she was happy to provide when the opportunity arose. [b “Sorry about all of this. We've even done our best to keep it a surprise from the rest of the student council. Maurica's been a huge help though with her artistic skills.”]
[h3 [center Nathan]]Molly's agreement with his assessment was no surprise given their work history. He was sure the fact that the faculty were in on it came as a surprise to her given their respective views on authority. Although he kept his mouth shut about it for her sake. If she needed to talk about it she was never shy about asking him for help in the past.
Nathan took in a deep breath during the momentary silence that was interrupted by Maurica sharply swearing as she stood up. It caused a small coughing fit for the young man as she ran over and swiftly swung the door open. She even called out a greeting to someone just as quickly as she had gotten to the door. Thankfully the fit was over before Maurica's mother made it into the room, and left him enough time to change windows on the computer to keep her unaware. There were enough people to recap without roping in another.
He did his best to a neutral expression as Vellum was introduced to the group. Although a hint of a smile could be noticed at Maurica mentioning the leather worker in their family. It quickly disappeared though as she stumbled through the rest of her spiel. One that he was quick to pick up once she dropped it off as he stood up and offered Vel his hand to shake in introduction.
[b “Nathan, Nathan Sterling,”] Nathan said with an awkward smile. Before he could say anything else though he was interrupted by the angelically timed arrival of Chrysanth. Her interruption relaxed his smile, although he made sure to keep an eye on her as she spoke. This level of friendliness was not the norm with Chrysanth and he made sure to record as much of it as he could to get a proper perspective on her.
Chrysanth was unsurprisingly followed close behind by Jherrichho who greeted everyone before he did his best to get an aside with Nathan. [b “What we discussed earlier, yes that should be fine. If you all will just excuse us for a moment. We can talk in the dark room.”]
After what he had seen on the tapes he wasn't exactly keen on being in close quarters alone with Jherrichho, but with the dark room as the only private option available to them that was where he went. Nathan at least had the benefit of terrain there since he knew where everything was inside. There wasn't a weapon that would match a guy who could cause earthquakes, but maybe it could buy enough time for him to unlock a stronger potential. It was the best card he had at the moment. Of course there was also the possibility Chrysanth could get Vel out of there before they make it across the room.
Chrys leaving the house extremely early was not that much of an oddity, and her mothers didn’t question it. She often left the Apothecary as often and early as she could to escape Mom. Her breath puffed slightly in front of her in the early morning air, a testament to the heat fo the tea she was somehow drinking without burning her mouth. It wasn’t long before she met up with Jherrichho, her trusty thermos in hand and her backpack filled with even more tea than usual in lieu of the school supplies she didn’t need anymore .
Chrys’s mouth twitched when Jherrichho told her to keep her guard up. [+teal “I should be the one saying that. My guard is always up,”] she whispered back in amusement. She let her eyes roam the woman, allowing Jherrichho to keep the attention off of her. She didn’t mind that her friend was protective, though she decided she might have to show him that she could take care of herself soon.
[+teal [i Perhaps the news about the Other that I also have is making him more nervous about keeping my safe,]] she thought idly. [+teal [i After all, we both know that there are people who would want to take advantage of something like that for less-than-honest means. Oh well, I’ll let him be protective for now, and just watch his back.]]
That is, until she recognized the familiar woman in front of her, and her eyebrows rose. Entire plan derailed, she put a hand on Jherrichho’s shoulder. [+teal “Hold on, I know her. Keep your guard up anyway, but let me take the lead on this one,”] she murmured only loud enough for him to hear before she stepped up and regarded the woman with wide eyes.
The woman was a regular at the Apothecary, especially back when Chrysanth was a child. In fact, now that she had both females in front of her, Chrys could suddenly connect the dots as to why the younger girl felt familiar. They knew each other already— or rather, kind of did back when they were kids.
[+teal “Miss Vellum,”] Chrys greeted kindly, one corner of her mouth quirking up into a tiny smile. [+teal “It’s been a while. I’m sorry I haven’t been at the Apothecary to help you lately. My Mom and I haven’t been on the best terms, so I try to stay out of her way. You know how she is,”] the black haired teen spoke easily. In public, her Mom made a show of being snarky and sarcastic when she was mad, even though the truth was much worse. She hoped that downplaying what was actually going on would fool the kind woman. She didn’t want to drag another person, especially an innocent one like Vellum, into their mess if it wasn’t necessary.
That was when Chrys decided to glance over at the other three who had already gathered. The way that Nathan and the others looked spooked did nothing to ease Chrys’s nerves. She needed to lure Vellum away so that they could discuss their findings. She looked back at Vel.
[+teal “Oh!”] Chrys’s eye’s widened a little more as if she had just remembered something, even though the fact she was about to bring up was something she had realized a few moments earlier. [+teal “That’s why you looked familiar, Maurica. I totally forgot, back when we were little Miss Vellum brought you over all the time for us to play together, isn’t that right?”] she asked for unnecessary confirmation from Maurica’s mother. Even if those play dates hadn’t really gone super well, what with Chrys having been really shy and bookish back then compared to Maurica’s more outgoing self. They had mostly just hung out awkwardly in Chrys’s room or around the Apothecary for an hour or two until Vel picked Maurica up.
Chrys smiled at Vel again, although it was a small and shy tilt of her lips. [+teal “I’m sorry you had to get up early to deal with all of us, Miss Vellum. We had some plans for graduation that we wanted to work on, but Jherrichho got sick yesterday,”] she nodded to her friend briefly. [+teal “We’re almost done though, so he called us this morning so we could finish up before school now that he’s feeling better. I was pretty worried, but I gave him a couple teas from back at the Apothecary. Don’t worry though, I’ll send him right back home if he starts looking bad again. Oh! That reminds me,”] she swung her backpack in front of her, opening it up and rooting around for a moment before pulling out a few identical, sealed tea bags. She held them out towards the older woman. [+teal “This is your favorite flavor, right? I’m glad I happened to have a few on me. School is going to start in about twenty minutes though, Ma’am, and I’d really like to finish up what we’re doing. It’s supposed to be a surprise, and after being roped into helping out with it I might as well work on making it perfect, you know?” ]
[+purple [i Honestly. Able to act like a completely different person on a dime,] ] the voice in her head chided with amusement. [+purple [i You’re a slippery one.]]
[+teal [i Well, Tea [b is] is my Potential,]] Chrys replied silently.
Jherrichho’s eyes sharpened as he opened the door to the school. It was still quite early so not many students were there and those who were would be working on last minute projects or preparing for graduation. The quiet was almost deafening, all except for the footsteps you’d hear every few minutes. The teachers and other faculty would all be in their offices or classrooms preparing for the day so disturbances should be kept at a minimum. Well, all disturbances except for a woman standing in the door with...
[i [+maroon Is that Maurica with her?] ] He stopped for a moment to let out a quick, [+maroon “keep your guard up, Chrys. I don’t know who that is”], before continuing on to the door. He walked slowly, almost instinctively keeping his steps as silent as he could muster. He could feel his muscles tense up as they got closer and that’s when he noticed Maurica speaking to the in a very casual manner yet also something else. Nervousness maybe?
[i [+purple Don’t be too hasty. She’s not an enemy, yet. There’s no need to put yourself on edge without cause.] ]
[i [+maroon You’re one to talk. You’d normally be asleep until the evening and yet here you are, wide awake and paying close attention to what’s going on. I’m fine, just let me work.] ]
[i [+purple I am a part of you, don’t feign ignorance with me. I can feel your malicious intent. This isn’t normal for you and I could rest more easily if you weren’t so agitated.] ]
Jherrichho stopped just short of the two who stood in the doorway, making sure to soften his eyes and adjust his scarf over his mouth before making his presence known. [+maroon “Good morning Ma’am, Maurica”], he said with his normal smile. [+maroon “And hello Molly, Nathan. Is this a bad time?”] He made sure to be as casual as he normally was. A person he didn’t know sneaking their way into what might possibly be a dangerous situation wasn’t something he could let slip by so easily. For now he’d just view view this lady as a teacher, perhaps one he had yet to meet. Until proven otherwise, at least.
He made sure not to speak for or make Chrys’s presence a part of the conversation. If anything, so long as she wasn’t the center of attention in any form then she’d be able to move more freely without anyone’s focus. He, on the other hand, would be strait forward and make his presence known for the time being. At least until it was just the students present. If there were anything he was good at it would be hiding his true feelings so it wouldn’t be a difficult task to get through this unforeseen situation.
[i [+purple You’re a rather frightening person as always.] ]
[i [+maroon What makes you say that?] ]
[i [+purple You never seem to notice, but you’ve made sure that no one really understands you unless you want them to. You’re an enigma, your character has no shape and as such no one knows who you really are. You could ask anyone and they could tell you your name, but I highly doubt they could say they understand you at all.] ]
[i [+maroon Perhaps you’re right. Even so, I have my own things to fight for. I’ll be this way until I get my answers and solve my problems. When things are at peace then I’ll be able to be myself more often.] ]
[+gray “There are some things in this world that go beyond understanding. It takes a guiding hand to lead a person to the conclusions they seek. A world full of demons, monsters, leviathans, elder beasts, scourge beasts, plague entities, fallen, things that can lead our mind astray from reality when in fact we are all living in this living and breathing world. Things that would once seem like myths rise up from the muck and grime to cause catastrophe, chaos, destruction. What do you all make of that?”]
“It’s simply the way of the world. Things that were once out of sight rise from the shadows. Creatures evolve to combat us just as we now do to combat them. Or so I’m led to believe”, voice rose from the crowd in response. It belonged to a woman clad in black robes with a pair of black wings gracefully resting on her back. Her eyes met with the man who stood at the front of the room and the room went silent for a moment. There were adventurers ranging from knights to rouges and even druids filling the entire hall as 4 people stood on a balcony overhead viewing the lesson from above.
The man stood at an unnatural height, almost seven feet tall with a large sword held tightly in one hand. His hair was a solid gray and stopped just short of his shoulders. His mouth was covered in bandages that would reach down his entire neck and he wore no armor, choosing to instead wear a pair of black boots along with a pair of blue jeans and a dark brown jacket that was buttoned up to right before his neck. At closer inspection you’d also see bandages just between a leather gloves and his sleeve on his right wrist, however he showed no signs of injury even with the bandages present. He kept a stern look in his eyes that anyone could mistake for anger and the deep purple color that almost seemed to flow through them glowed dimly at all times.
He let out a sigh before leaning back and resting his sword on the walk behind him. [+gray “You’re somewhat right. But it’s more than just logic. People opened doors that they couldn’t close, reached too far and caused too much. While some things did grow to have more power others were forced. Things that were once outside of our view began to step into our line of sight. We can call forth demons and and beasts from different planes of existence, speak languages that once never existed, take control of powers that were once so far from our reach that we still have those who just can’t harness simple magic or abilities. We tore open doors that were once closed and in doing so unleashed disasters we once would have never dreamed of. That’s what I believe.”]
[b “THEN HOW ABOUT AN EXAMPLE!”]
A voice echoed across he entire hall as one of the people who stood on the balcony jumped down to join the speaker. He was clad in an odd armor that focused on covering mainly vital areas and was a deep crimson. Under the armor he wore a black padded vest that would extend to reach just below his knees. Two large sheaths could be seen hanging from his sides each holding 5 blades. A mask covered his entire face with a design just as odd as the armor and his long blonde hair went strait down his back.
[b “It would be easier to just show them the difference in power rather than trying to explain it. If we let them see the comparison between your power and mine then they will be able to see clearly that evolution just isn’t how it used to be. So what do you say, Inma?”] They exchanged glances before another sigh escaped his lips. [+gray “Alright, alright... I get it. Let’s get this over with so we can talk about our deal. Let’s go outside and get this over with.”]
Maurica was dreaming. It wasn't a very good dream, but it wasn't really a bad one either. It was one of those dreams that you wouldn't rememeber after you woke up, but you'd remember you were dreaming, and that it wasn't very good.
Maurica woke up, not to the sound of her alarm, but to her mother, Vellum, roughly shaking her awake. The dream flew from her mind. The look on her mom's face was stern and tired, but also almost happy. When Maurica noticed she was holding the cordless phone her stomach dropped. Raven must have called her; she had given him her number in case anything happened. Either that or something had happened with her grandpa, who had been rather sickly for a while now. She really hoped it didn't have something to do with her grandpa.
[+orange "It's for you."]
She took the phone out of Vel's hands and put it up to her ear.
It wasn't about her grandpa. Raven's voice sounded serious and calm, almost unnaturally so, which worried her a bit. He wanted them to meet up earlier than planned. Almost without thought, Maurica agreed and hung up.
Vel had grabbed the chair from Mauricia's desk and slid it up next to the bed so she could sit down. She was watching Maurica a bit like a cat would, further cementing the idea that her mom was a cat into Mauricia's mind.
[+orange "Who was that?"]
Maurica paused. She couldn't tell Vel Raven's name, because she didn't know it, but she also couldn't not answer.
[+olive "Just--just a kid. From school. We had ice cream the other day. After lunch."]
[+orange "Why's he calling now?"]
[+olive "I don't know. Something weird is going on...I think--I think he might be in trouble?"]
Vel was silent. Thinking, or perhaps waiting for Maurica to continue.
[+olive "Would it be okay if I could go check on him?"]
Now it was clear to Maurica that Vel was thinking. She yawned a large, gaping yawn that would have seemed more suitable on a cat or a dog and said, [+orange "Okay. I trust your judgement. Where are we going?"]
Maurica's heart leapt in her chest, both at her mom saying she trusted her, and at the prospect of adventure. She remebered what she had said a while back about making things interesting rather than waiting for them to become that way. She realized she had done this, and was not disapointed with the results.
[+olive "The school."]
After a short pause, Vel responded.
[+orange "You want a ride in the car?"]
[+orange "Kay. I'll be in the car when you're ready,"] Vel said, her words tinted with surprise.
Almost instantly Maurica regretted agreeing to ride in the car. It was still dark out, so there wouldn't be that many people on the road, and Vel was a good driver, but she couldn't help feeling absolutley terrified. She got dressed, grabbed Jason from his cage, which she hated having to leave him in, but it was only during nighttime so she pretended it was fine to appease her mom, and walked out to the car with an immense sense of dread.
They arrived at the school shortly. Vel turned around in her seat to face Maurica, who had sat in the back, thinking it safer.
[+orange "I'm going to wait out here for you. If you aren't back in fifteen minutes, I'm coming in. Okay?"]
Maurica thought that was fair, so she said okay and slipped out into the chilly air. Her hand reached up to her shoulder so she could make sure Jason was still awake. He was, and not the least bit groggy either, so she found his channel and entered. She focused on a image-concept of the school, then one of herself and Jason going into the school. An affirmative true-concept was sent to her from Jason. She sent back a thank you true-concept, left his channel, and walked into the building.
Flower and Raven were already there, but it didn't look like they had been waiting for long. Maurica waved at Molly in that small sort of way you wave at people when you only want one of them to know you're waving. She hadn't thought that anyone else would be here besides her and Raven, and was pleased to see Molly there as well.
Molly led them all to the journalism room, where Raven got quickly to work on...something. Maurica wasn't sure what exactly, but it had something to do with computers and possibly the stolen camera footage.
Molly offered to get everyone something to drink. Maurica wasn't sure if she wanted anything, but after a huge yawn racked her body, she changed her mind.
[b "...though we should probably wait for Chrysanth and Jherrichho since we're all in this mess now.”]
Maurica was thoroughly spooked. Jason had finally settled down and was dozing off, oblivious to what had just been revealed.
She should have noticed that man. Maurica had a tendency to ignore things that most people wouldn't notice, but she would definitely notice a new channel arriving within her mind's reach. This man must have defenses Maurica could hardly imagine. Humans had better defenses than animals, especially the smaller ones, which is why she'd never been able to enter a human's mind before. If if she could, she doubted she'd ever want to.
Her mom had the strongest defenses of anyone she knew, and even when she was still learning how to use her potential Maurica could feel her mother's channel, albeit quite faintly. But for this man to be completly undetectable...
[+olive "It's not natural..."] Maurica whispered. Her eyes, looking dead and hollow in the soft glow of the computer, darted about the screen. It was if she expected an answer to jump out of the screen at her. That was when she noticed the time.
[+olive "Oh, crap!"] she whisper-shouted, standing straight up. [+olive "I'll--be right back!"]
Maurica slammed the door to the journalism room open. Vel was standing in the hallway, looking lost.
[+olive "Hey! Hey Mom!"] The words echoed through the quiet halls.
Vel turned around and paused for a moment, confused, then sprinted over to her daughter.
[+orange "You okay?"]
[+olive "I--I'm fine. Uh..."]
[+orange "I got lost,"] Vel confessed. [+orange "Your school is really big."]
Maurica grabbed her mother's arm and dragged her back a few steps into the light of the open doorway.
[+olive "So, um...this is my mom, Vellum"]
[+orange "I go by Vel."]
[+olive "Her father was a leatherworker.
"And, uh...I guess like, explain to her that we aren't doing anything bad here so she can leave satisfied. Or she can stay if you want. If she wants.
"Oh! Mom, this is Molly and..."] Maurica trailed off, not knowing what to say next
It was still dark out as Nathan made his way into the school the day after he stole the security footage. His plan had worked out well enough other then the slight hitch the password caused. Luckily he was computer savvy enough to be able to take out the hard drives and get into them without having to reformat the drives. He had intended to look over the footage and just have it queued up for when everyone could get together. What he saw in the journalism room though made him message Maurica and Molly to meet up earlier than planned.
The combination of the late night and early morning gave him even worse bedhead than usual. He was at least able to get his scarf and coat through the wash so he had them to keep him warm in the chilly night air.
They did nothing to help with the unsettling feeling that crept over him though. After everything that he had seen when he went through the security footage he was constantly looking over his shoulder despite the only sound being those of his footsteps.
Even when he got to the school and met up with his coconspirators he continued to throw glances around. Although then it was easily written off as being careful about being detected at the school. They were able to make it to the journalism room without issue though thanks to Molly's experience navigating the school during early hours. An impressive feat given their collective lack of sleep.
Inside the journalism room he had them gather around Molly's desk which had the largest monitors. He then quickly hooked up the copied drives and queued up what he wanted to show them that was so important it could not wait. Molly offered to get everyone something to drink while he worked as she was sure they could all use a pick-me-up.
[b “I called you to meet up early because I thought you would want to see this before we show it to Jherrichho and Chrysanth. Be warned it's a bit unsettling.”]
The footage that displayed was of the journalism room that they were in and started just after Maurica had joined Molly during lunch. Just a few minutes later the room door opened and a man walked into the scene undetected. He was under six feet tall, average build, and had the least memorable face that Molly or Nathan had ever seen. A witness statement about this man would just read generic. Even his outfit was a simple brown coat and slightly worn jeans. It was still a disturbing sight though as he made his way to the speaker of the room without drawing a single glance.
Nathan fast-forwarded at that point, but kept it watchable enough to show that the man stood still the entire time. He was there until just after the bell rang and then made his exit just as simply as he made his entrance. The screen then switched to show the hallway cameras where the man was able to walk past the crowds of students without drawing even an ounce of attention.
[b “Whoever he is he wanted to prevent you from getting involved in the other situation. I'll show you that before the others get here.”]
He tapped a few times at the keyboard and the display changed to one that followed Jherrichho's steps starting from when he had lunch with Chrysanth. It followed him through to the scene where he used his potential. Nathan made sure that it even included some of the office footage before Jherrichho got there just to confirm things. The video finished at the point when Nathan stumbled upon him and Chrysanth by the stairwell to show the entirety of their story.
[b “It looks like they were telling the truth as far as I can see. Unfortunately it also looks like the faculty are in on this whole thing which means this won't be a safe place to meet for long. We only have until they discover the missing hard drives. Far as what comes next though we should probably wait for Chrysanth and Jherrichho since we're all in this mess now.”]
[b Chapter 2: A Child’s Vision of Peace]
As the sun begins to rise and the day creeps closer the students prepare for their meeting. Freely roaming through the school should be no problem as most students will be working on preparations for the graduation.
[+indigo “What do you do when your closest things are taken away from you? When those who you trust to stand by your side betray you? Do you cower? Slink into the shadows and hide away with a false sense of peace? Or do you fight? My power is the very example of destruction and with it I’ve destroyed anyone who has stood in my path. So what is it that you seek? Peace? Revenge? Or maybe just destruction? No matter, I’ll be watching you all to see what you decide. Everyone has the potential to grow more powerful and yet no one can ever match my power. Well, no one except for my brother. Grow stronger, fight, hate, feel pain, fear, experience more sorrow, love and be loved. The more you feel the more you’ll grow and my darkness will guide your path. Remember my name well, the name of your king, I am-“]
[i [+purple You know you shouldn’t be thinking about that. Neither of us knows where that memory came from so there’s no use dwelling on it. Focus on the here and now, we have answers to discover] ], the voice echoed in his head. Jherrichho nodded to himself before looking towards Chrys. They had been walking for some time now and the sun was already peeking over the horizon. Around this time cars could been seen buzzing by either on their way to work, or simply returning home after night shifts. The early morning light was soft and left shadows around every corner, something he wouldn’t normally be concerned of but now couldn’t get out of his mind.
He looked strait ahead and kept moving, one foot in front of the other before the school came into sight. [+maroon “Hey, Chrys. They called and said they were ready to meet, but let’s still be cautious. I trust them, but if I have to make a choice then your safety will come first.”] The seriousness in his voice was far from normal, but it wasn’t his style to not be honest. [i [+purple That’s rather... different of you. Is your trust in them waning? Or do you finally realize that you can’t just trust any and everyone? Or maybe you’re more observant to who or what might be listening in on you. No matter, you make your choices and I act when I must. That’s our deal after all.] ]
Jherrichho stopped her just before they rounded the corner onto school grounds and peeked around it to see if anyone specific or strange had been out there. [+maroon “Everything seems normal”], he said before turning his attention back to Chrys. [+maroon “We’ll just head strait to the meeting area before classes start. If they aren’t there then we’ll just have to wait. Everything might change from this moment onward, but for now we simply need to figure out if everything went well. If there’s anything else you need to tell me before we meet them we have time. Let’s just keep moving.”]
Upon receiving her answer a wave of relief swept over him. His eyes relaxed in a way they had previously not managed, peaceful yet carrying hints of sadness. [i [+purple You are one lucky boy, but now it falls on you. No more hiding and waiting for what’s to come. I woke up to test your resolve, but now that I’m certain I’ll be resting again. Don’t falter...] ] He voice echoed in his head before fading away.
His thoughts calmed and his heart carried on at a steady pace allowing Jherrichho to focus completely on Chrys’s words. There was truth lingering in all of her words, and he felt as if more than just the two of them had the same feelings towards this place. Something about it never seemed to be very safe. How can we feel safe if we don’t even see what we’re kept from facing? The focus of everyone here is always kept away from the outside and yet the Legion spends most of the day and night patrolling outside. No disaster is ever spoken of and you would never hear the Legion speak of any hardships they had to face... so if that’s the case what’s keeping them inside? It’s as if they’re trapped animals.
As she said fighting wasn’t a terrible decision, but they would need to put in the time to make themselves combat ready. He could fight and his father did train him in a few ways for combat, but practical training only takes you so far and they would never really be prepared for the situations until they face them. He couldn’t really remember much of the training his father had done with him anyway so what good could it do? Maybe it would be best to just leave for the time being and observe from a distance. Or maybe taking care of it all as fast as possible would be their only option.
To leave or fight. Those were the two choices they would have in his eyes. If something serious were to be taking place then he would have to make a choice and stand by it with everything he had. Not just for him, but for the both of them. He wasn’t a fan of combat although he could clearly remember his father pressuring him into it. If they could just escape and leave this place behind them then the problem would disappear as well. Maybe it truly is for the best to simply leave and make a life for themselves with their own freedom. He’d do whatever he could to help her and so long as things went smoothly then it wouldn’t matter what choices she would decide to make on the future. This could all work.
It wasn’t until Chrys’s eyes met with his and she began to speak of danger that a strong sense of dread built up in his chest. What would challenge her safety? And her mom consulting all those people. The Legion wouldn’t be too suspicious, but the scientists and engineers almost never are seen. To directly contact or meet them is odd enough as is, but the training. The look on her face made it clear that it wasn’t the type of traditional training he could think of that he had done with his father. If her safety was in danger then he would have to get her away from this trouble as quickly as possible. It wasn’t in him to see suffering and not act, although deep down this was deeper than he was willing to acknowledge.
He prepared himself to suggest escaping the city, but didn’t get the words out before the purple in her eyes caught him off guard. The look on her face was almost as if she were a different person, yet only for a moment. He could feel the hair on his neck standing, no doubt a reaction from his own darkness, but it was simply instinct as Jherrichho could still feel him resting. He, on the other hand, was relaxed and feeling no urge to feel unsafe or worried. This information would change everything though.
No doubt his plans would have to take a turn. [i [+maroon So it isn’t just me? Damnit!] ] His mind raced as he thought up the situation, but his calmness slipped its way back to him for a moment when Chrys’s normal self returned. The look in her eyes and her posture were more vulnerable than he had managed to ever see her, or anyone for than matter to his knowledge. He couldn’t simply not act when something troubles her so much. She had done so much for him up to this point, now he would find a way to pay her back. Even if his request to the others turned out to bear no fruit, he had answers to find.
Her final words resonated with him well. [i [+maroon If this were just me then it would be easier, but now there’s more to it than just being my potential. There’s only one thing I can do...] ] Jherrichho stood up slowly and closed his eyes for a moment, taking a deep breathe before responding. [+maroon “I don’t know what all of this means. There are a lot of unanswered questions and we seem to be at the very center of it. That being said I’ve decided on what I’ll do”], he said before looking back at Chrys with clear worry in his eyes but a wide sincere smile accompanying it. [+maroon “I will fight. Even if this security footage turns out to be nothing I will fight for answers. And when we’ve gotten all of the information we need then we’ll find a way out of here. We don’t know if anyone will come after us since we both share this trait, but I won’t just sit idly by and let them do what they want with you.”] He paused for a moment and looked down at his arm again, blushing slightly at the realization of what he had just said. [+maroon “I’ve spent a lot of time in fear of what I might cause, but not anymore. I’ve lost enough of the people I care for and I’m not willing to face that situation again. Even if I have to fight to my very last breath.”]
He sighed and ran his hand through his hair, relaxing back to the way he once was. His eyes had gotten much softer and his tone had relaxed much further. [+maroon “I have to admit though... I feel at ease knowing I’m not the only one. After everything that has happened so far that I can remember within these past few years it didn’t make being the guy who hears voices in his head that could take him over any easier. I’m glad you shared that with me. It makes me feel, lighter”,] he said with a soft smile. Although he had trouble showing it, Jherrichho couldn’t remember a time when he was this happy. It all struck pretty fast, but it wasn’t unwelcome.
Maurica thought that coming up with names for some of the groups, like the Them--as to Maurica their group already had a name--was a great idea. Almost instantly a name for her and Raven popped into her head: The Birds. Although The Birds sounded kinda stupid when she said it in her head, so maybe just something bird related. When she really thought about it though, she realized they probably didn't need a name, as they both knew who they were and the whole point of the--
Maurica cut that train of thought off short, not sure how to end it. She had also been given something else to think about: Lamprey's real name, which she would probably forget after a few minutes. Jherrichho was such a boring name, but the way Raven said it somehow made it sound foreign and unapproachable. Fitting, for such a strange kid, she thought, yet also somehow not in the slightest.
Raven mentioned that earlier Jherrichho had handed Flower his phone number and Maurica cursed herself for forgetting that. It had seemed like such an unimportant detail at the time. She would have to start paying better attention.
[b "so maybe she was just desperate for a friend like him.”] This statement set Maurica on edge to an extent that she was barely able to pay attention to the rest of what Raven was saying. She wasn't sure why, but she was mad and scared and was sure it had something to do with her ex-friend. Specifically the word "desperate." After a moment of wordlessly thinking it over it dawned on her that maybe she had been desperate for a friend like her friend used to be. Maybe she was unfairly judging popular people because she was mad that her friend changed. And when her dad died shortly after she had locked herself in a thought pattern. Change is bad. Change is always bad, it can't be good. This is why she never made friends, why she seemed to simultaneously love and hate her mother, why she hadn't done anything exciting since she got her potential. Until this morning that was. Something must have snapped in her. Maybe the rat had something to do with this. Jason had been acting weird lately, a fact she had all but forgotten in all the hubbub of this absolutely crazy day. Maybe it had triggered something in her. Or maybe it was her fault Jason had been acting so strange. Maybe she had triggered something in him.
At this point Maurica was entirely tuning out the poor raven. She was also very sure she did not want to go home. Not now, maybe not ever. This, however would be an extremely foolish course of action, and she realized that, but that didn't stop her from not wanting to have to deal with her mom or her house ever again. Compared to what was happening now such things seemed trivial, and to go back to a life as small as that seemed an enormous folly.
Maurica was jolted back into reality when she almost tripped over a bump in the sidewalk. She looked up and realized that the ice cream place was just a few paces away and she had left Raven blathering on while she had been thinking. He finished his thought with [b "and that's why I'm going through with the job either way,"] and she realized she had missed a whole load of his explaining. It didn't really matter though, he was a good kid and whatever reasoning he had for doing this Maurica figured she could get behind. Raven turned to her and smiled, which thoroughly surprised her, but she tried not to let it show, giving a smile that was visibly trying--and failing--to not be awkward.
She walked through the door that Raven held open for her, completely forgetting that Jason was still on her shoulder and the management would most likely not be too happy to see a rat in their shop. Raven leaned over and whispered something to her, which said so breathy and fast that by the end of it she wasn't sure which question he was wanting an answer to. She was halfway convinced he hadn't asked a question at all.
Before she could formulate an answer to that, or even figure out whether he wanted an answer right then or if they were just going to get ice cream first, the clerk finally noticed Jason.
[+grey "Excuse me Miss, but we don't allow pets in the shop."]
It only took a moment for Maurica to realize the cashier was talking to her.
[+olive "Oh, sorry!]
She turned to Raven, her curls bobbing in the soft breeze her sudden movement created.
[+olive "I'll be right back."]
Maurica darted out the door, not worrying about her speed drawing attention as the shop clerk had already brought enough of that to herself. She sat down on a concrete step in front of the shop door and tore Jason from her shoulder, who was quite startled as he had been sleeping peacefully until now. She set him on the ground. He just stood there, cocking his head. Maurica, overwhelmed, threw herself into the frequencies of Jason's mind. She knew the rat so well she could do this even in such a state. She felt tiredness in the rat's mind, and also a bit of concern directed at her, but she ignored it.
[+olive [i Okay, so there's this thing and the ice cream place won't let you in, so basically just hang out here for a while until we're done]]
The rat sent her a single concept that roughly translates to [i you know I didn't understand a word of that you ass ]
[+olive [i Oh, fuck]]
While the rat still didn't understand the words, the intent behind them was strong enough to make him recoil. Maurica picked this up and sighed vocally. She knew this because she felt Jason hear her sigh.
She focused on the image-concept for the ice cream shop, then one of Raven and her, then made it so they were laughing and talking to each other while eating ice cream. Then she sent one of Jason hanging out around the outside of the shop.
Jason responded back with a image-concept of the sun, overlaid with the fainter true-concept of time.
Maurica responded by saying [+olive [i I don't know]] in a way so pointed it was sure to get the concept across. It was also tinged with enough annoyance that Jason would figure that she was as unhappy about not knowing a specific time as he was.
Jason was quiet for a long time. His brain was whirring, sure, but nothing was being sent her way and she didn't want to intrude. Finally Jason sent her a quick succession of concepts, mostly pure, of him going back to the house and waiting for Maurica there.
Maurica sent him an affirmative tinged with defeat; a halfhearted "sure."
Jason simply responded with the pure-concept of the act of asking a question. Whether this translated to [i are you actually really sure?] or [i are you okay?] or something else entirely Maurica did not know, so she sent him an almost exact copy of her previous response and left.
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