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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by FernStone
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@Surtr Inc@Prosaic@Atrophy
Grand Ridge Academy – Conference Room


Rien was honestly surprised when Britney pulled out some old book and showed it to them. Okay, so maybe there was a handy book to explain this all. Or a little bit. There wasn’t exactly as much information as they would have liked but it did clear some things up.

Though they weren’t really sure about all the shit to do with being Guardians. It kind of assumed they had useful abilities, didn’t it? What were they supposed to do, throw bats at monsters? Not really useful. Though they had to admit they had no wish to die horribly cause of this ‘abstraction.’

They kinda had to agree with Claire, though. Being some kind of guardian for a town they hardly cared for didn’t sound all that ideal.

Then Penny went off at Claire again and damn, even Rien wanted to leave now. Things hardly bothered them but they were starting to get pissed at just how much arguments were going on. They barely knew any of the people involved but it just seemed like this Penny kid was being an ass for the sake of it. She wasn’t really making them want to have to work with her for this whole ‘guardian’ shit either.

Caelea had to say that Penny was really starting to piss her off too – she didn’t like Britney by any means, but Claire was one of the few people she did like. And even she thought this girl was going on a bit. Really, what was the problem with just punching someone and having it settled? No need to shout on and on. Easier to get it solved with some good old physical violence (and then they all wouldn’t have to hear things they didn’t want to hear).

“What the fuck?” Rien was thrown off when they were suddenly in some weird space that was hitting far too close to their hair colour for comfort. And they did not remember being transparent normally. It was just like that dream… how strange.

Min had crouched down, scrutinising the transparent floor they were standing on. How did that work? How did any of this work?

“I’ve always wanted to be stuck in a strange blue room,” Caelea muttered sarcastically, though really she was relieved that something had happened to stop the arguing.

“This is nice and all, but where are we?” Rien looked around in confusion. “I feel like I’m in a dream, cause I know I’m definitely sober. What even happened?”

Though that brought up another question in their mind – if they were all transparent and ghost like could they even physically interact?



@pokemad1
Grand Ridge Academy – Outside Conference Room


Tuyen jumped slightly as David spoke to her, having not really paid attention to her surroundings in the rush to leave the room. Even being out of it she was not feeling good. The panicky feeling wasn’t going anywhere nor was the crushing sense of self loathing. She really just wanted to get away from everything and back to the comfort of her room (though she knew Min would be annoyed if she didn’t talk to him after).

“Uh,” she stammered slightly, trying to think of how to explain it. “There were two people arguing a lot, then someone else pulled a bat out of a drawing and then everything went dark. I think that about summarises it.”

“It just turned into a bit of a shit show.” She paused, hearing more shouting from inside. “I’m assuming it hasn’t got any better.”

Yeah, she definitely wasn’t going back in there even if she’d left some stuff behind.
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Grand Ridge Academy - Conference Room?



Rita felt miserable. She was reminded of the scene she had caused with Claire the other day, and realized that she would’ve been as cruel as Penny if she had the ammunition. She didn’t know how, but she decided then and there that she would makeup with Claire. She’d keep her Abstraction at bay, even though the demon of doubt wiggling around in her brain kept pushing her to abuse it. Now, however, she knew that there was nothing she could do without risking the ire of both of the women, and so she sat there in silence and tried to politely pretend that she didn’t notice the screaming match that was happening across the table.

Billy gave a quiet chuckle to Nate’s comment, but otherwise he kept out of it. Like himself, it was difficult to get Penny to stop once she got rolling, and right now he could tell that she wasn’t going to slow down until she ran out of breath or someone knocked it out of her. He didn’t like that she was targeting Claire, who he mistakenly took to be one of his tight friends, but he did see the silver lining in all of this. Namely, if Penny was enough of an asshole then maybe people would forget about how big of a dick he had been to Rien. Billy hadn’t meant anything by it, really, he was just trying to bring some fun to a stiff, boring meeting, but he knew he had gone too far. He had a tendency to go too far with just about anything. Still, it was better than this dragged out, long-winded character assassination that his kid sister was doing.

“You need to leave. Now,” growled Andrea.

“No thanks. But you can go. It’s not like you’re even a part of this, so stop rubbernecking,” said Penny, her voice filled with a fake chipperness.

Billy winced when Andrea demanded that Penny leave in the same voice that his mom used when she was really, really upset. He knew that his sister wouldn’t have followed what would probably have been the best course of action for everyone in this room before she even quipped back. Hell, now, thanks to Andrea, she would probably keep going until she made everyone stand up and walk out of the room one by one until she was ranting to the walls and to the bat, wherever it had gone off. Maybe he should just take the moment to slink away unnoticed. In fact, that’s what he decided to do.

The cracking of the table forced Rita’s attention back to the argument, and she stared in fear as Claire began glowing red yet again. She hadn’t stuck around to see what the woman could do last time, and Martin’s pleading convinced her that there was little point in sticking around this time. She nodded her head and, with a turn towards Rien, pointed at the door and crept out of her chair. Billy, the unfunny jokester who had given her shit weed and a hard time, also seemed to have the same idea. They nearly collided before the tall boy sort of wiggle-danced himself out of the way.

“Yeah, she ain’t stopping,” he muttered to her under his breath.

“Neither did you,” said Rita with zero inflection.

Any normal person would’ve probably felt a modicum of shame, embarrassment, or defeat by now, having successfully turned an entire room against them in less than five minutes, but Penny wasn’t normal. She was a self-admitted asshole, and like all people who called themselves assholes she was proud of being an asshole. If it got them angry, then she justified it by saying that she had hit a sore spot because it was true. Penny was practically beaming when she watched Justin struggling to hold Claire back. Fuck what Claire said, she was the only sane woman in this town. It was cowardice to want to live in peace when others weren’t given that option and you could do something about it.

Her eyes widened when Justin was forced off of Claire, but it wasn’t from fear. It was a learning opportunity. She had been honing her Abstraction since she discovered it, but she had never used it on another person before. If Claire even tried to lay a single finger on her, then Penny would have to see if she could repulse her way—in the name of self-defense, of course. And if that didn’t work, well, she had been grabbing a handful of change from her jacket since the moment Justin had jumped in.

"... fucking stop!?"

And it did. Penny, with her hand in her jacket. Rita, with her arms up to avoid bumping in to Billy within feet from the door. Billy, with one leg side-stepping and a look of confusion on his face to avoid knocking Rita over. Then it was all gone, snapped to black, and when it faded to blue everything was different. Well, not necessarily different. It was familiar in a way; they had all been like this before. Penny withdrew her hand from her jacket, empty. Rita put her arms down and looked around the teal emptiness, wishing that she had been quicker on fleeing the scene. Billy, stumbling, was able to steady himself before he fell on his transparent, ghostly ass.

“Okay, really, it’s great you got them to stop, but I’m not in the right headspace for this soooo…” He looked around the group, searching for anyone that looked like they knew what was going on. “Uh, which one of you magic dorks did this? Just a quick hands up will be good. Just. Put it right up there.”
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Grand Ridge Academy - ???



Disoriented.
Martin Cromwell was disoriented by the sudden change, the world around him was terrifying and strange. They were seemingly stuck in some other universe, they were atop some kind of ethereal platform. They were all just ghosts here. Something about this new semi-transparent form was reminding him of the dream that he had shared with these people. He had looked kind of like this in that dream, transparent and mint green. It was strange to see this with his waking mind.

Of course, the other parties were reasonably confused and he was completely at a loss for words himself. He knew that he should be more scared, Britney obviously had a pretty powerful ability if she could do this but instead, he was becoming increasingly fascinated. Everyone had become colorful ghosts and it was beautiful in a very odd way. It was strange and incredibly interesting. It was hard not to feel like a scientist that was uncovering all the clues.

He wished that he could get a photo, something to compliment his notes but he wasn't sure if his phone camera could capture this place in all of it's glory. He also wasn't sure if the timing was right to start nerding out. It was hard to hold onto his irritation, especially when everyone had gone silent upon the shift in their environment. It was almost peaceful, despite how freaky it was. It didn't take long for everyone to start talking again.

The confused comments rose from the group, Billy had even taken the initiative to inquire about who had done this. It had been Britney, he was sure of it. He just didn't know what kind of power could cause something like this. Maybe some kind of dimensional ability? Surely this was another dimension, it certainly looked like one. He had never been to another dimension but he imagined that they'd probably look a bit like this.

"This is insane!" Martin said, excitement clear in his voice. "What kind of power is this?"

"Yeah, that's the appropriate reaction to weird realms that remind me of creepy nineties 3D graphics." Aliana muttered, her gaze scanning over the odd bluespace. "Brit, what the hell just happened?"

It wasn't that she wasn't grateful for the silence, she had gotten tired of hearing the arguing. She certainly hadn't planned on challenging Penny but she hadn't wanted to hear her go on a tirade for any longer. Sometimes Penny could say things that just went above and beyond the call of duty when it came to asshole comments. Claire had also seemed about ready to throw down with Penny which would have been worse and loyalty to Penny would have tied her down to the room until they finished their tussle.

God, she was glad for this messed up dimension.
She sighed through her nose, hoping this was all cleared up soon but not counting on it. Things like this weren't meant to happen and she wasn't sure that it would ever make complete sense to her. Trauma had caused them all to gain these weird abilities and now they were all suspended in. . . what? What even was this place?
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Everyone was, understandably, shocked at their current predicament.

"I..." Britney looked at her hands, as she tried to answer Aliana's question. "... I don't know. This doesn't make any sense, I..." She was at a loss for words, as she desperately tried to come up with an answer.

"Well, all I can do is make fire," Justin said to Billy as he snapped his fingers and created a small fire on his thumb, and was surprised he could even still use his abstraction in this space. "I'd put it on the one of the quiet kids that were sitting in the corner." He shrugged.

"Good grief," Claire said, "I need a smoke - you all are givin' me a headache."

The blue space faded away, seemingly turning into dust as everything went dark yet again. A new scene faded in... and it was the familiar sight of Market Square. A beautiful day, the sun was shining - some may have even recognized it as today - and the streets were relatively clear. After a certain point, there was nothing but an ethereal fog, and they couldn't see any further. But, there was a boy, Chad Watts, merely walking down the street as everyone went about their day. Presumably heading to Sucre after his classes.

A red car mysteriously spins out of control and crashes head on into a truck on the opposite lane. The car crash caught everyone's attention. Even Chad's... but it directed his attention away from the alleyway he was standing behind. Scott Reese creeped up on him, and before Chad could even notice, his brutish gray hands were covering his mouth as he pulled her into the dark alleyway. Before he could even make a peep, he had already driven that massive blade through Chad's chest, and Scott kept his hand over his mouth the whole time... until the life was gone. He then grabbed onto Chad's neck as the sigil was burned away. Scott dragged his body away, hoping to dispose of it (or at least make it slightly less conspicuous) before somebody sees it, but he heard the voice telling him to kill....

At her side, Claire's fist was tightly clenched. The sight of another from camp being murdered brought rage to her. This was what Scott was doing? Going around killing people like animals? Maybe... maybe Penny was right on one thing. She wanted nothing to do with this whole guardian business Britney was throwing around, but she also wanted to make sure that Scott was stopped. At least before he got to her, and the people she loved.

Justin visibly shuddered at the sight. Before he put his hands together, and looked down. He wondered if that person was slaughtered in the same way. He did have a question, however, "... What is he doing with her sigil?" He noticed as that part of her was burned off.

"I..." Britney tried to theorize before the scene, again, faded away into dust, and ended in darkness. Before a new scene faded in gradually, and this one was far more... morbid. It was Farmer Hill's Market Square, but in ruins. The sky was a blood-red color, buildings were destroyed, it was incredibly windy and dust was being kicked up by the wind, and the streets were lined with a thousand bodies. All savagely mangled, burned to pieces, or in the process of dying.

... and in the sky there was a massive orange ball of light.

Britney was absolutely frozen in shock... not a peep or movement came from her. This... was inconceivable. What did any of this mean?

"What..." Claire looked around, as she tried to piece together what was going on. She would have thrown up at the sight, but she was immaterial, clearly. She looked around, and saw a sight that almost made her lose it: Zoey. She had a massive gaping hole in her chest, as if something cleanly stabbed through her. Claire ran over to her, and knelt down, and shouted, "Zoey! What..."

"... This is what the Glutton will do to this town," A voice says from behind them, near-ethereal and carried a... seemingly calming effect with it. It vaguely sounded like the voice of a child. When everyone turned towards it, they laid eyes on a ghostly figure that was definitely not there before. A humanoid figure of pure white color, that had a shape reminiscent of a child. A small size, and a small, pout, face. The phantasm had a flowing figure with a long head of hair - seemingly in the style of a huge ponytail. "This is what what he wants you to do; fight each other instead of him."

The ethereal figure looked off to into the distance, "... You must reconsider your actions, and connect with one another. Or he'll win. Each day, he grows more powerful, and hungrier for the Gift. So tell me..." The being looked at each and every one of them, blankly, before saying,

"... Will you stop him? For me? For everyone here?"



@Mike73
Grand Ridge Academy - Outside the Conference Room.


Lynette acknowledged that she was being a bit presumptuous here. She was just hoping that she would see Grant's aura... but she got ahead of herself. Lynette sighed as she tried to come up with a good explanation for what she previously motioned to Grant. She looked at him as she signed,

'To tell the truth, I can't accurately answer either of those questions,' Lynette started off as she took a step closer to Grant, and away from the door. 'It was supposed to be a support group in there but there's too much...' She trailed off as she looked for the word, '... Vitriol being tossed around.'

There was a brief instant as she shuddered... the yelling stopped in the room. Like, she couldn't hear anymore talking. That made her worried, but she didn't have to worry about being heard - or even understood. Because she had a few opinions to share with her friend. 'A friend of mine, Britney Williams...' She took a few extra moments to sign out Britney's name since Lynette had to do it letter by letter, '... Clearly knows a lot about what's going on - too much if you ask me.'

Lynette still valued Britney as a friend, but she wasn't given a whole lot of reason to trust her during this whole meeting. She may have some kind of ulterior motive - the same kind of ulterior motive that Lynette has, but it's, ultimately, benign as it got.

'I may not have the answers to your questions, but I know Britney does.'




@Ciaran@Mike73
Cafe Sucre.


Kimberly believed it when Paige said she was thinking over things. She understood that she had been through a few things from what Jordan told her, but she found it weird that she was staring at her wordlessly for a second. But, she brushed it off, as maybe her being deep in thought. She just shrugged her shoulders, and asked, "Is there anything else I can get you? On me."

Though, Jordan was sitting in the corner, she noticed something in the corner of her eye. A coral colored light, that caught her eye. Looking up, she saw what could be described as the outline of somebody running fast as they possibly could. She raised an eyebrow as she had no idea what was going on - then she heard the screams of help. Vaguely, but clearly. She got up from her chair, and limped over to Kimberly and Paige, and tapped them both on the shoulder. Before pointing at the window as Jasmine ran up, screaming.

"W-what?" Kimberly stammered.
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Grand Ridge - Conference Room - ???
@Surtr Inc@Atrophy



Perhaps to Nate's slight disappointment, Penny hadn't taken the bait, only further serving to piss off half the room as she dug her hole. In fact, the only one he'd seen yet that hadn't outright laid into her was a skinny little blonde girl with some kind of Eurotown accent, who'd cut into the argument with a cold demand that she leave. And then - oh shit - Claire's temper flared. It wasn't wasn't even a metaphor - the space around her form had literally transitioned to a crimson flare, right at the point where somehow, this girl had managed to break off the edges of the table with her bare fucking hands.

Her abstraction?

Either way, he almost (or, maybe really) felt himself slipping a foot halfway through the damned floor when she lunged forth, restrained only by Justin at her shoulders. The guy was trying to talk her out of it but she wasn't buying it - the fuse had been lit. With what she could do... Nate dreaded to think, having just seen her handiwork on that table. Then Justin got pushed aside and Claire looked set to tear Penny a new asshole (she'd definitely need those tampons then) as she set into her rant, which raised another point - Nate himself had seen her abstraction in action, what if she decided to pick up a chair or table or something and toss that at her? No doubt they'd all go the same way he went when Lynn had nearly smashed his head in with her little graffiti trick - only they didn't have the luxury of being able to phase through shit. Maybe he didn't, this time - maybe it wouldn't work and he'd get fucked just like the rest of them.

"Would all of you..." Britney's voice rose, "fucking stop?!"

Another blackout slammed into them. Same thing again? Nate felt his stomach threatening to turn over nonetheless, disoriented by the sudden sensory deprivation - but the luminescent glow that returned to them [i]definitely[i] left him feeling a knot in his insides. What? Where? Those two thoughts came to mind - there was no sense of time or place here, just... space. The surface on which they stood was transparent, as were others in the group who could spot each other through the crowd. Even Nate himself could just about look through his arm - which was an experience he'd admittedly hoped he'd never have to go through if he could do anything about it. Some things were too weird for people to process.

Definitely unlike the blackout, though - this place hadn't disappeared and gone back to normal in the blink of an eye. They were still here - and the others were equally confused as he was, by the looks of things. How had they even ended up here? Nate's thoughts drifted with Aliana, towards Britney having a clue to that - but as she quickly explained, that was a dead end. Figures.

Then the space they were in - the luminescent blue haze which surrounded them - faded away into another blackout, before transitioning to a more familiar sight. Market Square. Only, this wasn't a picture show - this was a snuff film, showing a guy getting pulled into an alleyway by Scott Reese and brutally murdering him with a bladed weapon. Though he'd seen it in media countless times, perhaps even seen it from a distance at the camp and snuck past the bodies - there wasn't quite something as sobering as watching a guy, the same kind of guy at his age, minding his own business, get pulled into an alleyway and butchered alive, his body twitching for a couple of moments after. And the guy he killed had a brand on him - almost like the one he'd found on the back of his own neck - like the others, too.

Abstraction. Awakened. Right.

It struck home the point that had been raised about Reese being a danger to this whole town. To people like them, to people like his Uncle Quent - just dying pointlessly to this asshole who had picked up a thing for burning off their brands, somehow. It left much to stew in the depths of his own mind.

"Nate?" A familiar voice whispered behind him.

The almost picturesque snuff scene faded into dust, transitioning to a view that struck him as something out of a post-apocalyptic film rather than Farmer's Hill, Montana. It took him a moment, no - a few moments - to process it. Market Square again, but halfway along to being torn down, with buildings falling apart or outright destroyed. The sky was a crimson hue, clogged with thick, darkened clouds. That wasn't the worst of it though.

No, the worst of it came in the form of bodies piled onto the streets, hundreds upon potentially thousand of them to form a literal floorspace of dead meat - some bodies of still writhing before finding relief in death. And for him, lined in a neat row... he recognised three of the bodies. Even as beat-up and mangled as they were, there was no mistaking them.

Quent? Viv? Dad? Nate blinked and, for a moment, thought he saw Mom, too - but the body slumped in a heap on the ground had a face which he definitely didn't recognise. Now you're just crazy. Quent's body was practically draped over Viv's, the overturned husk of a police cruiser resting close by. Protecting her, at least. He figured that's what he'd have done, what he would do if it came to it. As for his Dad, well - that perhaps was a little surprise given how little often he was around, though he didn't take seeing the old man dead on the ground in such a good light. Nobody should - or should have died. Was this even real? Part of him wanted to rush up to the bodies, to shake them back to life, but...

Nate sucked in a breath through his teeth, blinked, almost felt himself reaching into a space which was outside the realm of physical touch, the colour bleeding from his vision as his feet sank a few inches into the ground. At the foot of each body was a humanoid silhouette, faceless, almost formless. At the bodies of the people he recognised - his family, they seemed to stare straight at him, though they never wore eyes nor anything to suggest or hint at expression. Were these ghosts? Claire didn't seem to think so, running over towards the lifeless body of girl with a gaping hole in her torso, one who looked as though she'd been speared. Others didn't seem far off that line of thinking either, but they didn't see the silhouettes - the shadows of the dead as he saw them.

"... This is what the Glutton will do to this town," A voice spoke from behind the entirety of the group, almost childlike in its nature, but at the same time resonant - as though it were speaking with a hundred mouths at the exact same time so that they melded to form a single, unified voice. A kid, by the look of their shape - though kids didn't usually have an all-white, straight white appearance. Something else to throw into it all. He wasn't a believer in a God, nevermind the God - but this guy... thing, fit the bill. "This is what what he wants you to do; fight each other instead of him." Even sounds like it.

"You must reconsider your actions, and connect with one another. Or he'll win. Each day, he grows more powerful, and hungrier for your Gift. So tell me... will you stop him? For me? For everyone here?" For a moment, this God-kid appeared to be staring straight at him, which put the thought in his head - the thoughts he'd had before. He? Scott Reese could do all that? Not just the people he'd murdered already, but the whole town? More?

The prospect of it scared him, but the alternative - the idea of losing people, losing more people he cared about was scarier. Terrifying. Impossible. Viv, Quent... those two more than anything were the only real family he had around anymore. But what could he do?

"I... look, you uh..." Nate found himself at a stumbling block, addressing the God-kid, "God-kid, okay? That's all I can think to call you - how can we stop him? This uh - this awakening crap, it doesn't come with instructions, okay? We can't just say 'by the power of jesus' and just expect something to work, connecting like you said." Could he even handle the job? He wasn't exactly in great shape like some of these other guys were. Was he even worth this thing's time?
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Grand Ridge Academy - Outside the Conference Room


A support group...ok, that made sense. Grant wasn't sure exactly what kind of support group was taking place, seeing as there was an obscene amount of yelling going on, but that apparently wasn't supposed to be happening in the first place according to Lynette. Though, that made him wonder why she was brought to it, assuming she was supposed to be a part of it. The only thing he could think of was of what happened to those students during the camping trip a month ago. He hadn't been there, but didn't Lynette go? Maybe the support group was meant as something for the survivors then...but then again, he didn't have any concrete evidence here right now, and he wasn't about to ask for more details on that when Lynette had other things she still wanted to tell him.

Britney...Williams? Grant wanted to make sure he got that right, because he'd been getting vibes from her since the moment he met her. But then again, she'd likely given him second looks as well. A lot of people in this town didn't care for those who dug into its history, especially those who'd lived here for generations.

"The really tall rich girl, correct?" Grant asked in interest, "I've always wondered about her, but I could never get a read on her. If she can tell me what I need to know, I want to meet her."

It was at this time however that he realized the arguing in the Conference Room had gone completely silent. It hadn't even just died down, it had flat out abruptly ended. Combining that with the silent conversation that he was having, Grant's mind began to momentarily wander, and in no time at all he began to feel paranoid that he'd somehow gone deaf again. He didn't understand how or why, and honestly it should've been the last thing he'd figure would happen, but the room suddenly going silent was incredibly off-putting and didn't feel like a simple coincidence.

And as this line of thought continued, the area around Lynette and Grant began to tint slightly, causing the muted young man to gulp in apprehension.

"I...think it's happening again," he signed hesitantly and without context, his eyes flitting around at the tinted colors around him as he realized he couldn't hear himself gulp.



Farmer Hill - Downtown, Near Sucre Café


Jasmine only managed to glance behind herself for a split second, too scared to get a good look at the distance between her and the would-be killer. But that didn't matter, she realized; all that mattered was running as fast as she could so that she could get away. And as she went on, she found herself getting closer to Sucre Café. She wasn't sure if she could hide in there, and thought her best bet was to maybe run right past and try to keep going, or maybe even run on through to its back exit to try to lose the hulking brute, but then she saw people. Actual live people were in there, unlike the barren streets she was currently barreling down. They noticed her as she got closer, and looks of concern and confusion were apparent on their faces. Maybe they could help her...oh shit, what if the killer tried to go after them!? She needed to get them to safety as well, they all needed to get away!

"Oh my god, people!" Jasmine gasped as she clambered into the store, short of breath but still trying to tell them what was happening, "I just saw a- a monster! I know that sounds fake but it's true, they literally just murdered someone! Oh my god it chased me, it was right fucking behind me! We need to hide, or, or get away or something!"
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Grand Ridge Academy - ???



An axe swinging in a wide arc towards his body, his stomach dropping down to his toes.
Martin was no coward, he wasn't the bravest kid in Grand Ridge but he certainly wasn't cowardly. This was something else though, he had coped with the camping event by ignoring the fear that plagued his nightmares. He had coped by not facing that he'd been a breath away from dying. He had coped by joking and playing it off but at the sight of this boy being killed, he could feel the fear rising up in his chest again. He could feel himself wanting to bolt.

He didn't even think he could bolt. This was all like some kind of fucked up simulation. They were all trapped here and forced to watch as this boy was killed for the amusement of Scott Reese. The life faded from his eyes, it was blessedly quick, but it didn't make Martin feel any better. It actually made him feel worse. They had all had each other at camp but this guy, he'd had no one and that wasn't fair. He hadn't had anyone to help him.

It made him sick to his stomach and he wanted to vomit but it seemed disrespectful to puke all over this odd ether-realm that they had imposed upon. As the world around them shifted, he found himself holding the contents of his stomach and avoiding a panic attack that was sure to hit as soon as they were free. He didn't want to see any more freaky shit but that must have been an impossible request. There was something in their new blood-soaked sky and it demanded his attention.

A burning orb, reminiscent of the one that had shone down on them as they'd taken the boats away from the campsite. He had been in so much pain and full of so much fear then that he'd tried to ignore it, now it was here and it was blazing. It was glorious in a weird way. He couldn't help but marvel at it, it was hard not to.

"... This is what the Glutton will do to this town," a voice startled him out of his reverly, it dared him to turn and face it and so he did. What he saw was appalling, it was some sort of young God with a slight frame and a pale glow. "This is what what he wants you to do; fight each other instead of him."

The ethereal figure looked off to into the distance, probably pondering something that he didn't quite understand or maybe something that their mortal minds weren't built to comprehend, "... You must reconsider your actions, and connect with one another. Or he'll win. Each day, he grows more powerful, and hungrier for the Gift. So tell me..."

It looked at them, there was an emptiness to the creature's eyes that seemed neverending. It was hard to look into it's face for too long, it was overwhelming to be facing it in this way. He wanted to close his eyes and block it out but he thought that it might come off as rude. So, he was stalled, looking it in it's cherubic face.

"... Will you stop him? For me? For everyone here?"

It was the big guy that addressed it first, posing some questions that Martin couldn't help but agree with. There was a lot more to consider than just being able to band together to fight Scott. . . Or whatever else was going to be thrown at them. He hadn't considered that but what if there was more to fear than just Scott Reese? What if they were all killed? How could his powers even help? He could draw forth shadows and plunge the world into darkness but as far as he knew, that was it.

It wasn't dangerous or heavy-hitting, it was just shadows. He couldn't summon fire like the cocky-looking kid, he couldn't force the truth out of people like Rita or draw things into life like Rien. His power was pretty much useless, it was a purely cosmetic power. It was interesting to view and it was cool in theory but it didn't do much.

"I want to help," he admitted, feeling strangely humbled that this being would even include him. "There's just not much that I see my power being useful for. I mean. . . I obviously don't know everything that I can do with it but it's just shadows, man."

As eloquently said as that was, it was the truth. They were just shadows. Now, he wasn't an expert on shadow powers but he didn't see that getting any more useful as time went on.

Aliana piped up, her voice sounding stronger and sharper despite all the weirdness. "What's he doing with the markings? Is he absorbing their ability?"
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Sucre Cafe



"No, thanks, I..."

Paige had been intending to decline Kimberly's offer when she saw something moving quickly out of the corner of her eye, punctuated a moment later by the sound of screaming. She had been second-guessing her own senses today, but she was hardly going to ignore someone screaming, especially when said screaming person, a somewhat dark-skinned young woman, came running into the cafe telling them to run or to hide. Paige looked down at her own leg, and at Jordan's.

Hide it is, then.

Paige picked up her crutch from the seat next to her and stood up, feeling pathetically unable to deal with this, this monster, had the girl said? That was a question for later, when they were safe - having witnessed some weirdness already, she was willing to accept the idea of a serial killer monster as at least possible. In any case, she had to get on. Every second would count, and they didn't have many. This monster, or whatever it was, would be on them soon if the new girl had needed a full sprint to get this far. As for places to hide... under a table or behind the counter both seemed painfully obvious, and Paige couldn't think of anything else but perhaps there would be something better in another room.

"We can't run," Paige said to the new girl, gesturing both to her leg and to Jordan's. "Kim," she said, turning to the woman in question, "is there somewhere in the back we can hide, in the kitchen or something?"

So it seemed that the weirdness had moved from confusing and a little worrying to potentially life-threatening. Despite this terrifying change for the worse, Paige couldn't help feeling a little glad that at least she wasn't the only crazy one.
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Grand Ridge Academy - ??


Holy fuck, things were just getting worse and worse. Rien looked around wide eyed at the bodies that lined the streets. This had to be some kind of nightmare. No way was that going to become reality. But it seemed so real. And with Scott going around killing people like them it was hard to deny this was an actual possibility.

Caelea felt sick in the stomach. She’d just watched someone getting slaughtered and now all she could see was bodies for miles. The glowing orb was so like the one from before. She didn’t think she could throw up while like this, but she certainly felt like it. Then there was the glowing white figure.

“But what if we don’t all have these abstractions?” She shook her head. She certainly had no clue what she had. It could be useless or it could be nothing. It was all well for this god creature thing to tell them they had to stop some horrible thing but… it wasn’t that easy was it. “Even if we all want to stop him, which seems like a good idea, doesn’t make it any easier to work together.”

Min could only give a nod in agreement to what the albino girl said – and what a few before had also echoed. From what he had guessed of his abstraction it was useful for him (more knowledge was always good), but not for something like this. Even being faced with the bodies and seeing his parents among them didn’t change that. And it didn’t change that he didn’t want to work with most of the people here.

“I mean I have to say I want to stop whatever this is,” Rien piped up, a bit shaky but otherwise seeming fine (they weren’t, there were bodies everywhere, but they weren’t going to think about that). “And if he’s absorbing their abilities that just makes it more important to stop him sooner, right. But how? We all just got thrown right into the deep end with this.”

As someone had already said, it hadn’t exactly come with instructions.

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"I am no deity, if I was perhaps I could end this..." The entity begrudgingly said in response to Nate's comment. "... Perhaps I wouldn't have to ask you all to take up this near-impossible task." The Celestial shook their head as they looked off into the distance at the ball of light in the sky that had taken the place of the sun. "My power is fledgling, growing, so I don't have time to explain everything... but it's not Scott who's the danger here..." The Being trailed off as they stood straight up.

"There aren't any instructions in the traditional sense, but you have the ability to look to the past," The Child started off, "You can learn from the previous generation of Awakened, and learn from their mistakes, and succeed where they failed. It may seem counterintuitive, but there is more to your Awakenings than phasing through matter, shrouding the world in darkness, and generating wind...." While the being spoke, they looked at Nate, Martin, and Ceala in order.

The Being took a few steps towards Aliana until they were inches apart, before saying, "... He's stopping you from acquiring it."

The Being looked away and the illusion started to fade away. They stuck their hand out and attempted to delay it, but it wasn't long before the scene was half-gone. "I'm too weak to even keep this link between us up! I'll help you whenever I can, but there's only so much I can do presently!" The Being shouted, "I have one last message for you all - if you want to beat the Glutton, you'll have to find the Travellers from another world! They are the key!"

However, the Being faced them, and snapped their fingers and before the illusion was gone for good, they saw another vision of Farmer Hill. The sight of Jazmine Dwyer running for her life down the street into the Sucre, and it quickly shifted to Scott stalking the alleyways after her, heading for the Sucre.

"Go here, and save them!" At this point, they were standing in a black void, and the Being was fading away.

"Wait, just who - what - are you?"

The Being smiled as they faded away, "... I'm just a Ch-"

Then they were gone.




Everyone was immediately thrusted out of the vision, with barely a minute passed. It almost felt like a dream... but nobody was exhibiting any signs of rest. They were in the same positions as before: Claire half-marched towards Penny (her red aura was completely gone, however), Justin at her side, and Britney at the head of the table. Everyone looked around, confused.

"... What the flying fuck was that?" Claire asked, "Did one of you do that?"

"I'm confused as everyone else here..." Justin shrugged as he looked around. Okay, there's some kind of threat looming over the town. Big whoop. But, he was curious as to whether or not it had something to do with the death of his Grandmother... there was something strange going on here.

On one hand, Britney was glad that the scene had defused itself... but on the other hand, she didn't know what in the world that vision meant. Or if it was real enough to go off of. Britney shook her head, before she noticed something on the center of the table... a newpapers. A very old one, judging by the print, font, and that it uses the old name for Farmer Hill's newpaper. She grabbed it, and examined it's headline.

FARMER WEEKLY

MAN MURDERED IN OWN FARM


"Guys.. " The photo used immediately clicked to her - it was an old three story house with a massive traditional barnhouse. Her eyes widened.

"... This is John Reid's farm."



@Mike73
Grand Ridge Academy - Outside the Conference Room.


'Yeah, her.' Lynette signed. She had a feeling that Grant didn't trust her that much - and after today, Lynette couldn't really blame him. Still, Lynette knew Britney was vital to her investigation on this town and it's secrets... even if the Williams girl had some secrets on her own. Grant still expressed a desire to go meet her, and Lynette couldn't really say no. 'I'm certain she'd like to meet you, too.'

And in an instant, Grant's aura was visible to Lynette - confirming her suspicions. Then she noticed that the area around her started changing... there was a black tint. She looked around and things went oddly silent - it was quiet before, but this was weird. Was this his... power? She tried snapping her fingers, but she couldn't hear it. There was absolute silence.

'I can't... hear anything.' Lynette signed as she looked at Grant. 'It's just what I thought... you're one of us. I can see your aura.'




@Ciaran@Mike73
Cafe Sucre.


Kimberly's reaction to the girl running in was the complete opposite of Paige's. It was more calm, and... skeptical to say the least. "Hey, hey, hey!" Kimberly said as she quickly approached the girl and grabbed her shoulders. "Calm down! Just... have a sip of water and tell me what happened..." She quickly ran back and poured a little cup of water and came back and presented it to the girl. It was almost ironic Kimberly was skeptical even though she survived her own experience with a monster.

Jordan was on the same boat as Paige, unfortunately. "Kim... remember..." She silently scolded her friend, as she stood up. It didn't take Kimberly long to catch her drift, and then she closed her eyes.

"... Let's just play it safe and go into the back, okay - just to cool out." Kimberly trailed off as she lead the group into the kitchen and turned off the lights. Lest they'd be noticed. She stood in the rather cramp kitchen area, leaning up against one of the stoves that she had turned off due to inactivity. "Okay, um... let's just relax a bit and try explaining what happened, Jasmi-"

Kimberly was cut off when there was a sudden impact on the back-door - as if something slammed into it. There was a noticeable dent as the door deformed, and then another impact revealed... Him. Smiling through the door.

"... Reese!" Kimberly shouted.
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Grand Ridge Academy - Outside the Conference Room


When Grant saw Lynette begin to react to the lack of sound as well, he quickly realized he wasn't going crazy. No, he was actually incredibly sane, it was the situation itself that was crazy. He didn't understand why it was all happening to him, but he was almost entirely sure that it was all connected back to what happened to him when he disappeared two years ago. After being confused and left in the dark for so long, he felt like he was finally making progress and he couldn't help but let out a sigh of relief, not that it could be heard.

"Aura? Is that what that was then?" Grant asked after taking a moment to calm himself, "I saw something when you snapped your fingers." He brought a hand up to his mouth in a closed fist as he thought on it. He couldn't really explain what he'd seen when she snapped her fingers, but the lack of sound coupled with the...phenemenon he'd witnessed seemed to suggest that he'd seen something similar to what Lynette had seen in him. "Aura" felt like the right word now that he thought about it, but of course that wasn't the only thing she'd told him that drew his interest.

"...This is why I'm here, isn't it? You guessed I was like you. And the support group, they're the same, right?" At this time, the tint slowly ebbed away as it shrunk around them until eventually it seemed to disappear into Grant. He looked down at himself, then shook a bit as if he were chuckling. He was probably taking this too well, but considering his situation this only helped to make things make sense. However, he never told Lynette, or anyone really, about his connection to Farmer Hill, so he knew that could make his easy acceptance of...magic powers? Yeah it was probably magic, but being so easy to accept that could potentially raise some eyebrows. Sure, he'd never asked Lynette about her reasons either, though he was definitely curious now that he knew that she apparently was a part of some secret magic club. So her being curious in return would only make sense, but he could deal with that. If the mysteries of this town were about to run as deep as he thought, then sharing his own secrets wouldn't be a problem, and could even be beneficial.



@Surtr Inc @Ciaran
Farmer Hill - Downtown, Near Sucre Café


"Wh-What!? No! I don't need water, I-" Jasmine exclaimed when the bespectacled girl tried to get her to calm down, but there wasn't much she could do for the moment as the girl quickly left and came back with a cup of water. "We don't have time for this..." Jasmine groaned as she looked back outside, but seeing as she didn't see the killer anywhere out there for the moment ("What the hell? Where'd he go?") she didn't immediately try to make a break for it anyway and run away. Despite her initial protests, she still accepted the beverage and downed it fairly quickly. She nodded in thanks, and tried to steady her breathing as she explained.

"Look, I just got chased by some Hulk-looking motherfucker with a giant sharp...thing! I don't know what it was but it was some sort of blade. He, he killed someone! Oh fuck, somebody's dead, I don't even know who she was but she went to our school. Kelly...Callie? All I know is she's gone, then the killer tried to get me too." She showed them her scraped up arms as proof.

Of the three girls there with her, the one with dyed silver hair and accompanied by a crutch seemed to believe her without issue. Though she pointed out that due to her and the third girl's legs, running wasn't going to be an option. Said third girl wasn't too keen on ignoring the threat of being attacked either, but told the first girl, Kim, to remember. Remember what, Jasmine had no clue, but it was enough to get Kim to agree to try to hide, or at least get out of plain view. Jasmine was glad they were at least moving, but Kim still didn't seem to fully believe there was a killer nearby.

"Damn it, I'm not making this up," Jasmine started in exasperation, but before she could continue the killer made her presence all too clear. Jasmine's mouth went dry as her eyes widened in fear at the sight of the monstrosity in front of her. Leftover adrenaline began to pump through her body once more as her fight-or-flight senses began to tingle like crazy. Only, she wasn't alone this time, and she was with people who couldn't easily run away. This wasn't good, but she had to act.

"Back to the front, back to the front!" Jasmine shrieked. Her hands reached for the counter behind her for something to defend herself with, and after a second or so of scrambling she found purchase on the handle of a metal pot. Figuring it wouldn't incapacitate Reese but could still buy some time, she chucked it with all her might at his head before then ushering for everyone to get away as fast as they could.
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Grand Ridge Academy - Conference Room.



Penny watched in a mix of horror and rage as the world around her shifted from a possible future of death and destruction to the current present of Scott Reese prowling after another girl. She wasn’t just pissed at the vision the ghost kid had forced upon them; she was pissed that Claire had been right and pissed at herself for letting her own petty squabbles and curiosity lock her out of taking actions that she should’ve done. She should’ve been hunting after Reese. Now, that bastard had already killed another camper and was now going after yet another one of their peers, and she had been wasting her time fighting with Claire O’Sullivan. Would she stop them? Reese? The Glutton? It wasn’t even a question. Penny didn’t waste a second (for she felt as if she had already wasted so much now, in hindsight) when the bizarre being sent them back to their world. She twisted past Claire and stood in front of her brother, her arm extended out expectantly.

“Keys.”

“Penny, man, I don’t—”

Billy obviously didn’t understand that it wasn’t a question. Penny grabbed her brother by the shirt and pulled him down so that they were eye level. “Keys,” she repeated, her voice weighted with gravel. He couldn’t even argue. If she wanted to kill herself, so be it. He reached into his pocket and produced a pair of car keys which she promptly snapped from his hands and then bolted out the door, the pounding of her footfalls falling silent as she passed by Lynette and her friend before the door swung back on its hinge and closed with a slam. If the strange tint of the world and the lack of sound outside of the conference room had been noticed by Penny, it had not phased her.

Billy didn’t really know what to do or what the hell had just happened. He slowly walked back to a chair—it hadn’t been the one he had originally sat in, and he didn’t care—and dropped into it with a heavy sigh. The vision of the ball of light, the piles of dead bodies, all of it was a bit too hard to handle, a bit too much for the young man to process. He had seen them in the piles, his parents, his friends, and he knew that there was nothing he could do about it. He had one of those prison tats, and with that came an Abstraction. That was clear. What wasn’t clear was what his Abstraction was, or how he would come about it. Propping his elbows on the table, he slumped forward and caught his face in his hands, pushing up his glasses as his fingers pushed back his hair.

Rita walked back to the table, her right hand pressed against her chest. There had been things that she had wanted to ask the Child, but by the time she had found her tongue the boy had vanished and reality had come back. She could assume what the rude blonde girl, Penny, was intending to do, and a part of her wished that she had gone with to help. However, she knew that there really wasn’t anything she could do to the man to slow him down, and she doubted the information her Abstraction would’ve been able to pull out of him would benefit her at all after he had put that wicked blade of his through her chest. She remembered the last time she had been in the same area as Reese and how she had froze up. What’s to say the same thing wouldn’t happen this time? Britney, their de facto leader it seemed, spoke up about a newspaper that had appeared on the table.

“So does that even mean anything?” asked Rita, unintentionally looking up at Britney. At her side, her sigil glowed.




Cafe Sucre.



Tires squealed as Penny slammed on the brakes, sending Billy’s car into a minor fishtail before it came to a stop partially on the curb and definitely dinged against a light post, although Penny neither noticed nor would’ve given a shit to see his junker’s paint get scratched. She emptied out the change sitting in a cup in front of the dash and stuffed it into her jacket before stepping out of the vehicle, not even bothering to take the keys out of the ignition. If things went to shit then it’d be nice to have a quick getaway, plus she was a bit focused on one thing and one thing only: stopping Scott Reese.

The little ding of the bell as she walked into the suspiciously empty cafe coincided with a loud thud coming from the backdoor. Penny rushed past the counter towards the kitchen as the sound of another thud, plus a voice yelling “Reese!” echoed from the back. Blinking, the world around her began to shimmer as her aura sensing kicked in. "Back to the front, back to the front!" she heard as she popped through the door in time to witness Jasmine gripping a pan. The girl began to chuck it as Penny got in to place and, no, it definitely wouldn't be going fast enough to do what they all wanted it to do. Fortunately, Penny knew a fix. She reached out with her hand as Jasmine let go and—bang!—the pan blasted away Jasmine quicker than any person could throw.

Penny wasn’t sure if it had hit Scott in his stupid mug, but it sure did make a satisfying sound. Either way, she was already fishing loose change with hopes of shredding the bastard the second he was through the door. She put herself between the group of girls and the backdoor, readied.

“Take the car outside,” she barked, eyes not leaving the door. “Hope one of you bitches know how to drive stick.”

She wouldn’t be joining. She wouldn’t leave until she was certain that Scott Reese would no longer be killing anymore of the assholes in her fucking town.
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Grand Ridge Academy - Conference Room.



Martin Cromwell was no coward, if he reiterated that enough then maybe he'd start to believe it and start doing something brave. Something braver than standing around here and peering at ominous newspapers all day. The fledgling God had showed them something simplistic, he had recognized the Sucre immediately and he'd even recognized the girl. If he hadn't meant Grant then he might not have recognized her, she was his sister. He hadn't ever spoke to her, just knew that she was his family but seeing her being pursued by that monster had made his stomach turn.

He knew what it felt like to see that thing face to face, to stare into it's emotionless eyes. It was an experience that stuck with him and he was sure that it stuck with everyone else who had watched it bring it's axe down onto the teacher's head. The sound of flesh and bone giving way beneath metal was a constant loop in his dreams, the sound of people screaming and the feeling of his heart slamming hard in his chest, these were the themes of his nightmares. When he wasn't dreaming of shadows, he was dreaming of death.

He wanted to unravel this mystery as much as anyone else, he wanted to completely understand it but he slowly becoming overwhelmed in his own fear. Despite his fear, there was a growing determination inside of him. He didn't want to leave Grant's sister to suffer the fate of that monster and it seemed that Penny had the same idea because she bolted out the door. If he had the guts then he would have asked her if he could hitch a ride but he didn't. He and Penny had a complicated history and he wasn't sure that he was ready to forgive her just yet.

He touched Rita's elbow, a sort of light gesture that he hoped would translate that he'd see her later. He threw open the door to the conference room, blinking in confusion at the sight of Grant and Lynette. It actually managed to stop him in his reverly completely, he didn't know what had brought Grant this way but he knew that he hadn't been on the camping trip. He quickly pulled out his phone, typing as fast as he could without jumbling his letters completely.

To: Grant
I want to say "Hey, man" like I'm not freaking out but I am. Something is going down, I'm very worried and I was going to help. I think your sister may be in trouble.


Aliana wasn't surprised that Penny had been the first to get out the door to help but her powers weren't really offense powers, they were more supportive powers. She wasn't going to be able to make everyone in that area disappear without feeling like she'd hit a brick wall. She was better off staying here with the rest of the group, though she couldn't help but worry about her more reckless friend.

Penny was a tornado at times, so reckless that it was almost self destructive. She did as she pleased and no one had the capability of stopping her unless she wanted to be stopped. It was hard to just accept that, especially with Aliana being as empathetic as she was at times but she also knew that there was no point in trying to pin Penny down. It was best to let her sink or swim on her own accord.

Knowing that did not stop her worry. The little goth guy had rushed out as well, she wasn't sure what he was going to do besides flip the lights on and off but that was his choice. If the kid thought it was best to play the hero role then she wasn't going to stop him either. She just really hoped that no one left this incident in more than one piece. She was also worried about Billy, he seemed to be having a really hard time with the abstraction thing.

She moved so she was closer to him and lightly touched his arm, the gesture was comforting in nature but she didn't really know what to say to him. There wasn't much that she could say.
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Sucre Cafe



The creature that was now pounding its way through the back door of the Sucre Cafe was nothing like anything Paige had ever seen. "Reese", Kimberly had called it - the name sounded human, and while there was a vague physical resemblance, it was clear enough to Paige that whatever this was hadn't come for coffee or tea. There was nothing human left.

What was really strange, though, was that Kimberly had known what to call it. Evidently, she had met or heard of it before.

Paige stood still in shock for about a second as she saw the creature break a hole in the door. Then Jasmine (the new girl; another name Paige had picked up from Kimberly) threw a pot at the creature, not much, but something, and Paige had been about to join in when, yet again, her entire conception of what was real and possible was thrown off-balance.

Another young woman (this now made 5 of them. Had the entire population of Farmer Hill been replaced with college-age girls, as well?) rushed in, seemingly unaffected by the sight of the creature, Reese. Even as the pot was flying, midair, it suddenly zipped forwards, apparently as a result of something that the new girl did. Mysterious tattoos, half-human monsters, and magic, oh my! It was getting to the point where Paige was expecting to be surprised and confused, and whatever she thought about being called a "bitch", this new girl seemed about to redeem herself, so Paige just turned around and moved as quickly as she could toward the car parked outside.

Paige couldn't drive. She didn't know whether or not she legally could, on account of her condition, but she'd never even considered it anyway. She couldn't walk properly - she was not going to put her own or other people's lives in danger by trying to use that foot for anything requiring precision. This in mind, Paige hurriedly limped towards the door, hoping that someone else would be able to get them all away from that monster, Reese.
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Grand Ridge Academy - Outside the Conference Room.


'An educated guess.' Lynette absolutely had to add on, a bit prideful in herself. 'There's something very strange going on. It started with that camping trip. People are developing powers... even me. Do you have a mark somewhere?' She felt the need to demonstrate, but she didn't exactly know how her abstraction functioned yet (and she definitely didn't want to show her sigil here). Though, there was something definitely strange going on in the conference room. First, Penny stormed out, and Lynette wanted to ask her, her mouth opened to move, but she forgot that Grant had removed the sound from the area (evident by his apparent aura).

There was no more shouting, and Lynette wanted an update from Aliana, but then a small goth boy came running out of the room. He seemed to be familiar with Grant, but he pulled out his cellphone and typed away a message... and Lynette tried to sign a message to Martin (a simple hello) to no avail. She wanted to ask so many questions, but there wasn't any time. Martin seemed to be in a rush. She shook her head, as she turned to Grant and signed,

'I'll be back.'

Before she quickly dove back into the room, and she felt relieved to hear the door open. Just as a double check, she loudly sighed. However, everyone seemed different. The tone of the room went from bickering to... determined. She shook her head as she moved over to Aliana and asked.

"Hey I'm back," She started off, "... What happened while I was gone?"




@Ciaran@Mike73@Atrophy
Cafe Sucre.


The metal pot - even with Penny's enhancements - required no more effort than a swing of his fist to knock it aside. He grinned as his master told him to turn around, and there was a blonde-haired girl... Scott remembered her from that night. She was the one who burned him. He grinned ear to ear as tonight, she would be the one getting burned tonight.

Fuck. Jordan didn't leave Philly to die like this. Not when there was so much potential in her future. She took several steps back as she thought about how she was going to haul ass away. The stress made her sigil glow, almost as if she was ready to activate her abstraction - the pot distracted Scott and his attention was turned to some blonde newcomer, and her sigil faded. Jordan recognized her, and while she didn't appreciate her tone, she appreciated her coming to help.

Kimberly was the one that caught the keys, and in her panic she almost fumbled them out of her hands, but she managed to catch them. Okay. There was a car outside, but what about the girl? She was just to stay here and help him? There wasn't much for Kimberly to do, other than grab the keys and make a break for the car. She knew how to drive stick (her own car was a stick), and was going to drive her group the hell out of here. She opened the door for Paige and Jordan and opened the door for herself.

Scott grinned in anticipation of killing Penny, the massive, messy, blade of his was raised overhead as he lunged at her with a seemingly supernatural speed. He brought it down with the intent that it would kill her in one blow... Scott never cared for Penny anyway, he didn't despise her as much as he hated Claire, but killing her would make the world a better place.

... More are on the way. You cannot win this fight.
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Cafe Sucre.


Penny’s mind was a tornado of foul language and vivid descriptions of the awful things she would do to Reese’s mother as she noticed the monster swat away her projectile like it had been a paper ball and she had been the school bully trying to interrupt his class presentation. However, only a softly uttered “Shit” escaped from her lips before she unleashed the barrage of loose change, praying that perhaps she’d strike it lucky and lodge a few coins into those dead eyes of his. If her aim hit true, then it did nothing to stop his mad bull rush towards her at an impossible speed for a man so large. If she had been anyone else then perhaps she would not have seen it coming, and Penny would just be another tally mark on the growing list of Reese’s victims.

Fortunately, Penny had seen it coming, or rather, her Aura had sensed his movements. He was moving unnaturally fast, but she still had enough time to twist her body in such a way that his wicked blade would only cleave through the air. As she turned, Penny craned her neck to keep vision on Scott, the sigil on her chest burning with light as she tried to repulse two things. First, she reached out to blow his blade away. If she was lucky, perhaps she’d be able to blast it from his grip and send it across the kitchen. If she was really lucky, maybe the weapon would blow back into Reese himself, bringing about a wonderful karmic death as it split his skull in two.

And, since she doubted that luck was ever on her side, she also tried to repulse Reese’s entire body away. However, before she even witnessed him react she knew that her desired results of throwing the monster away from her likely wasn’t going to be successful. Normally, when she used her Abstraction, she felt no resistance, no push back. This time, however, it was as if she had put her entire body into the fruitless effort of trying to move a brick wall back even an inch. She felt fear flash through her body as her momentum from her dodge threw her into a tumble. With little grace she rolled on the dirty floor of the Sucre kitchen, grabbing whatever she could from her pockets and the lower shelves and blasting them towards Scott as she tried to get back up to her feet.

She told herself she wasn’t going to die yet. She couldn’t possibly die yet. There was still so much had to do, and it was only recently that she had been given the tools necessary to pull it off. She gritted her teeth, hard. She could feel the blood begin to flow from her nose. It hardly registered with her that she was screaming at Scott as she continued to struggle. It wouldn’t be fair. It wouldn’t be right. If she realized what she was thinking, Penny would’ve broken up into laughter: as if the right thing ever happened in Farmer Hill.
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Grand Ridge Academy - Outside the Conference Room


Once Lynette confirmed that super powers really were at play, Grant couldn't help but feel a little self-satisfied. His suspicions of this town were becoming more and more grounded, and at this point he felt without a doubt that he could find the answers to his past here. And come to think of it, he did have a mark, as his informant had asked.

"I think I know what you're talking about. I have a mark on my back, but for whatever reason no one has ever been able to see it except me. It's kind of a long story, actually-"

He didn't get to continue, however, as a girl stormed out of the Conference Room right about then. It took a second or so for Grant to recognize her as the third friend of Lynette and Aliana's trio, Penny. He honestly didn't talk with her much, seeing as she could go on for quite some time during conversations (read: arguments) while he couldn't even let out a peep, so all he knew was that she was a friend of a friend who could be blunt but at least honest. He could appreciate that. But he didn't know what was currently going on with her, and due to his power activating at that moment Lynette couldn't even ask her what her deal was.

Though the next person to come out of the Conference Room truly surprised him. His eyes widened as Martin exited the room, who appeared to be just as shocked to see Grant there. The two of them stood there for a moment, unsure of how to react, but then Martin simply whipped out his phone and began to type. The sound...barrier, was it? Whatever it was, it had slowly disappeared by now, so Martin could speak now without issue, but then again Grant knew their entire relationship was based on silent messages so even now it wasn't out of place for them to communicate that way. As his friend finished up his message, Lynette signed that she would return soon and left for the Conference Room, to which Grant nodded in acknowledgment as he flashed her a quick "ok" sign. His phone vibrated in his pocket quickly after so he took it out to read what Martin had said.

To: Grant
I want to say "Hey, man" like I'm not freaking out but I am. Something is going down, I'm very worried and I was going to help. I think your sister may be in trouble.


Grant froze once he finished reading. Fear was clear in his eyes as he glanced up at Martin as if to reaffirm what he just told him. Normally he would be a bit more doubtful if he'd been told his sister was in danger, especially since they'd just talked with each other maybe half an hour or so ago. But knowing that something as dangerous as super powers were apparently being handed out like candy around town, and the fact that it was Martin telling him this, it made him absolutely terrified that it was most likely true. Damn it, this was what he'd been worried about! Was this his fault? Because he'd come to this town? Because he'd been sticking his nose in places and snooping around where he didn't belong?

This was one of the very few moments in his life where he wanted nothing more than to be able to talk. He wanted to scream and demand to know what was happening and where Jasmine was. But he couldn't, he instinctively attempted to mouth something but of course nothing came out. His eyes flitted in a panic between trying to read Martin's face out of some desperate hope that he was lying while also glancing over at the door Lynette had entered. He didn't have time to go in and try to gain any more information or tell Lynette what he'd just been told. So he made an internal decision, after which he hastily replied back to Martin. His texts were usually worded better but he was in full panic mode right now.

To: Martin
Take me to her. Explain as we go




@Surtr Inc @Ciaran @Atrophy
Farmer Hill - Downtown, Sucre Café


Jasmine felt like she was having an out of body experience when the pot she'd thrown suddenly let out a loud bang as it launched at Reese with a force and speed she was sure she was not capable of. It didn't seem to matter since the monster swatted it away anyway, but the fact that it had happened at all was still incredible. She frowned in confusion at what had just happened, but it didn't end there as Penny suddenly showing up from literally out of nowhere just made things feel even more surreal. Jasmine had no idea what was going on anymore, or why Penny had shown up in the first place, but it turned out the girl was actually trying to challenge Reese to a fight while giving the rest of them an opportunity to get away.

"Penny!? What- How did you-!" Jasmine was stumbling over her words at this point, not only due to the shock of seeing Penny show up and then try to fight Reese, but also because she was shooting coins from her hands like a god damn shotgun. The entire situation was changing so quickly from horror to surreality to outright outlandish and she was barely able to keep up. The only thing she was without a doubt sure of at this point was the fact that Penny was trying to take on Reese alone and was telling the rest of them to run. With Kim catching a set of car keys, it seemed they'd have an easy way of escaping. And while she had no qualms with any of them running away from Reese, Jasmine had no idea how she was supposed to accept Penny staying behind to get herself killed. Even if she miraculously had magical super powers now (Seriously, what the hell?), there was no way she was going to be able to handle the gigantic brute on her own. He'd already swatted away a pot going at nearly-super sonic speed with ease, and there was no telling how much punishment his body could take either.

But...what could Jasmine even do? She knew how to fight, but this was on an entirely different level than she'd ever practiced before. But damn it, she couldn't just leave Penny to die! They weren't even friends, but that didn't matter; she let the other three girls go on without her, having resolved to stay behind and help...if she even could. Fuck! What could she do? What could she do?

She didn't have time to think on a plan of action any longer, as Reese wasted no time in going after Penny, going for a familiar over-headed swing that he'd tried just minutes ago on Jasmine. Time didn't slow down for her like everyone made it out to be in these kinds of situations in movies or novels. No, instead her mind went into overdrive and tried to process a million things at once. Penny was trying to dodge the attack, but with Reese's insane agility he would still likely eviscerate her. Jasmine felt a million different options and outcomes flash through her mind as she saw it go down, but nothing seemed to suggest the girl would live. If she could just stop him, even just for a second, prevent him bringing down that blade on her with the force only a hulking monstrosity could possess-

Jasmine wasn't sure what exactly happened next, or how she knew to make it happen. But she knew it did happen, and that she was the one who did it.

One of the arrows of her newly-formed yet still unseen mark began to glow, and in that moment she felt she something extraordinary within her. She reached out towards Reese, her expression a mix of horror and stubborn determination, as she begged this feeling within her to do something, anything! To stop Scott Reese!

And so, just as Penny attempted to dodge the swing, the power within Jasmine grabbed hold of Reese and commanded him to stop. Not to freeze, but to cease his momentum entirely. And as this happened, Penny was free to attempt to recover from her tumble and blast whatever she had within reach at the monster.
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Grand Ridge - Conference Room - ???
@Atrophy



When Penny peeled, Justin was reminded of what the vision showed. He remained quiet during the whole thing in awe... but, perhaps he should listen to the weird God-Child Spirit thing (Justin felt that "God-Child" would be a sufficient name for their otherworldly friend). He was no hero - he knew that it was selfish to assume so, but he felt like he had no stakes in this town, if anything, he has less stake - but he felt some need to stop what happened to that person from happening to anyone else. Penny left before they could do any formal planning of movement. Just fuckin' out the door. So, Justin was going to try to coordinate something....

"Claire!" Justin turned to his brown-haired friend, and added on, "I'm going to the Sucre."

The girl pouted in irritation... the last thing that she wanted to do was prove that bitch Penny right, but if ending Scott's rampage could end the worse of it (which was what Claire inferred from the dream or whatever). So, putting Scott's little toothpick where the sun won't shine was on Claire's agenda. "I'm goin' with you - as you can see, Penny will probably need somebody without a head stuck up their ass to help her."

"Sucre, that's the uh - the place, right?" Nate cut in, his thoughts still flickering between what he'd seen, what he'd said and what their childlike visitor had said. "Where the God-Kid was showing?"

"The cafe," Justin answered, "It's not that far away, we can probably run there."

"Run there?" Nate's tone of voice suggested that he was a little daunted by the prospect, not much surprise for a guy of his frame - walking? That was easy enough, he could walk for miles and keep on going, but running? And into that meatgrinder? What chance did he have - this was stupid - what was he thinking? There were people about to get cut to pieces here and he was wasting his time thinking on the stupid things, knowing full-well that the vision or whatever it was that showed Quent and Viv in that sea of corpses and shadowy silhouettes wasn't just a bullshit shroom hallucination. Everything that had happened, the massacre, the dream, the powers- no, abstractions - it was all real. "To this guy?"

"I mean, um," Justin nervously ran a hand through his hair, "Hypothetically."

Britney was still reeling over the vision, trying to make sense of just what had communicated with them. The sight of all that realistic gore and violence wasn't going to escape her mind. When Rita spoke to her - unintentionally using her abstraction on her - Britney replied with the first thing that came to mind. Even if it was... a bit rude for the otherwise cordial girl.

"... It means that perhaps that being is trying to tell us to go there. Obviously."

After the effects of Rita's abraction wore off, and Britney shook her head and replied with, "Sorry about that...."

"So we just go there, to stop this guy? How?" The God-Kid seemed to have all their answers - he'd (assuming iteven was a he) known all their powers, what was going on, talking like some kind of mystic out of any number of clichés thrown at him by nearly two decades' worth of pop culture. "There's gotta be a way, y'know? We can't just-"

Only then did it click. Quent! Nate's fears that his uncle would get pulled into this, chewed up and spat out by the walking roid-rage that Reese had shifted into bubbled to the surface of his thoughts, but what if - what if they were there, too? As a Deputy of the local Sheriff's Department, he'd have a gun, or guns more like - and even though Reese had gone apeshit, maybe there was something that would fuck with the guy's head if he had to go up against a cop, the same people who worked under his old man. On one hand, he didn't want to involve Quent - not least so he could keep his own ass covered and keep people out of this clusterfuck, but on the other he didn't want more people to die if there was something they could do, like this God-Kid had shown them. After a moment's pause, Nate hastily fished his phone out of itsp ocket, swiping through his contacts from A to Q, where he found the right name - Quent.

Was he really gonna do this?

"Huh?" Claire asked as she peered over to Nate, "What plan are you cookin' up?"

"I uh, shouldn't we try and call the cops?" Self-doubt wasn't something he could easily hide in this instance. The whole situation made him feel turned up on his own head.

"Hmph," Was the sound that Justin made... he didn't have too high of an opinion of the Sheriff department due to them failing him when he needed them the most. "Are you sure those donut-eaters are gonna even get off their asses?" Justin asked with a raised eyebrow as he crossed his arms. "We're better off just doing things ourselves.They'd get in the way - if they showed up at all." He stared down Nate.

"They're not all like that, right?" Nate shrugged, "Gotta be at least one of them who's not an asshole, I mean." And he knew which one, even if these guys didn't.

"Yeah, but we want to risk getting the ones that are assholes on us?"

"... Let's also keep in mind that the good old Sheriff's son is the one doin' the damage." Claire crossed her arms as she took Justin's side. She never thought of him of that much of a rebel. He may have had some... bad experiences in the past with the cops. Claire herself didn't have a good opinion of them either, but she wasn't the one who was shooting it down the second fatboy opened his mouth. Almost made her grin, but she needed to get over there fast as possible. "If there's anyone we should keep outta' this, it's them."

"Fine." Witnessing Claire's recent outburst hadn't helped him in coming to a decision, but on top of that and the point they'd just made, Nate didn't really want to drag the only real family he had in town into this mess. "So.. what do we do?"

"I'm gonna go there and punch Scott's lights out," Claire just frankly said with a shrug, "I don't know what you two are gonna do." She peered over to Nate for a moment... he'd make a great decoy, heh, she thought to herself.

"We go and help, that's what," Justin answered, nearly annoyed. Too much time is wasted on wondering what can and cannot be done instead of doing it. Especially when Scott's on a rampage and people are in danger. "If we're going to do anything, we need to do it now." Justin said as he moved over to the door.

Britney had much faith in Claire and Justin... given that they came out of the last confrontation with Reese scotsfree, she was certain that they'd be able to take him again. Especially with a month of learning how to use their abstractions. Britney wanted to help, but there was much that needed to be done back here... well, she also wanted to be ready in case that Reese was just a distraction. "I'm going to stay here and organize our next move... stay safe."

"Right," Nate shrugged, pressing a palm into his knee as he shifted over towards the doorn "Because you'll be safe here for sure, right?" Shifting his attention between Claire and Justin, he waved them over, "C'mon then, you know where you're going."

"She'll be safer here than we will be - but let's get a move on already. Bbefore it's too late," Claire sardonically said with crossed arms, as she quickly turned to the door. "I got a truck in the back - it'll just be a lil... cramp." She looked at Nate for a moment before she went out the door and passed two weird kids - Justin was right behind her. They quickly made it to the parking lot, and got into Claire's grandfather's pick up truck - like Claire said, it was crampt, but she made it work. Once everyone was strapped in, Claire hit reverse and was out of there, speeding towards the Sucre as fast as she could.



@Mike73@Atrophy
Cafe Sucre


The barrage of change hit Scott fairly hard - what would probably shoot through a regular person only left some nasty bruises in his body. He grunted as that hardly did anything to stop him. She tried to dodge, but Scott was still right on top of her. He could crush her with an easy movement... but, he felt his entire body come to a complete stop. He looked confused for a moment, as he just stopped dead in his tracks. He saw Penny dodge, and fire another object at him that he was powerless to stop. However, once it hit him, he felt his ability to move return. He loudly growled in rage, as he realized it may have been the work of his original target. Killing her would render it easy to eliminate the others...

... However, his master told him that it was finally time to leave. There were more Awakened on the way, ones with abstractions capable of giving him trouble, and right now, his master wanted him killing the strays.

He dropped his weight, as he bent his knees, before he leaped high up into the sky, landing on an opposing building. Far out of reach of both Penny and Jasmine. He quickly broke off into a sprint as he fled fast as he could.






Cafe Sucre
@Atrophy@Mike73



There wasn't much that Kimberly could do other than leave Penny behind. If she wanted to fight Reese, then she could go ahead. She put the keys in the ignition, and right when she was about to peel off, a red truck came up and cut off the car. "Damn it." She hissed to herself - but then she recognized the two getting out as those she saw at camp... They were still in the freaking way.

"What are they doing?!" Jordan frantically asked... before she saw a shape moving upwards in the rearview mirror. She looked up, and saw fuckin' Scott Reese jumping on the roof like he was superman. Jordan raised an eyebrow as she said, "The hell!?"

Claire and Justin ran out the truck, ready for this fight... only for Scott to retreat the second they get there. Claire balled her fist up as she said, "... Run! Run away you coward!" Claire shouted at him as the red aura surrounded her.

Going back to the subject of choosing battles... it seems Scott (ironically) had the trait that both Claire and Penny lacked: He knew when to pick his battles. There was no way for them to chase him feasible (unless by vehicle). Justin shook his head. "Is everyone okay?" Justin asked. As grim as it sounded, Scott won. He killed two people, and got away without a single scratch on him.

Kimberly and Jordan got out the vehicle, and Jordan immediately knelt over and grabbed her leg in pain. "I'm doin' fine, for the most part." Jordan said.

"Not a scratch on us."

"Yeah, all I need to hear," Claire turned towards Penny, and gave her a look of disgust, not even saying a word to her.

However, Justin was the one that tended to Penny, "Are you okay?" He said, noticing her bruises, "Sorry we couldn't get here faster..."
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Cafe Sucre.



Her Abstraction wasn’t strong enough. She should’ve practiced more; she should’ve pushed through the headaches and nosebleeds. If she had learned how to control her aim and if she had learned her limits then perhaps she would’ve gone about this all a smarter way. Penny realized, as she tried scrambling back up to her feet, that her approach had been a little more than haphazardous—it had been goddamn suicidal. Her life didn’t flash before her eyes as the monster towered over her. The only thing she saw was Henry, her younger brother, her (likely dead) missing brother, her biggest failure. Tears burned in her eyes. No, she couldn’t give up on him yet. Reese was just another bump in the road...an eight-foot tall, roid-raging, nigh indestructible and likely unstoppable bump in the road.

And then he stopped, proving Penny wrong yet again. Out of her peripheries she could see one of the girls—Jasmine—that she had told to leave with her hand outstretched towards Reese. Penny wasted little time considering any other actions. She almost instantaneously jumped up to her feet, grabbed a fork from the countertop, and blasted it at Reese. It proved to be a mistake as he had began to move again, but it was one that didn’t come back to bite her in the ass. Within seconds Reese had fled, bolting from the Cafe and jumping to a distant rooftop. Penny dropped her pursuit once she had reached the street. There was no way she was catching up with him. Which, all things considered, was a good thing, because there was no way she would’ve been able to take him.

The world around her stilled. Penny walked to the street and half-sat, half-collapsed onto the curb. The other girls hadn’t even left yet, hell, the whole fight had lasted less than a minute, probably only even a handful of seconds, so they didn’t even have a chance. If Reese hadn’t have been spooked he likely could have bashed Penny’s brains in and still have time to make mincemeat out of the other four girls. She ran a hand through her hair and wiped the blood from her nose onto her wrist. Her head felt like a thousand hangovers had gotten together and decided to crash the pity party in her brain. She could feel the aches on her body; tomorrow she would be covered in the reds and blues of bruises.

Justin had arrived with Nate and...fuck, he had brought Claire with him. Penny remembered what the God-Child had said about everyone needing to work together, link hands, and yadda-yadda-yadda, and after fighting Reese she knew it wasn’t incorrect. She also remembered what she had said about Claire and felt a tinge of guilt, perhaps even sorry that she had been such an asshole and had let her mouth runaway like that. She hadn’t even really been mad at Claire, at least not at the start. Her beef had been with Britney for some pettiness from over a year ago. The thing was—Penny caught Claire’s look of disgust. The thing was, Penny would never be able to get along with Claire O’Sullivan. She returned the look, hopefully that looking like such a hot mess would only make it more withering.

“Are you okay? Sorry we couldn’t get here faster…”

“I couldn’t stop him,” she said, her voice strained with defeat, her lips tensing in anger. “Fuck, fuck!” She hit the ground twice with her palm to punctuate her curses, and then buried her head in her hands. She emitted a groan of frustration and then rustled her hair again, grabbing a cigarette and dragging it down as quickly as possible. She had felt herself about to boil over again. The cigarette helped keep the lid from flying off the pot. She light another cigarette with the glowing butt of her last one and then flicked the butt, repulsing it to who-knows-where.

“Like, I don’t know if I’m relieved that people even showed up or if I’m pissed that it was only so few,” she said before taking a deep breath and standing up, refusing any help that Justin likely would’ve offered. He was a good guy, really. She shouldn’t try to push him away like she did with everyone else. “To answer your question, I’m not too hurt. Most of this battering was my doing, anyway. I’m ready to go after him whenever you are or mastermind some great plan, but just…” She noticed Jasmine. “Just give me a second, okay?”

She walked over to Jasmine and gave her a sheepish look. They had mutual friends in Lynette and Aliana, but the two of them had never really talked outside of a few stilted conversations when one of the other girls had vanished and left them alone at a table somewhere. Yet, it was Jasmine who had stopped Reese, and Jasmine who had given Penny the second she needed to get up. Penny owed her and, well, Jasmine was likely very confused. For all the shit Penny had talked about the support group, it had cleared a few things up.

“Hey,” said Penny. “I just needed to thank you. I know we aren’t really close or anything, but...I think you know me well enough to know how difficult it was for me to say that.” She gave a little awkward half-smile. Expressing actual gratitude was difficult; she rather face down Reese anyday. “I know you might be freaking out right now and, like, you totally should be, I get it, but you should come with us. We sure as shit don’t know what the fuck we’re actually doing, but we can catch you up to speed on what we do know. Which...isn’t much, actually, but it’s better than nothing.”

With that she turned to join back up with Justin and the others.
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Majoras End Some Murderous Rabbit

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Market Square


Time wasn't exactly on Maddie's side, either due to not having a watch on her constantly, or her not scheduling her plans properly. Madeline had taken time off of studying to go hunting with her brother, once per week as usual. Yet when she realized that she was late for the meeting, Maddie had to leave early.

"Look, sorry I had to leave sooner than needed, but I'm late for a meeting!" She told her brother over the phone as she quickly walked down the street. "Bro, you know I'm shitty when it comes to managing time! Okay- Okay, I'll swing by the cafe real quick and-"

Madeline stopped in her tracks when she saw Scott jumping across the rooftops. "....What. The fuck." She stood there in silence for a moment, before lifting her phone back to her ear.

"I'll call you back."

She hung up, and broke off into a sprint to where she suspected the beast had jumped away from.

Cafe Sucre


Maddie skid to a stop once she saw the group. She recognized some of them from the camp, but the only person she really recognized was Claire.

"Uh, I'd ask 'what did I miss?', buuuut that might come off as rude." She said, walking up besides Claire.
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