Recent Statuses

2 mos ago
Current Time to say goodbye to RPG for good. Thanks for 10+ years of fun. Best Wishes, Bak
5 mos ago
[insert edgy song lyrics here]
7 mos ago
i thought opening a door for a lady was the polite thing to do, but she just screamed and flew out of the plane
11 mos ago
'ohemgee im so surry guise that i havnt posted in 4ever pls 4give me QQ'
11 mos ago
Trying to cut down on my cursing. It isn't fucking going well.


“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

― Neil Gaiman


@Dervish@Captain Jenno@Chanda@NightFlight@January @banjoanjo@RedDusk@Diggerton

.::Baklava's Character Codex::.

Most Recent Posts

𝕊𝕦𝕟: 𝕊𝕖𝕡𝕥. 𝟚𝟘, 𝟚𝟘𝟚𝟘 / / 𝕎𝕒𝕤𝕙𝕚𝕟𝕘𝕥𝕠𝕟, 𝔻.ℂ. / / ℂ𝕚𝕥𝕪 + 𝕆𝕦𝕥𝕤𝕜𝕚𝕣𝕥𝕤 / / ~𝟙𝟚𝟛𝟘

Collab with @January

Callan felt guilty for ignoring Brent's advice. Part of her felt obligated to listen to him, but she knew her limits. That light in the sky was out of the question. Recalling the boy's barrage of inquiries addressing every minute detail of Callan's ability, a thought flickered through her mind. Also out of the question.

The streets had filled quickly with frenzied citizens before Callan jumped down from the toppled penthouse. A wide girth was provided as the superhuman girl landed effortlessly on her feet. Screaming escalated at the sight of an obvious subnatural. She tried not to focus on how much that hurt. A pang of unparalleled heartbreak pierced her chest as she cast her eyes around what remained of the street and nearby buildings.

Already Callan could see that the death and bloodshed hadn't been restricted to the soldiers of the penthouse alone. It was a miracle none of her teammates had been killed. One she was severely grateful for as she forced herself to move forward, passing weeping mothers and injured children and feeling the weight of their desperate gazes on her back. She wanted to help them. This wasn't like Wisford. These people could still make it. She could grab them and run... they were right there....

No. Now wasn't the time to let emotions take over. Heroes needed a level head. Now if she could just figure out a way to take it down without getting any more people killed....

In order to get a better look at the ice giant's location as well as to escape the crippling guilt, Callan leapt onto a nearby building that was several levels high. She watched the events unfold as Hazel's attack connected, leaving the girl badly injured. The blast, the crushing gravity field, and Kadabra... she followed everything with her eyes as she trailed after the rampaging ice giant from the rooftops, tying her hair up as she moved. This wasn't like Wisford and she was going to make damn sure it stayed that way.

" could have done better."

Steeling herself with a deep breath, Callan was quick to realize her attempt to catch up with the ice monster was leaving much to be desired. At this rate, there wasn't going to be a city left to save. Her eyes flashed towards the open area Kadabra had corralled the ice giant into and, just as the rumbling sound of a large chunk of building nearby drew her attention, an idea sparked. Drawing her hammer as she ran, Callan jumped, barely managing to land on the forward-facing section of the quickly rising building while managing the weight of her weapon.

The Precursor would have missed the girl's presence entirely were it not for the flash of ludicrously colored hair that tapped at the corner of his vision along with the flicker of movement that he didn't command. The section of building Callan had jumped onto stopped moving and hovered in place while Kadabra turned back to the ice giant. Another building swung itself at the monster in a large sweep, catching it by the legs while its arms remained occupied grappling with a large steel mesh that had been the frame of an ongoing construction project. The impact dropped the giant to one knee, but didn't topple it. Kadabra took the opportunity to bury it in rubble again, attempting to hold down the dome of building material like a makeshift prison.

Now he had time for distractions.

"WHAT. ARE YOU DOING?!" he shouted towards the superhuman girl, lifting her platform closer to his location high in the sky.

Callan blinked as the building piece came to a stop almost as soon as she landed. Expecting forward instead of upward momentum, she wobbled for a moment, adjusting her stance as Kadabra yelled and lifted her away. She quailed a bit in the face of one of her childhood heroes, but the weight in her hands as she tightened her grip around the ethereal steel was a reminder. She wasn't just some kid watching from her television set at home anymore. She intended to help.

"SEND ME TOWARDS THE GIANT!" she yelled back, surprised and somewhat embarrassed by the amount of confidence in her tone as she commanded the Precursor.

Kadabra hesitated for only a second. Some choices had to be made on the spot.

"Then hold on!" he answered, giving Callan only a few seconds of warning. She nodded in reply.

The giant finally tore through the net of steel beams during the brief discussion, but Callan's ride was already speeding through the air towards its head. A good football field's distance away, Callan lowered herself into a crouch and launched towards the ice giant's chest, straining to aim and swing her heavy hammer while falling. The chunk of building continued on its way, crashing into the creature's exposed face and sending it careening backwards. Leaving little room to recover, Callan's hammer connected with the giant's chest with a resounding crack. It reeled back further but remained upright.

The frigid air surrounding the giant's frozen body rushed past her as gravity pulled her down. Callan mentally cursed. She wouldn't be able to knock it down as long as it was in that position. The weapon in her hand unraveled into dark wisps as she reforged the hammer into a large sword. She exhaled sharply as the earth rushed to meet her. Shifting her weapon to the side, she rolled upon impact, breaking into a run towards massive ankle supporting the giant's weight. Already this was beginning to remind her of her role in Wisford, but she pushed the thoughts aside. This time would be different. Sander wasn't here, but it didn't matter. She could handle this. She could do better.

Jumping to clear the height of the foot, Callan threw the weight of her sword across her body, hanging on tightly as, led by the momentum, she spun once before the blade made contact. The attack blew out a massive chunk of the creature's ankle, sending fracture lines shooting upwards along the length of its leg. The power attempted to compensate by sprouting a wave of spiked ice all around the area of damage, but the attack had done its work. The giant now kneeled fully, unable to push itself back up on just one leg while Kadabra's buildings forced its hands to remain busy.

Grunting with exertion, Callan instinctively rose her arm to try and brace herself against the icy spikes. They shoved her away roughly, but she landed on her feet, feeling some of the rubber leave the soles of her shoes as she skidded backwards through a concrete path. Her forearm throbbed, but she could tell nothing was broken. Pushing a sweat drenched strand of aquamarine out of her eyes, she admired her handiwork for only a moment before bolting towards the massive kneecap belonging to the uninjured leg. That last attack had worked well, but she wanted to avoid being pummeled by anymore spikes.

Callan jumped earlier this time, swinging the heavy sword across her body just as she'd done before. As she swung the blade towards her target, however, seeming as though she'd come up a bit short, she extended the weapon's length-- similar to the way she'd done so with the rod on the La Plata hospital roof.

" could have done better."

The words resonated in the back of her mind again.

The blade shattered through what passed for the giant's kneecap and then further into its leg, causing the limb that held it upright to collapse under the sudden brutality of the precision strike. The broken regeneration sprouted more icicles at random, but not quickly enough and not in the right places to defy the pull of gravity.

The earth shook as the giant fell forward, Kadabra's sustained assault further helping Callan push it down though the teetering of the massive torso nearly fell upon her as well. Instead, a wave of dirt and rubble shoved her back several meters away. The force caused her to release the sword. It burst into black wisps just before she tumbled away. Rolling from her back into a runners pose almost as soon as she had hit the ground, Callan grit her teeth and burst forward, leaving a small crater in her wake.

If Hazel's attack had been any indication, it wouldn't be long before the giant managed to regenerate enough to stand. Choosing to leave herself unhindered by Misery's weapon form, she knew she her window was small.

𝕊𝕖𝕡𝕥. 𝟚𝟘, 𝟚𝟘𝟚𝟘 / / 𝕎𝕒𝕤𝕙𝕚𝕟𝕘𝕥𝕠𝕟, 𝔻.ℂ. / / ℍ𝕪𝕒𝕥𝕥 ℝ𝕖𝕘𝕖𝕟𝕔𝕪 ℍ𝕠𝕥𝕖𝕝 / / ~𝟙𝟚𝟘𝟘

After a morning that was much groggier than usual-- the result of late night drinking, chatter, and a shared couch for a bed-- Callan had eventually managed to stumble back into her typical morning routine. A light headache, which she's almost giddily acknowledged as her first hangover, had since faded as she stood out in the hallway alone. Pacing nervously with her phone in hand, she finally mustered the courage to make the call.

After a few short rings, the line was picked up. She felt her breath catch in her throat for a moment.

"Callan?" came the familiar voice.

"Uh... hey, Dom."

It wasn't her parents. But baby steps were better than no steps at all.

"Oh, so NOW you want to talk?" She could hear that obnoxious whine in her younger brother's voice as he spoke. The one he used when he was feeling slighted, but trying to act far more upset than he was. Though she felt bad for ignoring him for so long, Callan couldn't help but smile.

"Sorry, bro. Magic school is hard work. I've been busy."

"Yeah, like I'm gonna believe that," he huffed. He was silent for a moment before adding, "I'm glad you called me, though. For a while there I though you might actually be dead."

She sighed. "I really am sorry. I was super pissed about mom and dad. Didn't really want to talk about it."

"It's fine. I don't wanna talk about them either. They're being fuckin' assholes."

Callan didn't find that funny, but she laughed. "Ohh, better not let mom hear you," she teased.

"Yeah, right. They're both at work. Pretty sure they'd disconnect my phone if they overheard me talking to you. They already chewed me out for accepting your friend request on facebook. Spewing some bullshit about how-- er... anyway they're not here. We can talk."

Weird. The older they got, the less she and Dom seemed to get along. Mean spirited teasing and insatiable desire to get on each other's nerves was what home was to her. Hearing Don try to be so considerate was... strange. In an endearing sort of way. But also slightly unsettling.

"Heh. I don't really know what to say," she said honestly. Another part of the reason why she hadn't answered him back. Maybe it was the grumpy teenage part of her, but all she wanted to say was that she was fine and not to worry. But of course, that couldn't be enough.

"Well... have you seen the news? All those subnaturals fighting over at that town that got attacked? And apparently, a bunch of 'em are staying at some super fancy hotel in Washington? There was some guy on the news with scars all over his face with time powers and some other girl that can summon these weird shadow things and this crazy red haired chick that can--"

"Alright, alright-- yeah, I saw the news, Dom."

A pause. "And??"

She knew what he was really asking. She tried to think logically before she answered. Telling Dom that she was involved might make him worry, but... it wasn't like he'd tell anyone. There'd been that picture at the buffet, but whoever snapped it couldn't haven't gotten a good shot of her face from that angle, right? And... maybe it'd be nice to have any least one person back home who knew what was going on. At least one person to worry about her. She smiled sheepishly, leaning up against the wall. "Super fancy isn't even the half of it."

She could practically hear his eyes bugging out of his head before Dom plunged into a stream of questions-- barely pausing for breath. His overactive side got the better of him sometimes. Usually when this happened, Callan used to tell him to shut up or throw a cushion at his head, but instead, she just listened. It was a welcome little slice of home-- not particularly pleasant to listen to, but beggars couldn't be choosers. In any case, it was kind of fun to entertain his eagerness to know more.

She managed to confirm a few of his questions concerning what her classmates had said before sirens suddenly drowned out everything else. She caught sight of the soldiers pouring into the hallway-- barging into rooms while one beelined towards her.

"Dom," she said, barely audible over fists on doors, blaring sirens, and her brother's excitedly oblivious blabbering, "Dom! I gotta go!"

"What? Now? But--"

She ended the phone call and shoved it into her pocket before being rushed out into the room where General Brahm was gathering the others. She listened attentively before wide amethyst eyes were drawn towards the icy giant outside.

Callan bumped into Siena first as the metal groaned and everything started to tilt sideways. One hand found the edge of a countertop while the other latched onto Siena's hand. "Hang on!" she screamed, trying to sound as confident as she could with the fear of falling heavy on her mind. Her heart was pounding in her chest. Everyone and everything were sliding towards the back wall. Glass splashed across the scene below her as she desperately watched on, unable to do anything but hang on and pray. A heavy couch raced by, slamming into a pair of soldiers with a grotesque crunch as they abandoned their weapons in an effort to find purchase on the polished marble floor.

The building lurched once as the structure beneath the penthouse continued to collapse on one side. The movement frightened her and she tightened her grip on the counter top. Too much. The surface immediately crumbled in her hand. Callan cried out as gravity pulled her down. Squeezing her eyes shut, she pulled Siena towards her. The fall was shorter and softer than expected, but she still couldn't bring herself to move until everything was finally still again. Letting go of Siena, she quickly noticed what-- or rather who-- had broken her fall and immediately scrambled to get off of Kusari, and Grant, doing her best to help Siena to her feet in the process.

TBC in the Bleeding collab...
Marcus gained a friendship point! +

Ernie gained a friendship point! +
Ernie gained a friendship point! +
Ernie gained a friendship point! +
Ernie gained a friendship point! +

Sander gained a friendship point! +
Sander gained a friendship point! +

Emma gained a friendship point! +
Emma gained a friendship point! +
Emma gained a friendship point! +
Emma gained a friendship point! +
Emma gained a friendship point! +
Emma gained a friendship point! +

Angel gained a friendship point! +
Angel lost a friendship point... -

Brent gained a friendship point! +
Brent lost a friendship point... -
Brent lost a friendship point... -
Brent lost a friendship point... -

Kusari gained a friendship point! +

Zoe lost a friendship point... -
Zoe lost a friendship point... -
Zoe lost a friendship point... -

Opinion Sheet will be updated later.

𝕄: 𝕊𝕖𝕡𝕥. 𝟙𝟜, 𝟚𝟘𝟚𝟘 / / 𝕎𝕚𝕤𝕗𝕠𝕣𝕕, 𝕄𝕒𝕣𝕪𝕝𝕒𝕟𝕕 / / 𝕋𝕠𝕨𝕟 / / ~𝟚3𝟘𝟘

Rushing back into the cold, empty hospital room, Callan made a beeline for the bathroom. Thick tears rolled off her cheeks faster than she could wipe them away, spurred further by the creeping feeling that if she sank any lower, Misery would take advantage. She had to stop. Had to stop thinking about it.

Throwing open the shower curtain and stepping inside, Callan found the blue notch by the nozzle and spun it to full blast. The freezing cold water made her gasp and flinch, but she forced herself to stay. She tried to focus on the unpleasantness of the cold, running her hands over the goosebumps on her arms as they appeared. She had to move on. No more moping around. Letting things like that get to her… it wouldn’t help. She’d do better next time. She would. She had to.

Callan peeled the sopping wet clothes from her body—grimacing through chattering teeth and broken sobs as the old, congealed blood sent red streaks racing down the drain. She started scrubbing. The impromptu hand washing turned out to be more frustrating than she thought it would be. She had to be gentle to make sure she didn’t tear her only set of clothes into shreds, but they needed a good amount of force to get somewhat clean. The water ran red for a while. A grim reminder of how much blood she’d lost today.

It was disturbing….

Callan set her jaw and rang out the clothes, hanging them over the towel rack. Had to move on. Couldn’t afford to keep thinking about it. No more breakdowns. She hurriedly set to work on her hair, dumping the entirety of the small sample-sized shampoo/conditioner bottle into her palm.

Think. Think about something else. Anything else.

It took almost an hour of tireless blow drying, but Callan finally managed to get her clothes dry enough to wear. It felt good to finally slip into the warmed fabric, even if it didn’t feel as clean as it could be. Exhausted, she finally crawled into bed, curling up beneath the blanket as she kept her mind occupied with such memories until sleep finally whisked her away. If only it’d taken her somewhere more pleasant.

The broken city of Wisford surrounded her once again, vacant of all the corpses she’d seen. Harsh gusts of wind kicked up dirt and made everything seem partially lost in a haze, but she could still make out the form of a small person in the distance. She called out to them, asking if they needed help, but her voice seemed lost in the harsh breeze.

It didn’t take too many steps for her to realize who it was. Blonde hair. Honey gold eyes. And a sharp, deranged bend to her neck. Callan stared as if she was seeing it for the first time. Horror suddenly gave way to sheer terror as the broken body tried to sit up. Head rolling to the side at an impossible angle, Callan backed up rapidly as the girl looked up at her, lips moving soundlessly.

“I’m sorry,” Callan whispered pleadingly. Backing away, she felt herself bump into someone. Someone several inches taller. Spinning around, Callan recognized the auburn hair in an instant. The girl turned a piercing gaze towards her for a moment before glancing down at Callan’s hand. Callan followed her line of sight and gasped. Her fingertips were being blown away like sand. Panic overcame her as the flesh and bone kept crumbling away.

Stop,” she gasped again. “Stop…! STOP!

Zoe smiled and walked away, but Callan barely saw as she dropped to her knees and grabbed at her shortening stump of an arm, trying to keep everything in place. Keep it together. She couldn’t leave yet. She had to stay here. There were still people that needed her. She could help. She could!

Suddenly remembering that her arm had only been taken from the elbow down, she tried to find some solace in knowing it would stop. But then it didn’t. The hand trying to keep the pieces together began to rot away as well. Eating straight through her pants, a large portion of her leg was starting to fall away. She opened her mouth to scream before suddenly waking up to find herself drenched in cold sweat.

Callan sat up and ran her hands over her face-- massaging her eyes and trying again to forget.

She didn't fall asleep again that night.
Plenty of Wishes

Callan | Brent

𝕄: 𝕊𝕖𝕡𝕥. 𝟙𝟜, 𝟚𝟘𝟚𝟘 / / 𝕃𝕒 ℙ𝕝𝕒𝕥𝕒, 𝕄𝕒𝕣𝕪𝕝𝕒𝕟𝕕 / / 𝕋𝕠𝕨𝕟 / / ~𝟚𝟚𝟘𝟘
Collab with @Baklava @ERode

Sleep was a pipe dream at this point. Callan slid out of bed, setting her phone on the nightstand as she pulled the blanket off with her, gently tugging until the fabric had untucked itself from beneath the mattress. Dried blood and dirt didn't exactly keep her shoulders warm. She thought again, for the umpteenth time, of her hoodie and how quickly it had been vaporized by that monstrous machine. Pulling the blanket over her shoulders and the bottom portion of her hair, Callan took note of her room number and left, hoping to find a distraction from her thoughts. One that might last long enough for her come back and finally sleep.

Wandering out into the halls, she noticed the looks she got from several of the nurses as they edged by. She self-consciously held the blanket a tad closer to her face as she kept walking. There was no energy left to burn and yet she couldn't get to sleep.

Several minutes of mindless wandering later, Callan happened upon what she assumed might be the lobby. Or a lobby, considering it was on one of the higher floors. It was remarkably uncrowded and provided a stunning view of the stars through a high, glass ceiling. A few small trees-- were those real?-- stood upright amidst several park-style benches that offered a view of the small town outside of several more large windows. Relieved as well as awe-struck by the sight, Callan sighed and took a seat, tucking her feet up underneath her as she leaned on the armrest and stared out at the expanse of lights.

"You're a hard woman to find, Callan Webb."

A voice called out from the shadows of the atrium, a thin object poking out. A gun? No, a fruity kebab, held inbetween his clenched index and middle finger in the imitation of one. Leaning out of the way of a branch as he approached, Brent allowed a friendly smile to emerge as he offered it to the turquoise-haired supergirl.

Taking a seat beside her, he asked nonchalantly, "Had anything to eat yet?"

Callan bristled at the sudden, unfamiliar voice, swiveling her head towards the tall, athletic figure in the shadows. Oh. She sighed. Brent. Callan flashed a weary smile at his kebab-gun. She shifted into a more upright position as Brent moved to sit down next to her.

"Just some snacks, but that's alright," Callan chuckled weakly, "I'm sure you haven't been wandering around with a second kebab just for me. I can always bug the staff for a sandwich or something later."

"Actually," he replied, lifting up a bag that was still sorta full, "I've actually been wandering around with a hell lot more than that."

Like a peddler, he pulled out his wares once more, which composed largely of a couple of packaged tuna sandwiches and a box of definitely cold chicken before deciding that Callan didn't deserve to chew on that trash, and putting the cold chicken back in the bag.

"Eat up," the arbiter gestured, "I didn't brave the aisles of 7-11 in order to feed my fellow classmates only to get rejected at this stage, after all."

Callan sat up a little more as Brent displayed the contents of his bag. That was a lot of food. Was he going around delivering food to everybody? "Ok," she laughed incredulously, shaking her head as she accepted the kebab. "Definitely beats hospital food, so thanks. That's awfully generous of you." Maybe even too generous. She wasn't usually the suspicious type, but her interactions with Brent had so far left her wondering what the guy was all about. She turned the kebab over in her hand for a brief moment before modestly nibbling on a skewered strawberry.

"Am I your last stop then?" she asked between bites.

"Basically, yeah," Brent admitted, "Though I didn't get to make a visit to Hazel's place. Apparently, she's still unconscious or something."

"And don't worry about it. It's not like I worked for the money I just burnt through, right?" He scratched the back of his neck. "And it's not like there's anything more constructive to do here than be the delivery guy no one asked for."

Callan nodded somberly at the mention of Hazel’s name. Either she was unconscious or they weren’t letting people in. But that was only a guess. She’d barely caught a glimpse of the girl through the swarm of guards that surrounded her once they were all shuffled into the hospital.

Callan smiled, “I guess you’re right. Still— time spent when you could be doing literally anything else, though.” Another small bite. “Anyway— isn’t it kind of late? Aren’t you tired?

"Not like we're in USARILN, with all their gyms and their not-as-racist neighboring town and their lack of news reporters hunting for subs," he replied, glad that Callan was eating, if nothing else, "The motels don't even come with PCs, you know? And the TVs only show the news."

"So hey, in absence of all that I can't do, passing some time with my classmates is better than holing up in a room by myself, eh?"

He snorted at her comment about how late it was. "Mhmm, as if any teenager these days sleep before 12. Guess it differs from role to role, but I spent most of my time sitting on my ass. I'm more curious as to why you're up, considering all the work you put in."

Oh, that’s right. The news reporters. Callan had seen their vans lurking around outside. She was grateful she hadn’t had to deal with anything like that. Maybe if the fight had gone a bit better….

She shot him a weird look as he mentioned just sitting on his ass, but he seemed intent on finding out why she was still up. Callan laughed uncomfortably. All the work she put in? Yeah. All the brain dead work. He wasn’t wrong though.

Heh, I don’t usually turn in this early either. Ability seems to burn me out pretty quickly,” she shrugged, looking out the windows, “Can’t get to sleep for some reason.

Hoping to avoid being asked to elaborate on that, Callan quickly added, “Anyway, what do you mean you just sat on your ass? Seems like nobody would’ve had any idea what the hell was going on if you hadn’t been there.

"The price of being able to benchlift cars, I suppose," Brent said, turning his gaze skywards, towards the stars that were the same as the ones above USARILN East, above his home. "And you're right, but..."

He chose his next words carefully.

"...I can tell people what I see even while sitting on my ass."

And it wasn't like he did anything more than that. Nor was it like he didn't have the opportunity to do more.

"Looks like there's a clear sky tonight," he said, "You ever do much stargazing?"

Hm. At least you didn’t get anybody killed, Brent. The surprisingly dark thought faded as Brent shifted the subject towards the stars. Callan followed his line of sight.

I’ve tried. Can’t usually see them very clearly in a big city like Atlanta… you?

"Used to look for shooting stars all the time as a kid," he replied, "Stopped after I... don't remember when I stopped, actually."

He let his breathing slow, watching those transient, eternal lights from within the dim atrium.

"Recognize any constellations?"

"No way. Aren’t shooting stars supposed to be super rare?” Callan smiled tentatively. “As much as I ike stars, I know jack all about them."

"Mid July to early August," he replied, "Couldn't wait for it back as a kid, but the Perseids meteor shower is an annual event. Probably should have marked that date somewhere, cause I kept on forgetting about it until it was over."

A wistful gaze descended upon him, the day's activities finally taking its toll.

"Something to look forward to next year though. Got plenty of wishes stockpiled now."

Mid July to early August,” Callan repeated to herself. “Yeah— I’ll have to check it out…,” she grew quiet, feeling a little more optimistic. Lost in thought, she nearly forgot Brent was still there.

Wouldn’t have pegged you for an astrology nerd, Brent,” she teased.

"Please, Callan, were you too busy playing with your phone during classes to notice?" Brent grinned, "I don't just flex my biceps and chug protein shakes, you know? Gotta flex that gray matter too."

"And even meatheads like pretty things. Stars, flowers, clouds, lots of nice stuff in the world if you take the time to look around."

But he rarely did, even though he was aware of that. It couldn't improve him in any manner. Couldn't make a career out of it, couldn't make a degree out of it, couldn't make a life out of it.

His fists clenched, knuckles turning bone-white before that dislikeable emotion exhausted itself.

She laughed, “Probably was, to be honest. But hey, my grades are alright.” Callan slowly twirled the empty kebab stick between her fingers. Glancing at Brent, she noted the sudden fist clenching, figuring it was just a weird habit. He did look like he was thinking hard about something, though.

It’s kinda nice,” she spoke up, “Just focusing on the little things sometimes.” She was all too guilty of doing that a bit too much, but it seemed to help when the going got tough. “Er— well, I guess stars aren’t exactly small. But you get what I mean.

"Yeah, I do."

Only the box of stale, cold chicken remained, Callan finished with the sandwiches. He gave one last look at the stars up above, before turning to the superhuman.

"Hey, you up for a small adventure?"

She blinked back at him in surprise. "Uh." Amethyst eyes scanned the empty atrium, trying to guess at what Brent might have in mind, "N-now? What did you want to do?" Callan asked, curious as she was wary.

"Well, if you're not tired, was thinking of heading off to the rooftops," he said, "Do some exploring and get some fresh air."

"Can't see the moon from here, after all."

Callan recoiled a bit. The invitation was grossly reminiscent of one she’d heard before. She knew she shouldn’t be so quick to judge. Just because Brent gave off that ‘jock’ vibe didn’t mean he was inherently an asshole with a hidden agenda. Nonetheless, she hesitated.

Oh… uh. I don’t know, Brent,” she shrugged, trying to sound casual as she pulled her blanket a little tighter.

A flash of disappointment crossed his face, before being replaced by one of realization. Shit, did it sound like that? Aghhh...

"It's not like that," he said, an awkward half-smile forming, "though I did need you in particular. Was thinking of heading off to the roof and then having you throw me upwards as high as you could."

"With that blanket as a 'parachute'," Brent explained, "I was thinking of getting a nice view of everything. Still got too much energy to burn through, and..."

He wanted to cap off the night with something exciting.

"'s fine if you don't want to though. Seeing how superstrength mode just makes you more tired and all."

Callan's eyebrows shot up as Brent went on to explain, tossing all her preconceived notions out the window about as hard as he possibly could. Was he serious?

"That...," she furrowed her brow, thinking for a moment before shaking her head with yet another incredulous laugh, "sounds insanely dangerous, Brent."

"Uh. If you want to go check out the roof, I guess I'll go with you, but I'd like to avoid potentially throwing anyone out of the ozone."

"Probably would need a couple more pieces to pull this off well, yeah," Brent admitted, glad that he had, at the very least, shifted her perception of him from 'this dude's a creeper' to 'this dude is a madman'. "And hey, is your throwing strength currently either 0 or ozone, Callan? Nothing inbetween?"

"Oh, no," Callan stood up and stretched, "It's more that I sometimes have trouble gauging my strength. Er-- like that day with Kusari... for example."

"St-" Still? Brent stopped himself before he could go there. Callan's 'magic' was super strength, and it was an absurd amount of it as well. He had no idea how long she had such power, and thus...

A month may not be nearly enough to adjust to that.

"Well, perhaps I'll visit outer space another time then. Gotta consider the Gs as well," the arbiter replied with a laugh. "Have you been getting progressively stronger or something?"

"Uh," Callan considered her ability's most recent development, a sour frown spreading across her face, "No. Not really."

She hadn't spared much thought towards the change she sensed in Misery. Of course, she hadn't pulled the abomination out to check. Not with so many people around-- somebody would get hurt. She'd have to save that mystery for later.

"That's pretty good then," he replied, "Easier to get a handle on your strength if it stays consistent and all."

A pause.

"What was that black thing though? The one that made you fall?"

"Yeah, I guess you're right," Callan mused, thoughtfully considering his point.

"Oh, that?" she smiled, feeling just about as keen on showing it off as she had at Ground Zero, "I'll have to show you on the roof. Might get everyone in a panic if I start pulling giant hammers out of the ground in here."

"Giant hammers? Oh geez, you have a materialization power too now?" There was a tinge of jealousy in his voice, buried beneath the surprise and enthusiasm. What sort of theme even was this, that she got both massively superhuman stats AND the power to summon weapons.

"Guess we'll head off on an adventure after all!"

Hopping off the seat, Brent gathered up the garbage and tossed it into the plastic bag, intent on carrying it until there was a trash can to dispose of it in.

"Heh, yeah. Guess so..." Materialization was one term for it. Shifting the form of a ferocious monster into a heavy-as-hell weapon would be another.

The pair eventually found a stairwell that led all the way up to the roof. A heavy lock secured the door, but one silver jolt of static later, it was open. Approaching their destination, the scene still felt somewhat uncomfortable in spite of Brent's earlier explanation. Though whether it was because she was outside alone with a guy late at night or because this was almost as high as that helicopter had been when it exploded-- she wasn't entirely sure.

"Alright," she said resolvedly, balling up the blanket she'd brought with her and setting it aside, "Here we go." Bracing herself for the inevitable increase in weight, Callan crouched down to begin pulling the long shaft of the hammer from her shadow. Dark smoky tendrils squirmed reluctantly as they had before. With a visible snap, the weapon solidified and her body dipped, arms straining to keep it off the ground.

"Yep. There it is," she said through grit teeth. She was really feeling the exhaustion from earlier now.

"Woah...some sort of shadow magic?" Brent looked at the hammer, definitely impressed by just how...wait, what? Callan, the girl who benched one thousand pounds like it was nothing actually had to exert herself in order to keep it off the ground?

"Wait, how heavy even is this thing?" He asked, curiosity piqued. "And is it like...just a hammer? Or can you turn it into something else as well?"

"Uh-- can't give you any numbers, but it's pretty damn heavy," she strained, "I can turn it into just about any melee weapon, but the weight always stays the same.[/color]"

"Any melee weapon imaginable?" Brent whistled. "So...have you tried extending it super fast? Like a pile driver?"

Callan thought for a moment, looking down at the weapon. "No, I haven't. I'm not sure how that'd work out. You want me to give it a try?"

"Yeah," he reasoned, taking a step back, "Just because it's a melee weapon doesn't mean it can't also become a ranged weapon. While you're at it, see if you can extend it to a realllllly long distance."

Pivoting away from Brent for extra safety, Callan nodded and started to focus, concentrating hard on the form she wanted it to take. Omitting any fancy details, she tried to do so quickly. The shape writhed back into its originally unstable form just before the shape of the hammer's head stretched forward, snapping back into solid form. Now holding a rod that measured out to nearly 3 meters, the longer end immediately fell in spite of Callan's best efforts to keep it up.

The entire transformation lasted roughly a second or two-- a little slower than Callan was hoping for. Slower than a pile driver anyway.

Three meters maximum, at a rate that was fairly fast, but not fast enough.

It was not disappointment that emerged, but relief. At such a speed, her weapon couldn't be used as 'projectile' after all. It couldn't be used as something that could take the gargoyle by surprise and instantly kill her before she could snap Sav's neck.

There wasn't any sort of horrible miscommunication that occurred that tossed away a method of quickly saving that blonde aberration.

"Wow, that's seriously cool," he beamed, all smiles, "Now you're like Superman and Green Lantern fused, Callan! Think this would work well as a shield as well? Or did you never put its durability up to the test?"

If only. "No, I haven't actually," Callan replied. Geez, she hadn't really given much thought to any of the stuff. "Might as well find out." Concentrating again, the shadow rod snapped into the form of a round shield. The awkward shape turned out to be too difficult for her to hold and one end suddenly slipped out of her grasp, landing squarely on her foot.

Callan froze for a moment as the pain spiked, the color draining from her face while the heavy black shield remained stubbornly in place despite her reflexive effort to pull her foot out from under it. Regaining her sense, she quickly desummoned the ridiculously heavy shield and fell down onto one knee, gripping the offended foot with both hands. "Ow," she croaked, folding over herself as a shudder ran through her.

She could immediately tell that nothing was broken, but it still throbbed fierce.

Brent's own toes instinctively curled as the shadowy shield slipped out of her grasp, smashing into the dark skinned girl's foot. By some miracle, the roof itself hadn't given in from the sudden impact or weight, and once the shadows disappeared, he ran over, not sure what he could overclock to ice the injury.

"Shit, are you alright?" he asked, kneeling, "Anything broken? Gah, shouldn't have asked you to do so much when you were already tired. Real sorry about that."

Ngh,” Callan winced massaging the top of her foot through her dirty tennis shoes, “Nah, it’s fine. Don’t worry about it. Nothing’s broken.” She flashed Brent a reassuring smile, “Did you want to see anything else?

"No, I think this is fine for now," he said, "But really, it's amazing what sort of options you have! You can get yourself a wide shield to protect everyone behind you, a sharp weapon to massively increase how much damage you can do, or even just create platforms with it by pinning it to a wall or something!"

Amethyst eyes gazed skywards, before two different ideas clicked.

"Imagine how badass it'd be if Chris like, flew you up super high, you turned your shadow thing into a pyramid, and then jumped off! The Cal-ris Meteor Impact combo!"

Brent seemed lost in a world of his own as he rambled off several different uses for her new shadow trick. Her mind reeled for a moment, considering how each idea could work and how she might go about executing each one. Her train of thought faltered as he mentioned Chris flying her up real high so she could jump off. She wasn’t too keen on experiencing something like that free fall from the helicopter again, but she said nothing. Admitting that heights still made her nervous despite her extra durability seemed like quite a step back from all the praise she was suddenly getting—whether she felt it was entirely deserved or not.

She shrugged and laughed, pushing herself back onto her feet, “Sounds like you got it all figured out. I've only been able to summon that thing since this morning, so I'm still kinda figuring out how it works."

"Ah, makes sense then," Brent replied, his smile faltering momentarily. Given just an extra day, would their chances of DOING something dramatically improve? No, not even that. If he had known about that new change in Callan's power, if she had something like that and he had spent his time with the Strikers instead of with Grego, could they have figured out a way to destroy Factory much more effectively?

And if they destroyed Factory that fast, the Strikers could have returned just as fast, and perhaps those rogue subnaturals would be handled much more effectively. Maybe those subnaturals wouldn't even have had an opening if it was Chris, Sander, and Callan guarding the Evac truck as it drove back to the drop off point.

But 'what ifs' were meaningless. He recalled his own words that he had thrown at Angelic. Regrets about the past should only be used as fuel for the future.

"Well, at least you have a starting point for your investigations now," Brent said, offering Callan a hand to pull herself up, "Guess trying to push the limits of new things is just what I'm used to. Can't get complacent if your powers are super versatile, after all."

He was forcing himself.

"Cause the more prepared you are, the more scenarios you can effectively respond to!"

The more lives you can save.

But you still can't win.

Callan stared. For a moment she almost wondered if Brent was hinting at something, but she brushed it off as paranoia. She wasn’t even sure he’d seen what happened. Even if he had, he hadn’t brought it up and she sure as hell wasn’t going to.

She gave a small smile, shifting her gaze towards the sparse assemblage of city lights below. “Yeah. I’m definitely due for some more practice when we all get back.

"Give me a heads up when you are then," he replied, "Considering how fast our powers seem to be growing, it's probably a good idea to keep track of these upgrades, you know? Know all the pieces on your board and all."

"Yeah, that sounds like a good idea." Callan nodded, though she knew she definitely wouldn't be sharing anything about her most recent 'upgrade' any time soon. Feeling the creeping guilt of her dishonesty, she kept her eyes on the town lights. "Sure thing."

"Awesome." Brent nodded. "Guess we should head down now though...unless you changed your mind about sending me off into the stratosphere?"

Callan scoffed, picking up her blanket before making her way back towards the stairs, "Sorry, Brent. No space exploration for you."

"No space exploration?" He grinned goodnaturedly. "I'll take that as a 'for now', thank you very much."

"Yeah. Don't hold your breath," she smirked.

The walk back to Callan's room was riddled with similar pleasantries. Between the awkward passings of anxious hospital staff, the conversation wound its way to hobbies. The emblem on Callan's shirt was barely visible through the bloodstains, but Brent evidently had no trouble recognizing it.

"Yep! I played power forward," Callan boasted confidently, "I'm pretty good at it, too. Or at least I was... Haven't really tried shooting around since the whole super strength thing started. What about you? You have a sport, right?"

"I like them all, really. Recently picked up kickboxing with Angelic. If I were to pick something I'm particularly interested in though...I really wanted to try the decathlon."

"Apparently if you won first place in that, you'd be known as the greatest athlete, you know?"

"Alright, well this is my stop!" Callan declared with a tired sigh. She hadn't been expecting it, but she was glad she ran into Brent when she did. The loop that had been playing in her head over and over again had been sufficiently numbed by the distraction.

"Yeah," Brent waved, "It's been a nice talk, Call. Get a good rest, eh?"

"I'll do my best," she grinned, "You get some rest, too."

"Night then," he replied, walking off.

Was he really going to just walk it off? Brisk steps brought him further away, but his fists remained clenched, his mind boiling beneath the happiness and energy he displayed. Callan was a good person. She could laugh, went along with his unreasonable requests, and carried a conversation fairly well, even though they were more or less strangers. She too displayed a degree of gratitude towards his own actions during that day's battle, and, no doubt, she'd rather let her own wounds scab over and disappear rather than remain fresh.

Hell, she lost an arm during that fight, which was much more than what he lost, ever.

So he held back, just a little bit. At an intersection in the hallway, Brent stopped and turned.

"Hey Call? It wasn't your fault." She fucking barreled into the gargoyle and broke Sav's neck. "....but you could have done better."

His lips curled in self-loathing as he walked off. That wasn't necessary. God, that wasn't necessary.

But, once more, Brent felt like he had burned down a bridge.

And, once more, Brent wasn't wholly certain if he minded.

Callan turned away from the door as Brent addressed her. Her breathing stopped for a moment as any semblance of a smile immediately faded away. Though he hadn't said so, she thought she could feel it in his tone. He'd known her.

The idea of saying nothing came to mind, but she found that to be grossly unappealing. If Brent had been Savannah's friend, then he deserved a proper apology. "Brent..." she said, not quite loud enough.

"Brent!" she took several hurried steps after him.

Don't. He didn't need her to chase him, didn't need her to apologize or whatever else. He just nee-

He couldn't even cry for Sav! He wasn't the one that Callan should be apologizing to! Sophia must have been hit way harder by that! He hadn't even seen her outside the motel!

Brent pressed on. Callan was fast. She could outpace him in an instant. But he was accustomed to losing, and he would try anyways.

He didn't pause for even a second. A lump rose in her throat when she realized he wasn't going to stop at all. For a second she picked up the pace as well, but stopped herself. She wasn't going to force him to listen to her, but the apology welling up inside still felt like it needed to come out somehow. She apologized to Marcus, but it wasn't enough.

She wasn't done. Everyone needed to know. They needed to know how truly sorry she was. Or perhaps she just wanted them to know.

But even if she did apologize to Brent, it wouldn't fix anything. Savannah was dead and Brent was right. She not only should've done better-- she COULD have done better. And that was the worst part of all.

"I'm sorry," she said anyway-- too quiet for him to hear. I'm sorry. The phrase was back on repeat, but Brent's words stung sharply in the foreground. He must've been holding that in the whole time they'd been talking. Was that why he'd sought her out in the first place?

Despair was deafening. Even the fluorescent lighting almost seemed darker than it was before. Without another word, she stared after Brent until he rounded another corner and disappeared from view.

I'm sorry.

She ran back to her room.
A Friendly Chat

Zoe | Callan

𝕄: 𝕊𝕖𝕡𝕥. 𝟙𝟜, 𝟚𝟘𝟚𝟘 / / 𝕃𝕒 ℙ𝕝𝕒𝕥𝕒, 𝕄𝕒𝕣𝕪𝕝𝕒𝕟𝕕 / / 𝕋𝕠𝕨𝕟 / / ~~𝟚𝟘𝟜𝟘

Collab with @Lasrever @Baklava @Chasers115

Walking into the hospital left Zoe feeling uneasy almost immediately. The nurses flitting to and fro, the white walls and laminated floors, the smell of disinfectant that made everything seem so artificial... She couldn't help but be reminded of the last time she'd visited one of these places. It was all the same, right down to the looks of fear as people clocked the 'X' on her throat, and the mix of self-loathing and exhaustion that she knew haunted her expression.

Talk about repeating history, huh?

Of course, some of the others would hate her for her actions. She'd had them beat on that part for a while, though. Told herself it was inevitable, that what she'd done had just accelerated the process.

But they were all alive, and she'd kept them that way. Seemed unlikely that Callan would thank her for it, all things considered, and she wasn't sure what she'd even say to the girl. But she had to try and give her victim some kind of resolution. Not like Zoe was here looking for forgiveness-- She'd sunk far too low for that, had no right to burden Callan by asking. But there had to be some way she could fix things, even a little.

Yeah, she couldn't even convince herself of that one. She paused outside the door, apprehensive. "...Callan? Can I talk to you?"

No response. After waiting for a couple of seconds, Zoe slowly pushed the door open, walking into the room as slowly as she could. She couldn't see Callan anywhere, and stopped just a few steps into the room, frowning as she glanced around. No-one had said anything about the turquoise-haired girl leaving, had they?

Between the running faucet and washing off her face, Callan didn't hear Zoe's voice from across the room. Her mind had long since drifted away from her conversation with Kusari and back to the Wisford fight. Periodically her eyes fell on her hand and she inwardly cringed at the memory, running her thumb along the creases of her palm. It was almost like it'd never happened, yet she still couldn't get it out of her mind. She couldn't say she knew exactly how Zoe's power worked, but... somehow it hadn't seemed like an accident.

She buried her face in one of the clean towels left by the sink as she stepped out of the small bathroom-- still very much in need of fresh clothes and a shower, but a little less worse for wear. The door to her room creaked open then and Callan looked up, suddenly frozen in pure, unadulterated fear. It was strangely different from her fear of Misery. For all the shadow monster's power, she knew it would never hurt her. The sight of Zoe in the doorway, however, insighted a feeling she wasn't sure she'd ever really felt before.

She's back to finish me off. The thought was irrational and she knew it. Zoe had said she wanted to explain herself. Callan felt she owed her that much. She tried to remind herself that she'd spoken with Zoe in the past without any trouble-- but that still didn't stop the sudden pounding in her chest.

"I wanted to--"

After catching sight of the door opening as the recovering arbiter walked in, Zoe took a moment to look Callan over. The girl didn't seem to be in a good way, to say the least, but Zoe wasn't about to point it out. Besides which, that wasn't what had caught her attention as she looked at her classmate.

It was obvious that Callan was absolutely terrified. Clearly she hadn't heard Zoe calling earlier, at least if the shock was anything to go by. Definitely not a good start to a situation this delicate. Hoping to reassure her classmate, Zoe took a step back.

"I can stay across the room, if that'd help. I-- I'm just here to talk." Her brow furrowed as she struggled to find the right words. "Or explain, I guess. If you wanna listen."

Callan tried to force herself into a more casual stance, but her movements were stiff. It was probably best that she just go along with whatever Zoe wanted to do. Lest she anger her fellow mage. "Oh, that's... fine. Whatever you want," she said, in spite of the fact that having Zoe back up seemed a whole lot more preferable to her coming closer, "We can talk." She followed her words with a hollow smile, eyes trained on Zoe, noting every moment.

Zoe couldn't help but let out a sigh of relief. She'd half expected Callan to just tell her to get lost. Not like the response wouldn't have been reasonable, even if it would've gotten on her nerves a bit. But this was fine. Good, even.

She decided to take a step back anyway in an attempt to give some sense of security to Callan. And herself, to an extent, because she was all too aware of how easily she could hurt her.

"Sorry doesn't really cut it, huh?" Zoe finally looked at Callan's arm, the flesh where by all rights there shouldn't have been. What did it say that she still couldn't be sure this was a good idea?

"You don't have to forgive me. I wouldn't in your shoes. But you can have the apology and say no more about it, or I can tell you why." If Callan didn't want to know, Zoe wouldn't burden her. But she figured the offer was the least she owed her classmate. She wasn't going to hide the truth, not if it led to this. "I just... Thought it might help, if you knew."

Zoe's glance at her arm didn't go unnoticed. The arbiter gripped her newly grown appendage out of sheer reflex-- as if that could prevent anything from happening. But again, she was thinking irrationally. Zoe was trying to apologize. And she should accept it, right? Her smile faltered a bit and she hesitated before finally answering.

"Yeah," Callan replied, "Uh. An explaination would be good, I think."

Zoe nodded, smiling bitterly as she stared down at the floor. "I promised myself I wouldn't do it again, you know? That I wouldn't hurt someone who--"

Wrong thing to think about. Her expression threatened to crumple for a brief second. No. Callan didn't need to deal with that. She was already putting too much on her. Selfish, really.

"It wasn't anything to do with you. I just... I didn't think you would kill her. You're strong, but you don't seem like the type to murder someone. So I had to." She spoke hesitantly, worried about saying the wrong thing. This was difficult to put words to, at least when she was trying not to freak Callan out too much. "I didn't realise how fast it was working on you, but I knew that it was. It was the only way I could get her in range."

She went quiet for a moment, trying to gauge Callan's reaction. Had to be careful about this. If she dropped too much on her at once, it'd probably just freak her out more.

A frown settled onto Callan's face almost as soon as Zoe's explanation began. She wasn't liking this reasoning. "Again"? Nothing to do with her? Yet it was important to say she hadn't thought Callan could murder someone? THAT was why she'd taken her arm off? Every single one of the enemy mages had died. She'd seen their corpses-- or what was left of them. Beneath the residual fear, a clear spike in irritation caused her expression to harden, but an inkling of doubt kept her mouth shut. She recalled those frustrated feelings of sympathy as, in the gargoyle girl's last moments, she'd screamed and spasmed in pain as a bullet pierced her eye. A few more hits to the face and she would've probably passed out. And for all her rage concerning Savannah's death in that moment, Callan knew that would've been enough for her. Part of her knew Zoe was very likely right-- but the larger part denied it.

Who the hell did she think she was anyway? Making a call like that? She almost bled to death because of her! Nonetheless, Callan waited. It seemed Zoe wasn't quite finished speaking. A good thing since Callan had no idea how to respond.

Yeah, Callan wasn't liking this one bit. Not that Zoe was surprised. The whole thing was a mess.

"You know about Stigmas. I'm... not good at dealing with mine, obviously. Aaron, Gregory, you-- It kept happening, and I should've done more." Her fists clenched, expression twisted in disgust. Why was it that even now, she had to fight back a smile? What the fuck was wrong with her?

"I don't think you'll wanna know what goes on in my head." She frowned, looking down at her hands, the pinkish scars that covered them from who knew how many incidents. "It's not an excuse either way, I should be able to control it. But..." Zoe trailed off, looking doubtful. If she wasn't so weak, she could just come out with it, couldn't she? Burn the bridges, make it so Callan knew how dangerous she was to everyone, not just her. They'd listen if she warned them, right?

But Zoe was afraid of what that meant, so this was the most she could do. A half-offer, with a pretty good chance that Callan wouldn't ask for any detail. After all, the girl probably just wanted rid of her by now.

"Point is, I was never a good person, so I've no hope pretending otherwise. All I can do is try and keep you guys alive." She shrugged, struggling to get her meaning across and aware of how callous it sounded as she did. It was true, anyway, and she'd succeeded in the end. "You probably hate me, and the others will too, but if it means you're still breathing to do it, then I can deal with that."

Callan's expression didn't budge for a while. The generic response would be to say it was fine and pretend to move on. Would probably get her to leave faster anyway. Then she could proceed to avoid the issue. Avoid Zoe and pretend it never happened. But it wasn't fine-- and Zoe apparently recognized this. Callan had seen it all first hand. Zoe could kill a person in mere seconds-- and she didn't even have to touch them to do it. Arguably, Callan could do the same. But that wasn't the problem. The problem was that Zoe was willing to do it.

As for her little anti-hero spiel... Callan wasn't buying it. Having done a bit of reading on stigmas, a twinge of sympathy for the girl tried to surface. It was snuffed out quickly. Ernie and Emma were both aberrations and they seemed to deal with their stigmas just fine. So much so that Callan often forgot they were aberrations at all. Or was she missing something?

Had it been just a stigma-related issue, perhaps this would've been easier-- like with Sander. It still bothered her that Zoe thought she was so incapable. She wanted to say she'd had it. She'd had everything under control. But that was way too far from the truth. It wasn't like Zoe had been any better though. What? Did she think she was better than everyone else? Because of her moral ambiguity? Because she could kill a person without blinking an eye?

"Are you done?" Callan said the words coldly, immediately regretting them. "Thanks for making sure I came out of it alive and all, but... I don't need you looking out for me."

She should've stopped there.

"If you can't control yourself, then maybe you shouldn't be getting so close to me. Or especially the others." It wasn't her fault, was it? She was forced to use her ability. To fight with everyone. But, finally averting her eyes, the words kept coming. "And I'd rethink my motto if I were you. If you keep abusing your ability like that," --Misery came to mind-- "You might end up pissing off the wrong person."

Zoe clenched her fists, speaking coldly as she forced her voice to remain level. "I hope that's not a threat, Callan. I really do."

She could have taken hatred. She could have taken insults. Hell, she'd come prepared to have her ribs snapped into fourteen different pieces if Callan reacted badly. That was fine. What she wasn't going to do was sit around and listen to some patronising lecture, especially as she finally absorbed what Callan had actually said.

"As for the rest of it, you think I've not been trying?" Zoe's eyes flared with anger as she raised her head, and something sharper crept into her tone. She knew Callan had a right to lash out, knew she deserved worse, but the other girl didn't understand a thing she was talking about. "Believe it or not, there's a reason I'm such a bitch to you guys. Don't talk to me like I'm a goddamned idiot, when you're the one that's treating everything like it's some kind of fucking fairytale."

Cruel. Another good word for her. Murderous, callous, cruel. But something about the way Callan spoke got on her nerves, and she'd been on edge since the battle ended. Confusion, conflicting emotions, doubt-- It wasn't fair to take it out on someone she'd maimed, but fuck it. Callan wanted her to push her away, so be it. She smiled, tauntingly. "So if that's the game we're playing then tell me, how many more people have to die before you figure out how the world works? I might be a murderer, but we both know who won that fight."

At Zoe's tone, her composure slipped for a moment. Callan hadn't meant what she said as a threat so much as a warning, but in her case she supposed they were kind of the same thing. Either way, Zoe was getting mad and that wasn't good. Callan grit her teeth, looking wounded as Zoe continued. Thinking of Savannah, her words hit a little too close to home. A couple different responses came to mind as frustration and guilt bubbled up inside her. Zoe was still wrong. Hers wasn't the only way to get things done. She didn't care how "effectve" she'd been.

Zoe was smiling now. Proud of her accomplishments, if Callan had to guess. Rather than taunt her, however, Zoe's expression only succeeded in making Callan feel more disturbed. She stared hard at Zoe's shoes, too scared to say anything else that might set the girl off. She gripped her arm more tightly as she spoke, "If you're done explaining yourself, you can leave now."

"I don't think there's much left to say." Zoe noted Callan's lack of response to the accusations with a sense of grim satisfaction. She didn't know exactly what had gone down in the fight, but she'd managed to strike some sort of nerve. Part of her felt sorry for the girl, another held an odd sense of regret. Like maybe they could have been friends in a better world. Trying to put the idea out of her mind, she looked towards the door. One last jab to get under Callan's skin before leaving. "I can promise you one thing, though, Callan: We're not as different as you think we are."

'Not as different'.... Those words stuck in her head. Callan glared, but she couldn't deny that she'd felt it was true back when they'd first met. But now.... no, of course not. She wasn't at all like Zoe. The part of her that mattered wasn't anyway. Perhaps the sick creature residing in her shadow could sympathize with Zoe's bloodlust, but not her. She wanted to win, but she didn't want to kill anyone if she could help it. Surely she didn't need one to have the other... though this last fight didn't really help her case. Not only had they slaughtered their enemies, but several of their own had died, too. Savannah... that guy from the cafeteria... all those other people....

"Am I...interrupting something?" Came the voice from the door.

It hadn't taken Marcus very long to find the hospital, especially with Brent also there, the two pairs of eyes probably hadn't been necessary in finding the building. Likewise, getting someone to point him in the direction of Callan's room hadn't been that difficult either. 'Girl with aquamarine hair' was a pretty good descriptor, and had given him a room number to go find.

He was a little nervous to talk to her; she'd lost an arm, a lot of blood, and there had been the 'incident', and he was honestly not sure how she'd be handling any of it. Gripping the plastic bags tighter, he'd found her room. However, he wasn't quite sure what kind of situation he was looking at when he got there.

Callan looked up at the familiar voice. The tension in the room was thick enough to slice with a knife. She couldn't decide if she was happy to see Marcus or not. It seemed she might have to talk about what happened to Savannah before the night was through after all. Heaving a sigh, she did her best to make her tone casual-- but she'd never been a very good actress.

"Nah. She was just leaving." Callan said, eyes on Zoe.

Zoe wondered if she'd pushed it too far. Pretty pathetic, how she couldn't even talk to someone she'd hurt so badly without getting in a fight. Still, it had to be said, didn't it? The way she thought, the brutality, the way she gave in to her stigma - It was what needed to be done, and it always had been. The way of the world, the strong tearing down the weak. She'd always been right, again and again, and Callan needed to see it on some level. Wouldn't let herself think about what it meant if she really was wrong.

She walked over towards the door, pulling it open and stepping aside to let Marcus past with a nod. "Go ahead. I'll leave you guys to it."

𝕄: 𝕊𝕖𝕡𝕥. 𝟙𝟜, 𝟚𝟘𝟚𝟘 / / 𝕃𝕒 ℙ𝕝𝕒𝕥𝕒, 𝕄𝕒𝕣𝕪𝕝𝕒𝕟𝕕 / / 𝕋𝕠𝕨𝕟 / / ~𝟙𝟡𝟘𝟘

The ride to the hospital flew by in relative silence. Callan took note of her fellow classmates: the injured and unconscious. She did her best not to stare too long at anyone. Siena, covered in blood and looking as exhausted as she felt, was among them, but it seemed Lily had healed her as well. The older girl named Angel had a face in tatters-- what the hell happened to her? She didn't spend very long assessing everyone. Nobody seemed like they might die, though she certainly wasn't responsible for that bit of good news.

No, the person she'd been responsible for was likely on her way to the belly of USARILN. Destined to be eaten by some gross mage-corpse eating monster. That was on her. The events that took place replayed in her head like the memory of a horrific movie. The camera always lingering too long on the lifeless honey-gold eyes of a girl she barely knew. She could've done this. She could've done that. Why? Why? Why? Why hadn't she been more careful? Done things differently?

The tears threatened to well up again and she buried her face in her hands until the truck eventually came to a stop; everyone was carted into separate rooms. The two nurses that were tending to her seemed terrified, but Callan barely took notice. They rubbed at the blood on her cheek, checked her dilation, took her pulse, and examined the strange ring of blood around her elbow-- where her arm had detached and regrown. Eventually she was moved to a separate room, but she wasn't left alone for very long.

They carted Christmas into the room and drew some blood. She found the sight disturbing, but, to her own chagrin, said nothing and averted her eyes. It wasn't until she realized they were having trouble getting the needle into her arm that she reacted at all.

"Here," she said, reaching towards the needle. She didn't want to be poked or prodded anymore. She wanted to be left alone. The nurse froze in fear as Callan's hand wrapped around hers, finally pushing the needle through the skin with the added pressure. She'd never had an aversion to needles or anything, but she concealed her uneasy feelings behind an irritated scowl-- one that did not go unnoticed by the pair of women as they quickened their pace.

Alone at last, Callan laid back on the bed and stared up at the blurring ceiling. She wanted to be alone. She didn't want to be alone. But who cared what she wanted? That girl was dead! Because of her!

She grit her teeth and covered her face, but the tears flowed freely beneath her hands. She dizziness and exhaustion that had once overwhelmed her was slowly receding, but her head simply wouldn't stop pounding. She could sense that Misery was itching to take advantage of her moment of weakness and she did her best to choke back the tears. Stop crying, stupid! she chastised herself further, sitting up and resting her forehead on her knees. Racked with guilt, she stayed that way, focusing on remaining in control as her tears ran dry and the Wisford fight repeated itself in her head.

A loud snap. Lifeless honey-gold eyes. A searing pain in her arm.

A snap. Lifeless eyes. Searing pain.

Snap. Eyes. Pain.
Marcus gained a friendship point! +

Sander gained a friendship point! +

Zoe lost a friendship point... -
Zoe lost a friendship point... -
Zoe lost a friendship point... -
Zoe lost a friendship point... -
Zoe lost a friendship point... -
Zoe lost a friendship point... -
Zoe lost a friendship point... -
Zoe lost a friendship point... -
Zoe lost a friendship point... -

Lily gained a friendship point! +

Brent gained a friendship point! +

Allison gained a friendship point! +

Kusari gained a friendship point! +

Chris gained a friendship point! +

(halfway done with lil opinion sheet updates)
Yeah. Someone would have to come up with a similar idea and make a new thread for me to be interested in anything like a reboot.
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