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11 mos ago
Current I read the status bar to laugh and feel old!
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1 yr ago
Saw the Space Opera advert and started singing, "and these dreams, they all seem empty, like my concious seem to be. I've spent hours, Only lonely..."
1 yr ago
People confess to me all the time. I’m a faith leader. There is very little the surprises me any more.
1 yr ago
Was just called a Boomer. Just remember I will retire before you and my music did not have Beber in it.
1 yr ago
Was just called a Boomer. Just remember I will retire before you and my music did not have Beyer in it!

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So what happened in the eight days?
Juan and Marie


Time: Evening
Location: Los Angeles, Train Station
Interaction: @Meleck @chulance



Marie felt the push to trust Jason as did Juan and she followed. In her head, it was like she was a teenage girl who had been dropped at the Mall of America without adults and with a pile of other peoples’ credit cards. It wasn’t like she wanted to steal the stuff, mostly. She did want to make a better life for herself and make sure that Juan was safe.

Juan on the other hand found the first person that could actually understand him. It was scary and exhilarating. Juan was also a bit sad. He wanted to steal the marine’s helmet, jacket, and backpack. They looked cool and military stuff was discouraged in the toxic estrogen-enriched environment he grew up in.

After they got on the train and it started moving, A Hispanic Young Man about eighteen years old came over to her and started to play his machismo card.

“¡Hola Chica! Debes ser nuevo por aquí. Tal vez necesites ayuda para mostrarte los alrededores,” He said letting his tattoos on his arms and his chest show along with the bling he wore.

His hand signs indicated that he was a member of the Latin Kings. Marie smiled as she stood up letting her body draw his eyes. Guy’s were stupid when they were not thinking with their brains.

As the train stopped at the next station Marie shifted her body. She let her breasts and hips speak and then in a very sexy voice said, “¡Hola!” She walked towards the man and right before the doors were too close, both her hands came up, there was a flip of the hair and with a twist of her body. Spanish words come from her mouth telling him she wasn’t that kind of girl as she shoved him out the train door and ending with a fiery, “Vete a la mierda!” He stumbled and fell grabbing for her arm. As the doors of the train closed, She gave him a double bird salute (flipped him off with both hands) while holding the handle of Sig 320 sub-compact 9mm handgun. She did her best to hide it from the train’s security camera. There was some cheering and a bit of laughter at what had happened. She only took the gun because she did not want him to shoot at the passenger car.

This was the kindest thing she had done to a gangster since seventh grade. Since that time four of her former girlfriend all had children of their own. She knew the score. She also knew it wouldn’t have worked either. He was Mexican and she was Puerto Rican, two totally and very different cultures. She also did not want the slum life for her children when she had them.

She hid the gun as she went back to her seat and sat down. She tucked the gun inside her purse. She smiled at Juan and put an arm around him. She smiled at Jason in her with a “Yeah, I’m a street rat princess,” a bit of I am dangerous, a healthy dose of you can’t control me, and a touch of come hither in case anyone was watching.

Jason was a nice-looking man and not that much older than she was. He dressed like he had money and spoke like he was educated.

He was much better than the street punks and want-to-be’s that seemed to be drawn to her. Her fashion sense screamed I am on the market, heavily influenced by MTV and the media. She was dressed in a range that was a step up from urban hooker and below a modest suburban catholic school.

Inside Juan was fuming at not being able to protect Marie. Juan held a lot of anger inside as everyone knew what he was going to do. In reality, he was not sure what he wanted to do to the gangster. Like sex, sometimes the fantasy of violence is better than the real thing.

Juan did a much better job of watching the car and Jason. He had spent most of his life looking at one thing and watching other things. The episode of how it’s made was going over security lock boxes like the ones in banks. He did not think he could pick a vault lockbox. But knowing there were two keys was good information.

Two rows back on the left-hand side of a car, a man had his video phone up and it looked like he was recording something. He might be using one of the new recognition apps to see if it matches anyone in the altered human database. This he could do something about.

After Jason got up to get off the train Juan stalled for a second. Marie was up and encouraging Juan to hurry. The man let Marie go to the door and he followed slightly behind and to the left of the man. Juan with his left hand reached out and grabbed Marie’s right inner thigh giving it a squeeze. This got her to scream and turn around swinging. She cold-cocked the man with a right hook. It was a sucker punch and it just about dropped him. As he bent over from the blow, Juan pulled his cellular phone from his jacket pocket and palmed it, moving to get off the train. He tugged at Marie who was ready to go-toe-to toe with the man who looked in shock as a few other people jumped in to protect Marie from the pervert. Marie managed to get off before the doors closed. He was detained by the crowd till the transit police could question him. Juan gave a little smile as the screen saver said Purity.



Chen and Nyssa's Lunch Meeting


Time:Afternoon
Location: Los Angeles, Philly Cheese Steak Shop.
Interaction: @Meleck @Damo021



The Honorable Mayor Chen sat in the chair of his office going through the pile of mail, notes, and phone calls that had piled up on his desk. It was the usual stuff, get-well wishes, drop-dead wishes, and notes from former officials he had met and even friends, asking him to change his mind about being a sanctuary city. Then there was the standard Mayoral business to attend to. Part of the city had been destroyed and needed to be dealt with.

Bubba sat in a leather chair away from the window with a graduate-level chemistry textbook on Quantum Chemistry. Lost in thought and doing something with his hands.

Chen shook his head and smiled. Bubba was normally reading his Bible. This was something new.

Towards the bottom of the pile, there was a message from Ms. Nyssa Devout. He picked up the office phone and dialed the number listed. He reached Ms. Devout’s assistant and made arrangements to meet with her at Buster's, a hot sandwich restaurant that made “real” Philly Cheese Steak that was the best in San Francisco. He picked 1 pm as the lunch rush would be over and it would give them time to talk.

Nyssa was in her office overlooking the makeshift camp she had set up not so long ago, just thinking that felt off as it felt like a lifetime ago since setting it up, people had come and gone, thanking her and many of the volunteers that offered to stay and help keep things running. Of course, most of the displaced people remained, having nowhere to go and refusing to leave San Francisco, their home. She would of course do the rounds, believing it was the human thing to do, making an appearance, speaking to survivors face to face, giving them time and assurances. hell, she even carried a little boy around who got separated from his parents in the camp and helped him find them, they were very thankful.

Her assistant had informed her that Mayor Chen had got back to her and arranged a meeting between herself and him, it was not very often Nyssa had the time to meet with mayors or the like so this meeting would intrigue her no doubt, after all the last 24 hours for the man was probably terrifying, to say the least after declaring San Francisco a sanctuary for altered. It was a crazy move but one she very much respected. So it was a chance to meet him and discuss issues within the city and see if there was a way for Astraea to increase its presence and help out more than just a camp on its own private property.

The meeting place was… different but in a way that made sense, a small sandwich restaurant on the corner, just after the lunch rush, and of course should give them some privacy while they discussed a myriad of topics. Nyssa had called up Micheal, her driver to do the usual, dodge remaining roadblocks that refused to leave the city, and had her security detail follow in the second armored escalade. She wanted to get there just a little bit early. She would have Michael wait outside in the SUV while Graham and James also waited in the second SUV to keep a lookout. Vincent and Thea entered the restaurant just before Nyssa did and sat in different places, to overlook the meeting just in case. You never know who might try something stupid, Picking a seat Nyssa held of ordering anything until Chen arrived.

Chen arrived and was happy to find the handicapped parking spot outside the restaurant was free. Bubba slid into the spot like a lineman about to sack the quarterback. In a matter of a moment, Chen was on his way into the restaurant. He noticed Nyssa from the description that her secretary gave him.

A couple pushes on the rims of the wheels of his wheelchair and waved to the restaurant staff and then he was near the table. They had started his usual, a Philly Cheese, double the meat, hold the green peppers, add the garlic and extra cheese, and a Coke to drink. After lunch will be the lecture from Bubba about trying to eat right and the fact he did not need all those calories.

“Ms. Nyssa?” He said in a pleasant tone. As she looks at him he makes a polished and practiced comment, “I know it is rude, but forgive me for not standing to greet you.” Chen had become a politician and he wanted to deal with the elephant that was always in the room with him before things progressed. It was not she was expecting him to take her out on a dance floor. Still, the chair made many people uncomfortable, and they did not spend 18 hours stuck in one.

“I have been hearing you and your people are doing a nice job of taking care of people at the camp,” he said, letting her know that he was paying attention to things.

Nyssa had noticed when Chen had made his way over to her and immediately the young lady pleasantly smiled at him as he came to the table. “It’s an honor to meet you, Mr. Mayor,” Nyssa replied before getting out of her seat, she leaned in and kissed him on the cheek while shaking his hand before she would go and sit back down as a waitress had come over to take an order from her, it was nothing too crazy, however, she ordered a grilled cheese dog and a diet coke and let them leave to sort out the orders. “There is nothing to forgive, It is the thought that counts. But how are you doing Sir? I saw the news on what happened to you.” She replied brushing a few strands of hair over her ear.

Chen smiled a bit. “It is not my first time being shot. It hurts all the same.” He left the like hell out of his statement.

“Thank you, I must admit it is not easy, but I feel that I had to do something when one is in a position to help all those in need and Astraea is in a position to do that. Although I never imagined that I would be setting up a prefab camp to help FEMA in our own backyard.” Nyssa paused for a moment. “I should probably say sorry for not consulting you sooner, even if on private property, I kind of just dumped a massive camp within your city without even thinking of asking.”

Chen waved a dismissive hand to that. The aid was needed and the issue of usage would be settled when things settled down. He would send FEMA the bill.

“If you like and if you have the time with everything going on, I would love to invite you over to see the camp, see the work going on, to be fair I have to thank those that volunteered to stay and help, we are fortunate to have some police and ambulance services stationed there after the loss of the hospital, their expertise is invaluable.”

“With 8 hospitals in the city, we should be able to set up a rotation to help. Maybe even get one of the Naval Mercy Ships to aid with some of those services,” he said. Ten minutes away was a military base with enough search and rescue teams and equipment to handle a lot of injuries. There were still walking wounded.

“I think that would help camps and the injured significantly. We could pick up the slack with minor injuries and those displaced. It should allow the remaining hospitals to concentrate on the more serious and life-threatening injuries. Hopefully, it would help each other to alleviate pressure on both sides.” Nyssa would reply, it was a sound plan and one that could all be within San Francisco.

From the corner of his eye, he noticed a flag flying at full staff. “Bubba, could you go have them lower the flag to half staff,” he asked. He had issued the order to honor the dead. 1 day for each person meant they would remember for a long time.

He turned back, “I would love to come to visit the camp. Is there something that is needed at the camp? I can try to pull some strings with the Governor,” he said.
He doubted that he would get any Federal Resources. His city had more people than some East Coast states. He put on a smile that was genuine. He cared about his people and wanted to protect them. To be honest, the Enhanced scared him, but he trusted that not everyone was evil. He might be a former cop and he could be cynical about people and their choices.

Nyssa thought for a moment while seeing the flag be put to half-mast, it would be something she would reflect on again later, so much loss of life when the humanitarian aid division was set up within Astraea, it was supposed to help more troubled regions around the world, the storm changed all of that. “Besides keeping the water running and the power on? The downside to us going out and using prefab homes is being connected to the power and water grids. Without that, they would be glorified tents.”

Again Nyssa paused, what she was about to come out with was probably the most obvious problem, Astraea is a corporation, not FEMA. “I guess the biggest issue supplies, the checkpoints cause delays to much-needed provisions, we are using more than we can get in, and after your announcement yesterday, It was correct to assume that all entrances and exits will be blocked around the city. Forrester is no doubt throwing massive fits right now.” That last part did get her to smile slyly.

“I was wondering also if there was anything we could do for you, Mr. Mayor? While we have been neutral thus far, we have fully capable private security resources in the city. Our facility where we set up camp was originally a major security hub, one of two within California. Maybe we can help alleviate the pressure on local law enforcement, or beef up security in critical areas?”

“With about half the police force dead or injured, we need help. But we have to be careful not to do it in a way that does not look like the officials are giving away their authority. I am sure that the Chief could be persuaded to deputize some of your security forces if they came from military or law enforcement backgrounds,” he said as the food arrived.

“Two things that might work to help with the border problems. First, we are mostly surrounded by water and we have a deep harbor, so cargo ships could dock here if needed. Second, we have areas where helicopters can bring cargo in and out of the city. We should have the lights and power back on for most of the city in the next day or so. A week or so for the water and sewer.”

“Homes, stores, barricades, work for people to do,” the mayor said.

He stopped for a moment. “There is something we really need,” he said, putting the sandwich down. “A way to have secure communication and some drone or satellite coverage so we can see what is going on,” he continued.

Nyssa carefully listened to the mayor when her food and drink were set down, she smiled at the waitress and mouthed a thankyou before putting her attention back to the man sitting in front of her. “Hmmm should be easy enough, Majority of the men and women working in our security sector are ex-law enforcement or military. They wouldn’t step over boundaries, although equipped similarly to police, they are for all intents and purposes, private security. We could provide security for areas to free up police to do their jobs and be more flexible, I would never dream of replacing them.”

She was relieved to hear power and water could be back on soon, it should help her camp provide more of the basic needs of the people in its care. The prefab homes were all hooked up to the grid etc… so once power and water were back on they would have access to it and provide far better than FEMA camps. The border issues also made sense, ships and helicopters can still come in and she made a mental note to report that back, it would make Astraea more flexible instead of just relying on trucks for deliveries. It was the last thing that the mayor mentioned that had Nyssa stop altogether for a moment.

Nyssa cleared her throat. “I must admit I didn't foresee this kind of request. Unfortunately, I can’t grant that kind of request, I am only the head of private security and humanitarian aid, for the time being, My father is the one I would have to forward your request to. Although I personally couldn’t see an issue with secure communications and surveillance packages, Ultimately I can not make that decision. But I promise to put your request forward.” Nyssa went back to her meal, honestly, she wished she could make the decision, she wanted to do more, for more reasons than one but until she was in charge of the whole corporation, for Military matters she still had to go through her father, however, if such actions were to be taken Astraea wouldn’t be fully neutral anymore, the discussions continued while they ate their meal.

Chen was as charming as he could be. He knew he was going to need aid. He also knew there would be a cost associated with asking. The world was an “I scratch your back, you scratch mine.”

Juan


Time: Evening
Location: Los Angeles, Train Station
Interaction: @Meleck @chulance



Following Marie's outburst he obliged her request & made the angel wings around him dissipate. "I had no intension of offending you I merely wanted you to make you comfortable. Many people are comforted by the idea of angels watching over them. Although with recent events it seems many people's angels must be on vacation. What I'm offering you is those things you mentioned, an endless supply at that."

“You did not OFFEND me,” she said in a tone only a teenage girl could make. What he promised her would be a better life than she had.

Peering into Marie's mind caused the shown imagery to change. Lavish mansions, stacks of money, briefcases full of cash, designr clothes & bags, sports cars, & many other things associated with a life full of wealth.

Marie liked what he was showing her. Who didn’t want to be the Kardassians with out the drama.

Juan had spent most of his life trapped in his head in a world that few people could understand. Fewer still could enter. Here was a man that was fully in his world. Keeping people out was easy. He kept the noise, the other teenagers, things that overstimulated him out all the time by hyper-focusing.

Juan focused the scene to a nice white room with white furniture, The joy of being in his mind.
Two chairs showed up and Juan motioned the man to have a seat. He worked his nerve up and finally looking at him asked, “What do you want me to do? Marie is set on going to San Francisco and getting a job.”

“Marie can be helpful if you don’t push her the wrong way. She is a natural actor. If you need some to be a secretary, maid, or things like that, she is your girl. She is too protective of me. I can take being beaten up, just not ignored,” he said. The image of being trapped in his thoughts and everyone ignoring him because they did not understand him.

"I see you are different from the others, from most everyone. Not just with your newfound powers either, your mind dosen't operate like everyone else. Your different, and I can use that. Any physical limitations you have can be overcome, how would you like to come to me. I can offer you that safe place you desire, and will allow Marie to come with you. I can teach you to be stronger normally & stronger with your powers. Join me yung Juan & the world not only can but will be your oyster."Jason said extending a hand to Juan & adding a sligh telepathic nudge to trust him even though he was a stranger.

Juan took his hand and his offer.

“Let me show you what I can do,” Juan said. He pictured the Marine Patrol Pack. “I can steal that guy’s pack and his jacket,” he thought so Marie would not hear. A little mischievous smile crossing his face.

“a military radio might be helpful to you,” he thought. Juan did not like guns they were too loud.



Juan


Time: Evening
Location: Los Angeles, Train Station
Interaction: @Meleck @chulance



The age of the altered was upon them and he didn’t have a minute to waste. He used his power to infiltrate the minds of Marie & Juan. Using his telepathic powers he caused them all to appear in a different realm of existence. Instead of a train station the three of them alone appeared in a lush garden full of vegetation, fresh fruit & wild-life. In reality they had gone nowhere physically, Jason had merely zapped up their subconscious into a telepathic realm while simultaneously rendering there existing personalities control of their physical bodies still able to carry out communication & any other goals they needed to acquire.

Within the telepathic realm Jason used his power to instill an emotion of calmness into the two as he approached them with a smile on his lips. “Hello Juan, Hello Marie. Forgive me for all of this, I know it’s quite sudden. But do not be alarmed, my name is Jason. I’m an altered human with the power to manipulate thoughts & move objects with my mind alone. As you may have noticed it is quit dangerous for our kind these days, I’m to assume your on the way to San Francisco because of it’s declared status as a sanctuary. At least that’s why Juan Is here, and you Marie are his guardian correct? First off we have not physically left the train station, this is merely an illusion manifested with my power within the private shared collective space of our subconscious. Regardless if this conversation goes on for say twenty minutes, by the time it’s over no more then a minute or two will. Pass in the real world. Anyway I’ve come to you with an offer, that being unlimited protection & wealth for the small price of joining forces with me in forging a new world. One where soldiers assigned to protect us won’t turn a blind eye to a woman In distress getting beat by thugs just for being different.” As Jason spoke, he made angelic wings appear behind him as well as a glowing illuminated yellow halo over his head. “So how about it then, have I managed to obtain your interest?” Jason finished his voice echoing about in this imaginary world formed by his telepathic abilities.


Juan could not help to take notice to the world change around him. It made him afraid. City kids are not exposed to much nature. So he held on on to Marie’s left hand.

Marie spoke when he let her, “First, you can drop the angel wing bullshit! Anyone who has spent as much time in Catholic School as we have, knows that angels don’t have wings that is some Persian crap. Second, what is it that you are really offering us? Money, power, drugs…”
She let her street self come shining through her language and her body language.

“He’s not a fighter,” she said to Jason. “He gets beat up at school weekly,” she continued.

Juan looked up at Jason and thought, “I am smarter than they think. I can do things and I hear things that people do not realize I understand.”

Juan sends Jason visions of him picking the school door lock and pick pocketing from a bully. “I learn quickly,” he thinks.

“She likes expensive clothes and fancy things. She wants to study to be a doctor so she can help people,” Juan thought to Jason. Juan put a wall up to block Marie from hearing his thoughts. “I want to have a safe place…” he smiled at Jason and blushed. He was a teenage boy in the throws of having his brain drenched in testosterone and other hormones with a match tossed in to light it.

Juan

Location: Los Angeles - Train Station


Marie kept Juan close as a gang of men, members of Purity, beat an African-American woman who they claimed was one of the Enhanced. Though the language they used was more colorful and much more derogatory. They used batons hitting her in the head, back, chest and legs till she collapsed in a pile.

Juan hid behind Marie pressing his head against her back as they moved. He did not like the violence. Every minority was being abused in some form by these people. He knew how he was treated by people and this was worse.

They managed to queue for the express to San Francisco. Security was tight Marines were on the platforms in fatigues with weapons. They did nothing to help the woman or others harassed beyond the check point. This made Marie mad and Juan a bit nervous.

After they made it through the check point Marie, started chewing out a Hispanic Sargent for not doing anything in Spanish. There was a lot of finger pointing and hair flipping. The Sarge looked at her and said calmly, “Speak English and yes we are doing something.” He sighed then continued, “People that complied are being protected, including you and brother.”

Juan

Location: Chicago (Testing Center – Union Station)



Marie had managed to get Juan packed and ready to go. One suit case, a couple charger packs, his laptop, and his iPad, plus clothes for a week. Everything they asked he tended to say something like, “Yeah.” Which mean he was not listening.

They had made it to the train station only to find that because of the law, they needed to be tested to see if they were Enhanced. Marie was fine, she had not developed any powers and she had not even been sick. Juan picked up every cold, flu, and
Their parents had arranged for them to head for LA to stay with some family there. They were being sent to get them out of Chicago, Juan to keep him out of trouble since he had developed powers, and Marie because she had developed a different set of powers over the last six months that had nothing to do with the pandemic. This made for boy problems. The family already had their hands full with Juan and they did not need another child in the family at this crazy time.

Marie leaned over and whispered into Juan’s ear. If they find out you have powers they are going to hurt you. That registered in Juan’s mind. He hated people hurting people and most importantly people hurting him.

They were brought back into a little exam room where a phlebotomist grabbed a vial and drew Marie’s blood. The nurse had left their paperwork on the desk and had to step out.

“Now”, she said. She grabbed the vial and put his label on it as he disappeared. She shoved it into the rack. Standing in the corner, Juan froze.
Marie pulled her sleeve down and pulled her left one up.
The nurse came in she asked, “Where is Mr..” she looked at the paper. “Rosa” she continued.
With hand motions and pointing, “He had to go to the bathroom after they drew his blood.”
“Could you draw mine? We have a train to catch and traveling with Juan is hard enough,”
Marie smiled.
The nurse did the second draw. This one would leave a bruise. She took the cotton ball and Band-Aid.
“I always get a little lightheaded after that, can I have a moment?” she asked.
The nurse gave her a compassionate; grow-up look and nodded taking the vials and heading out the door. “Go that way,” the nurse pointed to a different waiting area.

After a moment and the hall was clear, Juan reappeared. They headed to the waiting area, luggage and all. Juan kept to his iPad, trying to ignore the guards with guns that were around. Marie tried to flirt with the young ones, they were male after all. In about 15 minutes, the results of the test were in and both of them were “Negative” with their government-issued “We are not the bad guy’s” cards.

Marie looked at Juan and said, “These are better than a driver’s license. I bet we can use them to get on the train without all the other papers.” It had her driver’s license number, social security number, and other information like the date they were tested. Juan’s read State ID Number”. They did not have to provide much information other than just showing the train eTickets she had printed offline. She figured that it was because of the heightened security in Chicago. But it bothered Marie a bit.

6:45 pm the train pulled out of Union Station. Because of Juan’s size and needs they were quickly moved to a private room with a bathroom. It might have been Juan politely asking a very nice woman if he could touch her boobs. This quickly got them moved to a private lower room with its own bathroom. They could sleep on the bench seats.

The trip took 58 hours from Chicago to LA. Twice they stopped and got off of the train as it fueled and for some unknown reason for a couple of hours. They got a pizza delivered at a couple of stops and bought junk food from the station vending machines.

Making it to LA they saw the news that Mayor Chen had offered sanctuary. One phone call to family and they had room to stay in San Francisco till she could get a place for them.

Juan tried like hell to ignore all of the people at the train station.


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