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13 days ago
Current Trying to cut soda out of my diet. I'm down to less than one bottle of Coke Zero in the house. Once it's gone, it's gone. I pray I survive the crash.
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13 days ago
Obscene, I also live in Nova Scotia. I live with a person who is extremely at risk of death if they get Covid. I still wear a mask to the grocery store. Until there is a vaccine, masks stay on.
6 likes
1 mo ago
BBL, learning how to make gifs so I can RP as myself on here. I'll play a university student who has lived a REALLY rough life.
8 likes
1 mo ago
Real people should stick to real movies, not animated ones. Ever see Tom Hanks in Polar Express? I have. It's seared into my memory like a scar. It's why it doesn't work.
3 likes
2 mos ago
*deletes Photoshop skills off her resume*
4 likes

Bio

I'm a 31 year old woman just looking to keep those writing muscles in whatever shape I can. I'm also Canadian, so fill the rest of this bio with every stereotype you can think of. I'm also single now, so clearly life is going well.

"She's horrible and stuff" - @BangoSkank

Most Recent Posts



A Savannah @NeoAJ, Talya @HaleyTheRandom and Wesley @GhostMami collab





Wesley Slater waited anxiously for the competition to begin as Dr. Hagerty explained the rules. There would be a mixture of mental and physical challenges, so it seemed. Wes was confident that he could manage both of them within certain contexts. As a student hoping to someday study law, he had book smarts and a plethora of trivia knowledge. Due to his nature, he was also a quick thinker and witty… but, he wasn’t sure how well he would maneuver something like a complex riddle. As for physical challenges, he was sure that he could carry the team on anything requiring speed, agility, and dexterity. Strength, however, might pose a problem… he had this thought as he scanned the room and took in the other teams before bringing his eyes to his own teammates. They didn’t have a bulging muscular jock on their team, but that didn’t mean they couldn’t win.

“Okay, well.” He began to address Talya and Savannah as they waited for their first clue card to be passed out. “Let’s talk about team strengths while we wait, what are you guys good at and what might you need extra help with? Hopefully between the three of us we can cover all our bases.” Wesley wasn’t a natural born leader, not by a long shot, but in this instance it felt right to take the torch. This was a game and he was competitive as all get out, so he had to take the lead if he wanted a chance at victory, which he did. Losing was not an option.

Savannah shrugged her shoulders. “I can run,” she stated. As if anyone didn’t know that at this point. “I can jump pretty well too, so if we need athleticism, I’m probably the best choice. I mean no offense.”

There was a little bit of offense. It was clear that most of the other athletes, especially the ones who might be able to lift a heavy rock or something, were not present on this squad. Sav was never driven to do much work on her arms, Wesley didn’t look like he was packing any major muscle and Talya… she looked really good. Savannah shook her head after that last thought. What the fuck, Savannah? Focus! You want to win this, right? Prove that you’ve got more to offer than just some nice legs? Then win this… and let Wesley take all the credit so you don’t stand out too much and start getting the Leos of the school back on your tail!

“So if we have to split up and cover a lot of ground, let me take the farthest point and we can probably catch teams off guard that way with that level of coverage.”

“Right on, good to know. I’m a runner too, so we definitely have speed covered. How ‘bout you, Tal? Is it cool if I call you Tal?” Wesley asked his second teammate.

One of Talya’s curses was being able to observe nearly everything around her. From the way Hagerty creepily smirked, to the way Wesley seemed to be sizing both her and Savannah up. She especially noticed how Savannah’s eyes seemed to linger for just a second to long --

“Hmm? Oh yeah. Sure. Tal’s fine.” Crossing her arms as she watched the clue cards being passed out, she took a brief moment to think of her strengths. “Let’s see…. On the physical side of things I’m a really good climber. Flexible. Fast reflexes. Running isn’t my favorite thing, but I can do it. Mentally, I’m good for plans, adaptability, and riddles.”

“Awesome! I feel like I’d be trash at riddles, so I’m glad we have you.” Wes said, offering Talya the charming Slater Smile. “Trivia I can do though, if there are any challenges like that.” As if on cue, a staff member approached their group and offered the first clue. The card had two groupings of jumbled up letters: EULECRT LAHL. Sliding the card towards Talya his own mind went to work spinning on what the words could unscramble to form. “Do you think the letters can go anywhere, or each word is separately scrambled?”

Taking a look at the card, Talya squinted her eyes in concentration. “I would say probably separately… Remember how in grade school they’d give us these jumbled letter things and when the letters were separated, it meant the words were too? If that makes any sense?” Continuing to stare at the letters as she mentally arranged them in her head, Talya shrugged her shoulders before she spoke again. “The second word has to be hall. It’s the only thing that makes any sense.”

Savannah peered over Talya’s shoulder to get a glimpse at what the puzzle was. She liked to think she was good at these sorts of things, but really didn’t want to step on any toes. She didn’t need to add more fuel to any fires given she still wasn’t sure where she stood with TJ at the moment. But once Talya mentioned the second word was “HALL” that left a limited number of possibilities for the first one. Culture… no that doesn’t work. Cretule? Not a word. Lurtcee? Letcrue? Le..Lecture! “Lecture. It’s the Lecture Hall. That’s what it is.”

“You girls are brilliant, YES!” Wesley exclaimed in praise. He hopped out of his chair and locked eyes with Savannah, who claimed to be speedy. “Race you there!” He challenged before launching himself over the back of his chair and tearing ass towards the lecture halls. Which one, exactly? He hadn’t a clue, but they were all in the same area.

While Talya never claimed to be the fastest, or really enjoyed running, as soon as Wesley and Savannah had taken off, so did she. With one long leg in front of the other, her long brown hair fanning out behind her, Talya soon caught up with her teammates, doing her best to match their pace. The thudding of their footsteps on the pavement accompanied by the rise and fall of her chest was a surprisingly good feeling - one that Talya hadn’t ever recalled feeling before.

“Gonna have to race me too, Wes!” she called out tauntingly.

Savannah was caught off-guard by Wesley’s impromptu challenge, but you don’t get to be the best runner in the school by not being prepared to go at any moment. Wesley’s head start was quickly erased as the Texan caught both her teammates and passed them by on the way to the lecture halls. She had barely broken a sweat when she turned around to see where Talya and Wesley ended up. “Y’all knew who you were challenging to a race, right? I mean, I wasn’t kidding when I said I can run. I’ve done enough of it in my lifetime to know how good I am.”

Wesley and Talya arrived at the same time and nearly collided in the doorway of the lecture hall. Wes laughed through heavy breaths from the sprint before realizing that Savannah was already there. “What the?!” He looked behind them and then double-taked. “How did you?” Panting breaths. “Damn Sav, you are fast. So what’s the challenge?” No rest for the wicked.

“Holy shit, Savannah.” Taking a few quick, deep breaths, Talya looked at the other woman. “You trying to join the Olympics or something?” Standing up straight as her heart attempted to beat from her chest, Talya took another look at the clue card. “Says that once we reach the destination, we have to look around for ten puzzle pieces? That should give us our next clue.”

“Well, if the Olympics will have me, I’ll be happy to run for the Stars and Stripes,” Savannah admitted as she took a look around the room. She didn’t recognize the teacher in charge, probably one of the science teachers. She didn’t have much interest in that. Anyway, they seemed to be preoccupied so there would be no hints as to where the 10 puzzle pieces were hidden. But they had to be fairly obvious, right? The faculty wouldn’t make them impossible to find. But yet, she saw nothing. “What are we even looking for with these puzzle pieces? Are they expecting us to sniff them out or something? I can’t see anything…”

Wesley didn’t need to be told twice. This was going to be his shining challenge! No one was as good at ferreting out little trinkets and hidden treasures as much as Wesley Slater… not that anyone really knew that fact. Besides Griffin, who knew everything. You’re not a very good thief if you get caught! With his heart still racing from the run, he flitted around the lecture hall checking under chairs and desks, on top of shelves, the ledge of the white boards, you name it. When all was said and done, he had retrieved five puzzle pieces before meeting back up with his teammates. “I got five!” He said before dumping them on a table top to try to start forming a completed image.

Once inside, Talya did her best to find as many pieces as she could. The brunette had never been that great at games that required searching. Instead of searching around the room like a maniac, she did her best to rely on her intuition. If I were a teacher, where would I hide things, she thought. Setting off on her random path, Talya soon managed to find three of the puzzle pieces before heading back over to Wesley and handing them to him. “How's it coming with the last few, Sav?!”

Savannah wasn’t having much luck. She was roaming around the chairs, looking for something to stick out, but it wasn’t coming to her. She did manage to grab one that she spotted on a windowsill, but the other one was a long time coming. “I got one!” she shouted before whispering to herself, “Thought I would be better at finding things though… I don’t forget that many things where I put them…” As she emerged from the aisle, she tried to have another look around before bringing her solitary piece to the front. She swept around to the lectern to see if maybe they would dare hide one in the podium. Sure enough, a piece rested underneath the microphone. “OK, I got two!” she corrected herself as Savvy brought her haul to the team.

“Sick!” Wes replied as he arranged the pieces so far. A couple of them were fitting together to form another scrambled up word, but this one was much shorter than their first clue. With the addition of Talya and Savannah’s pieces, there was only one thing it could be. “The gym!” Standing up straight he raised an eyebrow. “Round two: rematch?”

“Normally I’m all for people dusting themselves off and trying again, but are you sure you want this heat?”

“Absolutely.” Wes replied before taking off yet again.

There was no way that Talya was running all the way to the gym. The sprint to the Lecture Hall had been plenty enough exercise for the day. ”You guys go ahead. I’ll meet you there.”

As her teammates took off, Talya was sure to at least pick up the pace while walking to the gym. She was used to having people wait on her, as she was rarely ever on time. However, with every step she took, Talya felt the need to win the competition growing inside of her. Once she had reached the gym she looked at both Wesley and Savannah. “Now what?”

“Uh…” Wesley pulled out his phone to glance at the picture of the puzzle clue that he had taken. A photo was much easier to transport than a fragile puzzle. “Looks like we have to shoot ten free throws as a team, each of us getting at least one before we can move on. Wanna just stand in a line and take turns one after another? Who’s first?”

Basketball? Talya didn’t have much experience in the sports department. What little she had done was soccer and swimming. Sure, there was an occasional friendly game here and there at the park with some friends, but she considered herself very far from a good basketball player.

”This might take us a second,” she said with a sigh. ”I vote for you, Sav. You seem the most athletic out of all of us.”

While it was true that Savannah had once again bested Wesley in the race to the gym, that was where the extent of her athletic abilities ended. Stellar hand-eye coordination was not something she was blessed with, but she could probably manage.. “Uhhh… sure. I’ll give it a shot. Eh?” she prodded, proud of herself for the unintentional pun. “No? OK then.”

The pink-blonde girl grabbed a basketball off a provided rack and stepped to the line indicated on the court. She took a pair of cautious dribbles, making them look easy when in reality she had to concentrate hard just to maintain possession. As she looked up at the rim, eyes firmly locked onto the orange metal hoop that separated her from her goal, she closed her eyes and fired with the grace and verve of the NBA stars of old.

Unfortunately, the shot most resembled that of Shaquille O’Neal. It clanked off the front of the rim and bounced right back into Savannah’s hands. It almost looked like it was planned, but basketball was an entirely different sport than dodgeball, and with a much smaller target.

“OK, take two!” Savvy hoisted another attempt, this time aiming for the square on the backboard. Maybe she could force it off that and in. It wasn’t as cool as Mikey Williams made it look on TV, but still, it had to work. The shot clunked off the back of the rim this time as Savannah was still finding her range, but the ball bounced a foot into the air and fell back down through the net.

“Yes! There we go! There it is! One point!” Savannah triumphantly roared as she went to retrieve her ball. “Tal, Wes, you can do it! It’s pretty easy once you line it up! Just fire away!”

“AYYY!!!” Wesley cheered Savannah on boisterously when she made the shot on only her second attempt. “Nice job, Sav.” Wes grabbed a basketball of his own off of the rack and lined up for a shot. He took a steadying breath and hoped that the couple of games he played with Griffin before he got whisked off into quarantine would pay off. His first shot… missed the net and hoop entirely. The second one bounced off the rim and rolled off to the sidelines. Not even bothering to fetch his missed shots, he grabbed a fresh ball for a third attempt and stepped up to the line once more. Squaring up and placing his feet carefully, with a bend at the knee and a push through the arms, his wrist flicked and, “BOOM! There we go!” All net, baby. “Let’s see what you got, Tal!”

Watching the others as they took their shots, Talya studied their movements as carefully as she could. A simple eyebrow raised as Savannah made her shot, she watched Wesley as he finally made his own shot. Once it was her turn, the young woman grabbed one of the basketballs before dribbling it a few times like Savannah had done. Trying to get a feel for the ball, Talya wasn’t entirely sure what good it would do. Once she was in position, Talya took a deep breath before sending the ball flying towards the backboard. As the orange and black sphere hit the dead center of the white square, it magically made it’s way right into the net as it bounced back. Slightly shocked, Talya shrugged as she turned to her teammates. ”I have no idea how that happened.”

“Okay, Kobe, I see you!” Wes encouraged her with a grin.

“Hey, keep doing what works!” Savannah offered. “Three down, seven to go right? And now we all have a make, so we can just go with it now!” She took her place at the line and fired another shot at the square. It was much smoother now, as smooth as a thunk and a swish could be. “Shoot! I’m hot! Keep feeding me some balls, y’all! I’ll take all these shots!”

And the team did just that. Talya passed balls from the rack to Savannah. Wesley ran around the court to fetch the balls from the shots that Savvy missed, bringing them back to Talya. The team functioned like a spastic, but well-oiled machine. After about ten minutes of this, the remaining seven free throws had been sunk. “Hell yeah, nice teamwork! What’s next?” Wes asked gleefully, eager for the next challenge.

“Dunno, but I’d say we’re in the lead and we’re gonna win this thing!” Savannah affirmed as the gym teacher handed over the next clue.

”I’d say our chances look pretty decent,” Talya said, a small smile trying to peek through onto her face. Maybe they did have a shot at this thing after all.





As the wall panel started to shift open and the stairway to an entire lower floor was revealed, Samira breathed an audible sigh of relief. The thought of this many people being forced to share a couple of bedrooms was rather unpalatable, especially since she knew maybe half of the people in here and she had reasons to dislike at least a quarter of them. It sounded like the Guild wanted things to be taken care of quickly, given how ready Aloysius was with the details of a couple of targets that needed to be scoped out. Still, between that and the room selection, things were shaping up rather nicely for the Canadian.

Melville started the introductions off, which was appreciated. The cryomage still was unsure of a lot of the chosen participants of this venture. However, if the Golden Child was sent here, it had to mean the rest of the selected magic users were good. At least as good as she was. So that was the hope Samira clung too. At least she knew she could play her cards right now.

"Well, if we're doing introductions, I might as well go next," she offered. "My name is Samira Boukhary, and no, that bloodline is not well known and that's how my family likes it. I'm from Lebanon, via Canada, and surprisingly enough, the Canadian roots influence my powers. Hope you don't have to find out what they are. Now, I brought a lot of food on the way in to Satsuma, so help yourself to some fried chicken, onigiri, sweet pancakes, whatever you're in the mood for. I'm pretty sure I got everything covered and more. Really recommend the fried chicken, because it's so much better than that KFC garbage. Now," she paused for a second to look around the room. "Seeing as I'm guessing I'm the only one in this room that speaks fluent Japanese, it makes sense for me to get the master bedroom upstairs, right? I'm pretty sure I have the best chance of maintaining the illusion that this is just a regular house that some silly American girl rented on Airbnb for the summer to try and 'rediscover herself in that corporate shell' or whatever buzzspeak drivel I need to spout to keep cover. So, if there are no objections, I'll be happy to move my suitcase from the car to that bedroom while everyone digs into the 'authentic Japanese 7-Eleven cuisine'?"





A Shawna @NeoAJ and Sunshine @HaleyTheRandom collab





As Sunshine offered her hand, Shawna felt more at ease than she did a second ago. Thoughts of Chrissie stumbling off evaporated from her mind, as Shawna was certain someone would look after her fallen friend. The way she had someone to look after her. At least, that’s what she hoped. The limits of that would be tested soon enough, but still. There was a confidence in her girlfriend that she rarely had in anyone but herself before.

The music started to fade out into the background as the two young women exited the country club towards the parking lot. Shawna was starting to feel the effects of the alcohol a little bit, but she was sure that Jack parked somewhere in the general vicinity she was heading towards. It was hard to miss a Viper and the school didn’t spring for valet parking so it had to still be here. She checked the keychain to see if there was a fob. Luckily there was. She started clicking incessantly trying to get the headlights to flash, and eventually she spotted light coming from one of the vehicles. “There we go,” she said triumphantly. “The stationary chariot awaits.”

To be honest, Sunshine had no idea what a Viper was. Of course she knew that it was a car, but anything beyond that and she was at a complete loss. Knowing that the students of Kings Academy were very well off, she knew it had to be a nice car, regardless of the name brand, specs, or anything else. When the headlights flashed, Sunshine raised her eyebrows in surprise as she caught sight of the vehicle. ”That is not what I was expecting.”

“I know. Jack told me it was his dad’s, which I guess I believe him, since I don’t think Jack needs that much of a penis extension yet, but yeah,” Shawna confirmed. “I just didn’t want to try and talk over the shitty pop music anymore.” She opened the passenger door for her preferred date to the dance. “Worse case we can find better music on the radio probably.”

Shrugging her shoulders in agreement, Sunshine climbed into the borrowed vehicle. She wasn't sure which was better - the interior or the exterior. Either way, the car was a sight to behold. "Do you think we could drive it?"

As Shawna nearly tripped over the concrete bumper that designated the parking spot, she wondered if even being in the vicinity of the car was such a good idea. But meh. She wasn’t going to be that stupid and try and drive the thing. Opening the door and sitting down was proving to be tricky enough. “Probably not the best idea to go driving right now,” she admitted. “I don’t like my chances of beating a breathalyzer at the moment. Besides, I don’t need to get my ‘date’ in trouble with his folks.”

Shawna finally sat herself down in the driver’s seat, content to finally have some alone time with her true date. It had been too long. February was proving cruel with her parents back. “So hey, I’m sorry things have been so rough and I haven’t been able to hang out as much. With Mom and Dad back from their cruise, I’ve had to go back to playing the perfect daughter for a little bit. I was really hoping the trip would have made them a bit more relaxed. Guess not.”

Shaking her head, Sunshine gave Shawna a reassuring smile. ”Relax, babe. I knew what I was signing up for. If nothing else I can use being your study buddy for cover? I mean, I know it’s not the best idea, but…”

The brunette seemed a little uncomfortable with the notion of calling Sunshine a study buddy. Sure, it was an easy lie. Her parents would probably be thrilled she was taking her studies seriously again. That she had smart friends again instead of “that Carter fellow.” Between that and Jack coming over and being a face now, it would be the perfect lie.

But Shawna didn’t want to lie anymore.

It’s why she was thrown off when Chrissie said she wasn’t going to be able to make space for her anymore. The way she did during the summer of soul-searching that Shawna needed to get to the point of tattoos and Tanqueray at trendy parties. The way she offered complete cover with her parents, assuring them that they were studying hard instead of what they actually did. But it wasn’t going to be about defending against Shawna’s parents this time. That’s what scared her.

“Cookie,” she started. “You’re awesome and wonderful and you don’t deserve to be hidden away behind some study buddy ruse. I want the whole world to know how awesome you are, and how lucky I am to have someone like you in my life, in that way. Plus if saying that means exposing the bigots in my life, that’s an added bonus. I just… I really don’t know what’s going to happen when I tell them. They could surprise me. They could cut me off entirely. I’m ready for either. But, I know which side I’m betting on in the seedy casinos. It’s not the happy Lifetime special ending one.”

Turning in the seat so that she could face Shawna, Sunshine grabbed her girlfriends hands before looking her in the eye. ”Listen babe. I can’t even begin to know what you’re feeling right now. Mom and dad died before I ever had the chance to come out, and my aunt and uncle don’t even care. My point is - I stand by you, no matter your decision. I’m cool with keeping it on the down low, if that’s what will help you in the long run. But I’m also leaning a little more towards you being who you actually are. Keeping the lies and secrets are just going to do more harm in the long run. No matter what you decide, if it is the latter… I always have the house in New York.”

It meant a lot to hear Sunshine say those words. Every last one of them. She had always been supportive as long as the two of them had been friends, even if it seemed longer than the five months it actually was. It made Shawna feel that trust coursing through her as Sunshine held her hands. Shawna would tear up if she wasn’t so sure that it would look like a mess upon returning to the dance. If she had to. She would prefer not to. She’d prefer to stay in this Viper in this moment.

“Sunny, you don’t know how happy you make me sometimes. I swear,” Shawna stuttered slightly as she got those words out. Partly because she leaned in for a kiss immediately after. She kept it short, but she was sure the emotion would be conveyed. “I think you are the person who sees in me the things I never could find in myself. I’m so grateful for that. It’s why I want to do this right. And...I’m not going to lie. If it comes to it, New York in the summer sounds pretty awesome. I told you I finally sent in that application to Brooklyn College, right? I mean, I told my parents I was going for Harvard and Columbia, but we both know that isn’t happening. Worst case, there’s always Long Island U. Plus, at least I’ll have one family member nearby who has my back.”

”What?! You really sent in the app,” she asked, her eyes lighting up in excitement. ”I thought that was like… a joke. I mean, you had mentioned it, but like… Wow. Have you heard anything?”

In Sunshine’s opinion, this was great news. She needed to figure out what to do with her life after highschool. Brooklyn seemed like the most logical option. She had a whole house there, and wouldn’t have much to worry about there as opposed to choosing another college. The fact that Shawna had applied was amazing.

Shawna shook her head. “Nothing yet, but there’s still plenty of time. I sent it that last weekend you came over before my parents returned. Before you woke up. It’s why you actually smelled food being cooked instead of, you know, just the usual Green’s order. I was kinda running on a good high. But I wanted to at least get that in to make sure I had the option. New York really made an impression on me when I was up there.” She looked back into Sunshine’s eyes. “Can’t imagine why…”

With a small laugh, Sunshine turned back around to properly reposition herself in her seat. ”Say…. Would it be weird if we just ditched the dance and had a random talk about random shit in a random car?”

“Nah. I think it would be weirder if we stayed in there listening to bad karaoke.”

”Then waddya say we just stay here and find some actual music?”

“That sounds like the best idea of the night. Besides,” Shawna patted her purse. “I got better drinks than the dance too. And now I have my real date.” Suck on that, Kings.




As she surveyed the tiny road that bridged the gap between the town and the forest, Lilith wasn't entirely looking forward to the uphill climb. But then again, that was what all the elliptical work was for. The first leg of Kanto was a steady incline, plateauing in the forest and continuing all the way through Mt. Moon. It was meant to weed out those who wouldn't be able to handle the increase in difficulty that the later gyms would bring. Right back around to that initial incline from Pallet to Viridian. The one she had already travelled. It was that easy.

What wouldn't be easy would be facing Brock, and Lilith was well aware of that fact. Suffice to say, Sia and Omen weren't exactly built for the solid boulder of a roadblock that would be in their way coming up. He had a reputation for being a determined Rock trainer, although given what she had seen from Gary and Professor Oak, it was likely this was overblown as well. Still, it couldn't hurt to have an ace in her mesh sleeves.

At least she had more food. Hana finally made good on the promise that her work in the Pokemon Center foretold. The smell of the fried rice had partially forced her trip to the coffee shop earlier, so to have the ball in her hand, no matter the color, it was welcome. In addition to the croissant, she was now more than prepared for the trip through the woods ahead.

That being said, she wasn't exactly prepared for... cheer. That is what seemed to be on offer from the young woman that approached her. Obviously a member of the group that had set out from Kanto. The red hair was unmistakable. The eyes were something she hadn't noticed before, the red irises clearly standing out, even against the fiery mane that presented itself. Lilith was almost envious, certain that she could do that kind of natural hair color justice, although she would have to ask where the woman got the contact lenses that gave her such a demonic hue.

It seemed like she had good taste in Pokemon anyway, the way she was fawning over Sia. The Litwick was loving the attention she was getting, a hint of pink almost visible in the white wax that made up her body. The glow off her flame was even more prominent, even in the midst of the afternoon sun. Lilith was all right with it. The woman, now naming herself as Lizbeth, didn't name Lilith as anything but that, and that was a win in her book. She was talking about her naming techniques and Lilith could relate to that. After all, she named herself according to what she liked.

"That is the way to do it," she confirmed, oblivious that she defied her own conventions not two hours ago in the Viridian Pokemon Center. "Pokemon are much smarter than people give them credit for, and they deserve the utmost respect, no matter where in their lifespan they happen to reside. They should have a say in what they call themselves. Hopefully I will have a new member of the squad to ask that of soon enough. No offence to Sia and Omen," she nodded to the two Pokemon that still rested on her shoulders, "but given my intel on what the Pewter City Gym has to offer for battle, I will need additional help to take down that rockhead."





As she sat at the back of the auditorium, surveying the scene as best she could while keeping her back to the wall as much as possible, Savannah was very on-guard at the moment. She was still edgy from the interactions with her friends from earlier. It's why she sat far away from Tyler Jane for this assembly. As much as she wanted to try and bury the hatchet a bit and talk about just what went down between the two of them in front of Nicholas, it wasn't the time. Not with so many things swirling in her head at the moment.

History was laughable. Savannah tried to take notes, but she had no interest in learning about the Louisiana Purchase. Old white men selling tracts of land that they stole from the Native Americans. No thank you. Instead, she was trying to figure out just how this party on the weekend was going to work and just how she was going to make the Liquoriana Purchase. First point, never call alcohol that ever.

So I know I'm going have Erica helping with the pickup, but the two of us aren't going to be able to walk all the way from this liquor store and back with enough booze for the entire first floor! I have to assume we're going to need a lot in order to make sure all our bases are covered. How are we going to get it back here without a car or anything? Do either of us even know how to drive a car? I could probably fake it if it was an automatic, I've seen enough people drive that I can do that, but manual I'm probably screwed. That's if we can even find a vehicle. With keys! And how am I paying for all this alcohol? I know Mom and Dad had to pull some strings to get me in here and can afford it, but I can't exactly call them up and be all 'Can I have some money for various amounts of booze?' What are we going to do about that? If I put it on my credit card, I'll be A) out of money for music and clothes orders, and B) broadcasting to my parents that I'm doing this! Plus the credit card isn't in Kelsey Marston's name! Ugh! This is too much! Too much stepping outside the lines! I'm going to totally get caught!

By the time she got to P.E. with Erica, her mind was almost frazzled. There weren't many opportunities to talk to one of her besties either. Dodgeball day saw them put on opposite teams for the most part, and while Savannah loved dodgeball since she was almost an impossible out with her ability to jump and gracefully dip to avoid most balls thrown her way, it was clear her mind wasn't in it on this occasion and she had a couple instances where she was picked off very quickly. More frustrations. By the time she had got back to her room, cleaned up a bit, and spent some prime time staring at the ceiling, the assembly rolled around.

So here Savannah sat. By herself. Without her usual pack of friends and allies. Left to ponder the darkened thoughts and dreadful scenarios that the procurement of potent potables was going to entail. She barely listened to the headmaster as she sat in her seat, hand gripping her chin as Savvy did her best to keep from just bolting then and there. Mealtimes were mentioned, which meant nothing. Savannah had her routine down pat. Halloween also got a nod, which Savannah wasn't to thrilled about. There were already enough things to be scared about without people actively trying to make her jump through the ceiling. Halloween sucked.

But then the mention of this strange scavenger hunt came up. Really? Isn't this something for like elementary school kids? Whatever. It meant no classes on Wednesday. That was a win in and of itself. But then teams were brought up, and more worries hit Sav's poor brain. Assigned teams? Shoot. Guess that means I'm probably not just with Erica and TJ. That might be fore the best though. Oh god what if I'm stuck with Leo! Or Theo! Ugh!!! Kill me if that happens. I do not need to work with those... sex-crazed animals! Theo actually wasn't as bad as Leo, but still, the aura from both of them rubbed Savannah the wrong way.

As the assembly mercifully ended, Savannah ran to the exits and spotted the aforementioned list on the bulletin board. It didn't take much to scan through everything, and it appears that the Texan had managed to dodge a few bullets. Certainly better than she dodged balls earlier today. She deftly got out of the way before other students started crowding her into the wall. She hated being crowded.

As she walked away from the scene and back towards the safety of her room, she was running over who she was forced to team up with. She was entering onto a team of almost unknown quantities, aside from rumors and hearsay. Wesley Slater, she had heard a little bit about from Bradley during their conversations. Apparently they were thick as thieves. Those two and Griffin... Shoot, Griffin! He should be getting out today! Hope he's feeling better. I'll have to text him or something. Anyway, Bradley referred to Wesley a lot. A LOT a lot. Almost made her think Bradley was a rainbow warrior or something. Wesley seemed a bit slow and apparently he was just as fond of stirring things up and running away as Bradley. But without the shame. So he's not going to be much help. If he's as all over the place as Bradley gets, he'll probably run away within the first hour or so to go climb a tree or something.

Then there was Talya Burnley. Savannah had basically no experience with the brunette, save for a couple conversations via Erica and Bradley. The Barron boy was proving quite useful today. Talya was an artist, probably one of the best ones here, if Bradley's hyperbole was to be believed. Erica had a slightly more reserved opinion, but according to her, if you knew Talya, you knew everybody at San Agustin, because she would tell you everyone's business. Whether you needed to know it or not. Talya seems like she could be a snake in the grass of this whole party plan. Better keep my mouth shut around her. Hopefully me and Erica can just text about it I guess. Still, Savannah remembered seeing her around school a couple times and there was... something about her. Something she couldn't quite place just yet. Maybe there was a common ground there that she just wasn't seeing yet. She remembered watching her walk across the campus one day and being almost hypnotized for some reason. If nothing else, this will be a chance to figure out what that's all about. I mean, that just doesn't make sense, right? A girl shouldn't be able to do that to another girl...

Thinking about her new teammates was an almost pleasant diversion for Savannah. But as she plopped back down on her bed, trying to come up with some plans for her other problems, her mind was raising again. "Screw it," she finally declared. "I'll go to the gym. Maybe that will fix me." It couldn't hurt at this rate.








As the rental Toyota Crown streaked its way along Route 42, blue-painted metal gleaming underneath the afternoon sun, the driver of the vehicle seemed to be eagerly scanning the side of the road as if searching for something. It couldn't be gas. The car's tank was still relatively full after being picked in Kagoshima earlier today. No, it had to be something else on the mind of Samira Boukhary.

The young woman was still looking for some sort of familiar landmark that would call to her. A beacon of hope that she would able to get the supplies she needed for her mission in Satsuma. Finally, as she passed by a country club of rolling green hills, she found her salvation.

"Oh thank heaven," she said softly to herself as she turned off the path to her assigned home base and pulled into the parking lot of one of Japan's fabled 7-Elevens.

It was a long trip to this point for Samira. One that had taken up two days' worth of travel time, if the calendar was to be believed. And frankly, Samira's idea of a tropical getaway wasn't a 70-minute layover in Honolulu while the Hawaiian Airlines flight from JFK refuelled for the second leg of its trans-Pacific trip to Tokyo. But the 18 hours in the air aren't so bad when they are dealt with in one of those lie-down seats that can be slept in like a proper bed, nor the on-demand video and unlimited power for her cell phone and other accoutrements. Thankfully, her wealthy superiors at "SunWolf" would be fitting the bill for all this.

As well as the night spent as the luxurious Royal Park Hotel where she tried desperately to recover from all the jet lag and finally managed to do so at the hotel bar with the help of six whiskey sours and an tall, blonde Australian businessman named Simon who taught Samira some noises that she never needed to hear with that accent ever again. At least she got to check out her exquisitely-appointed room eventually. There wasn't much sleep to be had before her 11:30 am flight, but it was going to be her last night as a free woman for a little bit, so she was going to live it up while she could. A quick glance at the roster chosen for this particular mission told her that there was going to be more babysitting in her future than bottle service.

Which is why she mocked some of the chosen methods of travel that she knew were being considered. Teleportation? Boat? Very practical. How were people supposed to get around Satsuma inconspicuously? Clearly Samira had to think of everything. Hence, the rental of her lovely luxury compact upon arrival in Kagoshima. Surely it would not stay so pristine forever, but that was something for Hiroyuki to deal with upon its return.

The drive was lovely, but it also offered time for Samira to think about the email that was sent earlier. The fact that they don't have an actual safe house left in the area is probably not a good sign of things to come. If these rebels are intent on taking magic to the masses, they would target any necessary resources we have in the area. And if we're moving into a building that wasn't designed for a massive amount of people living in it, it's going to be a major problem. Plus, I'm not sharing a bed with a teenager. No thank you. No desire to do that again anytime soon. But that's going to make it very tough to get a whole of basic weapons and have a place to plan our suppression tactics... and food! Shoot, what are we going to do for food? If they didn't plan that out, we're going to have nothing to eat! Given that there was little substance in the packet of pretzels she was offered on the Japan Airlines flight, sustenance was going to be necessary.






Hence, her stop at the 7-Eleven. It was less a convenience store and more a candy shop for someone with as much experience with Japanese culture as Samira. She moved like a whirlwind through the aisles, grabbing bento boxes, onigiri rolls and a generous serving of JFC (Japanese fried chicken). She held off on ice cream, but did grab some dorayaki for the sweet teeth in the bunch. And of course, pizza chips. No trip would be complete without ALL the pizza chips.

As she brought her haul up to the counter where the young woman in the green and orange shirt stared, gun ready to try and scan everything, Samira offered a smile and a bow of apology. "こんにちは!たくさんの食べ物を手に入れたことを許してください!何匹食べなければならないのかわからないので、みんなのために何かあげました!" "Hello! Forgive me for grabbing so much food! I don't know how many I have to feed, so I got something for everyone I hope!"

Miyuki, as the tag announced, looked at the baskets of food and shrugged. "ええ。心配ない。あなたがこのすべてのためのお金を持っている限り。" "Meh. No worries. As long as you have the money for all this," she replied in a disinterested tone. Clearly some teenager plodding through a summer job before heading back to school.

The traveler grinned and pulled out the Guild credit card, a wonderful black piece of plastic that was as good as gold wherever she needed to be. Thankfully, Kyushu wasn't as remote as say, southern Chad, so the card should handle everything they need during their stay in Japan. "カバーしました!" "Got it covered!" She plopped down the magic ticket on the counter. "現金で二万円もらえますか?" And can I have twenty thousand yen in cash please?"

The clerk shrugged. Despite the sheer volume of Samira's selections, a lot of them were duplicates so she could ring one thing in multiple times. Bagging everything was still annoying though. Once the final total was apparent, Miyuki added the requested sum and opened the till, counting out the bills until she had enough to cover it. "ほら、奥様。" "Here you go, ma'am."

"よろしくお願いします! " "Thank you very much!" Samira took the money and counted it herself, splitting it into two equal piles of 10,000 yen each. She pocketed one pile in her purse and handed the other half to Miyuki. "そして、私の感謝の印をとってください。" "And please take this token of my appreciation."

Miyuki looked stunned. Samira guessed the poor girl wasn't making more than this much in a week, and she always believed that one of the purposes of the Guild was to aid those who needed it, whether they knew it or not. Money was no object to the honchos in New York. When you have the power to create things out of thin air, it's no problem conquering the problems that alchemy tried and failed to do in the Middle Ages. "あなたは...あなたは私を傾ける必要がないことを知っていますよね?" "You...you know you don't have to tip me, right?"

Samira giggled softly. "必要はありませんが、したいです。" "I don't have to, but I want to." She picked up the various bags in her hands and balanced the lot of them in the crooks of her arms. "夏をお楽しみください、みゆきちゃん。" "Enjoy your summer, Miyuki-chan."

The 7-Eleven worker merely nodded in thanks as she held the bills in her hands. Samira loaded her car up with all her goodies and pressed on towards the indicated address in Satsuma.

It wasn't hard to find the address. Samira was told there would already be people present when she arrived, so she expected at least some sort of cavalry to come greet her as she pulled into the driveway. There was one car in the driveway already, but she guessed that it wasn't being used for carpooling purposes. People were probably taxiing or teleporting their way here. Great. As if more people in the city need to know where we are at. People need to be more careful, I swear. You can't keep erasing everyone's mind without some people getting suspicious...

Samira carried her truckload of food up to the door and with her knee, managed to open it enough to stick her foot in and get inside. There was a veritable blockade of people, and she wasn't too thrilled about it. As she eased her way in, she could see Kai standing there. Surely assigned to doorman duty, as was his want. "Please save it Kai. If you ask me who I am before I unload all these foodstuffs, I'm going to calmly freeze your tongue to the nearest bus."

Spotting the open kitchen counter, right in front of the Golden Child herself, Samira deposited her goods on the counter as gently as she could, not wanting to upset any of the boxes or smoosh any of the pancakes. "Thanks for the help with that, Salem. You're a dear," she said sarcastically as she started to sort through the bags. "So, Melville, should I be impressed with this house that I know won't be able to hold everyone in it or worried that the other buildings are no longer options?"







”Everything OK with you?”

Shawna wasn’t entirely sure at the moment. As she looked at the cup that her girlfriend was offering, she was thinking about the exit that one of her best friends made. One that was less than graceful and definitely related to the liquid in the cup. Should I have gone after her and made sure she’s all right? Am I all right with how that went? Chrissie seemed all right. But not having that space to go to… I can’t put it all on Sunshine, can I?

Shawna shook her head out of her own thoughts and looked back at Sunshine, the cup still in her hand. “Not as all right as I thought they’d be, honestly. But, I think we need somewhere private to talk about it. Give me one sec,” she held up a finger as she went to find the person she knew could make that happen.

It took that second and a few more, but eventually Shawna found her “boyfriend,” chatting up some brunette whose name she couldn’t place. Had to be from one of the random low-level classes that she dare not enter. Still, she looked vaguely familiar. “Hey Jack,” she interrupted. “Can I borrow the keys to the Viper for a bit? I have some… personal business to attend to."

The football star rubbed his hand against the bottom of his chin. “I don’t know. I don’t think you should be doing anything in my dad’s car. It’s very expensive, you know.”

“Oh, I know. Hey, who are you talking to? Is that Angela? Should I say hi to her?”

“Nah, Angela… really? Angela? I thought her name was Amber. Anyway, she’s fine. Here.” Jack reached into his jacket pocket and produced the keys. “Just don’t spill anything in there.”

“I promise. Cross my heart and hope to be banished to Wyoming.” Shawna snatched the keys from his grasp and skipped back over to where she hoped Sunshine was still waiting. It looked like she was still there. “Hey, sorry I took more than a second. Care to join me on a romantic getaway to Jack’s Viper in the parking lot?”








After bidding Erica a fond farewell at the table, Savannah made a quick angry walk back to her dorm room. The speed of her trek was much less about the her stated goal of getting ready for class and more about trudging off to lick her wounds from the battle she lost for the attentions of Nicholas Gray. She loved TJ like a sister, but sometimes it just felt like the redhead would tower over her and completely obscure her from any conversation.

It wasn't even about getting the attentions from some guy. There were enough guys who had tried to hook up with her already. That slimy Todd McClellan tried his luck on the first week and Savannah couldn't bolt away quick enough. Anyone doing that kind of thing with his tongue to try and attract someone needed to be avoided. Of course there was Leo Brooks, but the vibe off that guy told Savannah that even the flashing pleasures of physical contact weren't worth the risk of being eaten alive by that personality, that macho bullshit that he projected everywhere. No, it was as she confirmed. Nicholas Grey was the prime target. Maybe Dwayne Freeman, but who knew with Dwayne? Dude was so smart and it seemed like he could keep his eye on whoever he wanted, but he never turned around and glanced her way. Not yet.

Is that why she did what she did in the cafeteria? I just did everything short of laying out on the table and spreading my legs in front of Nicholas, and for what? Would that really be worth it? Why would I want him to look at me? Why would I want anyone to look at me? I'm just fine being that stealthy person that no one really thinks about after I walk by, right? I don't need to be a Zakya or something drawing all the attention to myself...

SO WHY THE FUCK DID I DO THAT? WHY DID I SAY I WOULD DO THIS? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? I... UGH!


As Savannah opened the door to her room, she slung her gym bag off to the side by the laundry hamper and allowed herself a moment to collapse on the bed, her mind still racing over the breakfast that turned into a break in her brain. She had to breathe, take the moment to calm herself down. It was easier to do now that there was no prize to butt heads with her friends over. No tension. That's what this was all about, right? Erica said it herself. There had to be someway to get rid of all that tension, and apparently now they were going to be taking care of acquiring the methods of relaxation themselves. Probably for the best anyway. No need to bring in outside people. Although who knows? Someone like Charles would be a useful lookout or something. Or a fall guy. There was time to plan that trip later. Erica is so much better than me at coming up with plans anyway. Besides, I know what my job is going to be anyway...

Savannah hoisted herself off the bed and moved over to her wardrobe. On the shelf on the bottom, far away from all her pretty heels and expensive running shoes were an older beat-up pair of tall black combat boots. Honestly, the girl had no idea why they made the cut, of all the things that she could have brought with her limited luggage space. Who was going to invade the middle of nowhere? Besides, back home the only women who wore those swung their gaze from the eyes of the Lord towards the Devil's Temptations. At least, that's how her parents described them. Not that she believed too strongly in the scriptures anymore. Yet, here they were, serving a purpose that she didn't realize until she blurted out her booze-scoring abilities at the cafeteria table.

Reaching into the right boot, Savannah lifted up the padding of the sole and instantly found what she was looking for. A hard piece of plastic slipped into her fingers and was exposed to the air for the first time since she arrived at San Agustin. When she inadvertently discovered what she had in her possession on that warm September afternoon, she panicked and instantly buried it back into the darkness of those boots. It seemed like the smart thing to do. If she just tossed it out, even if she cut up the pieces really well, it was pretty clear what it was even from a fragment, and then there would be questions and expulsion. If she hid it in the boots and threw them out, that would just raise further questions. Also, she couldn't bring herself to disrespect quality footwear like that. It wasn't in her DNA.

No, as Savannah held the fake drivers license in her hands, her fingers started to tremble a little. Seeing the big bold "OKLAHOMA" lettering at the top, that Native American shield and feather, the picture of her smirking at the camera, the roots of her hair completely erased by bleach and more pink dye, it was like a crazy mistake from some alternate universe sat in her hands. Still, this was her ticket to getting out of the situation she had put herself in.

She went over to the mirror and stared into it for a moment with a steely gaze. There could be no trembling if she was going to pull this off. Savannah took another deep breath and stated, "Hello. My name is Kelsey Marston. I was born on December 7, 2013 in Vinita, Oklahoma, and I would like all of your finest alcohols for my friend's birthday party, please." She looked at her reflection for a moment and shook her head. "Just work on it, Marston. Don't sound like a dang robot. But don't sound so casual either..." She looked over at the clock. While Kelsey's problems could wait a couple of days, History started in 45 minutes. That meant Savannah had to get her shit in gear. "One crisis at a time," she told herself as she prepared for that quick shower she desperately needed before she sat down in class.










As she lugged her suitcase through the penultimate floor of the Bellagio, the hard gold plastic skidding along the tiles that likely had only seen the wheels of many a high-roller's suitcase on them before, Emilia did her best to take in everything. This was the lap of luxury, the cream of the crop, the... Yasmin of Bratz dolls. It sure was enough to make a girl feel like a princess.

It would have to do some work considering how Emilia felt on the ride up from Beverly Hills. All the emotions of the parking lot, of seeing Katie and Val and Nate and feeling all the negative energy hanging in the air, it took a lot of effort to not tear up then and there on the RV. She finally couldn't hold back as the RV passed through Rancho Cucamonga. Brandon had taken her on a date to a minor league baseball game there, and she thought about how painfully boring it was and it just came out. Breakdown number two on the day.

Thankfully Josie was right by her side to deliver the Ariana dosage she needed to keep calm. That's all Emilia had to do. Keep breathin'. She'd get through this. Who knows? Maybe this would be the thing that finally brought everyone together? The double barrels of orange soda managed to last the entire trip through such exotic locales as Hesperia and Barstow, through the barren Mojave Desert, crossing the line into the Silver State and then finally running dry upon entry into this fabled land of dizzying displays and drunken debauchery.

Was she really willing to go through with all of it? Las Vegas was a long way from home. In more ways than one.

As she entered the palatial suite that would serve as their base of operations while in Sin City, Emilia was a bit lost in all the grandeur. She let her suitcase and backpack fall by the giant couch in the living room/dining room/front of the Titanic and flopped down in the sofa, letting the soft leather envelop herself. It was soft and cozy and welcoming after being in that RV for so long with the cushions carrying her tears all the way to Nevada. This felt like something else entirely. A new beginning.

Nate disappeared immediately and headed towards one of the rooms. Emilia wanted to ask him if Val had calmed down any during the ride, because Emilia wasn't going to dare risk that question herself at this time, but he was too quick. The sound of a shower could be faintly heard. Guess that's going to be the boys side... and Val I guess. Valeria seemed quick to confirm that thought. After claiming the box that rested on the dining table, she announced she was taking up residence in another bathroom and went through a door on the same side that Nate had claimed, effectively locking down that side of the suite for the next hour or so. Probably for the best. She seemed to be in a happier mood after grabbing whatever that box was. Maybe we can talk later.

Sami seemed to have a plan for coexisting in the place, and it consisted of a quick separation of factions and a healthy amount of booze. Of course, that meant he was going to be taking Emilia's new favorite thing in the whole wide world for his bed with this plan. The blonde was in no hurry to give up her plush cushions but then Sami started plinking glasses on the bar. A drink wouldn't be a bad way to start things, even if Leon didn't seem to care. He bolted for the balcony like a bull heading for a china shop. A Chicago Bull that... no. Not now. Besides he was gone in a flash.

That left four in the main room and it seemed like they were all in agreement that mojitos were the way to go. But as Emilia leaned over the couch, wanting to get a good look at Mr. Alejandro's bartending prowess in action, all she got was a blast of cold tension. Josie was close enough that Emilia could hear what she said under her breath at Ava's request for more alcohol than fruit. Emilia didn't care, she would take all the lime goodness on offer. But the glare that the Lady Esposito shot towards the couch, Emilia could almost see the lasers shoot through Josie and over her head. Ava went back to spinning herself right round right after, but it still sent a chill down Emilia's spine. Oh my God... I didn't realize it was that bad... And we're sharing a bed... Dang it, I'm going to have to be the monkey in the middle, aren't I? Ugh, goodbye sleep. I guess I can suck it up for one night. For the crew and all. I'll be the buffer zone.

Miss Seger finally pushed herself away from her cozy roost and started making her way towards the bar where the promised cocktails awaited. "I'll take Val's drink if she doesn't want to come out and get it, Sami," she offered. "I'm still really thirsty after that long trip!" She took one of the beverages for now, waiting for the official go-ahead from Sami before she made a move for it. "And here's to us! Finally getting out of California and seeing the sights and states on this super summer adventure!" She took a sip and did her best not to show just how strong the alcohol was sitting in her mouth. Sami did not skimp on the rum for these ones. Emilia was able to power it down and keep her glass aloft. "Woo! Right? Now let's go! I wanna get chocolate wasted!"

Josie and Sami would get the joke, although she wasn't sure if Ava would, or the others even heard. It was time to try and let go of the past. If only for one night. No tears in any beers, no cries in mai-tais. Just say thank you, next and keep moving on to the next one. Be it drink or whatever.


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