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In Ju-V 10 mos ago Forum: Advanced Roleplay

INTERACTIONS: Virgil @Hound55
MENTIONS: Holt, Wes, Haven, Nat, Seo, and Noah
LOCATION: Welcoming Area—Alcatraz, San Fransico, California, US

“Why don’t you just turn that off,” one of the guards remarked while pointing at Rex’s entire body. The guard was an inch short of being perfectly round, and if Rex remembered correctly his name was Ted. The other guard, a man that was the physical opposite to his partner, made a face. His name was Jeff. Rex had dealt with Jeff, and they’d formed an understanding. A very terse one. Ted was new, though.

“Sure, let me get out my rock remote,” Rex said. Ted gave him a strange look, but Jeff rolled his eyes knowing what was next. Rex fished around in the pockets of his pants as if he was really looking for something. He then reached into his right pocket and pulled his hand out, middle finger extended. “Fuck you.”

Ted turned as red as the apple he was. He reared back. Jeff placed a hand on his shoulder. “Ted, you’re just going to break your hand on his face. And both you and I know that you won’t get worker’s comp for that.”

Ted deflated like a balloon, and his shoulders slumped. “You’re right. Sorry,” he then clarified, “not to you Mister Kingsley. I’m apologizing to Jeff.” He turned away from Rex and rubbed the side of his face and the well-kempt beard that outlined it. “Things with Cecilia haven’t been going well.” He leaned into his seat which was just a leather bench with the metallic inside of the van forming the “back.”

“Oh, Ted. You mentioned going to therapy with her?” Jeff asked. Suddenly, Rex felt like the weirdest third wheel imaginable. If they wanted him to stop antagonizing them, they sure picked the right way to do it. He just crossed his arms over his chest. The granite scraped together and made a noise that he’d spent a while getting over. It wasn’t pleasant, but like someone feeling their bones popping underneath their skin every time they moved, it could be blocked out.

The large white van hit a bump. Instead of jostling them around, it scraped against the ground in anguish. Rex hadn’t been chained to the interior for safety reasons. Not his safety. It was for the other people in the van, the people outside of the van, and the road itself. He’d agreed to it. Not like he wanted to draw more attention to himself while in the state of Georgia. He was one more headline away from them chasing into the ocean with flaming torches—tiki torches in this climate. In return, they stuck two guards with him. Despite him acting as if they wouldn’t be a challenge, they would be. Both were armed with aerosols that could knock him out in less than a second. So, there was this tense peace between them.

Right now, though, Rex just ignored their conversation. Therapy. After everything that happened with his dad, psychiatrists and therapists practically climbed over each other to talk to him and his mother. The aftereffects of an extended period of mind control hadn’t been researched, according to them, and this would be groundbreaking information. And sure, they got their fucking data points, but Rex couldn’t say he had worked through anything. Seventeen years passed, and his father made sure he never felt the natural ebb and flow of emotions. Anger. Nope. Sadness. Never. Anxiety. Pfft. Even teenage awkwardness had been evaded by his dad commanding that Rex not engage with it. So, when Trent Kingsley was locked away in a supermax of his own making, Rex suddenly had to deal with an onslaught of emotions. If he had the chance, like all kids, to work through it slowly he would have been fine. But he had to grasp everything—at once. It was through his failure to do so that he realized he was a metahuman. Had his father known? Or had he been tranquilized for so long that neither of them was aware of it?

The first time it happened, he was able to slough the stone from his body. The second time, a few deep breaths dealt with it. Like a rubber band that was popped in short intervals, it bounced back. Until that fateful evening—something he didn’t want to revisit—he could control it. That was the night the rubber band was stretched too far for too long. It couldn’t snap back. No. He couldn’t turn it off. He didn’t know if he could snap back.

The van came to a complete stop in front of the airport, and Rex was unloaded with expediency. The van rocked hard and sent both guards tumbling back in as he stepped out. He didn’t run, but instead, he just laughed. Both Jeff and Ted shot him a look.

Whatever revenge they wished upon him was swiftly enacted as Rex was pushed through the TSA, all cavities searched, and then placed onto a plane. He was sat in the very back while everyone else balanced out in the front. He had to be perfectly in the middle. So, no window seat for him. Just the carpet that smelled of urine and cleaner.

They landed, he was unloaded like luggage and then ferried through the back of the airport until he was at the second pick-up of the day. Rex shoved down a yawn as he looked at his traveling companion. He hadn’t spoken to the other kid, but he figured since the other kid was waiting for the crazy bus, he was a metahuman as well.

When the said van pulled up, Rex noted that it was constructed far sturdier than anything he’d ridden in recently. Still, it jostled as he pulled himself into it. He grimaced as he made his way to a free seat. The bus rocked as he plopped down. Rex probably should have apologized. He just crossed his arms. If anyone looked his way, he just responded with a terse, “What?”

Then came probably the most awkward bus ride he’d ever been on, and he’d been on the team bus when the cheerleaders were allowed on as well and the driver was so high he could only focus on the road. Viola hadn’t been a cheerleader. So, Rex had been knee-deep in the musk of everyone else’s hormones while he stared out the window and at the rolling, bland scenery. Now he couldn’t decide what was more interesting, the scenery outside the bus or inside. He’d never been to San Francisco. He’d also never been sardined between so many weirdos—he thought while being the king of the weirdos. At least he didn’t have to worry about any hormones. He was entirely made of granite. When asked if that fact traveled down to his you know, he’d just shrug. Yes—he was entirely made of rock. And the less that everyone dwelled on that, the better. He couldn’t fuck, and he could bet that no one else on this bus had that problem.

Yet, it was not a hill he wanted to die on or a record he wanted to hold—especially among this group. There were some confusingly attractive metahumans on this bus. Rex ran his hand over his face, trying not to think about any of that. The scraping of rock against rock was audible in the eerie silence of the bus, but it was not the only noise. There was the soft hum of music in the background and the muffled noise of a few different people’s headphones. One a kid in front of him who—for all intents and purposes—looked socially awkward. Another was from a hot girl—not literally, as he had to make that distinction in the bus of kids with powers—with red hair. She was dead asleep, though.

They eventually made their last stop, to the confusion of the British nerd up front. Rex found that his position as royalty was quickly dethroned as an otter climbed onto the bus. Fine. The otter could have the crown. Wear it snug on his cute, little otter head. Fuck. He and the otter had something in common—neither of them could fuck. Why. How. Was this the thing that brought him to the same level as the mammal? Wait. Otters were mammals, right? Shit.

As Rex racked his brain about that, they pulled up to the ferry. As they all got off the bus, it rocked as he stepped down onto the ground. He looked at the boat, the sea, the boat, the AEGIS personnel, and then back at the boat again. “If this fucking sinks, so do I. Hey. At least I’ll get to see the bottom of the sea. Me and the otter will have that in common.” He paused. “Unless it’s a freshwater otter. You know what—fuck it.”

He was treated with the same care and concern as a hundred-year-old woman would be as he boarded the boat. It rocked. He tried not to panic. It then settled. There was a caw from a seagull overhead. Rex dared for it to land on him. He’d rip its damn head off and apologize to the winged girl later. There were so many insults to his character today that his minimal patience was as threadbare as a sorority house’s couch.

Rex crossed his arms as they made their way across the water toward Alcatraz—his new home. At least it was a roomy prison. Not like the one they’d thrown him into in Atlanta. That one hadn’t been surrounded by water, though. He didn’t know which he preferred. The girl with the wings was here, the nerdy kid with the headphones, the otter, and an awkward girl in green. They’d left the bulk of the kids back on the shore. That was another slight that Rex would just ignore for now. Had they brought everyone that would survive a boat capsize? The otter and the flying girl would—at least. Well, if he wasn’t a freshwater otter. Why was he dwelling on that? Probably because it was easier than to think about how he’d be trapped underwater for days, weeks, months, or maybe even years. His arms wrapped tighter around his torso, pulling at his shirt. It was already clinging to dear life across his thick shoulders and “muscular” chest.

When they got off the boat, he went from a concerned scowl to a frustrated one. They’d made sure he’d worn thick-soled boots so he couldn’t easily access the ground beneath him. He still felt the pulse from the rock below tickle his senses. It was—comforting. Like a weighted blanket. If the silicon beads were instead tectonic plates.

Another awkward cavity search. The AEGIS agents didn’t have anything on the TSA, though. And Rex was now confronted with it—his immediate future. Next thing he knew they were lined up like cosmopolitan cattle, and the director walked along the length of them—taking each one of them in. It was a spiel that was laced with pretty words. But like slapping a doily on a lion, Rex knew the fangs that waited for him underneath all the fancy crochet. He would be fucked if he tried to escape. But escape to where? The only thing that awaited him was the abyss and after that—probably a mixture of crabs and seagulls but more realistically—shitty and angry people. At least here he was offered some measure of safety. That being said, he didn’t have to be happy about it.

“Fuck you very much, Mister Warden.” He paused. “Shit. I meant ‘thank you.’ Thank you very much, Mister Fuckden.” He couldn’t help it. His nature was to be chewed on by the lion and dragged back to the pride to eat. Pride for a pride—if he’d been smart enough to make that play on words.

In Ju-V 11 mos ago Forum: Advanced Roleplay

"The only thing I've learned is that people are obstacles. And I like crushing obstacles."

A P P E A R A N C E:

"Though they may not always be handsome men doomed to evil posses the manly virtues." 2
// S T A T S:
HEIGHT | 6'5"

WEIGHT | 670.31 lbs

BUILD | Jacked

HAIR COLOUR | Blond - Now Gray

EYE COLOUR | Brown - Now Gray

OTHER | His flesh is made of granite and he resembles a walking, talking statue.

HEX CODE COLOR | #76424e

// D E S C R I P T I O N:
Rex looks like Michelangelo carved a young man with a permanent resting bitch face out of a hunk of concrete. There's a roughness that can't be denied both in demeanor and composition. He's tall, broad, and physically appears to have never not participated in sports. Even if the sports may have devolved from collegiate to demolition. While his face may have suffered a broken nose or two, he still looks the same as in his high-school photographs. A strong cleft chin leads to a powerful jaw, forgettable nose, and large brown eyes. He might have been scouted for a modeling agency ala Abercrombie had it not been for everything that has happened after his fall from grace. He has a tendency to stand straight and tall, but not as if a ramrod has been firmly shoved into his ass, but more like he is forcing his posture to be imposing. Rex likes to wear clothes that would be described as "passing the sniff test" before putting them on. They look good on him, but there's no method to his style. All in all, he'd be considered a fairly handsome All-American teen, if it wasn't for the fact that was also a walking, talking slab of rock.

B I O G R A P H Y:

"Architects of grandeur are often the master builders of disillusionment." 3
Let's begin because it's not a long story and there are not any Shakespearean twists. Rex was born to Trent and Joanne Kingsley. Trent was a Republican senator from Georgia. He always held the majority due to suppressing those that would vote against him. Yet, no one seemed to utter a word about how unabashedly sinister he was. Maybe it was because he had a bright smile and perfectly coifed hair, or being wheelchair-bound always helped. He did push a large initiative to help make public structures more accessible. So, there was that...

Anyway, as you can imagine, Rex grew up on the high end of the large wealth gap in Atlanta, Georgia. He never wanted anything, and honestly never thought to ask. He attended Chapel Hill, a private school for the wealthy elite, and served as running back on their football team, the Chapel Hill Knights, for all three years that he was in high school. There he met Viola Blankenship, a gorgeous girl his age that challenged him on everything. She made him think, and he didn't do that much. It was an Instagram romance and it seemed to define both of their raison d'etre/ Things seemed to be golden for him, and he never thought to question it. The sad thing was, he should have.

In his junior year, his father was arrested on charges of "metahuman coercion." Yeah, no one knew that Trent Kingsley had the power to influence people's minds through his voice. This power was heavily on his fellow lawmakers, constituents, lobbyists, friends, and even family. When Trent no longer had control over his wife and son, they quickly realized they'd been suppressing their true natures. Joann was unhappy with her entire situation. She found that she hadn't even liked Trent. That their marriage was a sham. Red found out that he wasn't the golden child he thought he was. He was a mess of emotions and wasn't able to control his temper. The first time he released it, his fist went straight through his punch bag. His arm was coated in stone. He had to breathe deeply and center himself to get it to return to flesh. Yet, that anger bubbled so close to the surface that it was hard to choke down. Seventeen years of not being able to sort out his true feelings wouldn't be remedied in a night.

Needless to say, all of Trent's assets were confiscated leaving Joann with barely enough to afford them a place. She had some connections and was able to get a decent job fairly quickly. Rex had to leave Chapel Hill and attend a public school. Yet no one gave a shit about him in public school. His problems came from his so-called friends. It started with Viola breaking with him, followed shortly by cyberbullying, followed by spray painting their townhouse, and then verbally abusing him from the safety of numbers.

One day it went too far. Viola reached out to him to talk about what had happened. Rex didn't think to question the invitation. It was in the park after dark. She started by apologizing, and asking if he would like to be her boyfriend again. Rex may have said "yes" too enthusiastically. Viola laughed and responded, "Ew, how dare you. Your dad is a fucking criminal and you supported him for years as he brainwashed us. Do you think I'd want to get back with you? You... manipulator. Tell me, did your dad make me fall for you?" It was then that Rex understood why everyone was distancing themselves from him. How far had his father gone to manipulate his entire life? Rex had just focused on how his father had fucked him up. He didn't get a chance to explain that he was a victim in all of this when someone peaked over the top of a rock, having recorded it all. Rex was surrounded by his former peers. Especially when they started throwing balloons filled with a disgusting substance at him. They jeered and laughed. Viola stared at him with all the vitriol she could muster. Yeah, Rex lost it.

They watched as his body turned entirely to stone, and then the rock that one of the kids was hiding behind lifted into the air and was tossed hard at the group of quickly scattering teens. The rock bounced and rolled, crushing quite a few cars in its wake. One kid felt daring and charged at Rex, breaking his hand as he tried to punch him. He batted aside his former peer with ease, breaking bones upon doing so. Rex then moved through the park, letting his powers control him. He found himself in tune with the stone around him and was able to lift huge rocks with ease and ram his hands into the dirt, pulling up slabs of earth. He didn't kill anyone that night, but there were a handful of kids that had to go to the hospital. The worst of it all was Viola, who had been pinned against her car as a giant rock sat atop it. She was crying, screaming, and begging Rex not to hurt her. That snapped him out of it long enough to drop the stone he was holding--the stone he was threatening her with. About that time the cops showed up. They screamed at him to turn off his powers, but he couldn't. Something had snapped in him, and he couldn't return to flesh. He found out that knockout gas was one of the few things that worked on him.

The next thing he knew, he was in a cell. His mother looked at him, shaking her head. "I knew you were like your father." The disgust and anger rolled off her. He charged at the cell only to find himself restrained with pure metal. He couldn't feel the ground underneath him. He felt cut off from everything. Most of all, he felt cut off from the people that had loved him.

Without money, lawyers, or political pull to get him out of the situation, he was sentenced to Ju-V. He wasn't a lost cause, but he wasn't exactly winning gold stars.

M O T I V A T I O N / O B J E C T I V E:

"Where this is anger, there's always pain underneath." 4
Rex isn't a complex individual. His interests lie in revenge, however petty. No one is going to fuck with him and get away with it. He led a privileged life until he didn't. He doesn't know if he wants to go back there, but he definitely doesn't want to be here. Shunned. Hated. Disliked. If he knows one thing, it's that public opinion is pretty set in stone when it comes to people. At one time he wouldn't want to be lumped into the same camp as his father. Now, he's fine with proving people right.

Fine, fuck it, he'll be the piece of shit that they want to vilify. It's easier than trying to wrestle with who he really is inside. His formative years were a lie, and all he's been left with is a lump of formless clay. And he can only prove himself with action, and the only action he knows that is effective is anger and fear.

A B I L I T I E S / S K I L L S:

"The most precious jewels are not made of stone, but of flesh." 5
// A B I L I T I E S:
STONE MIMICRY| Rex's body is made from granite, and his organs are made from quartz. In this form, he's fairly indestructible and doesn't require to breathe or eat, but he does anyway.
LITHOKINESIS | He's able to feel the stone around him and control it, almost as if it weights nothing to him. He doesn't have the tightest grasp on his power, and will physically appear to lift it though it is more of a kinetic power.

// S K I L L S:
PHYSICALITY | Rex is physically imposing, it's probably why he didn't immediately crumple when his power first activated.

// L I M I T A T I O N S:
TOUCH-BASED | Despite being 'kinetic', he has to be able to touchstone to control it. It can be as easy as going barefoot on the ground to connect himself to the rock below, but if he was inside a room made of metal, plastic, glass, etc. he wouldn't be able to access the stone around it because he's not in direct contact.
EMOTIONAL LIMITATIONS | His abilities are intrinsically tied to his emotions. The more he feels, the more they consume him. If he gets too angry, he becomes mindless and may be more of a hazard than a help. On the other side of the coin, if he's made docile via artificial means or meditative means, his power will recede into nothing.

// W E A K N E S S E S:
CHEMICAL AEROSOLS | Despite not needing to breathe, air-based chemicals still affect him as his body still has a mouth and nostrils and they still lead into the intended organs. Tear-gas, knockout-gas, poison-gas, and even nerve-gas can have their intended effect on him without him needing to breathe it in.
PSYCHIC ATTACKS | Due to his dad's meddling, he's become highly susceptible to psychic attacks. They find no resistance while trying to enter his mind.
WEIGHT | Since Rex can't turn his power off unless he stops feeling emotions, he's stuck in his rock-like state which will immediately send him to the bottom of an ocean, through unsupported structures, and really make elevator and car rides uncomfortable.

N O T E S:

// S U P P O R T I N G C A S T:
JOANN KINGSLEY PORTER | Despite her initial feelings about Rex being apprehended, she's relaxed on her stance given everything that has happened. While she doesn't have the allies that her husband had, she is a journalist and has lots of friends in the publication and investigation business.

TBD | Test

TRENT KINGSLEY | No matter what his dad may think, he's Rex's number one enemy.
VIOLA BLAKENSHIP | Ex-girlfriend, and while he still has a torch for her, he also knows he's an idiot for doing so.

// S T O M P I N G G R O U N D S
US | Atlanta, Georgia

// P A R A P H E R N A L I A

2 Jean Genet
3 Bryant H. McGill
4 Eckhart Tolle
5 Robert Ludlum

In Ju-V 11 mos ago Forum: Advanced Roleplay

DATE AND TIME: Handover Ceremony ~ Evening______________________LOCATION: Coven House______________________INTERACTIONS: None

Eleni and Karl had long since left for the shindig. The Greek woman wasn’t there to make sparkling conversation, smile, and drink. She was there to do her due diligence and leave. She was tired and had a migraine that came from stretching her face into something that wasn’t malicious. Her long, gray hair hung around her face, her eyelids were painted a glittering emerald, and her long black dress with vibrant green flowers complimented her tall and athletic form. She held a glass of wine in one hand that was growing warm with her palm resting against the bottom. Despite the Xenakis name being linked to divination and the like, Eleni was much more talented in transmutation magics—druidic in nature but not in practice. She was the most at peace in a garden, which was why the Timeless Taverna had such immaculate landscaping.

In direct contrast to his wife, Karl was much more content in the busy setting. This might have been especially strange since he’d taken her name and moved to Tanner for her. He was just in a simple gray suit top and bottom with a white undershirt. The thing that made it stand out was the fact that was bespoke and fit his short and squat frame very well. He laughed and mingled, having already made friends with these folks ten times over. He was a warlock, and as such had power over one style of magic—enchantment. He used it in a way to inflate the value of small things, but one had to admit that the furnishing around the Taverna sparkled. If Karl handed you a piece of jewelry, it was fair to say that he found it at a consignment shop and applied a liberal dose of magic to look like royalty should be wearing it.

The Xenakis matron looped her arm around her husband’s waist and pulled him away from a small gathering he was chatting up. She couldn’t tell if they were relieved or disappointed to see him go. She also didn’t care. “Have you seen Pallas?” she asked, finally taking a sip of her room-temperature wine.

“I have not and believe me I’ve seen a lot of faces. Some of them quite unfamiliar,” he said with a wry smile. “And, you may have missed it, but there was quite the spat—ah, my love you aren’t listening.” He patted her arm, gently. “Don’t worry about him. He wouldn’t dare show us up now, show you up. You’ve extended quite the olive branch to him. You need to have faith. He’ll be here.”

“Well, when he arrives, he better be wearing pants.”
- - -

Karl had tapped gently on the door like a father, not wanting to walk in on his teenage daughter giving Pallas around fifteen minutes to get ready. The older Swedish man saw that Pallas was mostly dressed and figured it wouldn’t be an issue for the “younger” Xenakis to be downstairs soon.

When Eleni came in, she’d make a rhinoceros blush with her mannerisms. Pallas was in something entirely different, and Eleni would have dragged him out of that attic room had it not been for the fact that while he was content with the top half of him, the bottom half was standing in hot pink underwear. Eleni bit off something quick, and angry, in Greek before slamming the door. It was more or less, “You better have some pants on if you dare show your face at the gathering.” That was the polite interpretation anyway.

So, they’d left without him.

The unfortunate part of them leaving was the fact that they had one vehicle between the three of them. Pallas had never made it to the coven when he’d headed out previously. He’d hit a rock, sent the bicycle swerving, and then crashed in the ditch. A car drove by and honked at him. At that moment, the embarrassment filled him with such an urge to leave that he left the bicycle in the ditch and stomped back home. He was older than a hundred years but still had his petulant moments. Yet, that had blocked him from having any more “bicycle privileges” meaning it was walking or nothing. Of course, he couldn’t not show up.

So, he’d dusted off his Uber app and stared at it as if it was an ancient tablet written in an ancient dialect and fumbled through it. Finding someone driving in Tanner was—not easy—and the times were atrocious. But it was all better than walking.He hadn’t worn varying shades of white, just to get a stain on them.

When the pumpkin-colored Chevy Corsica rolled up, Pallas tried not to make too big a face. Though he did grab a towel and sat it on the seat as he entered. His knees crunched against the back seat and his perfectly coifed hair tickled the ceiling. To the driver’s credit, it did smell like a forest—a forest made of tree-shaped air fresheners—but nothing too egregious.

Surely there were eyes on him when he did pull up to the Coven House, but he didn’t pay them any heed as he handed the driver a tip for how wildly embarrassing this entire thing felt. “Keep the towel,” Pallas said. The driver eyed him, took the tip, and drove off. At about that time, he flashed a smile to everyone and pulled the white jacket of his ensemble tighter around his chest.

When he entered, there was the steady hum of conversation followed by a couple of glances his way before they returned to their business. Pallas felt he was far down on the list of “Interesting People” at the party. What he was able to pull out of the chatter was that there had been a bit of a showdown between some of the older—in a figurative sense—members of the Coven. He waited to hear if Eleni was mentioned, but she was not. Pallas did not doubt that Karl would never be in the same sentence as something negative unless someone was complimenting on how “no one is nicer than Mister Xenakis. No… not that one… the older one.”

Pallas made his way toward the liquor and poured four fingers worth of stout bourbon. He’d need it tonight. Quickly he downed it like an alcoholic outside an AA meeting, before pouring himself another one. As he did that, the shark-like shadow of Eleni passed by. She looked over his outfit before making a face. Karl gave him a polite wave, and Pallas could have sworn that he overheard the man say, “Look, he has pants.” Had there really been a concern?

A thought occurred to Pallas as he glanced through the mingling of older and younger members of the coven, alike. John Montgomery was probably here. There was a sudden regret that shot through his spine as he thought of that. Surely the man wouldn’t shoot him again. There was a crowd here. Still, he needed to practice ducking and weaving through the crowd to avoid a bullet.
#2 Yeah I agree with Zoldyck. I'm a basic bitch person and would like to continue to play around with the idea of Coop. Though he's definitely not Ju-V material, it would only take some minor tweaking to get him there.

Yes, Trace would be perfect, but I will retire them as they belong to PCRU now. RIP. I guess I'll send them out on a boat Cass style and light them aflame.

If I can add a suggestion to the idea: what might spice it up from being too samey is some "community service" in the form of them having brief, highly supervised, stints as street-level heroes. Pretty much the superhero equivalent of "picking up the trash." Feel free to ignore it. It was a brain fart I emanated from deep within my brain... bowels. I got to come up with better analogies.

Location: Northern Cove - Dundas Islands, Pacific Ocean
First Class #2.73: When in Canada...

Interaction(s): Ariel @Lawful Newtral, Harlow and Calliope @PatientBean, and Katja @Zoldyck
Previously: Every Decision Hurts

It was over. Trace slid on the Firebird band and handed the Blackjack one over. They heard the others’ conversations, and their pleas for them to stay together as a cohesive unit. Venom spat back and forth, but Trace didn’t offer anything to it. Why should they? They just wanted their bridges a little toasty, not immolated in a nuclear blast. They gave the girl that walked up, apparently a displaced student here, a thumbs up when they lectured them on staying loyal. It was an awkward gesture accompanied by an eyeroll.

Trace did give one last look over their shoulder at Katja before they made their way over to Firebird. If anything stung, it was losing someone wholly and entirely a good person. Still, it wasn’t as if they all weren’t trapped on this damn island together. They glanced over the new group with a bit of hesitation. If Blackjack was a carefully selected accumulation of different backgrounds, then this group was what happened when the leftovers were rammed into a casserole and called a “surprise.” They couldn’t get a beat on anyone immediately, other than one person that met their gaze. They gave them a fist bump and announced who they were and their pronouns. “Oh fuckin’ finally,” Trace said with a sigh on their lips. “Trace Whitelock, they/them,” and then they pointed at everyone else that wasn’t Ariel, “and I better not hear anythin’ fuckin’ different out of your mouths. Nice to meet you Ariel and Harlowe, if you ask real sweet, I’ll give you down low, but I got to run a couple of errands first.” They then pulled the invitations out of their coat with one hand and clenched their umbrella with the other. In the excitement of switching teams, they really hadn’t looked over the invitations. When they gave them a once over, there was hesitation in their walk. They’d been idly walking in that direction, but it came to a dead stop. “Fuckin’ what.” They glanced up and looked at those that were choosing their houses. That’s when they remembered something that they promised to do. A promise they’d made to a certain someone who annoyed them so greatly that they’d never hear the end of it otherwise. They pocketed their invitations and breathed deeply.

So, Trace held tightly onto their umbrella as they made their way toward the Ursus House. They’d been listening, they had heard not to approach a house they hadn’t been invited to. So, they preemptively spoke, “don’t worry, I’m not here to bloody try to join your house. I just have to tell her somethin’.” Trace pointed at Calliope. “A quick in and out, and I’ll bugger off.”
They then closed the distance between them and Calliope. “Can I talk to you real quick?”

Calliope turned when she heard a familiar voice. She hadn't expected Trace to speak to her, figuring they had all but decided to do away with Blackjack. "Oh, sure." Calliope walked a bit away from the other members of House Ursus to give her and Trace some privacy.
"What's up?"

“So, I’m sorry—” Trace interrupted themselves, “this isn’t about that. This is—look I ran into Banjo. Don’t worry, the wanker didn’t seek me out or anythin’, I was just in the path of his fuckin’ escape. He told me to tell Blackjack that he’s out of ICU. That he’s just in hospital now and can take visitors.” They paused. “I thought I’d tell you and only you, and you can… uh… let others know when you want. Get some alone time in with the piece of shit.”

"Well, I appreciate that. For what it's worth, I still hope we can be.....I don't know..friends? Acquaintances? Either way, might be in separate teams but we still have a whole campus together. May as well make use of it."

“That’s what I’ve been sayin’. We’re stuck on this bloody fuckin’ island together. I’m not goin’ anywhere. You’re going to see my lily-white ass for the rest of your days here. Which—who knows—may not be long.” They exhaled. “That aside—I just got one more thing—do you like Banjo? And I’m not talkin’ ‘do you fancy him over a coffee and chat’, like… do you like him?”

Calliope may have been expecting a lot of things to come out of Trace's mouth, but she definitely did not expect that. Hell, she had been thinking about that too. "Oh....well....." God, how did she feel about Banjo? "I like him. When he was hurled through the air I freaked out. He makes me feel safe and seen, if that makes sense. But...I did just meet him. And..." Calli's thoughts drifted to Coop, a familiar face and one that grew up very handsome, "There's another. Maybe more. But I do like him, just don't know if I feel that way about him. Yet."

Calliope cringed a bit. God, this was so high school. "I sound like a bitch, don't I?"

“No you don’t, Calliope. We’re all stuck in here, and it’s like a thick hormone soup, and I’m bloody fuckin’ tired of it already.” They gave out a flat chuckle. “It’s just, you may want to tell him that. He’s blabberin’ on about how you’re amazin’ and he’s a sack of shit. You may want to set expectations now before he gets too weird about it. Fuckin’ Christ, I sound my father.”

They gripped the umbrella tighter. “But you’re right, we’ve been through a lot, and that’s bound to heighten’ emotions… obviously. Might want to remind him of that. Because you aren’t wrong about there bein’ just a slew of hot bodies around.” They glanced over at the Canis House, which might not have been noticeable had they not turned their head to look at it. “You—uh—don’t want to dip biscuit too soon, if you get my drift.”

Calliope laughed, surprised and happy that Trace was agreeing with her. "I will. He's a good guy." Calliope noticed Trace glance at the Canis house, wondering who it was Trace had their eye on. Rather than pry, Calliope left it alone, fully intending to grill Trace about it later. "Well now that the house situation is sorted, I'll head over to see him now. Thank you Trace. Hope we get to hang out soon, if only for a bit." Calliope heard Trace when they said it might not be long. But that was for Trace to decide.

“Yep, I got to go get accepted into Slytherin House, so you have fun. Tell him to wash his ass because I’m sure it’s disgustin’. Men always miss their asses.” They lifted a hand as if to wave goodbye before lowering it. That felt too personal. They were just a messenger. That was all.

They’d put the decision off long enough. That’s when they turned towards their house of choice, and their eyes widened as they saw someone standing among their ranks. Trace came up to House Alces. It felt weird to accept the invitation from them. A great mindfulness…, what did that mean exactly? Well, they glanced back at Calliope. Maybe it meant that. They loved giving advice if asked or not.

“Bloody hell it’s hot as newly made shit out here. I might need to borrow some of your shade,” they said to Katja with a smile. It was kind of a joke. They also may have angled themselves, so the tall woman did provide cover. “Trace Whitlock, here to join the great, big horny house—Alces. I guess when in Canada, go be a moose.”

Mortika tried not to be too excited about the prospect of freedom. If a long life filled with trials and tribulations had taught her anything, it was that the best-created plans were seedbeds for a disastrous crop. So, after dinner, they’d been ushered back to their cells, and she’d gratefully allowed herself to be led. Once she sat down, her fingers started to slide through her hair, straightening it out to the best of her abilities. Despite the possibility of death—or worse—she figured a bit of grooming couldn’t hurt the prospect of looking her best for whatever might happen. Lo if she became a ghost with knotted hair. That’d probably drive her more towards vicious howls of torment than the prospect of the afterlife.

She raised a quaint brow towards Titus. “You are correct.” It was then that she tossed her hair over her shoulder and brought her hands to her lap. “It’s easy to train the mind to believe their version of good is to be rewarded, and their version of bad is to be despised. Adhere to the laws, and you’re the hero. Don’t question those laws. Don’t ask if they suppress your existence. They’ve been created to ‘protect’ you. Because that makes it easier to herd people by showing them that the world is made of good and bad—no in-between. If people are not shown that morality comes in two exact styles, then they might find many branching paths… like a tree. And one limb is easier to cut down than an entire orchard.” She sighed. “Brainwash the masses into believing that living life in lockstep with each other is the good thing to do. It’s an easy way to keep them from realizing that maybe they should ask for more from life. Keep them poor by making poverty a virtue.”

It all felt so simple and so wise but say that in a crowded tavern and eyes would glare at you as if you’d just set the table ablaze. There were several reasons that Mort found herself down here, but she had an itch of a feeling that had to do with her rhetoric. They’d call it rebellious. She’d called it common sense.

So, it was nice to talk to Titus about it, even if it was just to seem as if they were going about their nightly schedules. Mort brought her hands to her hair again and combed at it. The haunting echo of a song passed through the cells. As it got closer to the time in which they were to make their escape, she braided it back and curled it under at the nape of her neck.

She looked across the way at the goblin furiously digging at the lock. Was that the supposed distraction? It was a little too on the nose. What if the guard got too suspicious and decided to grab one of his cohorts? Mort leaned towards the bars and cleared her throat. “My my, I believe the rats are having a bigger feast than the guard tonight. Do you hear that? I think they may be chewing on that old man with the glass eye’s… said glass eye. Hopefully, they don’t scratch it up too much, it’s worth quite a bit.”

Location: Pacific Royal Collegiate & University - Southern Plateau, Dundas Island
First Class: # 2.66: Hypoglycemia, More like Hyperembarassment

Interaction(s): Rory @webboysurf, Elle @Skai, and Haleigh @Kuro
Previously: Show Them That Song and Dance

Did Coop want to be in Blackjack? The decision had felt like a relief when he’d made it. Finally, he knew someone, and that would make it easier for him to make friends. You always needed to add a little butter to make the pancakes of friendship. It was at that moment his stomach made a low growl. Right. He’d pretty much not eaten during this entire affair. What would it look like if he stood in the middle of proceedings housing a Snickers. Why a Snickers? Did someone say something about Snickers? His hands clapped against his pockets to find nothing but his phone in there. Was he an idiot? No no. No negative talk. Stay positive, Coop. Positive… positive…

Well, it may have been the wrong time to try to wrestle positivity from the depths in which it resided, considering that there was quite the disruption happening in the middle of Blackjack. A few of the members had decided to leave. One was one silent about the entire thing, but there was quite a verbal battle between the others. If he didn’t have to keep his hands in the ceremonial positions, he would have grabbed his phone and recorded this. He’d never post it online, but it’d be good fodder for learning everyone’s attitudes and what pressed their buttons. Alright, he couldn’t lie, he’d probably post it online later after he’d done a bit of scrubbing to the identities of people—and added some nice graphics to really impact everything.

He slid the Blackjack armband on and returned the other two. A couple of other people had joined Blackjack, and he gave his customary smile to either of them before they assimilated into their new group. Right out of the gate, he was welcomed. This was far nicer than the abrasiveness of Firebird. He wondered if that sweet outside would get bitter after he’d been there a little while. The catalyst seemed to be that guy’s death. As long as no one else died, maybe things would remain pretty chummy.

“Cool,” Coop said to Rory’s introduction. “I was in—” no sports. He realized that would make him a bit of an oddity in regard to the rest of the other well-coifed Americans. Though, he’d tried a lot of sports in his time, and he’d really like competitive swimming. Now that dream was long gone. And with that Rory had already walked away. Man. The sugar withdrawal had really hit him hard, he was focusing worse than usual. His stomach let out another noise that he didn’t care for, and it wasn’t exactly quiet. A wave of heat passed over his face, but he swallowed it down. He needed to accept his house, and then maybe he could find something to eat.

It was then that another member from Firebird handed Rory’s phone to him. She hinted that her number was in there as well. He flashed a smile. “Well, since you gave me permission, I totally will.” He winked. He glanced down at Rory’s phone. Brave man to keep it unlocked. He created a new contact, added his number, put his Twitter handle underneath the number, and then snapped a picture of his face flashing his best smile before adding it to the contact. Of course, he’d have to update it when he didn’t look like he’d been smashed in the face by a tent pole. Coop also grabbed “Elle’s” contact from the list as well. It wouldn’t hurt to get to know her. There was always a chance that he and Calliope had become two different people in the time they’d been a part. Coop hoped not—he really really hoped not.

He then turned to hand it to one of the other new people. “Oh no,” he remarked, having not paid attention to them. He didn’t know what they looked like or their names. His stomach made another noise, and in hopes of expediting this entire experience, he pocketed Rory’s phone. Maybe they’d be in the same house?

He pulled his invitations from his pocket and flipped through them. He then glanced up at Rory, watching him run toward the red wolves. “That would be a no,” he remarked. It was then that a girl in a wheelchair rolled up and introduced herself before stating that she wouldn’t need said wheelchair much longer. Was Jesus walking around on the campus? Was she now healed? That was a stupid thought—“I’m Coop. A pleasure to meet you, Haleigh. And I need to do that too before I—” he let that sentence fade away as he watched her wheel away.

Coop took a deep breath, his stomach smarting as he did so. He swallowed that down as he then made a brisk jog over to the Myotis House. He was a content creator—there were very few occupations that required more creativity.

“I’m Dash Cooper—Coop—and I’m here to accept the Mitosis invitation.” He paused, turned beet red, and then corrected himself, “the Myotis invitation.”

When Mortika had envisioned a tomb that would finally hold her, it was small and cozy. There’d be some candles around illuminating the marble mausoleum, mourners saddened by her passing, and maybe even some dull chanting. This would all be perfected by just hordes of skeletons. No one would be able to rob her jewel and metal-encrusted body. Of course, she’d hope to be buried at the end of the world. Who would be there to steal in the uninhabited scorched wastes? Eh. Humans were like rats. They somehow managed to survive despite living off panic and garbage. Yet, here she was sharing her tomb with countless others, and not a dirge choir to be found.

She chased a lone piece of solid substance in her soup as Titus spoke. Her spoon created a savory whirlpool. The goblin had an opinion on their plan. So did the diminutive elf girl. Even the annoying louse of a human with dark hair and odd mannerisms. He questioned what would happen after they were freed from their shackles. Mort just chuckled, her pale shoulders—once peachy from having seen the sunlight—bobbed with it. Her hair tumbled forward like a waterfall. One that had once been serene and sweet but had turned quite tumultuous without proper care.

She looked at Titus, his impassioned urge to be free of this place burned brightly enough for the rest of them. Mort had toiled here for ten long years. She’d carved away enough gold from stone that she’d be able to identify it in her sleep. She’d also spit on some of the pieces she’d dug up. A small amount of spite to be sure, but it got her through the days. But the thing was, she’d given up on ever getting free. It was a dream and not even one she had in the pitch of the night. Most of hers involved long, haunted corridors and the thrumming of something coming—she loved it.

The big human chimed in that he would help. Good. Surveying the group around her, there was little upper body strength to be had. One would think that mining their days away would build muscle. That wasn’t the case at all. With how little they ate, and how hard they worked—they were practically eating themselves from the inside. Mort had survived by—honestly, she didn’t know. She kicked her leg out underneath the table, catching a glimpse at the band around her ankle. Her magic wasn’t sustaining her. Maybe it had to do with being an elf. A question for another day.

About that time a feyling popped his head up, and Mort’s eyes went wide in surprise. That would make two small creatures, a possibly useful elf, two useful humans, and a sentient sack of potatoes.

“When we get the cuffs off, human,” Mort said looking straight at Kristo, “I am more than happy to provide a distraction big enough to escape. This is not a prison people leave from. It is built upon the bones of the innocent and the maligned, and from those bones, I will raise an army that will be thirsty for revenge.” She let her words peter off before shrugging. “Maybe. I’m actually unsure where the corpses go after they fall. I haven’t been one—yet—so I haven’t gotten the honor. So, if you happen to kill a few guards, or maybe a few people around here you don’t like, then I’ll raise them.”

She finally caught up to whatever solid chunk had been floating around in her soup only to discover it was gristle. Eh. Gristle was still food. “But the goblin is right, we have precious little time, and we need to use it wisely. I’m assuming the rest of you lot have useful skills. Maxim’s is obvious. Unless all that strength has been honed into knitting sweaters. Titus’s are also evident,” she said as she smiled at him, “as we would be nowhere without his expertise. And you know mine. Well… you know the basics.” The way she said that last sentence was less like she didn’t want to explain the ins and outs of her powers, but that she wasn’t going to tell all in case she had to use it on them. And she looked at every single one of them to really bring that home.

DATE AND TIME: Friday ~Midday ______________________LOCATION: Timeless Taverna and Inn______________________INTERACTIONS: None
A sweaty earthy smell surrounded a young Pallas as his fingers bit into the loam of the walls. It crumbled under the pressure with the clay sticking underneath his fingernails. The roots were not far from his eyes, dangling from the ceiling above. He was small. At full height, he was a little below his parents’ waist. In the shimmering light of the magical lantern, he saw the dark silt of the earth staining his fingernails. He looked onwards, and squinted, barely making out the silhouette of his parents. His father had slammed the cellar door shut and pulled the ladder down. His mother chewed her lip, something she only did when she was so deep in thought. She only stopped when she tore through the flesh.

“And we can trust this man? This… Monty Price?” she asked, finally breaking the thick silence.

“We have to, Polina.”

“I still don’t know how I feel about him digging up bodies and placing them in the house.” She paced back and forth, the heel of her boots sinking into the wet dirt. “Are we sure the sultan’s men will be fooled?”

His father approached her and placed his large, worn hands on her shoulder. His eyes were hard to read in the light, but Pallas could make out the curve of his father’s bushy, and usually well kempt, beard—and it seemed to sag. Maybe from a frown? “Yes,” he whispered in that deep voice of his. “It will work, because if it does not, then what use was it to leave?”

“Ionas,” she said with a sigh. “Was it a good decision to leave the other three with your brother?” She turned and looked at Pallas, her eyes were visible in this light. Large and green, the color that he’d inherited. They drowned in tears that spilled into the creases underneath them and collected in the puffy rise that had formed recently. No doubt it was caused from days without sleep. Not that the child would know that.

He kissed her brow, pushing back the fabric she’d quickly wrapped around it. “Yes, they’re only after us—and Pallas. He’s the only one with your gift.”

The crackling that began in the periphery of the child’s hearing became louder and louder until there was a smash. He let out a yell of surprise. His mother pulled away from his father and knelt to him, gently placing her hand over his mouth as she looked him in the eyes. “Shh.”

Smoke poured in through the cracks of the trap door, and an oppressive heat consumed the space they were in. His father walked past the two to the far end of the small cellar and pushed on the wall made of slatted wood. It peeled away like a bud away from its bloom to reveal a path further into the darkness. An eruption of voices joined the dull sound of crackling.

“Come on, if we’re going to meet Mister Price’s men, we need to go,” his father said.

His mom nodded and turned to her child as his mouth felt dry and acrid from the growing smoke. “Ready to live somewhere new? You didn’t get this honor like your siblings did. You’ll love New York.” She kissed the top of his head. The blood from her sliced lip trickled down his face like sweat. Not really thinking about it, he stuck his tongue out and licked it.

He didn’t remember what he’d divined, but when he came back, his mother was gripping his shoulders so tight that they ached from the pressure. “So soon?” she asked. “But at least it’s not now, and for now, we need to leave. Come kamari mou.” She stood, grabbing his small hand and pulling him down the tunnel. His mother wouldn’t live to see New York, but at least she’d die knowing her son was safe.

Pallas jerked off the bed with the force of a mastiff who had just been spooked. His legs and arms went everywhere, tangled in the sheets. Yet the ice cubes from the cold glass of water followed him and kept sliding down his body, veering very close to dangerous territory. He was able to swat them away and sat there in the crumpled mess of his bed partially wet and very disgruntled. Over him stood his “cousin” Eleni. She was the last of the line of the Xendaris family, or at least those that hadn’t stayed back in the homeland when his parents left. Her dark hair had lightened with age, but you couldn’t really discern the actual number from her face. She didn’t have many wrinkles. Instead, she had lines drawn into her flesh since she never stopped frowning. Pallas couldn’t imagine that she had ever been happy in her life. Her nails clicked against the side of the empty glass. The one that was used to douse him in water.

“What’s the deal, theía?” he asked as he pulled the robe he’d been wearing back over himself.

“I told you not to call me that. I am not your aunt.”

“Sorry. I thought we were keeping up appearances so as not to spook the locals.” As he said ‘spook,’ he held his fingers up and waved them in a menacing manner. “I’ll refer to you by your proper title, γιαγιά.”

That’s when she lobbed the glass at him. Well, glass was probably more a term to describe its shape than its actual composition. It was a thin, plastic tumbler they used down in the dinner. It didn’t hurt, but it did bruise Pallas’s ego. Which he conveyed by placing his hand on his brow and feigning death by falling back into the bed.

“Get up, you lazy sack of shit. This isn’t your home. You can’t squat here. You have to earn your keep.” She crossed her arms, no longer being burdened by the glass. “And from my understanding, you didn’t even go to the coven welcoming or the party. What’s the point of handing the position ‘down’ to you if you’re going to sit around here all day and—“ That was about the time that she broke into rapid-fire Greek. Pallas knew what she was saying, but he didn’t dare take the time to parse out each individual insult.

“Ah,” he remarked. He sat up, grabbing the still-wet glass from the bed. “That was—last night?” he asked, quizzically.

Eleni leaned over and snatched the glass from his hand and tossed it at him again. This time, it had force behind it. “No, that was three days ago. You’ve been up here doing gods’ know what for three days. I’ve let you because Karl told me to leave you be. But he’s not here now, he’s at the store. So, I get to wrestle you from this cesspit.” She moved to the slanted skylights that adorned the vaulted ceiling of the room. He was on the top floor, where the heat rose too quickly, and the air conditioner never reached. It was usually uncomfortably warm here. Well, that was until she got a window open, and the stinging chill zapped through the room and immediately froze all the water on his body. Pallas pulled his robe tighter and shot daggers at his cousin.

“What do you care? You can’t die from it.”

“I can still get pneumonia.”

“Good,” was all Eleni said as she grabbed the glass again. Pallas flinched, only for her to smile and go to leave. “Now, clean up this mess, clean up yourself, and go do something with yourself.” Then out the door she went, making sure to close it gently. No matter her mood, she wasn’t ruining the frames of the old house. It was built in the gothic style of the 1920s with quite a few Victorian flourishes thrown in. Pallas didn’t know why. He vaguely remembered them working on it while living in a smaller, colonial-style home. It was flat and the rooms followed each other like a snake. This place had been finished after he’d left, and so he never got to see it in its original state. Not that it was in bad shape now.

It was apparent that the family had done a lot to maintain it, and it even had plumbing, heat, and air. All the floors were the original hardwood or tile. Some of the walls had been redone, but most of them were a part of the bones of the house. All the kitchen appliances had been replaced, and whatever carpet or rugs there were had also been updated. It didn’t creak when you walked, but it still had this old, hollow moan that would happen at the witching hour. A reminder that everything contained some sort of soul. Well, except for—

As much as Pallas didn’t want to admit it, Eleni was right. She wouldn’t hear it from his mouth, but she’d probably pop her head in to see that he’d cleaned the renovated attic space with its tight corners and minimal furniture. He took a shower and dressed. It wasn’t anything extravagant, but that bar was high considering some of the other outfits he’d taken to wearing around. Most of them he didn’t show off to the town of Tanner. He felt like they’d have more questions than he had answers.

He leaned over the sink and glared into the mirror, pushing his short dark hair back with his hand, as he touched up around his eyes with some concealer. Then a touch of black eyeliner from a dull pencil, and he looked at himself. It worked. He didn’t look as dead as he felt.

Pallas inhaled after that, summoning his power, and making sure his abjuration seals were still up. A flicker of blue surrounded him like a neon corona, and the lamps on the wall dimmed. The spells were still up. Just an antidetection spell, but necessary for his continued existence. The lights around him snapped back to full strength as the magic faded.

Sliding down from the banister of the main stairs to the second floor, he barely caught himself at the end. He vaulted off and took a few uneasy steps forward to steady himself.

“Oh good, I needed to dust that,” a voice perked up. Pallas turned to Karl, Eleni’s husband and probably the nicest being in existence. He wondered how those two got on, but Karl was like a ray of sunlight to her frigid heart. And if that was the case, then Pallas was a deep freezer. They’d met in Italy when both were different trips of “magical enlightenment.” To hear the tale of it, it was love at first sight—instant as they come. Which seemed to be a strange way to put it. Anything that was instant was usually noodles or coffee, and neither of them was good. But who was he to judge? He’d known love maybe twice in his life, and both times it exploded in his face like a defunct Roman candle.

“Glad my ass could be of service.” He feigned a curtsey.

Karl was hauling groceries in a small cart that he’d made from spare wood, casters, and wheels. It looked like someone made it by hand and not in a good way. But Karl liked it, and it did its job. “I take it Eleni woke you up. Despite me asking her not to.” The diminutive Swedish man cut his eyes further into the house.

“Not at all. Apparently, you can only silence your alarm so many times before your phone shocks you. I didn’t know they could do that. But technology is confusing,” Pallas lied through his teeth. It was easier to keep the peace than to rile anyone up. “Speaking of—”

“No,” Karl said with a smile. “Pallas, you do not have a license in the States. I’m not letting you drive the auto. But I do have the key to the bike locks. Hm. How about you use that?”

“In this outfit?”

“I mean you’re more than welcome to do it in the nude, but I doubt you’ll get far.”

“Because all my adoring fans will faint at the sight of my Adonis-like figure?” Pallas asked with a sly smile.

“Ok.” That was all Karl said as he fished the key out of his pocket and handed it to Pallas. “Do not lose the bike, again.”

Pallas snatched the key from his hand. It was on a gnome keychain. Wildly embarrassing, but it would keep him from forgetting it. It’d only get more embarrassing—and possibly more Swedish—if he did. “Yes, sir, I also promise not to have that much Fireball again.”

“Have some class, Pallas.”

“Never.” He winked at Karl, and the man pulled his cart along with a chuckle. Pallas then reached into his coat pocket and pulled a cigarette from within its depths.

“No smoking,” Karl yelled down the hall.

“Fucking diviners,” Pallas grumbled as he slid the cigarette between his lips, but he didn’t light it up. Instead, he made his way towards the main entrance. He really needed to make sure that the coven knew he was ready to replace his “older family.” Also, anything to get out of the house and be able to do something beyond waxing the floors—of which there were a lot. He swore if he had to do that again, he’d just douse himself in it and set himself aflame. Which was a viable threat from him, but he was a bit of a baby when it came to pain.

Pallas exited onto the main grounds and made his way to the neon teal bike with another one of Karl’s creations strapped to it that was supposed to be a basket. There was even a helmet perched on the front seat. Pallas groaned and looked over his shoulder at the vintage truck that Karl and Eleni drove. For a second he considered hotwiring it and driving into town. But how long would that take? How much crap would he get on his outfit? But he’d also have heat and air. He lifted both his hands as he contemplated each option.

After a second, he let out a string of curses in Greek before walking towards the bike, but he did toss the glittery pink helmet into the bush. He’d have some dignity—however small.
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