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Broken Heroes | An original superhero mystery RP [R]

Discussion in 'Role-Playing Games' started by Minteh, Jul 15, 2019.

  1. Minteh

    Minteh It's so shiny!

    ROLEPLAY THREAD
    Sign-Up thread | Discussion thread (tba)

    ~~~~~~~

    Valour Apartment Building, Aberdeen, Scotland
    September 3rd 2029, 10:47am
    Ginevra 'Ginny' Caswell

    The day Ginny received her mysterious summons in the post began ordinarily enough. She had no commissions to fulfil and was not due at work until the following day. That morning she had the apartment to herself; Mira and Jordan making the most of their last day with his parents before she would come home and prepare for school again.

    With no prior commitments for that day, Ginny had lounged in her comfortable bed for an hour, before finally getting out. She tied a silky dressing gown around her waist and stepped into the kitchen. She flitted between the cupboards and fridge, retrieving a few ingredients to make breakfast. She had almost finished her scrambled eggs when a noise by the front door caught her attention, alerting her to the fact the morning post had been delivered. Once she had finished making her breakfast, setting it down on the breakfast table, she hurried to fetch the post.

    She would browse through the stack of letters whilst eating her breakfast. None of them were out of the ordinary at first. It was the usual collection of orders, bank statements, a bill for the water and electricity, and a few shopping brochures. It was the final letter which would catch her attention. It was a creamy coloured envelope, with her name written in oddly familiar cursive on the front. It stood out even more as it was her full name written, as opposed to just Ginny. Curious for more, she flipped it over to open it, when something on the back startled her. It was a blue wax stamp, with a hippogriff sigil on it. The mere sight of the stamp caused a sense of unease to wash over her. The sigil belonged to the Caswell family. Whereas the Rangers had their official sigil, this hippogriff belonged solely to the family and was used primarily for official documents.

    It took Ginny a long time to eventually open the letter. Even after finishing her breakfast, she just stared at it, unsure what to think or do. She could not believe her "parents" had found her after so long, and worried what implications this letter would hold.

    When she finally opened it, she was surprised to find that the contents were not what she had been expecting. It had been written by Nathan Wicke, the head butler of the household. In it, he explained how a tragedy had befallen the family - Lucas and their parents were dead. The letter didn't explain why or how this had happened but implored Ginny to attend a meeting to hash out inheritances. An address was attached to the bottom, asking her to head there, as well as a number too in case she was unable to make it.

    Ginny would like to say she felt grief for the loss, but she didn't, only relief. For Lucas, there was a sense of sorrow. He had been the only one foolish to stay behind, continuing to work as a Ranger even up until his death. She had hated him for staying, choosing Matthew and Renata over the rest of them, but regardless he was still her brother. The one who would attempt to steer their parent's attention away from them if they were ever in trouble, who would sneak sweets and toys into their rooms, and tried his best to keep everyone happy and contented.

    For his sake, she would go.

    --

    The Angel's Rest, London, England
    September 10th 2029

    It had been a long time since she been to the capital. Now that Mira was older, she took fewer jobs out of Scotland, purely for the sake of staying at home. Even though she hadn't been here in a couple of years, the city was much the same, nothing new or interesting to note.

    The pub they had been invited to was small and quaint, yet clearly very upscale if the decor was to go by. Ginny had felt odd dragging the suitcase she had been encouraged to bring behind her, feeling awkward dragging it inside. It didn't seem right bringing a suitcase in here, even if this was the first stop before they were all taken elsewhere.

    Upon arrival, Ginny was surprised to see she was the first to arrive. A waiter lead her into a private function room, which had been decorated somberly with white and black balloons, and a small banner hung on the private bar which welcomed the Caswells.

    "Are we allowed to order drinks and food?" Ginny asked as she approached the barkeep managing the bar.

    "Only non-alcoholic beverages and finger foods are available, miss," He answered courteously. "It has all been paid for in advance by a Mr Wicke."

    Ginny nodded slowly and then mused over what was on offer, asking for sparkling water and a french fancy. She would take a seat at the opposite side of the room, facing the doors so to see anyone coming in. She would eat her little cake quickly, leaving a napkin behind. While she rested one arm on the table, the other hand idly messed around with the napkin, folding and unfolding it into little shapes whilst she awaited the arrival of her siblings.
     
  2. Schade

    Schade Iron Defensive

    Devin (Caswell) Pichard
    Pichard recidence, Ajaccio, France.
    September 6th 2029, 05:34am


    The morning started as every other morning often did. Waking up somewhere around 5 am, Devin had gone for his daily morning jog around the neighbourhood. The coastal air felt good for him, revitalizing him and giving him energy for the next step of the day, which would happen sometime later. The jog wasn't the most exciting route around, but it hit high on the relaxation chart. A gentle jog along the beach, before getting to a smaller wood, leading back to the modest house he was living in. The jog itself would take him about 45 minutes, give or take. He had marked the paths with cleverly hidden golden pinecones, which occasionally would be found. He had done this so many times by now there was a rumor the woods was blessed by the gods, gifting golden pinecones to those who treated their wives with respect. While the golden pinecone part was true, Devin had no idea where the other stuff came from, nor did he care. If anyone found his pinecones, he'd simply make more and relocate them.

    Coming home from the jog, Marjolaine had already started on breakfast, which was, as usual, some sort of fancy omelette with a variety of vegetables and spices you'd never believe would work for an omelette. Being the foodie of the trio, she was often, if not always, the first one to get started on breakfast, as she woke up not long after Devin did himself. While she often did breakfast, Devin would do it himself if she hadn't woken up yet by the time he came home. The trio's schedules varied by quite a lot, but Marjolaine was the one with the steadiest one. Having a job as a managerial assistant at a gym downtown, she would often get up early, and be home late. Devin, on the other hand, was easily the most flexible of the three, as he didn't feel the need to have a job to occupy himself with. As such, he often did most of the housework while the others were out.

    He gave her a quick smooch before proceeding to get her leftover stuff into her bag, as she was very forgetful on her own. She was the type of woman that would always forget something, regardless of how much she tried to remember it. IT was kind of endearing, actually. Making smalltalk about their daily routines, she eventually got the typical look of someone who just remembered something important, and she interrupted herself mid-sentence.
    "Oh, by the way. The mailman was here again, and there was another of the posh-looking envelopes addressed to you, i put it over there in case you'd want to look at it this time.". She gestured towards the dining table, where a modest pile of mail were lying. While most of it were fitness magazines, fan mail and bills, once again, one of the envelopes stuck out. It was a simple letter, with his full name, his real name gracefully engraved on the front. "Devin Caswell", it said. While he hadn't shared anything of his past with his lovers, They knew enough not to ask question, and they knew of his true name, despite being unfamiliar with his past as a wannabe superhero. Marjolaine paused for a moment, giving him a soft look before continuing on breakfast. "It might be important." she said. "If not, then they wouldn't have sent it four times already." Devin had gotten this letter several times over the past few days, but had refused to open it. He had made a clean cut with his old family, and hadn't seen nor heard from any of them since he left, without telling any of them.

    Holding the letter in his hands, he sighed as he opened and unfolded it. To his surprise though, the letter addressed how there had been deaths in the family. More specifically, his parents and Lucas. Alpha. While he couldn't give two quacks about his supposed Parents, the news of Lucas triggered something in him. Something he hadn't felt since the big fallout the two had had over a decade ago. Was this guilt? Lingering resentment? The weird dinner Pièrre had tried and failed miserably at creating the evening before? Whatever it was, the letter asked for him to be present at.. talks about inheritance? It sounded scetchy at best, considering everyone knew well that Devin could literally create inheritance beyond anyones wildest imaginations if he wanted to. Stupid Lucas and his stupid loyalty. Devin wasn't sure how long he was sitting there in silence, but the silence was broken by a loud yawn as Pièrre came in wearing nothing but his boxers and a tank top, yawning loudly as he stretch far and wide, muttering a good morning-esque sentence. Marjolaine gave him a stern but worried quick look, and he tensed up. "Something wrong?" he asked, his dark brown eyes suddenly turning curious and cautious.

    "brother is dead." Devin said in a deadpan voice. "Oh, and my parents too.". The silence that followed was far too respectful for what his parents deserved, but he broke it quickly. "I'm asked to come back to London to discuss inheritance with my siblings.". "Siblings?" Pièrre asked. "I didn't know you had siblings?". Marjolaine threw him another look. He hadn't told them any details about his past, and they had always been respectful, as all of them believed in looking forward, without dwelling on the past. Regardless, this made the situation slightly more awkward than it neded to be. They also didn't know of Devin's power of economical destruction, which meant they wouldnt understand why he was against the inheritance thing, which again would mean they would urge him to go. "Well..." Marjolaine started.

    The next day, the trio was standing at the airport. Devin sighed. Of course they had talked him into going back. He didn't want to. Like.. at all. He would much rather get a job than go back there. He didn't know what would meet him there. He couldn't imagine he was the only one contacted about this matter, and the reunion would be anything but pleasant. It wasn't that he hated his siblings, he had always gotten along well with them. But being so defensive of their parents made everything shatter when he learned the truth, and he had therefore figured it would be easier to make a clean cut. He knew some, if not all of them likely resented him for that. He was carrying a dufflebag with some basic changes of clothing, and he was wearing a simple outfit consisting of worn jeans, simple plain white sneackers and a grey hoodie with the word "Opulence" on the back. His hair was up in its usual bun, and he had kept his golden cross around his neck. Despite every fiber in his being telling him not to go, he was defeated on the matter. Kissing Marjolaine and Pièrre goodbye, he boarded the plane.

    The Angel's Rest, London, England
    September 10th 2029


    A few days later, he had reached the bar the letter had instructed him to be at. He had arrived a few days in advance, to get reaquainted with the city. He hadn't even been to England since he was 18, but it hadn't changed too much. Besides a bloom of new starbucks shops around every corner, it didn't tak too long for that nasty homey feel to kick in, reminding him of all the bad times he had experienced during his upbringing. The bar they were supposed to meet at was a modest establishment, flexing with some above average decor, trying to make it seem fancier than it really was. While the place certainly wasn't 5 star, Devin still felt just shabby enough to feel out of place. He disliked it.

    "Ah, Sir. Caswell. Your sister is awaiting you over here" a waiter told him, as he escorted him to a private room. It looked like a sad birthday party, with black and white balloons, and a banner made to welcome the Caswell family. The only thing the place lacked was a sad clown, but depending on what was about to go down here, Devin and/or his siblings would more than likely fill that role themselves. By the table sat the birthday girl herself. Or so it looked like. Like for real, it was a very sad sight to behold. Sitting down in silence, he nodded towards her. Judging by the folded paper tissue she was fiddling with, it was fairly obvious that this was Ginny. She looked more mature than she used to. It reflected in her clothing and choice of hairstyle, and it suited her.

    "Uhm... Hi." Devin said. While he was outwardly calm, his emotions was all over the place. No turning back now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
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  3. Vern

    Vern Why not both?

    Nondescript Apartment Building, Tokyo
    September 8th 2029, 3pm
    Evelyn Caswell


    Lyn lay on the couch, idly turning the letter back and forth. “Inheritances, huh…” she murmured, “I can’t believe they kicked it.”

    It was raining outside, and the dark made her feel drowsy — not that it’s unusual for her to feel drowsy. These days, she always felt like she wanted to sleep, even when she just woke up. An x-box controller lay on the floor, where she’d left it earlier, having given up on playing because it hurt her hands. The idea of returning to her childhood home felt wrong somehow, but she couldn’t deny that it was surprisingly attractive. There was hardly any love lost between her and her now-deceased parents, and even her relationship with Lucas had been a distant one. But somehow news of their death left her feeling… empty, kind of. Not that it’s unusual for her to feel empty.

    “I guess I’ll go.” She sighed, rolling off the sofa and limping over to the kitchen counter where the coffee machine was, stepping around some empty cans and discarded wrappers along the way. She left the letter lying on the floor. There wasn’t much else for her to do — her doctor had told her that her main objective between now and her final performance was to rest and not kill herself, and that left her with lots of free time. Besides, there might be some cool tech she could get her hands on. That wasn’t the real reason she wanted to go, of course, but she at least could have an excuse.

    Starting up the coffee machine, she picked up her smartphone and punched in the number of one of her benefactors. “Hey, Mr. Arkwright,” she began, putting on her cheerful voice, “It’s me, Lyn. Could you perhaps get me a lift to London?”

    The Angel's Rest, London, England
    September 10th 2029


    Returning to London was odd — she had a lot of history with the city, after all, and returning to it left a jumble of unwelcome emotions in her gut. She felt exposed, so she’d transformed herself to look like her brother Devin (or, at least, what she remembered him looking like). Of course, her form was a good deal shorter than the man himself, because she didn’t quite have it in her to do the skeleton-stretching trick. Nevertheless it was quite convincing, and it comforted her. For some reason, it’s always easier to walk around looking like someone else.

    She’d brought her Smile outfit with her as well, the jumpsuit and mask tucked away in the backpack slung over her shoulder. There was no reason to, but somehow it felt right, and reassuring, like an anchor holding her firmly in place. The backpack also contained a change of clothes and some basic toiletries, and that was all she’d brought with her. She’d always preferred to travel light.

    Smiling at the doorman, who gave her a confused look, she ducked into the pub and glanced around. A small function room was in the corner, decked out with black and white balloons and a small banner welcoming the Caswells. The clashing tone of it all was almost funny, and she let out a soft laugh as she tiptoed in, not wanting to draw attention to herself.

    Two of her siblings were already there — Ginny, older than she remembered, with a suitcase next to her, fiddling agitatedly with a tissue. And — speak of the Devin — the man himself, also looking far more mature. She was suddenly struck with the realisation that everyone had grown up and changed, that she wasn't stepping back into the family she remembered.

    Closing her eyes and fighting down the butterflies that had come to life inside her stomach, she snuck up behind Devin and tapped him on the shoulder. “Hey,” she began in a deadpan voice that failed to hide her tiredness, “It’s your conscience, here to make you feel bad for fucking up the economy.”
     
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  4. VampirateMace

    VampirateMace Internet Overlord

    Dr. Morgan Caswell
    Modestly Sized Flat, Cambridgeshire
    September 3rd 2029, 9:32 pm


    The door to the flat clicked and a tired looking figure shuffled inside. He dropped his green backpack into one of the kitchen table chairs and let a pile of mail drop down beside it, topped with his keys. Among the mail were the usual flyers and advertisements, bills, research correspondences, science and gaming periodicals, as well as a collection of magazines he'd never ordered, and a pretentious cream colored envelope that looked like it had no business being in his mail, but there it was. It also looked like it had no business being folded, but the postman had done so to fit it in his little mailbox anyways.

    Morgan scrounged around the kitchen, fixing himself a quick marmalade sandwich before addressing the pile of mail. Gnawing on the sandwich he used his free hand to sort through (and flatten) his mail, finally arriving at the envelope in question. Something about the cursive in which him name and address were rendered made him him feel anxious. Curiously flipping the envelope over he saw the blue wax seal (peeling slightly since the envelope had been folded). Morgan dropped both the envelope and his sandwich, and stepped back from the table rubbing his eyes. Why was he getting correspondences from them after all this time? He'd not taken any effort to hide himself, he still went by the same name even, but he thought he'd made it clear he wanted nothing more to do with them or the Rangers when he left.

    Taking a deep breath he stepped back up to the table and tore open the envelope. Scanning over the letter he felt this weird cold disbelief. He felt no sorrow at the news Matthew and Renata had died, but the news that Lucas had died as well, bothered him. They had not left on the best of terms, but unlike the Matthew and Renata, he had at least thought of him as family.

    ***

    The Angel's Rest, London, England
    September 10th 2029


    Morgan sat in the back of a taxi leafing through a copy of the month's National Geographic. His mind was all over the place though, and he was was having trouble focusing on reading. More accurately he was spacing out between glancing at pictures, contemplating the past and wondering what pain today would hold. He didn't even notice the vehicle come to a full stop until the driver turned back to look at him commenting, “Hey kid, this the place?”

    Morgan shut his magazine looking around. He grabbed his backpack and slipped it behind the other books and papers. A pair of casual clothes and some toiletries were crammed in there as well, though to be honest he was hoping he'd get to go home today. He had no intention of accepting any inheritance. He yanked on the zipper, “Yeah. . . and I'm 30, by the way.”

    He fished out some cash as the driver replied in a soft mumble, “You know, you could dress like it.”

    Irked Morgan pocket the cash, a muscle under his eye twitching, and replied, “Thanks for the ride, sorry I didn't have exact change.”

    “No problem,” dismissed the driver, completely oblivious of the fact he'd just been tricked out of his fair. Morgan got out and slammed the door. He looked down at his clothes wondering what exactly was wrong with them. He knew they weren't exactly what people wore to funerals, not that this was a funeral exactly, but he though he looked pretty good. Besides, this was the most formal outfit he owned after all. Sighing he wondered for a brief moment if he should just walk away, after all, what was there in this that he wanted. But then he thought about his sibling, most of them he'd not even seen or heard from since they left.

    Morgan looked both ways and cross the street, headed into the pub. He felt out of place here, nervously asking a waiter about the family's private event. He was led to a smaller room decorated with balloons and a banner. Nothing about this décor made sense to him, it was like the most depressing wedding party ever. Only a couple of his siblings were here, and he wondered if many more of them were even going to bother showing up. It looked like they only had Ginny, Devin, and Devin Junior so far?
     
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  5. Monster Guy

    Monster Guy Fairy type Trainer

    Cameron Caswell
    On the red carpet at a movie premiere: Hollywood California, USA


    Cameron was on the red carpet, at the premiere of his latest movie. He wore a custom made pink tuxedo, and he smiled and posed for pictures as the cameras flashed, and members of the press called his name. This was his favorite part of being a movie star.

    Tonight was supposed to be a good night. Then, completely out of nowhere, one of his people handed him an envelope, and whispered something in his ear saying it was from his family. His family? That was weird. What would be so urgent that his assistant had to give this to him now? Was Lilith inviting him to a baby shower? Nah, that couldn't have been it.

    Once he had a moment alone, inside a bathroom stall, Cameron opened up the envelope, and read the letter inside. He had to be honest, Cameron really didn't really feel sad upon reading that his parents had passed on. They weren't exactly the nicest of people. Even if he liked to think they loved him a little bit, somewhere deep down. Reading that Lucas died hurt though. Yet another one of the Caswell siblings had kicked the bucket. Not only that, but it was his big bro Lucas. They were buddies when they were younger. It hurt when he didn't run away with the rest of them, and it hurt now to read that he was gone. His eyes were welling up, and tears were streaming down his face.

    He didn't have much time to spend in the bathroom crying. He had a movie premiere to get back to. After all, he didn't want to disappoint his fans! It was decided though. He would definitely be going to this meeting. If only for Lucas' sake, and for the chance to see his other siblings again.

    The Angels Rest: London England

    A taxi appeared right in front of the place the letter told Cameron to be. The ride wasn't as luxurious as Cameron was used to, but at least the driver was nice. He was a talkative fellow too. The two had a long chat the whole way there. "Thank you so much sir!" Cameron exclaimed, as he reached into his bag to find enough money to pay the driver his fare.

    "No problem, mate." The driver replied. "You can even have a discount, because your just so darn cute!"

    Cameron realized at that moment that the driver was affected by Cameron's powers. Oops. But, Cameron wasn't about to turn down a discount. Even if he did have enough money to pay the full price. "Thank you so much mister!"

    Cameron stood outside the restaurant, with his luggage in tow, and took a deep breath. Cameron had chosen to wear a dress to this occasion, A cute pink, white, and blue tea dress with a floral pattern. He accessorized with a blue pearl necklace, pink pearl earrings, and a cute pink bow in his hair. He even found pink shoes with little bows on them in his size. His dad never liked it when he dressed girly. Now, he could finally wear what he wanted without his dad yelling at him. Yay!

    When he entered the restaurant, a waiter found him, and led him to a small room decorated with black and white balloons and a banner. Cameron's outfit was out of place with the somber decor... Then he saw Morgan, and his outfit, and suddenly Cameron wasn't as out of place as he thought.

    Speaking of Morgan, all of his siblings were here. Cameron decided to say hello to each and every one of them. First up was Ginny. "Hey Ginny! I haven't seen you in forever! How's it goin?" He gave her hug. Next, he approached Devin. "He Devin! I keep hearing people say you're like totally a social media star now. I'm way jealous that you're the center of attention right now. That's supposed to be my job!" Cameron laughed out and hugged his brother. "I'm kidding, I'm kidding." There was also the small Devin in the room right now, and Cameron decided to hug him too. Lastly, there was Morgan. "Hey, Morgan. I'm totes loving the rainbow suit. It's a good look!" He gave him a thumbs up, and a hug as well.

    Now that all of the siblings had been greeted. Cameron noticed Ginny had a cake, and decided to order a snack for himself. He got himself a glass of water, and a small pink cake, and sat at one of the tables. Happily munching his sweet treat, though making sure to keep his dress clean.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
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  6. Tangeh

    Tangeh Well-Known Member

    Temple, Rural area outside of Bilaspur, India
    September 3rd 2029, 8:57am
    Jared Caswell


    It was still early enough for cool air to flow through the open stone walls of the Temple, brushing through the moss lining the edges where the sun reached. Dozens of men sat crossed-legged, heads bowed, and hands clasped in a prayer position in front of their hearts. Their rhythmic chants, guided by the steady beating of a nagara drum, echoed off the stone walls and up to the heavens. "Bhargo Devasya... Dhimahi..." Amongst these men sat Jared Caswell, blending in perfectly with his monk brothers. Left far behind him were horrific memories of his past, and with each day of prayer came another day of healing. The morning prayers always helped to clear and focus his mind, preparing him for the long day ahead. "Dhiyo Yo Naha... Prachodayat..."

    He would come to reflect on these last few moments of prayer as the last moments of peace before the storm.

    "Oooooom... oooooom.... oooooom...."

    The drum silenced, and the monks rose slowly. Usually Jared would take this time to reflect on his day's plans or prepare for a lesson, but that was not meant to be the case today. A shirtless Monk adorned with prayer beads hurried up to him with a polite bow, but a letter was clasped between his hands. "Namaste." Jared couldn't help but notice the anxiety the man was trying poorly to hide. Jared respectfully repeated the gesture and accepted the letter. He didn't understand at first how this had even made it here - it was ridiculously expensive to receive normal post, so the little mail he did get was supposed to go to his P.O. Box in Bilaspur, which he checked every month or so. His heart sunk as he turned the envelope over and saw a blue wax stamp with a hippogriff sigil on it. This was from the Caswell family back in England? How in the world did they get the address of this Temple? He and the messenger exchanged farewell bows and Jared hurried to his bunk nook to read.

    The first thing that rolled out of the envelope was enough on its own to make his stomach turn. A one-way plane ticket to England. He tried to take a moment to reflect and control the negative energy that was starting to surge through him, but dwelling was making him more anxious. He hastily read the letter - Gods it was strange reading English that wasn't meant for teaching small children - and let out a shaky sigh. His parents were dead. Lucas was dead. He was meant to go home to discuss inheritances with his siblings. Absolutely none of that sounded appealing to him. He was offended he had even been sent this in the first place. These people had destroyed his life, and he'd spent every waking moment of the last twelve years trying to recover. There was a number he was meant to call if he couldn't make it. There was a public phone not far from here; he would try to find some rupee coins and head there after his lessons for the day.

    But as the day wore on and his thoughts percolated, the nagging feeling that something wasn't right pulled at him. The three of them all dying suddenly couldn't just be a coincidence, and the letter was strangely vague on the circumstances. It was almost like the Marron trial all over again... hopefully this one didn't have such a tragic end. He put off going to the payphone long enough that he had to take his procrastination as proof that he would regret it if he didn't show up to get to the bottom of this. Fortunately he still had his passport from the trial tucked away under his mattress.

    The Angel's Rest, London, England
    September 10th 2029


    The flight to England had been uneventful. Considering he had no carry-on luggage or anything to check in - he had so few possessions that nothing was worth bringing beyond the clothes on his back - going through security was a breeze. It was darkly humourous how customs quickly deduced he had no weapons or explosives on his person and ushered him along. He was thankful he'd managed to stay anonymous all these years, else he'd probably be on the no-fly list for the rest of his life. Thankfully, since it was a long flight, he was offered complimentary food and beverages. Given the flight was coming from India they had vegetarian options as well. This was good, considering he didn't even bring any cash with him.

    The letter had contained a taxi chit as well, which ended up saving him a lot of walking. He entered the pub and was ushered into a private event room. The place was decorated appropriately like a funeral, though none of the guests seem to have taken the hint. Hell, he recognized Morgan and Cameron by their strange outfit selections before he recognized their faces. Faces he hadn't seen since the worst years of his life... he hesitated for a few moments at the entryway, contemplating his emotions carefully before deciding to go all the way in. This wasn't going to be easy, but he was pretty sure he could do it.

    Jared had to stop himself from greeting them with a bow, which he knew would be weird to them. He cleared his throat awkwardly instead. "Uh... hi." He frowned at the faces already there: Cameron, Morgan, Ginny, Devin, and ... Devin again, but smaller? A rush of realization hit him all at once and he wrapped the tiny Devin in a hug. "Lyn..." he said in a hushed tone, hardly daring to believe it was really her. Of all the faces he'd expected to show up, Evelyn's was definitely last on the list. "I'm so sorry... I gave up looking for you, I thought..." he quieted, focusing on dispelling the tears that were pricking at his eyes. At least Lilith had kept him semi up-to-date on most of the others, but as far as Jared knew she was never able to find Evelyn. He pulled away and examined her, his eyes darting from scar to scar. He looked at her questioningly, concern shining in his eyes and an unsaid 'what happened to you?' playing in his expression.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
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  7. Minteh

    Minteh It's so shiny!

    Ginevra 'Ginny' Caswell
    The Angel's Rest, London, England


    Ginny did not have to wait particularly long for the first of her siblings to show up. She was still messing around with the napkin from before, when she heard voices outside, indicating that another one of her siblings had arrived. With a trembling hand, Ginny took a long gulp of her sparkling water, eyes watching the door to see who was to make their arrival. The first to arrive was Devin, whose eyes did a once over of the room before landing on her. He approached slowly, stopping in front of her before calmly saying hello. He appeared calm on the outside, but Ginny wondered if his emotions were bouncing all over the place as hers were. The red-haired woman would offer a polite smile, before shaking his hand briskly.

    "It's nice to see you again, Devin," she greeted before her gaze shifted to someone coming in behind them. They approached the two of them and were quick to make a joke about being Devin's conscience. "Hello, little Devin," Ginny added, extending her hand out the smaller clone of her brother. She knew there weren't suddenly two Devin's in the world, and knew this smaller copy of him was one of her sisters, Evelyn. In truth, she was actually quite surprised to see Evelyn here, but she did not show it.

    The next to arrive were Morgan and Cameron, both of which were dressed rather colourfully, to say the least. Ginny could not say she had expected anything less from her brothers. The little colour they bought into the room was rather jarring against the black and white decor that had been laid out elsewhere, however. After Cameron had rushed around greeting everyone, another Caswell sibling made their appearance. Jared. Now that was a surprise. Last she'd heard from Lillith, he was in India. As Jared went off to speak with Evelyn, Ginny got off her stool and made her way towards Morgan.

    "Hi, Morgan, you're looking well," She observed, as she offered an awkward hand out in greeting. Ginny knew some of her siblings were not her biggest fans of her following an art exhibition she had done years back. It had been a while since then, and Ginny could not recall which of her siblings had taken it particularly frosty. She hoped Morgan wasn't one of them. "Your outfit is very colourful I must say. Certainly draws the eye at least."

    As they were talking, the door to the function room opened once more, only this time it wasn't a sibling. No, it was Nathan Wicke, the Caswell's ever dutiful butler. He had come to the Institute when they were thirteen, and two years later replaced James as head butler of the household. He wasn't an old man, only being in his forties now, but Ginny was shocked at how old he seemed. The last time she had seen him was during Garret's murder trial on the TV. He hadn't seemed so old then, a few grey hairs maybe, but he retained his youthful looks. Now though...he looked older than his years. His black hair was mostly grey now, and he had notable wrinkles around the corners of his eyes and mouth.

    He seemed surprised to see them. "Here I was hoping to be here before you began to arrive," He laughed, puffing out his cheeks in mock annoyance. "It is nice to see you all again. I trust you all arrived here alright?"
     
  8. Skillfulness

    Skillfulness Well-Known Member

    Lilith O'Neil
    O'Neil Household, Enniscorthy, Ireland

    There were tears in her eyes as Lilith read the letter. As soon as she saw the wax seal she knew whatever was contained in the envelope would be bad. Her wife wasn’t home yet from work so brewing a cup of tea and taking a deep breath, she took her time to read through the note. She was torn. After years of abuse, she was quick to cut ties with her parents, but not the rest of her family. She cared deeply for all her siblings and hearing that Lucas had passed away was difficult. Part of her always wondered how her life would have been different if she had stayed behind with him. Thinking about her wife, Melissa, always reminded her that she had done what she needed to do. If not for her, Lilith might not be the stable adult she was today. Goodness knows she tried her best to stay in touch with her brothers and sisters. Some of them were not in a great place and she did what she could to help. But the years of the Rangers were behind her now.

    No, she had moved on. It wasn’t easy, leaving everything she had known behind, but the Caswell’s cruel demeanor made it easier. There were some events that had brought her in touch with her siblings again too. Seeing some at her wedding was a blessing and the art exhibit Gwen showcased was breathtaking. Tears were shed there too. On a less positive note, the murder trail brought some of them back together as well. Lilith couldn’t bring herself to attend that one, too many strong emotions. But she and Melissa watched and mourned together. All in all, time had healed her wounds, but they still left scars.

    The letter sitting in front of her was just another reminder of those scars. Her emotions flared up quickly and it took her a moment to gather herself. On the one hand, she truly was sad the three family members had passed away, but on the other she was glad the dangerous couple were no longer able to harm anyone. Lilith was never able to forgive them and now she wouldn’t be able to reconcile with them if she even wanted to. Lucas’ passing was even harder on her, as she tried staying in touch with him over the years as well. She had no issues deciding she would attend the reading of the will, but she fretted about seeing her siblings again. While she had seen some over the years, she wondered about the others who she had never even heard from. Would this be the day she finally got to see them?

    “I’m home blossom, how was your day?” Melissa stepped through the door without Lilith even noticing. She immediately picked up on the mood in the room and comforted Lilith. The two had a long discussion. Melissa tried to convince Lilith to let her come with, but she insisted it was a family-only matter she didn’t want her to get involved with. It would only make things more complicated. So she packed and her wife helped. They went over how to cope with emotions should she become overwhelmed. Lilith booked the travel she would need for the tenth.

    Lilith O'Neil

    The Angel's Rest, London, England

    Lilith took a deep breath when she exited the taxi. Holding it in, she grounded herself and slowly let the breath out. This was going to be one of the hardest things she had done in years, maybe besides nannying for the triples. The thought allowed her to chuckle in the face of the intense scene she was expecting before her. She hefted the travel bag over the shoulder and walked into the pub.

    A number of people were milling about, most of them her siblings. Her heart fluttered for a moment, her whole spirit filled with joy. She was so happy to see them again. Not everyone was here yet, and in fact she didn’t expect everyone to show up, but she was excited to see all that had arrived already. Walking closer, Lilith could pick up the general mood immediately which was less sorrowful than she expected. That was good. Instead everyone felt reluctant and awkward which was probably appropriate, given that some of them hadn’t seen each other for twelve years. It would also be easier for Lilith to handle. Nathan Wicke, their old butler, had just addressed everyone there and Lilith caught the tail end of it. She cleared her throat before speaking up.

    “Hey everyone, I made it here alright. Good to see all of you.” Lilith smiled briefly to everyone and hoped no one was upset to see her. She wanted to dote over them all, but restrained herself. They were all adults now and she was sure some would be annoyed with her motherly nagging. She just tried to play it cool and be subtle. And hopefully she wouldn’t overdo it.

    “So, how is everyone doing? I hope you’re all well, I’ve been worried about some of you.”
     
  9. Vern

    Vern Why not both?

    Evelyn Caswell
    The Angel’s Rest, London, England


    Evelyn awkwardly wiggled out of Jared’s hug, managing to prevent herself from wincing at the pressure that sent spikes of pain shooting through her body. “Oh, don’t be sorry,” she says with an easy laugh, allowing her disguise to melt away back into her normal appearance, “It’s not your fault I’m so good at hiding.” Ignoring Jared’s concerned glance, she gave him a friendly punch on the shoulder, and produced a pack of cards on the palm of her hand. “Wanna see a card trick?”

    Before she could do anything more, a familiar figure entered the room — Nathan Wicke, the butler. He seemed old, tired — with his now-white hair and wrinkled face, he reminded her oddly of herself, and without thinking, she quickly used her powers to hide some of her many… ‘imperfections’, lets say. The arrival of the butler seemed to have caused a lull in the conversation, and everyone’s attention was on him as he asked them whether they’d ‘arrived here all right’.

    Lilith appeared as the butler finished, asking how everyone was doing and adding that she’d been worried about ‘some of you’ — ah, crap, she’s probably referring to me, isn’t she. “Hi Mom!” she said with a wide smile and excited wave that she wasn’t sure if she really meant, “I’ve been having the time of my life." A lie. Well, she ought to have been, so it wasn't entirely untrue, but...

    As she talked, she slowly moved towards the side of the room to lean against the wall near (but not too near) Jared, idly playing with her deck of cards. It felt nice to have something to do with her hands — the cards dancing through her fingers were like an anchor, keeping her rooted in the real world, keeping her mind alert, creating a comforting rhythm in a room that felt anything but comfortable. "Sorry to make you worry," She laughs, nodding at Lilith, "And thanks for getting the message to me."
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  10. GoldenHouou

    GoldenHouou ☾ eclipse ☽

    Theodore Caswell
    Train, En Route to London


    The trip from Manchester to London was as painless as they came - particularly in first class. The cities were a two-and-a-half hour train ride apart, with complimentary food and no transfers necessary. Once aboard, Theodore had nothing to do but lie back, relax, and enjoy the view of a quaint countryside speeding past the window.

    It stressed him out beyond all reason.

    With nothing else to occupy his hands or mind, Theodore found himself going back to the letter on his lap time and time again. He'd thought it a poor joke at first, but the words written on the letter had been genuine - he, if anyone, would know. Which meant that Renata, Matthew and Lucas were truly dead.

    It felt surreal. Theodore still remembered how terrifying he'd found his 'parents' as a child. They'd seemed indestructible and unopposable, even to a group of people with superpowers. So to hear they'd met their ends so soon... it was pitiful, truly. In the end, the couple that had terrorized them for most of their lives had been nothing but human, after all - their lives just as fragile as any other's, and unlikely to be remembered for anything. Theodore couldn't claim to be saddened by their fate, but he wasn't entirely indifferent, either. In the wake of the news, he'd felt a certain... emptiness? That seemed like an appropriate way to describe it. Even if he'd had no love for them, they had all played a big part in his life for years. With their passing, it felt as though someone had scraped away a big part of his past. Whether that was good or bad remained to be seen.

    But, really, cruel as it might've been, it wasn't the deaths themselves that had kept him in such deep thought as of late; it was everything else the invitation entailed. If he'd gotten it, everyone else must've, as well. Which meant that, after a decade apart, he would likely meet face to face with the boys and girls he grew up with - only now, they would be men and women, each with their own families, stories and lives. It should have been a happy thought, by all means. A reunion after so long, a chance to catch up, a chance to reconnect and reminisce.

    And yet, Theodore found it terrifying.

    When he'd last seen all of his siblings together, back before they'd all went their separate ways, he'd felt as though they were all a family. The memories of all the time spent together with his siblings had helped Theodore overcome many a moment of solitude in his adult life; he'd been able to tell himself that even though he didn't feel like he belonged anywhere in his current state, he still had a family somewhere out there. He was still part of something. When he'd received an invitation to his sister's wedding some years back, he'd been overjoyed. He'd been remembered!

    But... time changed people, and apart from a few exceptions, Theodore hadn't been in any kind of contact with most of his siblings. He'd tried to keep up with their lives the best he could, but once he'd deemed the constant lies on social media unbearable, he'd lost track of most of them. He'd seen some at the trial a while back, but the only one he'd managed to talk to was Jared - and that encounter had been anything but pleasant. It was his own doing, he knew, but it did not make it any easier to bear. He'd thought back on that exchange many a time, wondering if he'd done the right thing. For the sake of his sanity, he had to believe he had.

    He couldn't help but worry, though; had Jared talked to the others after that? Would the others hate him too, if he had? And even if he had not, what if--- what if he ended up messing things up with the others as well? What if he simply had nothing in common with his siblings anymore? What if the sisters and brothers he remembered were gone, replaced by strangers who he would feel no connection to? What if they all started bickering? Or... or what if everyone else had kept in contact throughout the years, except for him?

    After all these years, would he have to give up on pretending he had a family out there?

    Theodore set down his cup of coffee and tore his gaze from the letter. The fields had changed to the outskirts of a city. He'd be arriving soon.

    ~​

    The Angel's Rest, London, England

    It had only been a month or two since Theodore's last work trip to London, and nothing much had changed since then. As usual, London was filled with nostalgia - but it was also filled with people, and so Theodore made his way to the Angel's Rest posthaste. Thank heavens for music. Earbuds weren't really his style, but they played a big part in retaining his sanity; the less conversations he overheard during his day, the better. The many advertisements he walked past were bad enough.

    The pub itself seemed pleasant and quiet, and Theodore couldn't help heaving a relieved sigh upon setting foot inside. His suitcase was small and compact, yet he still wondered if he should've booked a hotel and dropped it off before arrival. He wasn't entirely sure if they'd been supposed to take care of their own accommodation, or if one would be provided for them after their meeting today. Surely they wouldn't stay at the family manor and sully a crime scene.

    Theodore caught himself at that thought. A crime scene...? Really, he had worked on too many a murder trial. It was more likely for them to have died of illness or accident.

    And yet, the scarce explanation in the letter, the fact that their deaths must've occurred with little time in between...

    "This way, sir."

    The man gestured at a private room just ahead. Theodore snapped out of his thoughts to the sound of his own quickened heartbeat.

    "Ah--- yes, thank you."

    He wanted to turn back. He really, truly, did. Instead, he took a deep breath and stepped forth.

    The room was decorated somberly, and the atmosphere wasn't much different. Theodore arrived in the midst of a few budding conversations, none of which seemed particularly chipper. It made sense, he supposed. At least he wasn't the only one at a loss for words.

    Nathan was there, as were all his siblings, save for one. Some of them were easier to recognize than others; Cameron stuck out among the somber crowd in his cute, pink frills as usual, and only Morgan could've arrived to an event like this donning such... unique clothes. He'd seen Jared at the trial, and while it had been difficult to recognize him back then, he hadn't changed much from that encounter. Lilith's case was similar; he'd seen her at her wedding, and she radiated the same soothing aura she always had. That left Ginny and Devin who he hadn't see for all this time, with Gale unaccounted for, and...

    “I’ve been having the time of my life."

    Evelyn, who he could've told was lying even without his powers. She certainly didn't look like she'd been having a pleasant time.

    It occurred to him that he was still standing idly by the door.

    "To think that I'm the tardy one," Theodore took a quick step into the room, then another, and another, and another until he was fairly convinced he'd no longer turn around and run. He left his suitcase by the wall and turned in the general direction of everyone else, entertaining a smile. "Some things do change, I see."
     
  11. Minteh

    Minteh It's so shiny!

    Ginevra 'Ginny' Caswell
    The Angel's Rest, London, England


    No less than a minute after Nathan had addressed the group, had Lilith made her appearance. She coughed to introduce herself, before going on to ask after them, noting that it had been a while since she had seen some of them. It was a fair statement Ginny reflected. Out of all her siblings, she was probably one of the more elusive members to get ahold of, tending to keep to herself. She hadn't even attended Garret's trial, unlike some of her siblings. Speaking of the trial, almost as if on cue, Theo then proceeded to make his appearance. With Theo here that left Gale still unaccounted for...given her frosty relationship with the family, Ginny wouldn't have been surprised if she turned up at all. Although she knew Lucas had never harboured any ill towards her or any of them for that matter, she knew Gale had not thought highly of their Alpha.

    "To think that I'm the tardy one," Theo quipped as he approached them. "Some things do change, I see."

    As Theo mingled among the rest of his siblings, the conversations continued for several minutes. Eventually, Ginny moved away from her siblings to retrieve another cake and became aware of Nathan keeping his distance, checking his watch fervently, and glancing at the door every so often. His actions became even more frantic when a server came in and whispered something in his ear. Curious about what was going on, Ginny came over to investigate.

    "Hi, Nathan," She greeted, offering out a hand which he quickly shook. "Is something wrong?"

    "Oh, no nothing," Nathan responded, giving her a wave of his hand. "I was merely hoping that Gale would have arrived by now, or at least before our transport had arrived...which it just has." He gave a small shrug, before rolling his shoulders. "It seems that won't be the case - no matter, no matter. She knows where the Institute is at any rate. If she wished to join us, she can find us there." The head butler would then take a long stride forward, clapping his hands rather loudly to get everyone's attention. "If you would all be so kind as to follow me."

    The man would turn and gesture for them to follow him. Outside awaited three silver, seven-seater Ranger Rovers, and a smaller industrial-like van, which their luggage was being put into, and totally didn't look shifty at all. The Range Rovers all looked brand new and tweaked with all the best modifications. Ginny wouldn't have been surprised if the old government connections came in handy there. Nathan instructed Morgan, Jared, and Evelyn to ride with him while the others were free to get in whichever car they wanted. When everyone was settled in their seats, their convoy was soon on its way.

    ***

    Ginevra 'Ginny' Caswell
    The Institute, Cambridgeshire

    The city of London was swiftly left behind them as they continued on their journey. In the car ride, Ginny was filled with a sense of trepidation at seeing her old home, and the potential of having her old memories brought back of it. No doubt many, if not all, of her siblings felt a similar way. The London high-rises were soon replaced by smaller towns and even smaller villages before they eventually made their way into the county of Cambridgeshire. Once they drove past the small town of Fleetport, Ginny knew they were but minutes away.

    The road to the Institute was a rather inconspicuous one. They took a left on an old country road, which to the unknowing eye, would look as though they were turning onto a farm. Those well enough informer would know it wasn't a farm though, or at least not a functioning one. After the children all came into their abilities, the government had bought out all the surrounding homes and farms to avoid many questions. After driving through the abandoned farmyard, they turned down into another side road (this time actually on the estate) which looped around the south side of the estate, before linking up onto the old driveway to the manor. As usual, the lawns looked well-cared for, as did the trees and various flower bushes covering the grounds. As they drove past the small pond, Ginny could spot several ducks and geese lazing at the water's edge.

    As they continued, they drove past the three summer houses on the grounds, which Ginny could remember as being private accommodation for government officials when they visited. Strangely, one of the summer houses was completely destroyed, burnt to a crisp, with its blackened ruins remaining in its place. In the lead car, Nathan would pick up a handset linked to the radio systems of all the cars to inform them of what happened.

    "Please, do not concern yourself with the summer house," He advised, speaking with an oddly shaky voice. The sound of his voice echoing in the car, made Ginny jump slightly. "It is unfortunate what happened there, but nothing to concern yourself with I can assure you. It was caused by a candle one of the Janets left burning when your parents hosted some guests. By the time we realised something was wrong it was too late."

    Following this brief explanation, the convoy continued past the summer houses, the road inclining slightly before it linked onto the old gravel driveway. The convoy carried on up until they approached the house and pulled up outside. The house was still as imposing as ever, albeit somewhat more weather-beaten than Ginny remembered it. Outside Janet #42 waited for them, though she was clearly one of many damaged units, as when she went to say hello, all that came out was a static noise. Clearly, she was not actually there to greet them however and was instead there to collect their luggage, which she began to move into the house.

    Nathan gave them a moment to reflect, before ushering them quietly inside. The grand foyer was as lavishly decorated as Ginny recalled, with ornate decorations lining the walls and cabinets that sat here. On further inspection, Ginny did note some odd things, however. There was a new rug in the middle of the foyer, which was odd as their parents had never liked putting rugs there. If one was to look close enough they would notice that there was some staining of the wood panels underneath, only visible at the edges of the rug, almost as if it was covering something. The chandelier was less ornate than they would recall as well. The prior one had been huge, with numerous little glass beads hanging off it. This must have been a recent change as Renata would have never allowed it whilst she was alive. What was the most glaring oddity, however, was the section of the bannister on the landing to the second floor. It was a much lighter, and newer wood compared to the rest of the bannister. How odd that one specific part had been replaced and not all of it...

    A moment later the large doors to the left of them opened, and Janet #11 appeared, smiling widely at them. "Hello Rangers, it has been 'eRRoR fiLE nOt fOUnD' since your last visit."

    "Number eleven, would you be so kind as to escort them to the living room?" Nathan asked. "I must speak to the other staff about preparing dinner. Can you said a message to one of your other units about preparing some refreshments."

    "Of course Nathan. I will send a message now." The android would go deathly still and silent for a moment before suddenly coming back to life. "Done! Janet #8 will bring refreshments to us shortly. I have informed her to use all their favourites. However, Nathan, it may be advisory to update our servers with up to date information on their dietary needs. It has not been updated in some time."

    With a small nod, the Janet would then gesture for them to enter the room she had just come from. This room was one of many sitting rooms in the manor, though was perhaps the most modernised of them all. It seemed as though Janet #11 had been cleaning shortly before their arrival, as a small container of cleaning supplies sat in one corner of the room. The room itself was not as ornate as other parts of the mansion, was stylish enough. There were three sofas place around a large open fireplace. On the mantle rested a small photograph of their parents, as well a very small antique clock. Above that was a large flat-screen TV. To the left of the room was a new addition of a chess table, and to the right was a bookcase full of hardback books, and a cabinet with priceless glass and chine cutlery.

    "Please make yourselves comfortable, Rangers." Janet #11 smiled. She would stand off to one side of the room, hands folded neatly in front of her, should any of the siblings wish to speak with her.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  12. VampirateMace

    VampirateMace Internet Overlord

    Dr. Morgan Caswell
    The Angel's Rest, London, England


    Morgan had barely gotten a glance around the room, barely registered that others were getting snacks, when a short haired girl bounded into the room, looking as out of place as he felt. Was she looking for her Quinceañera? No wait, Morgan knew who this was, it wasn't a girl at all, but their strangely cute and youthful brother Cameron. He went around the room giving everyone present compliments and hugs. Morgan smiled feeling a little better about the whole strange and disturbing situation, “It's good to see you.”

    He went to order himself some lemon-lime soda. He didn't really feel like eating, but he was strangely parched. In the meantime Jared entered and started reconnecting with Lil Devin, or rather Lyn. Morgan shook his head, he should have known. But he was kind of glad he didn't anymore, life as a Ranger had been literal hell.

    Ginny was next. Morgan bit his lip at her comment and tugged on his lapels, “Do you think it's too much? I tried to dress nice, but I don't really own anything black. Nor do I think it's even appropriate for their sakes. Maybe Lucas, but not them.”

    Next, the butler. Morgan ignored his inquiry, sipping his soda slowly. He looked up as Lilith entered though, suggesting, “I'll be better once this is over. Glad to see you're alright though.”

    Finally Theo arrived, and they were ushered outside. Morgan felt like someone was missing, but it was hard to figure out who as one of the transport staff tried to take his backpack for him. Yeah, he wasn't having any of that. He spent years playing by their rules, now his stuff stayed with him. Especially since he had some important notes in there.

    The Institute, Cambridgeshire

    The ride was, well nothing special. When not chatting lightly with the others in his car, Morgan continued to read from his magazine, ignoring the scenery outside. He'd seen enough of it in years past, and was disgusted at the thought that they were even heading back there. Soft comments as they got close alerted him to the external changes of the estate. A burnt down summerhouse. He almost wished he'd done it. Smith had stayed there once, hadn't he?

    Morgan gladly exited the vehicle, slipping on his backpack and walking past the Janet taking people's luggage. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, so maybe it was just him that was wondering if these things had gotten creepier?

    The atmosphere house seemed strange, it was not like they’d left it, but not necessarily changed for the better either. It kind of bothered him. Nathan started informing one of the Janets that they were staying for dinner. Ugh, seriously? That had been decided, had it? And it therefore wanted their dietary information. Morgan rolled his eyes, “Not happening Tincan. Where's Cool Janet?”

    By Cool Janet, he meant the one he'd hacked. The one that wore a ripped t-shirt and let them get away with stuff occasionally. He know she'd probably been reprogrammed by now, but considering 42's voicebox was still shot, maybe not. Still, this one was getting on his nerves, "Yeah, we don't go by that anymore. Update your servers."

    Morgan shuffled around the room they were led to. He walked into the ring created by the couches and fireplace, glancing at the photo. He wanted to set it face down so they wouldn't have to look at them, but that was probably in bad tastes considering the circumstances. He turned back to his siblings, tilting his head towards the door, “You all saw that right? I can't be the only one that noticed. . . I guess the question is, do we even care why it was changed?”
     
  13. Tangeh

    Tangeh Well-Known Member

    Jared Caswell
    The Angel's Rest, London, England


    Evelyn gingerly wriggled out of Jared's hug, and he quickly released her as soon as he felt her resisting. He frowned as she laughed and switched back to her normal appearance. Or... what he assumed was her normal appearance. She looked so different from the Evelyn he remembered – yet, as she playfully punched his shoulder and offered to show him a card trick, it seemed she wasn't so different after all. It was just like Lyn to distract from the negative like that... but it was also odd. Jared wasn't sure whether to feel comforted or concerned. “No, I want to know where you've been, what you're been doing,” Jared pressed.

    Unfortunately he didn't get much more out of Evelyn because their old butler, Nathan, entered the room, quickly gaining everybody's attention. He looked really old now, definitely older than he should. Jared had just seen him a few years ago at the murder trial, after all, and he definitely didn't look that old back then.

    Lilith appeared shortly after Nathan did, and Evelyn immediately gravitated toward her – as did Jared. Lilith was really the only sibling he kept in regular contact with still, though even that was infrequent. “Lilith,” Jared greeted with a small smile, again having to stop himself from bowing at her. It was never going to stop feeling rude not bowing, was it? He watched quietly as Lyn took over the interaction, excitedly waving and insisting she'd been doing great. Did she mean to sound so disingenuous?

    One last person showed up – Theodore. Jared stared at him stone-faced as he entered and cracked a joke. He guessed that meant the others didn't know what he knew about the trial – that he'd sentenced their own sister to life in prison for a crime she didn't commit. That whole situation was still really odd to him, and a rare surge of anger caused him to frown and turn away from Theo entirely. There were going to be a lot of unpleasant emotions that he was going to have to cope with over the next little bit. Distraction... he listened in on a few of the other conversations that were going on around him. It was more than a little weird to see so many of his siblings here. So many of them he hadn't seen since they were teenagers – some he hadn't even heard from since then. Though given he'd hidden himself away in a rural area of India, that was probably his fault. The lack of four of his siblings weighed heavily – two dead, one imprisoned, and who knew where Gale was...? Ugh. He kept his expression even. He knew this wasn't going to be easy, after all...

    The Institute, Cambridgeshire

    Soon they were instructed into silver Ranger Rovers. Nathan insisted that Jared, Evelyn, and Morgan ride together in the same van with him. Jared didn't think too much into why – it wasn't for his sake, was it? - but was certainly okay with a second opportunity to question Evelyn. He turned to her again once they were settled in the car. “Will I ever get to find out what you've been up to for the last twelve years?” Jared asked. The rest of the trip was fairly uneventful – he made some light talk with Morgan for a bit, until he realized he was trying to distract himself from the ride with a magazine, then Jared quieted. Jared couldn't exactly blame him – the path outside was unfortunately familiar. It was something he usually only saw on his way back from missions, too exhausted and in too much pain to even turn his head away from the window. He glanced over at Morgan's magazine instead. ...National Geographic? Better than the alternative view, that was for sure.

    Inevitably they made their way up to the house. In a lot of ways, the property looked exactly the same as how Jared had remembered it. It was well-kept too, as if its only three occupants hadn't just recently died. Oddly, one of the three summer homes had been completely destroyed – a fire, it looked like. It must have been relatively recent, given the remains hadn't been cleared away. Curious, he turned to Nathan. “What happened there, Nathan?” he asked, gesturing to the charred ruins.

    They continued on until they reached the house. A damaged Janet unit came to greet them in fluent static, going to each of them to try and collect their luggage. Jared frowned as she approached him. He was responsible for so many injuries to their robotic caretakers over the years. He might even be the reason this one was damaged, too. They were the closest thing they'd had to parental love, so it was hard not to feel guilty about that, even now. He shrugged at her when she hesitated. “I didn't bring anything else with me,” he explained so that she could move on to the others.

    Nathan soon ushered them inside. Jared didn't notice all of the little changes that had been done to the place. Under different circumstances he was pretty detail oriented, but that wasn't where his attention went. All he saw was everything that looked the same. The same outlandish décor, the same colour scheme, the same cabinets... While most of his siblings were noticing the odd differences, Jared was in shock at how similar it was to the last time he saw it twelve years ago. The décor had been dated even by those standards. When even was the last time he'd walked through those doors, outside of his nightmares? Their last mission... he could barely remember it. What had that been? ...No, no – he shouldn't be trying to think of things like that -

    The grand doors to the left of them opened, and another Janet appeared. This one looked in far better shape – it could even speak. "Hello Rangers, it has been 'eRRoR fiLE nOt fOUnD' since your last visit."

    Being called a “Ranger” was an unpleasant surprise Jared wasn't expecting, and he winced. That whole voice line was bringing back memories of returning from a long, arduous mission. He clearly wasn't the only one offended, as Morgan was quick to tell the robot off for it. Fortunately Nathan instructed the Janet to escort them to the living room, giving Jared a window where it wouldn't be unusual to use the washroom before refreshments arrived. “Excuse me,” Jared said before separating himself from the others. He wasn't worried about finding them later – like it or not, he still knew this place like the back of his hand.

    Jared splashed some water on his face and grimaced at himself in the same mirror he'd last looked into as a teenager. He went over a few breathing exercises and considered his emotions carefully. He was okay; he'd expected this to be intense. The others were probably feeling on edge from being back here, too. He left to return to the living room after a couple of minutes, not wanting the others to worry about where he'd gone off to.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
  14. Schade

    Schade Iron Defensive

    Devin (Caswell) Pichard
    The Angel's Rest, London, England


    Devin's sister, Ginny did a slightly overly formal greeting as he entered, and the two sat in silence for a short while. Gods, this was awkward. She had never been the most talkative of the bunch either, sprinkling the awkward with just a little touch of.. more awkwardness. It wouldn't last forever though, as the silence was broken several minutes later by a familiar voice. “It’s your conscience, here to make you feel bad for ****ing up the economy.”. Turning around, it was like looking at a funhouse mirror from when he was a teenager, and he concluded that this had to be Evelyn. Damn... She looked worse for wear than he remembered her, and that said a lot considering she was in full getup at the moment. Maybe it was because she looked like how he used to look. Nevertheless, it was creepy and slightly tiresome. She was right about the economy thing though, as Devin had made his dents here and there on his way to riches.

    One after another, the rest of his siblings would come in and deliver their niche personality one-liners, lessing the awkward fog slowly but surely with each new arriwal. Most of them had totally changed during the past decade, and some hadn't changed at all. It was almost reassuring if it wasn't for the inevitable drama that would ensue. Devin remained silent, however. He didn't really know what to say, and everyone else seemed to be chatting each other up, catching up and asking about the time skip and what everyone had been doing. Cameron noted that he was a fan of Devin's online endeavours, to which he simply nodded. Seeing how eveeryone got along as if nothing had happened made him feel a bolt of guilt from disappearing like he did back then. Welp, there's no point in worrying about that now.

    The Institute, Cambridgeshire

    The drive back to the institute wasn't nearly as bad as Devin had anticipated, even though the increasingly familiar scenery gave him a few flashbacks here and there. It was almost freaky how so little along the route had changed during the decade, but a bit reassuring as well. Pulling up to the manor, everything seemed to be very similar to the way it had been when he left, except from a major detail: One of the summer houses nearby which would house government officials on their frequent visits had been burnt to the ground. The driver , Nathan, reassured the group that there was nothing to worry about, and that one of the Janets had haused the accident by carelessly setting out a candle in a hazzardous envorinment during a visit. It reeked of fake news, but Devin didn't question it, as it was obvious Nathan tried to change the topic.

    Nathan gave the group a few moments to reflect and collect themselves, as it seemed like everyone had some sort of reaction to being there. Devin was no exception, as he looked upon the imposing manor with a mixture of awe and resentment. Once led inside, they were met by a familiar face. Literally the only thing about the experience so far not making Devin want to jump off a clif. Janet. She literally hadnt changed at all during his time away and looked as friendly as ever. That was, until she started talking. An error in her vocal files seemed to cause her inconvinience, making Devin wonder if all the Janets were like this. Regardless, he was happy, if not a bit spooked, to see her again.

    Wandering off into the main foyer, Devin casually walked over to a bookcase. It was very dusty, but he fondly remembered most of the titles present. He needed a bit more time to collect his thoughts and feelings, as being back had stirred him up more than he had anticipated. At some point, he would have to go up to his old room. If nobody had been there, everything should be exactly the same way as it had used to be.

    It appeared they would stay for dinner. Fair enough, if he remembered correctly, the Janets were amazing cooks. She did request them to give her their updated dietry schedules though, to which Devin answered quickly. "Vegan. Everything, thanks.". Morgan then turned to the rest and spoke. “You all saw that right? I can't be the only one that noticed. . . I guess the question is, do we even care why it was changed?”. Why what was changed? To Devins notice most things was the same they had always been, aside from a few new furnitures to make it look more up to date. walking from the bookcase over to the fireplace, he picked up a framed picture of who the group had considered to be their parents all their lives. He picked it up and examined it. Even now, while knowing it was all a scam, they looked as if they were husband and wife. Nobody would suspect anything was amiss by looking at this photo. It made Devin sick to think about,and the longer he stared at the photo, the more unpleasant memories reemerged. He then shook his head and came back into realty. Looking at the picture again, it was now completely golden, the image being nothing but a shiny golden surface. He put it down next to the ornate clock and turned his back to it, walking back towards the bookcase. "I can't believe they're actually dead.. Let's just get the financials over with so we can leave." he then said, browsing the familiar titles.
     
  15. Skillfulness

    Skillfulness Well-Known Member

    Lilith O'Neil
    The Angel's Rest, London, England


    Regrets. She could everyone felt some small sort of regret under all the anxiety. Seeing familiar faces again seemed to bring that all up. At the same time, most everyone was doing their best to try covering it all up. They either withered from conversations to avoid discussing it or they plastered on a smile. Cameron was probably the only genuinely happy sibling here at the moment.

    “I'll be better once this is over,” Morgan said while sipping at a soda. “Glad to see you're alright though.” Lilith nodded and gave a warm smile.

    “I’ve heard you’ve been doing well yourself. Congrats on the Ph.D, Doctor,” she said with a sly smile. Lilith had done her research before coming here. Technically she never really stopped. Since they all had gone their separate ways, she did her best to stay in touch with everyone who was willing. Most weren’t, but she could still see how they were doing through various means (mostly the internet). Ginny was an artist, doing fairly well for herself. Morgan had gotten his degree in quantum mechanics which went way over Lilith’s head. Devin was popular on social media and easy to follow, despite changing his outward appearance. Theo a successful lawyer and Cam a movie star. Others preferred to stay in obscurity though, so one face Lilith was truly grateful to see was Evelyns.

    “Hi Mom!” Evelyn said with a wide smile and excited wave, “I’ve been having the time of my life.” Lilith smiled in return. She could sense the unease, but was glad Eve still tried to keep smiling. She pulled out a deck of cards to play with, to fiddle, it reminded Lilith that the other prominent emotion she felt amongst her siblings was fear. Not the kind of fear they had when their lives were at stake during a battle, but social fear. Anxiety. She took another deep breath to settle her own nerves and distracted herself with the conversation.

    “Glad to hear it Eve, and good to see you too Jared,” she said, smiling to each in turn. He looks like he could use a hug… Maybe later.

    "Sorry to make you worry," Evelyn says, laughing. "And thanks for getting the message to me."

    “I did my best; it really is good to see you again, brother and sister. But, umm, I’ll leave you to it. Lots of people to say hi to.” Lilith excused herself, hoping those two would have a heartfelt talk. They had always been close growing up and she feared Evelyn’s separation and lack of communication would have a long-lasting negative effect on Jared. Fortunately, it seemed they were both still concerned for each other rather than angry.

    Theodore arrived last and Lilith had the chance to at least say hi to each of her siblings besides one. Gale hadn’t shown up yet when Nathan announced they would be traveling to the main estate. She wondered if anyone else noticed their missing sibling; besides the ones who were dead or in jail. No, stop thinking like that, she chided herself. Time to get distracted again.

    Now, their beloved butler seemed the most nervous of them all which had Lilith worried. What could possibly have him so rattled? She shook her own nerves away and put herself in a more emotionally neutral state. She absolutely was not prepared to drive back to their old home and discuss the death of their caretakers and other sibling, but it was something she would have to do.

    The Institute, Cambridgeshire

    Lilith gazed out the window as the towns passed by. It was nice to simply zone out for the ride and focus on staying calm. Being the sensitive, emotional type she is, she knew the upcoming discussion wouldn’t be easy to handle. She hoped her siblings would all do their best to be civil at least and that they would all be on the same page. It seemed to her that most were ready to be over with this ordeal as much as she was.

    "Please, do not concern yourself with the summer house." Lilith gasped lightly as she was brought out of her stupor by Nathan’s voice over a speaker in the car. "It is unfortunate what happened there, but nothing to concern yourself with I can assure you. It was caused by a candle one of the Janets left burning when your parents hosted some guests. By the time we realized something was wrong it was too late."

    Lilith sighed and started to get her thoughts back into focus. She only got a passing glance at the pile of ashes left behind, but it was a little sobering. A little odd too as Nathan sounded uneasy about what he said, but Lilith brushed it off as him feeling nervous about getting them all together again. Some of her siblings were unpredictable and enjoyed causing a fuss which would put Nathan in a tight spot. Hopefully we all play nice today and can move along. Maybe things will change for the better even.

    They pulled up to the main manor and made their way inside. Lilith had to take a moment to ignore the flood of emotions coming over her. Just seeing the building brought back memories of their younger years and with those memories all the severe emotions that came with it. She stared at the ground, letting herself push the emotions past, letting them wash over her without really feeling them, then snapped her head back up, ready to face the rest of this endeavour. A Janet, one of their robot maids, stood at the door to greet them, but unfortunately didn’t have a working voice. Despite it being a machine, Lilith felt sad for it and gave it a little, affectionate pat on the shoulder.

    In the foyer, she had another rush of ghost emotions. The terror and resentment from years past still hung in the air. Lilith blocked out the harmful memories and instead focused on the details. It was garish and obnoxiously decorated as always. She was so glad she had her own home to decorate how she wanted now. Something stuck out to her though; on the landing, a small section of the banister didn’t match. New, lighter wood was beside the original stuff and it looked incredibly out of place. Knowing their ‘parents’, Lilith presumed they would have fixed it properly, so whatever broke the banister probably happened after their death. Ah that’s right, the reason we’re all here…

    Nathan excused himself and one of the Janets, addressing them as Rangers, led them to the living room. They would have easily been able to find the room again on their own. Morgan was already giving sass to the robots, but Lilith appreciated it. It was good to see him somewhat comfortable and she had to agree that she disliked hearing them be called the Rangers again. Jared excused himself which Lilith tried not to worry about, but well, there was a reason she was called Mom by her siblings.

    “You all saw that right? I can't be the only one that noticed... I guess the question is, do we even care why it was changed?” Morgan addressed the group as they stood around the room. It was strange they were all together again, now as adults, with so many years lost between. Yet some things never changed. Morgan was sharp as ever.

    “You mean the banister? Yeah I thought it was odd,” Lilith answered. “I just hope no one got hurt.” She started looking around the room and noticed Devin by the fireplace, holding a picture frame as it turned to gold, a vacant look in his eyes. Sadness washed over Lilith and she crossed her arms to contain the feeling. She didn’t realize how he might be feeling with the death of Lucas. They had been close and Devin was always more sensitive then he let on.

    “I can't believe they're actually dead... Let's just get the financials over with so we can leave.” he said, looking at the books along the wall. With that statement, Lilith had a sudden thought about Theo. This whole meeting might be a terrible experience for him. There were bound to be lies everywhere and she remembered she would have to be careful about her speech. Just like back in the day. She pushed away the negative thoughts and instead thought of how she could lighten the mood and change the subject.

    “So, what is everyone thinking they might get? Is anyone hoping to get something specific? I know I could use some of the old toys and such for my nannying.”
     
  16. Vern

    Vern Why not both?

    Evelyn Casswell
    The Angel’s Rest, London, England


    Lyn watched as Lilith excused herself after making a quick reply, evidently wanting to give her some time to chat with Jared — and while she appreciated the gesture, the problem came with what to do next. It seemed that her brother was worried about her — guess she hadn’t managed to pretend she was OK well enough, not that she’d tried particularly hard — and he’d continued to ask about where she’d been the past twelve years.

    I should’ve thought this through. She thought to herself, a thought only further intensified by Theo’s arrival. She had nothing against him (although given his reaction, Jared seemed to), but his… power would make things kind of hard for her. Maybe this was a mistake. But mistake or not, she was here, and deep down she knew she didn’t regret it. The rush of relief and feeling of almost-togetherness she’d felt upon seeing her siblings for the first time in years made it worth it.

    The Institute, Cambridgeshire

    Evelyn remained silent throughout most of the car ride. Mr Wicke had instructed her to ride with him, Jared, and Morgan, allowing the others to choose their car-mates. While she found that odd — why us, specifically? Does he want me there for Jared’s comfort?— she didn’t have the energy to question it, or object. Either way, it meant she got to remain with the only person she felt almost entirely comfortable around, so it was okay with her. She ended up almost drifting off, but Jared spoke just in time to prevent that — “Will I ever get to find out what you’ve been up to for the last twelve years?”

    In truth, she'd been considering telling Jared all about her adventures in the field of illegal entertainment on a grandiose scale. He'd been secluded all these years, so the revelation of her 'secret identity' wouldn't exactly be a big deal for him. But on the other hand... the mystery behind 'Smile' was a fundamental part of its magic, and both her and her associates had spent a decade (and lots of money, effort, and pain) protecting it. To simply let that slide on a whim felt like a betrayal. “Maybe, maybe not.” She replied softly, adding in a mischievous grin, “Some things are better left to the imagination.”

    She ended up falling asleep soon after, feeling uncharacteristically tired after a day of travel — a dreamless sleep, as usual, interrupted eventually by the car jerking sharply to a stop. Shame, she thought to herself as she picked up her bag and stepped out, I used to have the coolest dreams…

    The Janet waiting for them by the door greeted them with a broken static noise. It pained her a little to see that even after so long, nobody had tried to repair them — even though they weren’t quite human, she couldn’t help but wonder if they felt abandoned, left behind. “Me neither,” Lyn said, adding on to Jared’s comment about having brought nothing else, “But thanks.” She did her best to avoid looking at the Janet as she walked past it and entered the house.

    Lyn followed along with the others as Mr Wicke ushered them inside, glancing around the room as she went. It was familiar to her, in a rather unpleasant way, and given her exhaustion she would’ve preferred to avoid looking at it at all — but having been conditioned by years of doing espionage and even more years of hiding from the public eye to always familiarise herself with her surroundings, she did so anyway. There was a rug — didn’t those two hate rugs? — in the middle of the floor, surrounded by a faint rim of stained wood, and a section of the banister had been replaced.

    Sloppy. She thought to herself, What kind of crappy repair job is this? If they wanted to hide something from us, at least — no, stop, you’re jumping to conclusions. She sighed and shook her head, following the others to the living room. Always so distrustful… you need to see a god damn therapist, Eve.

    She didn’t say anything when Morgan brought up the banister — so I’m not the only one who thought it was strange, thank god — and sat down on a couch near the side of the room, watching as Devin picked up a photo and put it back down as a totally golden sheet. Suddenly reminded that they weren’t, in fact, normal people, she quickly removed her hands from the armrest they were lying on. Her powers would also cause some… complications if they acted up — of a different kind to Devin's, of course. Nevertheless, the fact that some of her siblings seemed to feel just as strange coming back here was comforting, in a strange way.

    “So, what is everyone thinking they might get?” Lilith’s question breaks her out of her trance, “Is anyone hoping to get something specific? I know I could use some of the old toys and such for my nannying.”

    “Well, it’s probably gone by now,” Lyn pipes up, eagerly raising her hand and speaking before being at all acknowledged, “But I’d like to take some of the machines they used to fix me up back in the day. I’m okay right now, butOops. She’d gotten used to avoiding lying around him in the past (mostly for his sake), but it’d been twelve years, and she wasn’t exactly in her best frame of mind. Thankfully, Jared picked that moment to shuffle back into the room. “Hey, Jar Jar!” She called, patting at the empty seat next to her on the sofa, “If you want anything in particular, you’d better speak up quick.”
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
  17. Monster Guy

    Monster Guy Fairy type Trainer

    Cameron Caswell
    Angel's Rest, London, England


    Soon, more of his siblings started to arrive. Even their old butler Nathan showed up to say hello. It was amazing he was still alive after all these years... Well, he definitely looked older now. Cameron made a point to say hi to everyone that arrived, as well as have a few snacks. Eventually, when most of the siblings had arrived, they had been told to go outside, where they and their luggage were piled into the Range Rovers, and away they went.

    Cameron Caswell
    The Institute


    The car ride back to insititute was awfully silent, and Cameron couldn't stand it. "Isn't this exciting guys?!" Cameron exclaimed trying to lighten things up. Nothing but silence. "You people are no fun." Cameron stuck out his tongue. "Nya!" He then looked out the window and admired the scenery. It had been a lot of years since he'd been here, and from the look of things, very little has changed.

    There was a message from Nathan about the state of the house, but Cameron didn't pay it much attention. The ride was incredibly boring, no matter how hard Cameron tried to lighten the mood. "So, does anyone want to play a game to pass the time?"

    Finally, the car pulled up to the manor. Cameron looked up at it. It was just like he remembered it. These days, he lived in his own giant mansion, but this place still filled him with awe. The manor held all kinds of memories, both good and bad. Cameron preferred not to think about the bad stuff though.

    They were greeted by a Janet. This Janet's voice didn't have a working voice though. The blonde man couldn't help feeling bad for her, even though she was an android. Cameron gave the malfunctioning Janet a hug. "Nice to see ya Janet."

    After that, Cameron zipped past Janet, and entered the Institute. The manor was just the same as he remembered it. It was clean and well decorated, but Cameron felt his own home was way more fabulous. It was a little weird being here with his parents not being around. He always had to be on his best behavior at all times, or else there were consequences. Now they were free. He was able to run around the house, and act like a child. Who was going to stop them? So, that's what he did.

    He ran around the room shouting "Weeeeeeeee!" Then he jumped on the sofa, and started bouncing up and down for a while. Then he jumped on top of the furniture, and managed to grab a hold of the ornate chandelier, and swang from it. Ever since he was a child, he had always wanted to do this. Now, he finally had a chance. "IIII'M! GONNA SWING! FROM THE CHANDELIER! FROM THE CHANDELIER! IIII'M! GONNA LIVE! LIKE TOMORROW DOESN'T EXIST! LIKE IT DOESN'T EXIST!" Cameron sang out loudly while swinging around wildly.

    It was probably weird for the others to see a thirty year old man acting like a child, but at the moment, Cameron wasn't concerned with what any of them thought. He was only concerned with having fun.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  18. Minteh

    Minteh It's so shiny!

    Ginevra 'Ginny' Caswell
    Downstairs Sitting Room, The Institute

    The siblings would all shuffle into the room, drifting into different corners of it, save for Cameron who saw fit to jump onto the smaller chandelier hung in this room. Their mother would have thrown a blue fit had she still been alive to catch him in the act; as soon as he got down he would have been grounded for at least a solid month or more. Good job they weren't here then. Well, not physically at least. They still watched them from the photograph. Ginny was somewhat glad when Devin covered it in a layer of gold, concealing the image beneath.

    Whilst Ginny strolled over to the bookcase, she could hear Morgan instructing #11 not to call them 'Rangers' anymore. She would merely nod. "As you wish, Psi," she said, seemingly ignoring his request to not refer to them as Rangers or by their former codenames. "I have sent a message to all Janets operating on the network to be aware of the change. However, Morgan, please be aware that the dysfunctional units are no longer operating on the primary network, and therefore may not be aware of the changes."

    "You know I remember them being a lot less...mechanical growing up," Ginny would muse, having turned around to listen in. She crossed her arms over her chest before moving round to sit on one of the sofas. "Or maybe that was just our personal Janets...you know like Cool Janet and Tattoo Janet."

    Her siblings would go on to talk about what they might get out of the will. A grim topic, but one that was inevitably going to come up due to the reason for coming here. Lyn seemed interested in some old machines, whereas Lilith would have liked to nab some of their old toys. "I'd like some of my old art pieces and the origami animals I used to make," Ginny added. "I'm sure my daughter would love the animals.

    Barely minutes after Jared returned to them, there was a large clatter from the doors behind them, before two more Janets burst in. Unlike the other Janets they had seen so far, these two were more obviously compromised. Janet #4 had a left arm which was gold up to the elbow and also had an issue with her right leg joint, giving her an awkward hobble instead of the smooth walk cycle the Janets usually had. It was even more glaringly obvious by the fact #4 had very erratic movements and seemed to gesture wildly. The other Janet with her - Janet #12 - was far more subdued in comparison, but came across as eerier to Ginny and likely some of the others, due to the fact her head was stuck tilted to the right and she had a permanent smile on her face.

    "Children!" #4 shouted, clapping her hands to get their attention even more. "Follow us - we have a surprise for you!"

    Janet #11 glanced at her fellow android. "Nathan mentioned no surprise. According to my data, none were scheduled."

    "Well, of course, he wouldn't tell you!" #4 laughed. "It's a surprise after all! Now, come along children, you have to see this surprise!" She made a grab for the nearest person to her with her good hand and began leading them out of the room. Not wanting to get separated Ginny and the others would quickly follow, trailing after the Janets as they lead them to what would normally be the formal dining room. It would usually be done up for official visits, but clearly it had another purpose today.

    Entering into the room, Ginny was shocked by what she saw. They had gotten out their old Ranger suit mannequins and set them up neatly in a line, Lucas's to the far left of the line, and Ginny's to the far-right. #4 and #12 stood either side, arms outstretched as best they could muster, showing off their "surprise" with a great deal of enthusiasm. Something that was not reflected in the majority of the siblings. They had probably truly put this together in the guise of a surprise, but seeing al the suits together made Ginny feel uneasy. Not so much because they bought back bad memories, but because of the three ghosts staring back at them.

    Garrett. Marron. Lucas.
    Epsilon. Omicron. Alpha.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
  19. Schade

    Schade Iron Defensive

    Devin (Caswell) Pichard
    Downstairs sitting room, The Institute


    “So, what is everyone thinking they might get? Is anyone hoping to get something specific? I know I could use some of the old toys and such for my nannying.”, Lillith said after a short silence, probably referring to Devin's comment about getting the business regarding the potential inheritance in order, if there even were any inheritance. Considering this mansion had been the training ground for actual superheroes, it was strange the authorities hadn't already claimed it after it was abandoned, or if some mysteriously convinient lightning strike had just burned it all down. He considered answering that he didn't want anything to remind him of this place, but stopped himself when he realized he might wanted to go upstairs to his room. He didn't really remember anything speciffic that might have been there, but it would be worth taking a look regardless. In response to Lillith, Lyn suggested that their stuff might already have been either boxed away, looted or generally just been removed. It didn't seem too Farfetch'd that during the actual decade since they were last there, someone would have taken it upon themselves to do so. Devin sighed.

    The tense somewhat depressing atmosphere was abruptly ended when Camron decided he would act up and behave like a child. While this mannerism used to be a refreshing break from the constant seriousness of most situations during their childhoods, it was just unnerving to witness this behavior now. The past decade must've really done him in. However, this spectacle would only be temporary, as two Janets walked into the room as if to announce something. Devin immediatly recognized Janet #4, with her golden arm; A result of him acting out when she tried to take him by the arm to the dinner table when he refused once as a child. It was early stage of his powers manifesting, so she hadn't been completely goldified like several other Janets had been in later time, but he always did feel a little bit guilty when seeing how unphased she was of the whole ordeal. The other Janet looked like a leftover prop from some surprisingly high-budget movie, but not high enough for there to be requested a sequel. She looked normal just like the other Janets did, however her head was ever so slightly tilted to the side, giving off the impresion that she had just walked off someone succeeding in breaking her neck. This, addded with the Janets neutral smiling faces made her seem downright horriffic.

    "Children!" #4 said into the room with a loud voice, clapping her hands together in order to get their attention, while making a metallic clanking sound from the golden arm. "Follow us - we have a surprise for you!" The other Janet seemed surprised by this somehow, and slowly tilted her head towards #4 in a way that sent chills down Devin's spine. "Nathan mentioned no surprise. According to my data, none were scheduled.", the other Janet then said. Well splendid, the machines are rising to take over the world. "Well, of course, he wouldn't tell you!" #4 laughed. "It's a surprise after all! Now, come along children, you have to see this surprise!". #4 then proceeded to grab the person standing closest to her with her non-golden hand, that person being Devin, and yank them into the next room. As she pulled him, he suddenly remembered how scarily strong the Janets actually were, and how scared he used to be of them when they entered what the siblings had called "diciplinary mode". As an inpulsive defense mechanism, Devin activated his power, making #4's other arm slowly turn golden, the transformation going all the way up her arm, and covering her left shoulder. She seemed unphased by this, and kept going.

    After being led into the room, Devin wuickly broke free of #4's grasp, and took several steps back, standing next to Jared while holding over where she had grasped him. He used to get bruises as a child because of this, but looking t his arm now, it seemed to be fine. Regardless, it was a very unpleasant experience. The "Surprise" in question didn't seem to be a machine revolution though, and before them in the formal dining hall, they had placed the siblings old supersuits in a neat row. They seemed just as exquisite as they used to, as if the past decade hadn't done any impact on them. It was a strange sight to behold, and the siblings momentarily fell quiet while taking in the sight. His was third in line, with the familiar Sigma symbol on the chest. It looked tiny compared to how Devin looked now, considering he had grown a lot in terms of bulk. He walked over to the first suit in line, with the symbol for Alpha on its chest. It felt strange seeing the suit again, and it brought back some surprisingly good memories form their missions, as he and Lucas had always had fun during those times. It was, however, equally strange seeing Garret and Marron's suits there as well, and Devin was reminded of the unnatural circumstances regarding Garret's death. He hadn't really known Marron that well growing up, but she had always been nice to him. It didn't sit right with him that she had done something like this to Garret, even though Garret had been kind of a douche most of the time.

    "Well this is all fun and exciting" Devin said as he stepped back from the suits and quickly changing the topic. "Are there any legal papers we should look at before we leave?" He put no effort into hiding how uncomfortable he was, being back there. He didn't want to be there anymore. He wanted to go back to France and live his life in his new, better surroundings. "Are we selling the estate, or what's the situation.", he asked, crossing his arms.
     
  20. Skillfulness

    Skillfulness Well-Known Member

    Lilith O'Neil
    The Institute, Cambridgeshire


    Lyn mentioned the machines that were used to keep her healthy. An understandable choice and Lilith hoped they were still around and in working condition. Ginny mentioned her art pieces and her daughter which filled Lilith’s heart with a warm joy. On the other hand, Cameron seemed less interested in talking and instead leapt off the couch and swung from the chandelier, singing.

    “Oh Cameron dear, be careful!” Lilith quickly stood underneath him and hesitated. Her instinct had been to use her powers, growing tall to reach up and grab him so she could safely put him back down. But she had moved past that. Cameron was also a grown man now, not the little kid they all protected while they were growing up. So instead she waited there, ready to catch him should he fall, but knowing he would be able to take care of himself.

    Their little meeting was interrupted by one of the Janets. Lil had always had trouble keeping track of which one was which. It clapped to get their attention and announced they had a surprise. The other Janet with them mentioned it wasn’t aware of any surprise which didn’t sit well with her. Weren’t these robots supposed to be communicating with each other? To believe they trusted these things to raise us, she thought gloomily. The gold-armed Janet grabbed Devin and the rest followed after them. Lil didn’t want to be apart from her siblings during this time. Even if they were all a bit of an emotional mess, she had made progress in improving her ability to detach herself from others. It was a little more difficult here, being in their old home around her awkward siblings, but she still felt like she had control of her own emotions and thought Melissa would be proud of her. There was no way for her to be prepared for what came next.

    In the dining room, the furniture had been rearranged so that mannequins sat in a neat line across the room. Two Janets stood at either side to show off the surprise; the mannequins were dressed in their old Ranger suits. Seeing them all out instantly filled Lilith with strong emotions. She had been able to protect herself from what her siblings had been feeling up to this point, but faced with such a stark reminder of their past couldn’t protect her from her own feelings. Fear and anger bubbled up. She hated seeing those outfits, all their deadly missions and harsh training brought to the front of her mind. The moment of rage was quickly put out though as her eyes settled on the three uniforms that would ruin her. Garrett, Marron, and Lucas. Their Ranger uniforms stood unblemished in front of them and it struck her. She lost control.

    “No, why- no I can’t. This is too much.” Lilith had tears trailing down her face and her voice trembled. Slowly, she began to shrink, literally. She was backing away from the mannequins and growing smaller, reaching 3 ft tall before stopping there. She didn’t sob or sniffle, but her head was in her hands and her eyes were shut tight. A torrent of thoughts bombarded her, all about the three siblings that weren’t present. Two were dead, one was in jail. So much was unfair and the pain was just too much to handle. Lilith stood frozen, trying to regain control of herself long enough to face her siblings again.
     

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