Great post Reed!!! I’ll have your response as soon as I can, though it will be around next week. So sorry in advance :(
Juno closed Ben door shut with a casual kick, that playful grin still plastered on her face for a moment, but just a moment. It was time to focus up, and she was now able to put her game face on once more, slowly weaning off of Ven’s intoxicating presence. Clearing her throat, the witch held her hand out to her side, stirring up a feeling that she spent the previous night suppressing. Like a twist in the stomach, her Staff zipped around the corner of the hall, and swiftly stuck itself into Juno’s grasp. The moment it touched her skin, a feeling of passive dread quaked over the smuggler, feeling the ancient artifact hum ominously now that it had reconnected with its host.
“Uh huh, don’t get too comfy…” Juno sneered at the cursed thing, now strutting down the stairs of the large foyer.
She arrived at the kitchen, looking in disappointment at it’s squalid state. “Holy guns, I really need to clean this place up” The witch clicked her tongue before releasing the Staff with confidence, the object idly floating into the corner with a watchful presence.
The key to bringing any divided house together was simple, as everyone in this house had two things in common right now. They were hungry, and they like food. This was exactly what Juno was going to utilize to bring them all down to the table. The currently perky goth popped open the fridge, raiding it of some cooking supplies she stored there earlier in the week before taking everyone out. It was a good thing too, because Juno herself was feeling faded and weak from not eating a proper meal for days now. With everything that happened coupled with her traumatic depression, she couldn’t muster the will to eat. After what happened with Ven last night, however, Juno had certainly regained her appetite.
Juno was no master chef, or even an accomplished cook, but traveling the globe on a daily on a bucket of a ship meant she had to cook for herself most of the time. While she chopped and prepped away, her mind began to wander, anticipating this meeting that she promised the entire group.
“Of course we’re moving here, I don’t see anyone else jumping up with a plan. If I didn’t have this house, we’d all be separated and living on the street… Then I’d lose Ven… No, no! Focus. I’d lose all of them. If I keep talking like that, no one’s going to be fooled that me and Ven are just partners… But, I mean we are… Right? God I miss her eyes already…”
The only thing that snapped Juno out of her lovesick thoughts was the smell of burning, looking down to see that her eggs were snapping and popping. “Crap!” She hissed, swiftly slipping them out of the pan and into the first plate. “Well, I guess those are mine.” She sighed and rolled her eyes, casually cracking another pair of eggs for the pan.
The minutes passed by quickly, Juno now clearing her mind to just focus on cooking instead. The Haven slowly but surely started to fill with the aroma of fresh food cooking on the stove, a subtle bid to bait each member of the household into the kitchen without saying so much as a single word.
When everything was said and done, five intricate bowls of stained fried rice with eggs on top were laid out on the table and a massive jug of orange juice slammed down at the center of the table. The Blood Witch let out a sigh of satisfaction, her pleased smile suppressed by a stern and stoic demeanor to show she meant business, and that this wasn’t a social breakfast. With a click of her fingers, her Staff zipped to her hand once more and firmly slammed the bottom to the wooden ground.
“HEY! BREAKFAST’S UP! GET YOUR BUTTS DOWN HERE!”
When the God of War opened his mouth is when the clone hybrid knew what came next. She could run, she could fight, but in the end she knew she would lose to the being that existed for over a millennium. He was the God of War and Bloodshed, while she was simply an experiment abandoned by her creator. If not for him, she would not be the warrior she was today, or so she believed. "Now hold-" Before she could even plead for him to listen, a menacing cry that could lay waste to an entire battlefield was released from his gaping mouth.
The high-pitched soundwave hurled the warrior goddess toward the long mirror in her room, shattering through the glass as soon as her body made impact. Her back slammed into the farthest wall, causing her groan in agony. She fell to her knees and realized she actually felt pain, something she had not felt since her training with the Amazons and the bite she received from the mutated werewolves.
Leaning her head back against the wall, the imperfect goddess darted her electric blue eyes downwards to gaze at the areas in which she felt the stinging sensation. Imbedded into her arms and legs were pieces of shattered glass, while varying in their size, the shock was all the same. Her eyes widened with fear once more, realizing that her durable skin had been exposed through the use of divine magic. Venilia at the moment was no longer the impenetrable being she made herself out to be, and it scared her. She went to great lengths to ignore the fact that she received a wolf bite during the battle in the Himalayan Mountains, but now it was clear that she suffered the same weakness as the Greek Pantheon.
She could tolerate the pain spiking throughout her body, every true warrior knew pain, but the fact that her flawless skin had been reduced to a mortal shell was a reality she could not accept. Even if it were temporary, in her mind no goddess should suffer such humiliation. "The pleasant thing about disciplining you for your failure is the fact that you can heal." The disguised deity said with sadistic pleasure, walking in her direction with his hands clasped behind his waist. Each casual step he took revealed he was not concerned with the fact that he might have alerted the group of Outcast with his war cry.
Venilia purposefully lurched forward and fell on all fours, laughing in a twisted manner as she pushed herself from the ground. Blood dripped from her ears, impacting the ground next to her for her blue eyes to gaze at with intense fear. Another injury she received from the outcry that left her room now in shambles. The God of War stopped in his tracks, tilting his head with bewilderment at his adopted-daughter's unexplained behavior. The Amazon rose from the ground and slowly corrected her posture so she was standing with pride and dignity, all while laughing with ecstasy. It was another mask she veiled over herself so no one could see how much pain she was in. "Is that all you got? Because I am enjoying this crap" She laughed weakly, giving him an injured smile. The demigoddess attempted to muster the strength to challenge her sadistic father, staggering forward, only to halt once she realized she was revealing how weak she was at the moment.
"Arrogant child, you dare stand up to me? The God of War?!" His already fiery iris illuminated, shifting from magma to the shade of deoxygenated blood. "I have no use for a disobedient Hoplite in my ranks," Ares opened his mouth to release another destructive roar, one that would end the Amazon where she stood. "Spare me the lifelong threats, you will not kill me, and I am still of use to you. If I wasn't, you would have long struck me down for my behavior. Besides, why else would you disguise yourself? You look like freaking Justin Bieber if he ever received a shot of testosterone." Venilia observed with her calculated eyes, while hurling an insult at the very being who could easily take her life at the moment. One would assume she was a fool for provoking the God of War, who wouldn't? She was always underestimated by those who once walked the halls of the Academy.
The Amazon understood her adopted-father valued strength, those who had the opportunity of crossing him knew this as well. If she displayed any signs of weakness, he would obviously dispose of her, or so she believed. Yes she was in pain, but he raised and tortured her to embrace it. Ares slowly closed his mouth, the corner of his lip curling with amusement. His glowing eyes then reverted back to normal, the pigment of her crush scrubbed the blood shade from his eyes like hydrogen peroxide. "Hmph, you're right. How can I take the life of the child forever indebted to me? The little Amazon who threatened to slay me if I did not free her from her imprisonment. No I cannot kill you, but I can certainly take the life of those you chose to accompany yourself with. Consider it payment for your failure and loose tongue." Ares turned toward the doorway, his form flickering from his mortal disguise to armor plating.
"Wait no stop!" She shouted with plea. In a shocking twist, Venilia somehow and someway mustered the strength to accelerate her body in order to appear in front of the door, even despite her injuries. Ares grinned with disturbing pleasure, almost as if he anticipated this would happen. "It would seem you have grown fond of these playthings. Good, then you're not a waste after all." His flickering form stopped on his mortal disguise, amused by the sudden change in his daughter's behavior. Venilia gulped nervously, the thought of Juno and her servants being taken from her was enough to make her change her entire attitude. "I don't! They are my servants and I could use them to infiltrate the Justice League of Alliance. Just tell me the plan already, because I have long been patient." She explained, removing her outstretched arms from the door.
"You're in no position to demand anything from me, girl! You failed me when you went on your own crusade at the school, forcing it to close down. You were suppose to fool everyone into loving you, that was the plan! If you followed orders like an obedient slave, you could have used someone there to grant you access to the Justice League. Instead your lust for power and control tainted your reputation, making you many enemies."Ares revealed, causing her to curl her lip with resentment. In her complicated mind, she found it impossible to befriend those she believed wronged her, just like she found it impossible to befriend those who were beneath her heel. She was being blamed for something that was out of her control, which ironically was the truth. Unbeknownst to everyone and even herself, she suffered from rapid cycling bipolar and narcissism, two disorders that plagued her brain.
Then there was the fact that the God of War was purposefully withholding the plan from her as an act of punishment for her behavior. What was she suppose to do while waiting for him to finally deliver his plan? Sit around and do nothing. "So what now? I can't go on living without a plan. How am I suppose to get him to recognize me again? How am I suppose to capture Shield-Maiden if the plan is now ruined?!" If she was not injured, she would have destroyed the parts of her room that were unscathed out of frustration.
"That is what I will reveal when I return tonight,"Ares gave her one last satisfying grin. "Now go, dine with your companions."The God of War gestured her away with his hand. Before the goddess could interject, her adopted-father disappeared in a miniature mushroom cloud, leaving a nasty scorch mark on her carpet. She wanted to process everything that happened, but hearing Juno announce breakfast was ready caught her attention. Pulling the glass from her arms and legs, the warrior allowed her body to heal her wounds. Since she had no wipes and the water was not working, she used her saliva to clean up any dry blood tainting her skin. Once she was done, the Amazon quickly exited her room and followed the pleasant trail that led into the kitchen, refusing to look back at the destruction left behind her.
By Juno's call, Will made his descent down the oak staircase with nay a thought - except his own hunger. Behind him, followed his fellow 'companions - of sorts, from the Quantum Explorer to the former Battle Axe, then the Illusionist. He was impressed, how by one simple call, the rest came; including Will. How the Dark Angel was able to put the Raging Amazon under her influence was beyond Will, though that he could respect.
Throughout the entire Haven, a scent longed by the small band of misfits floated amidst the air - the scent of food. Picking his pace ever so slowly, the Bird found himself leaning on the frame that connected both the hall from the kitchen with his arms crossed across his chest and a smirk stretched across his face - at both the Juno and the food.
Following his footsteps, Reed appeared beside Will along with the few rests of the group. Slowly turning head towards Reed, Will gave the micro-scientist a small nod in an acknowledging fashion, "...Hey?" Was all he could say, before trailing his eyes off of the scientist and back at the food. But before he could continue his marvel, Will looked back at the Quantum Explorer with another quirked brow, "...Did you" he paused for a second, looking at Juno then back at Reed, "hear all the ruckus last night?" ll "Y'know, all the yelling, and. Other stuff?" Will whispered towards Reed, trying to avert eyes from both Juno and Venilia.
Though the vigilante's response to Reed's dry greeting was somewhat passive and non receptive, the Bug Boy didn't even take notice of the nature and considered the small exchange of words to be a success. Once that shorted lived conversation was (seemingly) done with, the researcher would turn his eyes back to back to the rest of the environment so he could appreciate the bouquet that was put out for them. It was an impressive display of food that would fill the air with the various ingredients, many of which the Quantum Explorer has never actually smelled before. Though it was outside of his normal diet, he couldn't help but display his impress with raised eyebrows and eyes that studied the food.
Looking up at the rest of those who had gathered in the kitchen, Ozzy, Venilia, his eyes would eventually catch the view of Juno, causing him to awkwardly look away as soon as the dealer had come into view. He wasn't sure if she was still angry with him or not over what had happened that night before, so avoiding a significant amount of contact with her seemed like it was the most logical thing to do at that point. But as his eyes would instinctively go to the floor, he would hear the Red Jay calling out for his attention, causing his eyes to move towards him without making eyecontact with him. "...Did you ...Here all the ruckus last night? Y'know, all the yelling, and other stuff?"
Reed himself would pause for a minute as his mind would go back a few hours to his first night in the haven. He spent most of his time simply organizing his room and setting of various parts of his miniature base into the area, his thoughts concentrated on the task at hand above anything else. He even tried his best to tune out everything going around him so that he wouldn't be distracted further by any uncomfortable thoughts. "I didn't hear a lot going outside of my room. A really just heard some muffled sounds but that was the most that I recall." He would take a moment to look in the opposite direction away from everyone else, before continuing with his own whispering. "What 'other stuff' are you talking about?"
Ozzy had always been an early riser and today was no exception, though he did enjoy hanging out in the town. Last night being the exception, the car ride to Amityville Horror made Ozzy wanting to trek into the city boundaries rather questionable. For last night at least.
He spent last night staring at his ceiling, listening to the creeks and moans of the house itself as he made himself accustomed to the domesticated rodents. He usually would have roasted or complained about the smallest of discomfort, but he did not want to hear the barking of either Juno or Ven. Truth be told, even all the small things wrong were nothing compared to the every day happenings at the Academy.
Quite was quite, and Oz could learn to enjoy the silence. Haven did not have the mass amounts of females the Academy could offer like Kate, Ezra, or Mari, but nothing was perfect. So many possibilities with such little time. He couldn't waste any opportunities with that lesson learned so he could muster patience with Juno and Ven. More so Ven due to her chiseled frame.
Oz's shirtless body would begin to break into a soft sweat as he started his morning workout routine. Beads of it trickled down his nose every time he descended from his pushups onto the hardwood floors. Oz preferred to use verbal de-escalation rather than his fists, but he knew there were times he would have to be physical and not always rely on the Amazon, or even Will for that matter. Having to rely on bird boy something he did not want to do. Juno was a curiosity with her new staff and Reed was just the brains. Good dude, but just the brains.
He could smell the aroma of cooking eggs begin to lure him. His stomach began to scream for something. He did not want to assume anything, but eating was something he did want. When Juno invited everyone with her call to arms, how could he not accept her gracious offer.
With a snap of the hands, Oz quickly pounced to his feet, throwing his shirt over his shoulders as he followed the smell. He would see the others begin to follow the aroma as was he, entering the kitchen with a smile as he saw the bowls of rice and eggs. Juno was an alright chick. He wished she would have cooked some kind of meat to work on her pale complexion, but eggs were a good start of protein.
He heard Will and Reed begin to talk about something but he was already a couple of scoops into the meal to notice. I have no clue what you guys are talking about, but this is rather good, Juno. Oz would say as he continued to stuff spoonful of spoonful as specs of rice began to fall from his mouth back into his bowl as he continued to eat standing. Guys, this is some good rice.
Oz halted mid bowl as he looked at the others. Hey, are we doing anything today? I was just curious. I had my PS4 stored away in town and really wanted to rock some God of War if there weren't any other plans. Oz looked at the others. Did I say something wrong? I like my video games. You guys X-Box people?
Juno was already working on packing all of the dishes into the sink as everyone started making their way into the kitchen. The first to arrive was Venilia, which instantly caused the smuggler's nostrils to flare at her presence, followed by suddenly confused expression on her face. She could smell the fragrance of blood on Ven's skin. Indeed, Juno's sense of smell was beyond a human's... But not to the extent of smelling traces of dried blood, it was as if that scent alone stuck out in the air more than any other, even overpowering the fragrance of cooked breakfast.
"...What the hell?" Is all she could think to herself, before gathering her composure once more and feigned ignorance and continued cleaning.
Next to enter was both Will and Reed at the same time, both of them sitting together to begin whispering among themselves. Little did they know, Juno's mutant ears perked with each hushed word, hearing everything that the boys had said.
"...Did you ...Here all the ruckus last night? Y'know, all the yelling, and other stuff?" "I didn't hear a lot going outside of my room. A really just heard some muffled sounds but that was the most that I recall." "What 'other stuff' are you talking about?"
Juno's scrubbing became more and more intense as the conversation went on, her eyebrows raising in annoyance as they talked about their nosy natures. Still, not wanting to reveal one of her greatest abilities just yet, the dealer continued to pretend like she was non the wiser, and scrubbed away.
Last but certainly not least in their band of miscreants arrived, Ozzy. He wasted no time throwing on his "charm" and running his mouth with alternate agendas veiled in between his supposed nonchalant chatter, something Juno saw right through the moment he opened his mouth. Though, she did appreciate someone complimenting he shoddy cooking, something that cracked a small smirk on her currently stoic face.
None of this mattered, though. Not Will and Reed's curiosities, not Oz's trickster tongue or Ven's oddly cold silence. No, because Juno was about to get serious in a hurry. She tied her hair up in a knot, and finally turned around from the sink to stare them all down. The Ace walked over to the table, reaching under to pull out a lock-box that had been taped underneath, and slammed it down on the table sternly.
"You all had you fill then? Good, because it's time to talk about what's going on here..." She leaned against the counter, her gaze hovering on each member for a few moments before continuing. "School's out, for good. This was a bit of a crappy outcome, because I had plans for us that we're now currently rushing into. See, I was going to gather enough funds to renovate this place into a proper outpost for my business... Then I was going to bring you all here, a little place to stay while we finished up our school year. I don't think any of us were expecting a Chaos Demon to turn everything upside down... So now we have to improvise."
Juno walked around the table, pulling a satchel that had been laying on the counter and slung it around her shoulder. Upon reaching into the bag, she started pulling out communicators, and placed them down in front of her four friends. "We live here now, or to put it a different way, you have the choice to live here. Why do I say that? Because I don't want any of your to be mistaken. This is my house. You're under my roof, and things are going to be run a certain way... A way that some of you might now agree with. If that's the case? No one here is making you stay, and I'm sure that there's plenty of apartments in town looking for ex-students since the Academy shut down." Juno's emphasis increased while passing by Reed, giving him a hard pat on the shoulder before moving on.
"I'm going to tell you all up front, because I don't ever want to keep secrets from any of you. I'm starting up my smuggling business again, and I'll be operating out of this house. Which means that yes, there's going to be criminal activity running through here, and you'll all be associates by default if you continue to live here. While that has a huge benefit of funding our stay here, I also have my personal reasons for doing it... That's all I'm saying about that..."
Juno finally stood where she originally started her lap, her finger pointing at the people in front of her. "So if you are staying, you bet your butts that you'll be pulling your weight."She slapped her hand down on the lock-box at her side, giving it a few more pats to garner attention. "This need to be filled with your collective efforts each month. How you fill it is entirely up to you. Go get a job flipping burgers, go gamble, start street racing or just plain hustling yuppies... I don't care, as long as it gets filled. Oh, and don't even think about stealing from this box, because I will know if you do, and I'll collect your hand as recompense for doing so... Good...? Good."
She let out a sharp exhale, finally picking up her own bowl and took a few fork-fulls. While doing so, she pointed her fork at Reed, waving it around while she finished the food in her mouth. "Mr. Riley! You're the brains around here by default, scratch that, you're probably the highest I.Q on two legs in Farmington. With that in mind, I need you to give me a list of what we'd need to set up a medical wing somewhere in the Haven. I'll leave it to your judgment as to what we'll need for that to happen, and I will provide the equipment as quickly as possible. While you're thinking that one through, I also need you to see about getting our house hooked up to Farmington's power grid. Not just a little power, either, we're going to need a lot."
A few more bites, and her gaze was suddenly fixed on Will, nodding at him for his attention. "Will, I have something a little different in mind for you. You'll be working with me on a few things, but other than that? I need you to scout the forests that surround this place, and learn every inch of it like it was your own bedroom. I'd use my SEEKER drones, but the forest's just too dense for them to pick up the finer details. You'll be doing that, because then you'll be setting up a half-decent security network for the forest. We may be off the charts, but hikers are still hikers. I look forward to what you come up with."
With an exacerbated sigh, Juno's gaze turned to Ozzy while she clinked her empty bowl down on the counter. "Ozzy, it seems you're going to get what you want. You, and I can't believe I'm saying this, are going to be the face of our operation here. You will be in charge of finding out anything and everything worth knowing in town. Get in deep with the big names of Farmington, how you do that is entirely up to you. Hell, you like to run your mouth, maybe get a clerk job at city hall? Like I said, do what you know. You'll be handing in voice recorded reports to me about anything you find."
Finally, Juno turned to Venilia with an obviously warm smile on her face, not even bothering to hide it. "Venilia, you're the strongest person here, maybe even in the entire state, so it's a no-brainer that you're going to be our main muscle and bodyguard. You'll be collaborating with Will on security measures, and the two of you will figure out where you can come in if we ever have an intruder. Other than that? I have a very special task for you... But, uh... We'll be talking about that later, okay?" At the very last second, her cheeks went flush as she fumbled with her words. An entire conference of confidence shaken just by staring into those priceless and intoxicating sapphire eyes.
There was a notable pause after she was finished before Juno cleared her throat and closed her satchel. "Oh! And one more thing, guys..." Juno's expression went from friendly to brutally cold in a flat second. "If any of you decide to try and mess with what we're doing here? Any little mind games or hidden agendas? Just know that I hear everything, and nothing escapes me. You'll be a** over heels out the front door so fast, you'll wonder when I found out what you were up to... Be grateful that's all I'll do, and just consider it a professional courtesy."The smuggler's expression returned to normal the moment her foreboding words left her lips, now collecting everyone's dishes. "So! You all have your roles, you know what's up and now you can't say I don't feed you guys. This morning meeting is adjourned. If you have any questions or concerns, you can take them up with me later, because I have a bunker that needs cleaning..."
"...I'm sure that there's plenty of apartments in town looking for ex-students since the Academy shut down." Juno's emphasis increased while passing by Reed, giving him a hard pat on the shoulder before moving on.
Fantastic post :O !!!!
Please Log In to post.
Log in to comment