The boy seemed to be concentrating hard on something, but Ryker didn't think too much of it. Clearly he was here for the Ghost program, and that got Ryker thinking. Maybe he was reading his mind, like Rachel? Or focusing on summoning some heat or something in case Ryker went rabid and decided to attack.
"Yup," he answered, popping the 'p'. "I guess you are, too."
Ryker didn't bother looking as he heard someone else approaching, a bad habit of his. He'd been born quietly defiant, and as he'd grown - and grown a lot - he'd been even more keen on carelessly strolling through his life. There weren't many people who could, or would, try to rub him the wrong way, and so he'd gotten used to doing first and thinking later.
Not a good idea, buddy. You're around people like you now.
"Well. This should be fascinating," he said after a minute, finally taking it upon himself to stride inside. "See you, bro."
Keisha stood on the sidewalk, her head bowed slightly toward the ground. She didn't like holding her chin high like her mother always commanded her to do, partly because there was no point in spending the extra energy, and partly because she didn't need to anyway. Keisha checked the address on her cell phone one last time and compared it with the number on on the side of the building. It matched, not that she had expected any different. Turning the phone completely off and slipping it back into her gi pants, Keisha brushed her hair back slightly and straightened the collar of her white turtleneck, a color she could not see but didn't mind anyways. Her mother said it was white anyway, and that was something she could be counted on doing right. Flipping her sunglasses over her face, she stepped across the expanse before the building that had walls beyond her horizons...which were pretty small anyway.
A door was suddenly in front of her. It was a storm door and Keisha reached out with her mind to take a look. There was some glass, not much. But it was the type that was rough and one would only be able to see blurred images beyond if they tried to look hard enough. Keisha knew that was what it would be like anyway, from before her vision changed. Unless the world had already gone wacky in basic architecture patterns in just a few years. Keisha personally wouldn't put it past them.
The door wasn't built in the past few years.
Reaching out a hand to touch the cold metal handle, she swung the door open and stepped over the slight ledge that made a proper door seal. There was a lobby with a desk. The number of lamps in the room wasn't too many, so Keisha assumed the lighting wasn't too bright. Means they have good taste then. At least in what not to do unless you wanna give someone a headache.
Her mouth twisted slightly in a sardonic half lidded smirk. One nobody would see because she wiped it off her face immediately and the sunglasses would have made it hard anyway. She noticed a few other bodies in the room, mostly people of her age range. Her sarcasm returned as she strode up to the desk. She was exactly on time, so the woman—probably Marie—should be pleased.
Maybe they have coffee?
Jamie nearly groaned when Samuel came near. Thankfully, the kid took a moment to compose himself or something. After casting Sam a glance, he followed Ryker inside. Ryker seemed like a pretty cool guy, at least in Jamie's mind. He guessed it might have been because he didn't get any fears out of the rather intimidating character. And also because Ryker seemed like he might be the type that wasn't always as they appeared.
Marie smiled sweetly as more kids entered. She did her job, directing everyone who entered to the meeting room.
Ray sat and rubbed her temples, mentally preparing herself for all the minds that were coming within her range. Her uncle wanted her to monitor all the kids who came mentally, to make sure none of them produced ill intentions. She wasn't looking forward to it, but she did recognize the minds of those she had met herself. I see you found your way here... She sent mentally to the two boys, Ryker and Alex. who she had met.
Juliet & Reve
"Here it is, Reve!" Juliet exclaimed triumphantly, stuffing the piece of paper in her front pocket. They were running late, but other than that, they had found the building. Well, Juliet did. Reve just kind of followed her with a few incorherent responses in her questions. It was like talking to herself. But upon her exclaimation, Reve blinked, smiling his smile of his.
"Great work, Ju!" He complimented full heartedly, grinning as he strode in immediately. Juliet rolled her eyes at his enthusiasm; quickly, she took in the nondescript building, before entering.
The whole place was pretty much set up like a professional office. There was a desk with a pretty receptionist behind it, and then some desks off to the side with lamps. A generally normal looking place for something so...important. Juliet barely had time to notice the people in the room before Reve stopped, placing his hands on his hips. For a moment, he scanned the small crowd of kids gathered around before smiling widely.
"Ju, c'mon!" Reve insisted, looking behind him with an alive grin. Juliet felt herself release a sigh at his childlike behavior. As oblivious as he was, he even took a seat next to the most intimidating guy in the whole entire place. By the time Juliet placed herself beside Reve, he was already talking to the dude.
"My name is Reve, and I can make people to to sleep,"He was already saying, with a sort of breathless awe. Juliet stared straight ahead, crossing her arms as she slightly took note of the other people gathered in the room. She saw Rachel who looked like she was having a headache, and noted some guys and a girl with sunglasses. She snuck a glance at the guy Reve was freely talking to, taking in his biker appearance, before she slumped down even more in her chair. Wonderf.
"Do you know what they are going to say here? What's your power? How about your name?" Reve's inquisitive voice made Juliet want to groan, but she refrained. She was only here because of him. And that was that.
After pausing for a moment, Sam walked into the building after the disturbed looking boy before him. A friendly woman directed him into a room where all the others were. Upon entering the room, Sam felt the nerves spring up again, and wished nothing more than to be alone in the park or something like that.
Not that anyone looked particularly threatening (with the exception of that biker guy), Sam was just not a people person. He chose a seat two chairs down from a real talkative boy who was sitting next to the biker guy. He propped his forearms up on the table, looking around with wide, serious eyes.
He noticed Allen- the only familiar face making him feel better about this- a girl beside him who appeared to be suffering a migraine, among others. Sam decided against speaking to anyone, or engaging in any sort of conversation.
'Give every man thy ear but few thy voice.' Polonius may have been a fool, but he had some pretty good advice.
Allen & Rachel
Allen nudged Rachel. "Hey, if you need to shut some out, go ahead." He mumbled.
Rachel sighed and shook her head, looking around at the group. She tried to count how many were there and how many they were expecting. She went over the list of names Marie had given her mentally. Ryker, Alex, Sam, Jamie, Keisha, Reve, Juliet...is anyone else coming? I guess this is all we're getting. A bunch of guys and two girls.
Allen cleared his throat. "Alright everyone, we're not going to wait any longer for arrivals, I think this is about it here." He said. He waited for the group to quiet down before continuing. "I think it's time for introductions. I want us to go around the room and say our names and our abilities, and a little about us if we like. I'll start. My name is Allen Steel. I used to be able to persuade people to do anything I say. I don't have this ability anymore. I've been running Ghost for 20 years, part of which was alongside my brother, who is no longer with us."
Rachel bit her lip and decided to go ahead. "I'm Rachel Steel. I have a form of telepathy. I can hear thoughts and send them as well. I can also use my ability to control people to an extent, but I haven't really developed that part much, and avoid it. Allen is my uncle, and my guardian."
Jamie took his turn. "I'm Jamie. I can sense fears. I can also make you experience your fears. The fears of others can affect me pretty strongly, so sorry if I get jumpy or anything, but it's just a drawback of my ability." He sat back, shutting up and waiting to hear someone else.
Keisha entered the average sized room. There were a few other kids, not too many but a sizable portion nonetheless. She singled Mr. Allen Steel out from the bunch standing next a girl that didn't quite have her emotions under control. At least, that's the vibe Keisha got as she sat down between two empty chairs. After another couple of moments Mr. Steel started speaking and gave an introduction of himself. The girl then told her affiliation with the program and at the declaration of her ability, Keisha's eyebrow couldn't help but jerk upward involuntarily. A mind reader? Okey doke then.
After another boy spoke the room was quite for about two seconds so Keisha filled the almost unnoticeable—but noticeable to her—silence. “Keisha Wonder,” she said, lifting her feet to prop up on the chair's back in front of her. “Ability—X-ray vision. Personal details...nah.”
Keisha scanned the room one more time but still couldn't find any sight of coffee. She slouched backwards and folded her arms over her chest.
What did I tell you sbout that mind-thing?
Ryker hoped Rachel had gotten the message, but he sent her a smirk, anyway. The boy beside him, Reve - he could make people go to sleep? - was clearly a Chatty Cathy. He wasn't quite as short as the nervous guy, Jamie, was, but he also wasn't big. In fact, he was exactly what Ryker wasn't: lean, like a runner, with light features, from his blonde hair to his green eyes.
The girl beside him seemed to be frustrated at something, and by the color of her eyes, Ryker guessed they were related. She was almost as tall as Reve, but with her wild black hair, she could have passed as a distant cousin rather than a sister. But who knew? Maybe she was his sister.
"Ryker Pierce. Ability...petrifacation. In other words, I turn people to stone." He tapped the side of his sunglasses. "Hence the glasses."
He turned to Reve and smirked. "Now you know."
Juliet & Reve
"Oh, like Medusa?" Reve compared Ryker to with a fascinated stare. He then blinked, not at all perturbed by his appearance, before he focused in on Keisha."X-ray vision? So can you see through the walls? Our clothes?" Reve questioned, again, not bothered by the fact that the girl might be seeing through them. Juliet groaned softly, rubbing her head and straightening.
"Reve, you can't just keep asking everyone questions." She explained with exaggerated patience, only to have Reve respond with a slightly confused look.
"Well, why not?" He asked dubiously, before pressing his lips together in a tight line and shrugging. He knew sometimes he embarrassed Juliet by his...open curiosity about everything...but this was different..."I mean, we might as well get to know each other, Ju." He added in his defense, only for her to sigh.
"I know, but...oh never mind." She grumbled, placing her hands on the table on front of her."My name is Juliet Banet, and I'm here with my older brother Reve. My ability is to shapeshift into animals." Juliet paused, uncertain as she scanned the crowd. So far, she only noticed Rachel and Keisha as the only two other girls. Great..."And um, with all due respect Mr. Steel, sir, could I get some coffee please?" Juliet's nerves were already on edge, coming here. Stupid Reve and his interest...
Alex nodded at Rachel, the one person in the room who he recognized, as he entered and took a seat near the close end of the room. He smirked at her when he heard her mental message, but didn’t say anything aloud. Yeah, I guess so.
He looked warily at the boy who could apparently manipulate fears. Well that was one power he certainly wouldn’t wish for himself. It sounded like a terrible, cruel curse of nature, to have to cause other people suffering. He wondered if something like that ever actual came in handy.
Next was a girl who announced that she had X-ray vision. Now that was a superpower. And the petrifaction ability of the Ryker kid, well that was awesome. When Ryker pointed out his shades, however, Alex thought about it again. Maybe something like that could be a curse too. Luckily for him, his ability was something both useful and fun.
“I’m Alex Brewer,” he introduced, assuming the right to announce himself next. “I can, for lack of a less “intellectual” way to explain it, manipulate my molecular density, thus allowing myself to increase strength or phase objects.”
Keisha turned her head slightly in the direction of the boy who inquired after her ability, but otherwise just set her hands on her knees and kept a straight face. “Yes. I can see through walls. And yes, I can also see through you. What was your name again? Well, the water ratio of your blood is lower than normal. It's point zero five percent off. I'd advise you to fill up on some liquid. Speaking of which, I'll have to second Miss Banet on the coffee. Mr. Steel?”
It was kind of strange, being surrounded by kids who where like him, in a sense. But he still couldn't see himself getting to know these people very well. With such an eclectic and diverse group of people, who knew if this would turn out to be one big comedy or a tragedy?
Sam listened with serious attentiveness to everyone as they spoke. Jamie's power unnerved him slightly- especially since Sam knew terrible things happened when he was afraid so being near a person who could manipulate fear felt like putting a lit match near a fuse.
After Reve and Juliet's banter, Alex's introduction, and Keisha's answer, Sam realized he still had to speak. "My name is Samuel Dresin, but you can call me Sam," he said softly and not very concerned if anyone heard him very well, "I can manipulate luck." He decided to leave it off at that.
((I drew some character sketches already- I just love everyone so far. Carson, I drew Ryker, but was kind of embarrassed on how he turned out, so I just left him out of the picture group. I'll work on him an the others sometime. Not really happy with Reve, either. :/
(I really like them except it doesn't look like you did Rachel and Reve the right justice Roseatta.)
Allen grimaced at his own error, he held up a hand for silence for a moment and went over to an intercom near the door. "Marrie, you forgot the coffee."
He turned back to the room. "Reve, you've introduced yourself to Ryker but I'd like if you told the whole room about yourselve and your power." As he said this, Marie came in with a Keurig and set it up. She got cups and the flavors and put some water in, letting it heat up. She gestured to it. "Help yourself everyone."
( I actually love them all, Roseatta! :) Especlly Reve and Rachel, funny enough. Juliet's hair is PEFECT btw :D I wish I could draw like you! D:)
Juliet & Reve
"Finally." Juliet muttered to herself, gladly getting up and striding across the room to poor some of the delicious coffee in a white styrofoam cup. At least this joint had caffiene...
"Oh, my apologies, Allen." Reve replied back, before his green eyes took in everyone. It would be had to hold his questions back, especially regarding the boy who said he could "manipulate luck". What did that entail? Could he make good things happen to people? Bad things?"As you know, my name is Reve. And can make people go to sleep. One time when I was little, just discovering my ability, you know, I accidently knocked this poor bird watcher out for a good twelve hours." He mused, fond of the memory, before he blinked at the way it might have been coming across."He was fine, of coarse! But yeah, that's what I do." Reve smiled brightly, wondering if he should tell them about his ability to see dreams, too, but decided against it. Rachel would probably find out and tell Allen if it was that important...thinking of Rachel...
"Oh my, it must be awfully loud for you, huh Rachel?" Reve asked, with a sympathetic twinge of his lips. Was it possible for him to "tone down" his thoughts? And if so, how?
(Excluding myself from the rule about waiting for two people to post so we can move this along...)
Allen & Rachel
Rachel shrugged. "I live in New York. It's hard to avoid having a crowded head. One time, when we were-" She cut off a moment when her uncle sent her a warning thought. She continued, "On vacation, there was no one around really. I have to be honest, I'd take the crowd over the silence." She sat back and shut up after that.
Allen sighed. "Right then, we've all been introduced." Rachel told him about Reve's ability and he blinked. "Reve, you can do more than make people go to sleep, correct? You can see dreams, can't you?"
Jamie shook his head, not liking being around the mind-reader so much. He didn't like the crowded room so much either, sinking in his chair and making sure his clothes covered him better. His reception of others' fears was strongest through touch.
Alex helped himself to a cup of coffee and nodded as Reve explained his ability. That sounded pretty cool too. In fact, he didn’t think there were very many bad abilities, obviously excluding the extreme ones that caused harm to other people with or without the user’s consent.
He laughed out loud at Reve’s birdwatcher story. “That sounds hilarious, man, I wish I could have been there. Can you, like, wake someone back up again, or are they sort of stuck sleeping?” He gave a curious smile and raised his eyebrows in interest.
When Allen spoke again, however, he leaned back in his chair and directed his attention back to the man in the suit. He’d rather have his question answered than Allen’s, but Mr. Steel was the boss, so he looked back to Reve, waiting for the second question to be answered first.
Juliet & Reve
Now this was what Reve liked. The oen conversation, the discussion free of limits. He really wanted to ask more questions on the boy who could manipulate luck--Sam, was it?--but a tan blonde dude that reminded Reve of a surfer was the one who jumped in first. Actually, the Sam kid and the boy who could control fears just looked like they really didn't want to be there...
"It's a funny thing, actually." Reve replied back to the tan guy--Alex, right?--with a smile."Your conciousness, so to speak, it like a glowing light. I can either dim that light--or in other words, make people fall asleep--or reverse the affect I had on the person." He explained simply, nodding as he leaned slightly forward."And what was your power again? Oh, and Ju, can you get me some coffee? Keisha did say that I should have some more fluids in me..." Reve pondered outloud, and Juliet proceeded to mutter under her breath, but oblige in getting her brother some coffee anyways.
"Oh, and yes! Allen, I can see people's dreams!" Reve exclaimed, grinning broadly as he brought it up."They project outwards, you know, like a movie, and one time Juliet had this wonderful dream about--"
"Alright, enugh story time." Juliet cut through sharply, setting Reve's cup of coffee down on the table with a little more force than needed. She leaned on the edge of the table, her dark brows furrowed."Can we just cut to the chase already? Now that we all know out powers and fluff, can we talk more about why we are here, Mr.Steel, sir? To defeat this Thanatos guy? What the heck is that all about, hm?" My brother seems to be brushing over that important factor alright...
((They were just some mindless doodles, so I don't think any of them really did anyone justice, but thanks Nacho. :))
Sam actually listened quite intently as Reve talked about his power. It was fascinating, and he felt perfectly fine not contributing to the conversation, and just paying attention. The only person he felt like he could possibly relate with at the moment appeared to be Jamie, who didn't much look eager to be in the Ghost building, surrounded by other people.
This didn't much feel like a gathering of teenagers for a project to defeat some supervillain, rather than an after school club of sorts. Not willing to broach the topic himself, Sam was glad when Reve's sister-- Juliet, he remembered-- did so herself.
Because, despite the way some people are acting, this isn't all fun and games. This was one choice among few pleasant others for Sam, and he wanted to know precisely what it entailed.
"I agree," he spoke up, "I mean, you've told us what this is about, but you haven't much told us exactly what's going to happen if we do decide to join this project."
"Alright, alright. You can get to know each other and such later if you choose to participate in the program." He said, silencing the room. "I suppose I'll just have to get to the point for you. Now, I'm going by general guesses since I want to be able to explain this without having to think about dates and such. For quite some time the government has been aware of those gifted with abilities. But up until Thanatos, there was nothing done about it except that it was kept secret from the public. Any gifted person who displayed their ability publicly was quickly shut down and their tracks covered. The reason it's kept from the public is, one, to prevent gifteds from becoming confident enough to start using their abilities for crime, and two, to prevent the public from turning on all who have abilities."
He got himself a coffee and sipped on it. "Thanatos came along, and Ghost was formed for the sole purpose of researching and making a team to stop him. I was part of that team, along with my brother. On our team was a person who, as far as we could find, could not be killed. Thanatos took her ability, and that is why we had to keep him imprisoned instead of killing him. After Thanatos' capture, my brother and I, having inherited a large amount from our diseased parents, invested in Ghost to keep it running. The government took up funding it pretty quickly when they saw us producing results. We only ever got enough for research and monitoring."
He closed his eyes for a moment. "I regret admitting it's my ability Thanatos used to escape. The government was holding him in a classified location and somehow he managed to convince someone to let him free. I haven't seen the security on the place in three years, but when I was there I had to correct them on dozens of flaws that I'm not sure if they listened to. Long story short, he got loose. Now I'm being paid as much as I need to make this new team. It's called The Heroes Project. Rachel and I have hand-picked from more than a hundred people within the right age range in this area, and approached more than two dozen people.This in this room is all we've gotten out of that. This, in this room, is all I have to stop Thanatos.
"And Thanatos acts with the goal of taking the ability of every person in the world he deems useful, and killing all those with abilities who remain. He plans on using his gained abilities to take over and control all the people without abilities. He will target the families of those who have abilities he wants. It's his pattern. It never changes. Quite honestly Rachel and I only selected those who we thought Thanatos might target for their ability."
He realized he was off track from his end point. "The goal here is to train all of you to use your abilities to their fullest and to control them to their fullest. You would move into this building here, into some apartments set up in the top two floors. You'd be required to train according to a set schedule, and outings would be discouraged and at times not allowed at all. You'd have a choice between continuing school or putting it on hold until Thanatos is brought in. You wouldn't be allowed to talk to anyone outside of Ghost about the project. Dating between the members is discouraged but allowed. Dating someone outside Ghost wouldn't be allowed. As for your parents, we can deal with a cover for you, so all you have to do is sign up and all of that will be taken care of. You will be trained, hopefully, until I deem you ready to face Thanatos, at which point we will either track him down or bring him out. There is a chance we may have to put you up against him before you can finish training, but not before you learn how to keep him from taking your abilities, at least. And I guess I can answer any questions you have now."
"So..." Ryker let the word hang in the air after the man, Allen Steel, finished giving the overview of what a bunch of teenagers with superhero powers were doing in an office building.
"No family...no dating...no laughing? I'm going to guess we'll have to tack that one on there." He leaned back in his seat, frowning as he considered the man's words. "Right. And we'll just bring this guy in, without any of us painfully losing our powers or lives...wow. It's like an A-Team special episode."
Ryker tilted his head to the side as he inspected the others in the room. X-Ray vision. Making people sleep...shape-shifting...telepathy...reading fears...
Ryker turned toward the guy who had mentioned manipulating luck and gave him a lazy grin. "Dude. We definitely need you."