New York Minutemen 27-04

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Even with no power causing it, time seemed to stand still as the realization of just why the Seosten couldn’t possess me struck home. I couldn’t speak. Hell, I couldn’t even think. I just stood there, mouth open as a million thoughts rebounded within my head as if they had all been thrown into a pinball machine at the same time. Why, when, how, who, I didn’t know any of it.

Possessed. All this time, I had been possessed. There had been someone living inside of me, watching through my eyes, hearing through my ears. Everything I did, every moment that I had thought was private, it wasn’t. This girl was there. And while she seemed friendly, it still felt like a massive violation. Logically, I knew that having her there had helped more than I would probably ever really know. Without the girl possessing me, the Seosten would’ve taken me the first chance they had. I knew that. I knew that. But it didn’t make the sense of violation disappear.

“Um. Flick?” The little girl… Tabby–no, Tabbris, bit her lip while looking up at me from her crouched position. I saw that she had done something to the symbols there. “I-I’m so-sorry,” she repeated her apology, looking so nervous that I thought she might faint. “I’ll explain, I promise. I will. My momma sent me to help you. But–but your friends are in trouble. You have to–”

My eyes widened then, as I finished for her, “–stop them! I have to stop them!” Reflexively, I moved forward, the back of my mind expecting to hit the wall. Yet… I didn’t. My foot came down a bit awkwardly on the other side of it, and I snapped my eyes down to the girl. The symbols she had scribbled on. Whatever Tabbris had done, it broke the invisible shield. She had let me out.

I was across the room before any other thought had a chance of entering my head. My hands grabbed my weapons and everything else, except for my broken phones. They were shattered into too many pieces, and I didn’t have time to scrape up all the pieces. I had no time at all.

A glance to the monitor showed that the motel room was still empty, but who knew how long that would last. Shoving my weapon container onto my belt, I bolted for the door, only to stop short and turn back. For a second, I looked at the little girl sitting there, watching me fearfully.

I hesitated, just for a moment. Then I lifted my chin. “Well? Are you coming, or staying here?”

Tabbris leapt to her feet, then stopped short. “I–I can’t keep up with you,” she admitted quietly.

There was no time to waste. Every doubt I had needed to be shoved away. Everything that the girl had done up to that point screamed that she was on our side, that she was there to help us.

“You can if you possess me again,” I replied without hesitating for an instant. As her eyes widened and met mine, I added, “I couldn’t have gotten this far without you, right? Why break things up now, just when they’re getting good?” After that slightly flippant remark, I added, a bit more somberly, “I need your help. If they figure out they can possess me, it’s all over. Please.”

Without wasting any more time, the little blonde girl took two steps forward before leaping at me. I reflexively recoiled, but she faded from sight, disappearing inside of my body. It tingled a bit.

Despite what I’d said before, I still felt a momentary rush of fear that sprang up in me as I tried to move my hand. Then my other hand. They worked just fine. Just like they had the whole time that the girl had possessed me. She wasn’t suddenly going to take over and control me.

My eyes dropped toward the unconscious figure of the man, and I hesitated briefly. “You’re still there, right? You can hear me?”

The voice came in my head. I can hear you. You don’t have to speak out loud. Just, umm, just think it.

Right. She could hear my thoughts, which meant– I shoved that thought away. What about the guy there? Won’t he remember you possessing him?

Nuh uh, she answered. I made a few seconds of his memory go away.

Oh, Seosten could erase at least part of their host’s short term memory. Right. Well, that solved that problem.

Then I was running through the doorway. It felt like too much time had already passed, even though it had only been a few seconds. It was too long. Too fucking long. I had to run. I had to get to the motel before it was too late, before… I just had to get there. That’s all there was to it.

Passing through the office doorway, I sprinted out into the narrow aisle that led back through the warehouse toward the loading dock. Instead of taking that long path, however, I immediately twisted to the left, toward the heavy stacks of furniture. A quick lunge and a thought sent me into the wooden table, which I zipped straight through and out the other side, popping into a chair there, then another table. One by one, I ‘swam’ my way through the furniture before finally reaching the far end of the stacks, where I popped out next to the doorway leading into the front.

In the time that it would’ve taken me to cross maybe half the distance of that narrow aisle to the back loading dock, I was already slamming my way through the front of the warehouse. The door there was locked, but a single kick sent it slamming open to reveal the parking lot beyond.

One of the men that I had seen earlier was there. He spun around at the sudden sound, his eyes widening at the sight of me. But before he could do more than open his mouth, my staff was already snapping up and around to slam hard into his throat. A wheezing, terrible gasp escaped the man even as I pivoted, catching him across the face with a backswing from the staff that sent him crashing to the ground.

The second man came into view, probably hearing the thud of the staff or the man hitting the ground. Either way, he snapped some kind of futuristic-looking pistol up, aiming at me for a split-second before my hand snapped out to throw my staff. It rebounded off the man’s temple, snapping his head backward and up. His shot went wide, and by the time he recovered, I’d already taken the quick step that way to catch my staff. Dropping down, I used the long shaft to knock the man’s legs out from under him before spinning back to my feet. As he landed on his back and looked up, he was met with the sight of my foot slamming into his face.

Both of the men were down. Not a threat. Except… I didn’t want them reporting to Charmeine that I was out. She had about a dozen advantages right now, and the only one that I had was surprise. Even that was a maybe. But I wouldn’t have it if these guys called in to report that I had escaped. That and, well, the guys were part of a plot to kill and enslave my friends. They weren’t exactly innocent. Still, the thought that there was a little girl looking through my eyes made me hesitate to actually kill them when they weren’t an immediate threat.

“Tab–” I managed to get only that far before the ghostly figure of the girl slipped out of me, dropped down into the first man, and popped out again a moment later to slip over to the second. Then she emerged and looked up at me.

“D-done,” she announced, squirming on her feet like she was embarrassed. “Th-they won’t wake up for umm, I’m not sure, but maybe an hour? And they won’t remember.”

“Good enough,” I replied, hesitating before gesturing. “Let’s go, partner.”

The girl’s eyes widened, and I saw her fighting some torrent of emotions for a moment. She looked like she wanted to say something, but stopped herself. Instead, she just turned ghost-like once more while moving to step into me.  

Spinning on my heel, I hit the button to charge my staff while running along the side of the warehouse, my shoes pounding rhythmically against the pavement with each step. My heart, mind, and feet were competing for which of them could race faster.

Three more steps, and it was enough. I released the charge in my staff, letting it launch me up to the roof of the warehouse. Coming down there, I was already running, letting the staff charge again while sprinting all out toward the far end of the warehouse roof. Step, step, step, I focused on the building across the street, pouring everything I had into running. At the last second, just before I would’ve stepped off the edge of the roof, I leapt, pushing off as hard as my enhanced strength allowed. At the apex of my leap, I triggered the charge in my staff. It propelled me the rest of the way, clearing the street entirely before coming down on the roof of the next building.

Rolling before coming back to my feet, I thought at my little hitchhiker. I need your help. First, you’re a Seosten, right? Which means… do you have a perfect memory, like Vanessa?

Um, y-yes, the response came hesitantly. I’m sorry, I didn’t me–oh. Oh! Yes! I can help you find the nearest Minuteman portal from what we saw in the clock faces yesterday!

You read my mind, I thought dryly, unable to help myself. Where am I going?

Um, um… turn… turn left? I need to see. When I followed her instructions and turned that way, she continued, sounding excited. Yeah! Yeah, go this way! There’s a park. I remember the sign on the side of that motel down the street. It’s in a park across from that.

I could barely make out the sign she was talking about. It was so far away that it was almost out of sight. Somehow, Tabbris could see well enough with my vision to pick out the sign and the scenery surrounding it, invert that in her own mind so that it was the way she would have seen it through the portal clock faces back at Minuteman headquarters, and figure out where the portal was from that. It was, objectively speaking, pretty damn awesome.

But I couldn’t focus on that. There wasn’t time. There wasn’t time for any of this. I had, if what Charmeine had said meant anything, fifteen minutes to get to that hotel room. I wasn’t sure how they were going to get both of our teams away from the zoo and back there, but I believed they could do it. I just had to get back there before it happened. Which meant I had to run. Now.

I heard that Seosten can give their hosts a boost. Can you do that?

Again, I sensed her hesitation and embarrassment. She was still scared that she was going to do or say something wrong. A… a little bit, um, n-not as much as the… the adults. Or as long. I’m s–

I interrupted her pointedly, Every little bit helps. I just need to get back to the hotel. Think you can help out a little?

Y-yes, she started before repeating a little more firmly. Yes.

Then I felt it. I felt a little stronger, a little faster. I felt the boost give me an edge, like a shot of adrenaline (like I needed more of that by then).

“Hope you’re holding on tight,” I informed my passenger out loud, “Because I’m about to break the gas pedal.”

With that, I leapt from the roof of the building. A quick blast from my staff sent me out to the middle of the busy street, where I came down not in the middle of the packed sidewalk (seriously, the people looked like sardines crammed in among each other), but on the roof of a box truck. As I landed with a thud, I heard a confused curse from inside the cab. It swerved a bit, yet through a combination of my training and the werewolf agility enhancements, I kept my feet. The same curse from the driver inside the truck repeated as I ran along the roof to the front of it and leapt off just before my feet would have hit the windshield.

Who? Who was the traitor on Roxa’s old team? Which one of them was working for the Seosten without actually being a Seosten? Which one of them was it?

The second leap carried me forward to the roof of a taxi, and I ran along that for a couple steps. Ran along the roof of a moving car. This was insane. This whole fucking thing was insane. Yet all I could think was that I had to move faster. Had to go, had to get there before it was too late. There wasn’t time for this, there wasn’t time! If I wasn’t faster, if I didn’t move, my friends were going to die, or end up enslaved to a bunch of wannabe angels. Move, Flick. Go!

It wasn’t Rudolph. That was obvious. There was no way that they would have gone as far as knocking him out if he was their spy. There was no reason to hide his identity at that point.

Horns were blaring, and I heard a few people shout. I didn’t care. From the hood of the taxi, I leapt sideways, toward a passing sedan. The leap was almost too short, and I had to catch myself, taking a quick, stumbling step forward while the driver of the sedan slammed on his brakes. The tires squealed, and it came to a screeching halt with the smell of burning rubber.

I would have been pitched forward off the car, but I was already leaping once more, throwing myself forward in a leap that carried me to the back of a delivery truck, where I barely caught hold of the roof. For a second, I hung there while the truck sped on its way, before my feet found purchase against the back doors and I managed to scramble up and onto its roof.

The spy wasn’t Douglas either. The way Charmeine had mentioned him, it was separate from whoever was working with them. So the spy wasn’t Rudolph or Douglas. I had to narrow it down further than that.

Rolling to a standing position, I ran along the truck, keeping my eyes on the motel sign in the distance. Two more steps, and then I leapt once more while hitting the trigger on my staff, which had been charging that entire time. The boost, coupled with my own leap, carried me off the truck, and over the sidewalk. Below, I heard even more people shouting, and saw them pointing.

I wasn’t exactly being subtle about this, that was for damn sure. And I had no idea what the Bystander Effect would do about all this, if anything.  But fuck it. There wasn’t time for subtle.

In mid-leap, I planted my foot against the side of a lamppost and pushed off of it to adjust my direction. The new lunge sent me to the nearby building, where I caught hold of a flagpole that was extending out from one of the windows, using it to swing myself over to a balcony a bit further over. My feet came down on the railing there, and I ran along it to the other end. There was nothing but a blank brick wall there. Still, I kept going. Leaping out and turning slightly, I ran along the side of the wall for a few steps. Not far, of course. I didn’t have the wall-clinging power that Shiori did. But my momentum meant that I could go a few steps that way before pushing off, and another quick boost from my staff carried me the rest of the way to the next balcony.

Boy. It was probably a boy. I’d been thinking earlier that Professor Pericles had been facing the boy’s dorm when he died. If one of the boys had been distracting him… okay, it was a little bit of a stretch, but I didn’t have anything better.

My foot barely touched that balcony before I leapt sideways off of it, flipping over in the air as I came down on the end of the sidewalk. Straight ahead of me was a busy street, and across that was the motel sign that Tabbris had pointed out. Which meant… I turned slightly, looking across the street from the motel. There. A small park, barely big enough to be called such. Mostly it looked like a spot where a couple shops had been torn down and a little bit of grass mixed with weeds had been allowed to grow up in their place. There was a single bench in the middle of it.

Okay, so assuming the spy was a boy, but wasn’t Rudolph or Douglas, that left three possibilities: Paul, Gordon, and Isaac. And I couldn’t figure out how to narrow it down further than that. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

Darting across the street at an angle, ignoring all the screams, honking, and squealing tires (aside from paying enough attention to the latter to avoid any oncoming cars), I booked for that tiny, dingy park. As I ran, I let a single thought run through my mind, over the others.

You said your mom sent you to help me. Who is she? Who is your mom, and why would she help a human? Why did she pick me? What’s going on? How long have you been… with me?

There was a brief hesitation to that before she responded slowly. Um. My mom… my mother is… Vanessa and Tristan’s mother. Sariel. My mother is Sariel.

“What?!” I actually blurted out loud, very nearly stopping right there in the middle of the street. “Your mom is–” I stopped, making myself think it instead. Your mom is Sariel?! But-but-how…

Y-you were right, she quickly responded then. Momma and um, Miss Larissa were working together. They w-were friends. A-and umm… umm… my momma found out that someone took your mom, and she knew th-the other Seosten would, umm, she knew they’d come for you.

Running up over the sidewalk and into the so-called ‘park’, I went for the bench. It was the only thing that stood out, so the portal had to be around there somewhere. As I moved, I thought at my passenger, I don’t understand. She knew the Seosten would come for me, so she sent her daughter to me… somehow? What–how–I don’t get it. I mean–wait, you mean Larissa–

I sensed something like a nod, an affirmation. Uh huh, the girl replied. Miss Larissa brought me to you while you were asleep. She and Mama said I had to be really quiet and hide.

Shaking my head, I looked at the bench, staring for a moment while trying to think. Focus, Flick. First things first. “Felicity Chambers,” I announced out loud. “Um, Crossroads student? If it mat-”

That was as far as I got before a glowing blue portal opened up right in front of the bench. Through it, I could see the interior of the clocktower, the room that Josiah had shown us.

He was dead now. Murdered by Charmeine in Columbus’s body. Even if–when we got the bitch out of him, how was he going to deal w–no. I shut the thought aside and took a quick step forward, through the portal. There would be time to think, and to grieve, later. As soon as I made sure that Josiah was the only one we would be grieving for. No one else, damn it. No one else.

But that was almost eight years ago, I thought to distract myself while jumping through the portal. Are you saying, I mean, have you been… have we… were you always

That time, I felt the equivalent of a head-shake, a denial. I wa-wasn’t always spying on you, I promise. Wh-when you were umm, when it was… um, p-private, I went to sleep. Mama taught me how t-to do that when she put some of her m-memories in my head. She p-put memories in my head, only th-they come out slow. Like, um, delayed? She’s still, um, teaching me stuff.

Moving through the Clocktower room to the door that led downstairs, I called. “Hey! Hey, I need help! Help! Damn it, is anyone here?! Hello?! Well,” I added then when there was no response, “what fucking good are you?!” Yeah, the tension and fear might’ve been getting to me a little bit.

Right. They were all gone. There was no one here. I was still–well, not alone. But there were no Heretics who could help. I had to keep going. I couldn’t waste time trying to find anyone else. I couldn’t look for a phone, I couldn’t do anything. I had to keep going, or… or…

Spinning, I ran back to the nearest clock face while thinking, Right, so your mom basically uploaded a bunch of lessons and stuff into your head and they come to you slowly over time?

I felt her confirmation, sort of like a nod that I couldn’t see. But my focus wasn’t there. It was on the clock faces around the room. All of them showed a different part of the city, yet all of the views were similar. They all showed people fighting. Heretics and Alters, locked in combat. And from the look of things, the Heretics had been taken by surprise. I saw several dead, unmoving on the ground.

“Oh my God,” I muttered, my eyes widening. “It’s the Seosten. They’re going all-out. This is why the Minutemen can’t help. They’re being taken apart. Charmeine and her people probably gave the Nocen all the info they needed to ambush them. I…” Swallowing hard, I told myself to focus. Keep moving.

Stopping in front of the nearest clock face, I quickly recited the address and name of the hotel where we had been staying, whispering a quick thank you to Dare for making us all memorize it.

Then a thought occurred to me. “You–” I blinked. “You’re my magic intuition. Back when I thought–the thing about Larissa and Sariel being together. That wasn’t a blind guess on my part. You were–you were whispering to me, or whatever.”

Um. Y-yes? I’m sorry, I was trying to help. Mama said I had to keep hiding, th-that it wouldn’t be safe until l-later. I’m sorry, I… I j-just wanted to help.

As the clock face finished changing, I assured her, “You have helped. You’ve helped a lot, Tabbris. I wanna hear more. I’ve got… so many questions. Seriously. And I want you to meet your brother and sister. But right now, what do you say we go save our friends?”  

There was another feeling of agreement, and a lot of embarrassment when I said ‘our friends’.

Stepping up to the portal, I saw the hotel in question. Wherever this thing was generated from, it was pretty much perfectly aligned to see the rooms where we were staying. Hell, maybe that was why Josiah had chosen it. Or maybe they shifted one of the portals to keep an eye on it. It was a chicken and egg situation.

Through the portal, my eyes found the room that I shared with Avalon. Figures were moving around inside. They were there. They were there!

No more time to waste. No more questions, no hesitation. Taking a few steps back, I ran at the portal and leapt through. There was some kind of ledge below me that the portal opened out onto, but I ignored it, leaping out over the street before using my staff to propel myself that way. I expended the whole charge, blasting myself across the street and straight at same window that I had been looking out of earlier.

I hit feet-first, shattering the glass as I crashed straight through and into the room. They were all there. All of them, everyone was there. Even Charmeine.

“Hey, bitch!” I snarled even as she spun Columbus’s body toward me on one heel.

My staff slammed into his face, knocking Columbus–Charmeine backwards across the nearby table and into the wall. As Columbus’s body slumped to the floor, I informed her,

“We weren’t done talking.”

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35 comments

  1. Surprise, early chapter! I know a lot of you guys have been eagerly awaiting tomorrow’s update. And I like to be nice sometimes. 😉 So there you go. If it’s anyone’s birthday, happy birthday!

    In any case, I hope you all enjoyed this little update to see Flick’s reaction to all that. And next time… well, next time we’ll have a little bit of a fight on our hands, won’t we? Dun dun dun.

    If you’re enjoying this story, please do give a quick little click over to Top Web Fiction to vote on it by clicking right here! And remember, if you’ve already voted, the vote resets every seven days, so you can vote again. Thank you all very much. 😀

    Anyway, tags for this chapter are: Felicity Chambers, Flick, Honestly Tabbris – You Of All People Should Not Be Surprised When Flick Accepts You., It’s New York – The Bystander Effect Might Not Have To Do Anything To Make These People Stop Paying Attention., Tabbris

    Liked by 2 people

    1. She could theoretically be a clone of Sariel or something like that.

      Yeah, I don’t think so either. I want to know who her father is too. I’m sure we’ll meet him eventually. I bet he’s a dick.

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      1. Hey maybe hes a charming individual… that was able to get sariel to willingly have a kid with him in the span of a few months and then came to a mutualy decision with her to let that kid be estranged from them on the other side of the universe. It could happen.

        Like

    2. Might be Haiden. Tabbris is about 8-9 years old, as far as I recall… Sariel might have already been pregnant with her when they got separated. And as we know from the twins, half-Seosten seem to get their parent’s abilities at random, so that might be why Tabby can possess people while her siblings have never shown that specific ability.

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      1. Nope. Tabbris has Seosten memory and she said she’s a Seosten. Which means she’s not a hybrid because Sariel would have told her if she was and she’d remember that.

        Which means the closest thing she has to a father is Lincoln Chambers, but there’s some Seosten out there who is responsible for half of her DNA.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Easy money is on Lucifer – Sariel told Larissa that they were close friends and that Lucifer left the main Seosten group before her and asked her to come with him. His base is probably the best place for a rogue Seosten banished to the end of the universe to go, and we know they were already close.

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      1. It’s not Lucifer/Apollo. The last Sariel/Larissa interlude was the part right before she told Larissa how to make Flick immune to possession. We now know they accomplished this by sending Tabbris to her, which means she had already been born by that point. That chapter also had Sariel tell Larissa that she hasn’t seen Apollo since he left and that she doesn’t know how to find or contact him beyond asking the Torchbearers for help.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hot damn, that felt good.

    It won’t make what’s coming next any less of a clusterfuck, but seeing that bitch take a hit like that was excellent. It would feel better if I didn’t know she can ignore Columbus’ pain, but I’ll take what I can get. At least Columbus has enhanced toughness.

    And Flick didn’t kill the unconscious guards after all. Because she didn’t want Tabbris to see it. That moment sticks out to me.

    Speaking of Tabbris, I like her. I like her a lot. I also want her to get hugs. Lots of hugs.

    Like

  3. Cue Charmaine having possessed someone else and Flick just kicking her actual friend in the face. It feels like that kind of moment.

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  4. Just caught up, devastated to say the least. Somewhere deep down I was hoping this story was finished and I could just knock it out during this week, damn. Can anyone tell me the release schedule for this story? I honestly already have withdrawals.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Congrats and simultaneous condolences on catching up! As Veozar said, regular updates are Monday/Friday, with commissioned mini-interludes and stuff like that sprinkled throughout. And I constantly let people know when the new chapter is about to come out in the Spacebattles thread.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Flick now has perfect recall, her own private real-time Wikipedia that she can query at any time and that nobody else can detect or stop.

    That’s an amazing ability. This is every would-be journalist’s wet dream.

    From now on, Flick now needs to spend an hour of her time, every day, staring at a computer screen with Wikipedia articles or whatever scrolling by rapidly. Then Tabbris can recall any of those pages at any time. Think of how much more powerful Flick could be with all of the world’s information literally at her fingertips at all times

    “Wait, actuarial tables for 17th century Spain show a slight increase in deaths in Aramaio, and you just said that you used to live in Aramaio during the 17th century — are you behind the slight increase in deaths in the city where you’ve been stationed for the past six months?”

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      1. Hear, hear. 🙂

        She got conscripted into this, too (for a lot of good reasons, but… still). She needs a bit of time to get her feet under her and to exercise her own opinions and choices.

        Like

  6. “Nuh uh, she answered. I made a few seconds of his memory go away.
    Oh, Seosten could erase at least part of their host’s short term memory. Right. Well, that solved that problem. ”

    Well, not like she’s unfamiliar with the concept, what with the Bystander Effect.

    “My staff slammed into his face, knocking Columbus–Charmeine backwards across the nearby table and into the wall. As Columbus’s body slumped to the floor, I informed her,
    “We weren’t done talking.” ”
    Eh. Badass taunt and all, but I expect several more reversals before this encounter is concluded. Flick’s not going to win that easily, if she even does.

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  7. I am 100% here for Flick, Avalon, and Shiori mutually adopting Tabbris. This needs to happen. A good family is three moms and their adorable little girl who happens to possess one of them most of the time.

    Like

    1. No adopting as moms. Sariel’s memory magic shenanigans put her in serious running for mom of the year, supplanting her is not allowed. She did come up with a way to have all sorts of mother-daughter bonding moments while stuck in a Seosten jail on the other end of the universe. Per WoG on SB, she implanted memories of things like playing with Tabbris, reading to her and teaching her things all set up to appear on time delays. And Seosten perfect memory means that recalling such a memory is basically living it a second (or first) time. So Tabbris gets to at least have the memory of spending time with her mother even if it didn’t happen.

      Adopt as big sisters. Flick’s already Tabbris’s big sister in all but blood.

      While we’re talking tangled adoptive family trees:

      Lincoln Chambers is definitely Tabbris’s father as far as raising her goes. Whichever Seosten provided the male DNA is going to be really lucky to avoid getting killed for raping Sariel, being acknowledged as a parent is right out.

      Larissa gets the cool older cousin slot when she gets back. Or maybe cool aunt, like where Sariel is best slotted in for the Mason twins.

      When it comes to emotional bonds, the Chambers, Mason and Moon families sort of form into one big blob, with Liam Mason sitting off on the side wondering when and why his kids and wife cut him out of the family for a bunch of “traitors” and “monsters”. The why is that he sold out Jocelyn, then married a woman who would have tried to kill him if she had been fully aware of his past actions. The when is whenever Larissa and his kids decide they don’t to pretend to like him for the sake of operation security anymore.

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      1. There’s her actual brother and sister, her adopted sister and father, her twin older cousins (because Larissa is definitely a Cool Aunt)… And, fingers crossed… her mother’s husband, who is likely to become her stepfather once he can get involved.

        On top of that, there’s the entire Atherby clan.

        Tabby has a large family. Christmasses will become expensive in the next few years for all the Atherby-Moons, if their luck holds out. 🙂

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      2. Yep. Not like Christmas being expensive because you’ve got a closeknit giant extended family is precisely a bad thing.

        And I think the only finger crossing on Haiden’s stepfatherhood is fingers crossed that he makes it. Remember how Haiden and Sariel met? Yeah, he’s not hurting any kids on purpose, much less Sariel’s daughter.

        Like

  8. Yeah, I am all for Tabbris sticking with Flick. They’ll have a little bit of awkward from the unknowing years-long possession thing…but Flick’s too cool to get bogged down in that for too long when stuff settles down. Not when Tabbris has proven she’s inherited her Mom’s genetic capacity for Pure Awesomeness. She’s also the quintessentially adorable little-sister Flick never knew she had. No way Flick does something lame, like palm her off on Clan Atherby.

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  9. I’m disappointed that Flick wasn’t shouting “PARKOUR!” with every jump, but I understand that she’s too distracted and that’d probably be more of a Koren thing anyways.

    But was almost eight years ago, I

    Missing a “that” before the “was”.

    That dynamic entry at the end. Glorious.

    “Paul” is too much of a professional to slip up and I think Isaac has enough practice at fooling people to not make a major mistake but also at the same time he’s young enough I think he’ll be the one to say something to tip off Flick.

    Charmeine even complained about there being a non-zero chance for Flick to escape last chapter. Why did she think monologueing her grand plan was a good idea? I’m thinking she’s troo smart for that and it’s actually another layer of her plan somehow but at the same time I don’t think she knows all of the tricks Flick and company have at their disposal, for example the ‘get out of that body’ spell.

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    1. I mean, on the one hand, she has managed to successfully mislead Flick into thinking that there is only one traitor on the other team rather than two… well, one traitor and one infiltrator, to be precise.

      That said, there’s a difference in knowledge between the two of ’em – I suspect that Isaac still thinks that they’re going on Plan A, while Paul probably knows otherwise… though how that might affect things remains to be seen.

      And that’s assuming that Flick doesn’t end up assuming that it’s Gordon due to some kind of hideous misunderstanding, who after all has enough secrets of his own to inadvertently seem suspicious – and that’s if he doesn’t end up panicking and trying to attack the psycho murderers who he’s been surrounded by for months.

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    2. She was that pissed off at Flick. Look at how far she went to fuck with Columbus when all he did was say something insulting. Flick has gone way further than throwing an insult. She’s been getting in the way of Charmeine mission all year, foiling her and Manakel’s plans. She wanted to make Flick suffer for that.

      And she’s going to pay dearly for that.

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    3. let’s just hope she wasn’t leading Flick in a blind alley (kinda like Flick while she staged the necklace destruction)
      but that sound really farfetched as the seostens have no idea of Tabbris presence…
      let’s just accept that Charmeine actually followed the bad guy boasting trope…

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