Aunt Kaylee vs the Fear Monger


brynn_icon.gif joe_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif lance_icon.gif sera_icon.gif squeaks_icon.gif silvia_icon.gif

Scene Title Aunt Kaylee vs the Fear Monger
Synopsis The Lighthouse Kids seek out one of their many Aunts to purge the terror lurking since that fateful day in the ruins…
Date April 6, 2018

Raytech Branch Office, New York Safe Zone

Joe has gathered a task force of LHK's, including two of the newly adopted members Silvia and Squeaks and have made their way to Raytech. Probably borrowing a car from someone, or just… walking. However they got there isn't terribly important. But they're not the most well dressed group. In fact they all look a little rough. But then many in New York these days are wearing clothes past their lifetime. The kids, or well Lance, Brynn, and Joe are all injured. Joe’s got one arm in a sling. Lance has an arm in a sling and Brynn is clearly favoring one hand over the other. Also they’re all not moving the most spry suggesting other injuries. Though Silvia and Squeaks are uninjured. It’s just the three original LHK kids that seem to have gotten themselves into some trouble. Also they totally did not call ahead. Joe stops outside the doors to Raytech and turns to the others.

“Aunt Kaylee is an awesome person. She's a super telepath. Like… she can telepath like Lady Zeus can lightning. It's awesome. She's also probably one of the nicest people we've ever met. But she's also some big corporate hot shot now. Like co runs this place with her siblings. Which is cool. So don't steal anything, or break anything. Okay?" He looks around the whole group, cuz he wouldn't put it past Lance to grab some useful bit of tech if he saw it. His and his brother's morals are… slightly different sometimes. "Okay. Iiiiiin weeee goooo!" He turns around and will then try to open the door to the lobby. Is it locked? Or does a gaggle of teens get to walk through the door?

Field trip to somewhere new? Squeaks is game for that. Especially since it’s a place that she’d never have before imagined as being a place she could go to. Not being in the Underneath has opened up a whole new wide world to explore. And that’s exciting enough that she even dug through the clothes Raquelle left for her and Brynn and found something nearer to fitting and definitely more clean than her normal dregs.

She’s kept pace with the group, mostly. Sometimes lagging behind, other times to detour over an obstacle instead of go around it. And she does it, she explains, to make sure there’s no one following or waiting in shadows. Since the three siblings feel like they’re being watched, she’s taken to being lookout very serious.

So by the time the group reaches the Raytech building, she’s a little scuffed and dusty. Not that she notices. Squeaks is staring at the building while Joe lays down the ground rules, but she gives him a side eye when he admonishes about not stealing or breaking. It wouldn’t be smart to try and steal from this place anyway, there’s probably cameras and people everywhere, but she nods understanding. Another look at the building’s front precedes her following the rest of the group inside.

There are definitely cameras everywhere; Lance spots them pretty quickly even though they’re unobtrusive, although he’s not sure if he’s spotted all of them. The presence of armed security guards at the entrance has him sticking closer to the pack and doing his best not to drop the entire group into silence.

Maybe he’ll hold that in reserve in case Joe starts talking.

“I’m not gonna steal anything,” he says with a roll of his eyes as they head into the lobby, “Jeeze, Joe.”

The reception desk is empty. There’s a half eaten danish sitting on a plate next to a still-steaming cup of coffee, but the receptionist’s chair is unoccupied and spinning as if they’d just missed her bolt up out of it and dash somewhere out of sight. Huh.

Brynn's got the heebie-jeebies from walking out there. She keeps her head on a swivel, eyes moving constantly. She doesn't like this feeling of being watched under the best of conditions, and this is not the best of conditions. She too gives Joe the side-eye when he yammers about sterling things. She hadn't been thinking of stealing from Aunt Kaylee, what were you thinking, Joe?

For heaven's sake, Joe, lets just go in! Brynn signs with a roll of her eyes. She's exceedingly grateful for Squeaks taking lookout .. because she and Lance and Joe aren't seeing whatever it is, but maybe the other girl will!

The petite brunette pauses near the front desk uncertainly, looking around for … someone. Anyone, really? Who could help them locate Aunt Kaylee.

Silvia isn’t entirely sure what she’s doing, but she’d agreed to come for the sake of “adventure” and just plain getting out of the house. She stays near the back of the group, eyes darting about to really take in the details of the Raytech building. At the sight of the empty reception desk, her eyes move faster, trying to determine where the receptionist had gone or if for some reason the entirety of Raytech had disappeared in some moment of Evolved ability. It was possible, after all. She doesn’t voice her ideas, instead just following along in the cluster.

Even as the chair is still twirling around, Kaylee Ray-Sumter is stepping out of the elevator, with a bright smile. The chair gives a soft squeak as it slows, pulling the telepath’s attention, followed by the soft fump of the door closing behind the kids, who have clearly just arrived. Brows lift a little and she turns to look behind her from the way she came from. Sera had told her several minutes ago about the kids waiting for her down stairs… yet…

Okay. That’s weird. She gives a small shake of her head and turns her attention to her visitors. “Well, look who finally decided to come see me,” her smile is bright and affectionate for the three kids who she knows. “And with friends…” The two extras are noted with a nod to each. Joe wasn’t wrong, Kaylee even looks like a big shot company owner is in her black power suit, heels, and deep purple shirt. Long blonde hair twisted up in a messy bun at the nape of her neck.

Of course Joe is gawking too once they're inside, looking around the fancy building. He spots the spinning chair and his head tilts to the side, hands moving in Lighthouse Cant to let Brynn and Lance know to be on their guard. That's… a bit of an ominous sight after all. He looks over at Squeaks to make sure she's being alert, and whispers to Silvia as well. "Stay alert not sure what…" He glances meaningfully at the chair that's only just been vacated if the spinning chair is anything to go by. "AUNT KAYLEE!" Of course… Joe really is still a kid. So decorum is forgotten for the moment as he turns and races right for her. Whether the other two OG LHK's follow suit he doesn't know, but Kaylee is getting a big hug from him.

He runs over to her and wraps arms around her for a tight hug. Also really hoping security doesn't decide to taze him, or shoot him with those nifty sonic devices. There's a slight wince on his face from the sudden running. He's got an arm in a sling after all, and though Kaylee might not know it right away, stitches in his stomach. He'll hug Kaylee tight for a few moments before he gestures at Squeaks and Silvia. "Squeaks is our friend we've adopted. We adopted Silvia too though she already has parents. But she was a Ferry ward down in Mexico. Oh Lynette is her mom now. And hi Aunt Kaylee!" Joe will finally release her to step back, wincing as he shifts his left arm, glancing around, a soft whistle escaping him.

"We uhhh well… we've been planning on coming to visit but we… have been busy. Exploring sewers, solving murders, fighting off Pure Earthers that want to take Hailey, running into the Fear Monger. Losing Eimi, another friend we've made. It's been chaotic. Sorry we haven't visited before now." He looks down at that at the floor, scuffing the toe of his sneaker on the floor.

Though she’s lagged behind just a little, Squeaks takes long steps to catch up to the others. She puts a finger on Brynn’s shoulder, she’s still here so everything will be fine. Mostly. Maybe. But then it’s the spinning chair that has the skinny kid’s attention. She’s even stepping toward it to make it stop spinning. Things like that usually result in poltergeist activities and tawdry zombies climbing out of video screens. Best to make it stop than to face the alternative. She gets as far as reaching for it before there’s a stranger-voice behind her, and Joe’s screaming about Aunt Kaylee.

That has her turning, twisting around to see who Aunt Kaylee is. Squeaks’ hand still gropes for that chair to bring it to a stop, but her attention is on the woman, the fancy dressed woman, coming out of the elevator. While her initial response is to be cautious, the reactions toward her from the three siblings eases her concern. She doesn’t come out from behind the desk just yet, but she’s watching the interactions.

“Huh.” Lance steps over to the receptionist’s desk and goes up on his toes, leaning forward to peer behind it. Maybe the receptionist is hiding under the desk, apparently his logic has led him to wonder. Fortunately, before he can explore this possibility further - and probably get grabbed by a security guard - there’s that cheerful bellow that indicates that ‘Aunt Kaylee’ is here.

He turns with a grin to catch sight of her, stepping over though he’s less enthusiastic than Joe. “And that’s Brynn, she joined us up in Canada,” he explains, adding, “She’s deaf, but she can read lips, and we can translate if you need us to.”

He takes a bite of a danish, chewing contentedly before swallowing, “So, uh, it’s good to see you and all but can we talk in private if you’re not too busy? We’ve got a— uh— we’ve got a thing. That we need your help with?”

Brynn casts Lance a side-eye when he explains to Kaylee who Brynn is — Aunt Kaylee knows darn good and well who Brynn is. She rolls her gray eyes at the older woman and just shakes her head. He's had a head trauma, Aunt Kay. Don't mind him. The petite brunette glances back toward the doors, noting the security guys making their way toward the group… and the subtle wave-off they get as well. But it's the doors that hold her attention, and she signs to the boys rather rapid-fire, Are you guys still feeling it? Cuz I am, and if someone's really watching us all this time, shouldn't Aunt Kaylee already be able to tell that?

She sidles closer to Squeaks, letting Lance and Joe be all exuberant and retreating into the more comfortable presence of the quieter younger girl. They definitely seem to do all right together, and Brynn shoots Squeaks a tentative smile. So not fair that Lance stole the danish before the smaller girl could!

Who knows what could be in that danish! It could be a trap! At least that’s an idea for a comic panel now in Silvia’s head. She scoots in closer to the others, peering over at Joe. He didn’t really fully explain why they were adventuring to see Kaylee, but she’s starting to get the sinking feeling that there’s more going on than a simple visit. Maybe something interesting enough to make the comic? She can only hope.

Any and all hugs are returned with a chuckle, “It’s hard to see you kids all grown. I still remember you all as little and getting into trouble…” Of course, Kaylee see’s their state and gives each boy a slightly disapproving look. “And still getting into trouble, I see.” There is an exasperated sigh, before both Joe and Lance get a motherly peck to their temples — she is after all taller than them — and she sweeps past to give Brynn a hug. Clearly, he does. There is a mischievous smile, before she continues, Good to see you again.

Turning to look at the other two companions, she offers them a soft smile. “Welcome Squeaks… Silvia.” Though Silvia gets special interest. “Lynette and Mateo’s girl? I’ve known Lynette for a long time… should ask her about it.” She gives the girl a wink, before directing the kids to follow her to the elevator.

“Talk privately, huh? Well, we can retreat to my office before Sera shows up again and notices her breakfast gone.” An accusing look levels at Lance. “When we’re done, I’ll take you by the cafeteria.”

Joe looks over at Lance in a little bit of confusion at his introduction of Brynn. She joined them before Canada. Lance knows this. Then he steals the danish /and/ drops the bomb of them needing help. "Bro! Lance! The heck?" Usually it's Lance having to tell Joe not to be a knucklehead. But this time it's the reverse. Which is an odd position to be in. "Could at least have let the meet and greet go on more than five seconds before asking for help. Geeesh!" He stares at his broninja for a few moments, confusion written across Joe's face. After a few moments he turns away and looks back towards the rest of the group.

I still feel like I'm being watched too. And I don't know if she'll be able to tell or not, but that's the hope. That she'll be able to poke around in our heads and see. Wouldn't trust anyone else to do so. Joe's hands flashing in Lighthouse Cant back at Brynn. "Soooo this nightmare empath or telepath, not entirely sure which, caught us in the exclusion zone. Though now I'm not entirely sure we were actually trapped come to think about it. Probably a further part of the illusion anywaaaaay." He had looked back to Brynn and Lance at that, signing for Brynn, but now he looks back at Kaylee.

"Oh don't worry, we're still getting into plenty of trouble Aunt Kaylee. Finding bodies in the sewers, solving murders, befriending ghosts, quelling food riots, founding a new Lighthouse and discovering nightmare telepath people powerful enough to trick my mind into thinking that a wild dog's teeth could actually pierce my skin unnegated. Like… I know that couldn't happen. I know it beyond fact. But Fear Monger was powerful enough to make me believe I was being ripped into." And the way he says Fear Monger it's clear the bad guy or girl has been named.

"Oh. Yeah private is a pretty good idea." He admits, then immediately holds up a hand in Lance's direction. "Don't want to hear it. You just derped too okay?" Yeah, he knew he was going to catch a smart ass comment from Lance, probably still will. Not brothers at all. Nope. “Cafeteria’s are great. Squeaks is always hungry.” He jerks a thumb in the tiny girl’s direction. “And yeah, Silvia is Lady Zeus’s girl. She’s awesome. Heck everyone here is awesome. Squeaks is probably even more of a survivor than the rest of us. She’s done it on her own for years. So everyone here is awesome.”

Without looking at her, Squeaks touches Brynn’s hand. It's acknowledgement as much as assurances for the older girl, and herself a little bit. Then Lance takes the danish and gets a long side eye. She probably would have done the same thing, had he not beaten her to it! Her name said in Kaylee’s unfamiliar voice pulls her back to the reason they're all hear, and she sets to eyeballing the fancy-dressed lady.

She's looking out, like a lookout.

When everyone moves for the elevator, she tags along too. And even though Kaylee just came out of it, Squeaks still pokes her head in for a look before stepping in for the ride. She looks at the siblings and Silvia and grins a little bit. It's safe. No monsters lurking inside. “Not always,” she amends to Joe’s statement, testing out the banter she's become accustomed to hearing from the three. “Just usually.” And that's way different than always!

Danish? What danish? There’s some crumbs around Lance’s mouth that he’s rapidly wiping off, looking the soul of innocence as he looks up at Kaylee. Then there’s Joe’s scolding, and he gives the other teenager a are you serious look. “The first thing that you said was that we were solving murders and fighting racist terrorists,” he retorts with a roll of his eyes, “There are security guys like— right over there! I’m just trying to get us some— yeah, yeah, see?” Derping all around.

They’ve all had a really bad week, it appears. He shifts the arm slung over his chest, glancing over his shoulder as he admits - since he can’t sign well right now, “Yeah, same, guys.” To the elevator he follows along, footfalls silent.

Brynn hugs Kaylee tightly when the woman comes over, and although it's subtle, the deaf teen is trembling from the hyperawareness of being watched. Feeling under threat is not exactly new to these kids, but this is the first time in her life it's ever been so protracted in terms of the length of time. The relief that there's someone very much combat-capable — and housed in a building with full security too! — now close to them is something of a relief to the petite girl. When she draws away from Kaylee's embrace, wincing a little in the only indication aside from stiff movements that she herself is also injured, she brushes away a brief dampness at the eyes.

Her signing is less fluid than usual, her left hand clearly still a bit swollen, but as she moves to walk with Kaylee, she jerks her chin with a smile for Squeaks and Sylvia to follow along. Cuz the other two girls are, if it's possible, even more reticent in public than Brynn can be! Joe's running off at a million miles an hour again, isn't he? she asks Aunt Kaylee. Because she can't see what he's saying, just that Lance is giving him a Look. The short short version is that we were scavving a little, Aunt Kaylee, and somebody bushwhacked us. And now … well, we're a little worried we might have a telepathic hitchhiker, cuz someone is watching us. All the time. Even now. It's the weirdest feeling! My hair is itchy! She rubs the back of her neck, indicating what she means by that — the prickle that they've all learned to listen to when it comes to threat warnings.

Silvia looks like a bird with its feathers ruffled up proudly as she’s addressed as Lynette and Mateo’s girl. “That’s right,” she proclaims. “I am!” She’s referring to being a child of her parents and not the assessment that she’s awesome. That simply gets a blush and a little wave off of humbleness. “I’ll be sure to ask her about you.” She’s always happy to get excuses to get Lynette to tell her stories about things she’s done. Though as Joe rattles off his list of things they’ve been up to, she puts her hands on her hips. They’ve been getting into trouble and not telling her all the details!

A hand presses against the elevator door to keep it open long enough for the kids to pile in; all the while listening patiently to these… young adults who still sound like the kids she had helped take care of. Something catches her attention and she still waits patiently, though there is a slight creasing of her brow. Once Joe and everyone has stopped rambling on, a hand lifts to stall any comments.

The hand stays up while the elevator goes up…. She is quiet as she steps out and makes her way across the large waiting room to a pair of doors, these are opened and she motions the kids into a rather large office filled with antique furniture, enough for a seating area and then also her desk… and on that desk sits a bleached and very real human skull.

Once all the kids are inside she is able to shut the door and finally say… “And why were you in the exclusion zone again?” There is a tone of disapproval. Her eyes close and she shakes her head. “Nevermind… but you are lucky worse didn’t happen.”

“Okay… explain to me again about this… Empath… or telepath again? I kind of stopped hearing after you said you were in the Exclusion zone…” Starting to walk toward the wood and upholstered couches and chair set around a low table. “…does Gillian know?”

Joe flashes a grin at Kaylee as they ride the elevator upwards. His mouth opening to keep talking but, It’s about then that he notices the hand she has held up for silence. “Oh umm.. Okay. I’ll shut up.” Not freaking likely. The moment they get through the door into the office and Kaylee starts talking again Joe’s mouth is off and running. Which would not surprise any of the other kids. “Scavenging. And exploring. Shenanigans. Hey, we’re teenagers. Impetuous and stupid is in the job description. But we had a solid escape plan. Our friend Eimi is a teleporter. She was to get us out if everything went sideways. And she did but now she’s missing so I’m going to have to start going back to the exclusion zone as soon I can to start searching. She’s our friend and she’s only missing because we got her into trouble.” He holds up a hand in Lance’s direction for silence. “And yes, by we I mean me. Cuz I’m the one who pushed for us to go explore the exclusion zone.” His head turns, eyes on Brynn and Lance. “And don’t think your injuries don’t weigh on me. You wouldn’t have gotten them if I hadn’t been so pushy.” His hands move in sign as well. Awkward sign cuz of the sling he finally relented to since they were going out and about.

“Yeah uhhh no. Aunt Gilly doesn’t know. She doesn’t approve of us getting into trouble. At all. So we tend to keep her in the dark on the trouble we get into. She probably wouldn’t be happy to know we’d gone exploring the sewers looking to solve the missing food mystery alongside some SESA guys. Good guys though. Kept us as much out of the reports as possible and were thankful for the local help. I mean mostly. They told us to keep out of the sewers but naturally we didn’t listen to them and went in anyway. But after we did we proved to be a help so they didn’t rat us out or anything. And with as thin as SESA and the cops are stretched they need all the help they can get yah know?” Joe pulls in a deep breath, then resumes talking, glancing aside to see Silvia’s hands on hips pose. “Yeah I know. I’m in trouble.”

Attention swings back to Kaylee. “So we went into a tunnel. Well not a tunnel more like a basement hallway. Brynn noticed something moving around, then we all got hit with nightmare stuff. I’m not scared of conventional stuff. Cuz… bulletproof. Conventional weapons can’t hurt me. Including claws and teeth. So when these dogs came running up the hallway at us I freaked out and launched myself at them to stop them from getting to the others. Was all in my head. I was terrified for them not for myself. Until they started ripping into me. I knew it was impossible. Like… impossible. Not without negation. But it was happening and I believed it was happening. So whatever Fear Monger did they over rode my own sense of reality completely. I… actually am not sure what happened to Lance and Brynn…” He glances back at them, then back to Kaylee with a forced smile.

While Joe starts in with explaining the misadventures of the siblings’ trip outside the Safe Zone, Squeaks begins exploring the office. Her fingers lightly touch on various oddities. They touch, sometimes they move, but they don’t take. Pens are moved just slightly out of place, the chair behind the desk is given a spin. Drawers are left alone of course. That’s none of her business what’s hidden inside. It’s all harmless, not even really nosey, just a kid doing kid things.

When she spots the skull she ceases all wanderings and touching. That is cool. Squeaks’ mouth rounds into a small “O”, complete with very hushed ooohing sound, and makes herself at home in the chair behind the desk. Very gently, she pulls the skull toward her, like handling an eggshell. It’s eased into place near the center of the desk, facing her, as the girl’s head lowers to meet it eye to eye. Ohh, yes. Very cool indeed.

“I got teleported off the coast of Staten,” Lance admits, flopping down into one of the antique chairs and curling his legs under him as he makes himself comfortable, “Had to swim to shore. Arm was all fucked up too— “ Which explains the sling that’s keeping it across his chest, “— got lucky, some nice folk found me, dragged me to Uncle Flint to get patched up. Don’t think he liked me being there though.”

He wrinkles his nose a little, “Got back, but. Yeah. Eimi’s still missing, and— really uh. Really the problem is we’re still feeling it? Like, I think we’re all having nightmares, and I’m seeing things, so we’re worried that something happened to our brains.”

Silvia, too, is momentarily distracted by the skull. She stares at it, as if it were staring back, but she clearly loses that staring contest and looks away, back to the others. While her hands aren’t on her hips anymore, she clearly exudes disapproval at quite the amount of trouble that they all got into. It’s hard to tell if she’s disapproving because she doesn’t want them in trouble or because she wasn’t there.

The ride in the elevator makes Brynn a little nervous. It means Aunt Kaylee is gonna have a conniption when we get where we're going. Gray eyes watch the telepath with a somewhat bashful level of Sorry? in her expression. She doesn't like it when people are upset, and well… Aunt Kaylee would probably be right to be upset. Once they're in the office, though, the scolding is minimal and Brynn is amused at Sylvia's hands on hips… she's so cute! She looks just like Aunt Lynette when she does that!

She lets the boys — primarily Joe, cuz he's always talking anyway — tell Kaylee the longer version of things. Helpfully, she signs, The nightmares are really vivid. Way more than what you'd expect just from what happened — we're none of us exactly prone to being scared easily. Which is likely a bit of an understatement, generally — considering what they've all lived through, they're kinda tough to really scare. Startle, sure. Scare momentarily until adrenaline kicks in and they fight back, sure! But they recover fast. Brynn's uneasy glances around the office even now are not 'fast recovery.' She does leave off the internal injuries — those were from teleporting, not really the Fear Monger.

I still see him lurking sometimes too, she admits. He's sticking to the corner of my eye, moving in the shadows. And he's always watching, it's very disturbing. She looks solemnly at Kaylee. We really don't want anyone else to be a target just cuz we stumbled on the murder den, Aunt Kaylee.

“Well,” Kaylee starts eyeing Joe, “I can’t say as I am too happy that you all are getting into trouble, either.” Even if they… or most of them are adults. “Just glad you are all okay.” She says this, even as her fingers move so that Brynn is included in the conversation.

Moving to sit in one of the antique chairs herself, Squeaks fascination with the skull is not missed and even amuses the telepath.

Attention moves back to the other kids as she considers their situation, turning thoughtful. “The was a time that I went up against someone who walked in people's dreams. Killed people with those nightmares.” The woman does not hold back, because they need to know the seriousness of what the could be facing. “However, if this is a run of the mill telepath, I am not sure I can be much help. Telepaths… can’t really affect telepaths. It is like the feedback you get when you put a microphone too close to a speaker.”

“You say that these things are lingering?” That last is directed at Brynn, fingers still signing out the words. Despite what she says, her ability instinctively searches for a target that isn’t one of the kids. It never shuts off anyway.

Joe does have the good grace to look sheepish when Kaylee says she's not happy about them getting into trouble, but he does look over at her with a small smirk that is just full of mischief. "Really though after the lives we've lived did you expect anything less? You gonna tell us that you’re not getting up to shenanigans aunt Kaylee? I bet you're up to some preeeeetty primal stuff." Joe cocks a brow upwards, his little smirk turning into a full blown grin. There's a slow nod from him to confirm Brynn's statement.

"It is lingering. All three of us are having nightmares still, and we feel like we're being watched. And Brian taught us to listen to those feelings. We understand that you might not be able to remove the Fear Monger but… at the last we would know if it's actually him, or just some kind of psychic imprint. And he did kill people. We found dead bodies down there. No cause of death, except for the one that looks like they exploded plants from… within themselves? That one looked bad, the others didn't show any obvious signs, though they had been there awhile. Like… probably since the outset of the war. You're the most primal telepath we know so we… thought we'd come and see if you could at least tell whether it's actually him, or just like psychic residue."

Joe looks back over at Silvia, and rolls his eyes a little bit at the disapproval face. "Look, we were just out salvaging that was all. And we got close to the wall so… I cajoled everyone into going in to explore and mebbe loot. It didn't work out well. We didn't go there looking to get messed up." He flashes Silvia a wide grin, then looks to Brynn and Lance before he spots Squeaks and the skull. His head tilts sloooowly to the right as he watches her. Yeah, she fits right in with their weirdness.

Her chin comes to rest on the edge of the desk, with her fingers grasping the edge to either side of her face. Though sometimes, Squeaks does glance up to stay with the conversation, much of her attention remains on the skull. Until she catches on to being watched. She meets Joe’s gaze. While watching him watch her, she turns the skull to face the seating place where everyone else has gathered. Maybe it’s time to pay attention to why they’re all here?

“I’m listening.” It’s Squeaks’ voice. Her mouth is even moving. She’s not a very good ventriloquist, but she still manipulates the skull carefully so that it speaks when she does. Once said, the skull’s teeth are lightly clacked together and the girl sits back, hands clasping together in her lap.

Poking her head into the office, Sera notices a gaggle of children and immediately ducks back out.

“I don’t think that he’s like— prowling around,” Lance says with a shake of his head, apparently disagreeing with some of the theories of the others, “I just think that— like, they left something in our head. And it sucks and I want it gone.”

He wrinkles his nose a bit, “So, yeah. Like Joe said, we figured we’d see if you could— Squeaks that’s a skull. Aunt Kaylee why do you have a skull on your desk?” A look to the youngest of the group, then Kaylee, eyebrows moving in a dubious arch.

Moments later, Sera returns from — presumably — clearing out the vending machine with an armful of snacks. She slinks up beside Lance and holds out a package of Twizzlers to him, then raises her brows in a look before continuing using on like some sort of Sugarplum Fairy Santa Claus.

Why does Aunt Kaylee have a skull on her desk? Inquiring minds want to know, because once Joe and Lance take note of Squeaks' new toy, Brynn's brows shoot to her hairline. Uhm…. Yes, it's still around, she signs, And … I don't know if Lance is right that it's nothing to worry about, but considering all the things we know have happened about people being possessed and crap, I don't wanna take any chances.

Her gray eyes come back to Kaylee and she blinks. Is that a real skull? she wonders.

Sera is quick to deposit a bag of Chex Party Mix by Brynn, one that ever so fortunately is mostly the rye chips. She eyes the sign language with wide eyes and a confused stare before continuing on past Brynn.

“Yes… that is a real skull,” she offers with a chuckle. Kaylee gives the younger of the kids an amused smile. “I am waiting for a call from an SESA friend so that I can have it ID’d.”

Quickly, she works to change the subject. “Well, then…” She says with determination, pushing herself to her feet. “Let’s see what we are dealing with, then.” She looks between the three she know will trust her and finally points to Lance, motions him to get up, and stand in front of her. “Front and center. I’ll see what we are looking at… if there is anything there.” She gives them a soft smile. “If I can, I will.”

“Miss, as you requested,” Sera notes as she slips a cup of coffee into Kaylee’s hand. She'd asked for that, telepathically — certainly, right? It smells just a bit of whiskey. Not enough to impair her judgment but enough to take the edge of babysitting off.

"That's… kinda morbid." Joe admits with an amused if somewhat baffled expression on his face as Squeaks plays with the skull. He's not put off by it, and doesn't even seem to find it weird. Just more like he's confused by the whole thing. He smiles though and turns his attention back to the conversation, though a couple glances are still given in Squeak's direction. "Yeah, she founds a toy. Long as Aunt Kaylee doesn't care if she plays with it then…" Joe's shoulders lift in a half hearted shrug. The Lighthouse Kids learned to entertain themselves with… all sorts of stuff when they were younger.

“We appreciate it Aunt Kaylee. And yeah we’re really just worried. We know all the stories, and were around some of them first hand. Possession, dream stalking, death by telepath. I mean there’s a LOT of ways mind stuff can kill you, or mess you up bad. And you’re a primal telepath. Everyone always talked about how powerful you are. We figured if we were gonna go to someone we should go to the best. And it just so happens the best is one of our Aunts.” A wide grin from Joe, though he goes quiet as Kaylee calls for Lance to step forwards.

“Skulls are extremely important,” Sera explains politely as she leans in beside Joe with a bag of Sour Cream & Onion chips from the vending machine. “They keep in your brain meat,” she notes thoughtfully, slinking behind Joe and then slipping past him over to Squeaks.

Leaning forward just enough to touch the skull again, it’s repositioned so it’s staring back at Brynn. Squeaks’ hands pull it enough to taptaptap its teeth at the older girl. This is repeated at Silvia. Then it’s turned to face Kaylee because everyone’s paying attention to her.

With her feet on the floor, Squeaks swings the chair to spin partway left then right while she watches the telepath thing. Except for the one time when she catches Joe looking her way, she leans forward and clacks the skull teeth at him. Then she’s right back to swinging the chair lightly from side to side and watching Kaylee and Lance. It would be like it never happened, except she’s trying to not grin.

“I mean, without your skull all your head bits would just flap around atop your neck like…” Sera leans in with a can of Birch Beer soda and sets it down beside Squeaks on the desk. “I mean I think we all know what that’d look like…”

Oh-kay then, says Lance's expression as he looks between Squeaks, the skull, and Kaylee.

Then he's shrugging his one good shoulder and clambering up off the couch, stepping over to stand trustingly in front of Kaylee. She was Santa Claus's best friend, so of course she can be trusted implicitly.

"I hold no responsibility for anything you might see in there," he quips, sweeping his good hand up to tap at his temple with a grin that contrasts the dark shadows under his eyes from lack of sleep and paranoid anxiety, "I'm eighteen, you know."

If one were to look behind that temple his finger's tapped, past the mere substance of flesh, muscle and skull, and delve within the whorled flesh of his brain, they'd see what the landscape of the young man's mind looks like.

It's a statuary garden.

Arches and elaborate stone walls covered in clinging vines serve divide areas from one another, a garden of greenery and stone that stretches in all directions. The statues are familiar; around them can be made out the faces of the Lighthouse Kids in marble. A few of the statues are shattered, laying in pieces on the grassy ground and carefully left where they fell. Those faces, too, can be made out.

At the heart of the garden rises a towering lighthouse.

The incandescent beam sweeps over the mindscape in a constant cycle, and where it sweeps over the garden one can make out memories enshrined in granite, in marble, in obsidian and other stones.

If one watches the beam, though, they can tell there's something wrong.

As the light moves, now and then a keen eye can notice something skittering out of the way of it. Maybe it's a trick of the light, of the eye. The same trick that has the statues moving as if changing to something more sinister as the light passes. Just a trick of light and shadow. Surely.

For a telepath, the markers of another's passing exist in the fear pressing against her when she catches sight of things moving in the dark. It is as Lance's mind pushes her away from the shadows, but there's a malice to it that could never come from this boy she's known for so long. This young man. Only her familiarity with Lance himself points her toward where the manipulation has been laid out through his garden.


For a snake.

“Thank you, Sera,” is murmured by the telepath without any question. There is no thought as she goes for a sip… and stops…. Takes off the lid and gives it a sniff. “Okay… clearly I need to teach a course on what not to give a telepath.” It’s set down carefully, like it is a ticking bomb.

The young man in front of her gets a laugh for his effort. “The fact that you have to warn me,” she eyes Lance with a bit of motherly disapproval, “that worries me a little.” Still his cheek get an affectionate pat, before fingertips touch his temples, like he had seen her do with others.

“I am trusting you kids to watch after us…” And with that, they see her go very still.

For her, she is alone for the moment in the scenery of his mindscape, in her white sundress and barefeet. Her eyes don’t open right away, her head tilts this way and that till…. «There.» Lance hears the tinny echo of the telepath’s mind in his. ##FFFF80|«Repeat after me out loud, Lance…. You may all have had your minds manipulated. I’m going to see if I can fix it. If you see Sera… tell her if something happens to me, to get Luther.» She’ll know when he had said it… Once he does… He’ll find himself standing next to her in the landscape of his mind, with her hand on his shoulder to keep him steady.

Joe well… Joe takes things like that pretty seriously. Trusting the kids to watch after her while she's in Lance's mind. Joe's left arm shifts against his body, checking the presence of his weapon. Cuz he totally has his weapon on him. No way he runs around New York these days without it. He turns to look around the room, see where any threats could come from if they did, and positions himself a little closer to Kaylee and Lance, between them and the door to the office, his hands tucked into the belly pocket of his hoodie. His feet spread a bit, ready to stand in place for awhile as he waits for Kaylee to take her peek into Lance's mind. "I admit. I'm kind of curious where Aunt Kaylee got a skull from too." He tosses over his shoulder in Squeak's direction, one of his customary big grins before his attention swings to the woman with the chips, eyeing her for a few seconds. "Joe Winters." Holding his hand out to her in greeting.

Even though she doesn’t move from her chair, Squeaks has definitely shifted from inquisitive to serious. She’s watching Kaylee’s mindmeld with Lance, face drawing into a confused frown. Whatever she thought telepathy might have been, this doesn’t seem to fit with it. Or maybe it does but leaves her curious about more? That’s possible too. Who really knows what’s going on in her head; she was just playing with an actually really skull. Suffice it to say, she’s pretty intently staring at the telepathy work.

Lance’s eyes close as Kaylee reaches out, and he takes a deep breath. Obediently as she gives those instructions, he relays: “She says that our minds have been, uh, manipulated maybe? She’s going to try and fix it, and says if anything bad happens to have Sera call Luther.”

He guesses Sera is the woman whose danish he ate. Oops.

Then he’s drawn in, and he blinks, staring around at the statuary and the shadows crawling at the edge of vision, “What— the— hell?”

«Welcome to your own mind, kiddo.» A glance around and Kaylee adds, ##FFFF80|«I admit, I’m kinda relieved I didn’t land in some… erotic warzone.. Or… something.» She reaches over and ruffles his hair affectionately. The woman’s mouth doesn’t move, but her voice does echo around them.

A finger is lifted as she adds, «Don’t touch anything.» That finger then points to the obvious traps, before she kneels. There is no knowing where the snake comes from, but Kaylee is suddenly looking into the ruby eyes of an ebony snake… the communication is silent. After a moment she lowers it to the ground and it slithers off for the first trap. It doesn’t touch the trap, it seems to circle it, tongue flickering as if looking for something. A weakness… a way to disarm it.

Brynn's gray eyes watch Kaylee intently, though she startles just a little when Sera leaves chips there. Oooh! She didn't see the woman enter the room with them, but she misses things at times. So when Lance repeats Kaylee's information, she's paying very close attention… And she's more than a little alarmed that she was, in fact, right. Someone is still in our heads! Biting her lip, she flits a glance at Joe, uneasy, and resumes her intense scrutiny of Lance and Aunt Kaylee.

"Sera calls Luther. Got it. Anyone else we should call? Or any other action we should take? Why am I talking to the guy in the mind meld trance?" Joe's eyes roll and he looks up at the ceiling for a moment or three, then looks back around the room. "S'okay Squeaks. It's like this." Gesturing at the pair standing in the middle of the room. "They go all vulcan mind meld and just kinda stand there for awhile." His hands move in sign for Brynn, realizing that Lance didn't sign for her, so his translation is just a bit belated. He walks over and lifts a hand, resting it on her shoulder and gives it a gentle squeeze. "Don't worry. If anyone can take care of the problem Aunt Kaylee can." He signs it too, but the out loud reassurance was probably just as much for his own benefit.

As the snake moves, the statues turn in place, moving to track its path. Even the broken pieces seem to shift, stone eyes kept on the slithering figure.

The advice not to touch seems wise as the snake comes to coil around a small fountain. Instead of water, the fountain holds a greasy black substance in the pool at its base. Rising from it is a tall, winged figure. One of the wings has been carved to appear broken. Hands are held over its chest. Long hair frames a face that looks gentle and sad. Half of the face, however, has been cracked and broken, revealing a skeletal visage underneath. The liquid oozes from this gaping wound, wearing down what is left of that half of the statue. From the intact side, it slides from the eye like tears and slips through the lips as if capturing the statue's dying moments.

The drip into the pool is a steady, haunting heartbeat that starts quietly, but grows louder as the snake circles it. The creature pauses, lifting its head up and looking down into the pool where the liquid ripples and sticks to the edges of the stone.

Pushing the chair back from the desk, Squeaks’ feet find the floor and she stands. Her eyes shoot to Joe as he speaks up again, and she nods to his explanation. Vulcan mind melds, she knows what those are. The can of birch beer soda isn’t ignored, it’s disappeared into one of her pockets and Sera is given a quick grin. Without getting too close, the youngest girl circles around Lance and Kaylee. Not that she gains any insight doing that, either. But maybe just the moving, being ready in case she needs to spot something, puts her at ease. Just like Joe’s explanations. As she comes around again, she angles off to stand with Joe and Brynn, and watch the two doing telepathy things.

“An erotic warzone? Gross, Aunt Kay,” says Lance - within his own mind, that is - as he looks around, his brow furrowing. It all seems somehow familiar, and yet not, like deja vu shifted two degrees to the left. He keeps close beside her, though the snake gets a bemused look, “What’s that…?”

There’s a general hush over the whole place. A peaceful silence. Except where it isn’t.

The revelation of that fountain has him dropping a step back, staring at the half-ruined figure, the drip-drip-drip making his own heart quicken. “I… don’t like this,” he murmurs, glancing worriedly to Kaylee. But with faith in her, as well as fear.

<You started it» Kaylee reminds the young man, strengthening the memory of his own words about being an adult now and all. Dirty trick, but hey… He gets a pointed look from her, before she motions him to follow.

The snake is picked up, with a finger running over its head as if petting a cat. «It is my ability… or a representation of it.» She studies the kid before hazarding a closer look at the fountain. There is a hesitation to look within it, snakes suddenly appearing around the fountain… Her ability pushing against the illusion finding a thread to pull… the one that might unravel it.

«Show yourself…. Come on.» Letting the snake in her hands lower itself, black scales glittering in the low light, to the edge of the fountain and the liquid within.

Brynn's gray eyes are worried as they rest on Lance. Unconsciously she moves closer to Joe while she watches, uneasy about the fact that Aunt Kaylee is worried. She offers Squeaks a small smile at the gentle pats when the younger girl offers them, but she is chewing on the corner of her lip while they wait for …. what? All hell to break loose, probably… that's the way these things go, right?

Kaylee and her power make their way to the fountain and the drip sound speeds up, although the liquid doesn't seem to match it any longer. The one one of the statue moves to fix on Lance and in that moment, the skeleton teeth take on the impression of a hungry rictus.

Black scales touch stone.

A roar sounds from the pool as a broken figure rises sharply from the water. Human— or it once was— now it seems too thin, it has too many bones, too many teeth, and its grin matches the statue above it. It leaps through Kaylee, black water splattering her as the figure rushes on all fours toward Lance. Fingers curve into thick talons that rip at the ground, its skin sloughs off as it comes for the young man, its eyes— wide, empty hollows— fix on him.

But as the creature moves, as the water is displaced around it, the snake sees a wet, cracked handle on the base of the statue. The problem: as the pool settles, it disappears under the surface.

"This end is so boring though. Like I know I just said that this is what happens with telepaths, but it's so boooooring." Joe tilts his head back to look up at the ceiling. "I mean, Aunt Kaylee and Lance could be fighting for their lives in there. Minds? Lives? Meh. And we can't do anything but stand here." He stands close to Brynn, taking comfort in her presence, and even reaches out an arm to ruffle Squeaks' hair if she treads close enough for it to be mussed. "I guess we just stand here… and of course I didn't bring any cards or anything to do while we waited. I didn't think this entirely through." Joe admits before he looks over at Brynn, his hands having moved with his words like they usually do. "Soooo what do we do while we wait?" He asks, looking to Brynn, then to Squeaks and back.

Squeaks casts a small grin at Joe when her hair is mussed, then blows a breath out at the two locked in telepathy. She crosses back to the desk and picks up the skull. This time, it’s carried as she next moves over to one of the available seats in the sitting area and claims herself a cushy-comfy seat. Time for a more thorough look-over while she waits.

The broken, grinning horror bursting through the telepath is too much for Lance to hold his ground against. There’s a yelp of shock and fear as he stumbles back, tripping over his own feet and falling on his ass, but there’s no sound to it. Scrambling backwards, he kicks up to his feet and twists in the same movement, breaking into a run from those tearing claws, from that skinless horror in pursuit.

Heading into the tainted darkness of his own mind.

There is little time for the telepath to think as the illusion goes through her and straight for Lance. Twisting to look behind her, she gasps as she sees Lance start to flee. «Stop! Lance! No!» From the ground erupts a hedge that climbs up into sky and blocks his way, a trick learned from Mateo’s mother.. Another attempts to block the creature and give her time to turn her attention to the fountain.

It is a mother’s instinct that kicks in, a need to protect one of the kids she watched grow up. The snake now poised closer to the statute, diamond shaped head turns this way and that as it considers the pool of water and the hidden weak point. «No reason to hesitate now.» The words seem to echo each other from two different voices. Her ability snaps out at the statue, black snakes with red eyes suddenly appearing out of the thin air and winding around the fountain, the statue, slithering out to towards other points, as the woman herself plunges her hand into the murky waters. All the snakes seems to speak at once as she sinks her fingers wind around the handle and pull.

«Let go of thissss boy… NOW.»

As Lance runs, statues move to swipe at him. Under the sweep of the beam from the lighthouse, the faces of his friends etched in stone turn sinister and angry as nails rip at him and hands attempt to find purchase.

But he runs past.

The greenery shoots up and the creature slams into it, dissipating among the leaves. Wherever it touches, the hedge withers, dies, and crumbles to piles of ash on the ground. But Kaylee's protection holds. There is not enough of the creature left to continue the chase.

Lance's problems, though, come as the light is blocked by the garden and all the things skittering away from the light move freely in the growing darkness. He can't see them, but he can hear the clicking of legs, the rubbing of wings, and can feel them crawling up his skin. Stingers pierce and teeth dig in, making way for a wave of small bodies to crawl into his wounds and burrow under his skin.

Kaylee's hand skin under thick, sticky ooze and it immediately starts climbing up her arm. Her fingers find the handle, pull it and the sound of stone moving against stone fills the garden. The pool drains, revealing a set of newly formed stairs downward. Except what is making its way up toward her shoulder, the ooze is gone.

The twisting of memories into mockery and horror only worsens Lance’s panic as he flees the monster that’s lunging for him, and then the darkness spills over him and there’s nothing but the darkness and the insects that he can feel swarming over him, biting him, burrowing into him.

The screaming is, at least, silent in the darkened vault of his mind.

Hands swipe and brush at his arms and legs, desperately trying to dislodge the creeping things even as he stumbles through the darkness, trying to find a light…

«Lance! I found —» Any excitement for her discovery is dashed away by what she senses coming from him. With a hiss of irritation that sounds oddly like the snakes still coiled around the fountain and it’s statue, Kaylee looks to the sky. Yesss… The snakes softly hiss multiple pairs of red eyes turning to the sky. It might jussst. Slowly, the snake fade away as she gathers the power to her.

Fear clenches at Kaylee’s stomach as she lifts a hand to the east. She had to work fast, weaving the idea into this garden memory, the idea of the sun… of light. All dream and mindscapes are woven from the memories of the person. Frankenstein's in their own right, so why not add this touch? So she takes the idea of a hot summer sun, rising to banish away the darkness. «Rise and shine,» is growled out as she forces the sun into the sky, to push away the darkness. Her hand lifts to the sky above her as if guiding it. A good noon day sun when the shadows are at their minimum.

«Lance! To me NOW!» There is a force to those words, he wants to listen.

It's night.

And then it isn't.

Sunlight spreads over the statuary garden, sending things with too many legs and too many eyes scattering for what shadows they can find. Cobwebs burn away. Statues lose their ghastly appearances. Flowers bloom among the gardens, bright and big. Even the fountain seems healed, her wings fixed, her face repaired. She smiles gently over the garden.

Only the stairs downward remain unnaturally dark.

For Lance, the creatures under his skin crawl back out as the sun warms him, but they burn up in the sunlight. It's a relief, but only after the sensation has passed.

The garden is cleansed. The only monsters lingering are Lance's own.

There are plenty of those in the garden maze, in places that the Lighthouse’s light rarely touches. The telepath isn’t looking for Lance’s monsters, though, but the ones that don’t belong here.

Freed from that horror, Lance breathes… wrapping his arms back around himself as he stumbles back out from the rows and hedges, audible again as he replies, “Yes, Aunt Kay…”

To her side, and he stares down at the darkened stairwell. “What’s— that? There shouldn’t be anything down.”

He can protest it, but when he is close enough, Lance gets pulled into a hug by Kaylee. «Thank god you are alright.» He is held at arm’s length then for a look over, before she feels satisfied enough to let him go and look down into the stairwell.

«The next obstacle,» Kaylee states blandly, pulling out another of the black snakes and sending it down into the darkness, before glancing up at him. «I am half tempted to leave you up here.»

However, she might need him.

Kaylee sighs at this thought and looks down into the darkness eyes unfocusing as her ability searches. «This is your mind… we will need light.» With all those kids needing this same treatment, she has to push him to help. «Picture something… a lantern… a torch… a simple ball of light. But you will need something.»

A fierce hug’s returned, and Lance briefly buries his face against her hair before drawing back— still trembling a little from the experience— and looking down into the fountain, into that darksome stairwell. “Okay,” he murmurs, frowning in thought for a moment… and then he thinks of Colette.

As the memory of the photokinetic comes to him, so does the light that is her, an ambient brightness around them that feels somehow as if the woman is there beside them without actually being there, in that way that dreams and memories can have of defining the feel of someone without their appearance.

The light is a soothing presence, and he relaxes somewhat— glancing back to Kaylee, “Will that work?”

«Perfect.» He gets an approving nod before she starts down the steps, snakes slithering out before her as her ability stretches out searching. Soft voices of the snakes hissing through the darkness. Ssssearching, hisses one or two. Another comes back with a softly hissed, Nothing.

Kaylee’s fingers trail lightly over the stone, feeling the texture of what is not really there, her head tilting a little as she listens to the report of her ability. «No matter what. Don’t run. Just concentrate on the light. The dark things don’t like it.»

The stairs themselves are clear, if a touch treacherous. Stone edges crumble under their feet, leftover damp from the pool makes them slippery, and they twist around and around. Driving them deeper into the dark.

Eventually, the snakes report back that the end is coming up. That something is there. They can't seem to understand what it is, but there is something in the dark. Something wrong. The light that feels like Colette reaches the bottom first, spilling out over the floor and causing a groan of protest from deeper in.

Worse comes when Kaylee and Lance get a look at the walls. Shackles hang from stone, cages from the ceiling, metal rusted, often broken, often sharp. And something has been scratching into the walls. Odd symbols cover the stone, nothing they can make out at first. As they explore further, though, the symbols start to change, slowly forming into recognizable letters, but not words.

“I know they don’t,” says Lance, softly but confident in that fact at least. Colette was the strongest of them, in his eyes, and he’s certain that nothing in here can stand in the face of that light. He keeps close to her all the same as they start down the stairs, the rusted shackles and scratched walls stirring disquiet in his stomach.

“This… is this from me? This doesn’t look… familiar at all,” he admits, “Not anything I remember.”

«No… this isn’t you.» The telepath turns to look at the young man behind her. «What did you all get into?» This was new to even her, someone who has been in a lot of heads.

Beckoning him to follow her further into the dungeon, the snakes continue to hiss in the darkness as she tries to find something to work with. «Concentrate on making the light brighter.» Even with his help, she can feel that pinch between her eyes.

As the light spreads over the room, they see the writing becoming more steady, more recognizable, almost as if whoever wrote it had been teaching themselves the language. The dungeon doesn't get any better, though. Worse, maybe, as they start seeing dried blood on the walls and seeping over the floor.

Then, they come upon a disturbing sight. Several dead bodies, posed as if they died suddenly and in severe pain.

Lance has seen this before, in a basement-turned-bomb shelter.

But the light moves beyond them and finds the far wall. Crouched against it, a small figure scratches a bloodied finger against the stone. M-O-N-S is clearly written, but it hasn't quite made out the next letter. When they get a good look at it, it looks troublingly like the creature that came out of the pool. Human, but not. Twisted. Wrong.

But here it looks fragile, too. Its fingers are worn down to bloody stumps. Its eyes are big and round when it turns to look at them. But as it sees the light, it skitters away, trying to hide in the last bits of darkness.

“I… I know this place,” Lance says, sticking close beside Kaylee, “This is where it found us, where we found all the bodies…” He trails off as he sees the creature there, writing something on the wall, his eyes widening a bit.

He doesn’t run this time, drawing in a slow breath. “…c’mon, Colette,” he murmurs, “I need you now.” The light swirls, pulsing brighter around them, as he tries to illuminate more of this hole of rust and horror.

A hand goes up to stall Lance’s approach.«I know what to do now.»
She understands what it is now and reaches out with her ability, a hand lifting towards it. In that last bit of darkness there is a flash of scales. The shadows seem alive with them. Blue eyes narrow as Kaylee concentrates on the the creature, which seems almost unaware of the snakes winding around it’s legs… more and more joining until it is covered.

Kaylee’s voice is calm, even as she curls her fingers in a fist. There is a moment, before the pile of snakes collapse to the ground and wither away. A part of her wishes for the skill to lay her own traps. «It should not bother you anymore.» Or unless his mind gets infected again, but she leave that out.

There is a serious look on the older woman’s face, when she looks back at the young man. Reaching up, she rests a hand on his chest. «Once I clear you all. I want you kids to take me to this place.» Giving his mind another quick check, should she find it clear, she gently pushes him back out into the real world.

Reality returns, and Lance stumbles a bit, catching himself against the edge of the desk. “Whoa,” he mutters, one hand coming up to rub against his face, “That was… pretty primal, uh, gimme a second.” He cracks an eye open, looking around — and then relaxing with a relieved sigh, “It’s gone. It’s really gone.”

Satisfied that nothing lingers, Kaylee’s eyes open as she retreated back into her own mind. Hearing the relief in the young man’s voice, allows her to relax. “I know what needs to be done,” the telepath says out loud, looking at the rest of them. Squeaks and the skull are noticed; though she only offers a smile of amusement.

Finally, Kaylee gives a soft relieved sigh of her own, “Give me a few to rest and I can take care of the rest of you.”

Brynn jumps to her feet as Lance stumbles, her hands going out instantly to stabilize her brother, worried gray eyes flitting between him and Aunt Kaylee. The smile on the older woman's face makes her relax visibly… whatever it is that she found, it's fixable. And that's really all the deaf teen worried about. She hugs Lance tightly, and then moves to hug Kaylee very tightly as well. Thank goodness — okay. Take your time, Aunt Kay! She goes to sit next to Squeaks and waits her turn on getting the steam mop to the brain, feeling a huge weight off her shoulders. Finally this will be over.

Even though she appears to be engrossed in the skull, Squeaks isn’t ignoring the others in the room. She’s still lookout. Not very lookout-ing right now, but there’s enough attention not on the skull that her head comes up, eyes wide and darting to each person, when Lance moves finally. But since no one else is alerted to bad things, she settles back into her seat. She even tilts just enough to touch her shoulder to Brynn’s shoulder, and turns the skull to look up at the older girl.

Joe turns rather suddenly when he hears Lance and Kaylee speaking, and he joins Brynn in running over to him to stabilize him, but then he course corrects and offers Aunt Kaylee an arm or shoulder to lean on instead since Brynn has Lance taken care of. He looks between them, relieved to see that they appear to be okay. His face is a storm of questions that go unasked for the moment, letting them each have some time to recover, though he wants to ask questions so bad he's shaking from it. He laughs softly as Squeaks just goes back to playing with the skull. His lower lip is caught in his teeth as he fights back the questions, concerned eyes looking Lance over, then Kaylee. "You both okay?" He finally gets out at least one question, but miraculously manages to stop it at one question.

“I’m good,” Lance says, a grin tugging up to his lips as he embraces Brynn with an arm. Then anyone else nearby. Probably Squeaks. “You guys next. It’s fuckin’ weird, but it’s— it’s kinda primal. Just don’t think anything pervy, Aunt Kay would get upset.”

“I would like to point out again that you started it,” Kaylee comments firmly, even if she looks amused. A glance goes to the spiked coffee and her lips press tightly together. “I’m pretty sure that today is tacos down in the cafeteria.” She needed the rest, while they other two would be easier, the journey of the first attempt is always draining.

“Let’s go get that bite to eat that I promised before. We even have a soft-serve machine.” Kaylee’s biggest weakness has always been Ice cream… even if food is her vice in general. There is purpose as she moves to the door and opening it for the kids and watching them file out one by one.

There is a soft smile as she watches them heading down the hall. Of course, Kaylee plans to join them, moving to step out of the door. However, something stops her, something just out of the corner of her eye.

What was that?

Her head turns sharply trying to catch a glimpse; but there is nothing there. She could have sworn… The experience leaves a cold pit in her stomach and a worried expression on her face, as she finally steps into the hall.

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