2014.10.18:The Empty House 2
|The Empty House 2|
|The future of education. Maybe.|
|IC Date||October 18, 2014|
|Players||Jennifer, Tiffany, Molly, Branton, Liesl, Velok, Penny, Phil, Maz|
|Location||Desert east of Prospect|
Another meeting of the so-called Immersive Learning Foundation is scheduled to start in a little while. Same house out in the desert, more or less the same crew of eager-looking volunteers. Someone or other from the last meeting got a phone call, and word spread around from there. "I think you'd like it," Phil says to Tiffany, glancing over toward her for a moment as he downshifts and pulls off toward the highway exit.
Jennifer never quite hooked up with the people who would willingly take the pill to monitor their thoughts, so still keeping her free sample she returns. This time perhaps she'll be a little more brave and actually DO something.
Tiffany bounces in the car seat along with the music. She was pretty insitant there be music. Her face presses to the window as he car slows. "So what is it?"
Molly skulks around the outskirts just watching the people who are showing up for the new meeting. Not interfering no screams of run for your lives...yet.
Branton never got around to making that scrying mirror either, all the awakened could do their own sort of shenanigans so he decided not to bother. He pulls up in his SUV, he gets out empty handed. He has a nice leather jacket on, more suited to riding a bike but maybe that comes later.
Liesl has heard of the meeting via the grapevine herself, so she arranges her schedule to come, and brings along a friend. Standing in front of the sand-colored house in the middle of the desert, she gestures to it for Velok's benefit, though the steady traffic is certainly enough to show him where they are going. Glancing around, stepping to the side to avoid observers, she whispers a word to the snake draped about her shoulders, and it fades from sight.
Velok doesn't get to be a passanger usually, so he's avidly peering every which way as he gets out of Liesl's car. He's dressed rather light for the situation, and being in the desert. Tan cargo shorts, a light teeshirt with a pocket on the breast, and a lone tube nestled against his back with a strap running along the front. "It could be worse, I suppose." He comments as he closes the door and shoves his hands into his pocket. "It could have been like, super hormone pills or something." He shrugs, moving near her and looking off towards the house. "Or something..." He repeats, voice lowering a bit.
She shows up. How she got there, who knows. Penny just seems to turn up, as most pennies do right? Right. Okay, so she probably got a ride with Phil. Someone needs to teach her to drive at some point. She's quiet, thoughtul, not giving Phil competition in the loudmouth department for once.
Phil needs to buy a 1976 Rambler so he can /afford/ to teach Penny to drive. Fender benders are so expensive these days, not to say litigious. "We ain't exactly for sure yet," he explains to Tiffany. "Some kind of telepathic link. I didn't try it myself, but Brandon sure as hell got off on it." And there's the place up ahead, it's the only one on the block attracting any significant amount of foot traffic. The door is open again, volunteers are greeting first-time visitors, the catering looks to be improved from September's lackluster options.
Tiffany giggles. "It's a what? How's that work? LIke you can all think to each other?" she asks as she bounces along at his side.
Liesl nods thoughtfully to Velok's comments. "Or something," she agrees. She tilts her head in a 'shall we?' gesture. "Hope you ate first, 'cause if they're having the same lame sandwiches, you'll be hungry."
Sitting in the Shade Molly lights up a cigarette as she watches the new people trickle in wondering what the new group all have in common. Prepared this time she has a notebook and is discreetly joting down license plates when she can.
Jennifer approaches the house and enters as a parishner, her eyes go over the free food again, and again she refuses it, still not trusting the food.. At least they didn't seem TOO crazy.. other than engaging in human trials on an unusual narcotic without any of the normal preliminaries. You know.. normal stuff.
The destination is noted quickly, with the volunteers, as Velok starts to slowly walk up with Liesl. His eyes wander the closer he gets, taking a look more towards the visitors. He spots Jennifer and smiles, murmuring. "At least she got home okay." Molly gets a polite nod, the look of someone who recognizes someone else, even if they've never met. His hand raises up when he sees Penny and he waves briefly, repeating the wave for Phil. "I did. Quite a lot of biscuits. Though I suppose it will depend on what's in the sandwiches. Who knows, I may be tempted." With that he breaks away from Liesl for a moment, stepping up to one of the volunteers and the section for 'new people'. "Hi! I'm new!" He says in a rather cheerful, quite clearly exaggerated and fake, voice.
Branton notices Molly and heads over that direction with a smile, dropping onto the grass next to her and speaking quietly "I miss anything interesting yet?"
Yeah, but that's going to be the mentor's job! Good old reliable Phil; what has he gotten himself into? "I'm a little stronger in Ars Mentis now, I may be able to sense if there is a telepathic link," Penny says to Phil before they get out of the car. Either she forgot, or she used the Latin phrasing just to poke at him. She looks at Tipphany and smirks, saying idly to Phil, "Does her energy come in pill form? I could use THAT... " When Velok waves, she wave sn return, showing her customeary wide, broad-toothed, dazzling grin.
Molly turns and grins at Branton, "Naw, been as dead as Dickens." She shows him the notepad, "I decided to be useful and play detective." She looks back at the door, "Whats up with you? Gonna try one of the magic pills this time?"
Either the volunteer doesn't notice Velok's fake accent, or he chooses not to point it out. People are known to act that way for any number of reasons, after all. "Well, good to have you. May I ask what you've heard about the Foundation's work?" he asks, while offering Velok an inkjet-printed flyer on flimsy cardboard stock. "You're right on time, Mr. Shelton is just about to get started."
Phil glances over at Penny and smirks. "You'll have to fight off her teacher with a club," he murmurs, grabbing a tuna salad sandwich and a Coke and wandering over to one side. Just inside the front door of the house, some folding chairs are lined up, and a familiar man with silver hair and blue jeans is checking some things behind the podium.
Tiffany does a spin on one foot, turning so she can grin at Penny and laugh at her comment before coming back around to face foward and follow Phil.
The sandwiches have a predator. Penny survived them last time; and she's ALWAYS hungry. She stalks up on the sandwich table with her grin wide, and loads up on at least a dozen of the little sandwiches, making up for the people who aren't eating. Hey, why waste food, right? Anyone going to object or try to stop her, as she glances around with her gaze hidden behind glasses lenses that are opaqued by the glare of light over them while her grin glitters. Oh, she grabs a Coke too. Pretty soon she is settled with Phil and Tiffany.
There went one sandwich. Then another. The sandwiches are like single bites for her. She's not fat, though she's far from skinny, so she either excercises plenty, has a hell of a metabolism, or both. But the way she eats, she looks like she would prefer to be tearing into raw meat with those broad flat teeth.
And to think, a member of the Cajuns actually dared feed her a sausage by hand. No comments from the peanut gallery.
Velok's eyes stay locked on the volunteer. Not necessarily a fake accent, more a fake 'I totally am a blank minded happy sheeple' tone. "I've heard that you guys have some interesting things that you're doing, and I should listen to what you have to say." He answers as he takes the inkjet-printed flyer. He keeps up his smile even in his farewell to the volunteer. "I can't wait to meet him." He says as he steps away back towards Liesl, his voice lowering. "I wonder if they have koolaid." He mumbles, resuming his spot by her side and folding his hands behind his back. When he actually gets inside, his eyes wander after Penny to the table, and the sandwiches. He diverts again to walk over and reach out, slowly pulling his hand back and waiting. Getting between a woman and her sandwiches. Dangerous. Eventually he manages to aquire one, bringing it back to Liesl and sitting with her, not chomping the food like SOME people.
Jennifer finds a seat, looking over at the Chantry group. She smiles a little, at least she's not alone. She looks towards the front to see if the leader and his assistant will start soon.
Liesl catches up with Velok as he is chatted up at the door. She remains quiet, though, passing him by to check out the food table, which she passes on anyway. Then he catches up to her, and she chuckles at his koolaid comment. She looks for seats while Velok picks out a morsel, settling in place as he joins her. Her gaze goes around the room, picking out Lucas, of course, then she looks for Katherine, or seeing if he has a new assistant today.
Branton tilts his head at Molly as he considers, watching the sheeple go by "I'm not sure, might be interesting just to see if I have a different reaction to it. The idea of someone getting inside my head is more than a little creepifying though."
Molly lifts a shoulder, "I wonder if knowing what to expect would be an edge. I have no idea how the shit works or if it could be traced back to a source." She leans in towards Branton as she speaks and then shakes her head, "Least they could do is pop for a real caterer."
It depends on your definition of 'real'. They may not be getting a Michelin star any time soon, but they /have/ been going more quickly than last time-- even before Penny went and raided the supply.
"Hello, everyone!" Lucas says, after a final mic check. "I see some of you are making a return visit - thank you for that, by the way, you're vindicating Katherine's hard work - so, with permission, we're planning to try something a little different today." Katherine is making her way up front as well, this time pushing a wheelchair. The man sitting in the chair looks to be in his fifties at best: skinny, scraggly white hair, IV bag attached and a line running into his arm. Apart from perhaps a slight flicker of his eyes, he remains motionless.
Velok takes an avid look around. Despite the demeanor he upheld, he actually is new, in a sense. He reaches out to lightly take Liesl's arm, guiding her to chairs near Phil and Penny and Tiffany. To join the 'chantry group'. He plops down in a seat and leans forward to look towards Phil. He sets aside his sandwich and looks over to the man, reaching out his hands in front of him and making a rectangle shape in the air. "A big long leather couch." He references, leaning back in the seat and folding one of his legs over the other. He shifts the tube on his back so that it's considerably more comfortable. He focuses up and pays attention, falling quiet and staring off at the demonstration.
Branton moves to watch the goings on, beckoning Molly to come with him. He watches the gentleman in the chair carefully and gives a little bit of a frown.
Molly gets up and trails after Branton to watch the show. The man in the wheelchair makes her tilts her head likely wondering if they are pushing something new.
Yeah, SOME people! I mean REALLY? Oh.. .wait, that's Penny. She's pretty unapologetic about taking the sandwiches in a group of well fed people. The last one disappears into her mouth as sheswallowes, sighing in a moment's satisfaction as she sips her coke. "Definitely better than last time," she comments.
Maybe Penny is just here for the free food. It could happen.
She pays attention, however, as the announcer begins, granted giving Velok a glance, and a nod of recognition, before turning to watch the stage.
Liesl follows when Velok decides on completely different seats, offering nods and smiles to the others. Penny gets a bright grin as someone she's met, Tiffany a polite smile for someone she hasn't. Phil gets a bright smile, and a curious look for the 'long leather couch' gesture from Velok. The man in the wheelchair, however, does get her attention, almost forgetting the rectangle. But only almost. What will they be doing now? Making him sing and dance?
Jennifer watches the man in the wheel chair being brought forward, her eyes going up to Katherine as she pushes him along. She keeps quiet though, listening carefully along with the rest of the audience.
Tiffany reaches for a sandwhich. Wait ... no ... OK GO! Got some. She smiles triumphantly and munches it while sitting between Penny and Phil.
The people braving the sandwiches are not dying of arsenic poisoning. Neither are they jumping up in their seats and declaring themselves full of vim and vigor. No, the focus of the meeting is on the shrink-wrapped little white pills being passed out to the audience members, those who are interested: some type of learning pill, according to the pamphlets. Howard the Not Shakespeare Expert is back again, shaking hands briefly with Katherine before downing his with a glass of water.
Smiling at Tiffany, Penny actually giggles softly and reaches out, gently griping the girl's shoulder a moment. She, however, quiets when the pills are passed out again. She looks down at the pill in her hand, her lips pursing.
Molly shivers for a moment and steps in a little more towards Branton as she rubs the back of her neck. "And here comes the pills." This time she actually takes one of the shrink wrapped packets.
Liesl selects a couple of pills off the tray as it comes around, though as before, she just holds them. She studies them briefly as they rest in her hand, before looking up to watch the tableau at the podium.
Branton nods to Molly as he takes one too, watching the stage closely. He's clearly one of the skeptics in the crowd, a suspicious frown on his face almost the whole time.
Oo! Pill! Velok reaches out his hand to accept his, keeping it in his palm. His fingers enclose around the shrink wrapping, leaning back against the chair. When the volunteer moves away his voice lowers. He stares at it for a moment and his voice lowers. "If I was right, and it actually is that crazy hormone fertility pill thing.." He comments, awkwardly sitting next to Penny and Liesl while he says it, equally talking to both of them. "Please keep me from giving Phil more stories to tell about me." With that he carefully opens the package, popping the pill into his mouth and swallowing dry.
Jennifer claims the pill and pockets it like before. She continues watching Katherine though. Listening to the presentation as she sips the offered water without the pill. Looking over at Velok, she watches him take the pill and blinks, looking at him. She makes a motion with her head.. an unspoken question, a request for permission.
Tiffany grins and nudges Penny, laughing a little. She takes a pill then her eyebrows go up when Velok speaks. "Huh what?" She holds the pill at arms length.
Phil glances over toward Tiffany, offering a shrug. "Up to you. Guys who did it last time didn't seem no worse for wear." Not that he's trying it himself. "No thanks, I'm the designated driver," he explains to one of the attendants.
Oh hell no. If Velok starts growing boobs, Liesl will take pictures. Of course, if it's like last time, effects won't last very long, so there's that. She even gets out her phone to be ready for it.
Velok doesn't hold any amount of shame or even concern that he took the pill, just relaxing back in his seat. He looks idly around until his eyes fall on Jennifer, noting the motion. He reaches out a hand and idly gestures to Jennifer, motioning towards the empty seat next to Liesl, then nodding his head, mouthing something at her. He returns his attention to the front, eyes darting down to Liesl's phone. "Oh haha." He says sarcastically, stretching out his legs a bit.
Tiffany smirks and nudges Phil. "GUYS don't get knocked up," she says with an air of amusement. She still has the pill in hand but keeps it at arms length. "I take other pills to keep that from happening. "
At first, there doesn't seem to be much of a reaction from anyone. The pills look and taste like aspirin, nothing traumatizing there unless you're a five-year-old child. Then there's a murmur of background conversation, which comes to a head when the guy in the wheelchair noticeably twitches a finger. It's easily the largest movement he's made on his own since he was brought in.
Branton is just watching quietly, he had been watching Lucas and Katherine mostly but then he switches to look for anyone that seems to be /focusing/ on the guy in the wheel chair.
Liesl smirks, turning the phone to record video, but she doesn't point it at Velok, but up at the podium. She does it as discreetly as possible, however. No point inviting unwanted attention that might end up in losing her phone. She glances to Tiffany at her comment, and smiles faintly. The finger twitch is captured and she works the adjustments on the phone to zoom in a little on the guy.
Molly leans in to Branton as she unwraps the pill, "Listen luv if I freak out just knock me on the noggin, I won't hold it against you." She then pops the pill and swallows it down dry.
"I don't like them," says Penny softly, "I mean... I really, REALLY, wanted another fix last time. I don't like THAT at all... " She looks to Velok, and then narrows her eyes, "Ars Mentis?" She blinks, looking around as discreetly as she can, tipping her glasses forwards intentionally to keep her eyes from being seen as easily as she searches the crowd. She frowns, "My curiosity was more than sated last time..." And then she intones "Anoxte to drmo , na pathstone se na chrno . Kardi me kardi , to myal sto myal . pou gl?ssa dedomni? morf? me af?t to myal ?"
Tiffany looks at Penny. Uh oh ... she's talking gibberish. She takes the remains of her sandwhich and pushes it away.
Phil glances to Tiffany, shaking his head. "It's okay, it's just Greek. I think." He keeps an eye on the crowd, though, ready to react if the situation changes significantly.
Jennifer claims the seat by Velok and takes his hand, she looks around as she listens carefully. Looking over at Velok frequently and over at the man in the wheel chair too, catching the twitch. She bites her lip, as she makes the choice to keep an eye on Velok more than Katherine and the invalid.
Liesl moves over as Jennifer practically sits in her lap to take the seat beside Velok. Penny gets a brief glance for her chanting, but then she's looking back up to the front again.
Velok is mostly just sitting there, though his eyes do find the man in the wheelchair. He fixates on him, his head tilting slowly. Slowly, Velok starts to shake his head. "I learned Greek and Latin a long time ago. Sometimes it feels more naturally to me than English." He comments quietly in response to Penny, even if she wasn't exactly asking. He's fallen quiet, more quiet than he was earlier, till he reaches up and carefully rubs his eyes with his fingers.
Tiffany grins, somewhat reassured about the whole speaking in tongues thing Penny is doing. "OK. But still ... " She looks to the pill. "Why? What did you bring me to? Some sort of orgy for getting kids?"
Lucas is wandering around and mingling with the crowd by this point. Eventually, he reaches the man in the wheelchair-- who abruptly reaches out with one arm, grabbing a handful of Lucas's shirt, a desperate look in his eye. "The abyss!" he hisses, his tone of voice equally panicked. "Do not let me tumble!"
Jennifer blinks once, perhaps at the twitching digit. For those that know her well she's visibly trying not to be visibly trying NOT to do anything. Yep.. perfectly normal...
Molly rubs her arms and just looks at the others good trip, bad trip hard to tell but what ever it is seems to be making the young woman uneasy. Her eyes move over the people and she shivers in the heat.
"Sorry," says Penny to Tiffany with a smile, "I actually AM Greek... I was, just kindof talking to myself." Granted, she was speaking ANCIENT Greek. But who's keeping track/ Oh yeah. Four people. She sounds a little absent, distant, her eyes skimming over those present. She looks to Velok beside her, then looks to Lucas, then looks to the stage, the pill gripped firmly in her hand. "What in the name of the gods," she whispers softly.
Branton frowns at the outburst and tilts his head, watching curiously as he comments to Molly off handedly "That's some straight up Lovecraftian shit right there."
Velok leans forward and shifts on his seat, his hand dropping down into his pocket. He pulls out a silveryblack pen, then another pen, his eyes looking down. "Oh, right..." He comments, shoving the pens back into his pocket and sitting back properly. Slowly his foot starts tapping and his head starts to bob, as if he was listening to music without any earphones. Not exactly too out of the normal for him. "But you said it was temporarily." He says quietly, to whoever actually is sitting near him. "But is it practical." He keeps his voice low. "Does anyone have a pen? One that actually works and has ink?" He mumbles, his eyes dragging over to Lucas.
Jennifer looks over as the man in the wheelchair grips Lucas, blinking. Her eyes go again to Katherine though, but for now, she keeps her mind on Velok and his jittering. As a grad student she actually does have a pen in her bag, which she produces for Velok.
Liesl keeps her phone/camera focused on the man in the wheelchair. His comment brings a frown to her lips, as though she's trying to remember something. Velok's behavior gets a quick glance, and since someone else produces a pen she can keep an eye on the goings on up front, while being ready to change the focus of the camera to Velok, should his behavior change significantly.
Molly leans in towards Branton and drops her voice, "It's trying to make me believe we are all linked like each part of the whole." Which is way to much intimacy for her liking, "It's like some weird eastern religion meets Scientology in my head."
"It's all right, rabbi!" Lucas declares, not backing away from the lunge, but reaching a hand out in turn and clasping it firmly around that of the man in the wheelchair. "You're all right. It's good to have you back, so to speak." The rabbi still has that whirling hint of panic in his eyes, but does appear to calm down somewhat.
Even though Molly dropped her voice, Velok still speaks out loud as if he was answering her. "If it was scientology they'd want my money." He whispers, reaching out to take the pen from Jennifer. He does flash a smile and clicks it open. Up comes the shorts a bit, and the answer of 'what will be paper' is discovered quickly when he starts marking on his own skin. His hand is tilted so that he's writing in a line what seems to be sheet music, even drawing out the staff and everything. When his thigh is marked up pretty heavily he just nods. "Alright. Now I'm interested. What's the catch." He seems to be talking to himself (What else is new) but he leans a bit towards Penny. "What did you do afterwards? Memory problems? Weird interests? Bad dreams?" He asks quietly.
Jennifer watches Lucas and the man in the wheel chair frowning, muttering something, "...let him out..." she shakes her head a little and glances again at Katherine before looking back at Velok and shaking her head at him, not in exasperation, but at the thoughts which seem to cloud her vision and hearing..
Branton reaches up to scratch the back of his neck, looking over at Molly and frowning "That doesn't sound good at all." Jennifer's mutterings draw Brantion's attention and get a quirked eyebrow before he turns his attention back to the stage.
To Velok, Penny responds, "It... I wanted it badly again. Even now, I want it. I feared more than my wirst of fears not being able to get more of it." She shakes her head, "I'm not like that. I don't like that." She is watching the crowd, "All connected. Yes. Like a Arachne's web, only there are multiple nexus points... the nexi are those who took the pill." She whispers softly as she can to Velok, trying to be heard by him without being heard elsewise, "But these things are just asprin."
A 57 Ford Fairlane carries its mistress through the burning sands, until arriving where the not back home directed. Maz steps out, walking into the house, and looking rather...cautious. She Glances around, uncertain as to what shes come across. Scans the room, and smiles softly when she spots Velok. Takes a seat right behind him, leaning in to kiss his temple. She then gazes across the others trying to glean as much about the situation as she can.
The rabbi squints closely at Lucas, then turns his wheelchair around to take in some of the others. It's a slow process, but he manages, which is a lot better than he was doing on arrival. "Mr. Shelton has imprinted mental images within these pills," he declares. "These, I am convinced, are a gift from God. Perhaps they are the language of God-- who knows such things?" He pauses for a moment, clasping his hands in his lap. "We understand this gift but dimly. Perhaps, yes, it is dangerous." He nods to Penny and some of the others near her. "But like all things in creation, it has its purpose."
Velok is shaking his head softly as he listens to Penny. He leans over a little further and lightly bumps his shoulder against Penny. "Arachne hunge herself for a reason when the weaving insulted the gods." He responds to Penny, relaxing into the chair. He doesn't even turn to find out who just kissed his temple. Velok starts to shake his head, though his eyes leave the front. "Liesl, if you don't want to, Maz might be interested." He fishes into his pocket and pulls out his two pens again, holding them back behind him towards Maz. "Take these, please."
Molly listens to the man in the wheelchair and shakes her head, "Okay this can't be good." She is trying her best to ignore the voices in Velok's head which are now speaking as well.
Jennifer blinks at nothing and looks rather shocked. WHAT WAS THAT?! Looking over at Velok she assumes something and leans over Liesl to whisper something to him. She leans back and looks at him cautiously.
Maz blinks, still trying to figure out what the actual hell is going on. She looks up at the stage, and the back to Velok. "No offense, Sweetums," she puuurs low, "But if this was your idea for date night, I'm not exactly wet from the romantic ambiance here." She takes the two pens without any hesitation, however.
Still simply HOLDING her pill, nodding to what Velok says, Penny looks to Lucas and the rabbi now. She's keeping herself under wraps. She's not even smiling. However, you can't see her eyes the way the light plays off her glasses, making them look more like glowing headlights out in the audience. She settles her hands in her lap, and continues simply to watch and listen for now, though her jaw muscles work.
Liesl frowns at the comment from Velok, still keeping her phone focused on the show going on up front. She doesn't offer the pill that she put away to Maz, despite Velok's suggestion. Nope, not happening, since it would mean she'd have to take her attention away.
"I'm sure you're right," Lucas replies to the rabbi, relaxing a little now that the panic attack seems to have come and gone. "Obviously we're still working out some rough edges, but these results are still promising. I do want to thank you all for your continued interest, or your new interest as it may be." A few people did wander off early, but most of them have stuck around.
Jennifer considers the rabbi for a moment, but chooses instead to take the open opportunity to exit. She's seen what happened to Velok without taking the drug, so that was useful... She is a little curious why the Rabbi was never properly introduced.. She nods to Velok and rises quietly, glancing again at the Rabbi as she leaves.
Velok waits until Maz takes the pens then nods, settling his hand back in his lap. He seems a bit more relaxed now, not having the pens. He leans over towards Liesl so Jennifer can whisper, nodding in agreement. He throws a couple glances to Jennifer before turning back into his chair. "Not a date. Work." he mumbles back to Maz, though he does fidget in the chair.
Mazto be getting increasingly off-put by the vibe going down here. She half lids her eyes, clearing her mind, as she gently draws her siddis around her, passively opening her mental senses to the state of the audience. Eyes go wide as she starts to look closer at a few individuals. Velok, of course, but Molly and Lucas as well as a few others. Eyes narrow further, mental armor starting to snap into place.
Branton is still frowning, though he glances over towards Phil now seeing if there's a cue to take from the boss man, fidgeting with the pill packet he took.
Molly leans in to speak to Branton again not seeming to worry as much this time about it not carrying after all, they have the whole eggman and walrus thing going on here. "I don't like this, it's just...off."
Not having taken the pill herself, but sensing the nexus of interconnectivity, Penny meets Maz's eyes over the distance as she shields herself off. She nods once to the girl, giving her a smile in greeting, but it is not the usual pleasant exhange of smiles the two have. Penny is concentrating. She looks to Phil, "I wonder what would happen... if I began to counter the nexi... but they would sense me, I'm sure of it."
The rabbi has gone back to remaining mostly still, just a couple of fingertips lightly tapping against the arm of the wheelchair. Eventually, Katherine comes over and takes up the handlebars in back once again. "I think we'd better get him home again," she says to Lucas. "You saw how much of a strain it was on him just to go through this much." They exchange a concerned nod before she starts wheeling him out to the parking lot. "Small steps. Don't worry, we'll get there."
Velok glances over to Liesl, then gestures to Maz to take Jennifer's seat within the line. "I wonder..hmm." He says. Slowly he starts to twitch his hand, looking from Penny to Liesl. "Passivity gets us nowhere." He says quietly, standing up from the seat and raising his hand. "Excuse me!" He says, using his other hand to pull off the strap going over his chest and remove the tube from his back, setting it down on the seat. "Are these just free samples, or is this a trial drug? I don't understand." He looks back to the people he's sitting around, then returns his attention to the stage, hoping to get noticed. "Can I have some more? Do you want me to call or anything about my symptoms?"
Maz glances over in kind to Penny, nodding once to her, smiling thinly. Otherwise, she's all business at this point. She does move around to take the vacated seat as indicated, crossing her legs as she settles back down. She then looks over to Velok, tilting her head in curiosity as he decides to take rather...decisive action at this point.
Maybe at this point, she notices some of the pills around. Makes up her mind not to take one if offered, at least for now. She had enough molly at the rave last night, and she doesn't really need to add anything new to the mental mix at present.
With the special guest come and gone, Lucas directs his attention to Velok when he pipes up. "It's not a drug, exactly. Chemically, physiologically, it's a neutral carrier. What it /is/ carrying is mental engrams, going through the nervous system and activating a matching pattern in the brain. All on a short-term basis, you understand. You're welcome to take a packet home with you" - one of the assistants still has a container with a few of them left unopened - "but they seem to lose potency pretty quickly. It's something we're working on."
Liesl shifts her phone/camera to take in Velok once the rabbi has been wheeled out. Yep this is definitely the stuff to get. She gives Maz a nod as she takes the seat on her other side from Velok. She listens intently when Lucas answers Velok, catching a bit of contradiction from the last such gathering.
"Apokleisms ti's ro's!" hisses Penny as she glares at Lucas first. She stands beside Velok to ensure she can see, leaning forwards.
Velok stays standing, his arms raising up a little bit. "Sure, I can understand that, I suppose. I didn't actually really take biology or anything, I apologize." He's still talking, loud enough that it might cover. "I'm interested though. I tried one and it felt..I don't know. I felt alive. It felt fantastic. I'd love to try it more regularly, if I can. I have.." He waits in front of Penny while he talks. "..people that would love to fun something like this. Help you punch over that last bit of research. Investors, things like that. Is Mr. Shelton here?"
Branton is listening to the exchange carefully and watching Katherine and Howard if he can. If things are going to go sideways someone needs to keep track of all the enemy assets
"Oh, I suppose we weren't properly introduced, I'm Mr. Shelton." Lucas offers Velok a polite handshake. "Funding would be appreciated, of course, but what we could really use is--" He leaves off there, though, blinking. "I'm sorry, would you excuse me a moment? I'll be right back." He pulls out his cell phone, which may or may not have just buzzed in vibrate mode.
Maz worries at her bottom lip, looking like she's trying to make up her mind, but has hit a point where she's a bit flumoxed. In one smooth motion, she reaches into her handbag, without even looking to the side for it. Removes an gold 1915 Eagle ten dollar point, flips it. With a soft *thwwwwp!* it rises and then falls into the air. She snatches it out, lays out her palm for her to study the result. Then makes up her mind, as she stares up and over at Velok, half lidding her eyes once more.
Liesl shivers a little as Maz does her coin toss. That ... probably doesn't bode well. But, she keeps her attention on getting all happenings recorded, especially when Lucas moves off with an apparent call.
"Oh! You're Shelton. I'm sorry, I've never been great with names and remembering and stuff." He does reach out to try and accept the hand. He withdraws though when Shelton's phone rings. When he pulls it out Velok moves to try and step over Penny's legs. He 'stumbles', falling down onto his knees in front of her. "Crap." He says rather loudly, bumping one of the chairs. "Sorry, Sorry." He says. He turns to look up towards Penny, then over to the two girls nearby. He mumbles as he reaches out to put a hand against Penny's leg and help push himself back up. Turning his attention back to Lucas, even if he's on the phone, he tries to get out of the aisle. "Oh that's okay. I'd love to talk to the man that was in the wheelchair, too. He said some really interesting stuff."
Molly doesn't really like the vibe here as the old man is taken away and now it seems others have decided to confront the host. She puts her back against a wall and just waits to see if shit is about to hit the proverbial fan.
Branton is narrowing his eyes as he watches Velok's shenanigans, not wanting to screw up the other man's play but looking for a way to reinforce it. If he can figure out what Velok's trying to do.
She seems to be staring at Velok when Penny intones in a low tone, "Isto l'ro , sklos ap ti'n ptych' pou xetylxoun to domain sas!" She sounds angry and makes a tearing motion towards him.
Lucas doesn't get very far before he puts his phone away again, shaking his head. "Must have been a bad batch," he says quietly, mostly to himself, before addressing the group once again. "I'm sorry, like I said, we're still working this out. Thank you for being patient with us."
The rabbi is still out in the parking lot; Katherine is wheeling him toward a van parked down the street a bit. He isn't moving, but then he wasn't moving when he arrived, either.
Molly blinks rapidly and looks around the room again. There is a moment of hesitation and the she is alone with the normal voices that live in her head.
Maz blinks as Velok takes a tumble. Looks down to see something slipped into her hand on the sly. Smirks softly, for some reason. Listens in to what he has to say, and then makes up her mind, a snap decision, as to what to do. Again reaching into her handbag, she pulls out a rather impressive looking fire-red ruby, which just barely fits into her clasped palms completely. Rises up, looking towards the parking lot. Holding her hands to her face, as if in prayer, she begins to rock back and forth, chatting repeatedly, low and soft under her voice, in Sandskrit.
Molly shakes her head at the things going on around her and moves to slip away all of it just a bit much for her to process at the moment.
"Scintilla recentioris aetatis . Veni ad me, aut in secreta aperire ," Penny begins to chant in Latin. Her voice is intense, soft, but building in intensity. "Kli?ronom?soun ti? sptha , kli?ronomon ti? gn?si? ti?s neo?terikti?tas ," she then begins in Ancient Greek, "Met noma skfos mou, Penny Moneta Denari Archaa Mneosyne, sas exannkase !"
Velok recognizes Lucas is moving away, stopping and turning back around. He nods to both Maz and Penny, stepping back towards the chantry group. He drops his voice, but he doesn't actually look at anyone. He just shakes his head, looking down to the floor. "Stop it or not, Velok. The old man is special. Have to take risks to find things out sometimes." He moves back next to Penny and looks to her. "You have a very pretty voice."
Velok compliments Penny as his eyes look back out towards the parking lot. Lips start to move with no sound coming out as the silver coin deftly flips up into the air, Velok catching the metal and looking to it.
Well, Katherine /was/ going to drive the rabbi back home, but before long she returns to the house with him still in tow. "Flat tire," she explains. "Warning light was on earlier, but just since this morning, I was going to take it in on Monday." She sits down and pulls out an Allstate membership card. One of the assistants mentions something about it being a tough break, as they continue to gather up the stuff and pack it away. More people from the audience are also following Molly's example and wandering back to their cars in turn.
Branton doesn't blame Molly for feeling overwhelmed, Branton's head's spinning as he tries to keep up with all the chanting and shenanigans the Awakened are getting up to.
Liesl keeps the recording going, her head swimming from all the tugging at the Tapestry. Still, she does her best to keep her concentration in place. When the man is returned, she focuses back on him once more.
Molly doesn't have a ride of her own and eventually leans against Branton's car and just seems to be praying no one in the audience noticed the goings on. She lights up a cigarette and idly rubs at her temples.
Maz still has her hands clasped around the ruby, still held close to her face. Whatever she was looking for initially, she didn't find, and so she starts to glance this way and that, looking all around her. Pauses for a moment, to look at Penny, and then Velok with concern, as she continues to give her surroundings the ol' 360. Yup. She's gonna peep the hell out of this place, or something.
Nodding to Velok, then to Maz, Penny pushes her glasses up on th ebridge of her nose. She relaxes in her chair for a second while she seems to sort something out in her mind. there is a little spark of electrical current if you look REALLY close that leaps from her fingers to her glasses. "Thanks," she says to Velok softly as she looks to Maz and says in Latin, "Luxatis vocant... "
Velok waits until the people come back inside, then he nods. He returns to sitting down in his seat. "Place this far out, we've got 20-40 minutes. We need to make it count." He says quietly, not looking to anyone. "The guy in the wheelchair looks like a long time user. If they can implant memories, what else can they implant. I wasn't here for the first one, but think of everything and anything. Whether he's human. Whether his mind is his own. Anything, and be discreet. Pills and corporations. you know what this could be already." He instructs.
Maz sits back down, and tilts her head, down and close to Velok, "Wheels certainly belives in what hes selling. No deception I could find in him." She looks the Penny and smiles softly, nodding,as she replaces her foci back in the bag.
Phil looks over to Velok, scratching his head. "Hard to tell. They said they were doing something new with him, right? Could be long time, could be first time." He's keeping his own bag of tricks hidden in his back pocket, in case they turn out to need the extra surprise.
Liesl nods to what Maz says. "Yes, that's been the case all along," she murmurs quietly. "I wonder ... how long this has been going on?"
Now that she's back together with her 'operatives' Penny smiles rather gently to Maz, winking once as she adjusts her glasses. She keeps her voice low. "Grabbed Mr. Shelton's contact list from his phone as my coup de gras. Might come in handy. I considered kineticly pulling a hair out, but that seemed a little dangerous given the situation, we still don't know what we are up against. But that was definitely a mind nexus. I took down maybe 30 percent total... were you helping with that Maz, sweetie?"
Branton frowns "Sounds like some sort of hive mind looking to expand itself then. Probably not got to worry about the black helicopter brigade on this one."
Maz smiles very softly and murmurs low, "Good work, babe. Nice. And mmmmmm...maybe. Just a smidge." She gives Penny a tiny fistbump and adds, "Nothing special about this place, physically at least." She then nods to Branton's assessment of the situation.
Velok relaxes a bit into the seat, removing his tube and setting it down on the ground. "Alright..." He says quietly, nibbling on his lower lip. "Hmm. Contacts is good, but that will start getting suspicious when you call, so it will have to be spaced out, and by all of us, not just one person." He lets his head tilt back and forth, his voice dropping down. "Yes, yes. I hear you. Shut up." He mumbles to himself, then stands back up out of his seat. "Keep going. Anything and everything. Keep brainstorming." He says as he starts to walk back over towards where the wheelchair man is. He takes a brief second to compose himself, a smile rising on his lips as he approaches. "I absolutely loved the sample." He says, going to stand near them, eyes going down to the allstate card. "Do you guys have time to talk? I'm curious about what's next. I felt...I dunno. Have you all tried it?"
It doesn't take Katherine too long on the phone. "Sure, we have some time. Truck won't be here for an hour or so." A lot of people are spending their Saturdays going out someplace nice, even out here in the boonies. "It really is something, isn't it? 'Standing on the shoulders of giants', in a sense."
Maz rises up, trotting slowly over, bootheels clacking on the floor, as she joins Velok at his side, taking his arm in her hands. "New and exciting mind expanding experiences, darling, and you left me out? For shame." She gives an exagerated pout, kisses his cheek, and the. gives a winning smile to Katherine. "Hello! Lovely to meet you." She tilts her head to the side for a moment reaching around to reposition her hair across her left shoulder.
Keeping her voice low, nodding to Velok, Penny assumes a casual posture as she fist-bumps Maz and grins faintly. "Well. I wonder if a body sample might help. The thing is, I wonder what the source is. I don't how to track it back... and when it forms that nexus, each person who takes the pill is a nexus for the thought pattern that binds the whole web together." She goes quiet as Maz rises, just thinking for a moment, taking the time to think. Where could this originate. What is this pattern of magic?
Molly slips in to see if Branton is about ready to go and mutters something to Penny in passing. Though she does keep it low this time and hopefully with the whole nexus gone no one is hearing her thoughts.
Velok nods his head. "It is, it is. Standing so high the gods themselves would be jealous." Velok glances at Katherine, but it does seem to be the man in the wheelchair that he keeps his eyes on. "I'm really curious, though. When I took it I was able to...I dunno. See music, basically." He gestures towards his leg, where he wrote down in pen on his skin notes and such. "You looked like you'd taken it, and you were...I don't know. What did you see, sir?" He asks the man in the wheelchair. When Maz gets closer he reaches out to grab her and pull her into him, his eyes glancing to her neck for a moment when she swishes her hair. Eyes widen, then slowly return to his demeanor. "Oh, yes. She arrived late. I wanted her to try your wonderful new enhancement, I'll make sure she grabs some samples." He looks back to the man in the wheelchair.
Branton frowns and shrugs, adding quietly to Penny "Given the focus on mental over physical it might be a spirit or an astral thought form as the central node or queen of the hive. Might not be a physical trace at all." Molly's return gets Branton back to his feet and he nods to her before telling the others "Looks like we're getting going for tonight, I'll be in touch."
Nodding to Molly, Penny intones softly "Thank you." She stands, moving slowly, her eyes skimming around. She tucks away a flyer, and looks over the podium from a distance...
Maz slips an arm of her own around Velok's waist, leaning in further against him. Doing her best to keep her smile and her body language light and breezy, hoping the others will have better luck than she has had thus far digging up info and coming up with ideas. She then leans her head against his shoulder.
Lucas has taken over keeping an eye on the rabbi, who's breathing but otherwise pretty much immobile; occasionally his eyes flicker around, at most. Katherine smiles at Velok as he continues to burble. "What did I see? It was... unusual, this time. I had a sense of what a bird in flight might feel like. Rabbi Flores talked about that sort of thing, once-- I think maybe it was related to that memory. The engrams can be particularly intense if you already have a memory of your own that aligns with them."
Liesl seems satisfied enough with her recording for now, setting it aside, no concerned with that picture it might record, but the audio is still picking up - hopefully. From somewhere within her purse, she draws out a couple of items: a pendant watch, which she checks, then slips the chain around her neck, taking a few moments to settle it into place. The other object is a seed pod, the sort of thing that looks like a half-propeller, and when such falls off the tree, it does twirl on its way to the ground. She holds it in her hand, however, doesn't toss it around or anything, but she does hold it up, murmuring softly to herself, as she regards the man in the wheelchair. She continues to glance from man to seed for some little while, her muttering seeming to be less the chants of the others, but almost a conversation with someone. She does catch the conversation that is being conducted near the man in the wheelchair,
Velok keeps his arm around Maz, lightly toying with her hair and her back. Keeping up the illusion of a good ole' innocent couple. "Rabbi Flores knows what a bird in flight feels like?" He asks as his eyebrows raise, putting on a bit of a 'That is clearly preposterous' tone. "That's amazing. Are they his memories? How do you do that?" Velok leans over a bit as he smiles, then returns to standing next to Maz. "Is it just you four? Everyone's referencing Lucas as the one that pulled it off. I thought pills were made in like...labratories with people in special suits and everything's incredibly clean and everything."
Maz snorts playfully and gently smacks Velok's back. "Oh darling, why so incredulous? Did you learn nothing from the telly? People can pull off all sorts of pharmacutical miracles in their own homes these days. Like in that Breaking Bad program. How difficult could it be, really?"
"I work in a lab," Lucas explains, wheeling the rabbi back over. And making a bit of a face as Breaking Bad is mentioned. "They mass-produce over-the-counter pills for headaches, runny noses, things like that. Every batch has a few blanks that are rejected just because the shapes are a bit irregular, but they work fine for this purpose. The engram process is my own design-- Katherine is one of a few volunteers that provide templates."
Velok nods, though he does smile and shake his head. "Yes yes, modern miracles and such. I've never gotten quite used to the wonderful world we live in." Sure 5 successes on subterfuge is enough for this? His eyes narrow as he returns to looking at the wheelchair guy. "I was here before the presentation started but unfortunately this gorgeous woman wasn't. What was all that about an abyss? It seemed...I dunno. Out of place? I'd love to talk to some people about investing in this new wonderdrug but the bad batch you mentioned...how bad was it? How much more do you need?"
"0 < P(A) <" murmurs Penny as she counts incrimental probability equations as she looks at the Rabbi, then intones in Ancient Greek, "Dete ton pi'gao k'dika... " She strokes her chin, her glasses shone with the diffraction of the light. And then she looks batween the others, distracted as they are. Nodding to herself once she begins to speak in Enochian, the language of First City, "IOLCI NIIS OIAD NOBLOH OL OIAD watchtowers controlled ZCH LOAGAETH OIAD heat OL MALPIRG!"
Liesl remains where she is for long moments, as she listens and seems to concentrate on that seed and man, her expression changing as she goes through that inner conversation with herself. She's not ignoring the rest of what is going on, but she's looking less eager to remain where she is. Penny's shifting through various languages doesn't seem to phase her at all, though the subject might give her pause.
Lucas shakes his head a little. "It just broke down more quickly than usual. Still effective-- though we'll have to be careful with the rabbi, he and his family have been through a good deal of stress since his condition set in. Really, he's been an inspiration to all of us." He pulls out a chair and lowers himself into it. "Extra funding would be nice, but we only have so much capacity to bgin with. People are the real limiting factor, and paying salaries? Now /that/ gets expensive in a hurry."
Discreetly, discreetly, that last bit of Enochian came with a MASSIVE swell of elemental forces that felt like an attack directed towards the rabbi, but it would take someone with VERY sharp eyes indeed to spot the single hair that Penny snatched from the old as it floats through the air to her hand and gets placed into a baggie as she makes the pretense of digging through her purse.
Velok nods his head, pursing his lips and looking between Lucas and the rabbi. "The people I work with don't typically worry about money when there is something that could benefit humanity in the works. I'll contact them." He glances back slowly around the room, then reaches out to offer the handshake to Lucas that he missed earlier. "Send my best wishes to the rabbi and his family, then. I hope they get better."
Lucas returns Velok's handshake, making sure he's got one of their pamphlets as well. Of course he would, he's been so excited, but he /could/ in theory just be a troll out to waste the man's time for amusement value. "I'll do that. And I hope we'll see you again at the next meeting-- should be in a month or so, we'll send word around as soon as we work out the date."
Velok nods. "Looking forward to it." He says with his firm handshake. He leans over and whispers something to Maz, letting go of the woman so she can head out of the house. Velok slowly returns and goes to sit down next to Penny. "Got everything?" he asks quietly, retrieving his tube. "I think it's time we make an exit."
Liesl puts away the seed pod and retrieves her phone, turning the recording off, before dropping it into her bag. She stands, adjusting her purse strap over her shoulder, with a complicated looking gesture. She turns and heads for the door, still quiet and unnoticed.