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 Fight or Flight, 17 Dec 2167 | @Larissa & @Bruce
Reese Marshall
 Posted: Jan 2 2018, 01:23 PM
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38 YEARS
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There are moments that the words don’t reach There is suffering too terrible to name You hold your child as tight as you can And push away the unimaginable The moments when you’re in so deep It feels easier to just swim down
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The look on Wendy's face was devilish when she saw the snowball collide with Larissa. Hiding seemed like the best plan, especially with how tall Bruce was (even crouched down) he would work as a perfect wall.

And then she saw a snowball collide with her father's face and her eyes widened. The snowball that was in his hand was forgotten and he raised his gloved fingers to his face to dust it clear of snow. For a moment, it looked like Reese was going to lose his temper. It looked like he was going to fly into a rage inappropriate to the setting or the people who were near him -- his daughter and, for lack of a better term, friends.

Maybe Wendy had miscalculated how her father would respond and the look of frustration grew on her face again.

"Stop looking so pouty. She pegged your dad, what are you going to do about it?" He prompted. His voice almost had dropped the weight that inlaid it all of the time; he sounded, perhaps, like someone having a really bad week instead of someone who had struggled to make it through the last decade. To emphasize it, he flung the snowball at his daughter to get her moving, and whether he hit Bruce on purpose or not was left up to interpretation.

Regardless, it got Wendy to smile and laugh as she pulled snow into her hands and hurled another snowball at Larissa.

@Bruce Vaughan @Larissa Parrish
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Bruce Vaughan
 Posted: Jan 2 2018, 08:36 PM
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Mental Manipulation - able to manipulate other people's minds through mind control, illusion projection, and memory manipulation, primarily.
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The snowballs flew through the air, while Bruce remained crouched down, arm extended with his coat dangling from his fingers. This was not the turn he had expected this morning to take, and briefly he regretted leaving Shangri-La’s grounds this morning when the storm canceled the lion’s share of his new intakes. He should have retreated back to the apartment, kicked off his boots, and settled under the covers with a book and three cups of piping hot coffee. He’d amassed so many gourmet treats for the season and could have dipped into his cache early.

Instead, Larissa’s features had darkened with a disconcerting mixture of triumph and murderous intent, and she drew closer with a stony gleam in her eyes. On his other side, Reese had joined for full participation, (which was a positive development), and yet Bruce now wore no coat and couldn’t extricate himself because Wendy had chosen to use him as a human shield.

While Reese lectured her on family honor.

He spoke over his shoulder at Wendy, instructing her, “If you want to get down, get down when I duck.” He couldn’t remain on his ankles this way indefinitely, and the thought of the combined cold and pressure causing any form of tendon damage caused his inner-dancer to wince. Not that he relished diving stomach-first into the snow without his coat on, but he possessed limited options to extricate himself without putting the kibosh on the game entirely.

In the midst of that, he heard a whoosh through the air but didn’t see the snowball until it collided with his shoulder and exploded on impact. Freezing droplets and bits of ice flew everywhere, some embedded in his sweater as a wet spot and seeped through his clothing to press damp cold against his skin.

Forget the bed with coffee; he should be in the hot tub with a glass of wine.

His thoughts drifted back to a conversation that he and Reese had shared on Halloween night, where the younger man had explained the competitive streak that he had had inherited from his father. Games of Monopoly ended with the board on the floor and a long string of profanity. He thought, then, of Larissa’s stubbornness, displayed mere moments ago when she was prepared to stalk off rather than help a child build a snowman without whatever outlandish suggestions she’d made.

This could only end one way, no matter who achieved supremacy through the last snowball tossed.

The mental manipulator sank his gloved hands into the snow beside him, emerged with a handful of the fluffy white substance, and quickly rolled it into a ball. Wendy had chosen Larissa as her primary target, and so he turned towards Reese and deliberately lobbed one towards his chest. Clear of the groin, the legs, and the head.

@Larissa Parrish @Reese Marshall
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Larissa Parrish
 Posted: Jan 6 2018, 11:12 AM
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Larissa beamed triumphantly at the look on Reese’s face when her snowball hit him. And when the man sic’ed his daughter on her like a general directing forces at war, her brows raised with surprised respect. Perhaps she, like Wendy, had expected him to get mad and declare the dangers of throwing balls of ice at people’s faces. It wasn’t exactly the most safe or wholesome of family activities but she guessed it was marginally better than decorating snowmen with axes.

Hearing Reese’s orders and seeing Wendy already piling snow in her hands, she whirled away, taking the next snowbomb to the hip as she took cover behind the poor snowman. Her leather pants did little to protect against the wet cold but Larissa enjoyed the sharp sting of it for now, it kept her alert and the adrenaline high and so she didn’t numb herself to the feeling of it.

Perhaps a little thoughtlessly, she scooped snow from the nearest source, the Marshall’s family snowman, who let’s be honest had a fairly low chance of survival from the minute Larissa had entered the yard. She scooped a large amount from the back of him and packed it into a tight ball before lobbing it over towards where Bruce and Wendy crouched together, grenade style.

She was ready to take them all on it seemed, leaving no one safe from her pelting snowball attack. Reese and Wendy had been targeting them both but Larissa’s grenade throw made no attempt to keep Bruce out of her attack either.

Without waiting to see who she hit, Larissa went to scooping out more snow from her snowman cover and piling a stock of snowballs at her feet for quick attacks.

@Thyme @Bright
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Reese Marshall
 Posted: Jan 6 2018, 06:36 PM
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38 YEARS
Citizen
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240 Posts
There are moments that the words don’t reach There is suffering too terrible to name You hold your child as tight as you can And push away the unimaginable The moments when you’re in so deep It feels easier to just swim down
Thyme is Offline



Wendy let out an earsplitting scream when the snow crashed between her and Bruce. It wasn't scared, it was happy, elated, even, but to an ear that was untrained -- or a mind that was used to terrible things, there was no difference. The door to the house opened and a woman who couldn't be younger than her early sixties poked her head out, and then promptly closed the door as if she'd seen a miracle and feared it might break if she looked too long.

But Wendy was laughing and grinning from ear to ear, running towards Reese who was pointing at the snowman that was being ripped apart when the snowball that Bruce threw hit his chest. He looked affronted and threw the snowball that he had been intending to "protect the snowman with" at Bruce. Like the others (save, perhaps, Larissa's initial throw), he wasn't aiming to hurt anyone, so the ball was aimed in a way that if Bruce wanted to dodge it, it wouldn't take a feat beyond him or put him face-first in the snow.

Wendy finally saw what her father was pointing at when Larissa pulled the next handful out of the snowman. "She's killing grandpa!" The girl shouted with mock panic, another excited scream escaped her when a snowball flew over her head towards Larissa and hit the snowman.

This time, the scream brought a window pulled open. A bearded man who looked (unsurprisingly) similar in many ways to Reese peeked out. He seemed to be saying something the someone else in the house.

Reese motioned towards one of the trees in the yard, flinging snowballs at Larissa and Bruce, and handing ones off to Wendy when she couldn't make them fast enough. "He's old! Leave him behind; this isn't the fucking army!"

She dove behind the tree to 'safety,' even while she asked him (the way one must have imagined her grandmother did) not to curse. Then she handed him a snowball so that he plan their next attack.

@Bruce Vaughan @Larissa Parrish
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Bruce Vaughan
 Posted: Jan 6 2018, 08:52 PM
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Mental Manipulation - able to manipulate other people's minds through mind control, illusion projection, and memory manipulation, primarily.
Bright is Online


The game had become all-hands-on-deck, and still Bruce wore no coat. Whenever they finished, he would go for a swim back at Shangri-La, since that warmed him up even quicker than the hot tub the latter a subject of idle fantasies, of compare and contrast, while the heated indoor swimming pool would help him adjust to warmth in only a minute or two.

Until then, he was a human shield, the front of his sweeter seeped through with snow and flakes in his hair and across his face which tickled his nose. Yet, the murderous rage in Larissa’s eyes had faded into a gentler mischievousness, and Reese had relaxed and was actively engaged in free play much to his daughter’s delight. Rather than his one friend stalking off the property and the other standing there stone-faced and robotic, unwilling to participate.

That generous, accommodating part of him considered this well worth the price of his temporary discomfort.

He scooped snow into his hands and formed it into a ball. While Reese and Larissa were lobbing snow at one another, he turned to Wendy and inquired, “Would you like to see something special?”

Once the girl gave her assent, focused on the snowman. Fortunately, these types of simple illusions took barely any effort, as practiced as he was from so many years at Shangri-La. The snowman appeared to spring to life and throw its arms in the air, causing snowballs to shoot out in both directions. It was only an illusion and thus had no solidity (and Bruce didn’t put in the effort yet to give texture or sensation, leaving it only in the visual realm). Still, it was entertaining and served as a distraction while he tossed another snowball in Reese’s direction.

@Larissa Parrish @Reese Marshall
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Larissa Parrish
 Posted: Jan 7 2018, 12:02 PM
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“Shit, Reese, that kid of yours has some lungs on her.” Larissa called out from behind the snowman as Wendy let out her cries and screams of enjoyment. Maybe for some people they had a hard time differentiating between good screams and bad ones but Larissa had caused enough people to scream and had heard enough of both the good and bad screams to know the difference.

As Wendy darted for the safety of the tree, she let loose a barrage of snowballs from the pile that lay at her feet.

She was about to start throwing snowballs at Bruce too, cause teams be damned--when the very snowman she was hiding behind began to move and throw snowballs on its own. She yelped in surprise and jumped back away from it before she realized the snowballs were illusions, there was no cold or feel to them.

Bruce.

“Hey! That’s cheating!” She said with an approving laugh as she aimed one very solid snowball at him looking to interrupt his concentration.


@Bright @Thyme
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Reese Marshall
 Posted: Jan 7 2018, 06:19 PM
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38 YEARS
Citizen
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240 Posts
There are moments that the words don’t reach There is suffering too terrible to name You hold your child as tight as you can And push away the unimaginable The moments when you’re in so deep It feels easier to just swim down
Thyme is Offline



Reese called back, "You should have heard the lungs on her mother." Whether it was meant as ripe with innuendo as it sounded or not was not entirely clear (but it was a feat in and of itself that a mention of his dead wife came so easily and without repercussion).

His eyes moved to the snowman that started to do impressive moves as Wendy's eyes widened with excitement and joy as the snowman sprung to life and started throwing snowball. She would have compared it to fireworks like she had seen in old movies, or the sparklers that her grandmother had explained had once been her father's favorite thing to set off for any holiday (or her grandfather had once added, for any reason).

"How do you do that?" she asked, honest, innocent, and curious. The question was not about his power, it wasn't even about magic which she knew didn't exist, it was about the reality -- how could you make a snowman come to life?

Reese was too distracted by the snowman to dodge this snowball, and only came back to himself when he felt Wendy's hand tug his -- just to double check that he was still okay.

@Bruce Vaughan @Larissa Parrish
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Bruce Vaughan
 Posted: Jan 7 2018, 11:57 PM
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45 YEARS
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369 Posts
Mental Manipulation - able to manipulate other people's minds through mind control, illusion projection, and memory manipulation, primarily.
Bright is Online


Ironic that while Reese made a joke, the man that half the city thought ran a brothel had turned to more innocent pursuits.

“It’s for a child!” Bruce countered in his defense. Which was to say that anything done for the purposes of entertaining children and which didn’t have a tangible effect on the outcome of a game could hardly count as cheating by either the denotation or any of the standard connotations. Particularly when the mental manipulator didn’t care who won, and didn’t believe it was even possible to lose a snowball fight unless someone wound up in the emergency room with frostbite or temporary blindness from catching an icicle to the retina. His only cares during this game was to ensure that neither Reese nor Larissa retreated again or got too carried away, and that he didn’t earn a snowball to his crotch.

The question tore his eyes away from Larissa to Wendy. Growing up a Vaughan, where they were open about how their powers worked, he began, “When I focus-”

A snowball to his face, and he blinked while one leather-clad hand wiped snow from his eyes and mouth. The snowman behind him fell inert as the illusion dissipated.

“Look what you did,” he said accusingly. To Wendy, he remarked, “We should avenge her, don’t you think?”

Bruce had already scooped up another handful of snow to lob in Larissa’s direction.

@Larissa Parrish @Reese Marshall
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Larissa Parrish
 Posted: Jan 10 2018, 06:19 PM
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Intended innuendo or not, Reese’s words had Larissa laughing which was a great improvement from the cold, scowling Larissa that had been set to stalk off and leave the group to their snowman making earlier.

While Reese and Wendy were tied up in watching the snowman, Larissa took a minute to replenish her snowball supply.

“It being for the little human doesn’t make it any less fair! We don’t all have powers we can use to our advantage!” At least none that would serve her in this particular fight. Her pain manipulation was not exactly helpful in a snowball fight though certainly her opponents writhing on the ground would be its own distraction.

She was ready when Bruce sent Wendy after her, in order to avenge their snowman, which at this point was rather sad looking and drooping from all the snow Larissa had pillaged from its back for missiles. Drooping or not, it was still working fine as a source of cover for her and a supply of snow so Larissa didn’t yield her position as Bruce threw another snowball in her direction.

Flinching as the cold bit through her thin clothing, she took the hit to the shoulder and then popped out around the snowman to lob one back in his direction. At this point it seemed she had all three of them ganged up on her. She smiled a bit. Those were odds she liked.


@Bright @Thyme
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Reese Marshall
 Posted: Jan 10 2018, 10:24 PM
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38 YEARS
Citizen
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240 Posts
There are moments that the words don’t reach There is suffering too terrible to name You hold your child as tight as you can And push away the unimaginable The moments when you’re in so deep It feels easier to just swim down
Thyme is Offline



Wendy watched the snowman until it vanished when Bruce was hit in the face. She never got the full explanation of how he could do it, and she was not so much single minded as a very astute child. She would come back to the question when there weren't such pressing matters. She picked up snow into her hands and started throwing them at Larissa as quickly as she could make them.

Reese let out a whistle to get (what had at some point become) his team's attention. He made a motion with his hands for them to go on one side as he started moving towards her.

Perhaps they had memorized hand signals from years of playing touch football at Thanksgiving, but the little girl seemed to understand the silent motion implicitly and she tugged Bruce's hand to imply she should follow her. "Come on. We're going to flank her." she said as if this were a normal phrase for an eight year old to know. Then she started running towards Larissa, stopping to make a snowball and throwing it, taking a few more steps, stopping, making a snowball -- it was not an especially efficient method.

@Bruce Vaughan @Larissa Parrish
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Bruce Vaughan
 Posted: Jan 11 2018, 01:54 AM
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45 YEARS
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369 Posts
Mental Manipulation - able to manipulate other people's minds through mind control, illusion projection, and memory manipulation, primarily.
Bright is Online


“Advantage,” Bruce scoffed from the his position near the snowman, sounding every bit like his grandfather in that moment. Which might concern him under other circumstances since he was only half-passed forty and had plenty of time before he became an old man. He sent another flying towards her, exchanging one snowball for another as hers made a direct hit to his chest, where it could seep through his sweater like its compatriots.

Nimble fingers worked to roll another bit of ammunition as he called back, “If I wanted to tilt the scales in my favor, I would have done something more impressive than that.” Given the illusion substance, for instance, since that was the farthest he would ever go without express consent. Having his friends lay down their arms would constitute a massive breath of trust. Even if he cared about how this snowball fight ended (which he didn’t beyond everyone enjoying themselves), he would never.

The sudden switch from banter with Larissa to oh-so-serious war maneuvers with Wendy and Reese was jarring, particularly in light of how Bruce wasn’t the type to gang up. But it had been no-holds-barred, and Larissa had always fancied herself me against the world, so he supposed they could try a round of this. He crouched low and followed behind Wendy, snowball in each hand clutched to his chest. Then they burst forth, him somewhat slower, though he managed to get off a shot at Larissa’s shoulder.

@Larissa Parrish @Reese Marshall
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Larissa Parrish
 Posted: Jan 21 2018, 01:06 PM
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Once Larissa saw the teams has indeed devolved into three against one and the group moved through the snow to flank her she knew her hiding place behind the nearly destroyed snowman was no longer a safe haven.

Moving meant leaving her supply of snowballs behind but moving also meant she’d be a harder target to hit than the sitting duck that she was now. She quickly launched a rapid fire succession of snowballs in the directions her attackers were flanking, as a way to both use up her supply, and to give herself cover as she stood and hurried towards the side of the porch.

Her chosen footwear was not conducive to running in the snow so Larissa couldn’t be out in the open for long, the snowman no longer could be used for cover but the house might! She was pretty confident Reese and Bruce wouldn’t throw snowballs at her for fear of hitting the Marshall’s picture perfect house. Wendy might because she was a child, caught up in the moment, and children--like Larissa--didn’t always think things through or consider long term consequences of their actions.

Bruce’s snowball hit her shoulder as she headed towards the house. She turned and laughed. “Come and get me!” She called out in a singsong voice, clearly baiting the three.

@Thyme @Bright
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