((50 - Stutter))
June 1st, 802 AT. 8:03 AM.
The Talons (minus Seth) sat in the Quinn apartment, their usual hangout space, waiting for Seth to come back from an errand. They occupied their normal positions about the room--Kiara was copying things from one notebook to another, Reno was in a fight with a wall, and Chun was dozing on a couch. It was a bit early for all of them, especially given how late they'd been up the night before, but what had to be done...
The door burst open. Seth stood in the newly-formed empty space, waved a hand elegantly, and announced, "The Talons."
Spider stood next to him, staring at the Talons. She cocked her eyebrow.
Kiara finished writing, then turned curiously. "Oh, hello Seth," she remarked absently.
Chun jolted upright in surprise, and looked groggily towards Seth.
Seth stepped inside, walking to the center of the room, Spider following close behind. "We got a new recruit, yo."
"Who is she?" Kiara asked.
"Yo," Spider said, eyeing the strangers. "Spider." She nodded at them.
Chun was silent and then in a wary but oddly welcoming tone said: "Chun."
Reno flipped a hand up in an unceremonious but deliberate gesture. "Reno," she introduced. She leaned against the wall she'd been engaging in brutal combat with, cracking her slightly bruised knuckles. "Reno Corbonov."
"Kiara." She regarded Spider appraisingly for a moment longer, before returning her attention to Seth.
"Sooo," Seth said, rocking back slightly on his heels. "I figured it couldn't hurt to add one more to our numbers. A new face is nice every once in a while. Any complaints?"
Reno shrugged. "I've got nuttin'."
Kiara shook her head. "Not really here either. But why does she care?"
Spider scratched her head. In a half-joking tone, she replied, "Demons killed everyone I ever knew or cared about."
Chun had lowered her goggles over her eyes and put her hands in her black sweat-shirt pocket, but now cocked her head towards Spider, obviously intrigued.
Seeing that everyone was waiting for a further explanation, Spider muttered some more. "I dunno. I guess I didn't really fit in where I was, or where I was going..." She pouted at the wall, a bit.
Kiara nodded, and looked to Seth again. "So what did you tell her?"
"I didn't tell her too much. Just about mind controlling demons and the like."
Chun almost laughed, nervously, but quickly put a straight face on.
"Fucking sweet idea," Spider added with a quirky smile.
Kiara smirked. "Well all right then."
Chun leaned back on the couch, frowning slightly. "Do we really want someone we barely know controlling a demon? I mean, I have no problem with her, yet, but still."
Spider glanced at Seth, eyes blazing a deep red. "I might be able to help. I've... dealt with demons before."
He smiled back at her. "Excellent." The Talons' leader turned to Chun. "I'm not worried. And I see no more reason to dally. Shall we pay your mother a visit?" His smile took a sinister twist.
Reno clapped her hands together and threw on her usual non-grin. "Yeah! Let's go get our brains stabbed with shiny mind-rocks!"
Kiara laughed and stood. "Sounds like a fun day."
Chun nodded and got up, obviously still tired. She walked to the door with a slight slouch, goggles still hiding her eyes.
Spider glanced around in mild confusion. "Eh? Someone's mom?"
Chun paused in the doorway. "My mom. She and I are the reason we can control demons. Mostly her though."
"Ohhhhkay..." Spider watched Chun suspiciously.
Chun pushed her goggles back onto her forehead and looked back at the girl as if to say, 'What? Have a problem with me?'
Spider just looked back curiously, lips pursed. She didn't seem to get the negative glare that Chun was shooting her.
Seth stepped between the two girls. "Now... as hot as a cat fight would be right now, we're kind of pressed for time here. Let's hit your apartment, Chun."
"Cat fight?" Spider gave him a confused look.
Chun said nothing, just turning her head to look out the door. She pulled out a pen and small notebook and began taking notes. As she wrote, she started walking off towards her home.
Reno placed her fingers on the side of her mouth like whiskers and flatly breathed "Meow."
"... nothing. Nothing at all, Spider. Let's get moving." Seth walked out the door, following behind Chun.
Spider rubbed her neck, and followed with a look of I-have-no-idea-what-you-weirdos-are-talking-about.
Kiara closed her notebooks and slipped them into a pocket of her trenchcoat, then rose and followed them out the door silently.
((51 - Wounder))
After a few minutes of walking, they arrived at the Marash apartment. Chun put her notebook and pen away and then opened the apartment door, not hesitating at all, though she seemed to be thinking about something. The apartment was as messy as the last time they were in it--scattered pages and books full of notes were piled everywhere. Chun entered and shoved a backpack out of the entrance way, leaning it against a nearby chair. She then went towards the stairs leading towards the lab. She could hear her mother humming from downstairs, and called out to her. "Hey Mom, I'm home! I brought some people!"
"We, the crazy, back again!" Echoed Reno, as she and the others followed Chun inside.
Devrah's voice came from below. "People? Here? Again?"
Chun cracked a grin. "Yeah, they're here to be part of the trial."
"The... Now hold on just a minute." They could hear the sounds of bustling activity came from below, followed by footsteps on the stairs.
"Remember? I talked to you about it yesterday afternoon!"
A moment later, a forty-ish woman with wild curly hair and thick glasses poked her head up the stairwell, surveying the five teenagers. She sighed and scratched her head. "Chun... I thought you were being hypothetical about human trials. Besides, I'm not going to operate on children."
"I'm not a child!" Spider said loudly.
Chun faced her mother, trying to look as mature as she could. "They're serious, and I am too. This can work if we try it. We're all willing to go through with it." She shot a glare at Spider.
"I'm not that freakin' short," Spider mumbled to herself.
"Yeah," agreed Reno. "Do we LOOK like we're still wearing dipers and sucking our thumbs?"
Devrah glanced around the room, and crossed her arms. "No," she said flatly. "I absolutely refuse. You're all perfectly likely to die."
Chun looked frustrated. "Mom..."
Seth stared directly at Devrah, taking a step towards her, hands still in his coat pockets. "No, I'm pretty sure you are going to operate on us."
She snorted. "And why, young man, are you so sure of that?"
A hand inside his coat shifted. "Now, I don't want to do this. However..." He pulled out a small hand pistol and pointed it at Devrah's face. "We don't got much time here, honey."
Devrah just stared at him, eyebrows raised.
Chun had a poker face. "They're serious, like I said."
Spider looked at Seth, and at the gun. She rolled her eyes, and let out a heavy sigh. "Just like him..."
With his free hand, Seth flipped a cigarette out of his coat and put it in his mouth while he waited for an answer.
After a long moment, she laughed, throwing her hands up in the air. "Fine! If you kids are that intent on it..." Her eyes took on a wicked gleam, and she smiled broadly. "... who am I to refuse?"
"That's the spirit," Seth said, putting his gun up.
Reno raised an eyebrow. "Hey, sarcasm is supposed to be my job," she muttered under her breath.
Seth returned the gun to his coat, and took out his zippo instead. He lit up, and followed both Marashes down the stairs, the rest of the Talons close on his heels.
The lab was as they had seen it before--six cages along one wall, with a seventh larger one nearby, and the control crystals on a panel on the neighboring wall.
Devrah hurriedly bustled around the room, gathering various surgical implements. "Chun, please unhook the control crystals from their circuits."
Chun did as she was told. The moment she did, the demons in the cages went wild. They hissed, scowled, snarled, and tore at the bars of their cages. The cages, being made of crystal and wiring interwoven, held sturdy.
Spider wandered from the group, eyeing the creatures in the cages. She stopped in front of one of them, and her eyes blazed scarlet. It was a strange, opaque white creature with flaming red eyes. Two large, blackened pincers hung out before its head. It scuttled about the cage, crawling on the walls madly. A pair of black paper-like wings protruded from its back, and two large stingers were erected above its beetle-like body. Its form was constantly shifting with reds and blacks.
Reno strode over to Caf's cage and placed a daring hand on some of the wiring. "Hello pretty. Did ya miss me?"
Chun brought the crystals to a relatively cleared table. Then she looked the crow demon in the eye, grinning.
Devrah finished her preparations, laying down a long white cloth on the table by the crystals. She pulled on a surgical glove, and looked over at the teenagers. "Now then... " She let the glove snap against her wrist. "...who's first?"