Bar Harbor, Maine. Small town on a halfway decent size island. Not terribly far from Coral Springs, either, especially for folks that can fly or break certain laws of speed. Once she and the band got back from their two days of talk shows, Tabitha texted Daxton with directions and to ask if he could meet her at her home there, the orphanage by the sea. She didn't specify a time, just for him to text her before he left if he could make it. If he could, she said she'd be waiting on the back porch enjoying as much stress-free air as she could find.
Daxton's is strangely in a long sleeve shirt with the pizza house logo on it and his regular jeans. He has a few hours before work, so this should give him plenty of time, unless Tabs has something super crazy to go over. His hair is long enough now to get slightly windblown, which might be why they had it buzzed when he was in Unit 23. He slows to a normal run and then a walk when he sees the house and Tabs outside waiting. "Hey." He's a man of many words. No eye contract, but then again he's scanning the ares, making sue it's safe.
The area is pretty nice. Old colonial house built up with three extra wings that are more modern but older than present day. Big yard with trees and scattered toys leading up to a sloping sea cliff which descends to a narrow stretch of beach big enough to hold maybe a dozen or so people. As promised, Tabitha is sitting on the main house's back porch, curled up in a chair built for someone more than twice her size. She's got a notpad and is writing in it. In a similar chair next to her is Nathaniel King, the orpanage's caretaker, Tabitha's first combat instructor, and Coral Springs alumnus. He, too, is writing in a notepad. Sitting next to each other, the size difference between them is blatant.
Nathaniel looks up as Daxton walks around the house and nudges Tabitha with his foot. She looks up then slides out of her chair to go and meet him. "Hey there, Daxton. Thanks for coming over." She nods out to the grounds and the handful of young orphan kids running around playing. "It's a lot less… confusing here for me these days. Figured it was a safe place to talk about things that you're better suited to understand than the others back at school."
Daxton shrugs, "Sure, no prob." Nathan gets nod of acknowledgment, "Hey," be fore Daxton looks back down at Tabs, "You okay?" He can understand that, "yeah, it's cool. Not a bad run." He also gets that and sighs. "Yeah….the other guys…not so much." He's kinda in the same boat with his drama stuff.
"And that's not a bad thing, that they don't." Tabitha climbs up to sit on the porch railing near Daxton. She sits on the narrow perch with the ease of years. Looking over at Daxton she takes in the different shirt and raises an eyebrow, "They grooming you as a manager at the lighthouse? Or do you just love the job so much you sport their fashion during your downtime? It's a good look either way." She watches him if he responds, then she lets out a sigh and gets to it. "The two leading the concert attack, the ones we thought were Adam and Eve, they were just some kind of doubles. I wasn't sure until I arranged a visit to the detention area at Quantico marine base where they're being held. I cut 'Eve's hand and her blood was red."
Daxton stands for a moment before hopping up and sitting next to her. His nose wrinkles and he pulls back a sleeve to show some nasty road rash on one arm. "Some jackhole had a wire around his yard." He shakes his head and snorts, "No…I work later today." His feet swing, "What color should her blood have been?" He sounds tired, but accepts what she says.
Tabitha winces as Daxton shows the cuts, "Ouch. What an asshole. Guess you'll have to add a few seconds to your delivery times by slowing down before the door?" She smiles at him as he hops up on the railing with her. The wood is warm and has been worn smooth by decades of use. When he asks about the blood, she takes a knife out from under her pants where it was strapped to her calf. "It should have been this color." She holds her right hand out with her palm up, then cuts herself at the meat of the thumb and squeezes the wound. The blood that flows into her cupped palm is a deep forest green with threads of gold running through it. Only a small amount flows before the cut closes. She tips her hand over and the green-gold blood flows out. As soon as the trickle leaves her hand the liquid breaks down into a kind of ash and blows away in the ocean breeze.
"That last bit is a kind of design security. Keeps anyone from being able to study tissue samples and reverse engineer our design." Tabitha seems more comfortable talking about herself as someone who was grown instead of born, although there is still a tightness around her eyes. "The ones from the concert fight had red blood, all but the dragon-like one, because they weren't genteks but what we call 'betas'. Humans that have been augmented with similar tech to what makes me different."
Daxton grumbles, pushing the sleeve back down, "It's a fucktard move." The wire, that is."Jesus!don't-" But it's too late she's cutting herself. His frown deepens and he sighs, "Wish I had that." Gah, that's horrible, but true. His hand absently rubs where the old man jabbed him with the needle last attack. He listens, the words sounding familiar. "You said that, called us Betas."
Tabitha smiles softly at Daxton's reaction to her rapid healing. "Yeah, wish I'd known about it when I was younger. Turns out it's not all from my aura." She also nods at the betas comment. "Yeah. Not my finest moment, or the smoothest way that my old self could have been introduced."
Nathan leans forward in his chair at this. "That was my fault, I'm afraid. At least in part. When Tabby's glyphs started trying to reactivate and put her health at risk, I put them under some strong wards to prevent them from expanding. But they weren't dormant, just contained. When you all went through that dimension portal, the wards couldn't take both the internal and external stress and they shattered. The shock caused a kind of mindquake where Tabitha reverted to a younger version of herself. I understand she was rather rude." He smirks at the understatement.
Tabitha gives her mentor a /look/ then just nods slowly, "Yeah. Rude. In any case, in the dark tower I thought you all were just that. Betas. People who Father had recruited to his cause and given augmented abilities. The ersatz Adam and Eve were supers put through the same treatment. The other four, however, the more monstrous ones, they were full genteks. The dragon-like one that was captured has blood like mine."
Daxton won't argue it, she was rude. He nods, "It's in the past." She's apoligysed, it's done. He shifts turning slightly to glance at Nat and then back to Tab, not making actual eye contact, "So I guess that means we need to track the real Adam and Eve down then?"
"Eventually, but not right away." Tabitha nods to Nathan, "We've taken to calling the two in custody Adama and Evelyn, the fake names they used at the concert party. But the FBI is handling the legwork of questioning everyone and identifying the betas. Nathaniel is being kept in the loop, and he's forwarding everything to me as well." She reaches over to give Daxton's hand a quick pat.
"I wanted you to know for two reasons. First of all, like I said before you're maybe the only other student at Coral Springs who can understand the big picture. Mabel might be another, but she doesn't have the military mindset." Then she pauses and looks out over the ocean. "The other reason I wanted to talk to you here is that I want to offer my help with the troubles you and your old unit are having. I've been unlocking more of my pre-Tabitha memories, and there's a lot of paramilitary training and experience in there. I'd like to do some good with it, and help you out."
Daxton grunts, his feet swinging as Tabs talks to Nat. His gaze darts over to the hand pat and he quicks an eye surprised. "There's a couple others, but not many. I actually thought everyone handled themselves better than i thought they would at the concert." He means that good. The mention of his old Unit has him looking away and towards the water, "We're hitting…" He trails off, realizing that Nathan' right there. He may be cool with Tabs stuff, but Dax isn't goignt o rat out his people.
Behind the two on the railing, Nathan's eyebrows rise slightly as Daxton starts to talk about his unit's plans. Then they settle down again when he stops and Nathan nods to himself and stands up from his chair. The porch roof isn't quite tall enough for him to stand to his full height, but when he steps down to the yard he stretches out then nods to Daxton. "Good man. Keep your loyalty where it belongs. I can't offer anything officially, but if you and your comrades accept Tabitha's help then I'm sure she can dig around the attic to find… oh, whatever supplies might just fall off the back of an army truck." And with that he walks around to the front of the house leaving the two young supers alone.
Tabitha listens to Nate and then waves as he walks away. She then nods to Daxton. "Oh, I agree completely. They all did a great job. And it sounds like some of them did the same again at the Shady Cove train station more recently. I know they can handle themselves in a scrap. It's the long term stuff that comes between fights that I'd rather spare them for as long as possible." She pauses for a beat, then continues. "I'm serious about helping you and your unit, though. I think it's only fair to extend the offer, so pass word along to them, would you?"
Daxton eyes the back of Nathan as he walks away, still not quite sure how to take the giant. He takes a deep breath and then sighs, watching the water again, "Becca was pretty upset afterwards…she cried." He sounds uncomfortable, like he should have been able to do something so she didn't cry. "We're hiting two laoctiosn in the next month. I need to get a team together, if you want in. It's one of the medical facilities they kept us at…" His arm, the one with the scrap twitches.
Tabitha frowns in sympathy when Daxton mentions Rebecca's reaction to the fight. She turns her head to look at him, then leans to the side to rest her head and hand on his arm. "Trust me, you did enough being there so she wasn't crying alone. I can't say how glad I am about you two." She gives his upper arm a quick squeeze then sits back up to avoid making him more twitchy, although that arm of his seems to be doing enough twitching for two. "Well if you'll all have me, I'm in. I know where I come from, but don't know where to hit. You know where to hit, and deserve all the answers you can find."
Daxton stiffens, but doesn't pull away. There's a low vibration running through his body, not visible so much, but she can definilty feel it. "I don't know…I worry I'm just gonna hurt her…" He nods, his tongue darting out nervously to wet his lips, "I need hitters. Fel's in, I think Grayson. I need someone good with computers…" His eyebrows pull together and he gives her a brief glance, "How are you and Jacob? I'm sorry he didn't tell you everything right away. I should have just told you."
Tabitha smiles, "Just take things a step at a time. She likes you, so be you." She nods about the action Unit 23 is planning. "Well you've got a hitter now." She flips the knife she cut herself with in her hand before returning it to its concealed sheath at her leg. Then when she brings her hand back up her aura becomes visible around her fingers as claws with fusion plasma flames licking at the tips. "I can take people down hard, although softer is prefered since it's tough to get intel from the dead. And if things go from bad to FUBAR to pure BOHICA, then I can get us out clean. Just be ready to catch me on the other side."
At the question about her and Jacob and goes quiet for a bit then shrugs. "I'm not sure. He and I haven't had much alone time the last few weeks… and I'm not the same person he asked out. Hell, we're not even really the same age like we thought at the start." She drops her head and shakes it. "There's just so much different now."
Daxton's expression smoothes to an almost tired by accepting one. "Me is what I'm afraid of." He doesn't even know who he is, really. But that's a whole other conversation. "We're intel, Unit 23," Is that a weird hitch in his voice, "They're going to be hitting somewhere else at the same time. We're hoping to be able to take them all by surprise, get as much intel as we can. I think the main goal is to get our medical records….Inferno's not doing well." Damn cough. "And names of who did this to us…who authorized it." He does want some payback too, honestly. He grunts, indicating he head her, "Make him talk to you, even if it's to break up. Don't let it wallow." That's his advice, anyway. More foot swinging, he just can't seem to keep still!
Tabitha sighs, "Yeah, I know that feeling well." She rubs at the glyphs on her arm. She's not using any illusions to hide them here where she feels safest and they do cover a significant portion of her body. It might be a trick of the light but they also seem to change subtly each time they're looked at. She listens to him talk about his unit and their plans for the twin strike, nodding at key points. "Well if you can't find a good hacker, the next best thing is to just grab the physical drives along with any hardcopy and work with them back wherever they've been hanging their hats lately." She shifts back to the talk about Jacob smoothly, if not happily. "Yeah, I know. Planned on having a sit down with him when I got back to the school."
They're like, the oddest pair ever, both sitting on the deck. He unconsciously flexes his arm where he has the road rash. There's a weird sense of longing when he talks about Inut 23, like he's not sure what he misses, but he defeintly misses something. "Yeah. I don't know what will be there, I don't really remember any of those facilities…" Thankfully! He reaches a hand up to run his fingers through his wind blown hair. It's getting so long compared to when he first came to the school! "Let me know, I can speed kick him in the head if needed, or bring you a pizza. Your choice." Such a supportive friend he is!
Tabitha can appreciate the oddness and the sense of longing. She often finds herself missing some aspects of her life with the Helix Group. There's something to be said for belonging to a tight knit group sharing common purpose. "Well I'm sure the other U23 folks have done some recon. Can't avoid pre-mission jitters, trick it to keep 'em at just jitters." She laughs out loud at the 'kick or pizza' offer as she slides down off the porch railing with the uncaring ease of an act repeated often. "I'll keep that in mind. But before you have to get back for work, wanna see some of the town? It's a bit like Shady Cove but it has its good spots."