(2016-08-12) California Road Trip Gone Wrong
California Road Trip Gone Wrong
Summary: Rebecca is worried about her father. Tabitha convinces her to check on him, bringing Sierra for fire support. They end up bravely running away.
Date: 2016-08-12
Related: None
NPCs: Many Triad enforcers
Scene Runner: Rebecca

Hands and feet wrapped, Becca is out in the training yard in her Athenian red shorts and white tank practicing hand to hand on her own. She kicks high, medium, and low over and over again. Once that leg is tired she switches, she's been at this for a few hours.

Tabitha has been putting in a lot of flight time lately. Band appearances and such combined with the groups she's been giving intel about Helix Group to and making sure the gets her day/week/whetever in (sequestered) court have had her in the air at least twice daily and for considerable distance. But nearly everyone involved agreed that it worked out better than trying to keep her contained in one location, and it's certainly faster than regular travel.

So she's been back at Coral Springs most days for at least a few hours. Today must have been a short one as she's flying in barely after lunch, angling in for her usual entrance at the Paragon Island tunnel near the training grounds. She's all decked out in a nice dress, the kind one might wear to church (or court in this case). Her hair is tied back in a neat, simple braid, and she's got her shoes in her hand as she lands. She gives a wave over to Rebecca, but doesn't call out so as not to distract her classmate. Instead she walks over at a slow pace, enjoying the sand in her feet, and waits for Becca to reach a stopping point.

Looking up, Becca lifts a hand and finishes her set before stretching a little and wandering over. "They're in space." She offers and looks Tabitha over. "You look nice, what's the occasion?" She wonders, drawing up a knee to her chest as she balances. Good stretch. She holds onto her foot and tucks it up against her hip, dropping her knee down to stretch her quads, switching legs to do the same.

Tabitha's eyebrows raise at the apparent non sequitor, then her brain kicks back to the park a while back and nods. "I see. Any idea on when they'll be back?" Her outfit doesn't provide near enough freedom of movement for her to join Becca in her workout, so she just takes a seat on the nearby bleachers. The question about her clothing gets a small half-shrug. "War crimes court. Today was a half day. My lawyer has one more defense witness to call, but they wont' be available until next Monday afternoon, their time, so the Judges called an early dismissal." She tries to pass it all off as nothing big, but isn't as successful as she would like.

"Shit." Becca makes a face and then shakes her head. "No idea. So, here I stay." She tells Tabby with a roll of her eyes. "Which I get, but it's frustrating." She tells the other girl and grabs her water, taking a ling drink before offering the bottle. "Long case then, huh? Those are the worst." She tells Tabs, sitting in the sand in front of her to talk and stretch out.

Tabitha shakes her head at the offer of water, "No, thanks." She nods her understanding of the frustrating part. "Yeah, I get that. A mission is one thing, we get those all the time here. But so far out, with no contact… it makes me nervous. I can only imagine what your guts are doing about it right now." She nods to the grounds. "Is that why you're out here? To try and take your mind off?" She shrugs about the length of the time in court. "It's already been two months, another few days won't hurt any more."

"Thank god custody court is faster." Becca murmurs and sighs. "Yeah. He can handle himself, but he won't he'll protect everyone else. I know Fel will do her best, but she's not me." She shakes her head and makes a face. "And last night he got all worked up and had me promise to stay in the school." She pushes her hair back from her face looking frustrated. "I haven't been able to reach my dad. If they went for him like Dax?" She shakes her head. "It's not a dumb move, if my dad is out of the picture and my mom isn't implicated, custody shifts back to her-you know."

Tabitha nods her agreement about how Daxton is likely to behave on the space mission, and gives a small half-smile when Rebecca makes the slight remark about Felicia. "They've been through some scrapes together. I'm sure Fel will do her best to make sure you get your Dax back." She does nod about the court comment, though. "Yeah, well… it takes a long time to present evidence when there's nearly a decade of actions to work through." Her attention is focused when Becca brings up her Dad and her agreeing to stick around. "I've got the rest of the day. Want me to go look in on him? Wouldn't take me an hour to reach the left coast."

"I want to go, I need to see it, if he is gone. But, I promised to be good and wait because Dax is afraid that this gang can nab me. If they could, wouldn't they have tried? It's hard to pin down a phaser." She shakes her head and leans over to wrap her hands around her toes, folding neatly in half as she talks. "Are you familiar with the format used to label laboratory samples numerically? Is the case against you? I'd go to bat for ya if it is."

Tabitha shrugs, "It all depends on what their goals are. At this point it doesn't seem like doing anything to you directly is on the table. If it were, I'm sure they would have tried already." She nods her understanding of Becca wanting to know about her Dad in person. "Is there any other reason he might be out of touch? His work, maybe?" Then she shakes her head about the next question, not quite understanding where it comes from. "Can't say that I am, no. It never came up in school and I was never allowed into Father's lab or gene bank. No gentek was." The offer about going to bat for her in court gets a smile. "I'd love to have your support there, but it wouldn't help. It's all from years ago, back when I was Lilith."

"Well, you know seems like a very different person." Becca says and shifts one leg behind her still reaching for her toes. "My dad does stocks or something. It's not exactly a job that takes him out of reach. He has to be near a phone or his computer-usually both. I don't know, maybe I'm spooking myself, I told Dax I wanted to cut a deal with the Triad to get them to leave my people alone. He didn't like that."

"People in business have a lot of meetings, so he could be in something like that? How long have you been unable to reach him?" Tabitha's expression goes serious when Rebecca mentions making a deal with the Triad. "That's not a good move. Not yet, anyway. In order to deal with someone like that, you have to know exactly what they want and have something of equal or greater value to trade in return. And right now, the only thing we know they want is you." She shakes her head a bit. "I know I'm not willing to hand you over, so imagine how Dax feels about it." The waits a beat, then continues. "I'm not saying a deal is a 'never' option, just that it's not a good one yet."

The bit about how she's different now gets a shrug. "I am. Until recently, I spent eight years with no memory of ever being Lilith. But now that I do, I feel it's my responsibility to face my actions then."

Nodding, Becca looks up at Tabitha as she changes legs. "Well, I'm here, when court drives you crazy." She tells the other girl and sits up, pushing her hair back. "It's been a week, I have court mandated calls to check in on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. My mom has Tuesday, and Thursday. Usually I just send a text and he texts back. No text back though so I called like four times today, nada." She lets out a tense breath. "Haven't talked to my mom since the call after Dax got hurt. I hope he's just on some trip or something." She looks at Tabitha, a small nod. "I know it's dumb, but is it worth hiding in the school if something bad is happening to him?"

Tabitha screws up her face at hearing this, "Yeah, that's too long. I'd be worried, too." Tabitha listens to Becca explainn the phone call side of the custody issues she's in the middle of, shaking her head a bit at the convoluted bits. "Score some points for the orphan gig. And it's not dumb. He's your Dad. But what did you promise Daxton? That you'd wait here until he got back or that you wouldn't go running off alone?" She half-shrugs and gets a scheming expression. "Because you already know I can carry others with me when I fly. And LA is only an hour as the me flies."

"Well, at first he wanted me to go out and not stay cooped up, then I told him about my dad so he said I had to stay in the school. Technically I just promised that I wouldn't make a play against the Triads with out him, but that's splitting hairs, isn't it?" Becca makes a face and just crosses her legs. "Still, he's off taking risks for a friend, why can't I for my dad?" She asks and gets a look in her eyes. "Besides, we could go and be back before he is."

Tabitha shrugs at the part about splitting hairs. "Well, if we do go, and we do find out that the Triads have your dad, then you wouldn't be making a play against them. I would. You'd be getting your dad out of there, because you are perfect for hostage rescue. I would be the one covering your escape with acts of unrelenting violence." Her smile as she says this is decidedly predatory, then she shrugs again. "Besides, we'd just be going for recon to begin with. We might find your dad is just out of contact, or that he broke his phone. Can't hurt to check. Although," she smirks and brushes her hands down her dress. "We should probably change before flying cross-country. And maybe bring a snack, because Air Tabitha does not provide an in-flight movie."

"Yeah, good plan. If he is gone, I need my camera to make sure I document any proof we find. I took pictures of the other envelopes and stuff too-just to be safe." Becca tells Tabitha and gets to her feet slowly. "Hopefully this will be less terrifying than planes. I have a horror of cross country flights."

Tabitha stands up as Becca does, nodding. "A camera is a good idea. Never hurts to have evidence hidden away in places no one would think to look." She shrugs about the flying. "Dunno how it would be for you over the distance, but I tend to fly just fifty or so feet up and we'll be moving way faster than a normal plane. Nearly seven times faster, although inside the aura none of that matters. In there it stays calm."

"It's more the having to stay awake on flights so I don't pass out and phase through the plane." Becca says and smiles at Tabitha. "That has never been a fun experience. So, we'll change and meet in the Athenian hub?" she suggests. She looks determined now. "Just there to check and back, nothing crazy, nothing for Dax to get mad at me for later-I hope."

"Well staying awake won't be a problem when you're flying Air Me, that's for certain." Tabitha grins and starts walking towards the school access tunnel. "Make sure you grab any essentials, like some spare food funds and the like. It'll take me about twenty minutes to shower and change. I've already got my travel jacket together, although my passport can probably be left here." She nods to Becca at the last part. "Yep, just going to look. But honestly, it's good that Daxton worries, and I agree that going at this alone is not wise, but there's such a thing as overprotective."

"Considering I thought he'd never kiss me, it's pretty surprising how much he worries now." Becca admits and rubs her arm. "I feel a little bad about leaving, but it's with you and we're just going there and back." She says not for the first time, reassuring herself. "Ok, meet you in twenty." She looks down at herself. "Should probably clean up too."

*20-ish minutes later*

The marble and flame of the Athena hub has been seeming more museum like over the summer with so few students sticking around between semesters. Maybe that's why Tabitha always feels the need to do things in it that are decidedly normal and teen-like. Such as flopping on the bench surrounding the central braizer in a showering robe and slippers with her now knee-length copper and black hair hanging loose and actually laying /inside/ the brazier's flames to dry. She's also on her battered burner phone chatting softly. "No, it's alright. Just a hop to LA and back to make sure her Dad's alright." *pause* "Yes, and to get his ass out of trouble if he's been kidnapped. If we have to spring him, can we bring him to the BIAS regional office for safety?" *pause* "That's great. Thanks Nathaniel. I'll be safe and kick ass if needed. Love you. Bye."

When she isn't hidden away in a room with Mabel - the scandal! - Sierra is tapping away on her computer trying to hack websites - the scandal part two! But today she's had a message to meet Tabitha about something 'important' and maybe even 'dangerous' and what Ares is going to ignore that kind of fun? Arriving in sweatpants and a t-shirt (with '2 hot to touch' written on it over her chest) she gives a wave to Tabitha but doesn't interrupt since she's on the phone. Drying hair in a fire? Sounds like a good idea to the girl merged with an Aztec fire god. "Hey, you wanted to see me?"

Tabitha turns her head after hanging up with her orphanage caretaker and smiles at Sierra, not moving much because the fire feels good on the back of her head. "Hey there! Wasn't sure if you heard me through the door or if you'd run off somewhere with Mabel." Reluctantly she sits up and lets her hair fall behind her while she grabs socks from a pile of clothes next to her. "Wasn't sure if you'd be up for something like this, but Rebecca and I are about to fly over to Los Angeles to make sure her Dad's safe. Some creeps have been after her lately, and he hasn't been answering his phone. I can get us there in an hour, so it's not a long trip, and I had the thought that you might like to come with. Sort of a first unofficial outing." She pulls the socks on while she's talking then stands up to pull on a pair of undies and jeans. "I mean, you're an Ares and you haven't gone on any wacky hijinks yet. That must change."

Leaving her room, Becca swaped out her Athenian whites and reds for black, black, black. Black skinny jeans cling to her legs, and she has on a black tee under the leather jacket she zips up. Her shoes aren't boots at least. Split soled martial arts shoes instead, easy to move in. Jacket zipped, Becca gathers up her hair into a ponytail and pauses seeing the other two. "I-hey." She offers, tucking her hands into her pockets and leaning up against one of the columns.

"Mabel and I do not run off anywhere very far" Sierra blushes, "But she is not around. California? I have not been to California so this will be fun." There is a little pout at comments on hijinx though. She's a good girl, she is!A little wave for Becca as she shows up. "I will come and help. It sounds like fun. Should we be in our uniforms?" Apparently her idea of discrete hijinx is for everyone to see what school they come from. "What has happened to the creeps who were bothering Rebecca?"

Tabitha shrugs, "The ones that didn't just creep around and then vanish have generally had close encounters with Daxton, but he's off in some other solar system so he gets to miss out this time." Once her jeans are on she shrugs out of her towelling robe to get dressed the rest of the way. The glyphs covering her torso and arms are fully visible, today they seem to be a mix of hieroglyphs from diverse areas of the globe. She shrugs into t-shirt. "No need for uniforms or anything. We're hoping to find no trouble at all, just a distracted Dad. But no need to drag the school into it if things to heat up."

When Becca comes out, Tabitha smiles and nods over to Sierra, "I had the tought that if we brought along at least one other face and called it a road trip, then Daxton couldn't complain as much. And we'd have some extra oomph if needed. That work for you?" She waits to give Becca a chance to reply, then adds. "Also, if we do need to get your dad out of a tight spot, we can take him to Nathaniel's private security company. They've got an LA office." All sorts of busy this one has been in the half hour since the plan was first launched.

"Sure. I never turn down help." Becca nods and looks over at Sierra. "We're hoping it's a false alarm and we can all just grab some California burritos and call it a day." She presses her lips together, focused on nice, calming thoughts. "Thanks Tabs, I'm going to have to make a pie or something for Nathaniel, you guys have been awesome, offering help."

Sierra's eyes open wide. "Daxton is in another galaxy? Never mind, I do not need to know." A pause. "Did he have to get a permission slip signed?" The Latina looks at what she is wearing and shrugs. "This will do. So how do we get there? And if you want a real burrito then you get Mexican burritos." There is some pride in her tone about her homeland. The way Tabitha's body is marked gets a curious gaze before Sierra realies that may be rude. "I am ready." There is quite an excited look in her eyes about the trip.

Tabitha shrugs at the questions from Sierra about Daxton. "Not sure if it's another galaxy, just out in space somewhere helping Oliver with some kind of family troubles. Not sure about the permission slip." She finishes getting dressed, pulling on a dark denim jean jacket and draping a half empty backpack over her shoulder. She grins at the mention of burritos, then Mexican burritos. She notices the look at her glyphs but doesn't seem phased by the attention. "Maybe we'll have to take the scenic route back?" Rebecca's pie comment gets a shrug, "That's cool. This is the sort of thing Nathaniel does for a living, and… maybe I'll join him after graduation." Sierra's question about getting there is answered with a quick grin. "We fly, courtesy of Air Tabitha."

"I'm not knocking Mexican burritos, but THE California burrito has french fries, cheese, guac, pico, and carne asada. It's amazing." Becca says and shrugs about Dax in space. "Felicia and Grayson are with them." Nothing to worry about, totally. She stands up straighter, ready to go when Tabitha is.

"I can fly too" Sierra offers happily. "The landing is not so good" she also has to admit with a frown. "So there are three of us in space?" A shrug at the crazy in the world…and universe apparently. "It has French fries /in/ the burrito?" Sounds like California is the craziest place of all. "Should I should grab my wallet…not that it has much money in it. Nah…let's go!"

Tabitha uses the time where the other two are talking burritos to toss her robe and slippers into her room with her aura. Once that's done she beckons Sierra and Becks along as she leads the way back down the tunnel linking the school to Paragon Island. "We're heading a few thousand miles on this flight. Let me get us there, that way you're still fresh. You two can talk burritos more, even." Once the trio is outside, she gestures for them to stand just a couple feet away. "Stand close. This might feel a little weird."

The sensation of being inside Tabitha's aura is an odd one. The air seems to grow thicker, gaining a texture that's difficult to describe. There is also a very mild static charge and a distinct increase in temperature. But it's easy to breathe and even move within its boudaries, which are visible as a kind of softly glowing heat distortion in the air. Then she begins to slowly rise into the air, carrying the other two along and giving them a chance to get used to the sensation of near-weightlessness her aura develops when flying.

"I can foot some burritos, lets just get out there and get back." Becca says nervously. Following Tabitha out, she stands close to Sierra and grimaces as she feels the aura effect her weight. She's lighter than air phasing, so it's not a wholly foreign feeling, if odd to be not the one projecting it. "Ok. We're all ready then?" She asks quietly, looking around quickly for teachers.

Sierra giggles at the weightless sensation; she's a flyer too so it doesn't put her out too much. "So what's your dad like, Becca? And so you have some creeps following you around? I think they're just called 'boys'. When you're ready, Tabby!"

Tabitha grins at Sierra's comment about boys chasing Becca around. "Nah, she's already snagged one of those for herself." And then with no change at all to the sensations for those inside the aura, suddenly the ground beneath them is rocketing past at an incredible rate. They're passing over ocean for a minute and then the skylines of Boston, Thunder Bay, Manhattan, and Washington D.C. pass by on the right in less than ten minutes. The aura's outer edge shifts as the flight begins, flattening and widening until it resembles somewhat the body of a manta ray. There is also a subtle shift in the aparent 'color' of the edge. "Now we don't have to worry about causing any comotion. Fast and invisible are the best ways to fly!" Once they're over the mainland and heading rapidly southwest towards their destination, Tabitha flips over so she's flying on her back. "So what do we want to gossip about on the way?"

"My dad is an uber dork who trips himself watering the yard." Becca says shaking her head tightly. "He does stocks for people, likes math, and weird foods." She shrugs and looks at Sierra. "It don't think the creeps are just 'boys' that'd be easier to deal with. Shit, I'm not that much of a looker." She rolls her eyes. "It's just Chinese thugs. We could speculate on why AT is so icy to everyone but Dax? Or if my roommate is ever coming back, you know, the legacy girl?"

"Not a looker? I think you need a mirror in your room, Becca" Sierra grins to the other girl. "You are pretty hot. Right, Tabby? Oooh…look at the cities! You go much faster than me." Maybe a little pout at that but she doesn't really practice flying a lot. "I've never met my roomie either. I guess we're all busy and stuff." A smile about the uber dork. "He's probably forgotten to plug in the phone then. That is all it will be. Hey, can we go to Rodeo Drive? Gossip? Umm…I do not know any, sorry. Though if anyone knows where Stefanie has gone…'

Tabitha shrugs at Sierra's pout, a teasing twinkle in her eyes. "I've had a lot of practice lately. You'll get there." She nods at Rebecca's description of her creeps. "Yeah, they're not hard to put down, but I still hope it's nothing to do with them." The description of Becca's dad gets a grin, then the comment about her looks gets a raised eyebrow and a nod to Sierra. "What she said. You've got a lot going for you in that department, Becks." She shrugs at the roommate questions, "No idea what Steph's been up to this summer, but maybe Alison's dad finally got his head screwed on straight and offered to give her some training in the family business?" She doesn't venture a guess about Afterthought, though. She's only met him the once. And below them, the Appelachian Mountains pass buy, opening onto the Mississippi River Valley.

"Not /that/ much of a looker." Becca repeats and shakes her head. "I'm not dumb, besides, once in a while I catch the look in Dax's eyes when he calls me beautiful, so, I know I'm not totally plain." She smiles a little. "That boy…I'm gonna make sure when he gets back he never wants to leave again. Jeez louise." Becca flushes and mutters "Sorry. I hope Alison is getting training. She seemed to take it all very seriously."

"I would do you" Sierra teases Becca, reaching out, if she can, to give her a fond nudge. "I guess me and Stef are over then" she sighs, "But I still have Mabel so all good. Who is Alison? I do not know many people. I am always hiding in my room trying to figure out the schoolwork. At least I am good at the Spanish class. So it is /possible/ there is Triads involved? How much of our powers do we use in public?"

Tabitha grins wide and waggles her eyebrows salaciously when Becca talks about her intentions for Daxton's return. "You go right ahead and do… that." She teases with almost saying 'do /him/' then relents at the last syllable. Then she sighs and shrugs to Sierra. "Looks like we might've lost a few for next term, that's true. And also true that you're not alone and still have your cuddle Puddles." She takes a moment to check the flight, the Central Plains flowing below them with the Rockies in the forward distance. "Alison was Becca's roomie. Latest in a long line of hero types, but the first girl in that line so her Dad had a shit fit." She rolls her eyes at this attitude, then looks over at Sierra. "You should bring the stuff you're having trouble with. I'll help." Then her voice shifts like it has before, causing her words to be heard in the listener's native or most comfortable language. "I can make any needed translations easy, at least."

She shrugs about the Triads, "If something has happened to Becca's Dad, then it's pretty much a given Triads are behind it. And they're not likely to have him anywhere very public, so we won't have to hold back too much. Just avoid collateral damage as much as possible."

"You need a tutor?" Becca asks and arches a brow. "I study all the time, well, when I'm not busy." She amends since she's been in the gym a lot. "The Triads are my fault. They've had some people tailing me and Dax was attacked, probably because we're together." She makes a face. "Bullshit, I'm a mongrel anyway." She shakes her head. "Something to do with my mom, who is back in China by now-she's a seamstress-I think and apparently racist as fuck since the divorce."

"A seamstress? My mom is a seamstress but she does not go around telling people to kill my girlfriends." Sierra considers for a moment. "I do not think she does. I sometimes need help with the English but I will practice. Tabby can make it into Spanish for me, which is awesome, but it does not help me learn English. So maybe I will call on you both when I reall, really, really need to." A pause. "And when there are exams." A smiling not to Tabitha. "Si, I have my cuddle Puddle. Do you think they would let us move into the same dorm room?"

Tabitha arches an eyebrow at Rebecca's use of the word mongrel. "So? All the best people are. Hell, take it to cases and I'm just a much shorter Frankenstein's Monster." She shrugs at Sierra's question about dorms, though. "Well, you two are in different teams and the dorms are split by teams. Nothing stopping us from changing teams, though." The Rocky Mountains are passing beneath them, fortunately the warmer southern end of the range. Tabitha avoided the taller, colder peaks because it would be a shame for their flight to end in horror, falling, and death. "Becks, I'll need your navigation soon once we get closer to home. And a specific city to target until then." She pulls her tablet from the backpack she brought, for now using the standby of Google Earth for the approach.

"The good news is that your mom probably isn't a gangster then. Kaylee and Violet haven't been separated yet, not that they're super public." Becca shrugs. Looking over the mountains. "North LA, in the hills." She tells Tabitha and looks at both girls. "I never thought I'd be bringing school friends out here." She murmurs and looks out over the terrain. The sun hasn't set yet in California, plenty still to see.

"Does your mom know all about you, Becca?" Sierra asks delicately. "I guess she does since they're following you at school. Though the school is secret, right? What we do there is secret? I know that my family had to sign lots of documents that pretty much said I did not exist anymore. Maybe that is just me." A smile at the view ahead as they descend. "No, my mom is not a gangster. My uncle though… And maybe Mabel can be an Ares. She can be trouble."

"The school's location is a secret, not its existence. There's a lot of treaties involved, which is why it's in international waters." Tabitha's mind is half on the conversation and half on her navigating. Which leaves her about 1.5 minds for each task. She brings the flight down so that they're only a few stories above ground, but there is no sound from outside the aura at all. Might be a bit eerie to someone from the area. "Might've been easier for me since my caretaker, Nathaniel is an alumni." She follows Rebecca's directions and in a few last minutes they're angling down over the specific neighborhood. "I wish all there was in my family history were gansters. Gangsters are easy." Terrorists? Less so.

"Yeah, I threw myself in front of a speeding car to make the fighting stop and phased through it. My folks know what I can do. I used to check in with them regularly, I still do with my dad." They fly over to a ranch house. A couple bedrooms and a pool. The house looks quiet, a car parked out front, a quiet SoCal neighborhood.

"I guess that can be hard to hide" Sierra nods to Becca. "The priests at school said I was now a child of the Devil. So I did not go to school much. Is this the place?" She prepares for landing as she checks out the surroundings. "Gangsters are never easy" is pointed out to Tabitha. "Nice house. Ooh…pool."

Tabitha shrugs at the child of the Devil part. "Anyone who says that has never met real evil. You're nothing like him." She winks over her shoulder at Sierra then focuses on the landing. She circles the house from above a couple times, bleeding off velocity in a less sudden manner than she normally would, then she angles to land on the far side of the pool. She passes close over the roof of the house on the way, doing a careful probe with her aura to see if anyone's home.

It's an empty house. As they all touch down by the pool, Becca looks into the house and reaches into her jacket pockets for a key. "Here we go." She draws in a deep breath. Walking around the pool she nods at Sierra. "I know exactly how you feel about the gangs." She takes a breath before putting on a smile and calling out "Dad?!"

Not knowing what to expect, Sierra does prepare herself a little. Mumbling something in a language no one speaks anymore, flames start to form around her gyrating fingers. Nothing too flamboyant but noticeable if her hands are looked at. Rather than walk around the pool she rises, flies slowly across and then makes a rather clumsy landing that has her stumbling into a chair. "Sorry" she whispers to the others.

No one might speak the language, but there's someone here that understands the Aztec phrases as they're uttered. In a tiny corner of her being there is even a slight resonance with them that goes unnoticed by the glyphed teen. And the sun might not be down on the left coast, but that doesn't seem to matter to an over-large great grey owl perched on the house's roof just over the door Rebecca is entering through. It seems to watch the three girls as they enter the house, giving itself a shake as Rebecca calls out for her father. For her part, Tabitha pulls her aura in tight to her body for extra protection and pulls her balisong knife from its usual place at her back. She hasn't detected anyone inside the house yet, but she's still keeping alert for ambush.

While Becca remains almost single mindedly focused on the house, there is the softest of rustles form the foliage in the yard. Sierra will notice the shadows shifting inside the house, a glint of the light on weapons, meanwhile Tabitha might be aware with her aura of the tang of gun oil in the air, enough to suggest quite a few weapons present in the yard. This is an ambush.

"Umm…guys…you might want to do your thing. This is a trap!" With that she shoots upwards…hoping to be fast enough to avoid an attack. Sometimes it's good to be able to fly. At the same time the flames around her hands intensify; it gives her an acceleration boost and something to hurl at people if need be. Hopeflly the girls with her don't think she's abandoning them.

The scent/taste/texture of weapons and nervous sweat get Tabitha hackles up as Sierra takes to the air. Her reaction to the ambush is much more basic… she steps forward behind Rebecca and extends her aura out enough to cover them both in its armor. "Guess we know, now. And it's not us picking the fight, so no worries with Daxton yeah?" Then she speaks a bit louder so the idiots hiding around them can hear. "It seems your house seems to be infested with cockroaches. We'll have to fumigate."

"Careful with the fire, California burns easy!" It is hot, and dry. Becca looks at Tabitha with large eyes that quickly steel themselves and she rolls her neck and shoulders before nodding. "We need them to talk." She tells the other girl, a look up at Sierra.

Sierra hasn't done a lot of combat training so things may get a bit…crazy. She is nervous but she is also very annoyed - how dare someone try and ambush her! And maybe we're about to see why the quiet Latina girl is in Ares. With a scream of anger a wall of flames shoots out from outstretched hands to build a wall between the lurking goons and her friends. It may not protect them like Tabitha's shield can but hopefully it looks very impressive and gives these guys some pause…or encourages them to run for it. Her eyes glow red with fire. Her lips curl into a cruel smile. And she's doing that Aztec gibberish again…in a really low and echoey voice.

There's not much to say once the wall of fire comes up, so Tabitha doesn't say much except, "I hope these guys brought ziploc bags to carry their parts home in." The aura around her hand with the balisong knife flares hot with fusion plasma not unlike the fires around Sierra's hands. Then it forms whip tendrils tipped with atom-thin blades that she sends weaving through the rooms of the house into the living room and the two Triad enforcers inside. The solar-hot blades slash at the arms of the enforcers, seeking to disarm them in the most literal way possible… severing their hands. The only problem is that she seems to have chosen the two best fighters in the house as her opening targets. Neither of them lose their hands, but one of them does move slowly enough that his firearm gets cut to pieces.

Glass shatters! The rapport of bullets being fired fills the air as a voice calls out and the shots stop quickly. Tabitha will understand the Chinese command not to fire at the target. Tabitha's aura manages to hold the bullets at bay. One gun man's bullets pierce the shield and pass through to hit Tabitha, falling to the ground uselessly and causing Becca to flinch.

Looking at Tabitha, Rebecca gets a dark look. "I'll get some answers." She tells the other girl, looking up at Sierra. "Can you hold the wall?" She asks as she walks up to the wall and through it into her father's office with three of the shooters.

Sierra's fiery eyes /seem/ to look down at Becca in annoyed acknowledgement to the request. Aztec Gods do like sacrifice so it must be the Sierra part that is holding back the death and destruction. The eerie voice continues to speak the same words over and over as flames continue to pour out of her body to maintain the barrier of fire.

The garden team's cover is blown as they open fire on Sierra. Of the six, four shoot, the other two are drawing out some odd lengths of fabric and chanting low in ancient Chinese. It's an old prayer, invoking strength, as energy builds around the ribbons. The bullets that fly at Sierra are mostly destroyed, a few small specks singe her clothes like oil spattering from a pan of bacon.

Rebecca leaving the safety of the aura is not going to win her any points with Tabitha when this is over, but right now her dance card is pretty full. The fusion-blade tipped tendrils continue their dance in the living room against the better fighters, making no progress against their targets. In an effort to make things easier for Rebecca in the office, Tabitha slips a thicker tendril in through the doorway to the room and sweeps it across at knee height to try and knock the Triad enforcers to the ground. This has mixed success at best.

The men in the house go on the attack. One fires at Sierra with no success. The strong arms in the living room seem to have just as much trouble firing at Tabitha. They advance to engage physically. The other two in the office try to engage Becca in hand to hand, one pushes Becca back, towards the men outside, the other gets too close and gets tripped up by Becca's retreat and falls.

Livid at turn of events, Becca grabs at one guy, an idea forming of what she wants to do to them. She falters on the first and he falls back, grabbing his gun. The second is less lucky and Becca grabs the man that tripped over her and shoves him into the floor to screams as he solidifies on his hands and knees in the floor.

Shooting at a God!! Sierra's inner divinity doesn't take kindly to this and now her flames are turned on the goons themselves. With pitiful results. Maybe the inner teenager is a bit queasy at burning people alive because they all seem to avoid the attack. Maybe a little singe on a couple of them but by and large it's a wonder they aren't laughing at her. She really should have practiced more at school.

Lassos are thrown. Chinese silk spelled to stop a phaser. Tabitha's Aura manages to deflect it easily. Becca however is yanked through the shattered French door to the office. She looks genuinely shocked she can't phase her way out and she cries out as she's towed towards the magic goons.

Tabitha was all set to tangle with the two bruisers in her face when the mages decide to enter the fight. The silk cord thrown at her does a grand total of nothing, but the one on Rebecca is super effective. As Becks gets pulled back out of the house and towards the mages, Tabitha turns her back on the bruisers, giving them a wide open shot at her. Not that they'll enjoy the results if they do attack her… her aura doesn't need her permission to drain energy.

But the mages need a lesson, so she steps up to the edge of the pool and extends the protection of her aura around both of the Triad mystics. This might seem like a bad idea until she then makes her aura smaller and drags them along inside its shrinking border. The pair of them get pulled into the pool and the one holding Rebecca's leash gets pushed all the way to the bottom and held there. The other one takes advantage of the brief opening between the water and the aura and manages to slip out before getting dragged under as well.

The goons attack! The Bricks swinging on Tabitha. One has no success, the Aura seems to trip him up, the other manages to use the firsts failure to push through and cold clocks Tabitha in the back of the skull. The two thugs shooting Sierra have equally missed results, one's shot doesn't clear the fire and the other actually lands a shot, hitting Sierra in the air.

Becca screams as she's yanked back and her captors are submerged, towing her close to the edge of the water.

Sierra is used to being on fire but the burning pain that she feels when that bullet slams into her shoulder is an entirely different experience. She lets out a squeak of pain, the angry God inside her trying to burn the shooter into Hell but as she sprials back down to the ground the flames randomly ignite trees and bushes rather than flesh. Sierra slams into the ground…now she is /really/ angry.

The magic goons break free of the Aura, using the sucker punch to break out and swim to the surface gasping for air. Two of the shooters keep fire on Sierra, unable to touch her. The other two rush to pick up a wiggling Becca and start to run from the yard.

Distracted by the sucker punch that manages to get through her aura, then by Sierra getting shot and Rebecca getting grabbed, Tabitha decides that this has gone on long enough. "All aboard, the train is leaving!" She lifts up from the ground, reaching out with her aura to pick up the fallen Sierra and to snuff the fires their battle has caused. She also attempts to pick up the two goons carrying Rebecca in order to question them, but only manages to pull her teammate from their grasp, which is enough victory for now. Once they're airborn and pushing her top speed in the general direction of AWAY, she'll give the other two a quick look. She's more concerned for Sierra, what with the bullet wound and all. But before she can do anything about that, she takes a moment to maneuver so she's looking directly into Sierra's eyes and speaks to the entity within her. Her voice twists so that it hears her words in its own ancient tongue. "We will battle them again, but if you try to fight me now, your host may die."

Becca just pants, she hasn't slowed down to think and her panic at being forced into a solid state hurts. She is shaking, rage and panic keeping her in fight or flight mode. "I'm going to destroy them, I'm going to destroy all of them." She says in Chinese.

Sierra rails against her 'abduction', even with the blood flowing freely from her shoulder and a complete inability to hurt any of the goons. It is only when Tabitha looks into her eyes and says those words that there is a flicker of calm once more. The fire slowly abates until it is Sierra's eyes once more, tears flowing from the pain of the wound. "We did not do very well" she states needlessly in broken English. "I am sorry, Bella. We will find him."

Tabitha lets Rebecca seethe for the moment. She's not injured, after all. She does extend a thread of aura to pull the silk 'lasso' away from her body, though. The bulk of her attention is on Sierra, who is now back to herself and feeling the pain of her wound fully. She places a hand on Sierra's cheek and offers a soft smile. "No, we did not. But now we must tend your wound." She lands in a secluded section of Griffith Park, folding her aura back within herself before she pulls up her sleeves. "This will feel strange, but please do not move." She removes her jacket, using it to pillow Sierra's head, then gets to work.

The glyphs on her arms are now glowing a healthy forest green and expanding out onto her hands like vines. She reaches down and tears the fabric around Sierra's bullet wound a bit to allow her access, then places her fingers against the skin. There is a pulse of energy from Tabitha into Sierra, connecting their energies. The bullet traveled through Sierra's shoulder so there's no slug to worry about as the tissues, muscle, blood vessels, and bone all begin to knit themselves. There is discomfort, but very little pain as the process continues. Eventually, after a few minutes, it is finished. The wound on Sierra's shoulder is gone leaving only an old looking scar.

Tabitha takes a deep breath before breaking contact with Sierra's shoulder, because she knows what's coming next. As soon as the contact is broken and she falls backwards onto the ground as if strongly pushed. Then, on the same shoulder that Sierra was shot in, she gets an identical wound in her own shoulder that begins bleeding profusely. The main difference in this case is that Tabitha doesn't have red human blood. She has a dark forest green ichor filled with bright gold flecks.

As the lasso is loosened, Becca slips it off. She knows how Tabitha's healing goes. The Chinese girl pacing and catching her breath before she slips off her jacket to offer to Tabitha after she falls back. Rebecca kneels next to Tabitha and looks at them both. "I'm so sorry. I thought at worst it'd be an empty house and best Dad was safe, I wouldn't have agreed if I thought they were there." She tells them in English.

It's an odd feeling…but it certainly helps. With a bit of stiffness, Sierra tries to move her newly scarred shoulder before eyes pop open in surprise at what happens to Tabitha. "Now you are shot?" How is this helping? Now it's just Tabitha who is going to die! "What do we do?" she asks Rebecca in a panic, not even registering the apology when one of their number is bleeding out.

Tabitha smiles weakly up at Rebecca as she provides Tabs with her own pillow to lay her head on. She pats Rebecca's leg with her good hand, already a bit pale from blood loss. "Was my idea, Becks. My fault." She glances down at her shoulder as Sierra is asking what to do. She gives her head a shake, "Y'know… this really takes me back. Somalia, '08 to '09. Didn't like it then, either." Then she shifts her gaze up to Sierra and uses her good hand to pull her t-shirt down off the wounded shoulder. The dark green and gold ichor is already flowing more slowly as her own self-healing powers kick into gear. The wound on her is healing more slowly than it did on Sierra, but it is healing. "I'll be alright in ten minutes or so, and back to full in maybe half an hour."

"Tabitha takes on other injuries and heals them, saw her do it with Dax." Becca says and smooths back Tabitha's hair lightly. "Well, you saved our skins, thanks." She says and shudders, looking at the lasso. "Dax never hears about this. He'd have my ass for it."

"Okay. Dax does not hear about it because Becca does not want to give him her ass" Sierra nods solemnly. "And Mabel does not hear about it either." Even though she once got upset with Mabel for not talking about a similar incident that is a completely different case! "What about you, Tabby? Anyone who you don't want to give your ass to?" She studies the healing wound and decides that everything is 'okay' with that at least. "Maybe we should go to China to see your mother, Becca?" A pause. "How did they know we were coming? We did not even know until thirty minutes before we left."

Tabitha arches an eyebrow at all the 'never tell so-and-so about this', then when Sierra asks her about giving her ass to somoene she just gives the best 'bedroom eyes' she's capable of in her current state. "Why, Miss Jiminez… is that an offer?" She can't hold the expression long, though before she starts to cough. She lays her head back on Becca's jacket to rest a bit more, but does shake her head a moment later. "I'm going to exercise veto power on traveling to China." Then she thinks about the other question. "Most likely they figured that Rebecca would show up at some point and were just waiting for her to show. That's a fuck of a lot of people they had waiting there, though."

"That's a lot for us. If they were waiting for Dax and I , or more of us? It's been four of us in the past snooping things out. I don't know." Becca sits back and braids her hair to calm herself down. "Still, all this for one phaser?" She asks softly and shakes her head.

"And are we saying they had been sitting there for a week on the offchance we would show up?" Sierra asks, brow furrowing. "That sounds…odd." Not that the whole night hasn't been odd. "So we're going back to school now?" A half-smile to Tabitha. "Maybe it was an invitation." A wiggle of her eyebrows before she rises. "Once you're healthy enough to do anything."

"And they couldn't know that two of our heaviest hitters are in outer space for now." Tabitha nods to Sierra, "This whole mess is odd." The response to her remark gets an answering half-smile. "Don't think I won't take you up on that." She closes her eyes against a wave of dizziness. "When I can see straight, that is. I'll need to rest and recharge before I can get us home, though. Anyone know if there's a five-alerm fire I get thrown into for a quick snack?"

"Ummm, oh, it's summer in California, there's a fire I'm sure…" Becca nods and reaches into her shirt to fish her phone from her bra. Googling she frowns. "Big Sur but that's…eight hours in a car." She shakes her head. Looking at Sierra and Tabs flirting, she looks up at the sky.

"You need to be thrown into a fire?" Sierra's hand lights up with flickering flames. "How big do you need it to be?" A quick glance around for combustible objects. "I can fly too" she notes, "Maybe I can create the cusion around the both of you? It is only hot air that keeps me up." No awareness of any subtle, or unsubtle, alternate meanings in her words.

"Wasn't planning on flying home. Takes too long." Tabitha shrugs as the neareast California wild fire is too far to easily reach. She's about to say something when Sierra offers to make a fire. So Tabitha rolls herself into a sitting position and passes Rebecca the two jackets and her own backpack to get them out of the way. Then she smiles tiredly up at Sierra and holds her arms out to her sides, the wounded arm drooping a bit. "Just lay it on me, Sierra. Let your 'passenger' imagine that I'm the guy who shot you." Her aura extends out from her body a few feet so it's ready to feed.

Scooting back, Becca takes the jackets and backpack. She looks between the two girls and smiles a little. "I can walk on air, but at you know, normal speeds." See, she's not ground bound either! She'll watch the refuel. "Gonna portal it, Tabs?" She asks.

Sierra snorts with dry humor. "If I did that I would miss you" she deadpans before her eyes are consumed by fire again and flames rush forth from her hands to burn Tabitha. She probably should have confirmed this was a good idea. Mystical flames engulfing the other girl and Sierra will happily pour it on until told to stop…hopefully she will stop then.

Tabitha nods to Rebecca, "That was the plan. Faster to portal home since I've got locks on Paragon Island and the orphanage. Just need the juice to pull it off." And then Sierra goes into overdrive and Tabitha's aura starts to dirnk in the flames as fast as they hit her. The effect it has on her is obvious almost immediately. The half-healed bullet wound transfer closes in a heartbeat, leaving no trace of its existence. Her skin takes on a more healthy tone and she starts to look as if she just came out of a long nap and hot shower instead of a losing battle. She stands up and extends her aura further to give a larger target and prevent any chance overspill causing damage to the forest around them. Then after a few minutes she nods, "Alright. I'm good to go."

That never gets old. Becca stares at Tabitha's aura and whistles low. "Man, I wish I had a recharge. I just take naps." She tells them both and looks around to make sure they're secure still. She'll keep the backpack and jackets close to her chest.

Sierra turns off the juice…luckily…and pants as she recovers her composure. "I just…mumble to…myself…" she smiles to Becca before looking over at Tabitha. "All good?"

Tabitha's response is to nod and stand back a few paces from the other two before saying, "Be sure to go through as soon as the portal is up. The less time I have to hold it, the better shape I'll be in when it's over." Then she floats up a couple feet from the ground, and takes a pose similar to the classic daVinci 'Vitruvian Man'. She closes her eyes and after a few seconds a ring of energy forms linking her head, hands, and feet. The ring grows brighter, expands outward until it's bottom touches the floor. Then the energy moves inward, covering Tabitha completely although she is still visible as a silhouette in the unstable disk. A breath later and three things happen all at once. The energy disk becomes stable with an almost audible 'snap', its glow is replaced by a seemingly infinite blackness with a rim of violet at the edge of the disk, and then a cutout circle of the Paragon Island forest is suddenly there in the woods with them.

Once the others have gone through, she triggers the dimensional shift that determines which end of the portal is where 'she' is located and cuts the energies holding the pattern stable. She materializes on the island side while the portal destabilizes then vanishes entirely. And then she's drooping almost as bad as she was after taking on Sierra's gunshot wound. "Time for a long nap, I think."

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