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About Gizmo

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    The Tiger-Force at the Core of All Things
  • Birthday March 10
  1. Turned Every Witch Way

    "It's a weird situation," Erik agreed, resting an elbow on the table and leaning his hear against his closed hand. "I don't think there's any easy answer there but you don't have to decide right now and it's okay if you change your mind down the road. If you do want to visit them one of us will always go with you. If you don't want to see them we'll support that, too." He didn't bother raising the possibility that the Sandersons might not be convicted; they both knew the trail was practically a formality at this point. He gave her a faint smile even if she hadn't looked up yet. "And I know talking about this stuff is pretty much your least favourite thing of all time but if you need to vent or just be pissed without having to pretend for bit I'm not going anywhere."
  2. Turned Every Witch Way

    "Hey. Raina, look at me." Erik leaned forward over the table to try to catch the teenager's eyes as she speared the preternaturally blue puddle. "He was my boss and my friend but he wasn't my dad. Hell, my old man wasn't even my dad." His expression didn't read as pity so much as genuine concern, a sort of frank focus on her body language and reaction as he spoke slowly and carefully compared to his usual rapid-fire. "I told you all that because I think it's similar and I think you and me react to that sort of thing in similar ways but it's not the same. The fact that you've got your life back on track as much as you have is freaking amazing, kid. I'd be more worried if you didn't miss them." Erik's eyes hardened as his jaw set, teeth grinding quietly. "I'm not going to sit here and tell you what I think of your folks but they sure as hell don't have a stupid daughter, alright?"
  3. Turned Every Witch Way

    Erik opened his mouth to reply then closed it again, pressing his lips into a thin line as he considered. "Part of me does," he admitted after a long pause. "A lot of the best things in my life wouldn't have happened without him and it'd honestly be easy to make excuses for him. But... okay, this is going to sound bad but stay with me." He bought himself a moment to marshall his thoughts while finishing the last of his waffle cone. "People are going to let you down. Sometimes people you trust and sometimes in big ways. Maybe they're not who you thought they were or they just do something selfish. And you can decide to just not trust anybody but that leaves you more vulnerable not less." He spread his hands in an apologetic shrug. "But for me what that does is just makes me not want to be one of those people, see? I want to be somebody who's worthy of trust, I want to have my friends' backs and do the right thing even if it's not easier for me personally. Because the only person you really get to control is yourself." The fencer rubbed the back of his head, a little self-conscious about the philosophical tone he was wandering into. "So if it were just about me maybe I'd give the guy another chance. But it's my team now, my people and I'm not willing to roll the dice for them, too. If that makes sense?"
  4. Quarrel in the Quarry

    It took Winifred a few moments to get her bearings and focus on Riley's words, bone deep weariness written across her face. Guilt and shame joined exhaustion as she recalled enough of the initial fight with the golden creatures to realize what had happened. "I tried to hold it back..." she muttered in a small voice, rubbing her face across the sleeve of the jacket wrapped around her. Tattered garments and unfamiliar replacements could only phase her so much any more. "I thought I was going to make it but then it was in my mouth and--" She gagged reflexively and had to focus on her breathing for a moment before she could meet her friend's eyes again. "I didn't hurt you?"
  5. Turned Every Witch Way

    "It... was a little more complicated than that. We'd been working together for years by then. I trusted the guy. He was my friend." Erik's teeth grated audibly over that last word but he pushed on. "So we pulled the bad side out of him and it turned into a giant monster and it was a pretty crappy night all things considered. But what was left over was still the guy who'd lied to our faces and screwed us over by not dealing with his baggage. We trusted him but he never trusted us." He finished his scoop of ice cream and bit into the cone. "You let that stuff fester, especially with powers involved? He was smart enough to know exactly how that was going to shake out. So I told him to stay the @#$% away from my family."
  6. Turned Every Witch Way

    With a single scoop of surprisingly plain strawberry in hand took a moment to visibly steel himself, exhaling softly. "So that super genius I mentioned? Guy who brought us together in the first place. Turns out he had this bad side he couldn't control and that he didn't tell us about." The fencer grimaced in spite of himself, looking away briefly. "Used some technology to turn a bunch of us into puppets, make us hurt people. And then he blew it up. Our base. Our home. With Min inside. Chris, too and all of Vince's servers." Anger crept into his voice and there was a soft crunch as his thumb dug a divot into his waffle cone. "He's the one that built Vince in the first place. #$%@, he just wanted to make the guy proud. Managed to upload most of himself or something, I don't really know how that stuff works." Ice cream started to dribble onto his fingers and he paused the story to eat enough of it to keep pace with the melting.
  7. Turned Every Witch Way

    Erik gave Merlin a nod of acknowledgement and grunted noncommittally. "I rode a unicorn once. Basically a horse with a sword on its head, so." It was a bit of a reach but it was about as close as he could come to empathizing with the experience of owning a pony. "Pony's sort of a pet, yeah? It'd suck if somebody took your dog or whatever. And I said it doesn't go away but it can get better." He walked over the coat rack attached to the wall in the space between the training room and the entranceway. "C'mon, we'll go to McGillicutty's. Ice cream does not last long here." The ice cream parlour was only about a block away and it was a good excuse to get some fresh air and a bit of a cool down walk anyway.
  8. Turned Every Witch Way

    "That's fair. I'm still probably going to make you sit through some Zorro at some point on movie night. Because swords are the coolest." Erik took a few more leisurely pulls from his own bottle of water while retrieving Raina's discarded foil. "And not for nothing but you actually picked that up pretty quickly and in non-ideal conditions. Talya was right about your footwork getting good." He packed up the practice weapons and turned back to her, water bottle pressed to the back of his neck. "So. I know you don't want to talk about it... but do you want to talk about it? You don't have to. I owe you ice cream either way."
  9. Turned Every Witch Way

    Erik gave a small nod of understanding, largely to himself and not looking particularly victorious. He set his own foil down and quickly retrieved a pair of water bottles from the mini fridge tucked in amongst the equipment racks. Keeping a pace back to give Raina her space he held one out to her. "So I'm kind of an asshole. Half asshole, on my old man's side. Jokes." He couldn't keep all of the concern off of his face but hoped it at least didn't come across as patronizing. "Deep breaths, yeah? That was a pretty good workout there." He tilted his head a little trying to get a better look at her expression. "Scale of one to immolation, how mad at me are you right now?"
  10. Turned Every Witch Way

    "See, to the untrained ear that might sound like a sarcastic deflection," Erik drawled, abruptly adding a new component into the routine, holding speed until he was sure Raina had integrated into her own repetitions. "Y'know, I dated a couple cheerleaders in high school. Got to compete in front of some decent sized crowds, made the other guys look like they were standing still. Not rich, sure but I had that free ride lined up, who knows, maybe Olympics." With the new step successfully added he continued, trusting Raina's pride to keep her motivated as the burn started to set in. "Then hey, because of some @#$% mi mama can't walk and I'm working at two different convenience stores so that mi hermanita can maybe go to school. And getting powers, hey, that was pretty great but it didn't make up for the bad stuff, it didn't all even out so I felt fine. When the things that are important to you get taken away and you can't stop it? No amount of magic is going to make you feel less powerless. Somebody saying 'look at all the good things in your life' isn't going to make you less angry." He stopped the drills and let out a long breath, the faint sheen of sweat having returned to his bare shoulder. "Look. Ask me why I don't live in a brownstone with a bunch of loveable losers anymore."
  11. Turned Every Witch Way

    "I didn't say it was a good example," Erik clarified breezily, going through the came cycle of movements, a little more quickly this time. "Although how's your school full of meta-kids doing? Comfortable for your super intelligent monkey and that kid who used to be a statue? You've even got a slightly mental sharpshooter from another dimension. We should make bingo cards." He sped up just a little more with each repetition, just enough that Raina had to continue to work to keep up as she got more and more comfortable with it. "But I'm not talking about exciting anyway. I'm talking about pissed. You can't tell me you don't have reasons to be pissed."
  12. Turned Every Witch Way

    "No, the zombie got decapitated by-- Never mind. Sounds fair. I'm probably still going to buy you ice cream, though." He tossed the tennis balls over his shoulder and they landed unerringly back in their bin. "I've got a lot of misplaced guilt and it'd be nice to do that for somebody who won't end up wearing most of it." Walking over to one of the weapons racks instead he picked up a pair of practice foils, returning to hand one to Raina. "Anyway, I got kinda off track there but what I was trying to get at is that I know I'm like this lame old guy who's obsessed with his weird hobby but I do get what it's like to be angry and sarcastic with everybody because if you fight with everybody at least you can actually win something, when you really need a win." He shrugged as moved over to his own section of the training mat and raised his foil. "And I get not wanting to actually talk about any of that because it feels like showing weakness so you make a joke or do something crazy to deflect it. And I get that it doesn't ever really all go away, not totally. So sometimes I still have days where I need to punch a bag for half an hour. But y'know. That's me." He adopted the first stance he'd shown her again.
  13. Turned Every Witch Way

    "Sword," Erik reminded her, catching two tennis balls in each hand. "And the dragon bees wouldn't eat you! They're great! My friend grows giant flowers for them and they mostly just chill, doing bee stuff. And their names are all bee puns! The guy who bred the first ones was, y'know, committed to theme. He built some robot ones, too but they're not as big. And meeting them totally helped me bury the hatchet with this other hero." He waved a hand dismissively as he realized he was getting off topic. "She decapitated my buddy and I yelled at her, he was fine, I was totally the jerk on that one. We don't have to go see the bees. What do you want to do? Is this a buy you ice cream situation?"
  14. Turned Every Witch Way

    Erik considered that for a moment, still juggling. "That's actually a pretty good point. But I want you to practice keeping the sword 'solid' while focusing on other stuff and the alternative is sparring which would mean I'd have to let you stab me and I haven't shown you how to do that without roasting my internal organs yet." The chances of her being able to get a solid hit on him with her sword under normal circumstance were pretty low but there was only so much she'd learn from failing to hit him for an extended period of time. Even so he was apparently weighing the options seriously. "How about if we try this out I will introduce you to a bunch of talking bees the size of semi trucks. Who breathe fire. And who consider me a folk hero. Because I taught them the art of romance." He shrugged. "Or we could do more drills."
  15. Turned Every Witch Way

    He grinned infuriatingly. "The moral of this story should probably be that I've been set on fire a lot and failed to learn anything from it." He began to juggle four of the tennis balls idly. Of course he juggled. "But yeah, Huang's mom and some other folks turned back time, saved the day, it was fine. The point is we were a pretty crappy team at first. We didn't didn't trust each other, we were always arguing, everybody was trying to sleep with everybody." It occurred to him belatedly who he was talking to and he frowned. "Forget you heard that last part. Anyway, we got better. Some folks peaced out, some turned bad, some new people signed up but the ones who stuck around, they were family. We were all living together in this brownstone that we called 'the Brownstone' because I lost a vote and we had each others' backs. Bounty hunters and giant monsters and drug zombies, we could take on anybody. Now, I can throw these at you or we can do more drills. Your call!"