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Challenge  Cypher's Invitation    Challenge #01
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4 Posts Plot/NPC

Challenge #01 : Cypher's Invitation


Last week, you got an invitation on your comms device to an event being held today by the Military-run scientific corporation, Cypher. The invitation stated that only a select few Military officers and Cypher personnel were selected for this event — even if you're not sure what it entails.

In other words, an exclusive event. You accepted the invitation.

The entrance lobby for Cypher's headquarters is a massive display of modern architectural design. The white floors, walls, and even ceilings emulate the sterile nature of the company. There's a gathering of people in the center of the lobby, just slightly off from where the secretarial desks sit. It's clear these are the people that were also invited to the exclusive event.

At the front of the group, atop a small podium that puts her above the head height of those already gathered, is a small woman dressed in a white lab coat. Her hair is tied back in a tight bun, adding a sense of severity to her sharp facial features. Pushing the glasses up that sit on the bridge of her nose, she glances down at the clipboard she's holding to check something off before she looks back up at the crowd again. Two bodyguards stand further back on the podium, arms crossed in front of them.

They're armed to the teeth with guns.

"Welcome, everyone, and thank you for joining Cypher here today," the woman on the podium suddenly speaks into the microphone in front of her. "My name is Dr. Nadir, and it is my pleasure to welcome all of you to this monumental event today. We are currently still waiting on some people to arrive, but in the meantime feel free to talk amongst yourselves."

As soon as she's done talking, Dr. Nadir turns her back to the audience in order to walk back towards the bodyguards and whisper something to them.

Looks like you got here just a little bit early. Time to mingle?



Characters Participating


Ananke Drakos , Asena Noir , Jessie Michels
Micah Scofield , Tatiana Beckett

NPC MILITARY OFFICERS & CYPHER PERSONNEL ARE ALSO PART OF THE INVITED GROUP
FEEL FREE TO INVOLVE THESE NPCS IN YOUR POSTS


Challenge Mechanics


  The thread is staff-run; this means that staff will be posting at regular intervals to keep the plot moving. The next staff post will be on June 27th.

  Everyone is expected to post at least once a week, aka once a round. If you are unable to, your character will be NPC'd if necessary for that round (in a minor way) simply to keep the plot going. If you fail to post after three rounds, your character will be excluded.

  You are welcome to post more than once a round, as long as it doesn't derail the thread.

  NPC Military officers and Cypher personnel that are also part of the group invited to this 'event' can be included in players' posts as long as they don't derail the thread. However, the main NPC of the thread, Dr. Nadir, can only be controlled by staff.

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Posted 06-20-2021, 02:56 PM This post was last modified: 06-20-2021, 03:02 PM by Silhouette
Played by Andromeda    9 Posts Micah Scofield

As he listened to Dr. Nadir, poised one podium with her cool, composed visage, Micah Scofield stood by on the edge of the crowd that slowly began to form before the low stage, arms crossed and lensed eyes looking up at his colleague. He was familiar with Dr. Nadir; the two did research together in the past, although he had not spoken to her in years since he'd accepted a new position in Cypher. After all those years, she looked the same, with thin hair pulled tight in that austere bun.

Although he wore the tag of a Cypher personnel, he knew little of why his organization was hosting event. Like most of these private gatherings, there was little flair on those tall, bureaucratic white walls or indication as to what was to be announced. He preferred it that way when he worked- the blank walls provided little distraction, and décor in his mind was unnecessary, tools to stroke the human ego.

Dr. Nadir bade them all to "talk amongst themselves". Micah shuffled uneasily on his feet. Talking was not one of his strong suits. Most of the time he preferred it to be that way, for he found most conversation to be meaningless and shallow. Yet everyone grew lonely at some point, and it was now profound in the way people were drawn to each other while the doctor only had acquaintances he would see in passing, in which he previously brushed off all attempts at conversation.

He awkwardly smoothed the front of his long white lab coat. In his hand he had traded a datapad for a slim glass of champagne. The doctor rarely indulged himself, but he was also rarely received invitations. He brought his glass up to his nose and sniffed the drink. It was a poignant, crisp and fruity smell. Deducing that he would like the taste, he took a small sip.

Tingly. Pleasant.

Just then, his eyes caught the flash of a nametag. Noir. He rarely remembered names, yet could recall the last name "Noir" floating about the doctor's office when he worked there. As his coworker stated, she was a real "pain in the ass" when it came to doctor's visits. Maybe he could sway her mind.

Micah approached the woman with thick, ebony hair. His eyes glanced down at the nametag once more. He made no effort to introduce himself as he stated, "Asena Noir. You know that you have skipped several doctor's appointments with Cypher?". His hazel eyes locked onto hers, indicating an emotionless, analytical mind that could not comprehend why one would not want to go to their doctor's appointments. "They are important for your health, Ms. Noir."

Tag : Asena Noir
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Posted 06-21-2021, 08:26 PM This post was last modified: 06-22-2021, 05:42 AM by Micah Scofield
Played by    115 Posts Jessie Michels
He wanted to decline the invitation; when his senses buzzed with suspicion, it was only the fear of fucking up that caused him to say yes, sure--

As if he’d had a choice at all.

Jessie was sure he hadn’t.

He came to the place more than just on time, and in fact a tad earlier; the receptionist’s desk, the smattering of the bodyguards-- even the walls were given a survey as if they were held accountable for any suspicious activity; for all he knew about this organization, they could be.

Yet the noise of his thoughts was given no space to float, for one after another people arrived, and the event, then, at some point had begun.

Dr Nadir, huh.

Jessie felt tense.

More than tense, he felt vulnerable, and great-- he felt a bleeding wound even if he’d not tell anyone what had happened; he felt a stranger, and he decided that he’d act a commoner-- just another man here to join the others, a name tag sadly plastered on, his military uniform obvious, but he’d not take a drink, and he’d not really do much in the way of actual mingling; for when he did decide to pop in onto a conversation, he didn’t care much he wasn’t enjoying anything; no food neither drink for him to polish off within minutes, only the reality of the two he stumbled upon, figurative--

Only the reality of the two people Jessie just came upon, recognizing both-- one from just their most recent, adventurous venture, almost hooding his eyes with dangerous affection-- the other a man whose name Jessie knew because he had to know these things, and because remembering names came easy, along with numbers.

Not the point.

When he somewhat limped to them, it was only somewhat; it was imperceptible; it did not matter.

And yet he did enter upon their little private bubble, joyfully speaking--

“Asena! Ba-- wait, you don’t like that.”

He looked at the man; never spoken to him, not that he could recall, but Jessie beamed at him regardless, and greeted--

“Baby. Please tell me you will be happy to be called baby. Nobody wants to be called baby.”

With that rueful complaint, Jessie plucked Micah’s drink from his hand--

And, well, downed it.

"Oh, refreshing."
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Posted 06-22-2021, 09:52 AM
Played by SweetDreamur    41 Posts Ananke Drakos
Ananke is not particularly high up on the military food-chain. As a Specialist, she is exactly that- one who specializes, in this case specifically in killing infected. The skill with which she does her job is sometimes met with praise, and a certain kind of gratitude that not all officers are given, but that doesn't necessarily equate to glory or status. She kills infected. She's rather good at killing infected. But that's all she really does, and since the woman has very little interest in 'office politics' as some might call them, she's never really gotten around to becoming someone important outside of that one niche field of hers.

So it's a bit of a surprise when she's invited to this... 'party'.

She's not sure if this is what a party is supposed to be like. She doesn't go to many parties in the first place. Or ever. But regardless of her experience (or lack thereof), Ananke is quite sure they don't usually include bodyguards rife with guns.

It's not the fact that they're armed. Ananke is also armed. She rarely ever isn't. But a hidden pistol strapped between her sweater and her blazer is a far cry from the heavy-duty units those men are carrying. Secret service, almost certainly. The women the soldiers are guarding, Dr. Nadir, stands at the podium, but apparently doesn't have anything of note to say yet. (Which makes Ananke wonder as to why she's standing up there in the first place, an easy target when she doesn't even need to be there yet.) 'Mingle among yourselves', she'd suggested.

Mmm. No. Ananke doesn't feel like doing that.

It's too suspicious an occasion for her to relax, much less mingle. The odd invitation. The soldiers. The... civilians. It doesn't sit right with her. Ananke wouldn't have come at all, but the phrase "exclusive" in the military usually takes on a meaning more similar to "mandatory" instead. Like exclusive extra cleaning duty. The prospect of refusing was more harrowing than accepting. But that doesn't mean Ananke has to like it.

The specialist fiddles with the stem of her glass. She doesn't drink, only watches the crowd while pretending to imbibe. No, she doesn't like this at all. Not one bit.

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Posted 06-22-2021, 08:02 PM
Played by Enyo    22 Posts Asena Noir
What highly intelligent individual would have ever invited her to an event like this? It had to be a mistake, this room alone was far too clean for her not to mention all the white coats wandering around were making her anxiety spike. She inched closer and closer to the back of the crowd as Dr. Nadir addressed the crowd briefly encouraging them to mingle while they waited for a few more people to arrive. Who in their right mind would even want to be there? Asena fidgeted with her shirt doing her very best to stay composed and professional in this less than desirable environment. As much as she wanted to just up and leave she kept her feet planted her curiosity beating out her anxiety.

Things were looking up it seemed, she was starting to relax in her surroundings, her heart rate slowing, her breathing leveling out, and then HE just had to show up. She recognized him somewhat, her nose wrinkling the moment he began speaking directly to her, he could have just walked on but no, it never works out like that. Once again her anxiety began to spike, her eyes settled on him with an obvious look of discontent. " I'm aware.", cold and somewhat shaky this man may as well have been the devil standing before her. " They are only important for your health if you are in poor health, no sense in going if you aren't sick or dying and even then dying is obviously the better option.", she could take care of her damn self, she learned to stitch herself back up and slap a band-aid on anything else, it hadn't killed her yet.

Just when she was about to start an angry rant about how useless most of these doctors were her blue-eyed savior entered the scene. She wasn't even mad that he almost slipped up and called her baby, no, instead she beamed a smile right back to him and gave him a little shove towards Micah. " Meet my good friend Jessie! A real gentleman~ You two will get along great.", and just like that she sacrificed Jessie to Micah, or at least in her head that was how it worked out, rest his soul.

Tag : Ananke Drakos Micah Scofield Jessie Michels
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Posted 06-24-2021, 01:01 PM This post was last modified: 06-24-2021, 01:02 PM by Asena Noir
Played by Enyo    4 Posts Tatiana Beckett
With a peaked curiosity, Tatiana roamed around the open room mingling amongst her co-workers and talking with what few military personnel she recognized. This entire event felt off somehow, why were there so many guns for what she assumed would be just a simple little announcement? It didn't make sense but nothing in this new world really made sense to Tati anyways, maybe this was the new way of doing things.

If Cypher had something big planned they sure were being tight-lipped about it because she was totally out of the loop and something about that bothered her just a little. She recalled the last time she had been left out of the loop with this crooked company the end of the world nearly happened and she was pretty sure she died (somewhat)...could this be a repeat? Could the world really almost end twice? She shrugged off the thought and went about her mingling, going from person to person trying to prod them for information but coming up fruitless every time. No one knew what the hell this was all about.

She grabbed a drink and sipped from her glass, eyes scanning the room until they spotted Ananke who was watching the crowd, before she even realized what she was doing she found herself making her way right over to the other woman. " Well, what do you think it is?", she asked as if she had known this stranger her entire life. " Personally I think it's just going to be a waste of time, something small and unimportant but why would they keep her so guarded if that's the case?", She talked regardless of if the other woman was listening or not, curious to hear her speculations.

Tag : Ananke Drakos Micah Scofield Jessie Michels
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Posted 06-24-2021, 01:22 PM
Played by Andromeda    9 Posts Micah Scofield

The cold, discontent bite of her voice was lost to Micah. He figured it to be customary distance, as he acknowledged he was a stranger. He pushed the bridge of glasses up his nose, wondering for a split second whether to get a pair with a narrower bridge, as his always felt to be slipping down his face.

"A common misconception, Ms. Noir, born of human indolence and irrationality. Though you may feel completely fine, it is possible for an physical or viral ailment to afflict you without your knowledge. That is why cancer was the number one cause of death to the developed human population before DraC-2 spread-"

He was unable to finish his riveting thought, as Asena suddenly pulled a blue eyed man into view. It was only then that Micah saw his own champagne glass resting in the other's hand, decidedly empty. Sadness flickered in the doctor, but only for a moment before waves of that uncomfortable awkwardness washed over Micah, as it tended to do when speaking to more than one stranger.

"Uh, yes, I suppose it is," Micah consented to this "Jessie's" comment on his (former) drink. "Though I would contest this to be more rich and resonant before refreshing. That has more to do with the temperature of the drink than the flavor. "

Why, the texture alone was a myriad of sensations. And it was not that Micah was trying to get into an argument. No, quite the opposite. Didactic, poignant discussion was what Micah sought, excelled at, and he figured perhaps that would be the best way to get the other to, as others put it, "like" him.

Tag : Asena Noir Jessie Michels
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Posted 06-26-2021, 06:08 PM
4 Posts Plot/NPC
Even though Dr. Nadir herself continues to keep her back to the audience, talking in hushed tones with the guards surrounding her, it's clear someone is keeping tally of the people entering the event. There's enough time for people to mingle — for Military officers to rub shoulders with Cypher personnel — before the woman finally turns her attention back to the crowd, once more approaching the podium. She clears her throat and taps the microphone, getting everyone's attention once more.

"Now that everyone is gathered, I once again extend to you all a warm welcome from Cypher. This is a momentous occasion for the company, and it is my honour to be here today to share this day with you," she speaks into the microphone. There's no hesitation in her speech; she's clearly done this before. Although the words are light and enthusiastic, there's no warmth to them.

Dr. Nadir is very clinical in the way she currently speaks. Typical of Cypher, maybe?

"As you can tell, only a select few of you were chosen to be part of this exclusive event. We did not want to simply choose those higher up in the organizations, but rather the people we felt had something to offer us." She offers a smile — but it doesn't quite meet her eyes. Almost as if it's rehearsed. "Today, you will be part of something bigger than yourselves. Something that's been decades in the making. Cypher is excited to showcase for you today its latest project."

"We call it Project X."

Dr. Nadir stops her speech as people attending the event applaud her announcement, clearly excited for what Cypher is about to showcase. Even if they don't know yet what it is.



CHALLENGE ROUND


  The next staff post will be on July 4th.

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Posted 06-28-2021, 12:48 AM
Played by    115 Posts Jessie Michels
She beamed.

Jessie did not deny himself that flustered flutter of his heart-- instead, he beamed right back, before looking at the man whose drink he had plucked right from his hand and who, really, was being lied to right now big time.

Gentleman.

God, Asena, Jessie was thinking, you really must hate this poor fucker.

But on the contrary, it made Jessie curious about said fucker.

Thankfully, his curiosity was met a moment later.

Jessie looked down at his drink-- or what was once a drink, inspecting the empty glass as if the very same descriptives used had been found in the bottom thereof, and he’d merely failed to investigate the glass proper before downing it all.

But then, no matter that weird moment of chastising, he grinned, and said back to his new best friend, apparently--

“Wouldn’t you use resonant… for words, music and such?” he asked curiously, in fact looking at Asena too-- a shift of glances between her and the new-ass fucker, before Jessie settled on the new face quite happily, and chirped in--

“Yano what, I’ll give you that. Resonant aassss--”

His words were interrupted just then.

Dr Nadir was back with more over the top nonsense; quite unimpressed, and his brows shooting up to punctuate that point, Jessie watched the woman navigate through the bitter part of being a spokesperson; the manifold waffle; and words, and words and words that came out of her, eventually knitting Jessie’s brows together-- eventually slipping a sense of ill into the pit of his stomach, and as the woman wrapped up, keen on leaving them with the mystery of this X stuff, Jessie sighed somewhat, slipping the glass back to his best friend in the world, before turning to Asena--

“So, yeah, I wish we hadn’t agreed.” He paused.

“Or been made to agree.”

He grinned lamely, and crookedly, certain of one thing.

One thing he was kind enough to share among the rest of them.

With, as you would, devil-may-care cheer.

“We’re fucked.”
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Posted 06-28-2021, 04:50 AM This post was last modified: 06-28-2021, 11:12 AM by Jessie Michels
Played by SweetDreamur    41 Posts Ananke Drakos
Being only vaguely aware of Cypher and its workings, Ananke would have been relatively unimpressed with this entire 'show' were she not relatively unsettled instead. Nothing about this situation sits right with her. None of the people here seem to have much in common besides their occupations- a few of them seem to know each other, judging by the way one of the military officers has just shoved who Ananke assumes is her friend in front of someone else- but other than that, no one here is of particularly high rank or note. Including her.

And then there's the doctor herself, who instead of greeting people like a host presumably should, has been only whispering to the overly armed bodyguards at her side. As if planning something. When she does deign to speak to the masses, it's in a practiced tone, almost too practiced.

What is she, a robot?

Someone else seems to agree with the sentiment, because she sidles up to Ananke and starts talking. The other woman- curly haired, not quite as wary as Ananke is herself- doesn't seem convinced by this 'party' either. "Something's not right," the specialist mutters. Everything is too rehearsed. Too planned. "I don't think we're the first group they've held this 'exclusive' party for." Why else would people already be clapping?

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Posted 07-01-2021, 01:55 PM
Played by Enyo    22 Posts Asena Noir
" Doctor please, I am trying to do you a favor~ You don't want me in your office I promise. Take Jessie, he would be a much better patient I'm sure. ", her words were spoken from behind Jessie using him as a barrier between herself and Micah. " Jessie is your man for all that weird shit.", Yes going to the doctor was weird shit to her, who would even want to know that they were sick or dying? LET IT BE A SURPRISE. " He needs a mental evaluation like now, who drinks someone else's drink like that? Not a sane person. That's disgusting, remind me later to talk to you about why you shouldn't drink after people, Jessie.", she sighed knowing good and well he was going to keep doing him, it was a character trait for him to do off-the-wall shit and she would never admit it but it was starting to grow on her.

When Dr. Nadir took the podium once again Asena almost instantly looked back at Jessie, her stomach twisting into knots. She didn't want to know what Project X was, that sounded way above her paygrade and she wasn't even the slightest bit interested. She looked to Micah just as Jessie spoke, they were indeed fucked. " I think we should leave. Now.", She might not have liked the doctor but she wasn't going to leave him there to become food for whatever mutant they were about to pull out calling it project X, project feed them all to some jacked-up hunter maybe. " Listen to them clap like they actually know what the hell she's talking about."

Tag : Ananke Drakos Micah Scofield Jessie Michels
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Posted 07-03-2021, 10:06 AM
Played by Enyo    4 Posts Tatiana Beckett
What could there possibly be to worry about? Cypher was our friend, a company you could really trust and get behind! They have already done so much good to further their small little world, HA. These people were so crooked she was surprised they could stand straight, hearing the words project X made her roll her eyes right back, how dramatic. She felt like Ananke was onto something for sure, why were people already clapping if this was the first group unless it was just a bunch of sheep clapping along for the sake of it. " Let's see how it plays out, it's silly to get so worried before we even know what this project X even is.", she could play naive for the time being, a soft voice of reason seemingly giving the benefit of the doubt.

Tatiana wasn't going to go into panic mode just yet, not over what she still assumed to be an announcement more than anything. It was going to take a lot more than that to really get her riled up and ready to take action. If things did go sideways she at least knew she had a slight upper hand from being a level V, she could fight her way out but she imagined she would be shot well before she would even make it out of the building. " Maybe they are just announcing a new weapon or something to help take out the infected more efficiently...but that just makes me question things more."

Tag : Ananke Drakos Micah Scofield Jessie Michels
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Posted 07-03-2021, 10:43 AM
4 Posts Plot/NPC
The guards are on the move as the clapping continues, moving themselves into some semblance of a position at the front of the crowd, surrounding the platform that Dr. Nadir currently stands on. They don't have their guns pulled and don't prove to be any kind of threat to the event-goers, but they are still clearly on edge and just waiting to react to something.

"Thank you everyone, thank you. If you would be so kind as to finish your drinks and hand them off to one of the Cypher employees coming around now, we can begin." As soon as Dr. Nadir is finished speaking, she leaves the stage and heads in the direction of where the guards had been gathering.

Cypher employees, dressed like waiters and waitresses you would see at a fancy club, begin to filter through the crowd, taking the empty champagne glasses from those attending. Once their glass is gone, a guard follows along to shepherd the person in the direction that Dr. Nadir had gone.

Almost like gathering everyone together for some kind of field trip.

You see two options that you can do:

[ FOLLOW THE CROWD ]  or  [ TRY TO LEAVE ]

Which do you do?



CHALLENGE ROUND


  The next staff post will be on July 11th.

  Make sure you OOCly specify which of the above actions your character is trying to do.

  Because Jessie Michels is now inactive, feel free to assume he left the event.

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Posted 07-06-2021, 09:16 PM
Played by SweetDreamur    41 Posts Ananke Drakos
"The term 'playing out' has a rather broad definition, don't you think?" She mutters to Tatiana. Waiters have begun collecting their glasses- Ananke hands her, untouched, to the nearest one. She wonders if they've noticed. Guards, each as heavily armed as the last, move to corral them to where Dr. Nadir wants them to be.

Maybe Ananke is just being paranoid. Maybe she's just overthinking things. Or maybe she's completely right and is about to die because she's doing exactly what Cypher wanted, despite her not even really being affiliated with them. "I'm sure if it's really just a weapon, I'll find out soon enough," she tells her conversation partner. "But I don't feel very inclined to find out right this second."

It was time to leave.

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Posted 07-09-2021, 11:54 AM
Played by Andromeda    9 Posts Micah Scofield

It was a back and forth dialect of wits. Micah pushed his nose up the bridge of his glasses, holding his breath as he waited to exhale a response to Jessie. Notwithstanding Asena on the other side of him, insisting that they talk and that she did not need to be attended to by a doctor, which was a foolish assumption.

The microphone clicked on before Micah could get his response through. The doctor turned his head calmly, showing no outward emotion of irritation at the interruption. He listened, the figures collected in front of him, from a light trickle of people to a thick crowd, reflected in his glasses lens.

Micah kept his reservations to himself. He watched, curiously, at Asena, as she tugged Jessie's arm, insisting that they leave. There was a flash of apprehension in her hazel eyes, quite not unlike that when Micah approached. Yet the dots were not connecting and Micah could not understand the rolling murmur of excitement bristling through the crowd. He looked past Asena to two women nearby, also standing on guard, on edge. One wore the unmistakable emblem of the Military.

He tilted his gaze back to Asena and Jessie. And then the voices, that varied in volume and emotion, plummeted as Dr. Nadir's voice rang out once more.

"We can begin."

The doctor felt eyes on him. It was his white coat, no doubt, that hung crisp over his lean shoulders, the one that bore a striking resemblance to Dr. Nadir's. Micah wore an unperturbed expression, handing his empty champagne glass to a passing waiter dressed as sharply as Nadir. He looked back at Asena and Jessie, but found the latter gone. He swallowed a flicker of mild surprise before holding Asena's eye contact once more. The doctor gestured to where the crowd funneled behind Dr. Nadir.

"I do not know about you, but for me, curiosity is impossible to ignore." Before stepping in the momentum of the crowd and letting the pool of people bring him to where Cypher beckoned.

Tag : Asena Noir Tatiana Beckett Ananke Drakos

Micah follows the crowd!
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Posted 07-10-2021, 08:40 PM This post was last modified: 07-10-2021, 09:34 PM by Micah Scofield
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