Welcome to Luxerion, Nebraska, the largest city in the state. That's right, the largest; we're not your typical small-town with big
secrets, we're just big all around. It's something of a magical epicenter, even, where magical and mundane collide in unexpected ways.
With everything from famous athletes, to vampire mafia leaders, to reborn gods running around, ACMA's got its hands full keeping
Luxerion in order. Luxerion International Academy offers mundane and magical students alike an impressive boost to their
educational resume-many businesses and companies have a high demand for LIA alumni. Whatever you're in Luxerion for, you'll
find it-and maybe a lot more, besides. 16+, 3.2.2 => 3.3.3.
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[n] the point in the orbit of a planet, asteroid, or comet, at which it is furthest from the sun
Okay, so here's the deal: in short, the alert system for topic and board watches on SMF 2.1 are a bit broken. Sometimes, it'd fail to send an alert for no apparent reason. I found the thing in the back-end. I found where it's going wrong. I don't know why. (No, I have no freakin' idea why that breaks.)
In short tl;dr form, basically, the system will check to see if you want alerts and then set up the alert stuff to send you one. Cool beans, right? Right. Somehow, somewhere in there, it starts failing intermittently. So I made it stop checking. If you are watching a thread, you will get alerts, period, no matter what you tell the system. This does not matter, because this server cannot send emails, anyway.
You won't get multiple ones for the same thread, if you don't read it in-between, but you will always get alerts, even if you turn them off. If you don't want alerts anymore, delete the thread from your watches, because turning alerts off no longer works! Now, there's an important thing to note here, if you don't get into the thread and read it, it won't reset to 0, and you won't get another alert for it if someone posts again later. So make sure you're actually reading the thread when you remove the alert if you want more alerts later.
Quick edit is also broken, I know why. I'm working on a new theme for Aphelion now, so hang tight. If you want full functionality back, use the Curve2 theme.
Maybe. No, logically, he was right, and she knew it. Alison wasn't that kind of person, and, despite her anxiety telling her otherwise, Rowan did know that. Sometimes, it was just difficult to override the anxiety. It was stupid, the anxiety was wrong, she knew that. It was - yeah, she knew. Alison had never been like that, not to her, or anyone, as far as Rowan knew (didn't she do teen pregnancy outreaches, even?). Eh. Well, maybe she'd talk to her later. Alison had been where Rowan was, before. Skylar's grandmother Kelly had, too. Two generations of teen moms, they had to have some advice for her.
Mostly, she just... she was afraid of being a terrible mom. Yes, Rowan knew what not to do, and Alison was a good example to use (probably her only one), of what to do, and her own experiences and wishes. How she wanted her mom to be like. It just didn't feel like enough.
"Kind of comes with the territory," Rowan answered. Young, pretty, no ring... yeah. It was bound to happen sooner or later. "Just don't go decking someone because they called me a slut or some dumb thing like that, okay?" That was not a good idea. And besides, Rowan didn't want him getting in a fight or something over her, that was even worse. And Skylar seemed weirdly determined to falcon punch people over her - or try, anyway.
Wait, the GP? Like, the Grand Prix GP? He could've died and disappeared for several months, and he was right back to skating? Rowan frowned, a bit. "That's good, nothing crazy." That was nice. "... soo... you mean the Grand Prix, right? Like... why?" Maybe he didn't know any more than she did. "Wait, before you answer that, can we go in there where there's air conditioning because it's still like a thousand degrees out here, and, I'm getting dizzy." Just a bit. Not-hot sounded like a great idea.
Oh, jeez those were bright when you were adjusted to darkness. That made logical sense, but see, Cygnus rarely ever concerned himself with logical sense. He tended to leave those to Icarus and Kassander. It was much easier that way, they were better at logic than he was. So was Sepheres, for that matter. Cygnus just kind of shrugged, a bit, happily going back to snuggling.
"Well, I can stay a few more hours. If you wanna go back to sleep, that's okay." There was a lot to talk about, ostensibly. On the other hand, the things they had to talk about maybe couldn't be stuffed into a single night, either. There were a lot of things Cygnus wanted to say, but, at the same time, he wasn't sure half of it even really mattered, in the end. He just wanted to make sure Sepheres knew that he loved him, and... no, that was the important part. He kind of watched, through Kass; he was doing about as well as Cygnus imagined.
He knew about the guy Kassi ended up snarling into a corner away from Sepheres that one time. Yep, he knew. Some of the snarl might've been him, who knew? But he didn't think he'd be mentioning that to Sepheres, either.
"I'll be back someday," he said. "It won't be forever." Not yet, anyway. When the whatever it was stopped trying to get the star in his brother's heart, he did have to wonder what happened, then. He didn't voice it. And with any luck, maybe Sepheres wouldn't think about it. Cygnus didn't even know how he was here. He just knew, it wasn't quite time for him to go, just yet. Not yet. He wanted to come home, really come home, but he also knew that may never happen. So, he tried not to think about it.
The good news was, Sati was very good at hiding it, when he was angry. He was good at shoving his emotions down, and dealing with them later. Being upset wouldn't help; he needed to be calm, for this, because he didn't quite know what was going through Alex's head, right now. If he reacted badly, then Alex could, too, and that could be very dangerous for them both. He shook his head, a bit, breathing steadily. Eventually, Alex would catch on. That was what he did, when he was containing his rage. But for now, this was going better than Sati had feared it might.
"Mm-mm," he answered. "I know how to get out. You can come. You just have to follow me, see? Like you did when we went over the Alps, and then to the Sahara. That was a long time ago, but it didn't turn out so bad, did it?" Sati wouldn't hurt him, would never do anything that might, and Alex knew that. He was just hoping that, if he prodded that part of him enough, the part that trusted him, enough, eventually his instincts would override his ingrained suspicion. He was quite sure Alex had it, by now; he remembered every year that Alex wasn't here, because quite honestly, every day of every year he was gone, it felt like a little more of him slipped away. He clung to Maki and Kaia, but, one didn't override or replace another. It wasn't the same, and it wouldn't be, and that was no one's fault, it just was.
He was sure, though, at least in some sense, that Alex felt the same. Sati hoped the pieces of Alex that had clung to him were still vibrant enough to override the chaos in his mind. To remind him that, whether Sati was a mirage or real, he did still trust him. "It's okay, Alex," he said, quiet, almost a whisper. "We're back together now, see? And like I said I would, a long time ago, if you can't stand anymore, I'll hold you up, remember? I got it from here. We don't have to go far. Just right outside, mm? The fresh air'll be good for you." So it probably would. Daevas didn't need anything special, but sunlight was good for most creatures.
IP Tech's server is now upgraded to using Apache 2.4 and PHP 7.1. The Character Manager for SMF 2.1/PHP 7.1 is also now complete, it just needs its installer written. So, here's how we're going to do this.
First, I'll be pulling character information from Aphelion's current Character Mod installation. These database tables will be imported to an installation of SMF 2.1, and then the new Character Manager will be installed, and its upgrader run. All characters will temporarily be set as NPCs, posts moved over, and everything set up nice and shiny-like, and then that board will replace this one.
It should be pretty seamless, the change-over should be more or less instant when it's ready to be changed over. Feel free to keep posting in the interim! I'm expecting this to take about two or three days. Aphelion may take a bit longer, because I will be redoing its theme in more ways than just converting it from SMF 2.0 to 2.1.
Jeez, his laugh was still infectious. A tiny little smile crossed her face, but, she managed not to snort unattractively. At least they'd moved close to the school, and Drew went to Luxerion International too, so, she wouldn't get hopelessly lost with half an hour to get to class. Of course, she'd be to and from campus often enough, it was probably fairly moot. She'd have figured it out, much faster, most likely.
Yeah, that wasn't surprising. "If it makes you feel any better, Drew doesn't like him, either. And... he stayed in Billings." She gave a small shrug. At least, she thought he'd stayed in Billings. Given he was the star football player at their school, he probably wouldn't want to leave town too long, so even if he did follow, it wouldn't be for long.
She'd worry about that later. It wasn't like Brett had seemed terribly interested in being a father. Never mind, she knew his tendencies, and would much rather he stayed away from her kid. Things she wasn't going to tell Skylar, unless of course, Brett told him, for her. And there were ways of doing that without using words. Anyway, it wasn't terribly important, right now, she had other things to deal with.
"Well, Drew's kind of helpful," she admitted. "He kind of knows what to do, at least, you know, better than I do anyway, but sometimes, I could use a girl to talk to, you know? Then of course, packed up and moved here, and I mean, I guess your mom's around, but it seems so rude, you know, hey, haven't talked in forever, let me just dump all my problems on you. That's why I didn't talk to you at first... seems kind of stupid now." Kind of? He really wasn't mad.
"Um. It's a bit too early, I'm not sure if it's a boy or a girl, yet. Drew's still got a lot of Riley's old baby stuff, so, at least I don't have to come up with a bunch of money right away. Some lady berated me at a gas station in Wyoming about getting married and having kids so early - I didn't tell her I'm not married. That was fun." Fun was not the word. "I think Drew cussed worse than a sailor that day. He didn't tell her I'm not married, either, but he did tell her where she could stuff her opinion. I think she thought he is the dad. I'm not sure if I should be offended or amused. It's just... weird, I guess, I haven't really seen Drew since I was eight or something, and now we're living together and it's so awkward. Anyway. Sorry. How's stuff with you? I read that your uncle's around." His plane had gone down somewhere over the ocean, and nobody was sure if he was even on it.
Apparently not, either that or the tabloids were getting really horrible.
Rowan slid down on the bench, a bit more; and for the record, she was not pouting. (Maybe she was, a tiny bit.) It was more like, she was thinking about things, and her mind kept circling back to 'he's gonna be annoyed, it's pretty darn rude to drop off the planet for several months, show up out of nowhere, and then just start talking to him like nothing happened.' It wasn't like Skylar didn't generally have a life and friends outside of her. Then again, maybe he kind of didn't, not really. No, that was silly, anyway. Sure, he was essentially her best - well, her only friend - but Skylar had always been really popular, it was hard to imagine he hadn't adjusted to Luxerion the same way he had Billings.
Then again, he'd mostly grown up in Billings, and Billings was also much smaller.
She sighed. "It was just, really abrupt and - I mean maybe I'm making mountains out of molehills, or whatever that saying is, but what if I'm not, you know? Like, I'd rather we weren't talking than he was mad at me or something." But only Brett reacted that way, and she wasn't sure what was worse, that she knew that, or that she couldn't seem to convince her brain of that. Or whatever the heck it was fighting with her. "And then it's just really selfish, isn't it? We haven't talked in forever, but I'm gonna just talk to you now, like I expect you to be okay with my randomly dropping back into your life or whatever. Sounds conceited to me." Then, maybe her concept of 'conceited' was a bit skewed.
Kassander said nothing, at first. Haku would do as Haku did, and for the moment, it seemed he'd rather pretend they hadn't noticed. He wasn't sure if he was annoyed or upset; Haku should know them both better than that. He should know they knew, because they always did, what one didn't know, the other did, and Haku should know keeping things from them was nigh impossible. Even ignoring that, it wasn't as if neither knew Haku well enough to see it, when he was hiding something.
Honestly, Kassander was trying to be annoyed, but mostly, he was just upset. What was going on, or through his head, that he forgot they knew things, that they knew him? When did he end up so far away? They used to talk about everything, and now Haku was trying to lie to them. Yes, Kassander considered omission to be lying.
"You know you can talk to us, right?" was what he decided to say. He knew Haku knew that, or he should, but maybe it was a good time to remind him. "I asked, didn't I? I kind of wanted an actual answer, Haku, we're far beyond the stage where we protect each other from our feelings. I don't know why you'd be unhappy. You tell me why." By now, Kass was pretty well convinced Haku was unhappy, and just didn't want to admit it. But he and Sandalio were big boys; they could handle it.
Good, good, that made sense somewhere in there. Jesse never hadn't been much of a rambler (honestly, the rambling thing, it was the most normal thing he'd done since he'd gotten back, and if anything, maybe it was a little reassuring that he was still the same Jesse he'd been before), but, you know, this was about Adrian, not him. Or, well, he figured it'd be, but, more accurately, it was probably more about them both than one or the other.
"I know," he answered, and he did, being fair. "... not like I've got a job, anymore, so... may take a while, if it's any consolation." Truthfully, maybe he'd forget, at some point or another. Five dollars, you know, it wasn't a significant amount, and really, he was more likely to forget it at some point.
"Not sure," Jesse said, shrugging. "I didn't exactly, you know, stay and have a notable discussion. ... actually I kind of panicked, I think." Kind of, he said, like how water was kind of wet and the sun was kind of hot. He kept using that phrase. He didn't think it meant what he kept using it as. "But, I'll figure it out. Maybe Mr. Adair knows." Maybe.
Oh, good. "Well, maybe I'll... see if I can magically end up your roommate. Though, you could use more friends, anyway, maybe I shouldn't. Roommates are hard to ignore." Then again, it was always something of a crap-shoot, if he'd get a decent one or not. By the way, the male-Light voice said, I'd stay very, very far away from other daevas. Except Cade, Cade's fine. Unconsciously, Jesse frowned, glancing to the side a bit. That was an odd warning. Any... particular reason why...? Well, if you'd stayed up there, you'd know, the voice answered. As it is, maybe you should ask Cade. Jesse had the sense to look a hair chastised.
"... I think the Light's upset at me, a bit." Whatever gave him that idea. "Well, anyway, the vending machines aren't coming up here," and if they were, he might have slightly more pressing concerns than the Light being upset at him. He should put the books back, first, so he got up and went to do that.
It sort of figured he'd ask. It wasn't like she could hide it, and besides, she really kind of sucked at hiding things, from him. He knew her too well, usually. Well, she'd been doing okay, so far, hiding the still massive crush on him. That was a good thing to be good at hiding. She didn't want to make him feel bad, or make things awkward, or whatever. Still, if Brett had taught her anything, it was, she really didn't want to be dating anyone else. Maybe someday, that'd change, Brett was kind of a unique situation, or at least she hoped that'd be unique, but right now... well, she had other problems than finding someone else.
"I ah... my phone broke," she said. "That's why I stopped answering." Okay, so Brett threw it at a brick wall, but that was beside the point. "Never had time to get online. Um. Luxerion's a lot bigger than Billings. I get the feeling I'm going to really need GPS." Or something, because - yeah. Forever lost.
Um. She fidgeted, a bit, pulling her sleeve down absently. "And um. I'm about three months pregnant. That's what the fit was about." She was going to be a terrible mom, too, because she had no idea how to be a mom. What were moms like? Maybe she should just, try and copy Alison, because she was about as close to a mom-figure as Rowan could think up. Her own mother was basically how to not act when one was a mother, at least. Between what not to do, and what to do, maybe she wouldn't be too bad at it.
"D'you remember um, Brett? Van Wyck, one of the football players? S'his." And she was still kind of upset her first venture into sex had been with him, but that was - we weren't - "We dated for a bit. And we don't now." That was pretty much all the important parts of that. They did, and now they didn't.
As always, his expression remained flat, and he said nothing along the lines he was thinking down. Kassander had said what he had to say on the subject, and if Kaspian was going to ignore it and pretend he hadn't said anything at all, there was no sense in reiterating. It'd just go unheard, yet again, and quite frankly, Kassander hated talking when there was nothing to be gained from doing so.
Was he really asking that, like he didn't already know? Somehow, that managed to annoy him even more than he already was annoyed. His nostrils might've flared for a second, but, after a moment, the annoyance went away, again. There was no point in getting pissed off at him, either. Kaspian was just doing what he thought was right, and it wasn't to say Kassander didn't understand. All his life, he'd done what he'd done, made the choices he had, lived his life, for his family. But it was far beyond the point where they needed him to, and still, he didn't know what else to do. Still, he didn't know what he wanted. He'd fucking died and come back, and he didn't know what he wanted.
But there were things he needed to learn, that he wouldn't have been able to learn, if he hadn't ascended. Kassander knew that. That was why he'd ascended now, and not in the next incarnation. Was it really fair, if Kassander was the one shoving him down the right path? Really, it should be Alison and Skylar doing it, but Kassander was a very influential person in his life, and thus far, the twit hadn't figured out he was the Light. Good, honestly, that'd just... complicate things.
"Of course I'm annoyed," he said, his tone perhaps a bit sharper than he intended. "You're doing exactly what I said not to. But you're like that. You do what you think is right. Part of why I like you. Also several parts of why I get so pissed at you." Go figure that.
When she'd noticed he'd noticed her, she'd given a little wave, and then put one of her earphones into one ear, popped open her book. Mind you, she wasn't paying as much attention to it as it looked like. The bookmark didn't move, she just flipped the pages, mostly watching them practice over there. Decent team, here, she thought. Admittedly, she didn't expect them to be wildly amazing or anything, but maybe they'd do decently well.
As practice started winding down, she closed her book, pulled the earphone out and turned Pandora off. Skylar did make his way over, settling down a row lower than she was at. Rowan almost frowned, but, she supposed that made sense. Honestly, she really kind of wanted a hug and a ten minute cry. Too many things had changed all at once, and Brett was a thing she didn't seem to be able to really get away from, because she was constantly thinking about it, at least. Was there a way to just, forget? Or was that one of those things she'd have to talk about?
Nope. Guess she was never getting over it, then.
"Nice to see you, too," she answered, kind of unsure sounding. "... yeah... I didn't expect to end up here. Um. The birthing pod threw a fit, and kicked me out. Drew took me, and... moved us here, for some reason." She had theories. Well, a theory; she was fairly sure they moved because of Brett, and also fairly sure they came here because Skylar was here. Strange thing to think about, but, so things went. Why Drew would've chosen Luxerion specifically because Skylar was here, that was beyond her.
"I um. ... sorry, about... I was worried you'd be mad at me." Was? She still was. She left that part out. (What temperature was it out here, anyway, like a thousand?)
Yes, so he had. And... maybe she was just worrying too much. It wasn't like that wasn't normal, anymore. She'd always done the thing where she worried too much, it'd just gotten worse, over the last... however long it'd been, hell if she knew, off-hand. It wasn't as if she didn't know Skylar well enough to know he'd probably just be glad she was talking to him again, it just seemed... stupid? No. Um. Unfair, that was the word. Unfair for her to expect herself to still be welcome, after that crap. And maybe she wasn't really being fair to herself, either, it wasn't like it was really her choice not to talk to him anymore (he'd been a decent break from Brett's crap), but that was beside the point. Skylar didn't know that, and quite frankly, she wasn't sure if she'd ever tell him.
Friends... sort of. She'd never entirely gotten over him, and it was kind of a pain in the ass, hiding that. Maybe she was tired of having to. On the other hand, it was either figure out how to hide it, or, actually never talk to him again. Why did Drew move them here, anyway? That was a question. She'd asked. He'd just shrugged and said something about how Luxerion International was a good school. Okay? There were lots of good schools in the States. Why this one?
Probably because of Skylar.
"Something like that," Rowan answered. "Known each other since we were four." And then she had to go and catch feelings, and that was... stupid, that was pretty stupid. "S'just kind of complicated now. We haven't talked in months." Should she take his saying hi to her as a sign he didn't mind talking to her again, or, was that her being selfish again? This was harder than she expected it to be.
It wasn't like Kassander was terribly good at articulating such things. Most of the time, he just stared, and waited until the other party got the point. By now, he'd most likely gotten a bit too comfortable with the Drago, because essentially every single one he had occasion to stare at eventually figured it out. Kassander watched the dumb-ass Swede trying to get the hang of his altered aerodynamics from the boards, arms rested on the edge. Occasionally, his gaze would flick to Alexei, over there, on the other side of the rink. He'd arranged for Kaspian's practice sessions to be reserved only for him, unless a certain Russian was interested in the same time-slot. Kassander was still hoping, eventually, Kaspian would get more interested in the Russian than figuring out how to skate with his wings.
So far, no luck. He kept fucking up his spins, and aside from the fact this was the stupidest idea of his life (not-life?), his wings were doing him absolutely no favours. Kaspian needed to retire, but the fucking ice princess wouldn't accept it. Yes, Kassander got it, he didn't know what else to do, if he wasn't skating, but that was the goddamned point.
"Unfortunately for you," Kassander replied, arching an eyebrow, "helping you be a dumb-ass is not in my contract." No, it wasn't. He was actually supposed to help him do what was best for him, and, well, he'd long established he thought that the best thing for Kaspian would be retiring. Because he had a family that loved him, and yet in the same breath, hardly knew him, and frankly, Kaspian didn't really know them either. Not everyone was blessed with family members that actually loved them.
Yes, she'd figured out, she was being stupid. Thinking back on it, she knew that, at the time. It was just, easier. It was easier not to think about it. There was still the chance, of course, that Skylar would be upset with her, for not answering his calls and texts and... he wasn't Brett. Rowan just had to remember that, Skylar was Skylar, not Brett. It was easy as that. And, most likely, his reactions would not be as extreme as Brett's always were. Because he wasn't Brett. He couldn't be like Brett, anyway, because Alison wouldn't have accepted him acting like Brett did.
She'd known him most of her life. Longer than she could remember, and it was silly, now, to be even remotely afraid of him. Maybe this was normal. Maybe it was a normal, reasonable thing to be afraid of, but, Arina was right. He really had just kind of lit up when he'd seen her at orientation, and her heart did that stupid cartwheel thing it did all the time around him, and there was no point in running from it, because it just hurt, and that was pretty much it. So, here she was. The announcements on the school site said soccer practice was starting today, and something about try-outs to fill the team back out in a week or two. If she knew Skylar at all, he was probably on the team.
It took a few minutes, but, standing to one side of the soccer field, she did eventually find him. Apparently she was right. Her heart did another cartwheel, and she pulled her jacket around her a bit tighter - it was still hot as hell, but Brett had left a few scars, and she didn't like talking about them - shuffling over to the stands, and finding a place to sit. Soccer practice usually ran about an hour or two, but, she'd brought her phone, with Pandora on it, and a book.
You know, if she didn't get lost in just, enjoying having an excuse to stare at him.