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Amelia, Worm AU

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by TanaNari, Jan 10, 2015.

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  1. Threadmarks: Amelia, Ch 309- Dinah
    TanaNari

    TanaNari Verified Dick

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    Amelia, Ch 309- Dinah


    It's so boring around here, I sighed inwardly. Sure, I could hang out gaming with Zach. Or spend time with Lisa. But Zach was kinda weird. Funny at times, but 'always on' and not my kind of humor. As for Lisa? She was even more boring than doing nothing most of the time. Oh well, this is still better than watching my parents being so painfully awkward around me, and having to use my power every day to find out if someone was trying to kill me.


    Besides, Avalon had the absolutely best food. And the school here was half parahumans, so no one pestered me about what it was like to have powers. I wouldn't mind being pestered more. There was a shifting below me as Typha noted my unhappiness. Her amazingly soft feathers ruffled around me, and a low vibration spread across my whole body as she purred. I smiled. I would die if I was ever forced to go back to a normal bed again in my life.


    This dumb movie Zach told me I had to watch, on the other hand, was going to make me carve out my own eyes from sheer stupidity. The whole thing was narrated so, so badly. And something with a giant black slug monster that was so slow that its 'victims' had to force themselves to climb inside it to be 'eaten'. Note to self: offer a free question to whomever it is that can come up with the best revenge against him.


    Maybe Trevor's not busy right now?


    There was a knock on the door. I sat up and happily turned off the TV, resolving never to turn it on again until I deleted that movie from my hard drive. I hastily grabbed one of my books off the night stand and a bookmark to put about halfway in. "You may come in now," I spoke loudly at the door after a minute. I kept the book neatly in my lap.


    The door opened, revealing Missy, and followed by Riley and Theo. They all looked a little worried, Riley looked almost like a puppy that had done something wrong. Oh, so they needed me for something.


    "I hope we're not bothering you too much," Missy started.


    "It's quite alright," I responded. Certainly beats what I was doing. "I presume you want to use one of my questions?" I didn't need to be a precog to see where this was going. I'd seen that look enough times before from people across the world. The look of someone who was afraid of the answer but more afraid of not knowing. This time it was actually a concern for me since these were people I lived with.


    "Yeah," Theo agreed. "I'd like to know-"


    "My idea, my question," Missy interrupted. Her ques-? Oh, right, the freebies I offered at the christmas party. They still think I'm going to charge them if they ask for more than just the one? Well, that's probably still a good thing.


    "I've still a few in reserve," I confirmed. My power wasn't quite numerical like that, some questions drained more power than others. But unless they needed something huge and worldwide, I could afford a question or two and still be at full strength for Lisa in the morning. Ultimately that was always the primary concern, and every day we used more than half my power on what little I could do to see in Scion's wake.


    "Well, a couple people may have realized Aceso is a Tinker," Missy informed me. "We're wondering the odds of it becoming public knowledge that she was Bonesaw. Let's just put a time limit on before Scion does his thing. I don't think anyone will be in a position to care after."


    I dipped into my well of information intuitively. It was as natural as breathing, and I pulled the answer out almost instantly. "Seven point oh three nine percent that Riley's identity is discovered by the general public before the end of the world." I paused for a moment, this was odd. "But if it does happen, it doesn't seem to matter. Numbers don't change enough for it to be considered meaningful."


    "How's that make sense?" Theo asked. "This would be a pretty big deal."


    "That is not how my power works," I responded. It was true, after all. "It's really more Minerva's department for determining why a given outcome is likely under a given circumstance. My power merely tells me what the results should be. We could consult her, if you like. This is a significant enough number that she would appreciate if if she were able be prepared for the event ahead of time."


    Missy glanced over at Riley. "It's probably a good idea."


    "She'll figure it out anyway," Riley agreed. She walked over to Typha's head, kneeling down near the Gryphon and scratching her behind the ear. The purring intensified. Typha was more like a giant housecat than the jungle predator her form was modeled after. Her way of coping, I guess. It surprised me more than it should that the animal was so responsive to her attention. Normally Typha didn't like strangers. Of course, this girl was the one who created her, of course she wouldn't be a stranger to her.


    I tapped out a short text asking for Lisa to call me in my room. A couple seconds later, the screen lit up. Lisa's eyes moved to the others in the room. "Ah, so they came to you first."


    "You already know?" Theo asked.


    "Your boyfriend snitched," Lisa smirked. "He has an incredibly stupid plan."


    "It's brilliant!" A man's voice shouted from somewhere off screen.


    "Sadly, it is," Lisa agreed. "Par for the course with Zach's plans."


    "I'm going to release a bunch of conspiracy theories online proving that we're all members of the Slaughterhouse Nine!" He declared in the background. "Crystal's actually Burnscar. I'm Crawler. Theo, you get to be Shatterbird. Missy's really Cherish. Lisa's Jack Slash. Amelia used her powers to turn everyone's brains into bugs that Taylor can control and give us cosmetic surgery."


    "Zach, that's idiotic," Theo retorted. "None of that even makes sense. Everyone knows who Crystal is, she and Lachesis have been heroes for years. Also, everyone knows how most of our powers work, at least in the basics. There's clearly no way in hell we could pretend to be them."


    "That's what makes it brilliant!" Zach argued. "Everyone knows it's all stupid as hell, so they'll ignore the parts that actually make sense. By the time anyone starts trying to connect dots, no intelligent person would ever dare admit it. It's how the government covers up their real secret experiments by forging documents of really silly ones and giving them to crazy people. It's exactly stupid enough to work!"


    "That... that..." Theo stuttered. "Dinah, I have to know. I'm burning my question on this, but is that going to work?"


    "Ninety seven percent chance that if that plan is implemented, the significant majority of individuals will not believe it if Riley's identity is revealed," I answered. "I... guess that means it works."


    "But that doesn't even make sense!" Theo argued. "I mean, maybe it'd be a smoke blind for a bit, but that's all."


    "Maybe if there was usable evidence," Lisa responded. "But there's no possible way to prove Clarice is connected to Bonesaw. She has a history, constructed before the destruction of Brockton Bay, that we can show. She no longer even vaguely resembles her old self, except in gender. Thanks to the retroviral treatments she's been taking, she's now a genetically provable half sister to Amelia. Of course, everyone knows that such tech isn't exactly out of our reach, so I doubt they'd bother with that as evidence. If this were brought to trial, no jury on Bet could convict her. Except maybe China, because they're assholes."


    "So it really doesn't matter?" Riley asked, looking up from her position using my pet for comfort.


    "I wouldn't say that," Lisa responded. "It could cost us a lot of progress. We will not be going public with who you were. Conspiracy bullshit is fine. Then if anyone ever asks the question we can laugh at it and ignore the person who asked without trouble. But we can't risk people actually believing it. You're Clarice, now."


    "I'm Clarice, now," she agreed, smiling. "I like that."


    "Good," Lisa responded.


    "Hey, while we're all still here," Zach spoke up. "I'd like to remind you that this just proves how deserving I am of the title-"


    "No, Zach, your title cannot be the Grand Web Poobah," Lisa interrupted. "Nor can it be Imperial Wizard or Super Kami Guru."


    "That's w-w-wizard," Zach corrected. "You have to pronounce it right or it loses its effect, High Emissary."


    "Actually, the correct pronunciation is 'never going to happen, Zach'," Lisa countered.


    "Hey, you guys back me up," he insisted. "I've earned this and you know it."


    "It's a bad plan," I responded. "Do you need the exact numbers?" That's for making me watch that horrible movie, jerk.


    ==================


    A/N- My girlfriend promises snickerdoodles for anyone who figures out the movie being referenced. :p
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015
  2. The Shadowmind

    The Shadowmind Well worn.

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    Henceforth, Zach be know as the Imperial Wizard.
    It has been declared.

    Minos Hand of Faith? Color of Magic/The Light fantastic? That crappy D&D movie?
     
  3. Viterbi

    Viterbi Not too sore, are you?

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    Nonononono. It's "Imperial WWWizard", properly pronounced "doubleyou-doubleyou-doubleyou-izard". If you don't pronounce it right it loses its effect.
     
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  4. Ack

    Ack (Verified Ratbag) (Unverified Great Old One)

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    The third way to lie.

    Tell them the truth, in such a way that no-one believes it.

    (The other two ways are to tell an untruth, and to tell part of the truth in such a way that it implies something that isn't true).
     
  5. cosoco

    cosoco Know what you're doing yet?

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    :\

    That's not how it works. That doesn't prove that Zach's plan would have any effect on the outcome at all. The other possibility is that nobody would believe it because there's zero basis for it. Saying that Aceso's secret identity is Bonesaw is like saying that Pantheon has secretly been using mind control on public officials as part of a spooooky conspiracy. No sane person would believe that apropos of nothing.
     
  6. Dreadis

    Dreadis No idea whats going on

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    The Blob
     
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  7. doomlord9

    doomlord9 Experienced.

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    That's their own fault for not asking a counter question of what would happen if her identity came to light without the plan implemented. The only one asked was the chances her ID would become general knowledge, not if anyone would really care after finding out.
     
  8. GiftofLove

    GiftofLove A Gift From The Heart

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    Get your own damn snickerdoodles.
     
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  9. Izicata

    Izicata AE ALTADOON GHARTOK PADHOME

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    becoming

    Bonesaw is dead, long live Clarice.
     
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  10. Snake/Eater

    Snake/Eater Myth Maker of the North

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    i can thinkup a few insane Conspiracy theories here they are..
    1. pantheon is using the portals to other earth to create and control new black market organ trade
    2. Emma and Taylor's fallout of their friendship was caused by the discovery of a secret affair between Annette Hebert and Zoe barnes
    3. Taylor is secretly the abandoned offspring of the Simurgh and her goal of killing all the Endbringers is nothing more but a twisted family feud.
    4. Zachary is secretly a failed test tubed experiment to create a super parahuman.
    5. Taylor is having a affair on the side with Lisa,Emma,Vicky and Amelia is a closeted heterosexual in a abusive relationship...o_O
    6. Theo is the son of Lung and Hookwolf involving human sacrifice
    7. The destruction of Brockton bay was to coverup a secret druglab and a message to the Us government to behave.....
    8. Dragon is part of cauldron and cauldron is actually a freemason organisation
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015
  11. Leonidas333

    Leonidas333 Well-Known Murderhobo

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    I'm going to go with "The Monster That Challenged The World"
     
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  12. GiftofLove

    GiftofLove A Gift From The Heart

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    2. The reason Emma and Taylor had a falling out was because Danny and Allan were having an affair. Allan wanted for the both of them to divorce their wives so that they could finally be together as open lovers. Unfortunately Danny couldn't bring himself to leave his wife and daughter. He knew the reveal would hurt them both deeply and he didn't want that.

    Jealous, Allan sabotaged Annette's car.

    Little did he know that Danny had finally decided to come clean to his wife. Emotions ran high, and they ended up having a huge fight that ended when Annette fled the house in distress. She was in the middle of calling Taylor to let her know that they weren't going to be living with Danny anymore, and that she was coming to pick her up when her brakes gave out at a stoplight. A truck slammed into the side of her car, killing her instantly.

    Danny meanwhile is wondering if he did the right thing. He gets a call shortly after the fight informing him that his wife has been in a fatal car accident. It's all his fault, he thinks. He finds out that his wife died while on the phone with Taylor, but that she didn't have time to break the news of his affair with her best friend's father before she died. Taylor tells him that Annette sounded like she was crying heavily while they talked. He becomes deeply resentful of cellphones, seeing them as the embodiment of his guilt.

    Danny falls into a deep depression and pushes Allan away. He dedicates his life to his daughter, but he's a shell of the man he used to be.

    One day Emma overhears Allan trying to get Danny to be with him. Annette has been dead for years, he says, and Danny needs to move on. Emma is shocked, and angry.

    She takes that anger out on Taylor, who has no idea what's going on.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015
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  13. doomlord9

    doomlord9 Experienced.

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    Nice, and we can have a minor slip with Noelle supply the evil twins, a few touches from a drunken Panacea to allow pregnancies to sprout seemingly at random, and Annette faking her death so she could join her lover Marquis and people will wonder which pre-Scion Soap Opera they are referencing.

    It's much too tame and coherent to be a post-Scion Soap Opera after all.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015
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  14. Snake/Eater

    Snake/Eater Myth Maker of the North

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    we need more insane Conspiracy theories and gossip to make this interesting like...
    1. The secretary of national defense is secretly a tinker that specializes in gastronomy and is controlling congress by using mind controlling jello they eat at the white house cafeteria.
    2. the toybox is secretly a old homeland security-own company and cover to help collect money,information and tinkers to prevent a arms race with unfriendly nations.
    3. Masamune is secretly planing to murder Dragon for holding his former ally Black Kaze in the birdcage and has been supplying the Dragon's teeth with money,weapons and information .
    4. Canary getting arrested was planed by prt to prevent her becoming a success story for Parahuman rogues.their thinkers draw up a plan to have entrap her and then threw her under a bus in the courts.
    5. Bakuda was secretly a Yangban hypnotized deep cover spy,her mission was to get close to Lung,capture him and gain a foothold in america.
    6. Armsmaster was murdered by Dragon and she ate his brain to gain his knowledge of miniaturization.
    7. The Sleeper is God.
    8. Amelia is secretly into the rubenesque form and is fatening up Taylor.
    9. crystal is considering retiring and running for senator.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
  15. daimahou

    daimahou Gentleman Tentacle(s)

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    How come noone asked this yet?

    Was Dinah still in a suit?
     
  16. GiftofLove

    GiftofLove A Gift From The Heart

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    [​IMG]

    She wears suit pajamas of course. The all purpose professional sleep attire.
     
  17. Coruscant Knave

    Coruscant Knave 'Twas love that did this to you.

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    It's almost like everyone knew it wouldn't be a big deal and were trying to comfort Riley.
    Because I was asleep! Thanks for covering. You can have the next shift off.
     
  18. Threadmarks: Amelia, Ch 310- Elena
    TanaNari

    TanaNari Verified Dick

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    Amelia, Ch 310- Elena


    "You don't intend to protect your homeland?" The middle aged African woman asked. She hadn't given me her name, simply asking me to call her 'doctor', and she asked me to lie about mine. She wasn't using my language, that much was obvious, but she had some kind of technology that allowed her to understand me easily. My broken English wasn't quite good enough to communicate naturally, so we relied on this.


    "Romania is dying," I stated to the doctor. It was a fact. "Even if I were to gain a power like Eidolon or Atropos, I would not be able to protect it from the jackals at the door and the rot from within. Our leaders have chosen to focus all their resources on retreating from this world to behind the portal, with the hope of a better life. Our nation has chosen to abandon this world."


    "But not you?"


    "I have a debt of honor to repay," I responded. "Pantheon has proven the Endbringers can be destroyed. I need the power to make that happen. I will see the rest of them dead, or die trying. There can be no future where both of us still live."


    "You understand there's no guarantee," she responded. "The kind of power needed to kill Endbringers has proven exceedingly rare, there is little chance you'll gain a power that can destroy them. Help others achieve the goal, perhaps, but not be the hand that does the deed. In addition, the formula itself is not without risks, and one of those risks is that nothing will happen."


    "Or I get mutated into a horrible freak," I responded. "Or both. Those are the breaks." If it doesn't work, I will be taking my own life by the end of the attempt. I didn't bother stating that part out loud.


    "We might have a method to improve your chances," the doctor added. "It's a new process, higher risk of mutation, but a much greater reward for the experience."


    "And more expensive, I presume," I stated. The woman reminded me all too much of the filthy drug peddlers and con artists. Of politicians and the degenerate culture pushed on us by America and western Europe. The money didn't matter so much to me. It was stolen, first by Lup, and then by his employees and slaves after he was killed by Tohu and Bohu. The twelve million dollars I'd gotten away with weren't worth the hell I went through. What I was spending it on might be.


    "After a fashion," she responded. "But it won't cost you additional money. Merely a service you must perform. We will provide you with some reading material. It will essentially be a technical manual, and you will be expected to memorize it and pass tests asking details about that information."


    "Why would you want me to do that?" I asked. Passing a test? Is this like some kind of parahuman driver's ed class?


    "Does it matter?"


    "I suppose not," I admitted. If it gives me better odds, I can live with their odd requests.


    "Afterward, there will be a series of tests medical tests," she continued. "And you will be given a pre treatment drug to take on a schedule to be assigned to you by the doctors who do your examination. These will be done by Tinkers, so don't expect to be able to comprehend the process. You merely have to cooperate with them and follow their instructions to the letter. The tests are for our scientific benefit, while the treatment will help optimize your body for the serum, where you will gain your powers."


    I frowned. I didn't like the idea of unknown doctors doing unknown things. But, then, I was planning to purchase a test tube full of a mysterious liquid that was possibly going to give me super powers. They can just as easily make that a poison and then dump my corpse in a ditch somewhere. "I can agree to that," I finally accepted the request.


    "And last," she continued. "You will be brought to a secret location, with others like yourself that intend to gain powers and are cooperating with this process. It has been hypothesized that powers gained while in the presence of other parahumans tend to be stronger and more effective, with fewer surprise side effects. This will be the first truly large scale testing of that process. It will be heavily monitored, of course, for our purposes."


    "So you do this for the science?" I asked. "I imagine there is more to it."


    "Considerably more," Doctor agreed. "But all of that is of our concern, not yours. All you need to know is there are wealthy and powerful individuals who are interested in the success of this project. Your participation benefits them as well as yourself, but it is voluntary and you will not be punished for refusing. However, so we are clear, there is a lot to lose if this becomes known to others. You swore to secrecy before we agreed to meet, and that extends to this special project. Whether you participate or not, you will never speak of this. We will silence you if you force us to."


    The threat was unnecessary. I already knew my answer the moment she described it as giving better odds, I just wanted more information. "I'm willing to participate," I finally spoke the decision I'd made minutes ago. "The whole nine yards, sign me up."


    "Understand you may have to wait longer than you otherwise would have," she added. "We must have a critical mass of volunteers for this special process before we perform it, as well as the necessary drugs that must be customized specifically to your genetics. And the same process must be done for all of the other participants. Good things are worth waiting for, yes?"


    I nodded. I can afford to be patient.


    ....


    "This is a brain scanning device," the man informed me, showing me to a chair, surrounded by a metal shell and several instruments I couldn't pretend to understand. It looked like some science fiction reimagining of medieval torture technology. "It will allow us to map your mind, to prevent memory loss if you happen to mutate the way others have."


    "The monster capes," I confirmed, slowly climbing into the machine.


    "Quite correct," he nodded. "Although they prefer not to be known as that. Call them Case 53s, if you would. It'll make your future career as a cape much more pleasant for everyone involved, including yourself."


    "Okay," I agreed. So much to know. I still wasn't sure what half the stuff I read in that book actually meant. Descriptions of Trigger Visions, the nature of Power Interactions, a dozen other things that reminded me of the most boring of my highschool biology class. Even some strange video of floating lights dancing in a bizarre pattern. Being told that the source of powers was some kind of weird alien parasite. I wasn't sure I believes half of what was described in those hand written notes, but the Doctor assured me I didn't to believe or understand any of it, just that I needed to memorize it.


    "While we are here, your information says that you speak partial English?"


    "Very little," I admitted. I only answered that question as a yes at all because they said partial was acceptable.


    "That's fine," he replied. "If anything, it helps. This technology can be used to copy information, upload or download knowledge like you might do to a computer program. If you like, we can give you knowledge to speak perfect English or several other languages. We would like to, essentially, purchase your ability to speak Romanian in exchange. It's one of a number we don't yet have."


    "Why not?" I asked.


    "I don't mean to be insensitive, but Romanian isn't exactly high on our priority list," he answered. "You won't lose any memories in the process. The tech doesn't have the ability to delete knowledge from your brain, merely duplicate."


    Pity, I could use a good memory deletion or two. But a new language, just like that? "Okay," I agreed. "Can I get French as well? German or Arabic if you have them?"


    "Absolutely, I can set you for all four of them. Plus Japanese. Trust me, there's a good chance you'll find that one useful," he agreed quickly enough that I almost felt cheated. "Now just lay back and silently read the screen. It'll speed the mapping process."


    ....


    My cell phone beeped at me. Who calls at three in the morning? I looked at the phone. Somehow, the ID that normally showed the calling number instead read. 'It's time, ten minutes'.


    I was instantly awake and ready in minutes. I didn't bother cleaning up more than a quick comb of my hair and use of the toilet. What I wasn't prepared for is a panel to be cut out of the small apartment my refugee support status was supplying. It wouldn't last, I'd be expected to either find a job where there were none, or join a colony where I'd be little more than a cow for breeding. I wasn't considered 'valuable' enough for anything more.


    A gray cowled man handed me a blue cowl the moment I was through. "You will be expected to wear this. Many clients, as well as parahumans who wish to keep their involvement secret, will be at this meeting. Do nothing to compromise their privacy."


    "I understand," I responded, slowly taking the costume and gritting my teeth as I put it over my head.


    The drug they told me to take once a day for the last three weeks had left me sore and stiff all over. Every four days or so so I'd think I was getting used to it, that I was recovering, and then the pain started all over again. I was warned about that side effect, warned that if I stopped before the treatment was complete, it would be impossible for it to ever work on me again. I endured the pain, like I endured many other things in my life. I earned this.


    The room he lead me to was dark, and looked impossibly empty and large. There were many of us standing there. Most had started gathering together based on the colored cowl they wore, but no one spoke. We were all here for our own reasons, and all afraid of doing something that might get us remove now, mere moments before months of effort and pain were going to pay off. No one would dare risk doing something wrong now. Or maybe I was simply projecting.


    I noted there were fewer blue cowls than any other color, merely ten of us. The greens had more, perhaps twenty. Then yellow, with probably thirty. Then orange and red with the most, more than I could quickly count. I guessed the colors meant something to those in control of the experiment, but I couldn't know.


    Near the front was a series of what looked like recliner chairs made of foam rubber, with indents that you could lean into and not be seen from the sides.


    Around the outsides of that collection of chairs sat over a dozen others, all wearing black cowls. They were already in machines similar to the one I sat in when they gave me my new languages. The exception being one child, watching the proceeding with interest. She was neither in a chair, nor wearing a cowl. Near her stood three specters in ghostly costumes. A number of others in gray cowls were near her, waiting on her nervously, in a way that bordered on groveling. I didn't know her significance, but she was clearly important for their purposes.


    The woman I knew as Doctor came out from one of the entrances to the dark room. I got a glimpse of a sterile white hall beyond, before the passage closed shut. I couldn't tell the difference between it and the others I'd seen since beginning this thing. "Those wearing blue, come forward," she instructed.


    I walked toward her, stopping where a number of gray cowled individuals waited. They didn't ask our names, simply pointed a device that resembled the scanner at a grocery store at us. I waited nervously as they handed each of us a vial, each with a series of letters and numbers printed on the side. Judging by the care they took in reading the lettering, they wanted to make absolutely certain they didn't mix up any vials.


    More things I didn't understand, and didn't care about. I held it in my hand. The thing that would make my life worthwhile. "Please, sit in one of the chairs," the gray cowled person instructed. His or her voice was distorted by some device that made it impossible for me to guess anything about them. "And please, don't take the vial until you receive further instructions." I followed the instructions. I had no reason not to, after all.


    "I recommend you shake the vial," the Doctor. "It's not essential, but will speed the process. Drink it all as quickly as you possibly can, and be prepared for it to taste extremely unpleasant. Failure to drink the entire vial could possibly result in powers that don't bond with you correctly. If that happens, you might receive dangerous and uncontrollable powers, and we could be forced to kill you to protect ourselves and everyone else in this room. You are still allowed to back out now, if you wish. If not, please take your given vials now."


    She already knew none of us would back down, not after everything we'd already done to be here. I popped the cork and chugged the mess as quickly as possible. She was right, it tasted horrible. Like vomit and blood and dirt. While we waited, the green cowls were receiving their vials and finding places to sit. I quickly stopped caring, too busy biting down to keep from screaming at the pain.


    ============


    A/N- Clearly, Riley and Cauldron have been busy behind the scenes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015
  19. The Shadowmind

    The Shadowmind Well worn.

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    Oh, was that a GU clone?
    Or it could be the original Fairy Queen, but she is a nutter.
     
  20. UltimateGrr

    UltimateGrr I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    My bet is that it's GU herself. Nuts she may be, but she's stable in her own way. Besides, she gets to watch people get "fairies," and she's probably the security detail since she can claim the shards should something go wrong.
     
  21. SirTinal

    SirTinal Verified TinFoilHat

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    Whoa Riley showing Doctor Mother how it's supposed be done. I can't help but think if Cauldron had done things like this from the beginning how different it would all be now.
     
  22. daimahou

    daimahou Gentleman Tentacle(s)

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    Riley is such a good girl.

    It has been a while but how is the 'Amelia crew watches Worm' omake(?) going?
     
  23. Empiricist

    Empiricist GSV

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    So Dinah still feels isolated and dislikes only being approached for her power. . . Do we have anyone lined up for her on the shipping chart. . . other than Zach? Can said friend or suitor survive or avoid the BEES! . . .?
     
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  24. cosoco

    cosoco Know what you're doing yet?

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    I didn't need to believe.

    One would hope that they have some sort of noise-cancellation, so that you don't need to listen to other people screaming. Something for the next group, I guess.
     
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  25. CptTagon

    CptTagon Prolific Writer

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    I answered.

    I wonder if Dinah is actually fooling anybody by pretending to be so much more mature seeming then she actually is (the random book and such). Also is the movie that one with the evil bed?
     
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  26. doomlord9

    doomlord9 Experienced.

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    Well she does a good enough job to make Taylor nervous about her becoming Coil Mk 0.75 but I'm not sure if tricking Taylor in that manner counts. She's not the most socially observant person around after all.
     
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  27. KaiserDrgn

    KaiserDrgn (Verified Dragon)

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    The only movie I know with an evil bed is Death Bed: The Bed that Eats, and it doesn't fit the description.
     
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  28. Threadmarks: Amelia, Ch 311- Lisa
    TanaNari

    TanaNari Verified Dick

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    Amelia, Ch 311- Lisa


    "Good afternoon," Alexandria nodded to me. Neutral expression. Monitored. Convinced Doctor Mother to let her lead the conversation. Unnecessary. Wanted an opportunity to see me. Not business related, simply enjoys my company.


    Got you, I smiled, and her body language stiffened slightly. You are so very gotten. "Still technically morning for me," I answered. My casual approach to conversation was (in)famous, and would raise exactly no alarms to anyone trying to analyze me.


    "Yet I've had time to examine the preliminary reports. Our Tinkers are still cataloguing everything, and comparing them to the notes we were provided. I'm afraid I can only give you initial impressions at this point. We'll need to have a followup conversation in, say, a week? Plus a few more days if the next Endbringer attacks earlier than expected."


    "Understandable," she agreed. "We wouldn't want to risk flawed results by trying to rush the process."


    Embarrassed by the slip, worried I might be a stronger Thinker than she is, worried that I've picked up more embarrassing details. I kept smiling. She's not wrong, I certainly have figured out a few amusing little tidbits, and even an idea of some of the darker things she's done and is ashamed of doing. I met her eyes, or where they would be behind her visor. Don't worry, I still consider you a friend. "Thank you for understanding," I spoke. There was a second meaning in the phrase for the pair of us.


    She relaxed notably at that. To us, at least. I continued speaking. "We're seeing a statistically unusual number of both Breakers and Tinkers, as well as the expected variety of grab-bag capes. With a sample size of only a hundred and fifty nine, and the inherent unpredictability of the serums, we can hardly call it definitive. But there does appear to be at least some pattern. Whether a result of the experiment process, or a bias caused by the recruitment process, we can't be certain. My powers indicate that it's likely a combination of both. Tinker from the psych, breaker from the treatment."


    "That's very good news, regardless," Alexandria agreed. "Tinkers are the most valuable capes in the long run. Breaker states tend to be popular amongst the standard customer base, for various reasons. We should have an easier time collecting volunteers for the next wave with these results."


    "We're also seeing an average of one and a quarter greater rankings than predicted for the stable formulas. Or in the grab bag cases, multiple powers each averaging approximately what is normally predicted for them to get with merely one power. And there are far fewer mutations for the unstable," I added. As was the case with Emma in both regards. Her mutations were far less severe than expected, the recipe she took should have pumped out a crystalline version of Mush. She was expecting a six ranked power, she got a total of five of them, plus several others in the two to three range, plus temporarily being an easy eight.


    "Even the worst case scenarios, the results have been extremely generous compared to your projections," I finished. "Our Tinkers believe it the equivalent of having a second Trigger event."


    She nodded. That was the sort of thing they could lead with, and we all knew it. Versatile powersets were easier for them to sell than high level power sets. If only because the big numbers usually came with big risks. I tilted my head slightly, an apology for making this all about business. She tensed her right hand in what might be interpreted as a handshake or, extending the logic of it to feminine culture, a hug.


    "Cause currently unknown, but it may prove valuable in future knowledge of how exactly Passengers function," I added hastily, breaking that line of interpretation for fear of doing something humiliating on monitor, like blush. Alexandria's mouth twitched slightly, the impression of a smile. She got to me and she knows it. "We're still trying to analyze the dimensional readings of the Passengers connecting to their hosts. We might be able to use that to track them to their home dimensions."


    "Potentially game changing," Alexandria agreed. "Speaking of, one of our agents managed to record a Second Trigger on our instrument sets." Unhappy with that statement. No sense of guilt, but a sense of disgust. Second Triggers are always horrific. Was... inflicted? Offered? Done to someone who volunteered for the process. Likely as a means to improve what they saw as a lackluster ability.


    "That's going to be useful," I stated. "I trust we'll be given the data when we provide our more in depth reports on the experiments."


    "Of course," Alexandria agreed. "Wouldn't want to provide it too soon. I know how Tinkers can be." Hint of sadness. Sense of loneliness. Lost someone close. A friend that was a Tinker. Hero.


    "Continuing the preliminary report... of the initial batch, only twenty one managed to breach the Taboo," I chose to turn the subject back to business and I could see her gratitude for giving her that much privacy. "Curiously, every case is one that no longer requires sleep as a natural part of their biology, and all are Thinkers or Tinkers of some variety. I assure you, our people are very interested in this phenomena as a whole. Pantheon is already taking the steps necessary to recruit all of them."


    I looked at her. Knows Doctor Mother would be displeased with this. Cauldron interested in having anti-Taboo capacity of their own. I took a deeper breath than average by approximately ten percent, a signal of permission for her to negotiate. She paused slightly longer than she needed to, suggesting she would take a circuitous route. I breathed out a little faster than normal, letting her know to go for it.


    "That might be risky for your organization," she suggested. Ah, that approach. Excellent choice. "Surely, with that many new Thinkers and Tinkers, all able to discuss the Taboo despite the supposed rarity of such, they'll likely begin to suspect your involvement in the process of creating them. A rather serious security risk."


    "You have a good point," I agreed. She honestly did, too. One I'd already prepared for, but still. "We're planning on using our contacts with Toybox and Dragon to absorb a number of them, with exception to a few of the more promising." I almost stumbled the last few words as my power hit me. Notably reacted to Dragon's name. Knows something significant about Dragon. Has special confidence regarding the Tinker. Dragon's been compromised. And now she knows I know.


    "I see," she responded. Concerned about how much I'll be able to figure out. How I'll react, if I'll be angry. Knows I'll be angry. At her, not Dragon. Dragon's not responsible. Dragon doesn't even know about it. Compromised via parahuman means. Master/Stranger effect. Fuck, now I actually am pissed. Dragon's one of the few legitimately good people I've ever met. She deserves better. "That's a good plan. Still, there's a significant number of them. Perhaps we should consider absorbing a few as well? Distribute them amongst a few key Protectorate locations. Encourage cooperation."


    Encourage Cooperation. Wants there to be a peacible resolution. Believes there can be. Doesn't believe they've done anything that even Amelia or Taylor would find objectionable. Have yet to leverage their control on Dragon. Recently acquired? Relatively recent acquisition at least. Hopes for acceptance.


    "We could swing that," I agreed. "There are three we're most interested in. At the very least the power copying Tinker is essential for our anti-Endbringer and likely anti-Scion purposes." It's true, we need her. The ability to achieve actual, honest to goodness, copies of powers and install them into equipment was something every group would want. Granted, it came with enough limitations that she couldn't just win the game for us, but she was hugely valuable for a team built around power synergy.


    I'm willing to discuss the issue with Dragon, but you know we can't compromise when it comes to her wellbeing. If I think you're going to hurt her, I will tell the others, and you will be our enemy. You know you need us too much to negotiate on this. Don't let that happen. That last part probably looked more like pleading than negotiation, but I didn't care enough to try to censor my thoughts. It wouldn't have worked on her anyway.


    "We'll want the manufacturing Tinker," Alexandria responded. He was another big one. I almost cringed at the idea of losing him. We could have fully modernized Japan's colonial territories within a year with his specialty. "Through Dragon, you already have Masamune, who has equivalent or better abilities for anti-Scion purposes. We're hoping he can improve our serum production. We can use him better." Doesn't want to hurt Dragon. Sees her as essential against Scion. Also potentially dangerous, even greater an S-Class threat than Pantheon. Alien, nonhuman, never human. She's an artificial lifeform. That's why Rapture's and I have such trouble reading her.


    "Understandable," I agreed. "We can worry about building our world after we ensure survival." Be that as it may, Dragon's a friend and strong ally. The hold you have on her has to be surrendered. That is possible, right?


    "We feel the one with solid hologram technology is best placed in the Protectorate," Alexandria continued. "The potential for improved training methods for capes, and large scale disposable minions and forcefield effects is valuable on a number of levels that they can make better use of than you can. If only because you have better versions of the majority already available to you. And he's of little direct use to us."


    Is possible. Simplistic, even. Has a key, metaphorical. Perhaps Dragon's source code? I didn't know enough about computers to know what the 'key' could be called, my power filled in the concept, but not the terminology. Could provide directly to Dragon. Is dangerous. Dragon unable to use. Taboo. Anyone who has it could use it to hurt her.


    "You're right," I agreed. "Although I imagine Dragon might disagree. That tech could help her immensely." If you're right, then we can give it to people Dragon trusts. Emma's capable of reverse engineering Tinker Tech, and Defiant loves her more than anything. The pair of them could watch each other and prevent possible harm coming to her. Given a little time, we could even find ways to improve her. She can be the secret to fighting Scion.


    "Dragon already works closely with the Protectorate," Alexandria responded. "She did as a Canadian citizen, she does even as an Avalon citizen, although she is admittedly less trusted. We can... find ways to convince the PRT that she can be trusted just as much as always. After all, Pantheon's been a significant boon to them. We can call some of the favors a number of our clients used as partial payment. Have them imply reluctance. Interest in, perhaps, joining Avalon to work with Dragon and possibly help with Endslayer technology. If we're subtle, it will look natural."


    Agreeing to request. Asking for time to buy a subtle method to put the key in Pantheon's hands, or something with similar results. Also needs to convince her co-conspirators to participate in this plan. Is unsure how to do so, they rely on a Thinker that's stronger than her. "I suggest you consult Dinah on the issue," I offered. Is Cauldron's Thinker strongr than Dinah? Alexandria hesitated slightly. Unsure, possible that Dinah's stronger, hard to estimate.


    The idea of another out there with a power equivalent to Dinah was sobering. The girl's power was absurd even at the level Pantheon operated on. "She's a consummate professional, and she can easily find out if I tried to use my various methods to spy on her business. Throw every lie detection you have at me, I swear that Dinah's support is too valuable for me to risk for anything."


    "You're telling the truth," Alexandria spoke. Agreeing to idea, can convince Cauldron as a whole to harness Dinah. Will likely take it slow to see if anything comes back to me. Once secure in the idea, will move forward with more aggressive or incriminating questions, Dragon's key being one of them. Grateful that I'm willing to treat this patiently instead of immediate demands.


    "She also offers significant discounts for the purposes of questions that can help improve our odds against Scion, whether to prevent or mitigate," I volunteered. "Advances of technology should qualify, I believe. After all, we have no way of knowing what will result in our ultimate success, but we can rest assured that the more knowledge we have access to, the better our odds of finding that one key component. Speaking of which, how did our special guest enjoy the proceedings?"


    "She found them, in her words, 'paltry, but adequate'," Alexandria responded. "We've been constantly assuring her that this was merely the first of many. That, coupled with the promise of recordings of all the anti-Taboo witnesses like yourself and Amelia, has mostly placated her. We're making certain to record every word she tells us, and will provide you a copy."


    Is apologetic for the mess. Unhappy that I had to find out about it this way, instead of a more honest conversation. Wishes it didn't have to be like this, hates all the secrecy. Wishes that it was possible to have actual trust.


    "I'll take what you can give," I told her. She knew what I meant.


    ================


    A/N- I both love and hate Alexandria/Lisa chapters. They're a pain in the ass. Kinda like PHO chapters. Difference is, chapters like this are worth the effort.

    Also: commentary has been waaay down recently. How the hell did I get three chapters on the same page?
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015
  29. CptTagon

    CptTagon Prolific Writer

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    Be that as it may, Dragon's a friend and strong ally. The hold you have on her has to be surrendered. That is possible, right?

    Just kiss already, you two.
     
  30. DbDRAKE

    DbDRAKE Possibly some sort of Actual Dragon?

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    I think a lot of your readers are lurkers by nature; I am.

    I only come out of the woodwork if something seems wrong; or you ask for it directly.

    Or to have stupid arguments with people.

    Also; for some reason I find the lisa alexandria inter actions to be SUPPER intimate/romantic, is that weird?
     
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