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Fourth [Worm Altpower!Taylor]

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by TCGM, Feb 3, 2018.

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  1. RichardWhereat

    RichardWhereat The Dawn Will Cum

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  2. TCGM

    TCGM (Unverified God/Space Snek)

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    Auntie Path to Victory does indeed give the best presents. There's a little foreshadowing going on with this and other shenanigans of the Shards, by the way, which most people seem to have completely missed. I'm not that vague, am I? :p

    Pinkette Twintail Khonsou is indeed adorkable. Just like her mom at that age.

    Taylor's already got enough on her plate without needing an antagonist. And harvesting/copying Shards being the only thing she ends up doing would be boring for me to read much less write, so while she might do the copying/harvesting it will not be the main storyline. Case in point, she's already forgotten to get Lisa or Brian's Shards.

    Khonsou is great, yeah ^_^

    Yeah, Danny is trying to let his daughter bloom without the spectre of his overwhelming awesomeness hanging over her shoulders.

    ...

    HAHAHAHA I couldn't keep a straight face!

    No, the reason Danny hasn't shown back up yet will be revealed.

    Yup, that will be one of her major challenges. Especially as she gets more.

    She doesn't need more antagonists. She'll have enough already from the various Darwin Award-driven parahumans that will come after her.

    That joke was karma for all the shit Armsy's put Taylor through in alternate timelines.


    Khonsou is cute on purpose but that doesn't change the Cute Rating she has!

    Yeah, Scion is a potential antagonist. We'll see how the story goes. I'm not going to hamfistedly ensure he is at odds with Taylor, though.

    Auntie PtV is best aunt confirmed.

    That joke was, as I've said, pure unadulterated karma.

    Yup. So was The Thief. Contessa had Doormaker drop them both off in front of the ice cream shop after being driven to the end of her rope by Auntie PtV needling.

    Yeah! Same here!

    I find character conflict to be immensely more interesting, both as a reader and a writer, than... 'dumb' conflict, I guess you could call it. People interacting, their wants and needs, emotions and biases, rush together to create a tapestry so much deeper than "hit it till it dies" combat.

    A Cloudy Path is pretty neat for when I just want some good old-fashioned beat-em-up though.

    Side note all of those ideas might show up in the story not sorry no backsies and otaku Alabaster is great

    Thanks! Glorious Bullshit is Best Bullshit indeed. That joke was amazing, popped into my head out of nowhere, and I regret nothing.

    I'm not sure just which version of Armsy I'm running with here, but I'm leaning more towards the not as dense as a lead brick type. He'll be oblivious, sure, except when it really matters.

    As for him knowing about the underwear? He doesn't. And the way I'm setting up that fact is going to be hilarious. It has to do with contract comprehension.

    Khonsou is my attempt to get the PRT to non-ironically add Cute as a rating type.

    You should get your roommate back by reading the cackling parts to them and then telling them to shut up when they burst out laughing :p

    Yup. It was chock full, not connected to anything else, and was deployed away by Scion because it extracts energy from the same universe, not solving the Entropy problem. Cue dead planet and dead Africa.

    You're all wrong! It's the Rule of Cute! :p

    As for her not teleporting; the powers an Endbringer receives are decided by the Shard (or Entity) that creates them. Or rather, which Shards of the main Entity they are allowed to access. PEA probably thought it was pushing it's luck making a new Friendbringer anyways, so why give Khonsou access to Taylor's teleporting Shard?

    While that would be hilarious, he'd revert it in a second flat, and this is the SFW section :p

    But, there is some hinting about possible combinations. Cute hinting.

    Well said. Making a character supremely powerful only locks out conflict from one vector, and I'd argue the least interesting vector. It even enhances the other vectors due to everyone trying to moderate their responses to that supremely powerful character.

    I'm glad I could accommodate you then! ^_^
     
  3. testpilot24

    testpilot24 Know what you're doing yet?

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    Well, this is all good. But when we will see how your other protagonist trolling PRT with legos and Ziz?

    *i hope this question don't add to realese counter to next chapter.
     
  4. fractal42

    fractal42 Not sequal to fractal41

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    I think that for that, you would need to have a lot of new triggers with "cute" powers, preferably powers that have some similarity in the tactics required to use or oppose them. For example, fighting a Cute efficiently might require cuteness-resistant or immune people. Such powers wouldn't even have to be a special case of Master powers; for example, consider a (probably nonlethal) beam attack that more strongly affects people that notice the cuteness of the attacker (or people that don't notice the cuteness).
     
  5. WinterPhoenix

    WinterPhoenix Is this thing on?

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    It's... it's so beautiful... I love it.
     
    Vhalidictes likes this.
  6. TCGM

    TCGM (Unverified God/Space Snek)

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    It doesn't, my muse being a random flighty co-author does.

    Yeah, you heard me, personification of a part of myself. You know what I'm talking about. Don't even try denying it.

    Ziz is pretty much on the backburner until I figure out where exactly I want to go with it. As funny and cracky as an SVer is with Ziz powers on Earth Bet, I like my stories to have something resembling a plot :p

    Legos is... about halfway done for CH10 atm. Fourth is 3/4ths for CH6, which is an interlude.

    takes notes

    And I love you, random reader!
     
  7. Threadmarks: Chapter 6 - Enter The Lude
    TCGM

    TCGM (Unverified God/Space Snek)

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    Fourth
    Chapter 6
    Enter The Lude

    Armsmaster had a problem. A big one.

    He usually had problems. Not enough time to Tinker. Issues with the Wards, or less commonly the Protectorate. Villains or vigilantes who are nearly as bad.

    His counterpart in the PRT.

    But the problem he was faced with now, he would give anything to trade. Even for all of his problems, forever, combined.

    “The Endbringers disappeared without a trace several hours ago,” he continued to insist to the teenage girl who had no doubt already immortalized her opening words in the minds of his subordinates. Damn PR teams!

    Assault was still laughing.

    “Yeahp,” Taylor Hebert, the girl in question, agreed. She gestured to three of her five companions, the Simurgh look alike still hovering in the air alongside her. “And here they are now.”

    “Forgive me if I do not take your word for it,” Armsmaster fired back. The fact most of the other Protectorate members did and he was essentially the only holdout went unsaid.

    “You're forgiven,” she sing songed.

    Armsmaster grit his teeth. She was already aggravating. It had barely been five minutes.

    Dragon was connected to his armor, as usual. “They do share similar features, Armsmaster,” she said. “The Simurgh looking one even matches some… artistic renditions we can trace back to the Fallen.”

    That was not what he wanted to hear. Even Dragon was getting dragged into the farce. “If they are Endbringers, we are sworn to fight them. If they aren't, you have still engaged in an act of terrorism on American soil,” he stated neutrally. He straightened up and clenched his fists around his Halberd. “You are under arrest.”

    The girl stared at him in awed wonder for several moments.

    Then she broke down giggling.

    Armsmaster frowned. “Stop laughing. This is a serious matter!”

    That just sent most of the opposing group into giggling or laughing fits.

    “Stop!” he yelled, his tone becoming confused. It didn't make sense. Powerful, insane capes they might be, but they were facing the Brockton Bay Protectorate. They didn't have a chance.

    “Oh my gods,” Hebert managed to get out. “A-Are you serious?”

    “YES!”

    “BWAHAHAHAHA!”

    Armsmaster growled and started to take a step forward.

    The platinum haired and winged girl abruptly stopped laughing. “He doesn't believe you, Taylor,” she spoke.

    Hebert stopped laughing just as abruptly and righted herself in the air, staring at the winged girl. She was displaying signs of being surprised. “Wait, really?”

    “Yup.”

    Hebert scowled, crossed her arms and stared down at Armsmaster again. “These are the Endbringers, Armsmaster. I’m their…” she trailed off, momentarily staring down at the ground in thought, then grinned and looked back at him. “New Management!”

    Armsmaster stared at her incredulously.

    Who did this girl think she was kidding?

    “Still doesn’t believe you,” the winged girl said.

    Hebert threw down her arms and stomped her foot in midair. “Oh come on! What the hell do I have to do to make you see reality?!”

    “There is nothing you can say which would convince me you are not mentally unsound,” Armsmaster deadpanned. “You believe your companions to be the Endbringers. The smallest of which is fifteen feet tall.”

    “They changed size!”

    “You’re insane!”

    “No I’m not!”

    “What could you possibly say to convince us of that?!” Battery called out.

    “I have Legend as a character witness!”

    Dead silence beyond Assault's continuous cackling. The argument between Armsmaster and Hebert had apparently been hilarious to the kinetic redirector.

    “What?” Miss Militia finally asked.

    Alright,” Armsmaster admitted. “That's a new one.”

    “Call him!”

    Armsmaster glared at her for several more moments.

    “Armsmaster?” Dragon spoke up from his suit, “...should I connect you?”

    He stewed even longer, eventually sighing. “Fine,” he growled. “Use max alert level. Authcode is in my Halberd.”

    “Connecting…”

    The phone rang for several seconds. Legend picked it up and was instantly in serious mode. “Armsmaster. What's happened?”

    “Legend,” Armsmaster greeted his superior cordially. “I am currently standing in the ruins of the Brockton Bay Boardwalk with a girl who claims to lead a team of capes with three members having similar powers to the Endbringers on the opposing side. She vehemently claims that they are, in fact, the Endbringers. Despite obvious evidence to the contrary.”

    Legend swore. “Five? What the hell has she done now?”

    Armsmaster was surprised. “Wait, you actually know her?” he asked incredulously.

    His teammates were not tapped into the call like he was. The reactions to his outburst were varied, but all mixes of surprise.

    Except Assault. He was into hysteria at this point.

    “You have speakers in your suit, right?” Legend asked Armsmaster.

    “Affirmative,” the Tinker confirmed.

    “Put me on them.”

    Armsmaster blinked, confused even more, but nonetheless did as he asked. “External speakers active.”

    Legend got right to his point. “Taylor, I thought we were going to keep this under the radar,” he stressed pointedly.

    The flying girl shrugged. “I said I'd keep your thing quiet. For now. Not my things. I'm not going to have my… family attacked on the street.”

    Miss Militia grunted. Armsmaster knew that had hit a nerve in her. The rest of his team was watching with horrified silence.

    Legend sighed. “What do you want me to do?”

    Armsmaster wasn't just surprised any more. He was shocked. Legend was deferring to a teenager? What?

    “I told Armsmaster you were our character witness,” she explained. “And I fully intend to inform the world about the New Management of these particular beings, so you should be prepared for some questions.”

    That was a step too far. Teenagers did not dictate to the head of the Protectorate, Endbringers or no. “Now hold on a moment-” he started to intervene.

    “Armsmaster, stand down,” Legend commanded. The Tinker was shocked yet again at the tone his superior took. “Things are going on at levels much, much higher than you. We need to treat this with a delicate touch.”

    “Treat WHAT?!” he demanded, losing the little amount of control he had left. “A teenage girl with delusions of grandeur and five capes, three of which happen to have similar powers to defunct city destroyers?!”

    No,” Legend stressed, gritting his teeth, “the new Master of the Endbringers, who also happens to have the power to make more.

    Terse breaths were drawn in from all around. As one the Protectorate turned to look at Hebert, and lost whatever blood had been in their faces.

    She wiggled her fingers at them, winking.

    Velocity fell backwards. He’d fainted.

    Armsmaster couldn't believe his ears.“WHAT.

    “...New Master, Legend?” Miss Militia timidly asked.

    Armsmaster clenched his fists. His SiC was never timid. She must be terrified.

    Just like him. He just refused to show it.

    Legend sighed again and groaned. “Yes, and that is a can of worms for a very different day. Suffice it to say the Endbringers were Mastered into attacking and killing. Taylor Hebert here triggered and co opted control of the Endbringers from the old Master. She also can create more on command, something the previous controller could not,” he explained succinctly.

    More silence. Even Assault shut up.

    Hebert was grinning the whole time.

    “...Shit,” the previously cackling jokester of the Brockton Bay Protectorate summed up.

    The three Endbringer candidates, which Armsmaster still did not believe but was assigning names to (mentally anyways) just in case this insanity proved true, looked guilty and sorrowful. His cameras even made out slight tears emerging from the tear ducts of The Simurgh.

    He had a feeling his day was about to get a lot more complicated.

    “...SHIT!” Dauntless exclaimed.

    Everyone looked to him with shock. The man never swore, no matter what happened to him.

    He saw the looks and sighed. “I think this situation is enough to break my promise to myself,” he lamented.

    “Hear hear,” Assault chimed in.

    “Oh, and Battery?” Legend called out to the second woman on the team.

    “Yes sir?” she asked, warily.

    “We're calling in that favor. Help Taylor out, please, with whatever she might need on the Protectorate side.”

    Battery’s eyes widened behind her mask. Her mouth didn't change and there were no other body language cues to demonstrate she had reacted to Legend's words in any way but normally.

    Those precautions were not enough to fool Armsmaster’s social programs.

    Battery nodded. “Yes sir,” she acknowledged.

    Armsmaster would have to talk to her about that later. And whatever this apparent ‘favor’ entailed.

    “Now, about how to manage this particular reveal,” Legend continued. He proceeded to go over the details as the Triumvirate and the top levels of the Protectorate knew them, with Hebert chiming in with some information from time to time.

    Even thirty seconds in, Armsmaster knew; this was going to be a very long day.




    Legend walked out of a Doormaker portal into the new Cauldron base. “You will never believe who I just got off the phone with and what we talked about!” he cheerily greeted the other members of the secret organization.

    Doctor Mother glared up at Legend's bright face from her chair. She was holding an ice pack to the side of her head. She wasn't a Parahuman, but she did feel like she had a Thinker headache from what had been going on lately. “You're enjoying this far too much,” she deadpanned.

    “Agreed,” Eidolon and Alexandria chimed in.

    “Enjoying what? I've always wanted to be the leader of a secret, worldwide conspiracy organization whose members go behind the backs of the people they trust with their lives, their family, and lie to their faces!” Legend fired back, just as cheerily. He managed to somehow even make that sound real.

    “When are you going to let that go, Paul?” Rebecca exclaimed, thumping her hands down on the table. “Yes, we lied to you. I'm sorry. Are you happy now?”

    In a flash of light, Legend was standing over Alexandria and his eyes were glowing a killing shade of green. Rebecca flinched backwards at the look of malice on her friend's face.

    “I am going to be holding this over you for a long time,” he growled.

    Alexandria looked like she wanted to say something, but just sighed instead. “How many times do I have to apologize, Paul?” she asked genuinely. Rebecca, not Alexandria, stared up into his eyes, pleading for him to understand.

    And he did. He really, truly did. What they were facing had been insurmountable before the reveal of Taylor and her father.

    But they'd made one crucial mistake in their procedure. Paul had always been the conscience of the Triumvirate. He was supposed to be that for Cauldron, too.

    But they excluded him from the real decision making, and in the process, lost their way.

    The promise the four of them had made back when they were four, broken by the two who most needed to follow it.

    “A lot, Rebecca,” he said, his tone softening. “I'm not as good a man as Clark was.”

    That did it. He saw the stab of real pain his words caused in his old friend. She pressed her lips in a firm line and nodded, closing her eyes.

    Good. She needed the humility.

    Paul stood back up and glanced at his other alive friend. “How are you doing, David?” he asked.

    “I created the Endbringers, Paul,” he morosely stated. It didn't need to be said that the rest of his sentence was ‘Not well.’

    “It's not entirely your fault. Your… Shard is the one that actually made them,” Legend tried to be his usual optimistic self.

    David just crossed his arms and looked away. “Partial responsibility for the deaths of countries and hundreds of millions of people is still hundreds of millions of people.” His tone was flat, like he was dead on the inside.

    Paul grimaced. David might as well have been for how much happiness he displayed since Taylor dropped that bomb. He couldn't begrudge her for that, it needed to be said and revealed… but he did wish she'd done it an easier way.

    “Well, Armsmaster was the one who called me,” Legend continued with his original spiel. He walked around the oak table, the same one from their old base, and sat at the head opposite Doctor Mother. “He was asking if I was really a character witness for the Endbringers and their new controller.”

    Rebecca groaned out loud and allowed her face to fall forwards, smacking straight into the table. “God damn it.”

    Number Man raised an eyebrow. “What has the younger Entity done?”

    “I talked to her too,” Paul continued to explain. “She, her father, and the Endbringers, the new one based on her friend included, went to get ice cream at the Brockton Bay Boardwalk. Somehow Ash Beast and The Butcher showed up. Ash Beast flattened the boardwalk and Taylor and the Endbringers took them down.” He waved a hand towards the woman who used to be the best weapon Cauldron ever had, sitting at her own table in a soundproof yet windowed room off the meeting room's hallway and staring off into space. Paul scowled at the possibility his investigations had brought up. “I think we know who to thank for this particular chain of unlikely events.”

    Contessa had apparently ordered Doormaker to drop both of them right on top of Taylor. Why, Paul didn't yet know, but he was going to find out.

    Rebecca let out a much louder groan of misery and thumped her head into the table. She was clearly watching her strength given the surface didn't scuff. She must have finally been tired of replacing the secret organization's tables out of her own pocket.

    David had the look of morbid curiosity Paul was so familiar with on his face, hidden as it was beneath his hood. “And what, exactly, did you say?”

    Paul sighed, collapsing back into his chair. He brought both his hands up to his face and rubbed them up and down as if he could get rid of the bullshit his life had become by just that action. “I said yes. Highly classified, make sure the information doesn't get out, and that the Endbringers were Mastered.”

    David winced at the reminder, but nodded. “The best you could do, really,” he muttered.

    Everyone was silent for several long seconds.

    Paul drew in a terse breath… and sighed. “Yeah,” he agreed, morbidly. “Yeah, I know.”

    “As much as I believe in the Protectorate and the PRT, I'm not that confident in our informational security with something like this,” Rebecca spoke up, her voice a little muffled from the fact she was almost kissing the oak table surface.

    Legend drew in a deep breath and sighed once more. “I talked to her, too,” he revealed.

    Everyone present sat up and stared at him. “You what?!” Alexandria shouted.

    “She told me to spread it everywhere. And that they would be doing that with or without our help,” he continued, reaching up to rub the bridge of his forehead.

    WHAT?!” Rebecca shouted again.

    “No!” Doctor Mother protested.

    “Are you serious?!” the Number Man asked.

    “Hah, she has guts.” That was David.

    “Paul, we need to keep this secret!” Rebecca pressed, thumping her hands on the table again.

    Legend looked at her askance and raised his eyebrows. "Do you really want me to call our resident eldritch teenage horror back?" he asked warningly. “She’s doing it. She told me. Hell, she informed me, like there wasn’t even a discussion to be had. We can help her or be in her way. She did not speak favorably of what would happen to us if we decided to try that.”

    The entire room was silent once more.

    “Shit,” Rebecca cursed, her head thumping into the table again.

    “I believe that is what both Assault and Dauntless, of all people, of the Brockton Bay Protectorate said in summary, yes.”

    David just leaned back and brought his hands to his face.

    “I told you this would happen if you allowed her this freedom,” Number Man stated neutrally.

    “We didn’t have a choice,” Paul lamented. He turned his head away from them all and glared at the wall. “Your collective actions saw to that.”

    More silence, this time the guilty kind. It sat on the room like a physical thing, the weight of what they’d done.

    “Poor Contessa,” Doctor Mother finally, absentmindedly commented, staring at the single person in the world who had sacrificed even more than she to destroying the Entities through the transparent material separating their rooms. She pointedly ignored Legend’s suggestion in the best way she knew; changing the subject.




    "Path to defeating Scion."

    [0 steps remaining. Path complete.]

    Contessa rubbed the bridge of her nose with her fingers in an attempt to massage away her frustration.

    "Path to defeating Scion."

    [0 steps remaining. Path complete.]

    "Grah! PATH TO DEFEATING SCION!!!" she finally shouted.

    [...Calculating.]

    Contessa collapsed onto the table. It was the first progress she'd had getting anything out of her passenger in hours. Even if it was just a calculation, it seemed like Path to Victory was finally doing something besides endlessly informing her the Path was already finished.

    [New Path found. 2 steps remaining.]

    Her head shot up and her eyes widened. "EXECUTE PATH!" she almost shouted.

    [Step 1: Attack table with face.]

    Contessa followed through in a heartbeat, not even paying attention to the step's instructions as she felt her passenger guide her action. She'd done so billions of times before. If there was truly a two step process to defeating Scion even after all this time of 'completed paths', with the teenaged elder horror and her father taking residence upon Earth Bet, and with Cauldron kicked out of their base by said horror...

    She would follow through to the end. No matter how much her face now hurt. Nor how much her apparently now sapient passenger insisted that the two were family for them both.

    [Step 2: Say "Path complete." Alternative: Scream with delicious irritation.]

    Nevermind.

    The fact that for once Path to Victory was providing a set of possible steps instead of just one perfect one was lost on the woman named Fortuna as her wordless scream echoed through the halls of the Cauldron backup base. Several lower level members of the secret organization would begin swearing a Banshee had infested their base while they were holed up in the original one.

    [0 steps remaining. Path complete.]




    “Bro.”

    “Bro.”

    The dynamic gaming-themed ‘villain’ duo Uber and L33t were sitting in their base of operations deep in the warehouses of Brockton Bay. They’d been remote operating Leet’s Camera Drone to scout out the Boardwalk’s new and improved distribution of Enforcers. The express purposes of this was of course so that they could orchestrate yet another video game themed heist of the Bay’s tourist trap.

    And then everything went to hell.

    The Ash Beast showed up. The Boardwalk was destroyed in an instant, and it looked like all the excrement was impacting the rotary air redirecting device at FTL speeds.

    Contrary to the normal eventuality that common sense dictated, however, a team of teenagers walked out of a ruined ice cream shop- or in the case of a couple, flew- and proceeded to totally and completely stomp the S-Class threat INTO THE GROUND.

    Like they hadn't even bothered trying.


    That wasn’t even the freakiest part, though. The holder of that honor was the girl of the two who had remained behind in the ice cream shop, holding onto a young African American man.

    “What the hell, man?” Uber asked Leet. “Are you seeing what I'm seeing?”

    “You mean a walking, talking, internet fanart drawing?” Leet asked Uber back.

    “Yeahp.”

    The two of them looked at each other for a few seconds, then back to the spitting image of some Simurgh fanart they’d both seen on the Internet before.

    “It can't be her, right?” Lee asked. “Like, we're crazy-”

    And then the winged girl turned her head to look straight at the Camera Drone. Her misty gray eyes were clearly visible what with the subtle glow they started to emit.

    Both men gulped.

    “Leet,” Uber asked.

    “Yeah Uber?” Leet replied in a small voice.

    Uber swallowed hard. “Is the Simurgh looking straight at us right now?”

    “Can’t be, this is a recording… and she’s just a teenage girl-” Leet started to refute.

    Then that same ‘teenage girl’ nodded.

    The gaming themed duo stood, frozen in place, for a good dozen seconds. The sound of battles and explosions rang out somewhere off-screen, but the Drone hadn't moved. The girl idly looked around her ruined surroundings, some kind of ice cream shop from what little remained, while they were busy gaping.

    Leet opened his mouth to say something again and her head shot around to stare straight at the Drone again.

    Leet... closed his mouth.

    “Okay, so she has the creepy factor down,” Uber lamented.

    The girl quickly nodded again, grinning a self-satisfied smile.

    “Stop that!” Leet demanded, slamming his hands down on his desk. He left out of his chair and stared straight at the video, his nose almost touching the monitor. “This is a recording, you can't just respond to us live! That's bullshit!”

    The girl closed her eyes, shrugged, and tilted her head to the side. Her self-satisfied smile turned into a smug grin.

    “Stop it!”

    Uber walked forward and placed a calming hand on his brother in games’ shoulder. “Cool it Leet. If she is who we think she is…”

    The girl on the video helped him make his point by smiling angelically, closing her eyes, and raising her eyebrows. She seemed to be the picture of innocence.

    Leet sighed and closed his eyes. He collapsed back into the chair. “I can’t handle this, bro,” he stated flatly.

    The girl’s innocent smile only widened.

    “Okay, that’s enough,” Uber cut in with a commanding tone. “Who the hell are you and why do you look so much like an Endbringer?”

    The girl shrugged, still smiling, and nodded.

    “Why are you nodding?”

    She nodded again.

    “Stop that.”

    The girl shook her head. Still smiling.

    “Okay then, nods or shakes only,” Uber realized. He went over a list of questions in his head and decided the important one was the first one he would ask. Steeling himself, he stared into her eyes through the recorded video and spoke. “Are you the Simurgh?”

    She nodded. No hesitation.

    Leet’s face went white as the blood drained from it. Uber, on the other hand, was not so easily convinced.

    “Prove it,” he demanded, crossing his arms as if daring her to.

    And right in front of them, on their desk, Leet’s keyboard and mouse began to float into the air. They began disassembling at an incredibly fast pace until the only things left were components. And keys.

    Ziz, they spelled out, with the second Z being represented by a sideways N.

    As if on cue, Uber lost all the blood in his face too. His crossed arms dropped.

    They were convinced. Only that particular Endbringer could both communicate to them from a recording and manipulate things in the room where it was being viewed in synch with her appearance on the video.

    Both men began trembling.

    “H-How can we help you, o-oh Supreme Overlady of Feathers?” Uber managed to squeak out.

    The fucking Simurgh shrugged. Now that the two of them knew who she was, that seemed almost surreal. She was displaying emotions, looked human, and most importantly, wasn’t 15 feet tall.

    “Y-you d-don’t know?!” Leet exclaimed, eyes widening. “How? How can you not know something?!”

    The keyboard keys on the desk began to reorganize again. Slowly they spelled out words, one after the other. Not. Endbringer. Anymore. Where there needed to be two of a letter, the missing one was either replaced by a similar looking key (3 for a second e, for instance) or if one was not available, the key needed jumped along the word while they scanned across it with their eyes.

    Her telekinesis was frankly complete bullshit.

    The winged girl raised her eyebrow and smirked at him.

    Uber sighed inside his head and rolled his eyes. Okay, yes, her precog was also bullshit. “You’re not an Endbringer anymore?” he asked,only slightly dumbfounded. “What the hell are you now then?”

    The Simurgh… or Ziz, if that was her name, pointed away from her, to the left. The Drone suddenly started recording position keeping errors as it was forced to turn sideways and look outside of the ruined ice cream shop.

    Just in time for a girl in jeans and a tight T-shirt to come out of some kind of extremely fast flight, given the loud BOOM and shockwave that accompanied her arrival. She was now hovering next to a much younger girl with pink, actually pink, hair in pigtails. On the other side of them out of the focus of the Drone some kind of gray bubble performed the role of a backdrop.

    The position keeping errors faded away as Ziz rotated the Drone back to face her and into perfect alignment with its original location. Protector. Of Her, the keys said.

    “You protect a teenage girl now?” Leet asked incredulously.

    Why?!” Uber asked.

    Freed me. Was Mastered. Now I follow her.

    And wasn’t that a terrifying thought. Apparently a parahuman existed powerful enough to Master the Endbringers.

    This was so high above their pay grade. The looks the duo traded said more than their words ever could.

    Uber looked back to the visibly patiently waiting Endbringer-turned-girl and gulped once more. “What about the others?” he hesitantly asked.

    Levi, Ben, also freed. They follow her as well.

    Uber had to sit down. Right now there was a girl, clearly a cape herself given her flight abilities, with control of not one, not two, but three Endbringers.

    He looked back down at the keys. They jiggled a little at his gaze, as if to rub it in.

    They clearly had their powers still. And given the distance between Uber, Leet, and Ziz, had been completely and totally sandbagging before.

    The video with Ziz on it started emitting an unending stream of error beeps. Uber and Leet looked up at the video to see the the Drone reporting errors about it receiving a huge influx of new data. Errors about storage space filling up faster than it should have flowed over the screen… until with a wave of her hand, Ziz made them just go away.

    At the same moment the mouse parts on the desk jolted into the air and reassembled in a single second. The mouse plopped back down on the desk, then moved into and bumped Leet’s hand.

    The duo jumped at the sudden movement.

    Their throats were too dry to gulp now, so Leet just scrambled to look at the filesystem of the Drone. A few clicks and he had the folder brought up once more.

    There was much more footage on it than there had been earlier.

    Leet, trembling, took his hand off the mouse and slowly backed away from his computer. “That’s not how filesystems work,” he mumbled under his breath, staring wide eyed at the floor.

    Uber took over from his buddy and opened one of the new files on a second monitor. He didn’t dare close the video with Ziz on it. They were all action shots of the girl Ziz said she was protecting and another girl. This file seemed to be them taking down... holy shit, was that The Butcher?!

    Uber emulated what Leet had done mere moments earlier and slowly took his hand off the mouse. Ziz frowned, sighed, and the mouse proceeded to move on its own.

    Both gaming villains pushed their chairs back even further.

    The mouse moved to one of the last files and opened it up in the window that had been playing the Butcher’s utter defeat. The first thing the duo noticed was that the girl was hovering in the air, arms crossed, and that Ziz and the other girl they’d seen help the protected girl take down The Butcher were flanking her. On the ground were two teen boys that they immediately pegged as the humanized forms of Behemoth and Leviathan, what with the lava and the water.

    Then the girl spoke.

    “You gonna fight us? Because I don’t think I can take the person whose logo is on my underwear seriously.”

    Despite their fear, their incredulity, neither Uber nor Leet could resist breaking out in hysterical laughter at the dumbfounded look on Armsmaster’s face. It was perfectly visible through his visor and his body language just confirmed the expression.

    It only got better when the pink haired girl they saw earlier ruined the entire dramatic awe aura the Endbringers and the one they were protecting had managed to create by being adorable.

    The keys clacked once again and the two abruptly sat ramrod straight, completely sober once more.

    Make your magic. Show the world we are not to be feared anymore. Send it everywhere.

    The moment the gaming villain duo had finished reading that sentence the components for the keyboard rapidly reassembled and it clunked down on the desk.

    The Ziz on the first video raised her fingers, and a wing, to her forehead and snapped off a salute. With both. She smirked, winked, and reached out another wing to the Drone. “Boop!” she spoke, for the first time.

    Uber and Leet preemptively cringed back, expecting painful screeching in their heads, but all they heard was a rather melodic and angelic sounding teenage girl’s voice.

    Then the video ended.

    Uber looked at Leet.

    Leet looked at Uber.

    “Bro.”

    Bro.

    They looked at each other for several more seconds, contemplating whether they should refuse an Endbringer’s request.

    The keyboard lightly rattling put paid to that idea. Half an hour later, the newest Uber and Leet Show video went up, containing the footage the winged Endbringer had given them and some explanations to go with it.




    I’m fucked.

    Sophia could only think that over and over as she rushed around the Wards section of the PRT HQ.

    I’m so so so so SO fucked.

    Even as she yanked her old pre-Wards costume, her real costume, out of her PRT locker, she was cursing out the bitch in her head.

    Fucking HEBERT triggers and the weakling gets to control the FUCKING ENDBRINGERS! WHAT THE FUCK-

    Sophia hadn’t even really wanted to do anything to the stick-thin, weak, lanky, too-tall girl. It was Emma’s idea. Sophia was just trying to be a good friend, make her friend stronger. Like she’d become. And Emma wanted to make Taylor strong, too.

    They were like sisters once, she’d said. Emma wanted that to continue. As a personal favor to her new fellow survivor, Sophia had obliged. She had taken her considerable knowledge of interrogation and torture techniques that she learned on the street as a vigilante and applied them liberally.

    The dark-skinned survivor might’ve thought twice about it if Taylor had shown any kind of reaction. Good, bad, weak, survivor, didn’t matter, something.

    But the freak just. wouldn’t. break.

    Sure, she cried in the beginning and melted down a few times. But then she seemed to become disconnected and nothing worked anymore.

    At that point Sophia had been forced into the Wards, and an easy outlet for her frustrations was right there.

    A source that no matter what Sophia, Emma, Madison, or the others did, seemed impervious to harm.

    The ultimate sheep. So lost in ignorance and blind to the real world they were incapable of being affected by cold, harsh truth.

    That was when Sophia started to enjoy it. Shoving the sheep into her locker might've been Emma's idea, but Sophia pitched in with the addition of the trash, bugs, shit, and pads.

    Sophia had been the one to push her in, too. Emma lost her nerve at the last second. Madison never had it.

    Sophia was a better survivor than Emma so she hadn't blamed her. The redhead just needed more time. She could become strong. Sophia could feel it.

    Then again she hadn't felt Hebert could be anything but weak forever and look how that turned out.

    I'M FUCKED!

    Taylor Hebert had faced down the entire Brockton Bay Protectorate. After destroying the Boardwalk and killing off The fucking Butcher and The goddamned Ash Beast, she then stood across from them as if they were nothing.

    Given who was with her, they might as well not be.

    Sophia wasn't book smart but she had damned good instincts. She knew exactly who they were the second she saw them. Taylor controlled the Endbringers, had somehow made them into what looked like humans, and she had an Emma, too.

    Sophia knew, even as she fished her original crossbows out of their hiding place under her Wards bed, the orange glowing girl next to the sheep hadn't been Emma.

    She had a kind, if stern, expression.

    Emma wasn't kind.

    She had to shed that to become a survivor. Just like Sophia had to shed any kind of empathy.

    They were the chains of sheep.

    No, Taylor had another Endbringer that for some reason she'd made in the shape of her old friend. She didn’t just control them, she could also make new ones.

    Sophia couldn’t fight that. Survivors became survivors because they learned when to fight and when to retreat for regrouping. Four Endbringers and the girl who made them was no match for Shadow Stalker, no matter how much that pained Sophia to admit.

    So she had to run. When she returned, and she would return, she would make Taylor pay for forcing her to run from something. Pay for making her do the one thing she swore she never, ever would. She sent a quick text to Emma warning her to do the same, then pulled on her mask.

    Just in time.

    The mask-up alarm rang out in the empty Wards area. Sophia was the only one there. She'd refused to go to the strategy meeting the rest of them went to.

    One second later she had her mask on, and she was complete again.

    She couldn't just go out the window. That paranoid, fat bitch Piggot had electrified the entirety of the walls, window included, when Sophia was brought in on ‘probation’.

    She would have to fight the Wards and get out the normal way. The only one she might have an ounce of regret for the injuries they were about to suffer at her hand was Vista. The little girl tried so hard to be a survivor even with everyone treating her like the innocent she no longer was. It gave Sophia what might be labelled respect by other people for the space warper.

    Sophia turned to smoke and raised her crossbows, lethal bolts loaded, towards the door. She began mentally counting down the seconds.

    When she reached one, she let loose with both bows. The bolts started to shimmer back into reality just as the door was sliding open. Both bolts hit true on the chest of the first person through.

    Sophia paled under her mask, inside her shadow.

    She wasn't just fucked anymore. She was dead.

    The living shadow stood, frozen in horror, and while she would never admit it out loud, a fuckload of fear.

    “What the hell?” Taylor FUCKING HEBERT said as she brushed two of Sophia’s most lethal weapons off of her completely unbroken T-Shirt.

    “What is it, Taylor?” Aegis’ voice asked. He floated into the air and came over the heads of the rest of them.

    Sophia paled even further when she registered just who was behind Taylor. Lined up like ducklings behind their mother were the Endbringers and the fake Emma.

    None of them were looking at her with favorable expressions.

    “Someone shot me with crossbow bol-” Taylor started to say, when her eyes landed on the gaseous shadow in the center of the room.

    A head-splitting screech ripped through Sophia's head. Pain, pain, [PAIN] was all she knew. A part of her was writhing in agonizing [PAIN].

    Sophia clutched her head and let her body go limp. She screamed out at the top of her lungs. Instead of collapsing to the floor, however, she stood stock still, forced to remain upright, and whimpered under the assault of something so much [MORE].

    In the few moments Sophia could keep her eyes open, she found out that Taylor was glaring death at her. She was the one causing the [PAIN].

    The no longer stick thin girl was attacking her without even moving. She was curvy in a way Emma would envy.

    Through the [PAIN], Sophia was able to access a glimpse of her usual instincts. They were screaming at her that this girl, Taylor, wasn't a girl anymore.

    Said false girl clenched her fist around the crossbow bolts, seemingly uncaring about the way they squealed in protest at the torture her strength put them under as she compressed them into balls, and stared molten death at the writing shadow. “SOPHIA.

    The terrified girl would have defecated if she wasn't a shadow at that moment. Somewhere [ELSEWHERE], a part of her did.




    Retreat. Hebert will kill us. Get out of the Bay.

    Emma Barnes stared at the last message she’d received from Sophia just before her fellow survivor, guide, and mentor had gone offline.

    What the hell did she mean? Taylor, kill them? She would have to be strong for that.

    Her sister wasn’t strong. She was just the ultimate sheep. Emma had failed her.

    Every day at school, she failed her.

    She tried and tried and tried, so hard, burning every bridge she had ever built with the taller girl. Desecrated their memories, destroyed their mother’s flute, and even stuffed her inside her locker.

    And yet still, still, even with the additions Sophia made to the experience, Taylor was still weak.

    She had such a bright light when Emma looked at her. She had ever since came up the road to meet her again after Sophia saved her and her father. The moment she’d had an entire daydream in a single second where Taylor’s mom… their mom, pleaded with her to make Taylor strong. She asked Emma to do it as Taylor’s sister in all but blood. No matter the cost.

    Emma knew she needed it.

    And so, she began.

    Not that it ever did anything.

    For a while the glow inside Taylor grew and grew. It looked like she would finally reach the tipping point. That all of Emma’s tearing down of her sister would pay off, and she would emerge stronger than before. Like she had. Like Sophia had.

    Taylor’s mom’s flute was supposed to do it. But instead… Taylor just grew a shell and hid inside, like a turtle.

    The glow almost disappeared.

    Emma panicked. She could admit that. She started escalating further and further as the light grew dimmer and dimmer. Finally she couldn’t bear to see her sister fall, and so she planned the Locker.

    It… sort of worked.

    Emma had visited her in the hospital. Her glow came back, brighter than ever, and it seemed that she had succeeded!

    ...But then nothing further happened. No abilities, no strength. And one day her dad took her home.

    That was yesterday.

    Emma had gone in to try and see if her light had grown and found her gone. She was ready to give up. Ready to apologize to Taylor’s mom, tell her she couldn’t do it. That Taylor just wouldn’t be able to do it.

    Seemed like Sophia had cracked sooner than she had, judging by the message.

    Emma collapsed back onto her bed with a sigh. She’d give it another day. One more extended period of torment to try and make Taylor strong. Then she’d give u-

    “EMMA!” her mother shrieked from the living room. She sounded terrified. “GET DOWN HERE!!!”

    Emma’s eyes shot wide open. She flipped out of her bed, landing on her feet, and sprinted out her door and down the stairs. If someone had found out that she was strong and was threatening her mom, she swore-

    But no such thing was happening. Zoe Barnes was standing in front of their widescreen TV in the living room, backing away. Her hands were over her mouth and she looked like she had seen a ghost.

    “Mom, what’s wrong?!” Emma cried out as she reached her side. She discreetly summoned a portion of her own light in her hand, ready to erase whatever had scared her mom from existence.

    Zoe’s eyes flicked over to her and she shrieked again, this time illegibly. She tripped over her own feet and fell onto the couch. She srabbled back from her daughter. “Emma why are you on TV?!”

    Emma looked at her mom like she was crazy. “What?”

    Zoe saw her confusion, gulped, and pointed her finger shakingly at the TV. “L-look!”

    Emma blinked, turned, and stared at the news report on the screen.

    The moment her eyes landed on her, what blood she had in her pale skin drained out of her face.”What?” she whispered.

    Taylor was on the screen. Taylor. She was flying in the air by herself, flanked by a pale, platinum blonde haired, hundred winged girl. On her other side, fists clenched and glowing a lethally bright orange… was Emma.

    Emma stared at herself for a few seconds. Then she stared at Taylor. Even from the news report, she could see the flare of light around Taylor that nobody else ever saw. It was bright, large, and beautiful.

    The redheaded girl broke out in choked sobs. She dismissed the bit of light she had pulled out of herself and approached the TV, lightly touching the surface with her fingers.

    She’d done it.

    Taylor was strong.

    Emma Barnes pressed her head against the screen and closed her eyes. She sighed with relief. “Taylor,” she breathed, “I’m so proud of you.”

    A moment later she drew her head back, opened her eyes, and stared straight at her sister. “I’m coming to you.”
     
  8. Starfox5

    Starfox5 Experienced.

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    Wow. Emma's all kinds of messed up. Uber and L33t are, as expected, a riot. And Sophia's as stupid as expected as well :p
     
  9. ranmatoushin

    ranmatoushin Confused, As Always

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    Emma, you Cray, Cray.
     
  10. Zeushobbit

    Zeushobbit I use my mind and yours doesn't matter.

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    Hmm, I see you're using the fanon trope of Emma being a parahuman/potential trigger sensor. Some sort of Blaster ability too possibly given how she described readying her 'light' to attack.

    Loved the Cauldron bit, Paul milking his Moral high ground for every scrap it's worth and Simmie's trolling/coercion of Uber and Leet was very fun to read.
     
  11. Akritedes

    Akritedes The Flesh Is Weak.

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    I think the telling bit here is that either Emma is seriously crazy and hallucinating, or Eden actually pushed her onto the path of abusing Taylor.

    Presumably with this end result in mind, I suppose.
     
  12. MaeHartchenko

    MaeHartchenko Know what you're doing yet?

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    Emma fanon is good fanon. Also Eden stop fucking with your daughter's life and friends. Hope we get two Emma's since Taylor, even if she's bein respectful to her roots, has transcended humanity. Good Emma and Bad Emma seems like a fun dynamic for a Tohu Bohu-like set.

    What I'm saying is: Taylor! Master Emma into being mentally healthy and force compartmentalize her memories as a bitch so they don't traumatize her!
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
  13. TCGM

    TCGM (Unverified God/Space Snek)

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    Is she messed up, though?

    Uber and Leet, the true SIs of us all.

    Sophia is as Sophia does. She is honestly the character that changes the least throughout all of fanon. Kinda impressive, actually.

    Is she?

    She's certainly seeing something. Not telling on whether that is parahumans, though.

    Emma does have a blaster ability.

    Morally superior Legend is really fun to write. Especially with Cauldron.

    As if taking human form and becoming a Protection Engine would change who she is. The Overlady of Feathers still plots and plans. Just for Taylor now.

    Or something similar ;)

    Was that Eden? ;)

    I just got the mental image of good cop/bad cop Emmas. I can't seem to stop chuckling.

    That's a neat idea. We'll see if Taylor thinks of it,
     
  14. Slith10

    Slith10 Not too sore, are you?

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    ... Of course, the answer was in front of us all along! Emma is the reincarnation/whatever of Eden, that's why she is so good at 'HALPING'!
    The solution has been found!
     
  15. Darth.

    Darth. Verified Lurker

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    Welp. Emma you need a shrink. Many shrinks. All the fucking shrinks.
     
  16. deathgeonous

    deathgeonous Making the rounds.

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    Nice, fun and all sorts of messed up. I do so love.
     
    RazielofSecrets likes this.
  17. Asurau

    Asurau Know what you're doing yet?

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    Well, given all that shit Eden seems to have pulled of, I wouldn't put it past her to set Emma up as Taylor's Trigger.

    Hell, I wouldn't put it pasto her that Eden intenationally caused Emma's own trigger event for that exclusive purpose.

    Really enjoying this train ride so far.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
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  18. Guardian54

    Guardian54 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    You're going with the [INITIATOR] interpretation for Emma, huh?

    Well, it is the only real choice with EDEN being Taylor's mother.

    Taylor: "Go fuck yourself!"
    Emma: *points toward Engine!Emma* "I think your mom wanted to arrange for that. Or maybe a Taylor sandwich between me and her."
    Taylor: *gapes*
     
  19. IsaacTheAutobot1229

    IsaacTheAutobot1229 Know what you're doing yet?

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    Ok, that gave me a good laugh.
    This story is getting better with every chapter. The amount of headaches going around will have the ibuprofen manufacturers in monetary bliss for a decade.
     
  20. TCGM

    TCGM (Unverified God/Space Snek)

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    Ah, rampant speculation, my bread and butter!

    Sure sounds like it, yeah.

    Thanks!

    ;)

    Thanks! Me too.

    I really wonder if I could pull this off without changing the rating of the story... because this? It's all brilliant. And would fit both Annette's views on sexuality and the lack of caring that Eden would have.
     
  21. Guardian54

    Guardian54 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    You totally can.

    So far I'm pretty sure my Naruto/SupCom fic on QQ is still SFW by QQ standards. It won't stay that way but given how many implications I've put in there to date?
    You totally can just have Taylor head-desking a lot and cut-to-morning-after section dividers.

    ...And then post the NSFW parts on the NSFW forum with "For NSFW portion here, see the other thread" for every lemon-censoring section divider.

    And the NSFW thread would link here on its OP so people can see where to go, and its threadmarks could be "Chapter 15 Scene 3", "Chapter 26 Scene 1", or the like.
     
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  22. TCGM

    TCGM (Unverified God/Space Snek)

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    Naruto/SupCom.

    I... how.

    Anyways, I'm on SV too. FFN doesn't have standards so I'm not worried about there, but SV I would be.

    Pretty sure if I just mention the idea instead of saying it actually occurs there's no issue, though.
     
  23. Guardian54

    Guardian54 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Creative interpretation of the Naruto world. To the point where the leading cause of death or defection for powerful ninjas is Paperwork Psychosis, Danzo is not in fact an asshole*, Sasuke finds the idea of the Uchiha Massacre to be a bad joke that he wants to find Itachi to beat the truth out of him for, Orochimaru had legitimate reasons to run away from Konoha, and Sakura's fluffy, adorable pet is a Larvesta.

    It would be rude to derail by explaining further, just come see: https://forum.questionablequesting....d-naruto-reinterpreted-supreme-commander.8016

    However, Danzo IS a HORRIBLE friend through "no Hiruzen I'm not sending some guy to fake an assassination attempt on you just so you can 'accidentally' be injured and shove the paperwork on me for a couple weeks while ordering the medical ninjas to not accelerate your recovery. Get back to work already!"
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
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  24. Akuma-Heika

    Akuma-Heika The Devil Exists Within

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    FTFY, previous format implied Taylor and the Endbringers could not stand against Sophia.

    Huh, I have read a story that had the same premise of Emma triggering and being able to see other Parahumans/humans with the ability to trigger. Legion maybe? No, it was another one...I cannot remember. Nice use of it regardless.

    Now it is bugging me that I cannot remember the name of that fic. -_- Was it one of yours?
     
  25. Thief of Words

    Thief of Words Still Broken, but Less Lost

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    Wow. You managed to make Annette the shittiest person in the Wormverse.
     
  26. Gindjurra

    Gindjurra Not too sore, are you?

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    Presentation matters. People know she won the power lottery super-jackpot, that she just took down two S-class threats back to back without needing Endbringer backup, that she has 4-5 Endbringers with her and under her control, but none of it matters. The forces facing her have less than one percent of the firepower needed to fight just one Endbringer, but that doesn't matter either.

    What matters is that she is a teenage girl, so they know against all sanity and reason that they can take her in a fight and it will be easy.

    At least one more time.

    Probably a recurring typo here -- the word is normally spelled 'yep' or 'yup' unless deliberately drawled out, which Taylor might have done, but others would not have, from the context it was said in.

    There is a REASON Taylor calls her Troll Bird! :p

    ...what was your first clue?
     
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  27. Slith10

    Slith10 Not too sore, are you?

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    Probs the part where Emma receives a holy mission from Annette to 'pls bulli' Taylor into not sucking.
     
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  28. Thief of Words

    Thief of Words Still Broken, but Less Lost

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    Except the subtext suggests that literally is an accurate interpretation of what happened. So it's not so much "Emma be cray-cray" as "Annette be worst moms ever."
     
    Guardian54 likes this.
  29. Writerwith Badgrammar

    Writerwith Badgrammar Getting out there.

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    It was Queen of Blood, WormxCastlevania fic by SirWill

    https://forums.spacebattles.com/threads/queen-of-blood-worm-castlevania-complete.363842/
     
  30. Ragura

    Ragura I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Just found this story. You are a GENIUS! And you really manage to write the warm and fuzzy feelings and the isidious plots into one cohesive whole. Sorry if my review is a bit incohesive, it's 3 AM here. Point is, I really like your story. The plot is great and Taylor is hilariously overpowered (the hilarity is the important part). The Cauldron parts and the Shard interactions are my favorites, with Ziz being a close third. Not sure about AbbaDanny (regular if revitalized Danny would imo work just as well) but I find Anette's backstory more intriguing with each chapter I read.
     
    TCGM likes this.
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