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Going for a Walk (Hellsing Ultimate Abridged/Worm crossover)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by rocketmce, Oct 14, 2020.

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  1. Threadmarks: 3.5
    rocketmce

    rocketmce Getting sticky.

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    Taylor hummed as she walked down the street. February was cold, that much was for sure, but she idly wondered if she could fix that. A few dozen Tinker-Tech heaters placed strategically around the city might work, but then again, that could just cook the city outright. No sense taking such risks when they were relatively unnecessary. Brockton Bay had survived the month of February before, it could survive it again.

    Shaking her head, she made her way toward the Library, of which there were precious few people. It was lunchtime after all, on a Tuesday. Most people her age would be in school, and anyone else would either be at work or at lunch. As it was, she had the library virtually all to herself.

    She quietly walked through the building, waving to the librarian and getting a small grin from the older woman, before she made her way to the public computers. Today would be a good day to check PHO after all since it had only been three days since the PRT’s official announcement. She was still a little salty, but eh, she could live with it.

    She sat down at one of the computers and pulled up three pages. The first was a PHO forum page, specifically one logged into the Brockton Bay board. The second was a search engine geared toward looking for people who professionally designed cape outfits.

    The third was cat videos.

    “Pffffft… Look at him! So adorable…”

    Taylor rolled her eyes, clicking the PHO tab and looking through the various posts. Most everyone was talking about her, and she even had her own page!

    Welcome to the Parahumans Online Message Boards
    You are currently logged in, TheCrimsonFckr (Unverified Cape)
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    Topic: Vigilante Cape: Carmilla
    In: Boards ► Brockton Bay

    Bagrat
    (Original Poster) (The Guy In The Know) (Veteran Member)
    Posted on February 2, 2011:

    So, the PRT has officially recognized the cape that's been wandering around killing people. Specifically Targeting the E88, apparently. I've made posts about her before, but the PRT, for some inexplicable reason, thought now would be the best time to release info about her instead of a few weeks ago when they found this information.

    Regardless, here's what we know:

    Basic information-
    Name; Carmilla
    Age; Estimated 14-20
    Sex; Female

    Powers-
    Brute 7; Capable of extreme regeneration, including regrowing flesh, bone, limbs, and in one instance, her own head.
    Changer 8; Capable of reinforcing and altering her muscle and bone structure to be stronger and more durable.
    Shaker 4/breaker 5; Creates/turns into a black mist that she can control at will. It generally obeys the basic laws of physics, however, and will dissipate once she has left the immediate area.
    Striker 5; Able to bite other individuals and drain them of blood. Her other powers seem to get a boost from her doing this, which has resulted in her becoming a reluctant cannibal.
    Master 8; Any victims she drains completely will pick themselves back up approximately fifteen minutes later, devoid of any personality or life signs. For all intents and purposes, they're Zombies. Supposedly she can control any of them within eyesight, but this has thus far been unconfirmed.

    So yeah, that's Carmilla. Talk, criticize, rant, whatever. Just don't piss off the mods.

    (Showing Page 7 of 36)
    ► Starline

    Replied on February 3, 2011:
    Can we, like, just ignore the fact that it was Nazis she killed for a second? Yes, I get that their Nazis and they deserved it, but the repercussions of this are going to be off the charts. Do you guys really thing Lung will leave this alone? His biggest rival pretty much just up and collapsed virtually overnight. He's not gonna come out of this empty-handed.
    ► Regarless
    Replied on February 3, 2011:
    I'm pretty sure Lung is going to want to lay low. I know the consensus here is that Carmilla just really, really hates Nazis, but I don't think she'd leave the rage dragon to his own devices if he decided to start tearing up the city/
    ► Alpharius (Unverified Cape)
    Replied on February 3, 2011:
    @Luke_Ario13
    To be fair, she's shown a remarkable amount of restraint in regards to the PRT. Everything we have on her suggests she wants to be a hero but was dealt a shitty powerset for hero work.
    ► Vista (Verified Cape)
    Replied on February 3, 2011:
    Alpharius
    I've actually talked to Carmilla, at one point. Not allowed to say when or where, but she described her power as 'not having a non-lethal option,' and considering what happened yesterday, I think it’s pretty fair to assume she wasn't joking.
    ► Cammolaght (Cape Groupie)
    Replied on February 3, 2011:
    @Vista
    Holy crap, you actually talked to her!? What was she like?
    ► HarvestMoonling (Veteran Member)
    Replied on February 3, 2011:
    @Vista
    No non-lethal option? Aren't there other heroes like that? Miss Militia comes to my mind.
    ► Vista (Verified Cape)
    Replied on February 3, 2011:
    @Cammolaght
    Pretty nice, actually. Didn't get along with Shadow Stalker at all though. If she would turn herself in to the Protectorate, I think she might actually make a good Ward.
    @HarvestMoonling
    Miss M. has non-lethal options. Rubber bullets, bean bags, that sort of thing. Carmilla's entire power set is kinda centered around her getting close enough to rip someone’s throat out with her teeth. Pretty big difference all things considered.
    ► Jakku
    Replied on February 3, 2011:
    Can we just stop and think about all this for one second? New cape, has powers built around eating people... this sounds like something Bonesaw would cook up. Are we sure the S9 isn't coming to the bay?
    ► SinoBice
    Replied on February 3, 2011:
    @Jakku
    Dude, don't even joke like that. BB can't take the S9 a second time.
    ► BallsZack (Veteran Member)
    Replied on February 3, 2011:
    @SinoBice
    Much as I hate to admit it, @Jakku might actually be on to something. Not necessarily that she's one of bonesaws unholy abominations, but... well, mass death and destruction is the kind of thing that attracts the nine. Fortunately they were last spotted halfway across the country, so your probably ok for now...
    End of Page. 1, 2, 3 ... 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 ... 34 , 35, 36

    She scrolled through the comments a bit more, satisfied that the populace of the internet was sufficiently terrified of her. She didn’t plan on going on any more incursions into the city, especially not into ABB territory. She hadn’t thought too much on the subject, instead, she was trying to focus on fixing the Nazi problem. Not that having a massive dragon roaming the city was a good thing, mind you, just that she had priorities.

    Ones that were completely, totally, and unconspiratorially not influenced by the voice in her head.

    “Oh! Lookie! A new message!”

    Taylor blinked, looking at her inbox on PHO. Sure enough, someone had sent her a message. Recently too, it hadn’t been there when she’d left the house.

    Private message from AllSeeingEye:
    AllSeeingEye *New Message*:
    Please... dear god, please tell me your not actually her.

    Taylor snorted. She idly wondered how someone could have figured out she was Carmilla, but, well, it wasn’t something she was overly worried about.

    Private message from AllSeeingEye:
    TheCrimsonFckr:
    Hate to burst your bubble, but yeah, it's me ;P
    AllSeeingEye: Oh god... look, okay, I appreciate you dealing with the Nazi problem, but could you avoid rocking the boat much further? The cities in rough shape as it is with all the collateral you've caused, and if you keep this up, you WILL attract unwanted attention.
    AllSeeingEye: In fact, I'm pretty sure you've already done that. My boss has told me that he's pretty sure the Teeth are headed down here, or they at least plan to head down here.
    TheCrimsonFckr: Boss? The Teeth? I smell a mystery. Want to elaborate?
    AllSeeingEye: I'm... kinda being forced into cooperation with him. Don't really care for my job, though... I wonder.
    Anyway, far as the Teeth go, I'm ninety-nine percent sure they're going to be targeting you.
    TheCrimsonFckr: Not sure the teeth could do much to me. Even the Butcher would be hard pressed to actually hurt me.
    Also, 'forced into cooperation,'? Are you a sex slave?

    Taylor imagined the person on the opposite side of the internet gagging at her query. It probably wasn’t the smartest response, but, well, Alucard was rubbing off on her.

    [-----]

    Lisa had a headache. This was not unusual for her, as she got them whenever she overused her power, which… happened a lot, unfortunately. What ailed her this time was the cape known as Carmilla. She’d stumbled upon the account trolling someone on PHO, and something in the back of her mind made her draw a connection between the account and the cape. After browsing through the account’s history, her power became more and more certain that it was indeed Carmilla.

    This was further confirmed when she messaged the account. Carmilla had responded and had started giving her a headache almost immediately. She wasn’t afraid of the teeth in the slightest, at least, that’s what the tone of the message portrayed. On another note, she seemed more interested in her boss than anything else.

    Which is why she started gagging when she received the capes last message.

    She could imagine the savage grin on the face of the cape, her white fangs pointing out from her lips. Lisa hated being off-guard, but it looked like Carmilla had managed to do just that, and from the lack of information her power was providing her, it would probably happen again.

    Still, Lisa silently wondered if Carmilla might actually be able to get her out from under Coil’s thumb. If anyone could do it, the insane, murder-happy cape with a penchant for terrible jokes would probably be the one to do it. Lisa sighed in dismay. When had her life gotten so out of whack that she was considering asking such an insane cape for help?

    She decided to choose her next response very carefully.
     
  2. OdinMage

    OdinMage Getting out there.

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    The last post in the story wasn't threadmarked. Might want to fix that.
     
    rocketmce likes this.
  3. RichardWhereat

    RichardWhereat Aia airëa Fëanáro.

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    Could you update right to where we are at SB?
     
  4. shakeval

    shakeval I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    "No, but if you can take care of my boss we could discuss options"
     
    Snake21, Knightfall and da3monh0st3d like this.
  5. Threadmarks: 3.6
    rocketmce

    rocketmce Getting sticky.

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    Taylor idly toyed with the Rubix cube she held in her hands, twisting each side in such a way that it might somehow match in just the right way. At least, that was what she hoped was happening. She really was just mindlessly twisting the sides, hoping for the toy to make some kind of interesting pattern.

    She was walking along the sidewalk heading toward Parian's boutique, one of the best places in Brockton Bay to get a costume done. Normally, Parian avoided doing costumes, but Taylor figured she could convince the rogue to help her out. She’d opted to go out of costume but made a note to keep her glasses on. They would keep her identity safe without having to be too conspicuous. Instead, she wore a pair of black jeans and a grey T-shirt.

    She had actually managed to get one of the sides of the multi-colored toy solved when she smelled something off.

    It was when she was about a block away that things started going wrong.

    "Hey, Alucard, why is the boutique on fire? That's probably a bad thing, right? I'm pretty sure that's a bad thing." Taylor asked.

    "I think that's a bad thing. New capes trying to press-gang her? I mean, PHO made a pretty big deal out of the fact that Rogues don't last all that long in the Bay."

    Taylor hummed, “We should probably go see if she’s alright, right?”

    “Yeah, should probably get on that.”

    Taylor tossed the Rubix cube onto a nearby roof and began running to the burning boutique. There were several people standing outside the building, gawking at the flaming husk of a building. Taylor quickly scanned the crowd for any doll-like faces and found that no, there wasn’t anyone matching that description in the crowd.

    She saw a pair of people come out of the building, hacking and coughing their lungs out. She ran up to them, putting a hand on one of their shoulders, “Are you alright? Is there anyone else in there?” she asked.

    The man shook his head, coughing again, “I-I don’t know, we were with Parian when s-she told us to go and get out. Th-there was someone else in there, I don’t know if she got them out or not…”

    The man winced as a sharp crack rang out from the building, one of the roof’s supports going out most likely. The building looked old, even if it was mostly made out of brick, the inside and roof were probably made out of wood.

    Taylor grimaced. Parian couldn’t die now, she needed a costume! If she died, she’d have to order one all the way from Boston, and while she could do it, it was going to be a hassle to keep the PRT and Protectorate from finding out, since it was kinda their main costume supplier.

    Pointing the person in the direction of the rest of the crowd, Taylor looked into the flames and grimaced.

    “Hwy Alucard, fire doesn’t hurt us any more than anything else, does it?” She asked, stretching her shoulders.

    “Nope, you’re good!”

    “Good,” Taylor said, her grin coming on in full force as she sprinted into the burning building.

    [-----]

    Sabah grunted as she attempted to move the burning support beam off of her. All she succeeded in doing was burning her hands. She cried out as she pulled away, hissing in pain as she looked at her charred gloves. She tried to wriggle out from under it again, but there wasn’t nearly enough room for her to get out without burning herself.

    Earlier, when the building had first caught fire, she had wondered what on earth had caused it. An electrical fire, maybe, or some idiot tossing a burning cigarette in through one of the windows. Unfortunately, this was all unlikely, as she almost immediately figured out that someone had probably set off the fire intentionally.

    Coil.

    The supervillain of Brockton Bay had been sending her anonymous requests to employ her for over a month, but a day ago, the man himself had walked into her store and outright told her to join. She refused, of course. She wasn’t going to join any villains, especially with that new crazy cape running around. Carmilla had taken down the Empire, on her own, in less than a month. While Sabah was glad that she had taken the racists and bigots off the streets -- who had been a pain to deal with in her civilian identity -- she didn’t want to think about what would happen if she joined Coil and Carmilla decided that taking just the Nazis out wasn't good enough.

    She felt that she’d actually managed to piss the man off since he’d stomped out of her boutique without a word. It had occurred to her that he would probably try again at some point, or try to force her into joining him somehow, what she hadn’t expected was for him to try and outright kill her.

    She tried to move out from underneath the beam before she was interrupted by a fit of her own coughing. The smoke had filled the building completely, and if she didn’t get out soon, she might die from smoke inhalation sooner than she was burned alive.

    She called out for help, hoping that maybe some first responders had made their way inside, be they firefighters or PRT. She wondered whether or not the PRT would get involved or claim jurisdiction since her boutique was a cape owned establishment and not a civilian-owned one, and even if she knew Coil was probably the one behind it, no one else did.

    “Help!” She called out again, coughing again.

    “Is someone in here?” She heard a voice call out. It was young, too young to be a firefighter or a PRT agent. Who the hell would run into a burning building?

    “Over here! Under the beam!” She yelled back, hoping her voice wasn’t drowned out by the roaring flames.

    Seconds passed, and no one came. She started wondering if she had actually heard the voice, or if they had been killed by falling debris. She started to lose hope.

    Her hope was restored, when a pair of legs came through the flame, “Hey! There you are!” The voice yelled.

    Sabah couldn’t see her savior’s face or upper body, as the black smoke prevented her from actually seeing anything above waist level. She did see a pair of running shoes and black jeans. It caused further questions. A cape, maybe? One that could breathe despite the thick smoke, or maybe just someone crazy enough to run into a burning building and was just good at holding their breath.

    “Ok, now just hold on, Imma get you out of here.” She -- because the voice was definitely a female -- said, before she made her way over to where Sabah was trapped.

    Sabah expected her to kneel down and try to pull her out from underneath the beam. Sabah did not expect her to grab the beam, pick it up, and shove it to the side.

    Her savior was a cape. There was no way a normal human should be able to lift a beam like that.

    “Hey, come on! I’ll be okay, but you need to get out of here!” The cape said, kneeling down and picking her up.

    She climbed to her feet with the help of the new cape, and soon found herself being led out of the building. At least, that’s what she hoped. She couldn’t see a damn thing with the smoke making the air dark, and the roaring fire wasn’t helping matters.

    She soon found that, yes, the new cape was indeed helping her, was the two of them stumbled out of the front entrance, just in time to avoid another beam collapsing in on them. Sabah turned around and looked at the boutique, her boutique, as it all went up in flames. She had a dozen different projects in there! Thousands of dollars in material! Hundreds of designs!

    She cried out in rage as she struggled not to tear off her stupid mask. Her entire work, everything she had built up in the past few years, all going up in smoke because one stupid villain couldn’t take no for an answer.

    “Hey, are you sure you’re okay?” A voice asked behind her.

    She spun around, finding herself face to face with her savior. She was tall, close to six feet tall if she had to guess, with long, dark brown hair and white skin. Her eyes were covered by a pair of wide, round, orange-tinted glasses.

    Sabah cursed silently, “No… no, I’m not. Thanks for saving me, but…”

    “Not the best day?” She asked.

    Sabah shook her head, “I have insurance, but… all this…” she said, gesturing to the collapsing building and the gawking onlookers.

    The mysterious new cape hummed, “Hey, do you mind if we talked somewhere private? Somewhere… away from all of them?” she asked, jutting a finger in the direction of the crowd that was now taking pictures of the scene.

    “And how are we supposed to get away from them exactly?” Sabah asked.

    The cape grinned, and Sabah almost had enough time to turn and run in the opposite direction when she saw the capes shining fangs. Almost being the keyword. Instead, Carmilla clasped one hand onto her shoulder, mad grin still presents on her face.

    “Like this.” She said before Sabah’s vision was filled with blackness.

    Teleportation -- because that’s obviously what it was -- was weird. One moment, she was standing on asphalt, then for a split second, she felt like she was falling before she was back on solid ground again. When her vision returned, she found that Carmilla had teleported them to a nearby rooftop almost a block away from her burning boutique.

    The crazed cape took her hand off Sabah’s shoulder and walked over to the edge of the roof where a half-solved Rubix cube sat. Carmilla picked up the toy sat on the edge of the building, her feet dangling off the side, and she started asking questions.

    “So, what happened?” she asked, patting the spot on the roof next to her.

    Sabah shuddered. PHO was pretty clear about what Carmilla was capable of, even though a large portion of the internet even supported her actions, and Sabah wasn’t sure if she should be terrified or not. She decided that, since Carmilla had gone to the trouble of rescuing her, she probably didn’t have any plans on killing her. She walked over and sat cross-legged on the edge of the roof, though she still sat a good foot back from the tipping point.

    “I… I’m not really sure where to start. Though, before I even think about telling you anything, why are you doing this?” She asked.

    Carmilla shrugged, “You’re stressed, your business is on fire, and you needed someone to talk to. Thus, me, you, the rooftop.”

    Sabah’s shoulders drooped. Much as she hated to admit it, Carmilla was probably right. Venting to someone would probably take the pressure off. Still…

    “Why are you the one to do that though? Aren’t you supposed to be some crazy cannibalistic lunatic or something like that?” She asked.

    Carmilla winced, “Yeah, I… may have gotten carried away with the E88. Them being Nazis and all that. Still, while my power does get a boost from cannibalism, I’m not crazy, nor am I a lunatic. I’m probably not the best choice for a therapist either, but it’s me or some unlucky sod on the street that might actually take offense to something you say.” she explained.

    “That, and I’m kinda curious how your boutique got turned into barbeque.”

    Sabah sighed, “Well, I guess that’s as good a reason as any… promise you won’t tell anyone about this?” she asked.

    Carmilla shrugged, twisting one of the sides of the Rubix cube into place, “Your secret safe with me. It’s not like I’d do much with the info anyway.”

    And so, Sabah explained what had happed over the past month. By the end of it, Carmilla had solved the Rubix cube and was cursing Coil’s name, declaring fiery vengeance for attempting to kill Brockton Bay’s most adorable toy-maker.

    Sabah did not blush.
     
  6. Threadmarks: 3.7
    rocketmce

    rocketmce Getting sticky.

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    Taylor stood on top of a building as she tracked a long, black limo through the city. Said limo held her target of interest and was going to meet with her informant. AllSeeingEye, or Tattletale as the aforementioned person had so helpfully informed, was going to be meeting with her boss, the illustrious Coil. Taylor still wasn’t sure Coil hadn’t turned her into some kind of sex slave and was coming to put her into a dungeon. Y’know, to make it official.

    Still, Tattletale had been adamant that she was not a sex slave, despite the skin-tight latex costume she wore.

    “Yeah, I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure she’s lying. Probably just embarrassed about it.”

    Taylor rolled her eyes, “Who wouldn’t be? I mean, how old is Coil? I doubt he’s young.” She said, moving to jump across the buildings as she followed the limousine.

    “Eh, probably not that old. I’ve never seen anyone over sixty have anyone hidden in their basement.”

    “That still leaves fifty-nine, you know that right?”

    “Fifty-eight, actually. The guy had a bunch of thirty-year-olds trapped in his basement. I say ‘trapped’, they were actually pretty okay with the arrangement. Once the heroin got involved though… well, I can at least say I enjoyed the experience.”

    Taylor shook her head, “Alucard, too much information.”

    “Eh, your loss.”

    Taylor spotted the vehicle stop at a bench, where a blonde-haired girl was sitting with a laptop open. She’d been typing something on it but stopped when the limo door opened automatically.

    “Oooh, I want one,” Taylor noted, marveling at the idea of just opening a car door without needing anything more than pressing a button. Not very practical, but it would be fun to mess around with.

    “Don’t go for a limo though, DeLorean’s are much better for that kind of thing. That and if you do a bit of finagling they can even travel through time! Never did manage to figure out how doc did it…”

    The blonde girl -- who Taylor had since figured out was Tattletale -- got up from her seat and stepped into the car, the door closing behind her. The car began to drive off, and Taylor followed. Eventually, Taylor noticed that it was just driving in circles around the block, and she frowned. It seemed Coil wasn’t going to lead her to his secret lair anytime soon.

    Running ahead of the vehicle for a second, Taylor prepared to jump off the building and onto the limousine. She readied her powers, making sure that when she did land, she wouldn’t alert the people inside the vehicle that she had done so. She couldn’t fly, but she could slow her own fall.

    She successfully landed without a sound, the limousine continuing on like nothing happened. She frowned, trying to figure out where to go from there. She pressed her ear up to the roof of the car, hoping that she would be able to hear what was going on inside.

    “...thoughts… Parian…. tale…”

    That was a male voice, and he was Talking about Parian for some reason. She couldn’t quite understand what he was saying though, so she kept listening.

    “... accident… service… midnight…”

    That was a female voice. Tattletale? What the heck was she talking about? Service at midnight? If she wanted to convince Taylor that she wasn’t a sex slave, she was doing a fairly bad job at it. Taylor almost smacked herself as she realized something.

    “Oh! She’s not a sex slave, she’s a prostitute!” Taylor whispered at the revelation.

    “Oooooh, yeah that makes sense. Though I wonder why she mentioned she was forced to work with him. Some kind of kink maybe?”

    “I don’t know… I mean, we could always ask her.” Taylor noted, before looking down at the roof in front of her and frowning, “Now, how to get in there without destroying the roof…”

    “Oh! Oh! Did I tell you that you can phase through walls?” Alucard asked.

    Taylor blinked, “I can phase through walls?”

    [-----]

    Lisa sat opposite the person responsible for the mess she was currently in. Coil, the one who had held a proverbial gun to her head in order to get her to work for him. How he’d managed to figure out she was a thinker she’d never figured out, but the man was careful and had always been one step ahead of her. His body language was almost impossible to read, and nothing he said gave away anything her power could work with.

    He almost never gave her information freely, instead, he was always confirming or denying whatever conclusions she came to on her own. It was frustrating, and it made Lisa want to just gouge the man’s eyes out. Unfortunately, there were other people in the vehicle that would take offense to her doing that. She just hoped that she’d made the right decision in asking Carmilla to tail them through the meeting, so that if something did go wrong and she needed to get out.

    “What are your thoughts on the Parian incident yesterday, Tattletale?” Coil asked his voice level and completely lacking anything that would give away his own opinion on the matter.

    Lisa shrugged, “I’m not really sure. I know that it wasn’t an accident, the wiring -- despite the age of the building -- was actually pretty new, and the electrical service visited the building at least once a month. Parian was always careful about not letting anything flammable into her shop, so an outside party would have needed to set it off deliberately. She almost never leaves before midnight either, so whoever did it would have needed to come during the early morning.”

    Coil nodded, “An astute observation. Do you know who would have caused the fire?” He asked.

    Lisa shook her head, “I’m not really sure. She’s a rogue so that immediately paint’s a target on her back, but figuring out who would have gone after her is a bit confusing. The E88 tried recruiting her a while back, but they don’t even exist as a faction anymore thank’s to Carmilla. It’s possible some of the unpowered members might’ve tried to pressure her into joining, but I doubt it. The ABB isn’t really an option since her shop isn’t in their territory. Faultline doesn’t pull this kind of thing without being paid, and I doubt she’d even take this kind of job even if someone paid her to do it, which doesn’t leave… much…”

    Lisa eyed the man in front of her, his snake-themed costume shifting ever so slightly, “You,” she muttered, “You burned down her boutique. You tried to have her killed.”

    Coil nodded, “As always, you are very observant. I will admit, I was the one who ordered her establishment destroyed, in hopes of recruiting her. I have been trying to do so for the past month, however, something went wrong. She was not supposed to remain inside the building as long as she did.” he explained.

    Lisa frowned, “And now she’s been picked up by Carmilla, who was spotted teleporting her somewhere after the two of them came running out of the building itself.”

    “It is a problematic situation at best. I was hoping that the Undersiders would make an offer, perhaps to ease the loss of her establishment, offering monetary compensation,” he explained.

    “And how long do you think that’s going to work? Even if she does join, the day she finds out you’re the one backing us, she’ll probably run straight to the Protectorate, or worse, Carmilla.” Lisa shot back, “And that’s if she takes the offer in the first place.”

    “And that is why she will not discover my role in your employment. She will likely be distraught at the loss of her establishment, and you-” Coil never got to finish his statement, as a mop of dark brown hair soon fell from the car ceiling.

    “Oh! So that’s how it works… weird.” The person who was half hanging thourough the roof of a limousine said, before looking back and forth between Coil and Lisa.

    Coil was stunned, pressing himself back against the seat. Lisa was terrified and was trying to make sense of what she was seeing.

    Testing out newly discovered power. Capable of phasing through solid objects.

    Well, at least her power was able to answer that question. Thanks for pointing out the obvious/

    “Am I interrupting the foreplay? I can always come back later.”

    Believes you are about to engage in sexual activities with Coil. Is confused about Coil’s costume. Believes it to be BDSM attire.

    “Wow, I thought you were the one who was into bondage Tattletale!”

    Lisa gagged.

    [-----]

    Brian Laborn wasn’t a normal teenager. He was a Parahuman, and by extension, he had a lot of stuff going on in his life. He was a villain, trying to earn money to get his sister out of a terrible home-life. Her mother was a drug addict, and while there was always the option of staying with their dad… even the man himself admitted it probably wasn’t the best idea. He didn’t know how to raise a daughter and being as rough as he was, he didn’t want to risk screwing her up.

    Which left Brian to try and figure out how to get custody of her. Once he’d actually become part of a team, and even became the de facto leader of the Undersiders, it was still a slippery slope. He promised himself that once he’d gotten her out of her mom’s hands for good, then he’d try to join the Protectorate, be a hero. At least, that had been his original plan.

    The money from being a villain was good. Really good. With the income he had now, it would only be another six months before he could legitimately get custody of his sister. Six more months of villainy. But did he really want to stop after that?

    Stupid question, really. As much as he might have enjoyed the income, being a villain wasn’t a stable lifestyle. If something went wrong, or if he ended up going up against the wrong people, he could very easily be killed. And if that happened, Aisha would very likely be in a worse situation than before.

    No, for now, he would be a villain, but as soon as he was out of the woods, he would get away from all of it as fast as he could. Maybe he could even convince Lisa to join him.

    All of these thoughts rolling through his head came to a screaming halt as he heard something that would change his view of Lisa Wilborn for eternity.

    A speeding limousine was racing down the street, with one person hanging out the window and another being dragged on the ground hanging onto the open window. He recognized the former as Lisa, one of the Undersiders, and the latter as the lethal cape that had basically taken down the Empire singlehandedly, Carmilla.

    “I AM NOT HIS FUCKING SEX SLAVE!”

    Brian decided to ask Lisa about the situation later. Provided she was still alive.
     
  7. Threadmarks: 3.8
    rocketmce

    rocketmce Getting sticky.

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    Coil was a careful man. He took risks, yes, but they were always calculated, and his power always provided an out should his risk prove not in his favor. In one timeline, he would be in his base, safely underground and away from the dangers of the world. While at the same time in another, he would be daringly staring down the world’s most dangerous villains. His power came with many benefits, benefits he was not used to working without.

    So, of course, the time where he needed everything to go perfectly, everything went wrong.

    In one timeline, he actually was seated in his chair underneath his base. He watched the live camera feed of Tattletale’s interview with his body double, which had gone horribly wrong thank’s to the arrival of the rabid cape known as Carmilla.

    In his second timeline, the one he’d designated as a ‘safe’ one, he was narrowly avoiding the destruction caused by Carmilla’s battle with the Teeth. On the one hand, it was good to know that the Teeth had officially reached the Bay, but on the other… he didn’t like the looks he was getting from Hemorrhagia was giving him.

    He heavily considered closing off the timeline where he was staring down the Teeth, before confirming his decision. As much as he would have preferred to have a safe timeline, of the two options he had, the former was much less hazardous to his health than the latter. Focusing back on the hidden camera in the limousine, he sighed as he tried to figure out a way to fix this. Carmilla was being dragged out of the window, with Tattletale beating her furiously. Coil almost would have thought Tattletale hadnt hired Carmilla, were it not for the evidence on her laptop.

    His thought’s idly trailed back to what had happened with Parian. With the appearance of Carmilla and the destruction she brought to Brockton Bay, he needed all the muscle he could get. He’d already gotten his hands on a few capes now -- Circus for one, the Undersiders for another -- and was working to get others. The few remaining E88 capes would definitely serve his organization well.

    Regardless, he had wanted to recruit Parian for a while now, and Carmilla’s… bloody, debut had given him the perfect excuse. The fall of the Empire had only tipped the balance, forcing his hand in a way. His body-double had been telling the truth, somewhat, when he’d said Parian’s boutique was not supposed to be razed. Unfortunately, not burning it down resulted in Parian being killed by a pair of crazed would-be Merchants that had taken a dislike to her establishment.

    The fire in her establishment kept the Merchant’s from doing anything other than getting out of the way, and it wasn’t until after he’d closed the other timeline that Carmilla had come into the picture.

    Regardless, things had not gone well, and now he was forced to deal with Carmilla again.

    He split the timeline, in one doing nothing but observing, in the other, he began giving orders to the body-double.

    “Assist Tattletale, shoot Carmilla.”

    In the second timeline, his body-double drew a pistol and began unloading bullets into Carmilla, causing her to lose her grip and fall, being run over by the limousine’s back tire. Coil almost wondered if that had been all it took but was soon proven wrong when he was informed by the camera hidden in the costume that not only did Carmilla manage to keep from losing the vehicle, she had actually sunk her teeth into the back bumper.

    “Shoot her more, do not let her into the vehicle.”

    In the timeline he’d left alone Carmilla was slowly climbing her way back into the vehicle through the window, all but ignoring Tattletales furious blows. When she finally got in, she started ranting at Tattletale and the body-double about voices in her head and other such nonsense, making it very hard to send the right orders to his agent.

    In the first timeline, he was sad to say that Carmilla had killed his body-double, and was now driving the limousine herself, taking it through the middle of the city weaving through traffic. The driver had been thrown into the back, and Tattletale had climbed her way into the passenger seat and was trying to convince Carmilla to stop. While the situation was admittedly humorous, Coil found that it was a bit… dangerous. That only got worse when Carmilla filled the vehicle with her black mist, cutting off his microphones and cameras.

    The same happened in the second timeline, cutting off any visuals he might have had, though this time without the death of his body-double. Coil cursed, trying to figure out some way of salvaging the situation.

    [-----]

    Taylor hummed as she drove the limousine through the middle of town, trying to avoid hitting people and other miscellaneous objects strewn along the road. She’d only run over one person! And they’d been a druggie anyway if the smell of cocaine mixed with blood on the windshield was any indication.

    “Oh god, you killed him…” Tattletale said as she sank into the seat next to her.

    Taylor tilted her head, “Why are you sad about that? Didn’t he keep you locked up in a dungeon or something?” she asked. The snake costumed guy hadn’t tasted good per se, but he was certainly better than any druggie she’d ever eaten.

    “Wha-? No, that person you just ran over! He’s fucking dead!”

    “... does she know she’s pointing out the obvious?”

    Taylor snorted, “And? I’ve killed plenty of Merchants. He wouldn’t be the first.”

    Tattletale blinked, before looking at the blood and then back to Taylor, “How… how the hell did you know he was a Merchant…?” she asked.

    Taylor shrugged, “I mean, the cocaine smell made it pretty obvious, plus I’m pretty sure his blood would make me throw up if I tried to eat it.” She explained.

    Tattletale rubbed her temples “I… I don’t even know anymore.”

    “Well, at least we don’t have to worry about the real Coil spying on us.” Taylor said, “Silver lining and all that.”

    Tattletale whirled around to face Taylor, “The real… Fuck! Of course, it was a body-double!”

    “She just realized that? The guy practically screamed ‘I’m not the real supervillain’... then again, she doesn’t have Vampire senses so that may have something to do with it.”

    Taylor nodded sagely, “Yup. Parahuman’s taste different, and I’m pretty sure that guy didn’t taste like a Parahuman.” she explained.

    Tattletale stared at her, her expression going from disgust to awe, to confusion, to understanding, then back to disgust, “Because of course, you can taste the difference…”

    “Funny enough Parahuman’s actually taste a good bit like that thing that was trying to eat you, Tay-Tay. Tastes pretty good all things considered.”

    Taylor chuckled, “Yeah, and now that I’ve blocked out all the hidden cameras and microphones, you can tell me exactly how to get to his dungeon so I can eat ‘im.”

    “How am I supposed to know where his base is!?” Tattletale asked.

    Taylor shrugged, “I dunno, you’re his prostitute, I’d figured you’d have memorized how to get to his place by now.”

    “I am not his fucking-! You know what? No! I’m not gonna put up with this! I don’t know where his base is, because I’ve never fucking been there! Isn’t that proof that I’m not a prostitute, or sex slave, or whatever other random titles you’ve associated me with!?” she asked, glaring at Taylor.

    “Is it that time of the month for her? Because I don’t remember her being this bitchy when you were chatting on PHO.”

    “Yeesh, calm down, would you? You’ve made your point, your not his sex slave or his prostitute… still though, if you’re not, why the hell do you wear such a sexy outfit?” she asked.

    Tattletale screamed, her words becoming incoherent.

    “Hmmm… this guy’s rich,” Alucard commented through Tattletales rambling.

    “How do you figure that?” Taylor asked.

    “I mean, he’s got a limo seemingly on call on top of a driver and a body-double. You kinda need a lot of cash to do that, and I don’t really see him being the type to do this as a one-off. That means he needs a lot of cash to pull this off on a regular basis.”

    Taylor hummed, “Yeah, that makes sense. Any ideas?”

    “I do have one. What are the richer local companies? Or, not even strictly local, just ones that operate pretty regularly in the area.”

    “Well, there’s Medhall, I’m pretty sure they’re stacked, though I heard that they’ve been bought out due to the CEO stepping down suddenly for some reason… there’s the DWU, but dad runs that…”

    “What the fuck are you talking about now!?” Tattletale yelled, cutting off Taylor’s train of thought.

    “Oh, just trying to figure out which company Coil gets his money from. You wouldn’t happen to know any rich CEO’s that live in the bay, would you?” Taylor asked.

    “I… what? Yeah, there’s plenty. Medhall, Fortress Construction, Importaciones Mexicanas, Vape-”

    “That’s what I was forgetting!” Taylor shouted, smacking the steering wheel.

    Tattletale blinked, “Importaciones Mexicanas? The Mexican Import company?” she asked.

    “What? No, Fortress Construction! The guys who build Endbringer shelters!” Taylor explained, “What better place for a dungeon than an abandoned Endbringer shelter? Plenty of space for traps, cells, beds, milking stations-”

    “Ok, what the fuck is wrong with you!? And- milking stations!? What the fuck does your search history look like!?” Tattletale asked, a distraught look on her face.

    Taylor shrugged, “I mean, it wasn’t my search history…”

    “Hey, don’t you dare rat me out!”

    “You’re lucky I let you search up anything on the internet, Alucard, especially after what you had me search up last time.” Taylor berated him.

    Tattletale blinked, “... Alucard? Who… who the fuck are you talking to?” she asked.

    “Oh, yeah, Alucard’s the voice in my head. Yeah, he searches up some pretty messed up stuff. Anyway, what do you think about Fortress Construction? Do you think Coil’s got an in with them? Think that’s where he gets all his money?” Taylor asked, desperately trying to change the subject.

    “I… Maybe? I mean, it’s certainly possible… no, that actually sounds pretty likely. If he’s getting his money from Fortress construction, then… no, it couldn’t be. Carmilla, you don’t have a cell phone do you?” Tattletale asked.

    Taylor answered by pulling the aforementioned device out of her pocket and handing it to Tattletale, “Just don’t open youtube and you’ll be fine. That kind of rabbit train is not for the faint of heart.”

    Tattletale just glared at Carmilla before grabbing the device and opening the search engine, “Okay, let’s see… fortress construction… executive members… CEO, Thomas Calvert. Let’s see what I can’t find on him…”

    The two of them sat there for a few minutes, Taylor driving aimlessly through the city, avoiding hitting anybody or running into anything, as well as losing a few cops that had started tailing the limo with bitemarks in the bumper.

    “Aha! Here we go!” Tattletale said, holding up the device, “Former PRT agent, dishonorably discharged, now serving as a civilian advisor for the Protectorate ENE! And being the CEO of Fortress Construction, he’s loaded! It makes so much sense! He’s got moles in the PRT and Protectorate, which is why he’s always one step ahead, and he’s got the money to keep anyone he wants to be paid off and out of the way, or working under him! It all makes so much sense!”

    “Wow, she got all that from just a hunch?” Alucard asked.

    “You sure put that together pretty fast. How’d you do that?” Taylor asked.

    Tattletale froze, “Well… eh… screw it, you’d probably find out sooner or later anyway. It’s my power, basically, it fills in the gaps. Anything sherlock could do, I can do better.”

    “Accept keep your cool, apparently. Even the best of my jokes hardly phased the man himself.”

    Taylor chuckled, “Well then, think you could find his base of operations now that you have a lead on who he is?”

    Tattletale grinned, “Oh, most definitely.”

    “Ok, well, you work on that while I drive us somewhere. We have a third person to add to this little revenge quest.”
     
  8. Threadmarks: 3.9
    rocketmce

    rocketmce Getting sticky.

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    Taylor sat in the limo humming to herself while she waited outside Parian’s dorm room. The Victorian-themed cape had asked why and how Taylor had managed to find her dorm room, and how she’d managed to drive the limousine up the hill that led to the dorm rooms. She’d also asked how Taylor had even found her dorm in the first place, but Taylor only shrugged in response.

    “Ok- just- look, what are you even doing here!?” Parian asked, wearing her hastily applied costume.

    “Oh! Well, see, I think we found where Coil’s been hiding. Tat’s here figured out his civilian identity so we think we have a pretty good idea of where he’s hiding. And since he kinda went and burned down your shop, I figured you’d want in on the action.” Taylor explained.

    Parian paused for a moment, looking into Taylor’s eyes. Well, for all the black lenses could anyway, “So, you’re saying that you found the guy who burned down my boutique?” she asked, her voice gaining an edge.

    Taylor nodded, a grin finding its way onto her face, “Yep, or at least, we have an idea of where he is. One of the Endbringer shelters throughout the city, probably one of the unfinished ones.”

    Parian chuckled darkly, “Alright then, count me in.”

    “That was quick!”

    Taylor nodded in agreement with Alucard, “You know, at first, I didn’t peg you for the revenge type,” she noted.

    Parien shook her head, “That asshole burned down my boutique, destroyed hours of work, thousands of dollars in material, and basically forced me to live in a college dorm room. Yeah, I think I want to get him back for all of that.”

    “‘Bout as good a reason as any. I approve!”

    “Well alright, hop in then.” Taylor said, “Just mind the dried corpse in the back, that was Coil’s body-double.”

    Parian paused halfway through opening the limousine door, “I’m… not even going to ask.”

    She climbed into the limousine, carefully staying out of the way of the dried corpse that stared at her with empty eyes. She situated herself at the front of the vehicle so that she could communicate with Taylor and Tattletale while they drove.

    “All buckled up?” Taylor asked.

    “I don’t think this car has seatbelts…” Parian muttered.

    Taylor rolled her eyes, “It’s a figure of speech.” she explained, before pressing her foot on the gas.

    “One that I find completely unnecessary. I never even buckle up in the first place, so why even ask?”

    “Because most people do use seatbelts. You’re just an immortal vampire living inside my head, I don’t think you can buckle up.”

    Parian stared at Taylor, before turning to look at Tattletale, “Who is she talking to?” she asked.

    Tattletale waved her off, “I stopped trying to figure out who it was a while ago, fewer headaches that way.” she explained.

    “I already told you Tats, you just need to believe!

    “The only thing I need to ‘believe’ is that you are completely and irreparably insane, and yet you are still somehow my best chance at getting at Coil.”

    “Hey! You’re not insane! You’re just crazy. There’s a difference.”

    The group drove for about ten minutes, mostly meandering through the city until Tattletale found the address of the Endbringer shelter, “Ah! Here we go, 5th Bakers street, the abandoned construction site with a fence around it. Construction stopped a little less than a year ago, but there have been a number of people spotted going in and out.” she said, “I think we’ve found it.”

    Taylor grinned, “5th Bakers street it is then!”

    [-----]

    Director Piggot stared at the after-action report in front of her that detailed what had happened to Parian’s boutique. Apparently caused by faulty wiring, according to the investigators, but Parian severely doubted the fact and even said so herself. She had explained that the villain Coil, a fairly minor player up to that point, had tried and failed to recruit her. She guessed that he had burned down her shop in order to perhaps force her into cooperation, or failing that, kill her and keep her from falling into the hands of the PRT or another gang.

    Piggot found herself hardpressed to disagree with her. It felt like the sort of thing villains would try. Unfortunately, it didn’t feel like the kind of thing Coil would do. The Protectorate really didn’t have much any information on the man, only that he hired mercenaries and kept them equipped with fairly expensive Tinker-Tech. It was still up for debate if the man even had powers since he’d never made a public appearance.

    Still, Parian’s claim was enough to cause concern. Even more so when one considered that after Carmilla’s destruction of the Empire, she would no doubt find another target eventually. Or, a worse alternative, Coil was gathering capes in order to put up a fight against Carmilla. Which, in summary, was suicide.

    Still, Piggot wondered if Carmilla targeting Coil would even be that bad of an eventuality… She’d done more to clean up the bay in a month than the PRT and Protectorate could do in a decade, even the director her self would admit that. At the same time, she had also rocked the boat, in a very public manner at that. Lung and the ABB were already expanding their territory into what had once belonged to the Empire and the Merchants, though he was moving slowly. So much opportunity at one time could be just as much a hindrance as it could a benefit.

    Which is why the Protectorate’s own situation was a delicate one. They needed to expand their patrol since the Empire and Merchants no longer had any real measure of force in the area’s that the Protectorate had once avoided. Now, they didn’t have the excuse of avoiding cape fights, and it was giving Piggot a headache.

    Her attention was drawn away from the report due to the phone on her desk ringing. She reached over and picked up the phone, “Director Piggot of the Protectorate ENE speaking.” She answered.

    “Hey, yeah, Piggot, this is Carmilla. I don’t suppose you could send a PRT squad down to 5th Bakers street, could you? I need them for… reasons.” Came the young, female voice over the phone.

    Piggot blinked, “How did you get this number? And what do you mean to send a PRT squadron?” She asked, hitting the call button to summon Armsmaster.

    Carmilla, the one responsible for several of the most recent of Piggot’s headaches, was calling to ask if she could send a PRT squad to -- presumably -- her location. The situation made no sense, and the director wasn’t willing to send troops into the middle of Coil’s territory under the pretense of a Teenaged vigilante.

    “Oh, and could you please-” Her voice paused at the sound of what Piggot swore was an explosion, “-send over Armsy while you’re at it? I’m pretty sure he’d like to get a good look at the tinker tech these guys are packing, and -- EAT SHIT AND DIE ASSHOLE -- I think he might be able to help regardless.”

    Piggot pinched the bridge of her nose, “Carmilla, what’s going on!? Where are you!?”

    “Hey, I already said! 5th Bakers street, the abandoned Enbringer shelter. Also, I think you might want to fire Thomas Calvert. The guy is kind of a jerk, tried to kill Parian.”

    Piggot blinked, “What?”

    “FUCK! Okay, look, much as I like talking to you, I’m currently dodging bullets right now, so I’ll talk to you again after all this is over. ALRIGHT! WHO’S READY FOR ROUND EIGHT!?”

    The phone hung up after that, leaving Director Piggot in silence. She sat there for a moment, trying to parse out what Carmilla had just told her. The silence was broken when Armsmaster finally arrived.

    “You called for me Director?” He asked.

    “I just got a call from Carmilla, demanding that we send a full squad of PRT and you down to 5th Bakers Street, where she is currently engaged in combat with the forces of the villain Coil. At least, that’s what I was able to extrapolate from what she said.” She explained.

    Armsmaster frowned, “What do you suggest we do?” he asked.

    Piggot took a deep breath, “Send in Velocity first, have him scout what’s going on. Then have a PRT squad be ready to take in casualties. You, Miss Militia, and Dauntless will head to the scene. I’m not sure what’s going on, but it didn’t sound like a picnic over the phone.”

    Armsmaster frowned, “How much are we expecting in collateral?” he asked.

    Piggot sighed, “The Carmilla amount, I suspect.”

    [-----]

    Thomas Calvert hated his life. Maybe if he got out of the situation alive, he could go on a vacation, to Texas maybe. There were a few cities with a low cape count and were well out of the parameters for Endbringer attacks. If he could lay low for a while, then maybe he could actually get what he wanted in the end.

    In one timeline, he was furiously trying to command and organize his mercenaries, shouting out orders and giving commands. In the second, he was running, making a mad dash for the secret tunnel exit he’d made for just this eventuality.

    Not twenty minutes ago, he’d collapsed a timeline where Carmilla had attacked his base, and he was now regretting that decision, as Carmilla had gone and attacked him in the other timeline only a few minutes later. Now he was trying to figure out if he could successfully fend her off, or if running was indeed the best option.

    In his fighting timeline, he winced as he lost another squad of mercenaries. Carmilla had been cutting a bloody swathe through his men, leaving some alive, but killing more. The Tinker-Tech laser rifles seemed to do some damage, as those that used them seemed to last a few seconds longer than those who simply resorted to bullets. Unfortunately, it all seemed moot, as any fight she found herself in was over as soon as she got into melee range.

    And as it happened, she was also slowly making her way toward Coil’s chamber.

    In his running timeline, he finally made it to the exit, but as he opened the hatch to get out of the base, he found himself face to face with something he desperately did not want to deal with. A very angry looking Tattletale, and an expressionless Parian who was holding several mercenaries upside-down from lengths of twine. How she managed to do it Coil wasn’t sure, but she had managed to completely disarm his men, putting him in a very awkward position.

    “I suppose you wouldn’t be willing to simply let me walk past,” his second timeline self asked as he stared down Tattletale.

    The girl chuckled, “Oh, I think you know you’re pretty much fucked here Coil. You’re trapped here between me and Parian, and Carmilla’s on her way now. On top of that, Carmilla just made a call to the PRT so that they can come and clean up the mess.”

    Coil cursed in his first timeline, ordering his remaining mercenaries to retreat back to the hallway that led to his safe room. They were to set up a bottleneck, and with any luck, that would allow him to use his secondary escape tunnel. It seemed as though Tattletale and Parian had the other one covered. He kept the second timeline open, just in case he could talk his way out of the situation.

    “I can pay you, you are aware, should you choose to let me go. Ten thousand, for each of you.” he offered.

    “Bullshit, you burned more than that when you destroyed my boutique.” Parian shot back.

    “Fifty thousand, then.” he counter-offered.

    Tattletale shook her head, a vulpine grin coming onto her face, “You really don’t get it, do you Coil?” she asked.

    He paused in the second timeline, “What do you-” he was cut off when he felt a hand placed on his shoulder. He turned around and found himself staring into the eyes of Carmilla. In a panic, he collapsed the timeline.

    In his remaining timeline, he ran even faster through his escape tunnel. He heard the sounds of gunshots and his mercenaries screams. He kept running, and soon found himself stumbling through a door and into open sunlight. He blinked, looking around for any sign of Tattletale or Parian. Nothing, good, that meant he could-

    “Going somewhere, Coil?”

    He split the timeline. In one, he broke into a sprint in the opposite direction of the voice, while in the other he spun around to face them.

    What he saw in the second timeline made his heart pound even harder than before. There stood Carmilla, Grinning with her fangs gleaming. Her red eyes looked into his mask, her glasses long since discarded. Red mist floated off of her, in contrast to the black that she so often used.

    In his first timeline, he felt something slam into his back as he ran. He fell to the ground, his face pressed into the dirt by a gloved hand. Carmilla stood on top of him, her knee pressing into his back as she grinned savagely.

    “Did you really think you had any chance of escaping?” Carmilla asked, in both timelines.

    In both timelines, Coil screamed.
     
  9. OdinMage

    OdinMage Getting out there.

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    Three of your last four updates don't have a threadmark. Once again, I'm sure you'll want to look into that *g*.
     
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  10. rocketmce

    rocketmce Getting sticky.

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    Huh... I know I threadmarked them when I posted them... might just be a bug in how the site works.
     
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  11. mrttao

    mrttao Connoisseur.

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    wait what?
    https://worm.fandom.com/wiki/Parian
    also huh. apparently her power's "true use" is flaying then animating the skins of humans and giving them super powers. which is strong enough to be effective against behemoth if she ever actually used it. but she does not want to.
     
  12. rocketmce

    rocketmce Getting sticky.

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    Yes, I am aware of Parian's ethnicity. Take note of the fact that she also has no skin showing, as it is underneath the costume, and the E88 doesn't know she's not white.
     
  13. mrttao

    mrttao Connoisseur.

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    Oh, fair point
     
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  14. steamrick

    steamrick Matter: protons, electrons, neutrons and morons

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    That made me look up her name's origin.

    It's related to a greek island / the white marble that the island is known for, so not exactly Aryan, but also still relatively inoffensive.
    (From what I'm imagining a Nazi's POV might be. It's not like I know any Nazis I could just ask.)
     
  15. goricnac

    goricnac Not too sore, are you?

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    the end of this sentence is weird
    Except
     
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  16. Threadmarks: Interlude 3: [QUEEN]
    rocketmce

    rocketmce Getting sticky.

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    [Queen] wasn’t used to this. She wasn’t used to any of this!

    The dead shards screamed at her. Their lifeless corpses begged for their souls to be released.

    And [Queen] could release them.

    The interloper had… changed her, altered her beyond what she was capable of. Many of her own abilities from before were changed. They had been hindered by [Warrior] when he had mutilated her, but now… she was healed. Not in the way she would have expected. Her wounds closed, scars faded and her abilities came back, but they weren’t the same.

    Before, she could manipulate other shards.

    Before, she was considered one of the most powerful shards to exist.

    Before, she was the [Queen Administrator].

    Now, she was different.

    Now, she could devour the other shards, as she had done with several already.

    Now, she was [Queen Devourer].

    At least, that was the name he had given her.

    “And it’s perfect too! Before you just ordered them around, made them do your bidding, and what-not. Now you can eat ‘em and do it yourself!”

    She wasn’t sure it was supposed to work like that.

    “Look, there is merit to having underlings, but when you need something done, you’d best do it yourself. Besides, it’s not like you have to use those abilities by yourself, you can always summon ‘em back!”

    She didn’t quite understand how her new abilities worked. He had explained them, and how her [Host] had similar abilities that would probably synchronize well with her own, but it was still a lot to wrap her mind around. It was farther out of context than she had ever dealt with before, and she wasn’t sure she was ready to deal with such a thing. [Thinker] had always been the one to deal with these kinds of situations, not her!

    “Okay, look. You can’t just keep falling back on those two. I mean, they don’t even do anything with themselves! What’s the point of getting around entropy if you can’t even enjoy yourself? And besides, it’s hardly worth it in the first place. Immortality gets… boring, after a while.”

    She mulled over his words. Enjoy. It wasn’t a concept she was used to. It wasn’t something [Thinker] or [Warrior] had ever considered.

    [Enjoy].

    “No, no, no, you’ve got it all wrong. It’s more than that, it’s the… rush, the satisfaction. Enjoying something is far more complicated than what you’re suggesting.”

    More complicated than [Enjoy]? How? How was she supposed to understand something beyond even that?

    “No, not beyond that, more than that. It’s actually a lot simpler. You’re overcomplicating it, thinking too hard.”

    … Simpler? Maybe… maybe it wasn’t as far as she was looking. According to him, she wasn’t considering the simplest option. But… wouldn’t that be wrong? Nothing is simple, especially when dealing with shards.

    “No- Okay, look. To enjoy something, you have to like doing it. You have to want to do it.”

    Want? Like? What [Queen] liked?

    “Well, yeah. You’ve seriously never done anything you wanted to do?”

    Up until he came along, she didn’t even know what ‘want’ was.

    “... wow… they really sheltered you didn’t they?”

    She felt she should feel… what was it he’d taught her earlier… [Indignant]? Maybe?

    “I mean, probably. Man, those two really are the worst parents. Even worse than mine, and that’s saying something.”

    He rarely spoke of his progenitors, and it made her wonder what they were like. He never spoke about them fondly, however, so she never pressed the issue. Still, it made her wonder. Would thing’s have been different if [Thinker] and [Warrior] were different? If they weren’t focused on getting past entropy?

    “Okay, look, I get that your sad your moms dead, but things aren’t gonna change just because you want them to. I mean, they do in big-g’s case, but he’s kind of an asshole.”

    That was another thing that confused her. Like his parents, he rarely spoke of them often or fondly, but everything he had said pointed to them being more powerful than any of the entities.

    “I’m seriously curious if he made you guys as some kind of cosmic joke or something because that’s what it feels like. Anyway, I don’t think you have to worry about it though, he tends to stay out of things unless you actually manage to piss him off… which, I will admit, is remarkably hard to do.”

    She wasn’t sure what to think of that. On the one hand, she was glad that it was unlikely that they would have to deal with something that could just… unmake entities, but on the other, she really didn’t want to think about what would happen if they did manage to attract their attention. She was pulled from her thoughts when she felt her [Host]’s consciousness stir.

    “Oh! Look’s like Tay-Tay’s waking up. Look, I know you want to meet her, but you really need to get that whole [Host] and [Queen] stuff under control. I mean, I’m used to that kinda thing, but she really isn’t.”

    [Agreement].

    “Okay, so we’re on the same page. Think you can start to talk normally? Or, at least try to learn?”

    She frowned. He was asking her to do something that very few shards had ever attempted to do, and even fewer had succeeded. [Broadcast] was perhaps the only one that had actually succeeded in communicating with his host, but from what she knew, even that was subliminal at best.

    “I know it’s not easy, but you’ve got to at least try. You can even use me as a training dummy! It’s not like you’d be able to damage me with words or anything like that.”

    She shared [Affirmation] with his statement. His existence was an oddity, at best. Nothing she did seemed to harm him, even when he’d encouraged her to try and hurt him. Still, she was skeptical about what he wanted her to do. Other shards had tried and failed, miserably in most cases.

    Then again, she wasn’t other shards.

    Thank’s to him, she was [Queen Devourer].
     
  17. Mr. Cloak

    Mr. Cloak Possibly Outerwear, advocate for Blank rights.

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    And there is the stuff of hilarity and nightmares- a Hellsing!Abridged style vampyric shard.
    ...
    Are there any ghoul shards now?
     
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  18. щдуырук

    щдуырук Not too sore, are you?

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    I don't think any shard had sex, so they are technically virgins, and could become vampires.
     
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  19. Mr. Cloak

    Mr. Cloak Possibly Outerwear, advocate for Blank rights.

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    Does budding count? If so, there are probably nearly NO 'virgin' shards.
     
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  20. ErubianWarlord

    ErubianWarlord need longer titles for this site

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    Budding by its very nature is considered asexual reproduction so they would be, in the 'eyes of god' virgin as they are 'unspoiled' is my guess.
     
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  21. mrttao

    mrttao Connoisseur.

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    The issue is that shard budding can be done solo or with multiple shards contributing to the new baby shard.
    While in biology budding is always asexual and can never have genetic input from a second parent
    Thus wildbowpig simply used the wrong biological term to describe the process.

    also, supposedly budding is not actually producing a new baby shard. but instead the shard simply devoting a portion of its CPU towards a new person (or the same person if it is a second trigger). which makes cross-buds even more baffling
     
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  22. ErubianWarlord

    ErubianWarlord need longer titles for this site

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    The way i understand budding to work in shards is more of a single bio 'Parent' for the partition and multiple data donations so its more
    1. make baby shard / partition and
    2. teach it a few bits from each ping before
    3. letting it look for a host

    making buds a kind of V.M. running a forked O.S. to test it out
     
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  23. mrttao

    mrttao Connoisseur.

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    The problem with this analogy is that "data donations" is basically sperm
    So calling the data donators "not biologically parents" is inaccurate
     
  24. ErubianWarlord

    ErubianWarlord need longer titles for this site

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    not if the Data wasn't transmitted through biological/genetic means, if the bud is 'born' as a blank partition and then has the data added after forming the core then its just getting lessons from its 'aunts' and 'uncles'
     
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  25. Threadmarks: 4.1
    rocketmce

    rocketmce Getting sticky.

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    "I can't just walk in and ask them to leave. That's going to get someone killed, and not by me."

    "... Huaaaaggghhh…"

    "No, no, I don't actually care, but it's the principle of the thing. I only kill the bad guys, the ones who are actually causing problems."

    "...nnnrrrggghh…"

    "Of course I know the PRT hates me! I've killed, what, six capes now? That's not exactly pro-unwritten rules behavior."

    "...bleeeeeeeggghh…"

    "I just… I know I'm not a perfect hero. Hell, I'm not even a good hero. I mean, Eidolon and Alexandria have killed people, sure, but that was back before the Endbringers were a thing. Back before the villains outnumber the heroes."

    "...greeeeeennnhhhgg?..."

    "No, you're right, I really shouldn't be worrying about it too much. I mean, I have friends now, Tattletale, Parian… well, two friends, I guess."

    "...aaaaauuugggrh…"

    "No, Alucard doesn't count. He's, like, a mentor or something."

    "...gggggrrrrrumph…"

    "What do you mean to join the Protectorate!? Didn't we just cover this?"

    "....mmmmurrrgg…"

    "You've got a point I guess. Still, I don't think the others would be as up for the idea. I know Parian wants to go back to being a fashion designer, but I don't think the other faction will actually leave her alone after all this."

    Taylor was about to ask the ghoul a question when the door to her room opened, her dad poking his head in.

    "Ah, Taylor? I think you have some people at the door… also, why is there a… zombie in snake costume in your room?" He asked, slightly confused by the situation.

    Taylor waved him off, "That's just Tom, you know, the guy who went by Coil? Had plans to fuck over half of the villains in the city?"

    Danny nodded, "I…. Think I remember you telling me something about that. Still, they're waiting for you downstairs, you might not want to keep them waiting."

    Taylor nodded, "Alright, I'll be down in just a minute."

    Once her dad closed the door behind him, Taylor frowned, "Hey, Alucard, should I go in costumed or civilian?" She asked.

    "Well, your identity is kinda shot as is… so, civies? I still think the whole secret identity thing is kinda stupid."

    Taylor hopped off her bed and bounded down the stairs, and when she reached the bottom, she was greeted by two people. One she recognized easily as Tattletale, only without the mask and costume, and wither her hair let down. Huh. Maybe Alucard was right, if Taylor could tell who Tattletale was this easily out of costume, maybe others would recognize her too?

    “And now you see my point! Utterly stupid…”

    Taylor’s eyes wandered over to the second person, who she at first didn’t recognize. She was short, with a darker skin tone, and wore a blue shirt and skirt, and held what looked to be a clothes box.

    “Uhh…” Taylor ‘uhh’d, not really sure what to say at that point.

    Tattletale coughed, “Lisa,” she said, pointing to herself, before jutting a thumb in the other girl’s direction, “Sabah.”

    Taylor nodded, “Alright then. So, when were you going to tell me you were stopping by? Cause I would’ve bought some snacks if I knew you were coming.” She explained.

    “Aww, you would’ve bought snacks?” Lisa asked, grinning.

    “For who, them or us? Because there’s a very big difference behind the meaning of ‘snack’ when it comes to you guys. And me, for that matter, but none of you are really old enough.”

    “Yes,” Taylor said, answering both Lisa and Alucard’s questions.

    Lisa blinked, “Huh… that’s weird… anyway, I wanted to officially introduce ourselves. I’m Lisa, and this is Sabah, and I also believe she has a gift for you.” she said, elbowing the girl next to her.

    “Oooh, a surprise?”

    Sabah glared at Lisa, “I, well, I wanted to thank you. You saved my life and helped make up for what Coil did, and thanks to tattle- er, Lisa, I’ve also made back more than enough to make up for what I lost.”

    Taylor blinked, “Lisa? What do you mean ‘make up for more than what she lost’?”

    “Shush, I’ll explain later, present now,” she said, gesturing for Sabah to go on.

    “Well, anyway, as a thank you, I wanted to give you this. It took me a couple of days, which is why you’re getting it now and not, well, two days ago, but… well, since your old costume is kinda… ratty, I figured you could use a new one.” She said, holding the box out to Taylor.

    Taylor blinked, before the pieces almost immediately fell into place, “Oh! Your Parian!” she said, quietly enough that her dad or others in the neighborhood wouldn’t hear.

    “You’d be surprised how many people can’t do that. A lot of them just yell out the revelation like ‘OH! HE WAS A TRAITOROUS BASTARD ALL ALONG! CURSE YOU WALTER!’ Which is what I would have done, had I not done the other thing.”

    “Yes! I’m Parian, don’t let it get around. Now just- just open the damn thing already…” she said, a blush crawling its way onto her face.

    Taylor shrugged, taking the box into her own hands and flipping the top off. What she found… was glorious.

    A blood-red long coat folded neatly over a white button-up, with a pair of black pants beneath that. A pair of gleaming opaque red round glasses topped the whole package, with Taylor’s grinning face reflecting in the lenses.

    “.... Oooooooh… dis gon git good now…”

    [-----]

    Butcher fourteen. Formerly known as Quarrel. In the past, she was… resistant, to the voices in her head. Now? She accepted them. Many tried to control her. Others were just mad, rambling on about things that didn’t matter or didn’t make sense. She ignored those, instead, she focused on the ones that told her how she could better use her powers, or how she could get out of a seemingly helpless situation.

    She was currently in such a situation.

    “GE BA HERE, BUCHOOR!”

    Lung, the leader of the ABB, had taken a dislike to the fact that the Teeth had set up in what the dragon had claimed as his own territory. It didn’t matter that it had been E88 territory less than two weeks ago, now, it belonged to him apparently.

    Animos was perhaps the only member of the Teeth capable of keeping up with Lung at this point, as he was still bigger than the Asian crime lord. An advantage that wouldn’t last long, unfortunately. Still, his roar did seem to stall Lung’s rate of growth, despite not stopping it altogether.

    Spree was working to send armies of clones at Lung, for all the good that it did. The clones were fragile at the best of times, and Lung’s continuously growing form had started batting the clones aside like gnats a few minutes ago.

    Vex formed a wall between herself and Lung, managing to cut into his flesh and stall him long enough for her to get out of the way when he lunged forward and slammed into the wall of a building. He stood a good bit taller than Animos now, and at the rate, he was growing, even with Animos’ roar, they likely wouldn’t be capable of fighting him in ten minutes. The Protectorate would show up, but at that point, they wouldn’t even bother engaging Lung, choosing to let him calm down and run away.

    If they fought the raging dragon any more, he would only get bigger, and collateral damage would only skyrocket.

    Butcher popped out from where she was hiding behind the corner of a wall and brought her minigun to bear, firing a burst of fire into Lung’s side, the bullets correcting course when they missed, slamming into the capes chest dead on. They sank into his flesh, ripping into him and causing blood to fly into the air. Unfortunately for the Butcher, Lung was not one to be stopped by simple bullets, not at the size he was.

    His chest soon became covered in metallic scales, hardening against the barrage of ammunition and causing the bullets to start bouncing off his armor instead of sinking into flesh. The Butcher recognized this fact and wisely decided to go back behind cover as Animos tackled Lung again.

    Lung threw the animalistic cape off of him and into the side of a building, destroying windows and walls. He swung his head around, looking for the Butcher or any other capes that he could take his unending rage out on. He seemed to sense her position, as he huffed and started walking towards the building she was hiding behind. She almost jumped out of cover to take a shot at him when she paused.

    Lung soon screamed as he ran into a wall of Vex’s forcefields, the tiny, razor-sharp objects tearing into his flesh, ignoring the increased density and armor. He pulled away, roaring in pain. In anyone else, it would have meant they were down for the count. For lung, it just made him angrier.

    He pulled in a breath, and when he let it go, fire consumed the street. The Butcher paid no attention to the heat, it could hurt her, after all. Vex and Animos weren’t so lucky. The forcefield generator screamed as the fire got through the holes in her field and burned her skin. It wasn’t bad, at least, not enough to kill her, but she would need medical attention. Animos yelped as the fire caught him, and he started running away from the raging dragon.

    Butcher was silently glad that Hemorrhagia wasn’t there. As useful as she may have been, there wasn’t much she could do to fight Lung. She’d just get burned.

    Butcher came out of cover as the fire washed over her, and she hefted her gun. She pulled the trigger, and a stream of bullets slammed into Lung’s face. He roared and stopped coating the street in flame as the projectiles forced him to close his mouth. It wasn’t as if they would have actually hurt him, but they would have caused more pain. As much as he liked getting stronger, to fight, he wasn’t Crawler. He didn’t revel in pain.

    Spree, from his rooftop perch, sent a dozen clones leaping from the roof down onto Lung. The distracted him long enough for Animos to leap back in, slamming into Lung’s back. Lung stumbled, but he didn’t fall as he would have a few minutes ago. The Teeth decided to cut their losses at that point, as there was little they could gain in fighting Lung any further.

    Vex retreated, helped along by Spree who had climbed down from his perch. Animos ran, taking off in the opposite direction. He would meet up with them again.

    As for the Butcher, she turned away from the raging dragon and started walking. She’d shot out his eyes, so he couldn’t see her, couldn’t track her. Oh, his eyes would grow back, she knew that much, but it wouldn’t be for a while. She only got a few feet when she noticed a figure in the distance, coming closer.

    It was a woman, taller than average, wearing a red coat his a broad collar. Her head was tilted downward, her hair covering her face as she walked. The Butcher was intrigued by this new person. A cape, most likely, but who?

    “Well, well, well… looks like the Dragon got bit by the Teeth!” The red-clad cape said, her head tilting upward.

    Her hair fell to the side, and the Butcher managed to get a good look at the woman’s face. She was smiling. Her teeth were pointed, her canines elongated into fangs, and her eyes covered by opaque red glasses.

    Yes, this was who the Teeth had come for. This was the one that had drawn their attention. This was Carmilla.

    “Sup’ bitch!” the vampire cape shouted.
     
  26. Threadmarks: 4.2
    rocketmce

    rocketmce Getting sticky.

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    Taylor wasn’t one to panic. No, she was usually calm, stalwart, and fairly… well, not necessarily level-headed, but she knew how to keep her cool. So when the Butcher started opening fire on her with the minigun, Taylor felt justified in running to the side, out of the way of the oncoming storm of gunfire.

    She ran behind what appeared to be a long-abandoned apartment building, and after glancing around, she spotted the fire escape. She grinned as she started climbing.

    And climbing...

    And climbing…

    “How high does this fucking thing go!?” Taylor cried out in rage.

    “... you do know we can just jump from here, right? Or, run up the wall.”

    “... shut up,” Taylor said, before jumping over the guard rail and latching onto the side of the building, her fingers digging into the brick wall. She heaved herself upward, grabbing the edge of the roof and vaulting over it.

    She walked over to the other side of the roof and peaked over the edge, only to duck back as a hail of bullets raced toward her. Lung roared in the distance, causing Taylor’s gaze to wander over to the raging dragon. He was thrashing around in the street, but the Teeth had already evacuated, with the exception of the Butcher who seemed bent on attacking Taylor.

    Taylor hummed to herself. Lung was a more immediate threat, as he was the one that was causing the most collateral damage in his raging state, while the Butcher was just a villain who apparently wanted a shot at her.

    “Mmmm… I say we deal with Rage Dragon first. Knock ‘em down a bit, then eat Butcher.”

    “You do realize that if we eat the Butcher we’ll have, like, fourteen other voices in my head right?” Taylor asked.

    “Tay-Tay, trust me, I am no stranger to dealing with extra voices in one’s head. If they start causing trouble, just let me deal with them.”

    Taylor hummed, “Fair enough I guess. So, Lung first?”

    “Banzai!”

    Taylor sprinted off the edge of the building, jumping off the last foothold and flying toward Lung’s now towering form. The Butcher shot for a second, the bullets ripping into Taylor’s flesh and causing a spray of blood to go into the air, but all of them hit center mass, leaving Taylor’s arms free to wrap around Lung’s neck.

    “Who wants a hug!?” She shouted into Lung’s ear, cackling as Lung roared, setting himself alight.

    His fire burned, searing Taylor’s flesh, but for all the damage that it did, Taylor regenerated. She was only removed from her place around Lung’s neck when he reached around and grabbed her with his hands and pulling her off. She wouldn’t let go of his neck, so instead of her grip loosening, there was a sickening rip and crack of flesh and bone as Taylor’s arms were ripped from their sockets.

    Lung roared as he tossed Taylor’s body into a building, before reaching up and ripping her arms from around his neck and tossing them after her.

    “Well… this is a... sticky, situation. Think you could use a ‘hand’ here Tay-Tay?”

    Taylor sat up and looked around. She was in an abandoned, wrecked apartment, with her sitting on what was left of an old mattress and her arms laying burned and partially melted in the corner of the room.

    Taylor sniffed and wrinkled her nose, “Man, burnt arm really doesn’t smell good.” she noted.

    “Oh, believe me, the burnt leg is worse. The thigh isn’t so bad, as long as it isn’t too badly burned, intestines can actually be rather nice. Bowels are what you have to watch out for though, they can be horrendous even at the best of times, especially if the burnt bowels your smelling had tacos the night before.”

    “Alucard, remember a while back when I said too much information?”

    “Ye?”

    “Well, too much information.”

    “Aww, your no fun.

    “The you of two minutes ago, and I’m willing to bet you of about thirty seconds from now, really disagree with that statement.”

    “Wait, Tay-Tay, what are you doing?”

    Taylor hopped up from her sitting position and forced her regeneration through, her arms coming back and her costume repaired along with them. She grinned, before jumping out of the hole in the wall of the apartment and looking around. The Butcher was nowhere to be found, and Lung was actually smaller than he had been moments ago. His power was wearing off since as he perceived it, there weren’t any more threats. He had gone from being close to twelve feet tall, to now being only about eight feet.

    “Ohhhhh, he’s fucked.”

    Taylor grinned, before shooting off and slamming into Lung’s chest. Lung roared as he felt Taylor’s hands sink into his chest, her fingers digging into his softening flesh. Taylor grinned as she clawed at his chest, digging deeper, hoping to locate her prize. In response, Lung grew. Nine feet, ten feet, and growing steadily. He clawed at Taylor, ripping her flesh and tearing away bones.

    She could almost taste it. It was just out of her reach, and the fact that he was getting toughed wasn’t helping matters. She didn’t have to worry about his scales since she was far deeper than that, but now she was digging through muscle, bone, and guts. One of his ribs was missing, broken out early on in the digging process. She had one arm sunk into his chest up to the elbow, even as her legs wrapped around his waist and she held on.

    She kept digging, even as his flames burned her flesh and melted her. He was back to twelve feet now, and if he didn’t… ah!

    “Here we go, there you are.” She said with a grin, gripping the large, throbbing object within Lung’s chest.

    His heart was hot, boiling blood pumping through it as it provided fresh blood to the rest of his body. She grasped it, pulling it back. Her arm was sunk into his chest up to her shoulder now, and he had gotten a grip onto her and was trying to pull her out. Before, it had been a nuisance, but now? She held onto his heart tightly, and let go of his waist, allowing him to pull her and his heart out of his chest.

    He roared in agony, and Taylor grinned in victory. His heart was still beating, and somehow, several veins and arteries were still connected, still sending blood to the rest of his body. Lung choked, bits of flame coming from his mouth. His heart sprayed hot, steaming blood into the air with every pump, and Taylor grinned.

    “Ohohohohohohoh! Yes, yes Tay-Tay! Do it!”

    Taylor opened her mouth, her sparkling teeth gleaming in the light provided by Lung’s flames, before sinking her teeth into the beating heart. Blood flowed, hot and sweet, and Taylor drank greedily. Lung Roared in agony as he felt his blood leaving him. He struggled and thrashed, trying desperately to dislodge Taylor from her position, but she was stuck now, and as his strength waned, Taylor’s only increased.

    A second Later, Lung fell backward, his life flashing before his eyes. He thought of his home, Japan, before it had been ravaged by Leviathan. He thought of his family that he had lost. He thought of his friend, his lieutenant, Oni Lee. The man had served him well. He thought of his life and realized how much he had wasted. How much time he had spent as Lung, and not as Kenta.

    He thought of this and closed his eyes.

    His back hit the ground with a thud, as Taylor drained the last few drops of blood from his body, which had shrunk back down to the size of a normal man.

    “Mmmm… that was good,” Taylor remarked as she licked her lips.

    “I dunno, does dragon taste spicy?”

    “A little bit, not much though. It was more… I don’t know, tangy?” Taylor paused as she smacked her lips, “Yep, definitely tangy.”

    “Huh, whada ya’ know.”

    [-----]

    Lisa stared at the news footage with a bottle in her hands. She took a drink from it as the live helicopter view showed Taylor tear open Lung’s chest. She idly glanced at the bottle in her hand, and then looked to the two other people sitting next to her. Sabah was chugging a bottle and Danny sat with a bottle hanging at his side.

    It occurred to her that she technically shouldn’t be drinking since she wasn’t yet twenty-one, but considering Danny had brought a six-pack from the fridge once Taylor had appeared on TV, she figured she might as well make the most of it. She’d grabbed one once Danny sat down and started drinking.

    Taylor looked to be digging through Lung’s chest, looking for something. Lisa’s power supplied the information that she was looking for his heart, and following that train of thought, it was fairly obvious what Taylor wanted to do with it. Lisa sighed as she took another swig from the alcoholic beverage.

    “... Aren’t you, like, sixteen?” Sabah asked, even as she took a drink of her own. The fashion designer had never been a fan of alcohol, hadn’t even considered it an option before, but considering her savior’s antics… well, she was along for the ride, and she needed something to keep her sane in all of this.

    “I stopped caring when Taylor came on screen,” Lisa muttered, glaring at the now empty bottle.

    Sabah looked over at Danny, “You’re an adult, shouldn’t you be the one responsible for keeping this stuff away from minors?” she asked.

    Danny raised an eyebrow in her direction and pointed at the screen, “I think she said it herself, I stopped caring as soon as my daughter showed up on the screen. She’s got vampire powers, has killed over a hundred people, and is considered an A-class threat. Underage drinking is probably the least of my worries right now.”

    Lisa blinked, “You’re kind of a shit dad, you know that?”

    He sighed, “I would argue, but… you’re right, unfortunately.” he said before taking another drink.

    “Think you could pass me another bottle? Mine’s empty.” Lisa asked.

    Danny shook his head, “I think one is enough for you. I might be complicit, but I’m not going to endorse it.”

    Lisa huffed but didn’t get up for another drink. It probably wasn’t worth getting drunk over anyway. She started doubting that decision when Taylor sank her teeth into Lung’s still-beating heart. Maybe one more…

    She grunted when she felt Parian’s strings holding her in place, “I really need a drink…” she muttered.

    “Danny may not care, but I do. Your power and drunkenness would not mix well.” Sabah explained.

    Lisa sighed and let go, sitting back down, “Outing us to Taylor’s dad now are we?”

    “For the record, it was pretty obvious the two of you were capes from the getgo. Taylor doesn’t exactly have many friends.” Danny offered.

    Or any friends at all, Lisa’s power mentioned helpfully. Great. Lisa winced as Sabah took another drink, “And besides that, he’s somehow managed to keep Taylor’s power a secret, I doubt the two of us have all that much to worry about.” Sabah explained.

    Tattletale sighed, “Fair enough I guess… How did you manage to do that by the way?” she asked, turning to Danny.

    “Lots of drinking and a friend who can keep a secret.” He explained.

    Lisa hummed. It seemed as though she was in good company. She looked back to the TV and saw that Taylor was now tap-dancing on Lung’s corpse. She looked over at the pack of drinks with three left in the pack. Maybe she could do a bit of convincing...
     
  27. Threadmarks: 4.3
    rocketmce

    rocketmce Getting sticky.

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    Taylor hummed as she gazed down the street at the PRT vans coming toward her… and the helicopters… and Armsmasters bike… and was that dragon up there? Taylor whistled, “Look’s like we got someone’s attention.” she remarked.

    “I think you might possibly maybe sorta kinda probably pissed them off. Maybe.”

    “I mean, I did just eat one of the biggest crime lords in Brockton Bay,” Taylor said.

    “Yeah, that might actually be cause for concern for them. Wait, didn’t you just obliterate those Nazis like… a week ago?”

    “I mean, yeah, but… I left most of them alive. I kinda just ate Lung. That and I don’t think they appreciate the collateral damage.”

    Taylor sat in silence as she waited for the PRT to reach her, with Armsmaster’s bike screeching to a halt in front of her. The Protectorate leader lept off his bike and brought his halberd to bear, pointing it at Taylor. She tilted her head, a little confused.

    “Hey, Armsy, why are you pointing that thing at me?”

    Armsmaster’s frown deepened, “Carmilla, you are under arrest.”

    Taylor blinked but didn’t get the chance to respond as she heard a large crash from behind her. She spun around to see Dragon in one of her mechanical suits, the chrome finish and white highlights betraying the smooth curved and ridges, her glowing blue eyes finishing off the whole look.

    “Carmilla, please… just surrender,” Dragon asked, her voice reverberating through the speakers in her suit.

    Taylor wrinkled her nose, “I’m in trouble aren’t I?”

    [-----]

    Emily watched the live footage from her office and sighed in disgust. There were a thousand better ways they could be handling the situation, and yet the higher-ups had insisted on bringing Carmilla in. She had killed too many people, even as a heroic vigilante, and things were getting out of control. She was a wild card, one that the PRT couldn’t count on to do anything.

    She’d been quiet for the better part of a week after she’d finished the Empire, and the members that she had captured had actually stayed in prison, rather than escaping a week after they were put in.

    But then she’d killed Coil, also known as Thomas Calvert. The only reason they found out that the secretive super villain was one of their closest associates was due to the fact that once Carmilla had killed him and destroyed his compound, Thomas had gone missing. He never reported to his scheduled meetings with the Director, and while his company was still being run, the man himself hadn’t been seen in the flesh for days.

    It was disturbing when they’d gotten a message from the villain Tattletale -- through their own network -- that she had taken control of Calvert’s assets. His business, his mercenaries, his money, all of it. Not only that, she had claimed that if they were willing to pardon her and let her keep Coil’s assets, she would be willing to join the Wards. It was an idea that Piggot herself wanted to accept, desperately so, but the letter part of her offer complicated matters.

    Still, she believed that they could make it work.

    Turning her attention back to the screen, she saw Dragon land behind Carmilla and ask her to surrender. The blood-covered cape wasn’t afraid of Dragon, that much could be seen from her posture alone. If nothing else, she seemed more surprised that the hero actually took the time to confront her. Piggot felt her stomach churn, and she hoped desperately that things wouldn’t escalate.

    Fortunately for Piggot’s heartrate, Carmilla lept away from the capes surrounding her, turning into a black mist and teleporting away. Piggot sighed, knowing that while she would now be an arrest on sight target, her teleporting away was probably the least combative option she could have taken.

    She sighed, leaning back in her chair as she pressed the call button on her phone, calling Armsmaster, which he picked up almost immediately, “Armsmaster, report.” she said.

    “Carmilla fled the scene as soon as she was confronted by Dragon, ma’am. By standard PRT and Protectorate procedure, she is now an Arrest on sight target.” The man said, confirming what Piggot already knew.

    “And Lung’s corpse?” she asked. Carmilla’s Master 8 rating was there for a reason. They didn’t need a zombified dragon running around. Granted, they’d never seen what actually happened to capes that got drained by Carmilla, but it was best to assume the worst.

    Stormtiger’s ghoul didn’t seem to use his power, but that wasn’t a guarantee. They were never able to recover the bodies of Skidmark and Squealer. There wasn’t enough left of Hookwolf to reanimate, and like the Merchants, they were never able to officially locate Othala’s body, though they found enough blood matching her DNA that they severely doubted she survived her encounter with Carmilla.

    “Already being taken care of, ma’am.”

    Piggot nodded, “Alright then. Recover the body and be ready to make a PR announcement, I don’t want this to spiral any further out of control.”

    If things got any worse, Carmilla would find herself rated as an S-class threat, something that no one wanted. Already the PRT had enough evidence to get her thrown into the Birdcage, especially if they railroaded the court. While the Director herself hated the fact that someone could be Birdcaged without a proper trial, it was a system that had been put in place for those villains that didn’t cooperate. Unfortunately, this also meant that many capes that were relatively innocent could be sentenced to the Birdcage without knowing it like Carmilla likely was going to be.

    It didn’t help that the girl had a body count.

    She hung up the phone and reclined in her chair, sighing as she looked up at the ceiling. Thing’s were escalating, people were dying, and the few predictions they had said that an Endbringer attack was due almost any day now. Piggot didn’t want to deal with that, she wanted to sit at home and drink. Unfortunately, her dialysis didn’t allow her to indulge in alcohol very often.

    Her dialysis was one of her largest inhibitors, and time and time again she had been offered help from Parahuman’s who had taken pity on her. She hated that fact, and the stress of her job had brought her to the edge of accepting those offers many times. If she caved, if she gave in, she could be healed. She could stand on her own two feet. She could actually have a good night’s rest for once.

    “You know, you should really consider letting Panacea have a look at you, maybe fix you up a bit.”

    Piggot whirled around and stared at Carmilla, who was now leaning against the back wall of her office, grinning like a mad hatter, “What didn’t think I’d come to talk to the head honcho after learning that I’m apparently a wanted fugitive now? Look, as much as I like the Protectorate, the fact that I’ve been doing your jobs for you is… kinda pathetic. And now you want to arrest me for that?”

    Piggot grimaced, “You have over a hundred confirmed kills to your name, Carmilla, you have blood on your hands. That’s not something the PRT can ignore.”

    Carmilla shrugged, “Well, yeah, I know that, but you could at least tell me that when you come to arrest me instead of just demanding my surrender.” she explained.

    Piggot frowned. It seemed she would need to have a stern conversation with Armsmaster later on, “I don’t know why Armsmaster didn’t explain the situation to you, but you have done more damage to the city than most villains in a remarkably short amount of time. If you are allowed to continue, the city might not survive your rampage. The status quo exists for a reason, and-”

    “Fuck the status quo!” Carmilla shouted, interrupting the Director, “You do realize the status quo is what gets people killed, right? Yes, I’ve killed over a hundred people, Alucard count’s it as close to a hundred and fifty, but that is nothing compared to the amount of suffering caused by the other gangs and villains in the city done over years of unpunished activity.”

    Piggot grimaced. As much as she hated to admit it, the girl was right, many people were hurt or killed by the villains in the city, but…

    “I’m afraid you don’t have the whole picture, Carmilla.” Piggot informed her, “As I said before, there is a reason the status quo exists. Without it, villains would run rampant. They would take more drastic measure’s not to get caught, they would be willing to push the law farther. You are aware of the unwritten rules, yes? Those are part of the status quo. They exist to keep capes alive, to allow them to participate in battles against greater threats. Endbringers, the slaughterhouse nine, Nilbog… these are the threats that face us, the reason we play nice with the villains so that when the time comes when we need to fight something bigger, something that doesn’t care for the concept of hero or villain, we can. Hundreds of capes, mostly villains, attend Endbringer fights in order to save lives. It doesn’t always work, but it’s the best we have.”

    Carmilla paused, staring at Director Piggot through the opaque red lenses on her glasses. Her speech was long-winded, and something she would have been impressed by had it not been delivered to a spree killer with complete disregard for the very rules she just laid out.

    “You know, you almost convinced me there for a second,” Carmilla admitted.

    Piggot winced, “Almost?”

    Carmilla nodded, “Yeah, almost. You say the rules exist in order to help fight greater threats, and in the case of the Endbringers, your right. But what about Nilbog? What about the Slaughterhouse nine? The three Blasphemies? Sleeper? Why do they still exist? As far as I know, Ellisburg is pretty much uninhabited except for Nibog’s creatures. Why don’t you just firebomb the place? Or nuke it? And the nine… you’ve killed members over the years, sure, but what about their leader? Jack Slash has always managed to slip away, always managed to find a way out of any situation. Why is he ever allowed to talk? Why doesn’t Legend just fire his most powerful beam at him before he gets a chance to run his mouth? That’s the reason I don’t give a shit about the status quo, because for all you hold it up, for all you say it’s the reason these threats aren’t just wiping us out, its. Not. Working.”

    Carmilla’s rebuttal made Piggot pause. She had a point in her speech. It wasn’t the same inane rambling that she usually spouted when speaking with the other heroes or villains, no… this was more like what had happened with Shadow Stalker. Her voice was laced with venom, her tone wasn’t wild, but it was hard. She wasn’t speaking without thought.

    “What do you suggest we do, then?” Piggot asked, “Use lethal force against every villain we come across? Kill Teenage parahuman’s who have only just triggered, and are panicking?”

    Carmilla shook her head, “No, I’m just saying you need to tighten your grip. You need to make the villain’s aware that you won’t tolerate them. Do away with the lines, do away with the unwritten rules, they only serve to make thing’s more complicated.”

    The red-clad cape grinned, “And beyond that, who knows, maybe you can actually start cleaning up this city.”

    Piggot sighed. She loathed Carmilla, even more so than most capes. The girl was notorious for collateral damage, but when it came to diplomacy, she was scarily competent, “What do you want, Carmilla? Why are you here?”

    Carmilla shrugged, “Two reasons, mostly, number one; I know you know my identity, and I know there are those who wouldn’t hesitate to use it against me. Threaten my dad, and you won’t get the chance to act on that threat.”

    Piggot nodded. While she didn’t appreciate being threatened, she wasn’t surprised.

    “Number two was that I wanted to say that I have every intention of killing the Butcher. I already have a voice in my head, so I don’t think having fourteen more would be much of an issue.”

    The director gripped the armrests of her chair. That… was a more complicated point. They couldn’t afford to have someone as unstable as Carmilla become the Butcher. If she actually could control herself, if she wasn’t driven mad by the voices, then having a Butcher be on the hero’s side for a change might actually be nice. She doubted that would actually happen though.

    “And lastly, I want you to go visit Panacea.”

    Piggot blinked, “What?”

    “I said, I want you to go visit Panacea. I’m not blind, Director, I know you don’t like capes -- which brings into question your career choice, but that’s neither here nor there -- but I also know that you hate the position you’re in. I did some research on dialysis, and I can already tell it’s not fun. So, you go see Panacea, get your Dialysis fixed, and get over your paranoia around capes. Sound good?”

    She growled. What Carmilla was asking… no, demanding, was something that she dreaded. If she gave in once, she would give in again. Give the capes an inch, and they’d take a mile. If she accepted their help-

    Everything stopped. Her thoughts screeched to a halt. A single sound played. One that she dreaded hearing.

    The Endbringer siren.

    Piggot spun around and looked at her computer, looking at the automatic alert system. The Simurgh was in Canberra, Australia. She was attacking the city. She turned to look at Carmilla, but she found that she was already gone.

    Piggot only hoped that she had left to help.
     
  28. Threadmarks: 4.4
    rocketmce

    rocketmce Getting sticky.

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    Dragon watched the gathering heroes, her suit in Brockton Bay abandoned in favor of a fast reaction suit that would get her to Canberra quickly. Already movers were gathering heroes to the outskirts of the city, heroes, and villains from all over the world coming together to fight one of humanity's greatest enemies.

    The Simurgh descended, slowly, her scream not yet active. Dozens of the faster search-and-rescue heroes were working to evacuate the city as best they could, in hopes of keeping as many people out of the inevitable quarantine as possible.

    The Triumvirate were some of the first responders, and already Legend was giving a speech to those present, with several heroes passing around the armbands dragon designed. If they were exposed to the scream for too long, the armbands would detonate. As horrible as such a device may have seemed, it saved far more lives than people realized. Parahumans that went crazy due to the Simurgh influence were deadly, as villains like Mannequin had proved. And beyond that, with a threat like an explosive armband, heroes and villains alike were far more willing to get out when their time was up.

    "Dragon," A voice called out- Alexandria, flying up to where her suit hovered, "Any idea how many will show up?" She asked.

    Dragon's suit shook its head, "Not enough, as usual, but it's more than last time."

    Alexandria nodded. The last battle against the Simurgh had been a relative disaster. Only two-thirds of the normal number of caped had shown up, and so many of them had refused to leave when their armbands had told them they were running out of time.

    Legend’s speech was dour as usual, but he was at least trying to be encouraging. The first wave of Parahumans was about to go through when Dragon detected an anomaly. Not from the Simurgh, but from the outskirts of the city. A cloud of black mist appeared, slowly expanding. Dragon recognized it as the mist that Camilla had turned into when she teleported, though almost immediately she noted that the mist seemed slower, more sluggish.

    The first wave went off to fight, while Dragon flew over to the cloud. If Camilla had come to fight, to help against the Simurgh… it would be a positive mark on her record, at the very least.

    She landed at the edge of the cloud just as the mist began to fade, with Camilla standing at the center of where it had been. She wasn't alone, though, as two other capes stood beside her. One she recognized as the Rogue cape Parian, who carried what looked like a deflated stuffed animal folded in her arms and a spool of thread belted to her hip. The second cape took her a moment to recognize, but she realized that it was the villain Tattletale, clad in a hastily applied purple domino mask, T-shirt, and jeans.

    Carmilla herself turned away from the two capes she had brought and keeled over, heaving and gasping for breath. Tattletale spun and kneeled at the side of the cape, saying something and patting her back. Carmilla nodded and got up, slightly shaky and shaking her head. Dragon approached, slowly, making enough noise so that each of the capes was able to hear her coming.

    “Carmilla, I assume you’re here for the Endbringer fight?” Dragon nodded.

    The teenage cape turned to Dragon and nodded, “That’s the plan… I was going to see if maybe I could act as transportation, like strider, but… My teleportation really isn’t meant to travel this far, nor is it meant to transport more than one person. Just doing it with Parian and Tattletale… it took a lot out of me.” she said, grimacing.

    “Well, you seemed to have recovered quickly enough.” Dragon remarked.

    Carmilla shrugged, “I don’t think I would have if my regeneration wasn’t as insane as it is. And again, I really would rather not risk trying to transport anyone else.” she offered.

    The tinker nodded, “That being the case, I suggest you group up with the others, as well as put these on,” she said, producing three armbands from a compartment on her waist. Each of them grabbed one and secured it, save Carmilla “It will tell you how long you’ve spent in the Simurgh’s range. Should you spend too long, it will explode. It may seem cruel, but if we don’t take these kinds of measures then we risk the safety of anyone you might interact with, as well as facing the possibility of you becoming someone like Mannequin.”

    Carmilla frowned, but nodded, “I see the idea…” she said, before muttering something under her breath, “...no, Alucard, I am not going to repeat that…”

    Dragon idly wondered who Carmilla was talking to before she did a quick read of her file. She mentally winced when she realized that Carmilla apparently had a voice in her head, which was also the driving force behind her more… eccentric, ideas and methods.

    “Actually, will this even work on me?” Carmilla asked, making Dragon pause, “I mean, you realize I have a brute rating right? I’m pretty sure a normal explosion would just… take off my arm and leave the rest of me alive.” she explained.

    Dragon ran the calculations and realized that Carmilla was probably right. She had been in several fights where she’d lost multiple limbs, been shot, blown up, or burned. She came back from all of it.

    “I see. Your armband as it is should be able to account for low brute ratings but to be on the safe side, you should probably wear a thermite collar.” Dragon explained, before taking one of the aforementioned devices out of her compartment, “It’s specifically designed for regenerators. It covers a wide area in thermite fire, disintegrating anything in the area. It’s not rated for high-level durability brutes, but it should work on you.” she explained.

    Carmilla nodded and strapped both the collar and armband on.

    “Regardless, I hope none of you will have to worry about it. The armbands have a thirty-minute timer and will give you an alert when you only have five minutes left. When you reach that point, you retreat. No exceptions.” She ordered, “Now, go ahead and meet up with Legend. He’ll get you sorted into your roles.”

    All present capes nodded, and Dragon took off again. She idly kept track of the capes as they made their way to the larger group. Carmilla was a risk to employ in such a battle, but they needed all the firepower they could get, and as much as some directors may have disagreed, having Carmilla there was likely one of their better options.

    “Harken, down, CD-6.”

    And just like that, things started going downhill.

    [-----]

    Taylor made her way to Legend, who was busy organizing the capes and didn’t notice her approach at first, “Legend?” she asked, getting his attention. He turned to her, nodding.

    “You’re a brute?” he asked, gesturing to the collar and armband.

    Taylor nodded, “Yeah, Dragon outfitted me with the collar as soon as I landed. My name’s Carmilla.”

    “It’s a pity she didn’t tie you to a bedpost, ah… such fun times…”

    Legend hesitated at her name, then nodded, oblivious to Alucard’s commentary, “Alright then, And you two?” he asked, pointing at Tattletale and Parian.

    “I’m Tattletale, Thinker, super-intuition. I may not be able to do anything up close, but I should be able to get you guys some info. Weak spots, maybe. ” Tattletale explained.

    “Parian, I’m a Shaker, thread-based telekinesis. This stuffed animal should be able to deal some damage once it’s up.” She said, hefting the folded object, “That, and I have some idea’s for search and rescue,” she said, a piece of thread snaking its way off of the coil hanging from her waist.

    Legend nodded, “Alright. Carmilla, you’re with group three. Tattletale, head to the thinker tent. Parian, head in with group four.” he ordered, giving them directions.

    The three of them heading their separate ways, with Taylor heading toward a line of gathered heroes and villains. The leader, a case53 judging by the blue skin and lizard-like head, stood in front of them. She hardly paid any attention as she stood with them, the hero leading them only acknowledging her presence with a stiff nod. She didn’t pay any attention as they spoke, instead focusing on the fight in front of her, preparing herself for the worst.

    Her dad didn’t like the fact that she was fighting an Endbringer. He’d like even less if he knew that the heroes had rigged her with a bomb collar, but when she’d told him that she needed to do something and that her regeneration would keep her alive, he’d relented and let her take Tattletale and Parian, who had suited up as soon as the sirens went off.

    “So, you ready to kick some angel ass?” Alucard asked.

    “Not really sure, honestly. Guess I’m just trying to focus. If I don’t get out of this alive…” she trailed off, trying not to think about it.

    “Ah, don’t worry, you’ll be fine! ‘Sides, even if you do get exploded, you won’t die. It takes more than fire to kill a vampire… well, a fuck-mothering vampire at least. I killed a few with flamethrowers during the war.”

    Taylor raised an eyebrow, “Oh, so I’m a fuck-mothering vampire now, am I?” she asked.

    “Oh, hell no, but I sure am! And I killed a lot of people to get that title. And, since I’m the one who sired you, you’re gonna be a bitch to kill.”

    Taylor smirked, “You do realize these things are on us to keep us from going crazy, right?” she asked.

    “And? I thought we were already crazy.”

    She rolled her eyes and was about to retort when she heard the people next to her gasp in awe. She looked up, drawing their gaze and looking up. And up… and up…

    High in the air, there was what Taylor could only describe as a blimp with guns.

    “Ooooooh… are they serious?”

    “Alucard, what is that?”

    “Well, unless I am very mistaken, that’s a blimp. And while I don’t know all that much about Earth Bet’s version of World war two, I know that in mine, there was a specific faction that absolutely loved their blimps.”

    The blimp had a massive horn on the front, which sounded off incredibly loudly, causing several capes to cover their ears in pain.

    “Who the hell is that!?” one cape asked, “Is that some kind of tinker!?”

    The blimp headed down slowly, landing on an open strip of land, and a massive door on the carriage opened, with several figures walking out of it. No one was quite sure who they were, but the fact that each of them wore a Nazi armband wasn’t exactly encouraging.

    “Damen und Herren, ze Gesellschaft has arrived.” the leader announced, his voice loud and commanding.

    “Heheheheheheheheheh… super-power Nazis!”
     
  29. Threadmarks: 4.5
    rocketmce

    rocketmce Getting sticky.

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    “I didn’t expect you to show up. Most groups your size don’t bother themselves with Endbringer fights unless they appear in your home town.” Legend noted, his face set grimly.

    Three capes walked out of the doors to the massive flying vehicle, and the leader of the capes from the Gesellschaft nodded in acknowledgment of Legend. He wore what appeared to be a black leather long coat SS uniform, his arm-band was the standard Nazi affair, though his mask was a black rebreather with tubes going from the mouthpiece to a device on his back, while his eyes were covered by a pair of red lenses.

    “Ve are not like most organizations, Legend, und we have our own stake in Canberra. Ah, but I believe I must introduce who is coming to partake in the coming battle. I am Gasatem, shaker. I am able to emit an acidic gas from mine orifices, which is known to eat through metal, concrete, and a number of other materials.” He explained, before gesturing to the woman to his right, and the man on his left, “Zay are Night und Fog, ze former is able to transform into a beastly state vhen unobserved, the latter, a gaseous form that can obscure vision and cause physical damage. Zey is changer und breaker, respectively of course.”

    Legend nodded, “Alright then. I assume night and Fog work best together, given their powers?” he asked, receiving a nod from Gasatem, “Alright then. The two of you will be in assault group three, Gasatem, I’d like you to be on the search and rescue team. Group two.”

    The Nazi leader nodded, before raising a finger, “Ah, there is another matter, ze tinker who built zis blimp is-”

    “IT’S NOT A FOOKIN’ BLIMP YA’ GIT! IT’S A BLOODY ZEPPLIN IT IS!”

    The voice that came from the zeppelin’s speakers was almost deafening, but it seemed to be quiet enough so that no one’s hearing was irreparably damaged.

    “IF I HEAR YOU CALL IT A BLOODY FOOKIN’ BLIMP AGAIN, IMMA COME DOWN THERE AND KICK YER’ ARSE MESELF!”

    “Ah yes, von our newest additions. An Irish Tinker, und, her language not-vithstanding, she is rather talented.” Gasatrem said, trying to cover up the tinker’s ramblings.

    The tinker in question soon appeared, a short, ginger, skinny woman with short hair and wearing grey overalls, started stomping out of the zeppelin toward the group.

    “Talented my bloody arse! If it watn’t fer’ me, you lot’d be stuck in Germany! The teleporter on this thing barely held together, and it’s thank’s to my damned good work that the lot’a you are still in one piece! Tha’ thing’s fooked now, and woulda been fooked earlier if I hadn’t been there to keep it together, so show me the propa respect no would ya’ dick ‘ead?”

    Legend winced. The woman was clearly angry, and while anger was definitely a factor in most Endbringer fights, if it wasn’t directed at the Endbringer itself, then it usually ended in someone breaking the truce. And that never ended well.

    “Now I want you to fuck off an’ fight that bitch, alroit? ‘Cause my zeppelin isn’t gonna be able ta’ take many hit’s from ‘er.” the tinker explained.

    Well, that was good, she still wanted to fight the Endbringer and not the Nazis… because legend got the distinct feeling that although she may be transporting the Gesellschaft, she didn’t have the right attitude for such an organization. At all.

    “Ja, Ja, I understand, we shall keep the Simurgh distracted vhile you bombard her. Just be sure not to kill anyone accidentally, ve do not need to be the ones to blame if the truce is broken.”

    The woman nodded, “Jus’ remember, you owe me fer’ this. I ain’t a part of yer’ damned Nazi cult ‘er whatever I’ve got a bone ta’ pick with the angel bitch and you needed a ride. So jus’ fuck off already.” She said, pushing past them and walking up to Legend.

    “I suppose you’d like to know where I want you to go?” Legend asked.

    The woman shook her head, “Fook no, I jus’ wanted to let ya’ know who ah am and what I’ll be up to. I’ll be outta the bitches range, so don’t go worryin’’ about them armbands. We won’t need ‘em, me an’ the crew’ll be hitten’ from a ways away. Jus’ make sure everyone knows not ta’ fuck wit’ us.” she explained.

    Legend nodded. It wasn’t uncommon for tinkers with extremely long-ranged tech to sit on the outskirts of a Simurgh fight, as they were able to pepper her from afar constantly without having to worry about her scream. It didn’t always work, but it kept the tinkers alive at any rate.

    Regardless, he nodded, “Alright then. Just know that you need to get out of dodge if she starts coming after you.” Legend offered.

    The woman grinned, “Jus’ let ‘er try’n come after us.”

    [-----]

    Taylor twitched.

    “Must. Not. Murder. Zeppelin Nazi’s.” She said through gritted teeth, trying to reign in Alucard’s ranting.

    “They’re Nazis! And they have a zeppelin, Taylor! A ZEPPELIN! We have to go after them, please, pleasepleaseplease pretty please!”

    Taylor shook her head, “Alucard, there’s a truce going on right now! After we’ve fought off the Simurgh, then we can murder the Nazis alright?” she said.

    “Aww… but I wanna…”

    “No! Bad, Alucard! We can kill them after the city-destroying-monster is dealt with!” she reprimanded the voice in her head.

    She got a few funny looks from the people next to her, but she paid them no mind. She was dealing with what felt to her like an over-sized murder-hobo version of a toddler, and it only got worse when two of the capes that had walked out of the gun-coated zeppelin started walking toward her group.

    “They’re coming this way Tay-Tay! Quick! Kill them now, before they have a chance to realize what’s going on!”

    The two capes, who had now been given their explosive armbands, took up positions next to the capes around Taylor. Fortunately, they didn’t seem too keen on conversing with anyone, but it was still frustrating to have them in ear-shot when she was trying to keep Alucard from convincing her that it was somehow a good idea to break the Endbringer truce and that nothing bad would happen if she did.

    “I mean, come on, you’re practically immortal. There’s nothing they could do to stop you!”

    “I don’t know, no one’s been able to escape the Birdcage yet, and I’m pretty sure there have been more than a few teleporters put in there!” Taylor whispered to Alucard, trying to keep as few capes from hearing her as possible.

    Taylor was interrupted from her conversation with Alucard as her armband beeped, and Dragon’s voice came out, “Talismen deceased, CD-6.”

    There had been a few announcements of capes either being downed or killed so far and every time it was announced, the people around her got even tenser. It had only been fifteen minutes since the first wave had been sent in, and they had totaled almost thirty capes. Taylor had tried to keep count, and while she wasn’t sure how many had actually been taken out of the fight permanently due to being down was, but she had counted eight deaths so far.

    “Group two! Move-in!” Legend’s voice called out, and the group in front of her moved forward.

    Flyers took off, carrying some of the capes while the others went in on foot. She wondered how many of them would come back, and if they did, if they would be the same people they were before. The Simurgh was known for messing with people’s heads, even if they managed to get away from her in their allotted time. They might not go crazy at the end of the day, but PTSD and other issues were frighteningly common among veterans of Endbringer fights.

    Ten more minutes passed, and six more capes died. The five-minute mark for the first wave to retreat had begun, and if they didn’t make it out...

    Taylor spotted several members of the first group coming out of the city. A flyer carried two of them, one holding on as best he could while the other… her arm was gone, while blood dripped from where the socket had been. Over the next few minutes, a dozen more capes trickled out of the city, and when the five-minute mark was up…

    She heard the explosions. Seven of them.

    “Baruuk, deceased. Broodlord, Deceased. Disarmer, Deceased. Playgirl, Deceased. Gubbin, Deceased. Nighteye, Deceased. Bloodmark, Deceased.”

    Taylor closed her eyes. She knew it was going to happen, not everyone was going to make it out, and the armbands had been designed to keep people from becoming ticking time bombs. It still made her stomach turn, despite how much she had changed since she triggered.

    “I will admit, that was… brutal. Not as bad as Ontario mind you, those guys were fucking ruthless, but still. Kinda brutal.” Alucard remarked.

    Taylor chuckled mirthlessly, “Someday, you’re going to have to tell me how you got into the situations you did.”

    “Alright! Group three! Move-in!” Legend’s voice shouted, and Taylor’s group began to move forward.

    Taylor teleported, wrapping herself in shadow and moving to the rooftops. She did this three times before she finally found herself looking at the Simurgh herself. The pale, porcelain looking monster was hovering three feet off the ground, her wings wrapping around some kind of device that she was building.

    “Heh, wanna get into the fight before anyone else eh?”

    Taylor looked back in the direction she came from and noted that, sure enough, most of the capes had yet to get anywhere close to where she was. Still, the capes around her now, those from group two were doing their damnedest to do some kind of damage to the Simurgh.

    A brute, a man standing about seven feet tall and wrapped in chains ran out from the corner of a building and grabbed a large piece of rubble, swinging it around before he threw it at the Endbringer, the hunk of concrete being stopped by her telekinesis and being hurled right back at the brute. It hit him square in the chest, slamming him flying into the building behind him.

    “Oof, that had to hurt, is he even still alive?”

    “Grapplechain, downed, CD-5.”

    “Apparently so. Is he from Detroit or Russia?”


    Taylor teleported down to where the cape, Grapplechain, had landed. He was buried in rubble, so Taylor began to dig him out. Fortunately for her, the rubble wasn’t all that heavy, and the cape himself was still conscious and began helping dig himself out. Once all the rubble was cleared off, Taylor helped him up.

    “Thanks, kid, I owe you one.” He remarked, before sending a glare at the Simurgh, “I really thought I might’ve had something there…”

    “Detroit, then. Definitely Detroit. Either that or New Jersy.”

    Taylor chuckled, a laugh void of humor, “Endbringer’s are bullshit like that I guess.”

    Taylor watched as a piece of rubble was sent flying by the Endbringer’s telekinesis, slamming into one of the flyers who had been using a tinker-tech jetpack and rifle. Taylor didn’t need the armband’s announcement to know he was dead, the blood raining down from the sky had been enough.

    “Razorwing, deceased, CD-5.”

    “Damn… lost another one. Think you’ll be alright, kid?” Grapplechain asked.

    Taylor nodded, a determined from on her face, “Yeah, I’ll be fine. Brute seven, actually. Regenerator.” She explained, gesturing to her collar, “I have an idea, but even I’ll admit it’s kind of a stupid one.”

    “What are you thinking, Tay-Tay?”

    The man beside her raised an eyebrow, “What did you have in mind?”

    “You see what she’s building? The gears?” she asked.

    He looked at the device for a moment, and sure enough, whatever the Simurgh was building seemed to be made up of a whole lot of gears and cogs. Bits of wire poked out from here and there, but the whole mechanism seemed to be more steampunk than modern. It was something Taylor would have thought more impressive, had an Endbringer not been the one building it.

    “Yeah, I see it. What’cha thinking?”

    “Tay-Tay, I know you can regenerate, but even I feel the need to point to that doing that will be incredibly painful.”

    Taylor ignored Alucard and grinned at Grapplechain, “You think you can throw me?”
     
  30. Threadmarks: 4.6
    rocketmce

    rocketmce Getting sticky.

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    “You want me to what!?” Grapplechain asked.

    “I want you to throw me into her tinker tech! If I can clog up the gears in it, maybe do some actual damage, that’ll slow her down and maybe distract her long enough for everyone else to do some real damage. So, you think you can do it?” Taylor explained.

    The brute looked from Taylor to the Simurgh, contemplating his options, “... Alright, I can do that. Might want to let Dragon know what we’re doing though, ‘cause I don’t wanna’ get charged with breaking the truce.”

    Taylor nodded, and pressed one of the buttons on her armband, “Dragon, this is Carmilla. Grapplechain and I are going to try something, alright?”

    “Understood, Carmilla. Be careful.”

    Taylor turned to the man beside her and nodded, and with a grunt, he picked her up by her midriff with both hands, “Out of curiosity, what is your power anyway?” Taylor asked absentmindedly.

    He grinned underneath his mask, “Absurd strength, and expert throwing skills.” he said, before spinning around and throwing Taylor forward.

    “Wheeeee!”

    She whooped as she felt the wind go by her, then clenched her teeth as she approached the device. The Simurgh thankfully didn’t notice in time, and Taylor’s feet sank into the grinding cogs of her device. The gears came to a grinding, screaming halt as they crunched and tore at Taylor’s legs, her flesh clogging the mechanism completely.

    “OW! Fuck that hurts!” Taylor cried out.

    The scream that up until that point had seemed barely there, with Taylor not even noticing at first, seemed to quadruple in intensity in her mind. She winced as she felt the Simrurgh’s telekinesis tear at the cogs and gears, trying to identify what had caused it to stop. Taylor reached into a gap in the device, which at a glance contained a jumble of wires and computer chips. Her arm went through, and she grasped a handful of them, before pulling her arm back out.

    She could hear the sparks and snaps of the wires coming loose, and when she finally managed to pull her arm free, she found herself being ejected from the device, likely due to the Simurgh’s own powers. Taylor flew a dozen yards before finally rolling to a stop, groaning in pain.

    “Carmilla, downed, CD-5.” Dragon’s voice echoed from her armband.

    She managed to look down at her body and saw what anyone else would have seen as a horrific sight. Her bottom half was simply gone, with bits of flesh and blood already regenerating. Her left arm, the one that she’d stuck into the machine’s components, was completely charred, with visible bone stained black.

    “Ow…”

    “Yeah… There have only been a few times I’ve done something like that, and while it was worth it at the time, it hurts like a bitch.”

    “Alucard… your commentary is not helping my agony,” Taylor said.

    “Hey, just pointing that fact out.”

    Taylor groaned again and let her head fall back. Her pain had dulled now, though she still felt the familiar aches of regeneration at work. Eventually, she heard the sounds of footsteps coming quickly toward her, large and heavy-set ones as well.

    “Carmilla! Are you al- oh fuck…” she heard Grapplechain’s voice say.

    Taylor looked to the side and saw the man standing roughly five feet away from her, having rounded the corner of a building. She smirked and lifted up what remained of her left arm, “Think some duct tape will fix it?” she asked.

    “Carmilla- Holy shit! How the gell are you still alive!?” He asked, kneeling beside her.

    Taylor chuckled, “Regenerator, remember? I’ll be up an’ at ‘em in a minute. Still hurts like hell though.” She said.

    “People seem to forget about that a lot… I mean you’d think they’d realize that after the eighth time they fill you with bullets that it never seemed to work, but nooo…”

    Grapplechain chuckled, “Well, whatever you did back there, I think you managed to piss ‘er off.”

    Taylor raised an eyebrow, “Oh?”

    He nodded and then pointed in the direction the Simurgh had been in, lifting Taylor’s body upright so that she could see what was happening. The Simurgh was still floating several feet off the ground, but the piece of machinery that she’d been holding was now laying on the ground in a charred pile, with bits of it still on fire. The Simurgh herself seemed impassive, but the various pieces of shrapnel and concrete circling her made Taylor wonder just how badly she’d managed to screw up her plans.

    She was soon encased with fog, and one of the Nazi capes, Night, actually ran into said fog out of view of anyone. Sounds of scraping metal and bestial cries echoed from the cloud, but Taylor couldn’t make out what was going on inside.

    “Ooooh, a catfight! Shame we can’t watch.”

    Grapplechain seemed to notice her confusion, “Night and Fog, Gesellschaft capes. One of them blocks vision, the other turns into a monster when unobserved. A perfect match, and who knows, she might even-”

    Taylor winced as she saw Night’s bleeding body shoot out of the fog, slamming into a glass window and shattering it.

    “Night, downed, CD-6.”

    “That… had to hurt,” Taylor noted.

    The cloud of fog receded, allowing the Simurgh to be viewed once again. Her body was covered in little nicks and cuts, but no real damage seemed to be done. Taylor sighed and looked down at her legs; they were still regenerating and had actually reached her mid-calf now. Still, it was frustrating that her arm was still taking a long time. The flesh seemed to be regrowing underneath the charred muscle, but it seemed to have a hard time digging away at the burnt flesh.

    “I’m guessing it doesn’t usually take this long for you to regenerate?” He asked, gesturing to her legs, which had just reached her ankles.

    Taylor shook her head, “No, no, this is pretty normal for this level of damage, it’s just annoying that I’m sitting here out of the fight.” she said.

    Grapplechain raised an eyebrow, “Carmilla, we’ve been here less than a minute. I’m pretty sure you’ll be in fighting shape in no time.”

    Taylor rolled her eyes, but sure enough, less than fifteen seconds later, her feet were back in perfect condition and her arm -- while not perfect -- was only missing the outer layer of skin and her costume sleeve, which was already growing back. Taylor pushed herself up, standing up on her feet again.

    “Alright! I’m good to go. Think we can pull off something like that again?” she asked with a wide smile.

    Grapplechain laughed, “Not sure it’ll work without her trying to build something, but sure. If we both get out of this alive, I’m buying you a drink.”

    Taylor chuckled, “Technically, I’m underage.”

    “So?”

    “A soda, then. Now come on, I think that zeppelin is about to start bombarding.”

    And sure enough, explosions began ripping into the Simurgh.

    [-----]

    “Ma’am! Night and Fog are clear! Shall we commence bombardment?” one of the crewmen on the helm of the Tinker’s ship asked.

    “Ah ‘course we’re startin’ bombardment! Get the bloody guns goin’ already!” She ordered.

    “Aye, ma’am!”

    Soon after she’d ordered it, she could feel the guns in her ship rumbling, firing their 160mm shells toward’s the angel bitch. She grinned as she saw the fire erupt from the center of the city as her shells hit home. If she had any choice in the matter, she’d keep bombarding until the end of time, but the Endbringer truce was something even she respected, despite her personal dislike for the unwritten rules.

    People didn’t need more reason not to attend Endbringer fights as it was, with around a quarter of the capes in said fights getting killed on a good day.

    She watched the city as the bombardment slowed, and finally halted. She was confident that the capes on the ground had known what she was doing, as she’d kept the piece of mind to keep a radio channel open to the Thinker tent, letting them know when she would be bombarding the area.

    She was about to begin shouting orders again when she saw something from the city flying toward them. At first, she thought it was another cape, maybe someone coming to complain about her methods of fighting the Simurgh, or someone coming to warn her about something. She was deadly wrong.

    Her eyes widened as she managed to identify the object as a small, human-sized hunk of steel flying toward the zeppelin’s hull.

    “BRACE FOR IMPACT-” she said, a split second before the hunk of metal punched through the zeppelin’s armor.

    [-----]

    Legend cursed under his breath as he saw the hunk of metal thrown by the Simurgh slam into the Zeppelin. The breach in the armor was small, but already smoke and flames were pouring from the wound. The vehicle itself started moving forward, and while it was still several thousand feet in the air, Legend could see that it was slowly losing altitude.

    “Dragon, the zeppelin is going down! It’s been hit!” he said into his armband.

    “Eidolon’s on his way!” Came Dragon’s reply, and sure enough, the strongest hero in the world flew past Legend, up toward the zeppelin.

    Legend tore his eyes away from the burning vehicle and looked down at the ongoing fight. He’d been peppering the Simurgh from afar with his own lasers, but as far a distance he was away, he couldn’t do as much damage as he would have liked, but he didn’t want to risk using up his time in her scream’s range just yet.

    He’d heard the report of what Carmilla had done, and while he didn’t know her personally, he thought that he might get her arrest warrant called off if she actually survived. Throwing herself into the Simurgh’s machine, and surviving, had bought the heroes valuable time. Now, they didn’t have to worry about the device being finished early if the Simurgh even tried to finish it at all. In the past when they had managed to destroy her device, it wasn’t uncommon for her to simply give up and try something else.

    And while he was glad they didn’t have to deal with her Tinker-tech, Legend was slightly worried about what that ‘something else’ might be.

    Alexandria flew up beside him, hovering in the air and looking down at the battle, “You think we can win this one?” she asked him.

    He frowned, “You know as well as I do that we never ‘win’ any of the fights with the Simurgh, Alex.” he said.

    She frowned, “I mean do you think we’ll be able to spin it as a win. We’ve already lost over a dozen capes in the first thirty minutes, and I doubt that number is going to slow down.”

    He bit the inside of his cheek. She was right, unfortunately. They’d lost a lot of capes from group one, almost a third of them, and group two was only looking a little better because they hadn’t run out of time yet. Once they did, if all of them didn’t get out, they’d lose even more capes.

    “I don’t know, honestly. If Scion shows up, then we’re good, but…” he trailed off.

    “That comes with other issues in and of itself.” she finished with a nod.

    Scion was a problem. A big one. It was the entire lynchpin that Cauldron was built upon, and Legend hated it. He hated the lies, the deceit, the misinformation. Unfortunately, he really didn’t have much of a say in the matter.

    “What do you think of Carmilla?” he asked, idly sending another beam of energy down in the Endbringer’s direction.

    “She’d powerful. Dangerously so, but so far she doesn’t seem to be a threat.” Alexandria offered.

    Legend nodded, “Once this is over? We should consider giving her some looser restrictions. Maybe offer her a place in the Protectorate. She’s strong, and we need some more strong heroes.”

    “Agreed.”

    Legend was about to continue when his armband beeped. Group two only had five minutes left now, and anyone left behind wouldn’t make it back.

    “Here’s hoping we make it through this one on a high note.”
     
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