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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: 7.1
    rocketmce

    rocketmce Getting sticky.

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    “Say... what are the odds of all this just… blowing over?” Taylor asked as she walked through the city streets, admiring Parian’s handiwork. The girl had been busy during her duel with Ubermensch, and from the massive number of corpses littering the street, Taylor was willing to bet good money that the Nazi fucks had gotten more than they’d bargained for. The sounds of gunfire throughout the city notwithstanding, she figured that she could call it a good day.

    “I mean… it might? Maybe?”

    [No]

    “Queenie, that’s… not exactly encouraging.”

    [Conflict exaggerated beyond normal parameters, drastic action warranted by outside forces. Ideal for the cycle. Dangerous for Taylor… mitigation of danger the priority]

    Taylor blinked, “That’s… sweet of you…?”

    “Tay-Tay, be nice to your sister.”

    “Again, I’m confused as to what you’re talking about… and, wait, hold on a minute, if Queenie is my sister in this analogy, doesn’t that make you my dad? You do know I already have a dad, right?” she asked.

    “Tay-Tay, you’re biological father has never said, to my knowledge, that he is not gay. Therefore I am leaving open the possibility-”

    “Ew! No, fuck! Too much information Alucard!”

    “I mean, I’m a voice in your head, so I very much doubt any fucking would actually happen…”

    [TMI]

    “Thank you, Queenie…” Taylor muttered, continuing forward while trying to bleach her brain of the recent conversation. She found that several buildings were almost in ruins, some of them looking like a train had seemingly run into them… only to pull out and ram into another building. She recognized a bit of collateral damage from Parian's abilities, but she was still unable to locate Parian herself.

    She found an alley that looked more destroyed than the rest; in fact, she ended up having to teleport onto the roof in order to get around it, given the damage. When she looked on the other side of the alley, however…

    "Shit!" She yelled, immediately teleporting down to the bleeding body of Parian. The girl was lying on the ground, a growing patch of red visible on her outfit.

    "Shit, fuck, Parian, listen to me! Don't fall asleep, ok!?" She ordered, grabbing the rogues shoulder with one hand while she tried to put pressure on the bullet wound in her chest.

    "T… Taylor…?" Parian said, her voice quiet, almost a whisper, only for a violent cough to interrupt her, the cloth mask over her mouth getting stained red.

    "Don't talk! Fuck! Queenie, do we have anything? Any healing powers!?" Taylor shouted, trying to stem the bleeding on the outside, still panicking.

    She was used to causing death, not preventing it! Taylor was panicking, and from the frantic emotions running through her head, Queenie was as well. She could practically feel the eldritch entity in her head cycling through powers, combinations of powers, and anything that might work in order to save Parian's life.

    "Tay… this is one of those few times that being a vampire-"

    "Shut the fuck up, Alucard! It's damn hypocritical of me, but I'm not going to let someone whose life I've already saved die while I still have a chance!" Taylor all but shouted, "Queenie, do we have anything!?"

    [Fluid control: negative. Heat sink: negative. Matter reorganization: negative.]

    Taylor cursed again, "Parian, listen to me, I'm going to try and carry you, okay? Panacea- she's a healer, right? We can find her, fix this-"

    Taylor stopped when she felt something grip her hand. It wasn't a strong grip, in fact, she barely felt it at all, but when she looked she saw Parian's strings wrapping around Taylor's hand, the threads looking as if they were fraying at the edges.

    "Taylor… you're here…" Parian muttered, her voice weak and rasped.

    "I'm here. I'm not going anywhere, okay? We can fix this, you're not dying on me, got it?" Taylor ordered.

    [Bacteria cycle: negative. Antimatter manipulation: negative. Dimensional shift: negative.]

    "Tay… it's okay… I'm-" she coughed again, her mask being stained even further red, "it's okay… we're capes, it's… it's normal…"

    Taylor began to feel her cheeks get wet, "Parian. You are not going to die here, alright? You're going to build your boutique back up, and you're going to make me a damn good looking suit, you hear me? Mine's getting worn out as it is..."

    "It doesn't matter, Taylor. We're vampires. It doesn't matter if she dies now, or sixty years from now. You'll outlive her. You'll outlive everyone. You're a monster, now, and all you can do-"

    "Shut. The fuck. Up! I'm a monster, so fucking what!?"

    She felt her mist extending, taking shape in front of her as Alucard used her projection power to give himself a body like he had a handful of times before. Taylor looked up at him, at his pale, uncaring face.

    "Monsters don't get happy endings, Taylor. None of us do. You can't even turn her into a monster yourself, the rules won't allow for it. Even if she was a virgin, both of you are women. The original Carmilla, the one whom you named yourself after learned that the hard way." He chuckled slightly, "I suppose that might've been why she was such a bitch."

    [Hydro manipulation: negative. Dimensional projection: negative. Host projection: negat- [ERROR] new data acquired. Administrative projection: plausible.]

    Taylor shot up, "Queenie! You got something!?"

    Alucard's brow raised, but he remained quiet.

    [Administrative projection: [SHARD] avatar projected in [HOST] dimension. Rules of out of context data scenario: vampire conversion required virgin of the opposite gender. Proposal: Queen Devourer outside of gender standard, propose conversion of [HOST] Parian.]

    Taylor’s eyes widened as she jumped to her feet, “Would that work!?” she looked to Alucard, noticing that his own eyes were wide.

    He blinked. Then he laughed, a dark, full laugh, “That might actually work!” He said, “Well then, let’s break the rules, shall we?”

    Taylor grinned, “Queenie?”

    [Initiating Administrative projection.]

    Taylor felt as if her breath had been knocked out of her, as the black mist began flowing off of her in the same way as it had when Alucard had formed his own body. Instead of it coalescing into another person, however, the mist began changing color, and Taylor found that, despite her own abilities, she found the shape the mist was taking to be harder to look at than normal.

    The mist became a warping, roiling red that seemed to change in shape and size with no rhyme or reason. After less than a minute, though, it finally formed into a recognizable shape. Taylor’s eyes went wide as she looked at the shape that her power took.

    In a way, it looked just like her. It had her body, her hair, and her outfit, but that was where the similarities ended. Her eyes were heterochromatic, with one of them being completely black, while the other glowed a bright red, much like the eye of the Endbringer she’d just killed had. Her hair seemed to float and writhe in unnatural ways, never seeming to remain still, as if it was floating in zero gravity. On her back, however, was perhaps one of the most defining features. Five wings, two coming out of the left side of her back and three on her right, the same pale white of the Simurgh. Red mist flowed off of her from every part of her body, giving her a ghostly, wraith-like appearance.

    Queen Devourer stepped forward out of the mist, toward Parian. She kneeled next to her opposite Taylor, looking down at her. Parian, almost unconscious from blood loss, could only look up at the eldritch being before her, unable to speak or understand what she was looking at. Taylor smiled, “Heh, Alucard?” she asked, looking up to her mentor, even as he looked at the scene unfolding before him, “Fuck not getting happy endings.”

    Queen Devourer reached down, pulling the collar of Parian’s costume out of the way as she lowered her mouth to her neck, sinking her fangs into Parian’s dark-skinned neck.

    [-----]

    AN: Ye.
     
  2. Threadmarks: 7.2
    rocketmce

    rocketmce Getting sticky.

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    It was cold. She was thirsty. Her entire body ached, she felt like she’d ran a marathon, then swam the English channel, and finally gotten beaten half to death by overeager raccoons. She tried to open her eyes, only to be blinded by a bright red light.

    “Hey! She’s waking up!” A voice said.

    She recognized the voice, but couldn’t put her finger on where she’d heard it before, or who the voice belonged to. Her mouth was dry, and she tried to call out for something, anything to quench her growing thirst. She needed water, or food, something to help the ever-growing combination of thirst and hunger.

    “Oh shit! You’re probably starving, ok… um…” The voice paused, and she heard footsteps before she felt something prodding at her mouth, “Okay, here, drink this, it should help.”

    She felt liquid run across her lips and into her mouth. Her tongue was hit with the sweet taste of… something, she wasn’t quite sure what it was, but it was wet, and probably water. She swallowed, and after a couple of seconds of drinking the slow trickle of sweet, delicious fluid, she felt her strength begin to return to her. She tried to lean forward, trying to get bigger gulps of whatever it was she was drinking, it was so sweet and warm that she just wanted more.

    “Well isn’t she thirsty?”

    “Woah, there, slow down, okay?”

    The voice again… who was that? She tried to remember her name… T-something. Terra? No. Tammie? Again, no. Taylor…? Yes, that sounded right. But… then there was someone else, someone she didn’t recognize.

    The flow of liquid came to a halt. She paused, grunting as she tried to open her eyes, trying to figure out why the flow had stopped. She managed to open her eyes, just in time to see Taylor looking down at her.

    “Hey, Sabah! You’re awake!” she said, a fanged smile on her face.

    “T… Tay… thirsty….” Sabah begged, her throat still aching from thirst.

    Taylor frowned, “Hmm… you drained the last one already… Ah!” She perked up when she looked away, and Sabah turned her head to see… Taylor? Walking along dragging a… a body? “Thanks, Queenie! I don’t know why she’s so thirsty, I know I wasn’t when I was turned…”

    The other voice spoke up, “Well, yeah, but you also weren’t dying of blood loss when you were turned. And you did end up going on a bit of a rampage that night, remember?”

    “Yeah, that is true,” Taylor said, before getting up from beside Sabah and walking over to her duplicate.

    The first Taylor took the body from the second Taylor and dragged it over to Sabah. She twisted one of its hands violently, snapping it off and allowing a spray of blood into the air, the sight of which made Sabah’s throat ache. Her eyes blurred, as the sweet smell coming off of the blood-covered arm reached her. She… she needed it, the blood.

    Using whatever strength she had available, she forced herself to roll over, closer to the stream of red liquid that flowed from the arm. With a heave, she forced herself onto her hands and knees, reaching out for the appendage, which Taylor handed her.

    “Hey, just be careful alright? This stuff is pretty…” Taylor’s voice vanished, as Sabah began to lap at the blood flowing from the limb, before becoming frustrated with the slow speed at which it was coming out and biting into it, sucking the blood from the body as quickly as she could.

    She felt her strength begin to return to her as she drank more of the sweet, delicious blood. Her senses came back to normal, she could smell more clearly, feel the ache of her bone and muscle, taste the sweet blood, and she could hear Taylor talking to herself, and when she finally finished, draining the corpse of all it had to offer, she opened her eyes and saw that the world was no longer a blur, the red tint of her vision gone, allowing her to see clearly again.

    She sat on her knees, blinking as she opened her mouth to speak, yelping as she finally became aware of the fact that she had been holding a human arm in her mouth, which flopped across her chest and onto the ground. She scrambled backward, her brain whirling at the conscious realization that she had just been drinking actual human blood.

    “Hey, Sabah, you ok?” Taylor asked, and the girl in question looked up to see Taylor kneeling next to her, with a… different version of her standing behind her.

    Taylor tracked where Sabah’s eyes went, noting her double with a click of her tongue, “Ah! Introductions! Sabah, this is Queen Devourer, she’s the one that saved your life and turned you into a Vampire. She’s also sorta-kinda-not-really a magic space parasite? The jury’s still out on that one, honestly.”

    Sabah, to her credit, did not immediately pass out or start hyperventilating. She slowly, carefully, and methodically ran what Taylor had said through her mind, “I… what?

    Taylor sighed, “Okay, well, that was the short version, would you like the long version?”

    “That was honestly a bit longer than I would’ve put it to, so, there is that.” the other, definitely male voice said.

    She whirled around to see an extremely tall, pale man standing behind them, leaning against a wall wearing an outfit slightly reminiscent of Taylor’s own outfit that Sabah had made for her. She turned back to Taylor, and continued to run the short version of the story through her head, and, finding it somewhat lacking, nodded hesitantly, “The… the longer version…”

    “Ok, all Parahuman’s have these things called shards leeching off of our brains, which give us powers in exchange for data. Queenie here,” She said, pointing to her doppelganger who waved at Sabah, “Is the one that was intending to leech off of me, until a right smug son of a bitch-” she pointed to the man leaning against the wall “decided to rewrite the script and turn us both into Vampires. You with me so far?”

    Sabah blinked, “I-”

    “Good! Okay, so, now that the two of us are vampires -- fuck-mothering vampires, might I add -- we get a bunch of cool powers that essentially amount to-”

    “Wait, no, what!? Taylor- what the hell are you talking about? I- Vampires? I-I don’t…” Sabah reeled as she tried to process the information that Taylor had been throwing at her without pause, something that she was struggling to do even when she wasn’t standing.

    Taylor sighed, “Alright… ok, how about this, you ask questions and I answer them, how’s that sound?”

    Sabah nodded dumbly, trying to figure out what to ask first, “So… you’re a vampire?” she asked, “Like, drink blood, turn to dust in sunlight, can’t walk into a house without someone’s permission?”

    Taylor wrinkled her nose, “God no, only one of those you got right was the drinking blood. No, sunlight doesn’t really bother me,” she said, gesturing to their surroundings, and now that Sabah actually looked, she could see that it was probably late afternoon, and even though the sun was beginning to set, it was still visible “And no, I don’t need permission to enter people’s houses… it’s kind of hard to kill someone if you need to ask permission first.” She said with a shrug.

    Sabah shook her head, “So wait… you had a trigger event, but, it turned you into a vampire?”

    Taylor waved her hand in a ‘so-so’ motion, “Not quite. See, when someone has a trigger event, a shard latches onto them and gives them their powers. In my case, however, my shard -- Queenie here -- got interrupted by Alucard over there, who turned both me and Queenie into Vampires. A long series of emotional events and struggles later, and, well, here we are.”

    Sabah nodded, before turning back to the man that had been quietly waiting behind them, “And… who are you?” she asked.

    The man smiled, before chuckling, then breaking into a full laugh, his mouth opening to reveal a mouth full of sharp teeth, “My dear, I am Alucard, hunter of monsters most foul, slayer of women’s hearts, and fuck-mothering Vampire extraordinaire. At your service.” He said, his eye twinkling.

    Sabah blinked, completely unsure of what to make of the person standing before her, “Um… so, wait… you’re the one who turned Taylor into a vampire?”

    Alucard smiled, “Indeed I am. You can, however, thank her for your own salvation, due to our… unique situation.”

    Sabah thought about what he said before she remembered just what she had been doing a minute earlier and what Taylor had said she had done to her. She spun around, eyes locking onto the Nazi corpse that was lying on the street, and as she stared at the dried husk of a corpse, she began to shake, feeling a creeping clawing it’s way back into her.

    “I-I… I did that?” she asked, her throat drying up as she looked at the results of what she had done. She had killed plenty of people up to that point; they were Nazis, for crying out loud, but as she put the pieces together and recognized what she had been capable of doing, what she had already done, made her skin crawl.

    “Hey,” Taylor said as she put a hand on her shoulder, “Don’t freak out, ok? Yeah, I turned you into a vampire. Vampires feed off blood, remember? And besides, the guy was dead already, and besides, you’ll be drinking live people in no time!” she said with a grin.

    Sabah inhaled deeply, calming herself to a certain extent. She brought her string-hands to her face and wiped away the dirt, blood, and grim. The sensation of the strings on her skin was… clean, she thought was the right word. And all she had to do to clean them was let her threads vanish into the aether, the grime falling to the ground, and when they appeared they were a clean, shining white.

    She looked up at Taylor, a faint smile on her lips, “That… was probably the worst possible thing you could have said. Thank you.”

    Taylor laughed, and she could hear Alucard chuckle, and despite her situation, she couldn’t help but laugh as well.

    “Well, while I must admit this is a touching reunion, I do believe the two of you should get a room.” Alucard announced, causing the two of them to blush instantly, “Oh come on Tay-Tay, I live in your head! I’ve seen the way you eye her.”

    “Shut up Alucard!”

    Despite herself, the interaction only made Sabah laugh harder. Her life may have been changed forever, but considering that appeared to be a weekly occurrence when Taylor was involved, she figured she may as well roll with the punches.

    “I don’t care if she is hot, you’re a pervert and would try to peek anyway!”

    “That’s not denial~!”

    [-----]

    Queen Devourer eyed the Shard in front of her. It wasn’t like the other shards that she’d eaten; no, those were, as her name implied, devoured. This one, though, [Binding Manipulator] wasn’t devoured in the same way that the other’s were… at least, not completely.

    Vampirism interacted strangely with Shards, and had the Thinker still been alive, she likely would have been overjoyed at the amount of data that could be gathered from them. They were unlike anything they had ever encountered, so wildly out of context that even the precognitive abilities of the Entities had trouble predicting them, which was part of the reason that the conflict engines had been so easy to deal with. How could they fight something that they could not properly see?

    Still, back to the point at hand, Queen examined the shard in front of her. When she had turned the Shards host, she had been presented the opportunity to devour [Binding Manipulator] outright but had thought better of it. Host Sabah had been relying on her shard’s power in order to function properly, her limbs being replaced by the shard’s summoned strands. No, she couldn’t devour it wholesale; she needed to get creative.

    Her first thought was to turn the shard in the same way that she had turned Sabah, and Alucard had turned herself and her host. However, that had the potential to cause problems. Should the shard not be inclined to follow along, to serve or partner with its host in the same way that she had with Taylor, it was likely that it might try to consume its own host; it was not attached to Sabah in the same way that Queen was attached to Taylor. It had been collecting data for some time already, while Queen Administrator had only just linked with its host, before being interrupted by Alucard.

    She had been given time to form an… emotional bond, one might say, with her host. She would go to great lengths to protect Taylor, and in many ways, she felt the closest thing to fear that shards could feel at the thought of losing Taylor as her host. It didn’t help that being Turned in the way that she had been, she was losing some of what made her a shard, losing some of that eldritch unknowable sentience, and becoming something far more… primitive.

    At the end of the day, however, that didn’t matter all that much. She had begun Devouring other Shards; a far more efficient way of gathering data, if you were to ask her, and now she was presented with a shard that she could not devour in its entirety.

    So instead of devouring it or turning it into a vampire-shard hybrid like herself, she turned it into something else. It was still alive; technically speaking, at least, but it no longer served its original purpose. Now, it was closer in function to that of the ghouls that Taylor left in her wake, at least, relatively speaking. A shard and a human were so radically different in nature and function, that comparing a Ghoul to what [Binding Manipulator] was now would be silly at best. Still, such a comparison did serve its purpose. Now, Sabah could use her power at its highest capacity; within reason, of course, Queen didn’t want her to accidentally kill every living being within a miles radius, after all.

    With that finished, she turned her metaphorical eye to the metaphorical horizon; the future held a great deal, and there were many enemies for herself and Taylor to face. And as much as she hated to admit it, morning would come on their midnight walk, and when it did, they would need to be able to bloody gold.
     
  3. rocketmce

    rocketmce Getting sticky.

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    And with that we are all caught up! Hopefully I can pull myself together soon in order to get a new chapter out, and hopefully the chapters will now be releasing on here at the same time they do over on SB.
     
  4. steamrick

    steamrick Matter: protons, electrons, neutrons and morons

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    m-m-m-m-m-monster Update :D
     
  5. OdinMage

    OdinMage Getting out there.

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    The only thing I have to say other than YAY!!! Is that 6.5 is lacking a threadmark. Can that be fixed?
     
  6. rocketmce

    rocketmce Getting sticky.

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    Already done! Thanks for pointing it out, QQ has some weird mechanics that make multi-updates a but weirder to thread mark, so I probably would have missed that one.
     
  7. TriedgeThePK

    TriedgeThePK My arm is tired.

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    Ya know, when I log in and see I have 4-6 updates to the stories I'm following, I'm a happy guy. 20+ Updates!? The return of the why-boner, WITH A VENGEANCE!
     
  8. Autocorruptor

    Autocorruptor Corrupting Innocent Grammar

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    Yeah, don’t expect any more updates for a few days/weeks. This is the entire backlog of chapters.
    Although it is very awesome to get 20+ chapters in one go
     
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  9. Thorfaxdragonkin

    Thorfaxdragonkin (confirmed ark survivor)

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    Wake up to a pack of raptors calling ng from my phone instantly pissed see why my phone was going off and any anger I had is now gone.
     
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  10. ErubianWarlord

    ErubianWarlord need longer titles for this site

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    Ho-ly shit Queenie is something else i mean fuuuuck. That last line giving me chills i wonder how many others will Queen Devourer turn before the Morning comes
     
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  11. Threadmarks: 7.3
    rocketmce

    rocketmce Getting sticky.

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    “Decommission the masks.”

    “Director Piggot?” Rennick asked, staring at the woman before him, taking note of her slimmer physique. Less than a month after she had finally accepted the standing offer from Panacea, and she had already lost more weight in that time than she had since before Elisburg.

    “You heard me, Deputy Director. Decommission the masks. The costumes will likely be tossed aside as well, given Vista’s attitude toward the subject.”

    Rennick felt the sweat begin to pile up on his brow. He knew full what had led up to the order, given Vista’s refusal to wear any kind of identity protection. The other Wards weren’t nearly as gung-ho as she was, but Aegis and Clockblocker both kept their masks off unless they were told by a superior to put them back on. Gallant and Kid Win were far less open on the subject, but they didn’t try to influence their fellow Ward’s decisions once Vista had verbally disemboweled Gallant when he tried to get her to put her mask back on.

    It didn’t help that several of the protectorate members themselves seemed to support the idea. Armsmaster had even gone so far as to noncommittally endorse the idea, pointing out that only himself, Kid Win, and Gallant gained any real tactical benefit from the masks. For the rest of them, it was merely another part of the costume, and in many cases, it could very easily turn into a detriment. Miss Militia hadn’t agued against them either and had herself been wandering the Rig without her bandanna.

    The other heroes were split on the subject. Quite vehemently in some cases, such as Dauntless and Triumph, who were both against the idea seemingly on principle. It seemed unfortunate, then, that Piggot’s latest decision went against their own opinions.

    “What about the Youth Guard?” Rennick pointed out, “They’re likely to cause a fuss if we start sending them out without identity protection.”

    Piggot looked him dead in the eyes, “Then tell them to explain what I should do when the villains stop following the rules. When they stop caring about basic human decency and start acting like rabid animals.” she said. Her voice was laced with a cold tone. She had never been much of a fan of the Youth Guard, and the invasion of Brockton Bay hadn’t helped matters, given that they had gotten a request to transfer all Wards into protective custody.

    Suffice to say, the request had been ignored.

    “They can wear the masks if they would like, but we will no longer be enforcing the rules about wearing them. We won’t be commissioning any new ones, should we perhaps gain any new members. Speaking of…” she turned to the laptop that was sitting on her desk, several files pulled up before her, “There was an Endbringer attack, on top of a foreign invasion. If there weren’t any new triggers, I’m willing to personally lead an assault against the CUI.”

    Rennick nodded, “Well, so far only six have come to the Protectorate of their own accord…”

    [-----]

    Missy sat on her bunk in the Wards wing of the Rig. After she had stated her refusal to wear a mask anymore, the Protectorate had insisted she stay on the rig ‘for her own protection’. She could see through their words, though. Despite being the youngest of the Wards in Brockton Bay, she was the most experienced and had been a cape longer than any of the others. That was probably the reason she was able to figure out why the rules were so screwed up first.

    Dennis and Carlos had been the two that had joined up with her on the idea, and even though they weren’t as… vehement, about it as she had been, they were both able to see things from her point of view, and they both admitted that the world around them had gotten pretty fucked up.

    It also helped that Miss Militia wasn’t seeming to bother with wearing a mask either.

    There was a knock on her door, “Hey, Missy, you in there?” she heard a voice, Dennis, she recognized, say.

    “Yeah, hold on a minute,” she said, getting up and opening the door.

    Dennis was wearing his costume -- sans the helmet -- and was holding a lunch tray filled with food, “Just got back from a patrol with Assault and Battery, and Carlos told me you missed lunch, so I brought you some.” he said, offering her the food tray.

    Missy looked up at the clock on her wall -- 1:32 PM. “Huh… I guess I did miss lunch, thanks,” she said, taking the offered tray. She walked over to the table on the side of her room, setting the tray of food down on it.

    She was about to sit down to eat, when a thought occurred to her, “Hey, Dennis?” she asked, the boy in question pausing midstride as he was turning around to leave, “Did they tell you to wear a mask?” she asked.

    Dennis frowned, “Yeah. I… well, Battery did, I tried arguing with her, but she just brought up the fact that it was regulation, even if we disagreed with it. Though, Assault pointed out that once we graduated we could do whatever, so… Maybe he’s not as against the idea as some of the others? Battery did give him the stink-eye after though.”

    Missy frowned, wondering just how many of the Protectorate capes were having disagreements on the subject, “Well, thanks for the food.” she said.

    Dennis bowed, “You are most welcome, fair maiden.” he said dramatically, before turning around and walking off.

    Missy pulled out her laptop, deciding to browse PHO whilst she ate. She knew it was a bad habit, but she’d picked it up from both her parents and several of the other Wards. As she munched on some meatloaf, beans, and what she was fairly sure was supposed to be sausage gravy and biscuits -- she could never tell what the cafeteria would try to give her -- she was scrolling through PHO.

    A lot of it was just repeating information, people freaking out about the invasion and what Carmilla had to do with the whole matter. Missy sometimes wondered if she should try to contact her, but then, how would she? Carmilla didn’t have a registered phone number, and no one was really sure what her PHO account was. A handful of accounts had claimed to be her, but those had quickly been determined to be fakes.

    Realistically, the best way to get into contact with her up to that point had been to find her in the midst of combat with another cape or to actively try and go after her which… didn’t end well for those that tried. It didn’t help that her identity was semi-public either, meaning that anyone who really wanted to could look up who she was, her being the Carmilla, the Vampire Cape as PHO had dubbed her, seemed to work as a deterrent. Though, given her reputation, it was an admittedly effective deterrent.

    She was about to close her laptop when she spotted a particular thread on the Brockton Bay Boards, one that made her pause. It was Authored by someone going by ‘TheCrimsonFckr’ and was titled “Fantastic Vampires and how NOT to get eaten!” Considering the topic of the post, she decided to go ahead and read it. After doing so… well, she wondered just how safe the people of Brockton really were; they were either the safest people on the planet, or they had better skip town as fast as possible because if Carmilla snapped, there probably wasn’t much that could save them.

    [-----]

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    [​IMG]Topic: Fantastic Vampires and how NOT to get eaten!
    In: Boards ► Brockton Bay ► Capes


    TheCrimsonFckr (Original Poster) (Verified Cape) (Fuck-Mothering Vampire)
    Posted on May 16, 2011:

    So! you lot must be quite confused, so let me remedy that! I, TheCrimsonFckr, am none other than Carmilla, the Vampire Cape! You can check my tags, I made sure the mods got them right (Disclaimer: no mods were threatened and/or eaten during the verification process) so now people can actually contact me!

    This thread will be mostly telling you all about myself, but it will also function as a sort-of AMA! So if anything isn't clear, feel free to ask me!

    Let's go ahead and get the obvious out of the way: What are my powers?

    Short version? I'm a vampire, I drink blood, have super strength and speed, can turn into a bat (sort of), turn people into ghouls, and regenerate. That's the simple version. And the one that if you are a villain will also get you killed if you rely on it.

    More complicated: I'm a trump, and a stupid powerful one at that. The vampire abilities are just my base powers, the ones that I default to when I can't be bothered to pick a trump power. As to how my trump power works? Quite simple really. If I eat a parahuman, I gain their power. I can either use it myself or use what I think is their soul as a familiar. I like doing that with hookwolf, he good doggy now.

    Now with the powers out of the way, I can explain my oh-so tragic backstory!... Nah, I'm not going to do you all like that. though I will note that from a certain perspective it is rather tragic, but, eh, live and let live and all that. Now, I'm only going to type this once, so pay attention:

    I don't give a flying fuck about the unwritten rules. I feel this should be obvious, given my body count and that it's not really that hard to figure out who I am, but I feel it needs to be said. The only one I sort of agree with is not using a capes family against them, but that has its own set of problems I won't get into.

    The point? If you are a villain and you see me coming in you're general direction, you had better get on your knees and beg for mercy because if you decide to fight, you're going to end up with your insides on your outsides. On the flip side, please, if you do want to fight me, just say so, I need a good punching bag and I kinda need to keep my current one alive so I can't really be as rough as I usually am.

    Also, if you mess with my dad, not even Scion could save you.

    I also like Nazis. They taste good. And Asians. Hobos and merchants are disgusting though, they taste like sewer water and cocaine.

    Now with all of that out of the way, questions!

    (Showing Page 1 of 17)

    ► Luke_Ario13
    Replied on May 16, 2011:
    So... umm... I'm glad I've left the bay. Anyone else?

    ► ScurvyDoge
    Replied on May 16, 2011:
    How do you know what cocaine tastes like?

    ► Lemon65
    Replied on May 16, 2011:
    So wait, if you are genuinely an actual Vampire, can you turn other people into Vampires? That'd be so cool!

    ► LordCorgi (Veteran Member)
    Replied on May 16, 2011:
    @Lemon65
    Not how powers work my friend. Even though she is a trump (and a scary one at that) I don't think her power goes quite that far.

    If I were to guess, it probably works very similarly to how other people have theorized; her primary power is the striker bit that lets her eat people, which has side effect Brute, Changer and Trump powers. Though now that I actually read it coming from the lady herself... we may have guessed wrong.

    ► Dive Bucket
    Replied on May 16, 2011:
    There's no way this is real... this can't be real, right? Carmilla's been active for months, and only NOW gets a PHO account!?

    ► NameThief
    Replied on May 16, 2011:
    What's the deal with the tags? 'Fuck-Mothering Vampire'? I've never seen that one before.

    ► TheCrimsonFckr (Original Poster) (Verified Cape) (Fuck-Mothering Vampire)
    Replied on May 16, 2011:
    @Luke_Ario13
    Sorry, you feel that way buddy, but I feel you. I've thought about leaving the Bay myself some time, though I have a feeling I'd only be brought back by something.

    @ScurvyDoge
    Because the crackheads love the stuff. And one tried to chuck a bag of it into my face, which then exploded and got inhaled. I don't really recommend the Experience, in spite of what Alucard says.

    @Lemon65
    I feel as though that's a rather personal question... and I think I'll let her answer that herself when she gets the courage to.

    @LordCorgi
    You have no idea just how far off the mark you were. Though I will admit, you lot got closer than most.

    @Dive Bucket

    I've actually had an account for a while now, but only just now bothered to get it verified! [​IMG]

    @NameThief
    Personal in-joke with Alucard. Most people don't get it.

    ► Airier (Veteran Member)
    Replied on May 16, 2011:
    Who's Alucard?

    ► Arch
    Replied on May 16, 2011:
    So hold on one moment, you're saying you eat capes and get their powers? How many capes have you eaten?

    ► Nurolace (Cape Wife)
    Replied on May 16, 2011:
    Please tell me you're staying a hero. Things are bad enough as it is.

    Arch
    If what I remember my husband telling me about Canberra is enough to go by... a lot. She's eaten a lot of capes.
    End of Page. 1, 2, 3 ... 15 , 16, 17

    (Showing Page 2 of 17)


    ► Lemon65
    Replied on May 16, 2011:
    @Nurolace
    Wait a minute... if she ate capes from Canberra, wouldn't that mean she'd have broken the truce? what's with that?

    ► Tanya-san
    Replied on May 16, 2011:
    Wait, back up a bit, who is this Alucard she's talking about? I looked on the PRT website and came up with nothing.

    ► ThomasAintIt
    Replied on May 16, 2011:
    @Lemon65
    If I remember right, the circumstances were a bit different. She only ate the dead capes, none of the alive ones soooo... not great, but technically not breaking the truce?

    ► Fossilnet (Veteran Member)
    Replied on May 16, 2011:
    @Lemon65
    Dead capes don't count I don't think. I'm pretty sure there are some capes that used the corpses of others in previous battles, but I couldn't give you anything specific.
    Edit: Stranger'd

    ► TheCrimsonFckr (Original Poster) (Verified Cape) (Fuck-Mothering Vampire)
    Replied on May 16, 2011:
    @Aireir
    Tanya-San
    The crazy perverted voice in my head. Pay him no mind, he's only the one who turned me into a vampire and/or gave me my powers. It's weird, and no I will not be posting what he is wanting me to.

    Arch
    I think I lost count around 300~ish? There were a lot of dead people at Canberra.

    @Nurolace
    No need to worry! I'm a hero through and through, and hopefully, things will be getting better soon.

    @Lemon65
    @ThomasAintIt
    @Fossilnet
    When I did eat a bunch of capes, no one seemed to care, so either way, it doesn't really seem to matter if it breaks the Truce?

    ► Parian (Verified Cape)
    Replied on May 16, 2011:
    Oh god you're actually making this thread... Carmilla please don't go eat someone if they offend you.

    ► XxVoid_CowboyxX
    Replied on May 16, 2011:
    @Parian
    What was that about eating those who offend her!?

    ► Fossilnet (Veteran Member)
    Replied on May 16, 2011:
    @Parian
    Oh hey, you're here to... you wouldn't happen to have any insight on Carmilla's inner workings, would you? I've heard that the two of you seen to hang out a bit.

    ► Parian (Verified Cape)
    Replied on May 16, 2011:
    XxVoid_CowboyxX
    Unless you have done something to personally offend her, you will probably be fine... though I would suggest, at a glance given your post history, that you intentionally avoid provoking her.

    @Fossilnet
    Unfortunately, there's not much I can say that she hasn't already. Beyond the fact that she is a massive pain in the neck and an absolute nightmare to share lunch with.

    ► TheCrimsonFckr (Original Poster) (Verified Cape) (Fuck-mothering Vampire)
    Replied on May 16, 2011:
    XxVoid_CowboyxX
    I can find you if you do 0.0

    @Parian
    Aww, you do care!
    End of Page. 1, 2, 3, 4 ... 15 , 16, 17

    [-----]

    Taylor cackled as she read the responses her thread was getting on PHO. Most of it was people freaking out over the fact that she even had a presence on the site at all, though there were plenty of people who were speculating over who she actually was. Such infamous users such as AllSeeingEye were there as well, with Lisa having taken over answering the more mundane or obscure questions asked, though Taylor herself ended up answering anything particularly personal.

    “Hey, Alucard, you don’t think this will backfire, do you?” she asked.

    “With millions of people having access to the internet, your identity, your powers, and any and all possible ways to counter you?... Nah, you’ll be fine. Right, Queenie?”

    [Threat: Information Reliquary, minimal interference.]

    “See? The only possible threat isn’t even able to take advantage of the information!”

    Taylor shrugged, “Fair. Still, I feel like there’s something missing, something that we should be doing…”

    “Well, the plot has been meandering for a bit. I can’t say it’s all that enjoyable, and we haven’t killed anything since Major-lite.”

    “... if that sentence came from literally anyone else, it would probably be cause for concern… why the hell am I getting introspective all of the sudden?”

    “Good question! Wanna go to Ireland? You’re a millionaire, you can afford it.”

    “What’s in Ireland?” Taylor asked.

    “Leprechauns! I never did get to kill one, and I want to find out if it explodes into lucky charms when you shoot it! Gotta do Anderson a solid after all.”

    Taylor frowned, “Why take a plane when we could teleport?”

    “Because taking a plane is more fun! We can bring a box of snakes on and throw them at Samuel L. Jackson!”

    Taylor paused, silence reigning for a full minute, “That’s a reference, isn’t it?” she asked.

    “Damn. You never got snakes on a plane did you?”

    “I don’t know who Samuel L. Jackson is either.”

    “... we have seriously got to educate you.”

    [-----]


    AN: I know I say this every time I update this story, but hopefully I can get back into the swing of writing this thing and maybe finishing it. On a side note, I do have a Patreon if y'all are at all interested. Maybe send a few dollars my way before the world decides that money isn't worth anything anymore. You also get access to the discord if you do so, so there's that.
     
  12. Autocorruptor

    Autocorruptor Corrupting Innocent Grammar

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    Look upon my works ye mighty, and despair!
    This is what you have been reduced to, Hookwolf! A good doggy!
     
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  13. Creus

    Creus The 38th Generation Sun Knight

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    Since no one said it until now, I will ... How Many Breads Have You Eaten In Your Life?
    [​IMG]
     
  14. sssisss

    sssisss Know what you're doing yet?

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    Being good dog is a step up, really, from a nazi, dog-fighting, murdering scumbag.

    Might even consider it redemption post-mortem.
     
  15. R3D4K73D

    R3D4K73D Getting some practice in, huh?

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    Crossposting from SB:

    People forget that The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy is canon, and that Aleph & Bet both have different versions, Both of which Taylor Has seen.

    And, yes, that means that She should recognize him at least as one of the "Mace Windu"s (assuming that Bet's version either did or didn't cast him in the same role.)
     
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  16. Stanley_Jeb

    Stanley_Jeb Know what you're doing yet?

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    ...Please tell me you mean the existence of those movies on Earth Bet is canon, not that Darth Vader is a thing that exists in Worm.

    On another note, chances are she just didn't look up the actors. I know I don't look them up for every movie, especially if I didn't like the movie (and the prequels aren't really my favorites).
     
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  17. MorDrakka

    MorDrakka Professional Dinah Apologist

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    Little did you know that in Earth Bet’s rendition of the Star Wars prequels Mace Windu was also played by Nick Cage.
     
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  18. R3D4K73D

    R3D4K73D Getting some practice in, huh?

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    Yeah, I mean that they are canonical movies in Worm, and that Taylor has seen them, though rereading the part where it shows up:

    she hadn't yet watched the Aleph version until before the bank robbery, so i can concede she might not have actually seen Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu.
     
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  19. Threadmarks: 7.4
    rocketmce

    rocketmce Getting sticky.

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    Taylor walked onto the airstrip as she admired her latest purchase. A small private plane with a several million dollar price tags that actually did make a slight dent in her wallet. Granted, she had spent more of her money on other stuff overall, but the plane was probably her most expensive purchase yet.

    Taylor swiftly turned to face the entourage that she had kidnapped invited to come along with her, “So, who’s ready for a trip to Ireland!?” Taylor asked.

    [Leprechauns!]

    “This one’s for you, Anderson!”

    “Taylor… why?” Sabah asked as she stood in front of her friend, trying to wrap her head around the expensive purchase.

    “Why what?”

    “Why all this? The plane, Ireland, wrapping me up in all of this-”

    “And don’t forget the fact that half of us happen to be tied to moving dollies!” An irate Lisa said, gesturing to herself and a man in his late twenties who had duct tape covering his mouth. The man in question was very afraid, but considering the duct tape, couldn’t really add in his own opinions on the matter.

    “But I found Fred like that! And besides, when I asked if he wanted to come with, he said yes!”

    ‘Fred’ tried to say something, but whatever it was he tried to say was muffled by the duct tape.

    “Why is he wanting peanuts? Taylor, tell him he can’t have any peanuts until we get on the plane.”

    “Fred, you can’t have any peanuts until we’re on the plane. Pretzels either, though I’m pretty sure they have cheez-its on there too.” Taylor recited.

    “I’m pretty sure he wasn’t asking for peanuts... and I think he thought you were asking if he wanted you to free him from wherever he was being held captive, not whether or not he wanted to go to Ireland.” Lisa stated pointedly, ‘Fred’ nodding along persistently, “Also, his name is George.”

    “George? Pfft, he’s clearly a Fred!”

    Taylor turned to look at the man, tilted her head to the side with a squint, and muttered, “I’m pretty sure his name is Fred… he looks like a Fred to me.”

    Lisa gave Taylor a deadpan look, “Have you… considered taking the duct tape off?”

    Taylor blinked, “... Why would I do that?”

    “Oh, I don’t know, maybe because he hasn’t actually been able to speak since you kidnapped him?” She half-asked.

    Taylor looked at Fred, “Wait, do you want to be untied?”

    Fred nodded viciously.

    “Wait, seriously? I thought he was just into that kind of thing.”

    [Kinky]

    “... Queenie, we are going to be having a conversation about who’s minds you’ve been reading in a while. In the meantime,” she said, before walking over and grabbing the ropes, ripping them off of him in one fell swoop. In the same motion, she grabbed the tape covering his mouth and ripped it off, causing him to cry out in pain and gasp for breath, “There you go, Fred!”

    When she stepped back, he fell forward onto his hands and knees, gasping for air, “Thank… Gah… you…” he said, trying to recollect himself.

    “You’re welcome, Fred! Now, if everything else is in order, we will now begin boarding!” Taylor said cheerfully, spinning in place and walking toward the plane’s in-built staircase.

    “Hey, aren’t you going to untie me!?” Lisa called out.

    “Nope! Sabah, make sure to wheel Lisa onto the plane, and Fred, you help her, she’s a growing Vampire after all and needs to conserve her strength lest she gets hungry!”

    “Umm… my name isn’t-”

    “Shut up Fred! We’re on a time-table here!”

    With her orders issued, Taylor walked up to the jet and began climbing into it. On the ground, the three other humans were trying desperately to figure out what was going on.

    “... Can I…” Fred said, gesturing behind them, eyes darting as he got ready to make a break for it.

    Lisa looked at him with a tired stare, “Just… go to the PRT building, tell them Carmilla did it, and try not to make yourself too obvious.”

    He nodded rapidly, before booking it in the opposite direction of the jet. Meanwhile, Sabah walked up to the dolly that Lisa was tied to and began pushing her toward the stairs leading into the jet.

    “You aren’t going to untie me?” Lisa asked.

    “The only outcome of untieing you would be Taylor re-tieing you, likely much tighter and more uncomfortable. I’d rather not have to deal with that.”

    With that said, the two boarded the plane. Sabah put Lisa in the back, before walking up to the cockpit where Taylor was pressing buttons and flipping switches.

    “Taylor, do you even know how to fly this thing?” She asked, taking a seat in the co-pilot’s seat.

    “Yep! One of the Nazi’s I ate was a pilot and actually knew how to fly these things. Plus, we should have plenty of fuel to reach Ireland, so we should be just fine!”

    “Taylor, I’ll have you know that the words ‘Just’ and ‘fine’ should never be said in the same sentence when speaking of any kind of travel or plan. Just for future reference.”

    Taylor rolled her eyes, “If I’m not mistaken, didn’t you eat Murphy at some point?”

    “Yes, and he gave me indigestion. Something that should not be possible for a vampire. So there.”

    “Fine, fine, I conceded the point, no more invoking Murphy.”

    [Murphy?]

    “He’s a downright psychotic bastard who decided it was funny to watch people suffer from everything that can go wrong, going wrong.”

    [... you?]

    “... Fair, there are a lot of similarities between us, but Murphy’s also an asshole.”

    “You’re not exactly doing a good job of differentiating yourself, Alucard.” Taylor noted, before turning to face a very perplexed looking Sabah, “Also, could you go untie Lisa and make sure Fred gets his Peanuts? It’s going to be a long flight, and they should probably get comfortable.”

    Sabah sighed, “Fine, fine, just keep talking to the voices in your head and don’t crash. I already lost my arms, I really don’t feel like losing my legs too.”

    Taylor wrinkled her nose, “Why your legs specifically?” she asked.

    “Because then I’d be a quadriplegic, and would suffer no end of jokes on your end.” She said as she left the cockpit, leaving Taylor alone.

    “... Why is she worried about jokes? What jokes could I even make about quadriplegics?”

    [Nugget?]

    “Ok, Queenie, you need to stop looking into peoples brains, there’s some stuff in there that even I won’t touch.”

    [-----]

    “What is that?” Aegis asked as Vista walked into the briefing room, not wearing her normal costume, but instead wearing what appeared to be riot gear fitted to her size.

    “That, Aegis, is the first step of the reforms that are going to be put into place. Thank you for wearing the gear, Vista.” Director Piggot said, sitting at the head of the meeting room table.

    In the room were a collection of both full-time Protectorate members and Wards, with Miss Militia, Armsmaster, Triumph, and Dauntless sitting on one side of the table while Aegis, Clockblocker, Gallant, and Kid Win sitting on the other. Deputy Director Rennick Sat next to the Director at the end of the table alongside the full Protectorate Members. Vista took a seat near Kid Win at the edge of the table.

    “Now, with that to start us off, I want to direct everyone’s attention to the folder in front of you,” Piggot explained, lifting up her own folder, “With the recent events surrounding Carmilla, the Gesellschaft, and the pressure from the other members of the Protectorate and PRT, we will be putting forward a number of reforms.”

    “The first is new uniforms; No more costumes, and no more masks. Vista has made it abundantly clear about her stance on the subject already and in light of the invasion of United States soil by a foreign military, we will be changing the standard uniform to something more… appropriate.”

    Rennick spoke up during the brief pause, “Put simply, we won’t be playing by the villain’s rules anymore. Up until recently, there has been a status quo that the wider Protectorate has been… hesitant, to upset. New Wave made it their goal to upset the status quo when they made the first move to reveal their own identities, but as they were little more than a family with little political or institutional backing beyond their own careers and abilities, it did not go well.”

    The older Protectorate heroes nodded, “What happened to Fleur was a tragedy, one that I will not have repeat itself.” Piggot said, “However, instead of simply playing by the villain’s rules and praying they play nice, we will be taking a different approach. Any and all information on villains is to be brought to the Protectorate and PRT immediately. If their identities can be ascertained, a squad will be put together and they will be taken into custody. Without exception.

    “With that in mind, new uniforms will be issued to all members of the Protectorate and Wards. With the exception of Armsmaster, Dauntless, and Kid Win, given their own powers, will be issued uniforms that accommodate those powers. In the case of Armsmaster and Kid Win, the two of you will be issued riot gear that can be implemented with tinker tech. Dauntless will be able to keep his current gear, with the addition of more traditional body armor and modifications to his helmet.” Piggot listed off, with most of the other people in the room moving to eye the gear that Vista was wearing.

    “The Helmets will be equipped with shaded visor in order to protect the identities of the Wards and Protectorate Members. Just because the rules of the game are changing doesn’t mean that the old ones are useless. The rest of the gear will be similar to that of standard PRT trooper riot gear, including but not limited to, kevlar body armor, flares, containment foam grenades, and standard-issue sidearms.” Piggot explained.

    “In addition, broader and more varied patrol routs will be issued, allowing the Protectorate and Wards members to cover more of the city. Those that are legally able will be issued a Patrol Car to navigate the city, with the exception of those members with flight, or tinker tech vehicles of their own design.” She continued.

    Clockblocker raised his hand, “What about villains breaking out all the time?” he asked. Gallant turned to stop his questioning, but a glare from the director stopped him.

    “All criminally charged individuals held in Protectorate custody will be put under intensive twenty-four-hour surveillance and will be moved to a more secure holding cell as soon as one becomes available. Their trial and court sentence will be held as quickly as possible, with identity protection being removed for the purposes of the court of law.” She answered, “In other words, they’ll be unmasked and put into a more secure position before anyone can think to break them out.”

    She eyed the rest of the room, looking to see if anyone would ask any more questions, before moving on, “In regards to lethal force and self-defense. Should any Protectorate or Wards member be put into a situation where it is warranted, lethal force is to be authorized. I won’t have any of my capes being killed or maimed because they weren’t allowed to shoot back at someone trying to put a bullet between their eyes.”

    “In addition, firearms, close-quarters combat, hostage situation, and EMS training is going to be added onto your other training and education. We’ve had one too many incidents where any sort of it would be needed, but was not had.” she explained, “Now, are there any questions?”

    The following barrage of questions, rants, and arguments that followed had Piggot feeling as though she had lost another year of her lifespan.

    [-----]

    Jack wasn’t happy. It was hard enough keeping the other members of the Nine in control before Carmilla had appeared on the east coast, but ever since she had, Crawler had become nigh-on obsessed with her. Mannequin had as well, but for different reasons than Crawler.

    The death of the Simurgh had sent the already quiet, stoic tinker into an almost comatose state. It seemed all he did now was watch the news and look on PHO at what Carmilla’s latest exploits entailed. Jack had considered trying to get rid of Mannequin himself, but the man was far too valuable and obedient for him to simply kill. Doing so would upset the others, and make them wonder if he would do the same to them.

    Regardless, Jack had all but used up whatever charisma he had in order to keep the Nine away from Carmilla. He felt lucky that the Siberian seemed to share his view of avoiding her, though it was still somewhat irritating that they were apparently the only two that held such views. As said before, Mannequin had become obsessed with the vampiric cape, and it seemed as though discussion about her was the only topic he would actively participate in if only marginally more than he normally did.

    Crawler was desperate to go and fight Carmilla, to see if she would hurt him. Predictable, but unlike most predictable behavior, almost impossible to control. There were many times that he had threatened to leave the Nine and go fight Carmilla himself, only convinced by the practical argument that the rest of the Protectorate was unlikely to let him get close to her, and a handful of vague promises that the Nine would eventually make their way to Brockton. He was still only barely convinced, to the point that Jack feared he might one day wake up to find out that Crawler had run off to fight Carmilla.

    The others were marginally easier to handle; Bonesaw wanted desperately to study Carmilla, and quite possibly recruit her. Jack and the Siberian were able to convince her that they would be unlikely to convince her to join them, and even if they could, it wasn’t very likely that Carmilla would let her toy with her insides. She was rather saddened at the declaration, but left it at that, only agreeing with the other members of the Nine when they suggested they go to either fight or recruit Carmilla.

    Burnscar was easy, of course, content to spend her time with Bonesaw or staring at an open flame. Her interest in Carmilla was negligible at best. Shatterbird was much the same, though, without the interest in fire or spending time with Bonesaw, she was content to work on her sculptures and art. Hatchet Face was a similar situation to Crawler, though far less insistence. He wanted so desperately to kill Carmilla, but Jack had persuaded him with similarly false promises that he did Crawler, as well as informing him that it would take some preparation to kill her. As a consequence, he spent almost as much time researching Carmilla as Mannequin did, though for different reasons.

    It was when the group was staying at a camp-grounds in northern Texas that it seemed Crawler had finally had enough.

    “That’s IT! You’ve been saying that we will go to Brockton for weeks, Jack! When will we go?” The massive beast snarled.

    Jack grimaced, “Soon enough, Ned. We cannot be hasty. While you would more than likely survive whatever she might try, the rest of us are not as-”

    “I don’t give a shit, Jack! I’m tired of waiting, and if you’re just going to keep on waiting until the end of time, I’m just going to go and fight her on my own!” he growled, before turning around and stomping off.

    “Ned! Stop! You can’t just leave, we’re a family, here, remember? I said we will go, and we will, alright?” Jack said.

    He almost missed Hatchet Face shoving past him, walking in the same direction as Crawler, “Ya’ been stallin’ Jack, anyone with ‘alf a brain could tell that. I’m with Ned.” the scarred man said, walking after Crawler.

    Mannequin was silent, but Jack saw him slinking after the other two members of the Nine. The other members had stopped whatever it was they were doing, and were now watching the three begin to leave, and Jack could almost feel the control slipping through his fingers…

    “We leave tomorrow!” Jack shouted, causing the three members to halt in their tracks.

    Crawler turned to face Jack, “Tomorrow, eh? No take-backs?”

    Jack grimaced but shook his head. He feared he was going to regret the decision, but it was the only thing he could think of to say in order to keep Crawler, Hatchet Face, and Mannequin to stay.

    “We’re gonna go see Carmilla!?” Bonesaw shouted, her smile almost audible.

    Jack put on his best imitation of a smile as he could, which, from years of practice, happened to be a very good one, “Yes, tomorrow. Not tonight. Tonight, we need to rest and make our plans. Then once we are ready tomorrow morning, we’ll head for Brockton Bay.”

    [-----]

    AN: Alright, so another chapter on the block. I've hopefully addressed some of the issues with the protectorate that cropped up last chapter, and I'll be veering away from that side of the story in the future in order to turn the focus back on Taylor and her escapades. Anywho, thank you to Random One and Michael Whitmer who became patrons on my Patreon! If anyone wants to send me a few bucks, and hopefully speed up the output of chapters, feel free to do so on my Patreon as well!
     
  20. ForthBlaze

    ForthBlaze Your first time is always over so quickly, isn't it?

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    Oh yes... How will one prepare to face Carmilla when forced to unwillingly by equally deranged teammates, Jack? Nothing like what other versions of him deal with, given that they do have a plan normally.
     
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  21. One-who-reads

    One-who-reads Illuminatus

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    And that was how the S9 ran head first into a woodchipper Fuckmothering Vampire.
     
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  22. Threadmarks: 7.5
    rocketmce

    rocketmce Getting sticky.

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    “Ladies, welcome to Ireland!” Taylor announced, only for several ERU members to aim a fairly large number of guns in their direction. Taylor, of course, was grinning like a madwoman with her arms spread wide, whilst Sabah and Lisa both had their hands in the air with slightly more deadpan looks on their faces.

    “Yeesh, could’ve expected a warmer welcome for the person responsible for killing angel-bitch.”

    “Relax, Alucard, there’s probably a reason we have guns pointed at us, they probably just need our visas!”

    A visible tick began to form on Lisa’s head, “Taylor, I’d like to note that we don’t have visas…” she said quietly.

    Taylor then proceeded to look through her coat pockets in a mildly concerned fashion, before producing three official-looking documents, “Nope! I got it all covered!” she said, passing one in Lisa’s direction.

    Lisa stared at the document, before looking up at Taylor, “Those are written in crayon, Taylor.”

    Taylor blinked, and began flipping through the hand-made visa, “I mean… they should work though, right?”

    “I dunno, the Americans never really liked my handmade passports…”

    The three of them were interrupted by an old, gruff-looking man who wore a trenchcoat with a badge pinned onto the front, “Who the ‘ell are you suppos’d to be?” he asked.

    Taylor smiled, “The names Carmilla, you may recognize my name, if not my face. Me and my friends have come in search of leprechauns and something to kill the boredom.” she explained.

    The man stood there for a second, sizing up the woman in front of him, “So, you’re the one everyone that their sisters been chatting on about, are you? Finally managed to stick it to the Simurgh, then blew the new one to kingdom come.”

    Taylor smiled, “Something like that. I don’t know if Ireland was in the list of countries that offered me honorary citizenship, but if it wasn’t, well, I don’t think I’ll be here longer than a tourist visa lasts.”

    The man hummed, “Well, if’n it’s all the same to you, you can fock right off back where you came from.”

    “I’m sorry, the fuck?”

    Taylor’s smiled remained, but it began to be slightly strained, “I’m sorry, the fuck was that?”

    The man reached into his coat and pulled out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter, placing one of the tobacco products between his lips as he lit it, inhaling and blowing out a puff of smoke before looking Taylor directly in the eye, “Ireland ‘asn’t had an En’bringer attack in over a decade, and I’ll be damned if you bring Leviathan or Behemoth down on us while you’re muckin’ about. We ‘ave enough to worry about as it is.” he explained, taking another drag from his cigarette, “An’ besides, even if they don’t come down on us, you ‘ave a bad habit of causing a lot of damage wherever you go. Take a look around some time, not everyone is keen on havin’ a cape come crashin’ through their roof.”

    Taylor sat there for a moment, contemplating the man’s words, before she took a seat on the ground crosslegged, the various guns following her position downward.

    Lisa eyed the man in front of her, “You know bullets don’t really work on her, right?” she asked.

    The man shrugged, “Maybe not, but they will on you lot.”

    “Just her, actually,” Sabah said, pointing to Lisa, “Kinda bullet-proof myself, now. Not as much as Carmilla, but, well…”

    “Gee, thanks,” Lisa snarked.

    Meanwhile, Taylor herself was considering her life choices and circumstances up to that point, “Alucard… are we the baddies?” she asked.

    [Baddies?]

    “Sad as it is Queenie, not everyone considers you a hero even if you save the world, hell, half of them will call you a villain if you push them out of the way of an oncoming semi.”

    “But I mean, the guys got a point?” she half-asked, “I mean, how much collateral damage have we caused with our antics? Didn’t we throw a car at someone a few weeks ago? That car did belong to someone…”

    “Taylor, I want you to listen to me. Collateral is a fact of life. That car we chucked at those Nazis? It was already filled with bullet holes and probably would have been wrecked by anyone considering the amount of lead and explosives flying through the air.”

    [Addition: Nazis.]

    “Like Queenie said, I don’t think the owner would have minded considering we used it to pulp some Nazis.”

    Taylor hummed, “Still, It feels cheap just disregarding the fact…”

    “Since when did you get all introspective and shit anyway? You’re starting to sound like the police girl before her first blood-frenzy!”

    “I don’t really know… I guess it feels like I’m losing touch? I mean, we’ve already done so much, it feels like I’ve peaked, like nothing is a challenge anymore. If another Endbringer shows up, I kill it, the world celebrates, hurray, we all go home, rinse and repeat… It’s the same with villains too…” She explained, “I mean, there’s not really any need to get stronger for the sake of it, I’ve eaten hundreds of parahumans, have plenty of powers, have you and Queenie in my head keeping my on track…”

    “Don’t forget about the butcher’s!”

    “Yes, we’re here… please don’t use the chainsaw on us…”

    [No promises are made]

    “Them too, I guess, but still, it feels like I’m just wandering aimlessly at this point with no point or plot relevance…”

    “Yeah… really high power levels with no real restrictions tend to lead a very boring lifestyle. It’s lonely at the top, but, well, it’s the top.”

    Taylor snorted, “Sure doesn’t feel like the top.”

    “If you’re done sulking and talkin’ to the voices in your head, It’d be nice if you do as I asked and fuck off.” the man in front of her interrupted her introspection, causing her to look up at the group surrounding her. Most of the men in ERU uniforms had lowered their weapons, while Lisa and Sabah just looked exasperated.

    “Taylor, we get it, you have voices in your head that make you incredibly introspective, but would you not do that when we’re in the middle of trying to keep from getting shot?” Lisa asked, “Also what was that about plot relevance?”

    Taylor waved her off, “Don’t worry about it, I’ll explain later. Alright, well, I guess if we’re not welcome here… where would you suggest we go?” she asked the gruff man.

    He shrugged, dropping his used-up cigarette to the ground and stepping on it to put it out, “Not a damn clue. Preferably you’d ‘ead back to America, but I figure you’re low on fuel now. I s’pose we could give you the courtesy of refueling, but that’d be it, no sightseeing, no vigilantism, no En’bringers, none of it. I have enough problems as is.”

    Taylor nodded, “Well, that’s fair enough I suppose. We are pretty low on fuel… fill her up while we sit in the lobby?” she asked.

    “Fine by me, just take a few men with you. They’ll keep an eye on you and make sure nothing… interesting happens.” he explained, “You stay put, we’ll fuel you up, then you go home. Deal?”

    Taylor stood up, sticking her hand out for the man to shake, to which he responded by gripping her hand firmly, “Deal.” she said, the man nodding in response.

    He turned around gesturing to two of his men, “O’Conner, O’Sullivan, take her to the ambassador’s lounge until we can get her fueled up. Keep your eyes on her, don’t let her run off.” he ordered, the two troopers nodding and gesturing for the group to follow them.

    “... Are those two Italian?”

    “I’m pretty sure you actually have to be Irish to join the ERU…” Taylor muttered to herself, moving to follow their imposed guards.

    A tow was brought in and hooked up to the jet, pulling toward the refueling station while Taylor and company began walking down the airstrip toward the main building entrance. After getting a few odd looks from staff and security, they found themselves in a fairly well-furnished lounge area, a vending machine in the corner, and a few couches and tables were strewn about, as well as floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the airstrip.

    Taylor immediately flopped onto a couch, Lisa and Sabah taking one opposite to her. The two guards stuck to the doorway, taking a relaxed but attentive stance. Taylor lasted all of ten minutes before she turned to look at Lisa, a glint in her eyes.

    “Taylor, no,” Lisa said immediately, looking the other girl in th eye.

    “C’mon~ Lisa! I bored!”

    “And that is exactly why I’m saying no!” Lisa chided, “We’re in enough trouble as it is, and while I’m not exactly worried for my own safety, I’d rather not have to deal with a whole country coming after my ass.”

    The two guards shifted somewhat, giving each other glances, unsure of what exactly Taylor wanted to do, but unwilling to interfere in fear of insulting her and possibly causing a national incident… or at least, another one, given Taylor’s well-known status. And as of then, she wasn’t doing anything, so they decided to sit and watch for the moment.

    Taylor groaned, “But it’s been hours…”

    “Okay, that’s bullshit and you know it Tay!”

    [Time elapsed: Eleven minutes]

    “Don’t you two get in on this too! It feels like it’s been hours!” Taylor lamented, rocking upward before lying back down on the couch, “Can’t something interesting happen already!? I don’t want to be introspective again!”

    “Well, at least we can agree on that point…”

    As if the devil itself had heard her, the balance in the universe shifted. It wasn’t much in the grand scheme of things, but when Taylor heard the sound of processed fuel going up in a fiery blaze? The grin on her face could not have gotten any wider -- at least, not without the use of some kind of changer power. Still, her eyes immediately shot to the window, and when she saw the black smoke and orange flames coming from one of the hangers, she almost started vibrating in place.

    “C’mon… please be a cape… please be a cape…” She muttered, listening intently as the radio’s on the guard’s gear started to buzz to life.

    Lisa got up to look outside as well, her own power going into overdrive as she started trying to figure out what was going on. Sabah was perhaps the only person in the room not really having any sense of what would happen beyond the inclination that someone was probably going to be dead by the day’s end.

    “... villain ca-… -abatoged fuel lines… -questing support...”

    Those few words were enough to get the guards, Lisa, and Taylor into action. First, one of the guards started to leave the room, presumably to go support the ongoing crisis upon the request of his superiors. Lisa dove for Taylor in some vain attempt to keep her in place, but she was nowhere fast enough to catch the vampire as she shot forward, through the glass window and began to book it toward the scene of the explosion.

    Sabah and Lisa were both immediately on their feet, and while Sabah immediately shot after Taylor in hope of performing damage control while Lisa turned to the guard.

    “Okay, I know this situation is shit, but whatever happens, tell your boss it wasn’t your fault, okay?” She said, the man in question having his rifle half-raised in reaction to what had just happened. She began walking past him toward the door, as unlike her companions, she couldn’t jump from the second floor of a building and keep going unscathed.

    “Oh, and while you’re at it… maybe request a vacation.” She said before she began running toward the stairs so she could run interference on whatever shitstorm would ensue.

    The remaining guard sagged before he reached up to his radio, “This Is O’Sullivan, Carmilla and company have left the building in response to the explosion caused by the villain cape… please advise.”

    [-----]

    Alright, another chapter for ya. I had hoped to get this one out earlier, but getting a new job, new schedule, and a new sleep schedule on top of real-life headaches make writing kinda fall into the background. Good news is my new job allows me a lot of time to write, so who knows, maybe I'll actually be able to write some more... then again, I've said that for the past several updates and probably sound like a broken record at this point.

    If you feel like sending some motivation to finish this story my way, check out my Patreon. And thank you to Random One and Michael Whitmer for supporting me over there!
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2021
  23. ChiChi

    ChiChi Know what you're doing yet?

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    wrecked by anyone?
     
  24. rocketmce

    rocketmce Getting sticky.

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    Fixed. Thanks for catching that!
     
  25. Saraphima

    Saraphima Making the rounds.

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    "Oh boy, here I go killing again."- Taylor Hebert, probably.
     
  26. shakeval

    shakeval I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    well. . . . .some one is about to have a bad day.
     
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  27. Threadmarks: 7.6
    rocketmce

    rocketmce Getting sticky.

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    Flames enveloped the hanger. Construction equipment that had been used to repair a damaged roof was scattered all around, much of it destroyed. Several construction workers were running away from the scene in a panic, though one, in particular, was lying on the ground, a hole in the hanger wall that he had been thrown through. He groaned, attempting and failing to roll over.

    A man stepped through the hole in the wall, his hair covered in a flickering white fire while his clothes were singed, his eyes glowing a murderous red. He began slowly walking toward the man on the ground, stopping just a few feet from him.

    “I’m done, ye’ hear me!? I’m fockin’ done with you! Every damn day I’m runnin’ around tryin’ ta’ keep the newbies from getting themselves killed while you’re sittin’ on your high horse, makin’ bank while screwin’ over the rest of us… well y’know what? I’ve about ‘ad enough of it.”

    The parahuman lifted his arm, the palm of his hand facing the man on the ground, the center of his palm begging to glow white.

    “N-no… please, Phil… I-I just w-wa… I needed the money!” he cried, trying desperately to crawl away, his limbs failing to respond in a reasonable manner.

    “An’ the rest of us didn’t!?” The parahuman, now identified as Phil, yelled, “Even to the end, your a damn greedy bastard.” He said, and a moment later, he unleashed his attack, white fire streaking forward.

    But before the attack could hit its target, a bullet whistled through the air, hitting him in the arm and throwing off his attack. The flames flew off to the side, sticking to the ground beside the contractor, not hitting him but being near enough that it still burned, the man quickly regaining the strength in his limbs enough to start crawling away as fast as he could.

    Phil, who had gotten shot, by contrast, roared in pain as he clutched his bleeding arm. His bicep had a hole in it, though even to his own surprise, it didn’t seem as big as he might have thought at being shot. The pain in his arm burned, but he grit his teeth, turning his head to see just who it was that had shot him. Standing in front of him, the coward contractor sat on the ground behind her, frozen in fear, was Carmilla, the vampire cape.

    His anger at his -- now-former, he supposed -- boss faded slightly, giving way to surprise at the presence of the cape he saw before him. Her staple fanged grin that she wore in every picture he’d ever seen of her present on her face. She seemed undeterred by his flame, perhaps even intrigued by it.

    “Well now, what do we have here?” She said, spinning her smoking revolver in hand before she holstered it beneath her coat, “What gave you the bright idea to blow up a hanger? You better hope it wasn’t the one they had my jet in.”

    Phil frowned, “I ‘avn’t got a clue what you’re doing here, but I’d appreciate it if’n you’d leave me alone. He --” he pointed to the contractor, “Has a lot to answer for.”

    Carmilla turned to the contractor, “Oh? A personal grudge? Underpaid workers? Shady business practices?” she guessed, before shrugging and turning back to Phil, “It doesn’t really matter to me, and besides… you did kinda blow up a building.” she pointed out.

    Phil closed his eyes and took a deep breath, the burning pain in his arm lessening as the seconds ticked by. He’d blown up a building. He was aware of that fact, and the more he thought about it, the more he realized he’d done it in the heat of the moment and hadn’t even considered the consequences of his actions.

    He chuckled to himself. It wasn’t as if he had anyone to go back to, “And so what?” he asked, “I’ve already been screwed over from day one working for him” he said, pointing to the contractor, “What else ‘ave I got to live for?”

    Carmilla, in contrast to what he expected, frowned, “... you’re not supposed to be sane.” she said.

    Phil blinked, “What?”

    She huffed, “I said you’re not supposed to be sane! You’re supposed to be a raving, crazed madman wishing for nothing more than anarchy and destruction, or maybe the death to all puppies, or something, not an underpaid construction worker who just went through a trigger!” Carmilla lamented, covering her face in her hands.

    Phil blinked, what little anger he had left being replaced by confusion, the flames licking at his body begging to die out, flickering for a few moments more before they faded completely. He didn’t expect the famously insane, bloodthirsty cape to be so… actually, nevermind, she was crazy, just in a different way than he expected.

    “Miss, I’m… pretty sure most people don’t want to kill puppies,” He remarked, mentally noting that his odds of surviving the vampire cape were slowly ticking up.

    She lowered her hands and gave him a deadpan stare, “You clearly never met Valefor.” she remarked, before letting out a long sigh, “Look, you seem like a decent fellow, I’d hate to kill you,”

    “I like to think I’m a decent man, I’d hate to die.”

    She nodded, “Alright… in that case-”

    Sacre bleu! Jean-Claude, look who it iz we have found!” a voice interrupted, causing all parties involved to look up, “Un vampire et a fresh recruit!”

    When everyone’s eyes looked up to meet the source of the voice, the three of them had all different reactions. The contractor fainted on the spot, recognizing the two people that were standing on top of the burning hanger, Phil stepped into a fighting stance, again, recognizing them as local villains.

    Taylor just stared up at the men clad in white and blue striped shirts, tights, berets, and domino masks with cartoonish mustaches, tilting her head to the side, “Pardon my french, but what in the fuck!?”

    The two of them bowed, one of them being tall and muscular with his sleeves rolled up and wearing mime face-paint, the other thin and lithe with a pointed beard and monocle.

    “I am Francis, and this is my compatriot, Jean-Claude!” The thinner man said, twirling his mustache with one hand.

    Jean-Claude, for his part, simply nodded, chuckling silently.

    “Now, if you do not mind madame, we will be taking zis one with us!” Francis said, gesturing to Phil with the hand not twirling his mustache.

    [-----]

    Taylor was not very amused by the appearance of the Frenchmen, though her face had lost the dowry look that it had when she had heard Phil’s reasoning behind his trigger, “So… you’re telling me that you want to recruit flame boy here?” she asked.

    Phil almost did a double-take, “Oi! I’m older than you!” he shouted.

    She waved him off, “Shush, the adults are talking,” she said, before turning back to the Frenchman, “So, what your telling me is that you want to recruit him into your group? I have to say… your recruitment pitch could use some work.”

    “... Taylor, I’m telling you now, if the mime starts getting naked, run!”

    Taylor blinked suddenly, surprised by Alucard’s words, “... The fuck? Why would he get naked?”

    “Oh, but it is our duty to guide such individuals!” Francis interrupted her train of thought, “For you see, we are the Français Franchement Féroce! And we will stand in ze way of anyone who wishes to trample the french pride!”

    “... So why are you trying to recruit an Irishman?” She asked.

    Francis waved her off, “Details, details, it does not matter where you are from, only that you serve ze French sense of honor and dignity!”

    “... I don’t know whether to laugh or cry… I don’t think the French have any dignity, much less these two.”

    Taylor turned to Phil, who was still staring at the two Frenchman gobsmacked, “So… uh… do you have any idea who these two are?” she asked.

    “Are you ignoring me?”

    “Yeah, those two are a couple of hooligans that try to kidnap new capes around Europe. I think their propaganda is something about another revolution?” Phil answered hesitantly.

    “Are they ignoring us Jean-Claude?”

    “... Huh, that’s… bizarre. Have they had any success?” Taylor asked.

    Jean-Claude merely shrugged in response to his partner.

    “Not that I’m aware of. I’m pretty sure they have a habit of getting their arses kicked outa different countries… I think they were in England last I checked? That was a couple ah' months ago now…” He explained.

    “Hey! Stop ignoring us! We will not be ignored! We are here to take you, garçon de feu, and you will learn to love the French! We will do aromathérapie, frotte dos, and oh… entrer par derrière…”

    “... yeah, one or both of them is going to be naked by the end of this.”

    Taylor hummed to herself, “And what makes you two think you’re worth my time?” she asked.

    Francis grinned, “Oh, we are not interested in you madame, as I said, we are after him.”

    Taylor looked at Phil, who looked back with a quizzical look, “What?” he asked.

    Taylor gestured to the Frenchmen, “Are you gonna go with them or no?” she asked.

    “Fockin’ course not!”

    Taylor nodded, then turned back to the Frenchmen, “Well, you heard the man! He doesn’t want to go with you.”

    Francis, ever the drama queen, merely chuckled, “Of course he doesn’t, but, whatever made him think he had a choice? Jean-Claude!”

    The mime smiled, lifting one hand in the air and forming a glowing white orb in his hand, and Taylor grinned, drawing upon powers that Queen supplied.

    [Blood manipulation, clone conjuration, emissive-]

    Taylor almost panicked when Queenie’s voice stopped, but she didn’t have much time to panic when she felt a bullet enter the back of her head -- and not a small one either. She spun around, her skull and brain bits, as well as the left side of her face, already regenerating as she turned to look at who it was that had shot her.

    “Wait, who is…?

    A woman in a brown suit and fedora stood, a massive pistol in one hand already being tossed to the side in favor of a submachine gun hanging from a strap around her neck, the bullets unloading into Taylor’s chest. Taylor grimaced, charging toward the woman who had so rudely interrupted her.

    “No, wait, Taylor --!”

    “What do think you’re --” Taylor never got to finish her sentence, nor her charge as a portal soon opened up in front of her, closing off again when the front half of her body was through, cutting her off at the waist and taking a hand as well.

    Taylor tumbled to the ground and found herself staring up into a completely empty, completely white, room.

    “Alucard… Queenie… who was that? What just happened?”

    “I… think we may have bitten off a bit more than we can chew at once, Tay-Tay.”

    “Ok… Queenie, do we have any teleportation powers?”



    “Queenie?”

    [-----]

    Sabah could barely believe what she had just seen, much less react in time to chase after the woman who stepped through a portal much like the one she had forced the top half of Taylor’s body through.

    “Erm… Jean-Claude, what say we take our charge and… foutre le camp d'ici?” Francis stated, shaking Sabah from her thoughts.

    The big one, Jean-Claude, moved, tossing the ball of light he had in his hands forward toward the newly triggered Parahuman. Sabah moved, forming a wall of threads between Phil and the ball of light, the object bouncing off the wire thread and spinning off into the side of a building, sticking to it, before quickly growing in size. Jean-Claude grimaced, scanning the battlefield for whoever it was that had blocked his… attack? Trap? Sabah herself wasn’t completely sure, and when she looked over at the white ball, she saw that it had reached roughly the size of a car.

    Francis tsk’d at the interruption, spotting Sabah before his partner did, “Jean-Claude,” He said, drawing the larger man's attention, “Deal with our dear recruit, pendant que je m'assure que tu restes sans encombre.”

    The two of them leaped down from their perches on top of the still-burning -- though largely calmed down -- hanger. Or, Francis leaped, Jean-Claude began climbing down, acrobatically grabbing onto exposed pieces of metal, framing, and anywhere else he might get a grip.

    Francis landed deftly, standing up straight as he looked at her, his features firm and taut. Sabah struck first, attempting to tangle the man in a series of intertwining threads. She didn’t want to kill him -- he hadn’t done anything to deserve it yet -- but she did try to restrain him. Unfortunately, whatever power the man possessed seemed to give him insane, possibly even physics-defying reflexes and agility as he leaped upward and twisted his body out of her thread’s reach.

    She attempted to tie him up again, but when he landed he ducked out of the way, spinning in place and doing backflips, cartwheels, and a number of other tricks that bewildered Sabah and became increasingly frustrating to deal with at every turn, and every time she missed he was getting closer to her, each leaning twirl and hand-stand-turned-frontflip making her back up a step.

    She finally managed to snag his ankle but was knocked off balance by a kick to her jaw, having not realized how close he had gotten in her trance-like state while attempting to catch him. The blow had cost her her grip on his leg, the thread slipping off him as he flourished backward. She blinked, regaining her sense of balance as she looked at him, blinking again when she realized that her thread wasn’t empty, but was still holding on to the man’s shoe.

    “Hon hon hon, at least take me out to dinner before you start undressing me!” The man said with a laugh.

    Sabah growled, her jaw feeling cracked, possibly even broken, causing her threads tightening around the shoe before tearing it apart, tatters falling to the ground, Francis chuckled nervously, “Heh, perhaps we should set a date for such endeavors at a later time.”

    Sabah stuck again, faster this time, not quite as worried about hurting him. The local authorities wouldn’t mind all that much if a villain was missing a few fingers, after all. And maybe his limbs would end up with a few cuts.

    He was still as fast as ever, but now her threads were nicking his hands, feet, arms, and legs, tearing the fabric of his clothes wherever they protected and cutting into exposed skin whenever there wasn’t any fabric to protect it. It wasn’t long before her strings, rather than being the thin, almost invisible lines that they normally were, became visible, covered in a thin layer of red blood where she had cut him.

    He was breathing heavily, bleeding from a thousand minuscule cuts, but he never slowed down.

    It wasn’t until Sabah got hit in the back and thrown spinning forward that she realized how bad her tunnel vision had gotten. When she finally landed, she got up, burning pain in her back as she heaved herself upward to face whoever had just hit her. She found Jean-Claude, an Unconscious Phil hoisted over his shoulder holding a hand out to in her direction. She began generating threads again, wincing as she felt a wetness on her back that was probably her own blood.

    Francis had taken full advantage of her distraction, backflipping his way to his partner's side. He was in terrible shape, all things considered, his face pale, and his shirt stained red with his own blood when it wasn’t hanging off of him in tatters. His pants weren’t much better, preserving his modesty as best tights could, but little else given their state of disrepair.

    When he finally stopped moving, she noticed that his breath wasn’t nearly as even as it had been at the begging of their fight, and his hands were shaking. She looked at him, a scowl on her face. Her vision was narrow, red around the edges… an early warning sign, Taylor had called it, something that would force her into a blood rage if she got too heated or too blood-drunk. She hadn’t drunk any blood since they’d left the United States, so she presumed it was the latter.

    According to Taylor, in the former case of blood rage, drinking blood would actually help calm her down, though Sabah herself doubted the legitimacy of that claim. Still, the frenzy was affecting her fighting ability, and she needed something to calm her down. Drawing her blood-covered threads to her mouth, she ran them along her tongue, tasting the blood and swallowing it as she licked it clean. It was sweet, sweeter than the normal supply of blood that Taylor provided her with, and it calmed her down somewhat.

    The ache in her jaw began to recede, and the searing pain on her back began to dull as well, though the wet feeling still remained. She closed her eyes, taking a deep breath, before exhaling slowly.

    When she opened her eyes, she saw that both the Frenchmen were noticeably paler, if it was even possible in Francis’ case.

    “Alright.” Sabah said, flexing her jaw to make sure the damage from his kick had been repaired, “Let’s get this over with.”

    [------]

    didn't even realize I hadn't caught up here... welp, here's the new chapter for you!
     
  28. Threadmarks: 7.7
    rocketmce

    rocketmce Getting sticky.

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    “Alucard… Where’s Queen?” Taylor asked, trying to stand on her still-regenerating legs.

    “She’s not… here. I have no fucking idea where she is! What the hell did that bitch just do?”

    “Better question… where the hell are we?” Taylor asked, trying to answer that exact question. The world around her seemed to be nothing but white. There didn’t appear to be any walls or ceiling, but Taylor figured looks could be quite deceiving.

    There was also light. Being a Vampire didn’t make her burn in sunlight, but given it was bright enough, it could be more irritating than it had been when she was fully human. And at the moment, it felt like she was sunbathing on the beach, and not in a good way.

    “Minimal reaction to blessed ammunition, immunity to sunlight.” The voice came from behind her, causing her to spin around just in time to get a face full of water, “No reaction to catholic holy water, and the scent of garlic is causing no adverse reactions.”

    Taylor wiped the water from her eyes, opening them to see an older woman in a lab coat holding a clipboard while scribbling something down, standing opposite an artificial flow of water to Taylor. The vampiress lunged, but a very similar portal that had cut her in half appeared in between herself and the woman, which then closed again as soon as she was through.

    Taylor spun again, trying to find where the woman went, only to find her tapping the end of the pen on the top of the clipboard, “Completely capable of crossing running water and entering one’s residence uninvited. Just what kind of vampire are you?” The woman asked.

    Taylor frowned, “I’m about to be a very pissed-off vampire if I don’t get an explanation.” Taylor said, itching to reach for the pistols that were no longer at her hips, having been lost along with the lower half of her body with her first encounter with the mysterious portals.

    The woman looked up from her clipboard and eyed Taylor up and down, “You have become a very troublesome individual, Miss Hebert. Your actions are relatively standard among most parahumans; heightened aggression, mental flaws or disabilities, flawed critical and logical thinking… And yet you fit none of the traditional stereotypes. Even Eidolon, one of the most powerful trumps and the few blindspots we know of can’t even hold a candle to your own abilities, as he himself has expressed. In all truth, had you been described to me without your human nature being taken into account, I would almost have thought you were an Endbringer.”

    “She does realize we’re aware of our own status as a monster, right?”

    Taylor frowned, “So you’re calling me a monster? I’d have thought that fact was obvious at this point.”

    The woman shook her head, “Yes, you are a monster by most standards. But that does not even begin to describe our problems with you.” she said, turning to the left slightly and walking forward, ignoring Taylor’s glare.

    “As it stands, you should not have access to your powers here. No one should, with only a handful of exceptions, and yet your regeneration was only hampered by a small increment, and your own physical enhancements appear to be intact. Of course, that could simply be the case of genetic enhancements being permanent. Your other abilities, however, should not be able to be accessed here.”

    “So tell me, Miss Hebert, what kind of vampire are you? You profess yourself to be one on social media and among those you interact with, but none of the standard tropes apply, and if you were a standard parahuman you would not be able to access your powers here. So, what makes you different, what makes you special?” She asked, crossing her arms and tilting her head slightly.

    Taylor narrowed her eyes at the woman, “Why should I tell you? I don’t know who you are, or what you did to me, and even if I did, what makes you think I would tell you?”

    “I’ll be honest, Taylor, I have no idea where this is going. I do, however, have a hunch -- and my hunches are notoriously on point -- that this bitch know’s more about the world than we do. Question is, do want to listen to her or eat her?”

    The woman smirked, “Fair questions, I suppose. As for who I am, you may call me Doctor Mother. I work for an organization known as Cauldron. We are dedicated to the safeguarding and salvation of humanity, by any means necessary.”

    “... Yep, she’s a bitch. Whenever the words ‘any means necessary’ are involved, it usually means they’re a bunch of heartless bastards that would throw a sack of puppies into a river if it meant they could get a blowjob. Or get eaten out, in this case.”

    Taylor rolled her eyes, “So, what, I’m supposed to lay down and die so you don’t have another obstacle in your way?”

    The woman chuckled darkly, “Quite the opposite, actually. Had you done so when you first appeared, we would not have complained. Had you done so when you had become quite the nuisance, causing our experiment in Brockton Bay to go awry, we would have all but rejoiced. After you killed the Simurgh, though? After that, we couldn’t simply have you die. It would have been a greater inconvenience to us, after all.”

    “So what changed?” Taylor asked, “Just me killing an Ednbringer?”

    “Yes, in the simplest of terms. You proved to be capable of doing something that no one else could, something that many of us had all but given up all hope of doing. You are quite possibly the only individual that is capable of doing what we thought impossible, and yet we have no idea how you will do it.” Doctor Mother explained, “We have had all kinds of thinkers and precognitive parahumans, and even a path to victory, so to speak, and yet none of it can see you or how you managed to do what you did. Every model we could come up with was insufficient, your abilities ever-growing and ever-changing. You are a blind-spot for us, Miss Hebert, one more capable than any before you. So, to my original question… what kind of vampire are you?”

    Taylor paused to think, mentally probing Alucard for his thoughts while trying to formulate her own. A secret society of precogs, parahumans, and crazy old ladies bent on saving the world from… something, she wasn’t clear on it, but it clearly involved the Endbringers.

    “Ho~ly shit, I didn’t realize you guys had a good and proper Illuminati!”

    “Alucard, the Illuminati doesn’t exist… though I guess this is probably as close as it gets… not talking to you, by the way,” Taylor said in response to the look Doctor Mother sent her.

    “Heh, how about this. Did I ever tell you how to shapeshift, Taylor?”

    Taylor blinked, “Shape-shifting? Wouldn’t that require my powers? You know, the ones I don’t have access to?”

    “Hehehe, normally, yes. It’s expensive, energy-wise, but I think it might be worth it here. Mind if I take the reigns for a bit?”

    Taylor narrowed her eyes, “You sure about this, Alucard?”

    “Positive. One-hundred-percent sure. Just start by...”

    Taylor chuckled, “Well alrighty then.”

    Taylor’s body began to warp. Her skin became distorted, discolored. Her clothing and features began to flow like a liquid, blood began to pour off of her, forming a puddle on the ground, staining the perfect white floor a deep crimson. Doctor Mother’s brow rose, and she took a step back, taking notes on her clipboard as Taylor’s form began to grow in height. After a few seconds, Taylor wasn’t really sure, her body began forming back together. Or rather, it wasn’t really her body anymore.

    “So, you wanted to know who gave Tay-Tay her powers, well, your looking at him!” Alucard said with a Cheshire grin, his large body looming over doctor mother, who despite her interrogation subjects intimidating form, looked relatively well put together, though her glasses had fallen down her face somewhat.

    “Woah… this is weird. Is this what it feels like to have a boner? Wait -- Alucard why do you have a boner!?”

    Alucard chuckled, “I have some very… specific, tastes.” he said as he reached over to Doctor Mother, pushing her glasses up her nose, “Now, ask away!”

    [-----]

    The first steps of the fight were something Sabah almost expected. Jean-Claude dropped Phil, and began charging one of his light ball attacks, only for his hand to wrapped in wires, cutting into his skin, but not tearing his arm off completely. He was quickly tied up, and all but helpless. Francis was in little better condition, his tired and beaten body failing when he tried to leap away, his speed and reaction time not fast enough to react when the freshly fed Sabah wrapped a set of threads around his ankles and slamming him into the ground with a resounding ‘crack’ as his legs snapped, the threads pulling a bit too hard even for his enhanced durability.

    The man screamed, which Sabah found to be morbidly satisfying, even if it did make her stomach churn. Both the Frenchmen struggled to no avail, the threads keeping them in place too strong to break without powers that outclassed her own.

    “Oi! Let tha’ two of ‘em go!” she heard a voice shout. She turned to face the voice, finding the old grizzled detective standing behind her, a group of twenty or so riot police standing beside and behind him, “I told you not to cause any damn trouble, and look whatcha go an’ do! You’ve wrecked tha’ focken’ place!”

    Sabah observed the area he gestured to, the broken pavement, the destroyed hanger, the various car-sized holes in the walls of the buildings, and the ground that had been caused by Jean-Claudes power. Her own threads had admittedly caused some damage as well, though not nearly as much as the other parahumans present.

    “I’ll let them go as soon as you can contain them,” Sabah announced, “But until then, I think I’ll keep a hold of them thank you very much.”

    The man sneered, “You are in my country, you don’t get to decide how we handle the law! Now, drop them, or you’re getting shot!” he ordered, the armed police taking aim with weapons that could easily be called heavy-caliber rifles.

    “Do you really want to test that?” Sabah asked.

    “You ‘ave until the count of three. One.”

    Sabah began summoning threads. The ones threatening her weren’t criminals, they were police, they didn’t deserve the same fate that Francis and Jean-Claude were getting.

    “Two!”

    A light started shining behind Jean-Claude -- and when she turned, she saw that his hands had been tied together, allowing him to use his power to form a ball of light energy.

    “Three!”

    She turned to the detective, only to see that behind them, Taylor’s corpse, which had been unmoving until then, had regenerated -- but not into Taylor. Five mismatching wings sprouted from her back, and her arms ended in long, sharpened claws instead of hands.

    “Fire!”

    All at once, three things happened. Bullets hit Sabah, she felt them tearing into her flesh, filling her with holes and all but drowning her in her own blood. She felt the heat from an explosion, and she felt her threads forcefully released from her control as Jean-Claude used his power to completely obliterate her threads, setting him free.

    And Taylor’s corpse moved.

    The guards and the detective barely knew what had happened when she slammed into them, her claws and wings shredding five of them at once before she turned and bisected one that had turned to look at her with her wings. A pair of guards had stopped firing at Sabah and began targeting the walking corpse, only for her wings to move and at a speed they could barely see, blocking the bullets before moving to allow her to rush forward, allowing her to shred the guards into pieces, throwing their corpses to the side.

    The other guards began panicking, running in various directions with the detective tripping over himself as he stumbled away from the now rampaging entity that had taken over Taylor’s body. A few of them managed to get away, getting far enough while she was distracted that she seemed to lose sight of them. When she had finished ripping the head off of one of the guards, she turned to face the detective.

    He was on his back, trying to scoot away as she stalked toward him, and before he could get up properly to run away, she reached down and grabbed him by the neck, and pulled him up to face her. She was tall enough that when he was facing him eye to eye his feet were a few inches off the ground, his legs kicking and his arms pulling at the claw wrapped around his throat as his face paled in fear.

    “Where. Is. Host.”

    The voice sounded calm, but that was the wrong word for it, Sabah thought. The voice was clipped, angry, cold. Above all else, it sounded dangerous, like it would snap at any moment, and the way the thing puppeteering Taylor’s body was holding the man’s neck, she could decapitate him in the blink of an eye.

    “Queenie, stop!” Sabah called out, the second her vocal cords healed into a state strong enough for her to speak, calling out the name she had heard Taylor muttering whenever she went on her rants. Whatever it was that stood before her wasn’t Taylor, she knew that. She’d seen it once before when she’d first been turned, she wasn’t even sure Queenie was its name, only that Taylor had referred to her as such.

    Queen stopped, turning to face Sabah, the clawed hand still wrapped around the man’s throat, “Where. Is. Host.” She repeated, her voice maintaining the same edge to it.

    “I… I don’t know, but he doesn’t either! Put him down!” She ordered, trying to regain her strength as her torso continued to regenerate.

    Queen looked back to the man in her hands, her pitch-black eyes examining him thoroughly, before unceremoniously dropping him to the ground, leaving him heaving and coughing on the ground. She turned to Sabah, walking toward her at a steady pace, her claws slowly retracting into her arms, being replaced by the same porcelain-skinned hands that Taylor had. She kneeled down Next to Sabah’s broken yet healing form and reached to put a hand on her shoulder.

    “We will find Taylor. We will find Host.”

    [-----]

    AN: I'd be lying if I said we weren't nearing the end of the story here. I only have a few more plot threads to hang up, like the one in the Bay and what Taylor and Alucard are going to be dealing with, but other than that it's going to be quite quick.

    If y'all want me to put stuff out faster and move on to other stories, shoot me a few bucks on Patreon, or maybe even provide some critique on this story, and what story you'd want to see me continue. I have more than I'd like to admit...
     
  29. Thorfaxdragonkin

    Thorfaxdragonkin (confirmed ark survivor)

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    Oh shit cauldron just royally fucked up didn't they
     
  30. Mr. Cloak

    Mr. Cloak Possibly Outerwear, advocate for Blank rights.

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    Cauldron did well! I've never seen them fuck up in a story this BADLY before!
     
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