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MRouz's Muse FanFics

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by ShellOG, Oct 25, 2016.

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  1. ShellOG

    ShellOG Not too sore, are you?

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    I'll be posting any muse chapters for any sort of story here from now on. Not everything is worm related.

    1. I'll try my best to keep an average 2.5k word count.
    2. I'll post stuff when the muse hits.
    3. Prompts are acceptable.
    4. I usually like to write OC/OOC stuff, you've been warned.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
    Biigoh likes this.
  2. Threadmarks: Skaven (Worm AU / Warhammer Fantasy) - Chapter 1
    ShellOG

    ShellOG Not too sore, are you?

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    Skaven (Worm AU / Warhammer Fantasy)

    Chapter 1


    Taylor Hebert

    "What do you mean you signed the form already?" she asked, extremely confused why her father was working against her. "Tell me that this is some sort of sick joke. Where are the cameras? Are we live on TV right now?"

    "Taylor… kiddo…" he tried to say.

    "Don't you dare kiddo me," she said, staring at the person who she thought was on her side. You're not my father. Danny Hebert just didn't seem to have the courage to look into her eyes.

    Everything.. Everything I've done to keep myself sane. Two years of my blood and sweat… just gone.

    "I had no choice Taylor, we just don't have the money for…. the doctors would have stopped treating you."

    You… you think I don't know that?!

    She felt hot little droplets slide their way down her cheeks, causing her vision to blur. Her throat became constricted and it took her a while for her throat to loosen up.

    "We could have at least fought back, you… could have at least, I don't know," she mumbled out before whispering "Made sure to read the whole thing before signing it."

    "I'm here for you sweet pea, I'll be here for you from now on, I promise…"

    She was pissed at her supposed father gave up so easily but at the same time understood his reasoning. The school might be corrupt to the core but that didn't mean the whole justice system was as bad as them.

    If we went to trial… I could have shown them my notes...the jury would have been on my side.

    "Why didn't you at least talk to me first?"

    She wiped her face with the back of her wrapped up hands. Danny started to play with the medical bed sheet that she was laying down on. When he realized what he was doing, he did a fake cough and stopped doing his childish delay tactic.

    "The hospital staff said that they needed the funds to continue treating you while you were in your four-day coma."

    "That- that makes no sense. Don't we have insurance?" she asked, wondering what her father was hiding from her.

    "Right, well… actually…" he tried to say but failed every time he uttered a word.

    Wait.. shit. We don't have medical insurance? "I thought you had full benefits as a union leader…" she said suspiciously.

    "Uhh… a few months ago I gave that up so that a worker could use it for his pregnant wi-" he said before stopping when he realized that she turned her head away from him.

    This white wall looks interesting… I can't believe how well the dark blue curtains go so well with the white paint on the wall.

    Taylor wasn't in mood for any more nonsense. It wasn't like her situation could get any worse.

    Danny Hebert

    Why can't she understand that I'm trying my best? I know I screwed up… but I'm trying here!

    He looked down at his quiet and angry daughter before sighing out loud. He hadn't talked much in the last two years but he had at least gave her little hugs every day.

    Looks like I'm going to lose my hugging privileges. I should have probably told her about the insurance thing… but Dan really needed it. Jenny would've had to...

    He wasn't sure when she was going to forgive him but it didn't seem like it was going to be anytime soon.

    At least she looks like she's healing nicely. Although the scars on her skin…

    Danny wasn't a particular stickler about people's looks but knew that Taylor would be self-conscious about them.

    Note to self, never ever bring up her skin. Thank god she hasn't had the chance to look in the mirror yet. I'll have to delay that as long as possible.


    "So… who found me?" Taylor whispered before turning back towards me.

    "The janitor at school, he was doing his usual rounds and smell- found you."

    Taylor Hebert

    Didn't I yell at that prick on Friday or something? God this is so... Why did he wait that long!? Why didn't he help me on Friday night when he was-... why didn't anyone help me?

    Whatever… it's not like I have to go back to school anytime soon.

    She wasn't sure if she could handle any more bullshit from anyone at school.

    I had almost died in there and no one gave a rat's ass about me. Well except for dad. Which right now was on my ignore list! Temp- no FOREVER!

    Taylor pouted at the thought, while her father just stared at her confused. She had been silent for the last few minutes after all. Before any of them could say anything, her stomach made a gurgling noise.

    "I'll go grab you some dinner… I'll be back soon." Okay.

    Before Danny left the shared hospital room that was currently empty on the other side, she thought she heard him say "I'm sorry."

    She wasn't much of a picky eater but for some reason she wanted to eat a delicious Fugly burger right now.

    Mmmm….

    Taylor started to drool on the right side of her mouth, causing the stiff hospital pillow underneath her to get wet. She didn't have the strength to bother wiping her mouth, so she just closed her eyes to relax a bit before her father came back.

    Danny Hebert

    He closed the door to Taylor's room and then walked towards the cafeteria. It was on the first floor, so it took him about ten minutes to get there.

    He had a small coffee in his hands and a tray of hospital food. Luckily for him it had been provided for free, seeing as all hospital fees were now covered fully by the school.

    Who made up these prices anyway? Dirty rat bastards trying to take advantage of everyone. If only there was some sort of regulation.

    It didn't take him too long to get back to Taylor's room.

    "Hey I brought-" he said before becoming quiet. Did she fall asleep?

    He walked up to her and put the tray of food and coffee down on a table nearby.

    "Taylor, are you awake?" he asked in a low voice. Guess she was tired….hopefully she gets better soon.

    He contemplated going home or staying here and sleeping yet again on one of the not so comfortable hospital chairs.

    A soft comfortable bed at home or a stiff chair….

    He signed, realizing that there was no decision to be made. He sat down on the chair and counted sheep, completely forgetting about his hot coffee.

    Thomas Calver (Coil)

    "What do you mean that the school didn't cover the whole bill?" he asked.

    He grit his teeth in annoyance, wondering why Danny Hebert signed the contract before reading it.

    Incompetent fool.

    "Sir, the paperwork provided by the school board was only going to provide up to sixty percent of the total cost."

    On a fifty thousand dollar bill?

    "I trust that you intercepted the draft and altered it, while modifying the original as well?"

    "Yes sir," agent Javez said without a beat.

    Good… hopefully they won't crucify me.

    "Before you head out, I want you to investigate this mess. Report back to me with some names. I expect results within the week."

    "Of course sir," the man said before Coil clicked the intercom off.

    I'll skin these assholes alive for messing with my plans.
     
  3. Threadmarks: Sicario (Worm AU) - Chapter 1
    ShellOG

    ShellOG Not too sore, are you?

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    Sicario (Worm AU)

    Chapter 1

    Friday - Taylor Hebert


    "Get out of my way, I don't have time for your shit today Hebert," Sophia said, before pushing me aside roughly with her left shoulder. Luckily, the stack of books I was transporting for Ms. Grey was still in my grasp and hadn't fallen like a stack of bricks. The hallway was packed but it wasn't that busy to warrant shoving another to pass by. I looked at the back of my bullies skull in frustration and pondered why I had let her yet again push me around like I was a ragdoll.

    "You want to play with me?" I mumbled out in contempt, before I continued my trek towards the library.

    The narrow hallway was thinning as everyone was putting their school bags on and heading home. I still had an hours' worth of extra credit to do before I could leave. The bitch trio had forced me to strike a disgusting deal with the principal; extra credit for a higher overall grade. If I hadn't proposed the ridiculous offer, I would have failed and had to redo most of my courses again. I'll make them all pay for making me look like a fool.

    Someone opened the door to the library but wasn't considerate enough to hold the door for me, but I didn't complain. Basic human rights didn't exist anymore, probably never had. It was a thing of fairy tales that my mother preached. Look where that got her, six feet under. I growled in annoyance, as I had to shift my body to open the door and hold the books at the same time without falling over.

    The anti-theft security beeped loudly as I entered the large room, but I paid that no mind. Ms. Roberts was a kind lady that worked as the school Librarian. She was probably the only one at the school where I didn't have a grudge against. She was considerate, kind and even helped others out when they needed it. She didn't tolerate bullying and was a stickler for the rules. Then again, stuff like that never usually happened within the Library.

    "Hello Taylor," she said with a stretched out smile that seemed genuine. She was a long haired brunette, thin bodied but a bit short for an adult. Her hazel eyes looked at me warmingly.

    "Hey Ms. Roberts, my science teacher, Ms. Grey told me to bring these books to you. She said something about them being damaged and was hoping if there was something you could do to fix em up for next week."

    I didn't need to be a psychic to know that the librarian was displeased to hear that students were damaging the loaned books at school.

    "Okay just leave them over here," she said, pointing to a table near me.

    "Alright," I said with a bit of a huff, before trotting towards the table and putting the books down.

    "I'll be back in a few, there's a few more books that I'll need to bring."

    "Huh?" Ms. Roberts asked, looking over some article, barely paying attention to me. "Oh okay," she said looking at me for half a second before getting back to whatever it was she was reading.

    The rest of the hour went by quickly, especially when the last ten minutes was spent just sitting around the library. It wasn't enough time to actually start any of my homework, so I just read some old comics. Once my service was done, I walked to the school office to let the secretary know I was heading home. Within ten minutes, I was outside in the cold with a decent black winter jacket, waiting for the city bus to come.

    Home was pretty bland, especially with Dad just lazing around on his couch drinking a beer. He was balding pretty hard, and his gut was starting to get a bit excessive. I didn't bother pointing those two things out to him, instead, I just said my usual greetings and went into the kitchen. The appliances still worked, but the stoves surface was getting a bit greasy. Someone would have to clean the grease; else it would start getting disgusting. Someone was probably going to me, considering that my father was still mentally running towards death.

    Inside the fridge was the usual but there were more beer bottles than usual. At this rate, Dad would become alcoholic and could lose his job. Not that his career was going anywhere but the shitter, with the whole Dockworker Union crumbling every week. He'll need to find a new job soon.

    I scratched the side of my head before grabbing the necessary ingredients to make a mean sandwich. Mayonnaise on the two slices of bread, lettuce and tomato on the bottom, one thin slice of cheddar and two slices of ham before putting the top back on. My mouth watered in anticipation, so I quickly put the sandwich in the mini-oven and waited.

    I decided to use my free time to prepare a drink of concentrated mango juice. Once that task was done, I tapped my foot impatiently for two or so off minutes before hearing the loud ding.

    Finally. To make sure I didn't burn myself, I used a reasonably clean fork to grab the hot sandwich out onto a plate. There was homework to be done but my preparation for tomorrow took priority. Instead of heading upstairs to my room to eat, I stayed in the kitchen and munched on the hot n' steamy deliciousness. With one final gulp, I washed my hands with yellow lemony soap and then calmly walked to the basement.

    I turned on the lights and locked the basement door from the inside before heading down the rickety wooden steps. I didn't need my father to interrupt me; not that he ever came to question what I was doing downstairs all the time. Since accepting a deal with the school two months ago, he went from being depressed to being in an even more shitty mood. The alcohol wasn't helping him any but there was no point in mentioning that to him. He was after all still chasing after death, my mother.

    I looked at my dead mother's boxes for a moment, causing my heart to ache. I loved you, why did you have to die? No, I already know why. I looked past the boxes and looked at my work bench. It was covered with a simple tarp, but it was booby trapped. If someone by accident decided to look what was inside, they would find themselves trapped in the basement, possibly even dead with the house crumbling on top of them. It would be a sad and pointless death, so I made sure my father never got too curious to look downstairs. I took a step forward, looked down at the hidden wire and followed it along to the wooden support near the stairs. I carefully disarmed the simple explosive device and walked towards my tarped up bench.

    I lifted the tarp away and looked at my latest creation sitting beside a bunch of my homemade poison darts. It was marvelous and was going to help me with greatly with one of my problems. Money hadn't been an issue for a little while now but learning how to create an electric cuff from scratch was. The cuff was cheap to buy and adding an electrical current was child's play. I wasn't a tinker, not even remotely but I was quite proud of my basic technological skills.

    Most of my resources, laptop and equipment were stored in a storage locker. There was simply too much to keep at home and I didn't want to leave too much potential evidence at home.

    Saturday - Taylor Hebert

    Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless, like water. I had to be fearless, to make sure I didn't make any stupid mistakes. I twisted my wrist and looked at my watch. 12:00 PM on the dot. My legs started to do my thinking, and within two seconds, I jumped to grab the brick walls ledge. I lifted myself up and walked along the pitch dark wall in confidence, and when I reached the backyard, I jumped down. I made an audible thud noise when I hit the grass, so I wait a few seconds to see if anyone heard me. Did anyone hear me? None of the lights in the backyard was turning on, so I cautiously walked towards the backyard porch.

    The glass door was locked, so I walked around the house towards the laundry room to see if the window was open. Thankfully it was, so I as quietly as possible opened it and entered the house. If none of the first floor doors or windows were open, I would have been forced to break one of the glasses as quietly as possible. Something I wished not to do, considering how popular the Barnes were going to be soon.

    Emma should be in her room sleeping, Alan and his wife Zoe should be sleeping too. Anne is a wild card, she could be out clubbing, out with one of her 'friends' or she could simply be in her room.

    I didn't need chaotic variables to ruin my mission, so I went to deal with the family before attending to Emma. I put my ear on the laundry door, listening for any noises. When I didn't hear anything but my heartbeat, I peeked underneath the door and saw nothing but darkness. Good, everyone must be asleep.

    I entered the hallway with caution, making sure that I took my sweet time. I didn't need anyone to wake up because I was making too much noise. Left foot, right foot, breathe in and out. Listen for three seconds. Repeat. I reached the stairs and did the same thing.

    If my memory served me well, then the master bedroom still housed the parents. It was double doored, with one of the doors hinged slightly open. If the door squeaks as I open it, I'll be fucked.

    I opened the hinged door as much as I dared before crouching inside the room. Sneaking up to the bed itself took long but I had to be sure that I wouldn't make any stupid mistakes. Once I reached the right side of the bed, which apparently was Zoe's side. I carefully rose and reached my back pocket for the darts.

    No witnesses, I can't let them live.

    I pushed the dart's needle into Zoe's neck and waited for a second for my toxic homemade brew to take effect. At first, she stirred, causing me to panic, but I forced myself to calm down. Surprisingly she didn't wake up, in fact, it didn't look like Zoe Barnes was ever going to wake up ever again.

    Her mouth started to foam, and she was starting to convulse, so I walked briskly towards the left side of the bed and pushed the syringe without a care into Alan Barnes neck. He stirred a bit, and while the yellow liquid was being pumped into him, his eyes shot out wide in panic. He stirred, trying to move but he was already starting to lose control. The poison should be working well. I had to put my gloved hand on his mouth to stop him from shouting.

    In the end, I had two dead bodies in a bed with foamed mouths. Any detective would notice immediately that the deaths were not natural. My right hand's glove was a bit of a hazard, but I didn't want to leave any residue behind. I would have to dispose of it at a later point.

    I sneaked towards Anne's room and found that the door was open with the lights off. I checked to see if she was in, but disappointingly she wasn't home. Then again, it was a bit of relief to have one witness less to take care of. I was a bit conflicted about her not being home.

    Emma was sleeping as well, which was in my favor. Entering her room made me smell her delicious strawberry fragrance, but I paid that no mind as I walked to her bed no longer caring if I made too much noise. This will be easy, just focus and don't make any mistakes.

    I jumped on top of her and straddled her, causing her to scream when she spotted the masked intruder riding her like a pony. Without giving her a chance, I used both of my hands to strangle her neck.

    "Ug-wh-aaaa-" she screamed out before her throat started to get red. She immediately went into overdrive, trying to push me off by hitting me. I didn't relent, I just gripped harder.

    "You said I was weak Emma," I shouted, which was a bit muffled due to my black mask.

    Her eyes opened wide in shock, but she still struggled. She put a few good hits in my stomach, but they were reinforced with light armor, so I felt nothing.

    "I wonder what your sister will think when she comes home," I snarked before loosening my grip a bit when she started to get purple. Emma tried to take a breath, but I wasn't going to let her.

    "You know...," I said getting a bit emotional, "you were like an older sister to me." My voice was starting to get constricted, and my vision began to get blurry.

    "If only you hadn't turned me into a monster," I whispered. She moaned out in pain and instead of giving her a chance to respond, I put all of my rage into strangling the girl that I had used to love. The girl that who had broken my heart and turned it into stone.

    Sunday - Sophia Hess

    "Why is her phone going to voicemail?" I asked out loud. I had been so focused on the phone that I hadn't noticed Armsmaster sneaking like a ninja behind me. It was surreal to have the goliath of a man walk around without making any noise. It was almost badass in itself, but the man was too riddled in political bullshit niceties to be an actual threat to anyone. He was more like a cuddly teddy bear that was armed to the teeth with lethal weaponry. A threat he was but decided to do nothing with the power he hand.

    "What's wrong Shadow Stalker?"

    I put my personal cell phone back into one of my hidden compartments and turned around. It was the first time in, ever, that Armsmaster was concerned about me.

    Should I tell him the truth? I don't see any reason not to. Jessica… have to at least try.

    "One of my civilian friends hasn't been picking up the phone. I tried to call earlier, around lunch time but she didn't pick up. Now, it's almost eight, and she still hasn't responded. I tried calling her house as well but no one's picking up. I think something's wrong..."

    Armsmaster in his own right was a titan in almost all aspects, and when he frowned, which he usually did, it made him downright villainous. How he got his armored blue suit approved by the PR machine was a mystery, then again my costume had its own scare factor.

    "You are worried for her safety then?"

    "Yes." Duh.

    "I'll make arrangements for the police to visit her house, do you have an address?"

    I gave him the Barnes home address, and he immediately made a call to one of his "friends" at the department, a Captain White.

    "He will inform me when he finds out. Now, don't you have console duty in seven minutes?"

    Yeah, yeah. "Right…thanks," I said before strolling towards the main wards room.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
  4. Threadmarks: Crawl Inside Me (Worm AU) - Chapter 1
    ShellOG

    ShellOG Not too sore, are you?

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    Crawl Inside Me (Worm AU)

    Chapter 1

    Taylor Hebert


    Powers were a tricky thing, and sometimes the divine themselves decided to throw a curveball and smash any angular expectation. At first, I had thought that my powers couldn't have been possibly that shitty. It would have been as bad as the comedic joke of a villain L33t, with him flailing like a loon.

    But with some experimentation and frustration, I found that injuring myself healed me. However, there was a slight down side, with each injury my body healed, I mutated. I was practically like Crawler but with less of a head start. If I wanted to get in any cape fight, I would have to get stronger and the only way to get stronger was to be courageous.

    I did have one thing going for me, something I doubted Crawler had. I could change back into my old weaker form, my old Homosapien female shape. It felt extremely uncomfortable, especially when I had started to get bigger, but I could get it to work. Well, as long as I stayed uninjured of course. The moment I began to bleed, it was like my chunky powered self-wanted to come out and play. I tried experimenting, to see if I could mimic someone else, but that wasn't possible. Powers usually worked one way, and having a shape shifting power would have practically just been utter bullshit.

    So, after self-injuring myself in all ways possible, after feeling my skin bubble with fire, my organs being punctured and bone get shattered I decided enough was enough. There was more than enough time to improve myself.

    "Be the hero that you want others to look up to," I whispered before looking down at three gangbangers idly smoking their lives away. One of the Asian gangbangers flicked their cigarette to the side while laughing at some joke. They weren't speaking in English, but I could tell from their demeanor that they were quite relaxed. If there was one thing that I started to hate, it was that criminal scum was content with their lifestyle. What kind of world did we live in where murderous, human trafficking scum got to do whatever they damn wished without feeling a hint of fear.

    I hadn't ever thought of jumping down two stories before, so I decided to do just that. It was surprisingly faster than expected, so I went from point 'a' to point 'squished,' in two point three seconds. I felt my body shift, some of my organs making a few strange gurgling noises. I lifted myself up and stared at the three confused gangsters.

    "You're under arrest," I tried to say, but all that came out was something along the lines of "Yooo deeerr essst." I was going to smack myself for being so damn heroic, but it wasn't the time. Instead, I moved towards the three stooges to only see them pull out various weapons. The most intimidating was a gun that looked like a Glock, like one of the guns that cops from Earth Aleph used in almost all of the movies, but I wasn't exactly sure. Greg would know about this, should probably ask him next time he begs to sit beside me during class.

    The first piece of hot lead hit my chest, something I hadn't experienced before, so when my body stopped responding and went limp like a catfish, I wasn't surprised. What did surprise me, however, was the fact that more irritatingly hot pieces of lead decided to visit Hotel Taylor. I couldn't hear much for a bit until my ear drums healed themselves. When I could finally hear, I decided to prod my body around to see if I could move. I hadn't felt anything different happen, but that was okay. I was healing, I would be able to get up- now.

    The three idiots looked at me in horror, realizing that I was what appeared to be a brute.

    "Pao, Pao", the one on the right said. Oh no you don't.

    I ran towards the one trying to reload his gun and with a solid punch. I made the guy's head whip around slightly, while he physically twisted backward to the ground. His skull made a sickening crack, but my victory was short lived when I got stabbed in the neck. I didn't have a chance to see if the guy I had just hit was still alive or not.

    I looked down to see the blade coming out, so I turned around to face the attacker. I pulled the blade out and let myself heal before dropping the blade on the floor. I took a step towards the thug, but at that moment, I saw Oni lee in front of me. He had his costumed Red Oni mask on and with one 'tisk', he disappeared like a thief who had been caught. Only, he decided to leave me a little present before vanishing like Houdini himself.

    Looking down at the frag grenade for some reason made my instinctively want to run, but I needed this. I grabbed the explosive and held it like it was the best present ever.

    My chest felt the explosive wave before accepting the pieces of metal. The slices of metal said hello to the bullets that were currently residing in my body. They would all leave soon enough; just my body needed to adapt was all. When my senses came back online, and I got up before the smoldering smoke around me cleared. I rushed a figure in front of me, to only run all the way into a solid brick wall. It came to me as a bit of surprise to see myself plow through the wall, instead of squishing the guy I had grabbed.

    Bone, blood, pink bits all slapped and slathered me as I got up in what appeared to be a local hardware store. I glanced down below me and saw a face that looked like it had been hammered in a few times, and then some just to be sure he was indeed dead. I wasn't quite sure who I had just murdered grotesquely, but I pushed that worry aside. There were bigger fish that needed to be fried. Oni Lee was still outside, probably upset that I had just murdered one of his men. Not that he should be upset, considering how close his explosion was to the rest of his minions. He had probably killed the thug that I had just knocked out as well.

    He was probably one of those arrogant pricks that thought he could never be wrong, do no wrong. The alley was deserted, Oni Lee and the last gangbanger had run away.

    I contemplated, whether or not to continue my patrol for tonight. What I was going to didn’t matter when three black monstrous shapes decided to reveal themselves to me.

    "You know, if I'd known that we would be meeting Frankenstein's daughter today, I would have totally brought some candy," the male teen on one of the monsters said. I didn't recognize him but I did know the super villain Grue, who was sitting right in front of him.

    Since when is Grue part of a villain team?

    "We're good guys," the tight purple spandex, the blonde haired teen said. I wasn't quite sure who these hooligans were, besides Grue and… the butch of a girl. It took a second for my lightbulb to flick on. Once it was on, however, said lightbulb decided it was time to kick my ass for forgetting who Hellhound was. She was as strong as any other human and could be pushed down quickly. She wasn’t going to be a problem, but her monsters would be.

    Grue was a shadow fog machine, but he was a thug at the end of the day, creativity and intelligence weren't going to be his strong suite. The Joker and Miss Universe were both unknowns. As far as the law went, a rogue you could make arrests and call the ‘real comedians’ to come and do their job. Then again, it was a bit strange to see a team that was most likely villainous approach me without a single care in the world.

    "You deaf or something?" the Joker said. I tilted my head in curiosity. He talks a lot… maybe he has ‘annoying his enemies to death’ powers or something. The girl probably has some sort of elastic ability, considering her suit matches Elastic Girl from-

    "Right, well… Oni Lee, you know where he is?" Grue asked.

    And why should I tell you where he went?

    "You're all under arrest," I said calmly.

    "She doesn't know where he went. Probably ran off… thanks for that. We could leave now but we need to fight the damn dragon at least once before heading off."

    Dragon? Why are they ignoring me?

    "You think I'm going to let you escape?" If I hadn’t known any better, they thought that they could just up, up, away from themselves like magicians on a magic carpet.

    When none of them said anything, I squinted my eyes to see that they were all looking behind me. The devil himself couldn't have prepared me for who was going to take down.

    Instead of giving up, curling up like a little worm, I slapped myself and silently charged myself towards Lung. There was no point arresting trash tier gang bangers when there was a big whale nearby for me to catch. He had a bunch of his men shoot me, making me slag for a bit before my body healed it. It seemed that my body had adapted, and made bullets have minimal to no effect on it.

    Once they realized I was a brute, they dispersed, letting Lung have his chance to beat me to a pulp. I knew he would hurt me with his fire, but I wasn’t going to be a masochist freak and allow him to hurt me with only the thoughts of evolution. No, I was going to beat Lung until he fell unconscious. I had to do it before he got too big for me to take down too. A difficult task, but not for me.

    He decided to throw a fireball at me and instead of letting it hit me, I slid down, letting the fire pass by overhead. I had made it look easy, but my knees were severely injured, and the immense pain. When I stood up to run towards liberty was a sign that I might have broken something.

    Temporarily of course.

    My knees decided to ‘evolve’ on the spot, causing me to spasm onto the floor, like a fish who couldn’t breathe. It was a strange feeling, but that didn’t stop the thugs from shooting with their guns. This time, instead of feeling hot lead, the bullets were merely stopped by even entering my skin. It was like my skin had become stronger, but I still felt little pins when each bullet impacted me. I wasn’t sure what happened to my knee, but that wasn’t going to contemplate about it at the moment.

    Lung decided to punch me in the face, which surprisingly didn’t do anything but cause him to swear out loud. He looked like he was in immense pain, but that wasn’t going to stop me from putting him down. I decided to take the advantage and punched him in the face. Once my delicate bony hands touched his face, it was like I was a spear. I was wrist deep in and by the time I realized what I had done, I pulled back. That had been another mistake, because Dragons’ brain matter that had been squished compactly inside his thick skull decided to splash out, coating me from head to toe with blood and brain.

    “Ho-lee-shit,” the Joker said.

    “You killed him,” one of the gangsters nearby said.

    Oh…oh shit.

    Grue and his team disappeared by the time my brain came back online.

    Colin Wallis (Armsmaster)

    “Well, if there was one thing that I had to bet on, it would be the opposite of this,” the Parahuman Response Team leader said, waving his hand at the dead corpse of Lung and his associates. Since Dragon decided to make Brockton Bay his home, he had given the PRT and Protectorate a run for his money, but whoever had taken him out wanted to make a statement.

    “Who do you think took him out?” Velocity asked, looking at me for guidance.

    “You mean, who do you think took out the ABB in one single stroke,” Triumph said.

    “You’re all assuming this was just one cape, what if it was a gang?” Miss Militia asked.

    “You think the Butcher is in town?” I asked, considering.

    “No, maybe a new gang decided to come and wanted to take out competition,” Hannah said, concluding her thought.

    “Tinker tech perhaps?” I asked, worried that there was a new tinker in town that could kill so many, so brutally.

    “No… it looks like… a beast decided to attack them. A brute of some sort at least,” Triumph said while examining one of the dead bodies.

    “Did anyone see anything? Do we have any camera’s nearby?” Velocity asked.

    “No, there’s no cameras in this area…and if anyone did see anything, it’s not like they’re going to talk to us. They’ll be too afraid of speaking out…and no one in this area wants to be seen ‘ratting’.” Miss Militia said.

    “The director will want to put the cape or capes on A-class at minimum,” Velocity said.

    Yes, that seems most reasonable.

    Sarah Livsey (Tattletale)

    “You know, some warning next time would be nice.”

    You think I realized that we would be meeting Crawler’s daughter?

    “I didn’t realize that she was that unstable. I… I thought she was a new cape, trying to make a name for herself as a Rogue”

    Wasn’t she? Why did she go from an average person to…homicidal psychopath?

    “Jesus Christ on a stick, that was her acting as like a Rogue? Just how much shit are we in Lisa?”

    Is she going to target us? No. She doesn’t care about us…thinking about bigger fish.

    “No, no she’s going to target the more vocal villains.”

    “Then why did she murder all of the Hench?” Brian asked.

    “Yes, that’s a good question, why did she-“ Alec said before his eyes popped out like a cartoon figure.

    “Fuck,” I said.

    “What?” Brian gritted, still frustrated.

    “She was trying to kill all the eyewitnesses…” I said, feeling my veins get cold.

    “Yes, I think if we just lay low for a- wait, where’s Rachel?” Brian asked.

    I looked at the door, looked back at Brian and shook my head furiously. He wasn’t listening, Brian grabbed his mask and ran towards the exit.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
    udkudk, Dragonfiend, Ack and 3 others like this.
  5. Prince Charon

    Prince Charon Just zis guy, you know?

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    Huh. I do wonder why Coil is involved in this, and why in this way.
     
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  6. Ack

    Ack (Verified Ratbag) (Unverified Great Old One)

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    Damn, I'm liking this. Interesting takes on characters. Taylor as an implacable murderer, who kills the entire family just to ensure that there aren't any witnesses ... yeah, scary.
     
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  7. Threadmarks: Little Worms (Worm AU) - Chapter 1
    ShellOG

    ShellOG Not too sore, are you?

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    Little Worms (Worm AU)

    Chapter 1

    Taylor Hebert


    It wasn't like I could've have decided to just be a vigilante and help the world. It's just that, I didn't want to, not anymore at least. I wasn't sure if it was when I triggered that these rather depressing thoughts started to cloud my mind or when I found out that one of my bullies was a Ward. Maybe it was a little bit of both. All I knew was that I was discontent with how things were.

    There had already been something inside of my old human heart telling me to do evil things, to perform vile acts that had been lurking in the back of my not so creative mind. But with the knowledge of Sophia being a hero, I think I might have just gone quite insane. It wasn't as if I was being controlled by some master but I was just tired of all the bullshit that decided to pollute my daily life.

    If there had been even a sliver of justice for what happened to me, I might have done things differently. No one at school cared about me, not the students or the faculty. No one at home cared either, not that my father was even paying attention to me since mom divorced his sorry ass. I had been half tempted to see what would happen if I infected him but decided that would just be going too far. Well, at least too far for now.

    I heard some footsteps coming towards me and then the room I was hiding in illuminated with a bright light. I had been waiting for the last three hours for Shadow Stalker to come back from her night time activities.
    She did some things, made some noise, and when the lights flicked off only five minutes later, I knew it was almost time for me to act. I continued, waiting ever so patiently for her to fall deeply asleep, waiting for her to snore like a little piglet. Once her heart rate got steady, I slid without making any noise from underneath her bed. I was practically towering her like some sort of creepy serial killer.

    Well hello there.

    I extended my claws on my right hand and sliced my left palm from one end to the next deeply. I saw my little translucent worms wiggle around in my white and sticky blood. I pulled my claws back in after that.

    It's now or never.

    I shoved the injured side of my hand into Sophia's slightly open mouth. She immediately woke up and tried to attack me, but it was futile. Even if she was a cape, she wasn't as strong as the new me. My worms entered her mouth, and when I was satisfied with the amount, I pulled my hand back.

    I took a few steps away before Sophia tried to scream out in surprise. All that came out of her was a muffled and gurgled yell. She brought her upper body up and tried to gag her throat, to get my worms out of her system. Some came out, but most were still inside her, wiggling into her brain.

    They're inside you now. You're mine forever!

    Once my worms for inside any living thing, even a single one, it was over for them. Be it a little rat, a dog or a human being. A few hundred inside her was practically making what I did overkill. Her eyes had locked onto mine before she clawed at her throat a bit.

    “He-bert" she whispered before getting up from her bed, this time correctly. She tried to punch me in the face, but I just grabbed her weak human hands and crushed it hard until I heard something crack.

    Oops, I can't be breaking her now.

    "Give up Sophia," I taunted, giving her the stupidest shit eating grin I had ever had produced.

    She didn't like hearing that, not one bit. So she phased out and tried to attack me from behind. I knew all about her powers, and with my worms inside her, I knew where she was. I swiftly turned around, making it appear like I had teleported and then backhanded her, causing her to wallop her bedroom wall.

    How is her family not here yet with all of this noise?

    Sophia flailed a bit before falling down on her ass.

    "Give up, you can't beat me," I said getting a bit annoyed at her persistence.

    Instead of getting up to try to attack me again, I saw her move her chin up like some sort of angry but defeated child.

    Oh, she looks cute when she's mad. I could always do… She does owe me two years of bullshit… I'll make her suffer for eternity.

    "So your weak ass triggered and now you think you can break into my house and attack me? You fucked up Hebert! Do you even realize just how many laws you just broke? Also, what the hell did you put in my mouth? Tasted slimy, salty and like shit!"

    I just gave her a small smile. "Oh please, you don't have the right to preach to me about the law."

    "You're going to the birdcage, you know that right? One call and this, whatever it is, is over."

    I heard some light footsteps coming from one of the rooms nearby. Someone finally awake?

    "No, no. I doubt that anything like that will ever happen to me. Because you and I? Well, we're going to become really, really good friends."

    I bit my lower lips for a second before continuing, making sure she understood.

    Yes, I can see it now… it could work.

    "You-you- you're fucked up- I ain't no-" Sophia tried to say before the tiny footsteps became loud enough for her to hear.

    Must be her little sister or brother.

    "Go into shadow form, and I can quickly kill your family. Maybe you'll escape, but they'll still be dead."

    Sophia for the first time ever, at least in front of me, looked afraid. So she's a family gal? Huh, always thought of her as a 'I only matter' type.

    "Tell whoever that is, that it's nothing," I threatened before sitting down on her fluffy bed.

    Sophia growled out but surprisingly, it looked like she was going to obey me. My worms haven't even infected her all the way yet.

    The door squeaked a little a little, but then the little sibling decided to knock on the door.

    "What?" I heard Sophia grit out.

    "I heard something… are you okay Soph?" a girl squeaked out. Ah, a sister then.

    "Everything's fine, go back to bed."

    "Oh, okay sis. I'll- back to beds," the voice squeaked before walking away.

    With that, the door was silently closed. Sophia turned her body towards me and then frowned.

    "Well, what the hell do you want?"

    To make sure Emma and Madison get what they deserve...to take over the world.

    "Come here little tiger, why don't I just show you?" I said, eying her perversely.



    The next few days at school were quite funny, considering Sophia starting to act funny. She had come to me for help, asking what was wrong with her eyes and why she felt hungry all the time. What surprised me was the fact that she didn't question why her body felt different or why her senses were heightened.

    I only told her that she should look into getting contacts and that she should eat raw meat instead of cooked. And with that, she had gone off to do that.

    No one bullied me anymore or even called me any names. I could have stopped it a long time ago, but I didn't want to out myself. Sophia was keeping her distance, hoping that I wouldn't 'bother' her anymore. Emma and Madison were looking at me with a new light, both slightly afraid, something that would become more frequent as time passed by. But I wasn't satisfied with what I had, I wanted more, I craved it. I had already planned, prepared for the future, but that would take the time to enact.

    I should have turned her sooner… then again, I did need to practice, to make sure that I wouldn't fuck it up. Eight hundred people, dead and alive, should have been enough...and it had been.

    When Sophia entered the cafeteria, I opened my larger than usual lunch box. This is going to be so delicious, kind of sucks that I'll have to share.

    The pleasant sensation hit my heightened nose, causing my mouth to water in anticipation. There might have been a few drops of drool leaking from the corner of my lips, but I didn't care if I looked feral. Using my firm fingers, I grabbed the square pieces of bloodied meat and put them in my mouth. I didn't care if it looked like I was barbaric, I wasn't patient enough to use a fork.

    I felt Sophia became agitated and knew that she would come to me soon. I had given her a bit more freedom than my other creations, but if I really wanted to, I could control her. When she walked towards me in a daze, I smirked. Without saying anything, she just sat beside me. Her focus was on the meat, so I turned towards her and pushed the plastic container towards her.

    >Don't be scared

    She jumped when she heard me speak in her mind. Her eyes were popped out like she had just seen a ghost.

    >I know you want it. Eat.

    She hesitantly grabbed a piece of meat without a fork as well, and after another tick of hesitation, she put it in her mouth. At first, she chewed slowly as if testing the waters. She quickly transitioned into a half-starved zombie when she realized that it tasted like heaven.

    He, I knew you would like it. Now… what should I do… ah, something embarrassing.

    It didn't take her too long to finish. Her hand tried to scavenge another piece, but there was nothing left. She growled a bit in frustration, looking at me with her contact colored eyes.

    Sounds like the whole cafeteria is paying attention… and she hasn't even noticed.

    >Kiss me right now, and I'll bring you your own box tomorrow.

    She didn't even hesitate, she practically assaulted my face and put her lips on mine. We stayed like that for a bit before she realized what she had done. Her eyebrows became expressive, but that didn't matter.

    I continued the kiss for a bit and even gave her a bit of tongue before pulling out.

    "See you later tonight," I said as loud as possible before packing up. If I could have taken a picture of her shocked face when she heard that, I would have framed it and put it on my wall. The purpose wasn’t really to antagonize her, but to show her that I was her master now.

    The school had exploded then, not literally, of course, that would just be plain ridiculous. Everyone was talking about Sophia and me being a couple. A bunch of the Empire gangsters made some threats, but when they realized I wasn't going to even pay attention to them, they just walked by. I knew that later on, they would use physical force.

    Things are going to plan, but I need to do more.

    The rest of the school day went by swiftly, and Danny came home quite late like usual. We ate our dinner in relative silence, something which I enjoyed considerably. Sometimes the world just got to be too loud and having a quiet meal. When he went to watch some television, he invited me to join him, but I declined. I told him that I would head out and that he shouldn't bother waiting up. He didn't comment, just watched his sports game with his usual beer.

    I went to my room to prepare for tonight before heading out. For some reason, I wanted to dress proper, perhaps the green dress that Danny had bought for her last summer.



    I knocked on the door twice and after a few moments of yelling 'get the goddamn door, said door opened abruptly. The disheveled women gave me a look and then laughed like a loon before yelling out for her daughter. Sophia didn't take too long to come to the front door.

    "What the hell are you doing here Hebert?"

    She was nervous, I could tell. I wasn't sure if she enjoyed our time together, but I knew I did for some strange reason.

    "Why, to take you out of course. I did say I was coming over tonight, didn't I? You don't want to miss the movie now, do you?"

    Her mother looked at the two of us once more before laughing like what I had said was the greatest joke she'd ever heard. What's her problem? Is there something on my face? I'm pretty sure I have my fangs hidden.

    "Do you want to dress up or…?" I asked, curious to see what she would say. If she denied me, I would force her.

    "...fine. Give me five...you can come inside."

    I didn't need her permission, but it was the thought that counted. I leaned towards her and kissed her cheeks. She broke after that because Sophia decided to stop functioning as a normal strigoi being. Is she still computing or something?

    "Hello, earth to Sophia, are you still there?" I asked, snapping my fingers in front of her face.

    "Right-right, give me a few," she repeated.

    She let me in, and I closed the door behind me and waited. There didn't appear to be a Mr. Hess in the picture, but there was what looked like men's shoes. I listened to hear how many heartbeats there were in the house and it surprised me when there was more than three.

    Possible boyfriend?

    Sophia didn't take too long to appear dressed in what seemed to be 'generic black hoodie' with smoky colored jeans. If I hadn't known any better, I would have thought she was trying to hide her face from any potential voyeur.

    "Come, the movie starts at nine thirty, and I don't want to be late," I said waving for the girl to follow.

    As we neared the road, I pointed at the bus stop. When she growled, I just chuckled. "How else did you think we were going to get to the theater?"

    "I figured you had a ride for us or something. You know," she said pointing to her eyes. Does she assume my evolution has something directly to do with wealth?

    I didn't bother commenting as we waited for the bus, but I did force her to sit on my lap as we rode the bus to the entertainment district. Sure, a bunch of people was curious why a hoodie teen was sitting on a green dressed girl.

    We got off one stop earlier, which confused Sophia.

    >We're not going to be watching a movie. Not yet at least.

    She smacked her face, which only made me tisk. "Only I get to hit you, Sophia." When she looked at me shocked, I frowned and pointed at a nondescript red building that was at least three floors tall. We were in the near docks area after all, which meant a lot of abandoned structures.

    "What are we doing here then?" she asked, sighing.

    "Why don't we go inside and you'll find out?"

    We entered through the side, and I inputted an eight-digit code before the door could be unlocked. The code actually didn't open the door; it was pressure plated. Each button had to be pushed properly to be valid.

    Sophia didn't comment when we entered the main room, which had a staircase nearby our current position.

    "You're not going to… what are we doing here Hebert?" Sophia asked, acting as if she still had a spine to demand things from me. I'm pretty sure I broke you last week. Do I have to bend you again?

    Each step down the staircase made Sophia much more cautious. She even put a little bit of distance between me, not too much that I would comment on of course.

    As soon as she saw my horde, she froze. I let her marvel at their beauty for a moment before continuing.

    "This is just one of many buildings around the city that I have under my control."

    "Holy shit… just how many people have you…" she said, surprised.

    "Roughly two hundred, mostly the dead, some were alive, though. Usually, the gangbangers or bums that often spotted me by accident, you know the usual trash. No one's going to notice, if that's what got your panties in a twist."

    "How...how hasn't anyone noticed? The Police...the Heroes...the Villains..no one has said anything. You stated that this was just one of the many places…?"

    I frowned at that.

    "Yes, there are other locations… but it's too soon for me to start. I need to make sure I have other cities prepped up."

    "Other cities?" Sophia said. I looked at her confused to see her pale, which was somewhat unusual to see.

    "Oh- they're hibernating. They won't need to feed if that's what you're worried about. I have left a few as sentries… to make sure no one reports to the authorities or something like that."

    She was quiet, too quiet for my taste.

    "Just how long did you think I've been a… strigoi?" I asked.

    "A what?" she asked, finally coming back.

    "A vampire."

    "I-...wait. Why doesn't the sun-" she tried to say, but I cut off her stupid question.

    "Since winter. Now…. let’s go. I just wanted to show you this, so you understood just how important you are to me."

    "How important...I am...to you?" she asked.

    "I've allowed you to keep your thoughts, you thought that everyone I give the worms to will has the same privilege? Be grateful to me for my kindness. Now we must get going, don't want to miss the movie do you?"

    I gave her a smile, waving her to follow. She hesitated but did as I asked.

    "Oh, and to answer your question… No, we don't burn in the sun. Don't be silly, we’re not living in a fictional world."

    I knew that I should have spent a bit of time, explaining things to her. Like why we no longer needed to sleep but I didn’t feel like it at the moment.
     
  8. Threadmarks: Malevolence (Worm Oneshot)
    ShellOG

    ShellOG Not too sore, are you?

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    Malevolence (Worm Oneshot)

    [​IMG]

    Danny Hebert

    Many of my coworkers thought I was a bit strange when I spoke to them about my family. It wasn't as if discussing such things were odd but the simple fact that I a forty-nine-year-old had a fifteen-year-old daughter. Over time they recognized that I was just another ordinary guy, trying to do their best to survive in a city that was failing. Luckily, speaking about such things gave me the opportunity to meet my best friend, Kurt. He and his wife were helpful when things went downhill for me.

    When my wife died two years ago, my purpose to continue flickered away. But something happened, and it made me remember that I still had Taylor. That I needed to be there for her and be the parent, the friend that she so clearly needed.

    So I took her out more, even if she grumbled about her homework and volunteer work. I didn't take no for an answer, so I forced us to spend more time together. At work, at a park near the nicer parts of town and even at some ice cream shop called Rocky's. I was pretty sure that she liked spending time with me, but she didn't appreciate me forcing it on her. Over time, I stopped forcing her to interact with me, but we still spent time together.

    Spending time with my daughter wasn't going to make the last two years go away. It wasn't going to heal the bond that I had damaged with her, but it would help mend our relationship. Taylor was a smart kid, she got perfect scores and was on Arcadia's school chess team. She even had the time to volunteer at some pharmaceutical owned soup kitchen near the docks. How she had the time to do all that and allocate some time to my forced interactions were aspiring and heartwarming. At her age I was barely paying attention in school, spending my time playing sports with my friends. Nothing too serious, nothing that could get me to become a pro, just a bit of fun.

    Although it did make me despair to see that she didn't need me and hadn't needed me to grow up. I wanted to get her something, to show my worth, so I scraped some money to get her the thing that I had forbidden her to use. She was surprised to see that I got her a phone and without saying anything, she hugged me. It had been a pleasant feeling, something that I realized she hadn't done in a long time. Even with spending time with me, she had never hugged me. She smiled sure, but that didn't mean as much as physical contact. As much as the hug did. Later that night I had cried in the bathroom, realizing that I had failed her for too long.

    Our home was moderate but was rusting away as time passed. I was encouraged by Taylor one day to spend some time to fix the house. To fix that damn broken wooden step and even give the interior of the house a nice fresh repaint. It wasn't an expensive fix, especially with paint being relatively cheap when bought in bulk. Her mood was always positive, so the paint job did nothing for her.

    It wasn't like she spent all of her time with me, at school, and at the volunteer job. She had a social life and even drew some conceptual art. She wasn't sadly the next Leonardo Da Vinci, but I wasn't going to discourage her. Her art was usually black and white and had a sketched looking style.

    At one point I thought she might be into her own sex. It wouldn't have mattered to me, but I did find it discouraging to see that she never had a boyfriend. I even asked her about it while we were eating ice cream at Rocky's. She was eating her usual plain Vanilla while I was dangerous with the Tropic Heat flavored ice cream.

    "And what if I am?" she asked, curiosity in her eyes.

    I had faltered a bit but didn't want to appear as if I was disgusted at her being gay.

    "Nothing, I… I'm just wondering…you can tell me anything Taylor."

    She was quiet for the rest of the day and our talk about sex was nailed shut. I felt like an idiot and wondered what I could do to make things better between us. The next day I realized that I didn't need to do anything, she didn't appear to be upset. Between the birds and bee's discussion and the fact that there was no way she could get pregnant with another girl, I figured there was nothing to worry about.

    The only strange thing of late was the fact that she was coming home later than usual. When I had asked her what she was doing out so late, she told me that she was spending some time with another girl. I had blushed at the thought, so I decided to nod my head and not say anything that would make me out to be some sort of villain.

    I didn't usually watch the news, there was simply too much propaganda for my taste. There was also the simple fact that I was too busy with work or Taylor to care enough. Recently, though, Taylor was coming home later than usual, so I got some extra time. So today I was staring at the television screen, listening to the latest development. At first, there was a commercial, showing some sort of Grape Drink advertisement. I had been tempted to switch, but then a news anchor appeared. The man looked at the camera with a calm but serious demeanor.

    "Later tonight we'll cover a quite disturbing story. Several Brockton Bay capes have gone missing, and while the Protectorate and the P.R.T. did say that they left the city, video evidence has been submitted to counter the claim. That and the fact that several key members part of the Wards have just vanished within the last month. The source that provided the video evidence stated that all capes have been targeted and not just the Heroes."

    We lived in a dying city but this was a bit ridiculous. The idea that something like this could be happening to the strongest 'people' was insane. I thought about Taylor's safety but then remembered that the only missing people were 'capes.' Luckily she wasn't one, so there was no need to worry. I was pretty sure that I was still going to talk to her about this, on the off chance that she was close to a cape. Her school, Arcadia was supposed to house several Ward members. I wasn't a total idiot to not know about that simple fact. But that didn't mean I wasn't going to be needlessly worried about her safety.

    As time passed by, I decided to spend the time Taylor coming home late by investigating the missing capes. It wasn't like I was some sort of detective, out to catch a criminal. It's just that the case was gaining traction with the city and even Kurt had mentioned it when we were having lunch.

    So far, the known missing villainous capes were 'Oni-lee,' 'Lung,' 'Skidmark,' 'Squealer.' The heroes lost 'Shadow Stalker,' 'Browbeat' and 'Armsmaster.' The strange thing that was brought up several times was that Lung and Armsmaster went missing on the same day. It was then that the whole issue blew up figuratively.

    When one non-cape, a 'Thomas Calvert' a Protectorate associate disappeared, I started to worry about Taylor's safety. It took a few hours to realize that the man must have been a cape somehow.

    The missing people didn't appear to be connected in any way, but I was at a loss why the killer targeted a supposed non-cape. I suspected that the 'non-cape' did indeed have powers. None of the bodies had ever been retrieved.

    The government started to get desperate as more cases got murdered and sent in the Triumvirate. When Alexandria came in to investigate, even more, villainous capes went missing.

    When one reporter suggested that the killer was a white supremacist that supported the Empire-88, things became much worse. Kaiser got captured by Alexandria. Which instigated a city-wide war between the Empire and the other capes. The Heroes were doing a good job at keeping the government run buildings safe, such as the hospital.

    ---- Taylor POV -----

    The voices had once been an annoyance, but after giving into their demands, life had started to become easier. I cursed myself for being so stubborn, especially when I realized that things could have been easier if only I had listened to them in the beginning. It didn't matter anymore, however, not when the next target was within fifty meters away. She was looking down at her tablet, not paying attention to her surroundings. Then again, I did wonder why she was sitting alone in the park. I looked around to see if this was some sort of trap. When I couldn't see one, I decided to act as a 'local jogger.' I pretended to be out of breath as I got close to her. She wasn't paying attention, so I stopped in front of her.

    "Hey, mind if I sit here?" I asked, acting as if I was out of breath. My clothes didn't entirely match the identity of a jogger, but it wasn't that off. I had runners on, my school shirt and even a pair of jeans. The Asian looking woman looked up at me, scowling.

    "Yes, now fuck off."

    Instead of moving, I smiled and looked at her with malevolence. I put my hand on my face and pulled off my mask.

    ---- END POV ----

    Things became crazy when key locations around the city got bombed one afternoon. It was suspected that Bakuda, the ABB leader finally decided to make her move. Only that after a few days the whole gang started to dissolve. With most of the major gangs in the city losing their capes, the remaining Wards, Protectorate and Alexandria decided to finally get rid of all Villainous capes in the city. Their effort didn't do much, most of the capes in the city, most notably Faultlines group had left the city when Lung and Armsmaster went 'missing.'

    It hadn't taken the Heroes too long, but I was glad that finally, the city would see the light. Months passed and as the city capes stopped getting murdered, Alexandria head back to her own city. Luckily, nothing crazy happened since then, and even Taylor was coming home on time.

    But… one day I noticed something strange when I was cleaning her room. I looked at her notebook, the one that held all of her art. Only that there was another one underneath it, a purple book that she had never shared with him. I opened it but regretted it immediately. Every page contained drawings of every cape that had been killed. At first, I thought she was just a cape geek, but then one of the non-capes were shown as well. A 'Thomas Calvert' the Protectorate associate. I immediately put everything back and left the half-cleaned room.

    When she came home after school, I had been tempted to drag her to the police station only five blocks away. Instead, I just stared at her smile with internal disgust. I wondered if she was actually smiling or if it was fake.

    "Hey Dad, the soup kitchen didn't need me today, so I came home early."

    Part of me wanted to pick up the phone, to call the police and tell them everything. Part of me wanted to ask her why she was a monster. But I knew why… why she turned out this way, and there was no one to blame but myself. I was willing to do many things but betraying my daughter wasn't one of them. Even if she deserved the death penalty.

    For now, all I could do was hope that she wouldn't continue her murderous habit. With no more capes going missing, it gave him some hope.

    She was a good girl… she helped at a soup kitchen… helped the people that needed it. When I felt someone hugging me, I tensed up but relaxed a bit as the experience went by without issue. When she let go, I looked at her eyes, to see what she was up to.

    "Are you alright Dad?"

    It took me a bit of time to clear my throat.

    "Couldn't be any better...you know I love you right?" You know you can tell me anything, right? I didn't have the courage to speak those words.

    Taylor tilted her head to the right in confusion but smiled in the end.

    "Of course Dad, I love you too."
     
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  9. NakedFury

    NakedFury Know what you're doing yet?

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    Are they all going to be about Taylor?

    I was expecting an OC like you mentioned
     
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  10. ShellOG

    ShellOG Not too sore, are you?

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    I've actually written a Harry Potter OC fic, but it's in the works. Will probably come out sometime next year. Trying to put at least 30k words before I even release.
     
  11. Threadmarks: Sicario (Worm AU) - Chapter 2
    ShellOG

    ShellOG Not too sore, are you?

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    Sicario (Worm AU)

    Chapter 2

    Monday - Taylor Hebert

    "Did you hear what happened to Emma?" Julia asked scandalously to her bitch of a friend named Katie. Julia herself was a skinny bitch that liked to talk trash behind my back, she didn't have the guts to taunt me without some sort of girl squad to back her up.

    I was, however, a bit curious to hear what they thought about Emma, so I took my sweet time grabbing opening my school locker. Nothing unusually here folks, you can all ignore me. The only things I usually kept in said locker nowadays were a few pencils, pens, and a few loose sheets of lined paper. There wasn't any point in putting anything important get destroyed or accidently lost, so I kept all of my notes and books home.

    I no longer left things to chance, especially when a little trio always decided to steal from my locker. I didn't have time for any shenanigans, and I wasn't going to tolerate such nonsense anymore. I triple checked all of my homework before I even submitted it, and even sent out PDF's of my homework to the teacher's and principal's public emails at least three days in advance. The principal mentioned that she couldn't look at every email but promised to look into matters if any 'rare' issue propped up.

    "No, what happened?" Katie asked, closing her locker with one loud thud. Should probably get to gym class before Mr. Keith decides to make me do extra laps. Then again, I still have more than enough time to hear some gossip.

    "Actually, Uhh, let's talk about it somewhere else," Julia whispered, glancing at my direction for half a second. Guess I'll be at Gym early today.

    I had enough time to change into my athletic clothes and showed up for attendance before names were called. With more than enough time to spare, I did some stretches and made sure to keep it short and straightforward. I didn't need my favorite stalker to get too curious, especially at school. During our first half run, I noticed a certain madi-padi look at me from behind more than usual. Madison usually did her own thing when we had gym together, and with one glance at Sophia, she appeared to be mentally preoccupied with some sort of life decision. Her face looked a bit strained, and it might have been even funny if her face didn't look so stupid as she ran red-faced.

    Thankfully, I got distracted with Sophia and her little adventures. Sophia bumped into a girl twice as big as her, and I couldn't stop a short-lived chuckle when the Aryan-affiliated girl cursed at her. Sophia wasn't even paying attention at the big thug or even at me, so I decided to glance behind, to only see Madison staring at my ass. She noticed me looking at her and decided to look away when she knew she had been caught red-handed. She's into girls? Ah, makes sense… Emma-Sophia-Madison were probably all scissor sisters. Then again… I have no right to belittle them.

    After one more lap, I slowed down to jog beside the girl who had bullied me for last two years.

    "Hey," I huffed before taking another wave of air.

    Madison didn't say anything at. First, she just looked ahead for a bit before slowing down a bit.

    "What do you want freak?"

    Her words made me angrier than any normal human being had the right to be. I was tempted to grab her neck, right then, and twist it will all of my might. Then again, with one look at Sophia, I remembered what I had done to Emma. "Oh nothing, just noticed you staring at me more than usual is all." I wonder if she'll like me when she finds out about Sophia.

    She didn't say anything at first again, but I saw a blush appearing. "You been smoking pot, Hebert? Go away." With that said, Madison decided to put a little bit of effort to outpace me. I let her, knowing that there was nothing to be done at the moment. In time she would realize how much of a fool she was for hurting me. In time the whole world would understand and then I would have the last laugh.

    Wednesday - Sophia Hess

    What kind of dirtbag breaks and enters a home to only kill the people inside? They didn't even bother stealing anything from them. Makes no fucking sense.

    "You know what Jake told me yesterday?"

    No and I don't give a shit either. The girl wasn't deterred when I gave her a scowl, in fact, she appeared to get excited by the attention I was giving her. For fuck's sake.

    "He told me that he was going to get me a new laptop for my birthday. I've been asking for a new once since Ryan decided to-," the girl paused before continuing, "-hey you alright Sophia?"

    I decided to pinch my nose with my fingers, trying my best not to attack the brunette. I didn't need to get into any more trouble with Piggy. "No, no I'm not alright Jessica. Emma got murdered in her home and all your talking about is... Jack. Who gives a shit." I didn't have time for this, I needed to find the scumbag who murdered my best friend.

    "Hey, my names Sarah and his name isn't-" when I gave her a death glare for continuing her irritating squeaking, she shut her mouth up. Why am I even hanging around with this weakling? I glanced at Madison, and she appeared to be in a good mood, in fact, she was excited about something. What's she all cheery about?

    I wasn't one to think about an issue for too long, so I decided to get up and sit beside her. A girl who was in my spot yelled out a curse before realizing who I was. "Oh shit, uh, I'll see you guys later I guess." Everyone at the table either went back to eating or decided to talk into their own little conversations.

    "What do you want?" Madison asked, frowning like my presence was irritating her. Bitch I could make your life miserable.

    "Emma. Did you text her?" The girl was bright enough to understand.

    "No... I was busy at Queenies Salon the whole day, and then I went out with my family. I didn't find out until... Sunday and... someone texted me." The girl was lying, I wasn't sure what of, but she wasn't giving me the truth. What is she hiding from me?

    "And now I see you're all happy and shit, what's up with that?"

    Madison could only look at me for a second, blinking dumbfoundedly. "We weren't exactly best friends Sophia." What? I guess you were more like a leech.

    "In fact, I don't remember being your friend either.... so why don't you go bother someone else?" I should punch you right now...

    It took a pure force of will not to attack the girl for taunting me. I only smiled, gave her a look that said she would get her cake and dessert. Madison didn't seem to be phased at all, in fact, she just turned her head and started talking out loud to some blonde.

    Saturday - Taylor Hebert

    My semi-permanent base wasn't anything that special, although it was technically a shoddy storage space that contained the essentials. There were safeguards in place, much more radical ones than the ones I had at home. There were some pretty obvious safeguards, in case a sneaky little mouse decided to get curious about a 'Roger Smith's" belongings. An alias, of course, a false name to throw any possible future investigations toward a Taylor Hebert astray.

    "I see that you've decided to initiate your carnal desires Talon. Any reason why you're ahead of schedule or have you grown impatient?" the male sounding voice asked.

    Gorilla, was a bit of a prickler when it involved any agenda that he was a part of. Technically, he was my boss now, so I had to kind of hear him out. That didn't precisely mean that I had to listen to him, then again he was helping me out. He provided a few little toys for my signup and promised me what I desired most, change. Not just municipal change but global climatic change. Most wouldn't like this change, but that didn't matter because I wouldn't be part of that percentage.

    The guy, or who I thought was a man needed to relax a little. He had advised me against killing anyone close to me, but in the end, never told me that I couldn't do what I wanted. Well as long as I didn't get caught and didn't bring any political heat on my attractive little head. It wasn't as if It was a hard task, considering that the cops hadn't solved the Barnes's murder.

    "No, I didn't see the point in waiting any longer. I should be done soon," I said neutrally.

    He had been the one to inform me that Sophia was a Ward, surprisingly enough. It had been a bit of a shock, and while it did explain many things, that little fact wasn't going to deter me any bit. I had decided to go full blown villain, and no one was going to stop me. I might not be as powerful as Alexandria or as significant as Eidolon, but that didn't mean I didn't have my strengths. The locker had shown me something that very few understood, 'strength lies not in defense but in attack'.

    I had always lived in the shadow, waited for someone to help me. I had always relied on others to do the right thing, but there was no such thing. Humanity as a species are going to be at one point wiped out, and the capes were there to move us all along towards that direction. My boss understood this and provided information that such a thing would happen soon enough. Sooner than later, Earth is going to get destroyed. That is unless we do something about it.

    "You're going to drag this as long as you can, won't you?" the man sounded like I had just punched him in the gut and spat at his face. His sounded so defeated.

    "Depends on how the situation unfolds actually, it's not as you need me at the moment."

    "That's not entirely true, but I don't have to remind you of the risk you're taking by exposing yourself." We already talked about this, killing them all would always bring unwanted attention.

    "Is there a purpose for this meeting?" I asked, getting ticked off at the man's behavior.

    "No need to get upset. And the point of this meeting as you wish to put it? Next week I'll need you to visit me."

    I wanted to mention the fact that the meeting wasn't supposed to happen for another two months but what could one say to a supposed drug lord but give their approval. Then again the title was temporary, something the man needed to make sure that our future goals had enough backing.

    "Okay, and just how am I going to meet you?" We had never met in person yet, and that had been completely fine with me. I didn't need to meet the potentially unstable man, ever.

    "I'll arrange transport for you, just make sure you don't do anything… risky to your civilian identity."

    "Yes sir, anything you say, sir," I mocked, pretending to be a soldier.

    "If you weren't important I would kill you for that." I know you can, but it's fun messing with you.

    I smiled at the thought and waited for him to continue.

    "Don't get caught. Farewell Talon," he said before the DarkNet voice call ended.

    I glanced down at the bottom right of the laptop and noticed that it was almost time to enact my plan for Sophia. So I turned off the laptop, waited patiently for the loading screen to actually turn black and then went to put the device away in a mechanical safe.

    The safe wasn't there to protect anyone from breaking into it, it was rigged with an acid payload. If anyone decided to enter into Roger's storage space, the place would be blown into kingdom kong. That and all the contents inside the safe would be entirely liquidated.

    By the time anyone even realized the traps I had set in place, they would be dead.

    Sunday - Sophia Hess

    "Wakey, wakey," I heard someone say before I felt something hit my face. Immediately I was alert of my surroundings, noticing that I wasn't in my bed. What the hell is going on? Where am I- The silver and black mask frowning, made me aware that whoever had decided to kidnap me, wasn't fucking around. Why does my stomach feel like it just went through a rollercoaster?

    The room was without a light source, but I could see the figure in front of me, and when I heard a cough, I noticed three more individuals tied up in their own respective chairs. I looked down to see that I was cuffed and smiled internally, realizing that the person who kidnapped me didn't know that I was a cape. When I did try to escape, however, pain sparked my entire body. Fuck, electric cuffs? How-

    "I wouldn't try that again Sophia," the female voice said. A girl? Why does she sound so familiar... The person behind the mask realized that I was confused, so she laughed like a loon. A merchant thug captured me?

    "You don't know who I am, I thought without the voice membrane attached to my mouth that you would be able to tell who I was by sound alone." I... Hebert? No fucking way.

    "Don't act so surprised, you brought this on yourself you know."

    "You think you can get away with-" I tried to say before getting punched in the gut. Ugh that actually hurt.

    "Actually, I already have. This is just the victory party." What?

    Heber went towards my seemingly unconscious family and pulled out a gun.

    "Now, I see you have three chances to confess your crimes. Your mom dies first, then your older brother and then your little sister for last. Just look in front of the camera... and well you know, confess. I'll give you ten seconds to gather your thoughts."

    What the hell is going on? Confess to what?

    The room sparked bright, and it took me a second to realize that Taylor had gone ahead and killed my mother. "What the fuck do you think you're doing? You didn't even give me-"

    "Oops, finger slipped. Don't worry, I'm sure it won't happen again," Taylor said before walking towards Terry. No. No. No.

    "Don't you fucking dare, don't you-" and then Terry was gone. My ears were ringing hard now.

    "Shit, there might be something wrong with this gun... maybe I'll have to..." Taylor said, not even paying attention to anything. Is she on fucking drugs!?

    "Okay, okay I'll confess, just stop. She's still a child, she's," I tried to say. Only that Hebert wasn't listening, she just started strangling my little sister. "I'll kill you- I'll KILL YOU, YOU REALIZE THAT? I'LL FUCKING KILL YOUR FAMILY. YOU'RE FATHER? HE'S DEAD."

    By the time I stopped screaming, I had noticed that I was crying. I felt the gun on the side of head my head. I won't give you the satisfaction. I won't beg.

    "Guess your time's up... you should have confessed Sophia." Conf-

    AN: The last part is from Sophia's perspective and there are things that is kind of hidden. There are certain elements I'm not willing to share at the moment, as I am unsure if I wish to pursue them with this story. Sorry if this chapter felt bland.
     
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  12. Threadmarks: Dead Air - Chapter 1
    ShellOG

    ShellOG Not too sore, are you?

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    Dead Air

    Summary: Taylor doesn't trigger in her locker but she does get disfigured and gets mentally handicapped. After a week of checkups, she was cleared to go home. While her body did get healthier her mind got worse. When her father came home early one day, he caught her doing drugs. Instead of getting angry at her, he acknowledges that she needs help. Later on, Taylor gets forced into a state funded medical home.

    Warning: Drugs, Violence, Excessive language, Protagonist Journey To Evil, Insane Protagonist, Disgusting Habits

    Tags: Worm, OOC Taylor, Worm AU, Evil, Dark

    Special thanks to UltimatePaladin on SB/SV for helping me out.


    --------

    Chapter 1

    Just a simple mistake

    "No, no, no, don't take it away from me, I need it... you can't," I wheezed out, raking my nails across my face in frustration. My cheeks were pulsing in playful anger but that wasn't going to stop me from doing my best to stop her. Even if I wasn't even sure why Emma was trying to steal my mother's flute again.

    I won't let you take it away from me again. I'll... I'll stop you somehow.

    I looked around my room for some sort of weapon but couldn't find one nearby to my dismay. All my switchblades were hidden underneath my closet floor. I hadn't been prepared for Emma to break into my home.

    I have my hands, my chipped nails... I can use them to slash her face... I'll strangle the pitiful life out of her. That'll stop her from breathing. Once she stops stealing all my precious air, I'll won't have to be afraid of suffocating.

    I had woken up in my comfy soft bed and found the treasured item beside me, which had been quite bizarre. But I didn't care where the gift came from, even if I was starting to have doubts about its authenticity.

    Didn't she snap my mom's flute in half and dump it in shit before taunting to me about it the next day? No that doesn't make sense, no way she would touch the flute if that happened.

    Emma with her stupid freckles was holding the item like it was hers to use and abuse. She dared to take a deep breath of my air and put her lips on the mouthpiece of the flute.

    "Le-let go bitch," Emma screamed out loud in strained anger when I pulled.

    Her face twisted into fury, which made me want to chuckle in indignation at her audacity; but I couldn't do such a thing because I was too focused. Zoning out when things mattered was only to be done at school. Instead of giving into emotion and responding back; I gripped the flute harder to prevent Emma from taking the last thing that reminded me of mom.

    I won't let you take it away from me this time.

    Emma tried to be sneaky with a spit in my face but I paid that no attention. I only gave in to my anger and pulled back harder.

    "You're a nobody, you're nothing Taylor. You're nothing but a fucking idiot!"

    "Like you're one to talk," I screamed giving in, breaking my internal vows. Luckily for me, I was able to snap the flute away from her vile grasp then.

    Yes, I have it back. Yes, I won't let you take it away from me again.

    I looked down to see my prized possession to only see it cracking and within a heartbeat the flute turned into ash. No... no... not again.

    "You-" I pointed, "you broke it!" I howled before trying to get up from the damn bed again, to only remember that I was still strapped to it for some inane reason.

    "No one loves you, Taylor. You killed your mother."

    I looked into Emma's hazel eyes and realized that she had meant it. Damn you.... I should have never became your friend.

    "You think you're going to keep getting away with this?" I shouted, spitting a little bit on Emma's unsuspecting face. She winced in disgust for a second, giving me a delightful frown.

    "I already have... you dumb slut," she whispered before giving me a shit eating grin.

    "What the fuck are you talking about?" I asked, confused what her game was.

    One blink later and she was gone, like the great Houdini. The fuck did she go.

    One more blink and I saw my dad holding my secret stash with what looked like disappointment.

    Fuck.

    Meeting new friends

    "Hey," I heard someone above me say with a punch of too much enthusiasm. Way more than what I could handle at the moment anyways, considering the fact that I was in lazy-mode. The so called mandatory therapy session hadn't gone so well, and with that not going so hot, I was still under 'review'. Which meant that I wasn't allowed to communicate with anyone outside of the facility.

    I glanced up to see some lanky guy laze around with his index finger pointed at the seat to my right.

    Hmm, what does this guy want? Doesn't he know the rules or does he not care?

    The brown haired guy decided to chuckle before deciding to take my silence as approval. He sat down on the stiff creamy white couch next to me and coughed like he was expecting something.

    Eh? Wasn't sitting beside me enough?

    I looked at him to figure out why he decided to bother me, to only see him cough yet again. I felt the air around me shift a bit, causing me to do a panic breathe. If he found what I did strange, he didn't mention it. I decided then and there to try my best to ignore the guy by looking straight ahead.

    When he coughed a third time, my left hand gripped the couch side with irritation.

    Ugh, doesn't he know that coughing without covering your mouth spreads germs? There was like that outbreak somewhere in Aleph's South America last year wasn't there? Good thing that America had that wall built before it got too bad.

    "Go spread your coughs elsewhere," I mouthed out, keeping my face neutral before looking back at the television.

    Wish they would put something good on, one can only watch so much Jeopardy before going nutty as a fruitcake.

    "I wasn't trying- wait why am I even trying to even explain myself to a-..." the annoying guy said out loud to no one before scooting closer to me. He had decided to invade my personal bubble, which became a bit worrisome.

    Why's he getting so close to me... is he trying to steal my air? No, he wouldn't dare.

    "You got any on you?" he whispered.

    Any what? You're too close to my face, I swear if he tries to lick my face like that one other guy I'll poke his eyes out and then gut him like a fish to suck the air out of his lungs... oh he's talking about drugs.

    I looked at him horrified before realizing that he had to have been joking. There was no way someone could get any in this place. It was like fort Knox and even the prison guards, I mean the medical guards liked to make sure that you took the medication by checking your mouth.

    Does he know how to get some? If I just had one dime bag I would be set for a week...

    "You should have seen your face, goddamn priceless," he said, smacking his legs like he had come up with the best prank there ever was. It wasn't that funny.

    I blushed a bit before frowning, realizing what I was doing.

    He's at least three years older than me and he might be a serial killer for all I know. Maybe he's part of the carbon police, trying to put a tax on my breathing rights.

    "So, what are you in here for?" he asked, scratching the side of his face like we were talking about the weather. Nope, not going to do it. Not even going to touch it with a ten feet stick.

    "Not going to say anything?"

    Yup, it's like he can read my mind. How refreshing- wait... does that mean that he knows I want to steal his-

    "Come on, you must be bored out of your mind to be watching static. Unless you really are a crazy... you're not mad are you?"

    I sighed, realizing that the silent treatment wasn't working. I shook my head in the negative. I didn't want him to think that I was upset.

    "Well, my lawyer told me it was either insanity or prison."

    What the hell is this place? I thought this was rehab... it isn’t no prison. And insanity doesn't sound like it's a good place to be in... must be full of crazy stabby people.

    "You're not a serial killer are you?" I asked, turning to his still face. I looked at him, willing him to tell me the truth with my hard stare.

    If he lies to me, I'll gut him and pull his lungs out. Maybe then he'll tell me the truth.

    "...no... are you?" he asked a touch nervously.

    Flashbacks are a thing

    I heard the nurse in the room whisper to the doctor in the room, acting as if I wasn't in said room. It was quite vexing to see the two conspiring against me without telling me of their evil plan. The doctor pinched his nose for a solid second or two, in what seemed like bitter disappointment.

    What did she tell him? Oh dear god... are they going to inject morphine into my veins and then act like I overdosed? Bastards trying to kill me and act as if I had killed myself. No, I won't let them... think, think...

    "What are you guys talking about? I can't seem to hear you... seeing as you're whispering," I asked out loud and obnoxious, worried about why the two weren't telling me of their evil plan. Usually villains liked to tell their Nemesis's their dastardly plans before killing them. Then again, it might be that they were talking about something else, but I didn't want to assume things. Assumptions were what led me to the current situation I was in.

    "Oh, sweetie... uh... your father will be here shortly to talk to you," the nurse said in a calm silky tone before the door opened. I looked at the door to see four big guys in white clothes walking into the room looking all menacing in posture. Hey- What are they hench doing here? These villains are so cowardly that they need their men to do their dirty work?

    The henchmen didn't say anything to me as they hurried me with several scary objects in their hands.

    There's got to be some sort of mistake.

    "What's going on?" My heart started thumping faster than before, causing my eyes to shift quickly at each of the hench's faces in hope to make them feel guilty about their attempted murder. It didn't seem like it was working, so I started to suck in as much air as possible. One should always be prepared for the worst.

    "Taylor, just let these men do their job," the nefarious nurse said with subtle calm etched into her voice.

    Liar! You told me that my dad would show up. Instead, I'm going to be killed for- for-

    "What's going on? I'm so lost... Why am I being restrained? Where's my da-," I tried to say before one of the hench in white decided to muzzle me like I was some sort of rabid dog that needed to be controlled.

    They waited for me to stop trying to flail around like a duck that wanted freedom before forcing me up and moving me out of the hospital room. Not that I needed to be restrained and pushed around, considering the fact that I kept quiet and looked ahead of me with subtle calm.

    I saw my father outside, sitting on a chair, looking down at the floor like it was much more interesting than I was.

    Why? Why would you do this to me? I thought we were family...

    Mischief is my middle name

    "Come on, you know it'll be funny," whispered Travis conspiratorially.

    If we get caught it'll set me back in here...

    I looked at Travis's blue eyes to see that he was excited and that he was going to follow through with the prank, with or without me.

    Alright no more screwing around.

    "Okay, hold your horses," I whispered back before bumping into his shoulder. The guard turned to greet Doctor Mendez, which was my cue to enter the stage. I tried my best to be sneaky beaky like.

    I'm like Snake from that old video game from Earth Bet.

    I poured the distilled water on the floor with haste before walking away from the crime scene all nonchalantly. I put the thin plastic white cup in a trashcan nearby and headed back towards Travis. Luckily for me the guard was paying too much attention to the Doctor to notice what I had done. The guard took a step back to only slip backwards instead of forwards. Time slowed then, or at least that's what it felt like. His skull made a disgusting noise as it hit onto the hard white ceramic tile.

    My heart sped up, and it felt like time itself was trying its best to catch up as my stomach started to go berserk. Like that one time when I drank too much night medicine to see what would happen. It wasn't like I was trying to kill myself, just wanted to see if I would feel some sort of high.

    "Shit, shit," I half-whispered, half-said out too loud.

    "Fuck didn't expect that to happen," Travis said with a no so soothing calm voice.

    The guy was supposed to trip forward. Why didn't he have the decency to TRIP FORWARD? He was supposed to be in heavenly pursuits with the Doctor's smushy chest and we were supposed to have a good laugh.

    They're... they're going to hang me for this. They're- "I need to get out of here before they kill me," I tried to say. For some reason the panic was taking its sweet time to hit me in full force. The doctor looked panicked and yelled out, which caused several nurses and guards to take notice.

    Travis looked at me, then at the bleeding medical guard. He can't be dead... he's not dead... right?

    "Alright, I did kind of... don't worry, I'll get my cousin to break us out," he said before squeezing my hand in comfort.

    "I, we better go before..." I tried to say.

    "Yeah, we don't have much time... just act the fool like usual and I'll get us out of here by tomorrow. Before the cops even decide to-" he tried to say before the alarms blared out for a code red.

    He walked away then, and I did the same. I needed to head back to my room.

    One of the guards was running past me, so I tried to act casual by running like him. He slowed down to look at me with a confused expression before turning straight ahead.

    Success.
     
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  13. Threadmarks: Dead Air - Chapter 2
    ShellOG

    ShellOG Not too sore, are you?

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    Dead Air

    Chapter 2

    Escape from Alcatraz


    "Damn Taylor, you need to lose some weight," Travis said with a deep breath before pushing me up. Hey, I'm not- I'm not even fat! Grr... I'll get you back for that comment Travis!

    I grabbed the harsh brick ledge and pulled as hard as I could. God damn, maybe I do need to exercise a little-

    Then I had enough of my upper body on the top of the ledge to get the rest of it to follow. It only took a few seconds to be on my knees and feet. I cautiously turned around by going as slow as a snail, I didn't want to fall off the wall and accidentally break my neck like some sort of amateur escape artist.

    I hope Travis is light as he looks like.

    I reached out to my best friends hand. It took a couple of tries... okay, more like eight attempts, before I could pull him up. The jump down looked daunting but my friend made it look like it was no problem at all. I couldn't be a whiny little girl, so I womaned up and jumped down before cursing myself for now landing right, as now I was feeling a sharp pain on my right ankle.

    "Fu-" I screamed out before a hand grabbed my mouth. "Keep your mouth shut, we don't want the alarms to go off." I nodded my head in agreement and then the hand slowly went away. "My cousin should just be up ahead; the forest has a trail that leads to the highway. He looked down at my feet before asking, "do you need any help?"

    I waved him off and even when I took a step forward, I kept quiet. Something hot and sharp had poked my ankle; I wasn't sure how long it was going to take for it to heal. The pain had almost taken over my senses but I wasn't going to give up. Travis looked at my legs with concern but when I started to jog towards our escape, he stopped fretting and followed.

    By the time we got somewhat deep into the forest, the lights from our little prison decided to come on. A second later, alarms blared which made my heart race and vision to focus. I was pretty sure the fear of getting caught was the only thing that made me start running for my life.

    ...

    "Thanks for the pickup Nico," Travis said nervously to his cousin before slamming his door shut. He didn't care to be quiet anymore, considering that the alarms were still blaring angrily.

    "Yeah, thanks for getting us, out I'm Taylor. Do you know-" I tried to say before I got cut off quite rudely.

    "Shut the fuck up tramp, just shut the fuck up. Do you realize how much you fucked up Travis?" I stopped paying any attention to Nico then. I looked down at my ankle to see how it was doing. It was throbbing like a little heartbeat and while it did look like a large purple grape, it didn't feel that bad. I felt the vehicle move then, which probably meant that we were actually going to escape now.

    I tried to massage my ankle but that only caused me to feel like getting kicked in the stomach ten times in a row without mercy. "Fuck!" I shouted when we drove along a pothole.

    "...the fuck? Is she a fucking crazy man?" Nico asked, looking at Travis for a long second before focusing back on the road. Hey, I'm not... okay, maybe a little. But who wouldn't be a little nuts if everyone in your life betrays you...

    "She's alright man, her ankle got busted up when we... just chill out," Travis said, having my back. Yeah, that's right- I'm ALRIGHT.

    "We'll see about that man... we'll fucking see..." Nico the asshole said as we drove past a red light. Well fuck you too then. I was going to give you a hug but you know what? Nope. No hugs for you.

    Couch Monster

    It didn't take that long to get to Nico's pad, which was near the docks. It was some sort of shanty looking house that made my old home look like a mansion. Dad... hope I don't see- Nah, he'd be either working or at home... fucking prick never even visited me once...Mom at least has an excuse. She's fucking dead for crying out loud. What about you dad? What excuse did you have? So what the doctors wouldn't let you, that didn't stop you from betrayed me!

    "I'll grab you some clothes later but for now, let's go to the guest room," Travis said, winking at me suggestively. Oh? I couldn't stop the stupid red blush from appearing.

    "Not so fast slick, TV room first. I hate to cock block you but I need to make sure this chick's aight like you say," Nick the prick, or was it Nico said before pointing towards one of the nastiest looking couches that I'd have ever the pleasure of seeing in my life. Travis had no problem at all, there had been zero hesitation on his part when he sat on the disease ridden beast, so I did the same with a little bit of distaste shown on my face.

    "Oh, la-de-le-da, we've got a fucking princess in the house," Nico said, realizing that I was scrunching up my nose. I swear if he doesn't shut his trap I'll sew them shut. Maybe then he'll stop stealing all of my fucking air like a poacher.

    "Chill out bro," my savior said. Why does he keep saying that to him? Oh God. Nico probably has some sort of anger issues and maybe... maybe.. he needs to be told to chill out...

    "So why the tits was she in the loony bin?" Nico asked before sitting down near Travis, on his single throne-sized couch.

    "Bro-" Travis said before getting cut off. "Don't FUCKING bro me Travis, you know how much shit you're in now... for fucks sake man, now.... is she going to be a problem or do I have to dump a bitch on a corner?"

    "I'm not going to be a fucking problem," I said with more than just a dash of venom. Wouldn't it be cool if I was like a snake or something, or maybe half-snek.

    "Anyways, you got any on you?" Travis asked, trying to shift the conversation. Hmmm? What does he want from, ah...

    "I'm watching you bitch, with both of my good eyes. One wrong step and you're outta here quicker than you can say avocado," Nico said. Avocado. There I said- I thought it. What now, going to cry?

    "Now, yeah Travis I got some shit but I don't give shit for free, even if you're family. If you want something you got to pay cash or... well I wouldn't fuck you either. The bitch though... nah she's fugly as fuck too, no one would want to touch that scarred up fucking face, maybe Ice Boy but even then he's not into dumb ass hoes..."

    Scarred up face? Bitch, I'm beautiful. There's... there's nothing wrong with my face.

    I didn't let the insult bother me too much, Travis looked at me worried but I just shrugged. Someone's going to get ganked one of these days in their sleep...

    "Alright, so what do you want us to do... drop shit or something?" Drop shit? Why would we want to drop stin- oh. Drug deals. All this lingo is so stupid, why not just say what you mean.

    To make sure I was on the right track, I asked what Travis was talking about. "Shh," he mumbled back before looking at his cousin. Don't shh me! I poked his stomach which made him feel shocked but he didn't take the bait.

    "Nah, nah nothing like that. Tomorrow I got to deliver some stuff for Mario and having at least... one trustworthy prick to watch my back will be better than nothing. Oh, and she'll have to come as well, as a spotter I suppose. I don't give a shit if she's your girlfriend, she's got to earn her keep."

    What the hell is a spotter?

    "Hey, I'm not-" I tried to say before getting cut off by my supposed boyfriend. "You got any clothes in the guest room?" Travis poked me back. Alright, alright, I get it. Keep my big mouth shut.

    "Yeah, also explain the house rules to her, don't want to have to cap a hoofer by accident of something," Nico said before laughing his ass off like he had said some sort of joke. Prick. Not even telling us what the inside joke is.

    Don't worry so much

    After showing me the 'guest room,' Travis went to speak to his cousin again. The walls were surprisingly thick, even when I tried to listen to them. That or they were talking real quiet like. After counting the amount of bugs in the room for the tenth time, my boy- friend came back and decided to sit beside me. We kept quiet a while, the atmosphere in the room felt a bit awkward so I shouted out loud the number of bugs in the room.

    "I know this... just relax Tay, just relax, no need to have one of your bitch fits," Travis said ignoring what I had said. He scratched the side of his face when he saw me turn towards him. Bitch fits? BITCH FITS? I punched his chest, although it didn't seem to have been even remotely effective.

    "Fuck man, just relax... look my cousins a good guy. He was just fucking around when he... he didn't mean nothing about your face... you know I don't care about that..." Good guy? What a hot steaming load of bull. I'll fucking rip the skin off of his face and then carve a hole into his chest.

    "He made fun of me Travis. You think I'll let that slide?" I asked with a bit of anger.

    "Don't give me that shit Tay, he helped you out, he helped both of us. What did you think was going to happen if we stayed? There's no such thing as a free ride... I thought out of everyone that you would have known that."

    I... I could go back and... Travis gave me that look. "Don't be stupid, you go back and they'll put you in a prison for killing that guard. They might even- right."

    Travis decided to shut his mouth finally. He talked way too much.

    I grabbed the piece of bread I had in my pocket and started to chew on it.

    "Wait- where the fuck did you get that from?"

    "Huh?" I tried to say before swallowing. "Oh this? Always keep some food on me."

    Travis looked at me funny, like he thought I was some sort of mental patient that had just escaped without the doctor's approval.

    "What?" I asked when he didn't say anything.

    "Nothing Taylor, just nothing...," Travis said before sighing, "Anyways, I scored a little from my cousin." Oh? Travis must've seen the stars in my eyes.

    "Just a taste, nothing too crazy. Maybe after the job he'll give us more." I didn't care about the details and Travis shut his mouth up, realizing that. He pulled out a clear plastic packet with some purple stuff inside, which only made me start to have tunnel vision.

    Finally...

    I watched him impatiently lean on a disgusting table nearby. He prepared two lines that looked a little bit too much in his favor. After he snorted one line, I floated to the next line without him saying a word.

    Zombie Sleep

    Ughh... what the hell did I do last night.... I coughed on my cold hand to see a bit of mucus and blood. Eh, nothing new. I wiped the stain on the relatively clean bedsheet. When I coughed again, I heard some mumblings beside me. I turned to see Travis sleeping like a little lamb that needed cuddles. Instead of bothering him, I decided to sit up on the bed and head towards the bathroom.

    The luxurious tolent didn't look like it had the honor or being cleaned since it had been installed back in 1959.

    "This is so disgusting...oh...please..." I said, taking several toilet sheets to clean the top.

    When I walked back into the guest room, Travis was already up and packing some things in a brown duffel bag. I was a bit curious to see what but he was already zipping the bag up. I decided to sit back on the bed, waiting to see what we would be doing.

    "Hey, we'll grab some lunch soon, just need to take a quick shower," lunch? It's... I looked for some sort of clock but couldn't find one. Just how long did we sleep?


    "Okay, be quick though," I replied crisply.

    "Right. We'll grab some clothes after the job but until then, Nico gave us some of his shirts and pants." Maybe Nico is a good guy after all...

    He walked away after that, grabbing a towel from the floor and heading towards the bathroom. When I heard the shower, I laid my back down on the crusty bed and closed my eyes to sleep a little. I could change clothes later.

    ...

    We went to some sort of waffle diner place next to Nico's shanty. He was generous enough to pay for our meals, considering the fact that we were both broke. Even if technically speaking I had a couple of cents in my pocket.

    "Travis, is this cunt going to be able to do her job properly?" I got a name prick.

    "Nico, you know her name... stop being... actually, we shouldn't use that name with others," Travis said before eating his last piece of crispy bacon. What's he talking about? Taylor. Tay-LORE. How hard was it to pronounce? Unless he means...

    "Why can't I keep my name... oh, trying to be on the down low."

    "Right, we don't want people to figure out who you are."

    "Let's see... how about Bambi?" Nico taunted before laughing his ass off. Travis sighed while I seethed. Don't stab Nico Taylor, he gave free foods. Just... just don't grab that butter knife and...

    "JUST," I said too loud before calming down, "call me..."
     
  14. Threadmarks: Dead Air - Chapter 3
    ShellOG

    ShellOG Not too sore, are you?

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    Dead Air

    Chapter 3


    Eyes as sharp as an eagle

    "Alright, just chill over there," Travis said, pointing at the street corner up ahead.

    "And just what do I do there? Look pretty and smile at everyone who walks by?"

    "You pretty-" Nico tried to taunt before Travis came to the rescue. His that is, not mine.

    "Just take this phone," Travis said, putting a cheap black looking phone in my hand. Not even a touch screen? So... cheap. "Call the first person on the caller's list if there's any trouble. That's all you have to do, nothing too complicated. Just make sure to call if you see any cops or some other gangbangers."

    When he saw me tilt my head to the side in confusion, he sighed in what appeared to be disappointment. "Also, if there are any capes... and if anything happens, head back to Nico's. We'll be okay, there's no need for you to come. You know how to get back right?"

    "Yeah....of course, I do..." I said lying thru my chipped teeth.

    "Taylor..."

    "Any day now," Nico bellowed. Jesus, he needs to calm down.


    I got out of the car and walked up to the corner that they had told me to stand at. I gave them a thumbs up and while Travis face palmed, Nico laughed before they drove past by. I saw them drive a few cars away and then stop at a curb and park the car beside a pizza joint.

    I looked around the neighborhood to see what there was and noticed that only a few of the stores were open, everything else was either still closed or out of business. Thankfully I now had clothes that didn't reek too much, courtesy of Nico.

    Travis's cousin was a weird type of guy. He was mean but he gave me a home, free clothes and even drugs. When he noticed that I was hungry last night, he even drove me to a Taco Express to get me some food. Even if he acted like he was hungry and just wanted to bring me along. It was strange having someone secretly care about you but pretended otherwise. I wasn't sure if he was a friend or just another Madison or Greg.

    No one suspicious looking came during my time standing around like a drug dealer, so when the two came to pick me up, I let go of the black phone in my pocket and wiped my sweaty hands on my pants before getting in.

    Couple of ounces

    "Hey, you got any on you?" Travis asked, scratching his lanky ass in front of me without any consideration. Ugh, he wants some of my share again? Greedy fuck. I squinted my eyes and he had the audacity to do a fake laugh.

    "Yeah, I got some... but," I said slowly, "you have to do me a super special favor." Hmm, what should I make him do?

    "Oh? And just what type of favor are we talking about here Tay?" He started getting closer to me, like a little tiger out on a hunt. Uhhh.... He kissed me and before I knew it, I started to kiss him back. Mmmm...

    We were having a good time, all until some idiot decided to waltz their way uninvited into the room. We immediately stopped and turned our attention towards Jimmy the Greek.

    "Boss says that we did good, so he's upping the amount to three ounces this week."

    Travis seemed to perk up to that. "When does he want us to pick it up?"

    "No freakin' clue, just make sure to have a piece on you. We can't fuck this up." Who the hell is going to mess with us? Cops never show up... and the heroes never patrol near the docks. None of the other gangs bother to attack us either.

    I smiled, realizing that only a desperate junkie within our gang, the Merchants would bother attacking us. Even then, that would be suicide on the guys part.


    Family Matters

    "You think I could make a call?" I looked at the new flat screen TV that Nico had found lying on the ground somewhere. What kind of idiot would leave a brand new TV lying on the street?

    "I think that... you should do something. It isn’t right to just leave things be. Plus, we checked, didn't we? The guard survived and no one's blaming you or me for anything. You can always just go back."

    And what about you? If you go back... you're probably going to jail for bailing out of mandatory rehab. Wait, that place was a rehab, right? ... right.

    I closed my eyes and then grabbed the warm hand near me. No, I won't be going back there. I looked to my right and saw Sophia tilting her head at the television.

    "What the fuck are you watching Hebert?"

    How the hell did she-

    "The fuck you doing here? Also, none of your business cunt," I shouted.

    I felt my left hand tighten, so I turned towards Travis. What does he want... oh yeah, going back.

    "Taylor, this isn't a life you want to have... look, just open your eyes... this isn't some sort of game," he said before I leaned in to kiss him on the cheek. I stayed in his personal bubble before grabbing the back of his head and tilted it directly at me.

    "Fuck you, Travis... that's what. Fuck you. You can't make me leave. I'm like a roach and you won't be getting rid of me so easily," I said with a hearty smile. He didn't seem pleased with me but I paid his worries no mind. I let go and returned to my seat.

    "Fine, but things are going to get serious soon. Nico's earning James a lot of cash and he'll be promoted soon... when that happens I'll be taking his spot as the dealer for the street. There'll be more responsibility than before and I can't be there for you all the time."

    "I'm not a princess you prick..." I said, feeling bad for being mean to him but I needed him to understand. "I know that this isn't a game. One bullet to the back of my head and I'm dead."

    I got up and sat on his lap. "Now, shut up and..." I said before leaning in for another kiss.

    Forest of trust

    "Where are we even going?" I asked before pulling out a little pink wrapped joint from my pocket. Light... where are you at... I searched my pockets to find nothing but lint and a bit of sand. Maybe shoulda took that shower... Nah, I don't smell that bad...

    We were on the outskirts of the city, walking through some sort of forest. At first, I thought that I had screwed up but realized that I was being way too paranoid. Travis would never hurt me.

    "We're almost there."

    "Whatever you say... hey you got a lighter on you?" I asked, getting a bit irritated.

    Travis checked his pockets, found one and passed it to me. I put the joint on my lips and then flicked the lighter on before pulling in a deep breath. Ahhh, that's some good shit.

    I passed the joint to Travis and he took a hit as well. In a matter of minutes, we were at some sort of cabin. He didn't say we were going to be having a vacation... is this a secret vacation? I love those.

    A bearded old man opened the front door and noticed us. "It just you two?"

    "Yeah, we'll just need to be here for a couple of days... Nico called ahead, right?"

    "Yeah, of course... just go easy on the lead today, don't have more than two hundred here right now. I'll grab some more and come back with some dinner."

    "What are we doing here?" I asked.

    "You need to practice Taylor, I can't have you watch my back with no experience. I don't want to get shot by accident."

    "And why am I going to be watching your back with a gun Travis? We're just dealing. And no one even messes with us anyways."

    "Taylor... you haven't been here that long. People die all the time, and since you told me that you didn't want to go back... you're going all in. If you don't, I'll drive you back to your house and you won't see me again."

    Ultimatums huh?

    Instead of answering, I finished up the joint and flicked it off to the side before waving for him to continue.

    Guard Dog

    "If you don't get a call from me or anyone from the crew, and someone comes in here, you shoot them. Don't think about the consequences, just pull the trigger. You got it?" Travis said to me sternly, holding my shoulders. I'm not a child... I get it.

    "Yeah, yeah, just sit here like a little good guard dog and wait for the next eight hours like some loser waiting for his date to show. This is going to be boring as hell," I whined.

    He let go of my shoulders, finally chilling out. "If something does go wrong, the first thing you do is call me."

    "Can't I at least smoke or something?" I was begging and he knew it.

    "No, you need to be focused. No more games, you promised Taylor. This is major league shit now and don't fucking take from the stash. Not even one little taste. You do that and we both will die. I had to convince Nico that you would be a good pick for this... don't screw it up."

    "Fine..." I said a bit venomously, waiting for Travis to leave the basement from the back. When he tried to get a kiss from me, I pulled away and that turned into some sort of half-hug instead. He didn't say anything as he opened the metallic door and left without another word. I locked the door and went to look around the room.

    It was pretty bare bones for a basement, a furnace that didn't work and stairs that led to the main floor but it was blocked with cement and bricks. Courtesy of the Merchant renovation team. The only way in the basement was the door that Travis had just left. The stash was in the center of the room, on top of a rickety looking wooden table.

    I walked towards one of the corners with the entrance adjacent. I decided to put the Glock I had beside me as I put my back on the cold concrete. There was a little ragged tarp nearby so I crawled towards it and picked it up before going back to my corner. I put it on me and prayed that it would protect me against bullets. The tarp covered me mostly but I couldn't see out of it, so I made two little eye holes for me to look through. This is some serious ninja shit.

    We better be getting paid well for this... I don't want to sleep at Nico's place anymore. The guy stays up all night and I can't even sleep properly with all his trashy little hoes that scream at night. Like shit, if you’re going to torture these girls, do it elsewhere.

    The weeks passed by with me doing the same thing every day. It was a cycle really. Tim, another junkie would guard the stash before me, while Ice Cream Boy or whatever his name was would guard it after me. Sometimes higher people in the gang would come for a small pickup or drop off. I had decided to keep the ninja tarp on me, it felt like good luck.

    The stash would move every three or four days, it all depended on James, the guy above Nico. Sometimes to the next house down the road, sometimes in another house near the neighborhood. In general, it was in the same territory that the Merchants held.

    It was a month later before I heard some strange noises outside. The basement I was in was a bit smaller than usual but there was more than enough room to hold the current several kilos of drugs piled up on the table. I lifted my phone to see if I had missed any text messages. The hell is going on- Then the door blasted open, causing me to wince at the bright light and sound. In a panicked state, I grabbed the gun beside me and lifted it towards the door.


    Someone entered, slowly looking around but I didn't shoot. They looked first towards the right and then to the left, towards where I was. My heart thumped but I still didn't shoot. Shit... shit, calm down, he didn't see you. I'm good at this... I won't miss, just calm the fuck down Taylor... maybe there's more, I can't be too trigger happy.

    "Clear," the guy shouted before walking towards the stash. Then another two thugs entered, each holding their own guns. Empire?

    Both of them glanced around for a second before looking at the stash like they hit the gold mine. "Fucking Merchants so god damn high that they don't have someone watching their shit?" the one on the right asked.

    Shit... shit... can I get three of them before... fuck, Nico better give me a bonus for this.

    "No fucking clue, this has got to be the easiest score I've ever-" the one to my left said before I shot him in the back. Before the other two could turn around, I pulled my trigger eight more times. I immediately got up, looking towards the three bleeding Empire thugs. No one was moving but one of the gangsters were making disgusting moaning noises.

    I quickly grabbed the cheap cell in my pocket and speed-dialed Travis.

    "Three E88 members came..." I said calmly, pointing my gun at the moaner.

    "... you alright?" he asked.

    "Green as a joint. Now get your ass here... but..." I said before walking closer towards the guy still breathing.

    "Please... please..." one of the thugs on the floor mumbled when they saw me.

    "One... one of them is still..." I said a bit hesitantly.

    "No loose ends Cobalt," he said, using my nickname.

    "Right..." I said with a frown before I tilted the gun towards the thug's head. "No..." the guy huffed out before coughing. I hesitated, wondering for a second if they would give me mercy, before realizing that this guy would have killed me without any remorse.
     
  15. Threadmarks: Dead Air - Chapter 4
    ShellOG

    ShellOG Not too sore, are you?

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    Dead Air

    Chapter 4


    Party Night

    "You did good princess, can't fuckin still believe it still," Nico said with a hearty laugh before drinking a bottle of some cheap liquor. Instead of giving into his bait, I just rolled my eyes enthusiastically and grabbed my fancy tequila sour. Some girl at some party gave me one last month and since then, it was my go-to drink for re-lax-ation.

    "Look, you did good but you're still too fresh, I can't just wave my hand and give you some more responsibility. We all work for somebody, ya feel?" Huh... I didn't even say anything... well okay. But if we're going to have this conversation... opportunities!

    "Right but can you at least give me something better than a Glock?" I asked, sipping my drink with delight.

    "Ta-Cobalt...," Travis said with concern. Ice Boy looked at me funny, squinting his eyes but I didn't say anything to his chilly face. There was no need to get personal. Ice Boy was Ice Boy.

    "No, no, she's right. I'll get you one of those small Uzi’s or something. Now drink the fuck up, we're going to be picking up some stuff from James in a bit."

    A measure of trust

    It had took a week but Nico had made good on his promise of a better gun. I was guarding one of the Merchant stashes with a mini Uzi. I had gone to train with Travis again with the new gun but only for a day. It was the same thing as the pistol, only that it shot more and faster. That and the recoil would hit like a truck if I held the trigger for too long.

    Instead of sitting down on the floor, I was now sitting on a chair. The kick on the gun was insane and it needed a stock to be even remotely easy to use. I still carried the Glock as well but I wasn't going to be using that when I had a better gun to use.

    The weeks passed by with no issue. The Empire never did try to attack again, even as a sort of retaliation. At least not at the stash house I had been assigned to. Travis never got jumped either, considering the fact that he only sold in his 'registered' spot.

    "When are we going to get our own place?"

    Travis stopped eating his deep dish pizza and looked at me. "Our own place? Taylor, you're fifteen, I'm seventeen... We don't even have clean money. Just... nevermind. It's just not possible."

    Hmm... not possible my ass. I don't want to live in this dump anymore.

    "Fine, but if we're stuck here, I want to get a new bed and couch."

    Travis stopped eating yet again. "No way, my cousin would kill us. This is his Dad's couch and now he's..."

    "Dead," Nico said unexpectedly behind us.

    We both jumped a little.

    "Nico we-" Travis said before stopping.

    "Yeah, whatever. Anymore pizza left or did you two pigs eat it all up?"

    "No, we left some for you."

    Party Hard

    "Damn this is some good shit," Travis said before passing the joint to Sarah. Why is he letting her get so close to him? Sarah the skank started to touch Travis's back like she was some sort of leech. I squinted my eyes at Travis to see what he was going to do.

    "Yeah, yeah, I know right," she said with a stupid smirk.

    It ain't that fucking good...

    "Hey Cobalt, you want any more before I finish it off?"

    "Nah, I'ma go back inside to get a drink," I lied before getting up from the white plastic chair.

    "Grab me a beer," he said before looking at the other girl.

    "Sure... whatever...", I said before mumbling out "prick." No kisses for you tonight.

    I walked back inside, passed a few older merchants having a good time. There were some randoms as well but that wasn't much of a surprise. This was some random house party that the Merchants decided to crash. Nico was at some sort of meeting with James, while Travis and I were just having a chill night.

    "Hey, loser what are you doing here?"

    I swirled my head towards the source to only see Sophia chumming it up with some other dirty skank.

    "The fuck you want Sophia?" I wasn't in no mood to play with her.

    The other bitch looked at me for a second and only laughed her ass off before walking away.

    "Oh nothing, just laughing that your lanky ass is too much of a puss to do what needs to be done."

    I glared at her, wondering what she was trying to say.

    "I don't need advice from you," I said, before walking away. Sophia decided that she wasn't done, so she followed along like a annoying pest that you couldn't get rid of.

    "I wonder if he's kissing her right now..."

    "Go away," Travis wouldn't ever do that to me.

    I grabbed two beers, ignoring the two who were doing lines in the kitchen and walked back towards the the backyard.

    "Heh, I wonder if he's like Emma... gonna stab you in the back sometime. Oh it'll be so sweet."

    "Shut up.. shut the fuck up..." I mumbled, opening the back door.

    Travis and the flakey girl were sitting closer. I could only frown.

    New Job

    "So let me get this straight... you want me," I poked my thumb at my chest, "to go waltz around Lung's turf to drop off a parcel?"

    Nico sweatdropped, realizing how ridiculous he was being, or at least that is what I hoped.

    "Well- when you put it like that.. yeah I guess it does sound like I'm sending you off to a trap but I don't trust anyone else."

    I stared at him.

    "Okay, fine. You weren't my first pick for fucks sake man. Travis is busy with Jimmy and Ice Boy won't touch anything involving ABB."

    "Right... and what do I do? Just take this and put in a garbage bin or something? Where do I go?"

    "You know where eighteenth street is?" Yeah...

    "And...?" I asked, waiting for him to continue.

    "Well there's a plaza there and at Sub Quakes, there should be a guy sitting there, eating... just make sure that he's Robert before giving it to him."

    "And... am I doing you a favour or will I be getting something?"

    "I'll give you some extra tonight, aight?"

    "Whatever, it better be more than 2 grams worth of extra," I said before grabbing the stupid brown box from him.

    "Hey it's fucking fragile," I looked at him wondering what he was all about, "be careful."

    "I didn't know you cared, plus I got my glock on me... no one's going to mess with me."

    Delivery Ahoy

    Spotting the fast food joint from across the street was pretty easy, especially when it had a bright red sign saying 'open'. There were three people eating and two workers. Two of the people seemed like a couple, even if they did look like they were from the shittier part of town.

    There was one greaseball, a big asian guy eating what looked like his second or third foot long. If he wants to lose weight... maybe he should cut down on the amount of subs. Like holy shit... who eats three subs in one go?

    I walked up to the guy and he immediately noticed me and stopped eating.

    "That mine?" he asked in pitch perfect english.

    "Dunno, depends on who you are," I responded.

    "Robert, now the box," he said, using his hand to expressly say 'gimme gimme'.

    Wonder what's inside...eh, none of my business.

    "Yeah yeah, whatever," I replied, putting the box down and walking away without another word.

    That was too easy.

    When I walked outside the joint, I saw two two guys nearby smoking. I didn't pay too much attention to them until they started to follow me.

    Eh, leeches who want to suck on some of my blood do they?

    I walked towards an alley nearby, pulled out my gun and waited for the two pricks to show. The only one who's gonna bleed is you!

    I didn't bother mentioning the minor incident to Travis or Nico.

    La Cafe Snow

    "Now this is what I call a party," I slurred, before chugging down another shot of vodka.

    "Shut up would ya?" Ice Boy said, before going back to his poker game with Jimmy and Greg. Why don't you make me.

    "Cobalt, I think you've had enough." I looked at the annoying prick that said that. I squinted my beady little eyes at Travis to see him not even flinch. Eh... maybe's he's right... maybe... I started to laugh like a loon at the thought.

    "I thought you didn't even like hard liquor," Travis mumbled out before looking down at his own drink. What?

    "I don't I just-" I tried to say before the sound of gunshots penetrated my eardrums.

    "Get down!" Nico and some other nobody yelled.

    Someone pushed me down on the floor, which hurt like a bitch. When the annoying noise stopped, I got up and dusted myself.

    "Well, I didn't want to stay in this place anyways..." I yelled out before walking towards the front.

    "She's fucking crazy man- grab her!" Nico yelled before pulling out his gun and pointing it at the front entrance.

    Meeting

    It felt like someone had decided to take a rock and hit my head over and over until I fell unconscious.

    "Just how much did I drink last night?" I said, moaning out loud in pain.

    "Quiet," Travis whispered before pulling me along like I was some sort of pet. Apparently last night wasn't supposed to happen, at least that's what Nico said to everyone that was apart of his crew.

    "You two stay outside with the rest," Nico said, pointing at the thirty other guys outside the warehouse. Where are we? Sixth and... near the beaches?

    "Taylor, you need to focus. You've been too out of it... you need some water?" No, I need some fucking air though. Lung's starting to hurt like hell.

    "Kay," I replied, doing my best to ignore the conversation and chest.

    "This is serious-" he tried to say before some guy came up to him and asked for a lighter. Travis sighed in defeat when he realized that I was going to continue ignoring him.

    Free Food

    Life was pretty chill for the next two weeks. Apparently the prick that tried to gank Nico had been some upstart and he had been dealt with. I still spent my days guarding the stash and a few times I had to deliver to the fat prick at Sub Quake. Only those other times, no one followed me.

    "Hey, you want something to eat?"

    I looked down at Robert and wondered. Do I want to eat... hmm... I poked my stomach and asked it. Hey you want something? It grumbled back yes.

    "Yeah, I guess... you paying?" I asked.

    When he didn't respond for a bit I got worried. "Uhh, Robert... hello- earth to Roberto-" I continued.

    "No, I was just... you alright in the head?" Yeah... I'm alright in the head.... what the heck is he talking about?

    "Never mind, just grab whatever and I'll pay for it."

    I walked towards the counter, got my order and let Robert pay for my meal.

    "Hey- you're a cool guy, you know that right?" I said, munching on my cold cut.

    "Yeah... I know... thanks," he said, before getting up and picking up his package.

    "See yeah," I spat before going back to my meal. I was pretty thirsty so I went to grab a can of cola.

    When I finished, I pulled out my cell to let Nico know that I finished my job. Only that, when I walked outside to start walking back home, some asshole decided to bump into me.

    Immediately, someone behind me put a black bag over my head. I let go of the phone and let it fall. Fuck. Instead of squirming like a little baby, I pulled out my gun and shot the person behind me three times. I pulled the black hoodie off with my free hand and noticed two other Asian looking gangbangers two feet away looking behind me with shock.

    "Fuck you," I screamed out before putting hot pieces of lead into their squishy chests. I looked down at the guy behind me and noticed that he had a weird red mask on. Who the fuck wears a red- oh.

    I picked up the phone and then ran home.
     
  16. Threadmarks: Dead Air - Chapter 5
    ShellOG

    ShellOG Not too sore, are you?

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    Dead Air

    Chapter 5

    Defcon Three

    "Oh shit, oh shit, you gotta be fucking with me right now." Nico didn't seem to be pleased, not one bit. "No for real I-"

    "It was a rhetorical statement mother fucker- now let me think."

    Okay, you do that. I looked for some smokes but found none on my person. I didn't want to bother Nico, since he was thinking pretty hard. Well I guess I'll go grab some smokes.

    "Where the fuck do you think you're going?"

    I looked back at Nico and wondered when I had ever seen him this upset. "Was gonna grab some smokes. You want something?"

    His eyes popped out of his skull, or at least that's what it looked like to me. "You gotta be shitting me."

    "No, for real I want to grab-"

    "Mother fucker... You're not going out again. Not tonight."

    "But why? It's not like Oni Lee's that important of a guy. Right?" Come on... you're supposed to say 'right' now too.

    "No, not right. What are you fucking five? You just killed a cape and-" he said before someone decided to call him.


    "Yeah..." he said, his face souring, "I.. understand."

    ...

    "Yeah, yeah, I got it. Keep my head down, make sure my nose stays out of anything and make sure to pay attention to my surroundings. Jeez, I'm not an idiot you know."

    Travis seemed to have some sort of meltdown when he found out that I had been out delivering packages for Nico. Well, without telling him and the fact that I had straight up leveled up when I ganked Oni Lee.

    Nico said that I wouldn't be delivering packages again, which made me get upset, realizing that I wouldn't be getting any more extra's those nights.

    Fucking Oni Lee, making my life hard and shit... wish I could kill you twice now.

    Thank god I didn't tell Nico about those two thugs I ganked last week.


    Tasty Treats

    I wasn't much of a food junkie but when the stomach rang for it's due, there was no stopping it. Waiting for my delicious Fugly Burger was making me a bit irritated, but I didn't want to cause some sort of scene to get me kicked out. People were already being rude, calling me smelly when they thought I wasn't paying attention. Nonetheless, this was the supposed place where the capes usually hanged around and I didn't want some upstart to think by taking me down, that they were doing right.

    Once I did get my meal, I eyed for an empty seat. Ah, there's one but wait a second here... Sophia was sitting with a group of other teens, one even looked like a elementary kid. The heck is she doing here? Eh doesn't matter, gonna eat my burger and if she causes a scene, I'll point the heroes towards her.

    I sat nearby the group of teens but they didn't even bother paying attention to me, only Sophia seemed to have noticed and was pretending her hardest to not to. Weren't you at Bobby's party like last month or something?

    The burger satisfied my stomachs angry demands, so I glanced at my phone to see if I could get Travis to head out early. Maybe convince him to come home early and watch some TV without overseer Nico watching the both of us like we were about to burn the world behind his back. Guess I could go to the market to grab him a gift, maybe he'll...

    "Hebert," someone said, I looked up.

    "Eh- what do you want Sophia?" I asked, wrapping my used and abused wrapper up in a tight ball.

    "Where have you been and why the hell do you look like shit?" Sophia dared a sniff and frowned. "You smell like shit too, not that you didn't before just more than usual."

    Why is she acting so surprised?

    "Go away, bug someone else," I replied, getting up. The teens noticed our exchange then and they started to whisper behind our backs.

    "Your father... he came to school. Handed our papers with your stupid face on at the front gate."

    Yeah, so?

    Sophia seemed to get confused at my reluctance to acknowledge her and my father's existence.

    "Taylor, he still hasn't stopped. He comes every week, random days but he's still comes. What the hell happened to you?"

    Some guy, one of the teens came behind Sophia and asked what was going on.

    "I told you last time, I don't need your advice. Now fuck off, will yeah? I gotta go to the market and buy some gifts."

    "Sophia who was that?" the boy asked as I walked away.

    "Like last time... what?" Sophia mumbled.

    Market Shenanigans

    Oh man that looks pretty sweet. "Go away." Huh? I looked up to see an ugly bald man scowl at me like he owned the little street store. When in fact he probably rented it from the city.

    "You don't want my money?" I asked in confusion.

    "No, now get outta here before you make me call the cops." Make you huh... Well I could always... nah I got my gun of me... fine you win today shop man.... you win today.

    "Fine, I was gonna buy all your shit but you know what? Fuck you asshole. No money for you," I said before kicking his street store. It was wooden and I had my boots on, so my toes didn't hurt that much.

    The man yelled at me as I casually walked away.

    I wonder if Travis will even... oh dear god that's it!

    I ran towards the little store and made sure to have money out in my hand to prevent from being told to go away again. I looked at the fluffy pink teddy bear and waited for the shop keeper to pay attention to me. "How much for the pink teddy bear?" I asked with big wide eyes.

    "For you sweet heart? ... Ten dollars." I would shoot you twice for robbing me! I looked at my bills and saw that I had exactly that, ten dollars.

    "Here you go," I said giving him the money. "Now, gimme, gimme." He handed me the stuffed toy and I held onto it like it was my bestest friend. Travis is totally gonna like this... and if he doesn't then it'll be like a secret surprise gift to myself. Yeah... that sounds good.

    Five Stars

    "So, what are we doing out here again?" I asked, drinking out of my bottle of beer.

    "Nico wants us out of the city for a bit... seeing as the ABB is out looking for you." Huh? How do they know that I ganked Oni Lee?

    "Hey- how do they know about me?" I asked, drinking the last drops of bitterness before tossing the empty thing to my right.

    "They don't," Travis said, pointing towards the cabin, "but they are looking. Thankfully not that many people know that you were out delivering for Nico." Eh? I thought it was just me, Nico, Travis and Robert-o. "Right, so I didn't bring that much ammo with us but I told Greg to leave us some here." Greg...? Oh the old guy from before.

    "Alright, well before we start I'ma go grab another beer," I said as I climbed the cabin steps.

    "Sure, I'll see you at the range."

    The fridge was over twenty years old but it worked, so there was no room to complain. When I opened it, I hadn't been prepared for disappointment.

    "The fuck- there's nothing in here."

    Travis noticed my sour mood but didn't comment as he waved for me to go first. I stepped up, getting close to the wooden table and looked around for some ammo but didn't see any. Didn't he say that there would be ammo left here?

    "Greg's gonna bring his truck in twenty, just use what you have in your gun." I pointed down the range and then waited. Wait a second that doesn't make any- Click.

    I froze, wondering what the fuck was going on.

    "Travis, what are you doing?" I slowly turned around to see my friend pointing his gun at my head.

    "It's nothing personal, I'm sorry," he said. His hands were firm but his voice was shaky.

    "Was it the gift I got you? Jesus, I didn't realize that it was going to be a dealbreaker for you. Fuck, next time I won't get you-" I tried to say before getting cut off.

    "No... no, for god's fucking sake no. You killed a cape Taylor... and now the Asians are looking out for blood. They already knew Nico was involved and... this is the only way... I... I'm sorry for bringing you into this," he said before I felt myself drift into darkness.

    And that's the end of ARC 1.
     
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  17. Threadmarks: The Imperial Empire (Worm AU) - Snippet
    ShellOG

    ShellOG Not too sore, are you?

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    The Imperial Empire

    Summary: Taylor Hebert had been a weak and paranoid wreck when she died in her locker. When she came back to life through unconventional means, her perception of life changed. She could have went back to her old life, but decided enough was enough. She was going to change the world and mold it into her image.

    Fear 1.1 [General]

    Today was turning out to be one of those good days as people like to call them. Cancer that had plagued Brockton Bay had finally neutralized. The infamous baby-Endbringer known as Lung was beaten and bleeding on the concrete, unconscious of his ruined surroundings. His reign of terror was finally over, and the gang known as the ABB would be crushed without his direct fear induced guidance.

    I hadn't been confident of the request to advance the strategic plan that had been laid out, but my advisors had deemed the battle as an absolute victory. I had known that my Empire's technology was better, but it wasn't battle tested with Parahumans. Plans never survive contact, it was, after all, a lesson that had been hammered into my very soul. Afterall, no one should ever be resolute with their decisions, unless they secretly desired to fall.

    I was mildly surprised to see all of the gore surrounding lying about; every single unpowered ABB soldier that had been called to Lung's meeting had been slaughtered. My knowledge of war had previously been built upon movies and historical texts. So the new details before my cybernetic eyes did nothing but solidify my choice to enact plan Exodus.

    Lung, however, had been purposely kept alive, and it wasn't even because of his charming personality. Rather, it was the fact that he had a unique brain that no one else had. Something that my scientists had requested for me to preserve. Contrary to belief, it hadn't been that difficult beating Lung without damaging his brain.

    "General, there appear to be several Parahumans en route ETA minus one. As well as a local representative of the designation 'PRT' ETA minus three. How do you wish for us to proceed?" her command droid asked.

    I looked at my internal hud and deemed the mission complete. I didn't want to expand the mission scope, there was no need to reveal my hand yet to the local authority. Headquarters relayed the message to all of my droids, even the bodyguard droids that were hovering above me that were cloaked; acknowledged the order with a scrambled message directed at me.

    "No need to stay here any longer. Let the local law enforcement clean up the mess; it's time for us to head back," I ordered, gesturing two fingers towards me.

    One of my scout droids went up to Lung, injected him with isotope-F-32; a formula specifically meant for homo sapiens. It would make sure that Lung slept like a baby with all his motor functions paralyzed.

    "Task #S8481G39A complete. Let's go," the commander droid said before my squadron went incognito mode; a form of advanced invisibility. I glanced at the massacre one more time and followed suit; there was no point in being here any longer. This had been nothing but an opening move, a step towards peace. I wondered how the local government would react, but prediction reports dictated that The Imperial Empire, the Empire for short, would be painted with a villainous tone. Especially with the local criminal element known as the Empire Eighty-Eight would try to defend their name.

    My new temporary forwarding base was located underneath the Boat Graveyard, underneath all of the boats that had been abandoned by the city. The previous base at the warehouse had started getting overcrowded with all of the older mech-styled droids, so I had tasked my miners to create a larger base. Considering the fact that I had almost nigh-infinite resources for the current tech I was building, nothing had stopped me. The local authority barely patrolled the waters, and even if they did, they never noticed anything suspicious.

    Current human technology and known Tinker tech wasn't a match with the advanced cloak tech that I had strategically invested into. Even if anyone did discover the base, there were safety measures put in place within all of my tech, which included my Droids. There were precautions in place to retain their memory, but that technology subset still needed improvement. If scrubbing orders took precedence, the last thirty seconds of memory were usually destroyed as well. I wanted that technology sector improved as soon as possible- [CLASSIFIED].

    Squadron J2, the one I had tasked to deal with Lung was delivering his body to the science department. I was curious to see why my science head had asked me to deliver parahuman bodies to him. Sure I could have forced the droid to tell me why but I decided to be patient. A leader was only as good as their droids after all.

    The science department had the largest funding within my Empire; as each upgrade took time to implement each droid. Each droid in my army could be upgraded, there was no need to scrap them for resources to produce a higher tier droid. Each of them could self-repair and do soft-upgrades when the command was given to them over the ICR. It was much more stealthy to upgrade in-base, so I routed protocols that forced that ideology within my Empire.

    "General, the mission went well," Scyther stated, as it was but fact.

    "Correct Lieutenant, ICR should've relayed that data cluster to you. Now, why don't you explain to me why you required the subject?"

    It took him two nanoseconds to process the request and answer. His blue-tinted lenses flickered green for a microsecond before responding.

    "Ah yes. I never explained why beforehand. The reason is, the science department has decided as a collective to investigate how homo sapiens have obtained unnatural powers." Translation, 'he' decided that he wanted to investigate how humans obtained powers. There was no democracy in my Empire after all.

    That made sense I supposed, but I worried about the sensitivity of the subject.

    "This is now classified as code word SS0-291898V07, and all that work on this project will be detained in-base. Scrubbing takes priority, even before tech cleansing."

    "Acknowledged," the droid said.

    I waved him off to do what he wanted, the droid didn't take offense at my impatient manners. He gave a curt nod and went on his way towards the experimentation sector.

    There was much more work needed to be done, and looking over the droids shoulder for updates would do nothing but slow it down. That and the fact that I didn't understand half of the things the droid processed my way.
     
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  18. Threadmarks: Dark Lady (Harry Potter AU) - Chapter 1
    ShellOG

    ShellOG Not too sore, are you?

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    Hello everyone.

    This is going to be an alternative version of "Princess of the Blacks". This is a story for those that want something even darker with less child abuse. While the initial premise staying the same, with Sirius adopting the main protagonist. The story will diverge early on and be different, so this is not a re-hash. If this gets enough traction from my muse, I'll create a proper thread. Until then though...

    Changes so far (comparing this to 'Princess of the Blacks'):

    • Name of OC (and several other characters).
    • The appearance of the OC.
    • There is no Baron.
    • Removed the child 'sexual' abuse.
    • Necromancy (minor at the moment).
    • Telekinesis (limited ranged).
    • Snake-like fangs (only appears in certain circumstances).

    What the OC looks like (but instead of brown eyes, it's green):



    Credits: This story is an alternative version of "Princess of the Blacks" by Silently Watches. This story will be extremely similar, so don't be surprised. Go read the original story if you haven't already! And yes, I have already received permission from the author to create this.

    ----

    Chapter 1 - Warehouse

    The defaced warehouse in front of Sirius was quite dismal with the moon in the background. The place looks deserted as if there wasn't anyone nearby, but he suspected that there were other homeless bums nearby. Muggles that abused their bodies beyond what was socially acceptable. There were several other structures nearby, the most intimidating being what looked like an abandoned concrete factory. However, it wasn't the homeless muggles that brought him out in this strange, desolate place. No, he was here for a runaway girl, his goddaughter.

    It was kind of droll now that he thought about it, the purpose of his elongated search that is. Sirius Black had been labeled as a murderer, an evil that needed to be imprisoned in one of the most guarded prisons in Wizarding Britain. Only a few said that Azkaban was too cruel of a punishment and before being wrongly punished, he had disagreed with that sentiment. Now though, with twelve years of experience, he realized how much of a fool he had been. Azkaban wasn't a prison, it was a building that was there to torture any inmate for life.

    When he decided to escape just a year ago, he was mildly surprised that none of his old contacts wanted to speak to him. He was thankful that none of them decided to help capture him, only instead of trying to convince him to give himself up. He was the only person to have ever escaped under Azkaban's tight security, which made his capture, even more pressing for the Ministry of Magic.

    He shouldn't have ever been arrested, and when he pleaded for life, all his friends decided to ignore him. Even when he found out that the Secret Keeper of the Potter's was a Death Eater, and tried to tell the Potter's this fact, they ignored him. It had hurt him more than they would ever know, a betrayal like that wasn't something that they could ever gain from him again.

    On Halloween 1981, Voldemort had decided to pay a visit to James’s cottage, only after he told his fellow Death Eaters to go out and cause chaos to distract the Potter's and most of the remaining Order. It wasn't as if the Potter's left their children alone, they had James parents taking care of them.

    It wasn't clear what happened next, but when Sirius entered the cottage, he saw two lifeless bodies on the floor. Someone had murdered James parents and it didn't appear as they had the chance to fight back. The bizarre thing at the time thought was the fact that the children were both relatively okay. They were scared at the time, both crying for their mother, but he hadn't the time to see to their maternal needs.

    He told James and Lily what happened when they came back. When they went on to check their sleeping children, Sirius noticed an ash-ridden black cape. It clicked then, that Voldemort had been defeated, that prophecy had come true. When he told the Potter’s, they had all smiled briefly, before they all frowned at their losses. James’s glanced at his parents, but before he could have a chance, Danny Potter cooed for his father, distracting him from his grief.

    As soon as Sirius knew that the Potters were going to be safe, he went out to bring Peter Pettigrew to justice. The rat had been hiding in the Muggle world, which was quite surprising for a Death Eater. When he went to capture the traitor, the backstabber decided to duel him in the middle of the damn street like it was the god damn wild west. It didn't take much to defeat Wormtail, but there were twelve dead Muggles in various conditions on the road that they had fought.

    The Auror’s decided to then appear, which gave Wormtail the chance to morph into his animagus form to escape. Before Sirius could explain himself, the Auror’s deemed him the culprit. They deemed that there was dark magic lingering the area, and with the Dark Lord murdering people left and right, the Auror’s were crashing down on anyone who was using Dark Magic. Even if the evidence proved that he hadn't killed the muggles.

    Bartemius Crouch, the running head at the time for the Department of Magical Law Enforcement decided to charge him with thirteen counts of murder. He was confused onto why there had been thirteen, but they had decided to pin Peter's non-existent death on him. When he told the court that Peter had been the one who killed the muggles and that he had merely just escaped, they rejected him. None of his friends, his allies believed in him. Not even James Potter, his closest friend even listened to him.

    Sirius had held hope that one day, one of his friends would realize the mistake that they had made. It wasn't until he read the Daily Prophet, that Peter Pettigrew was still alive, the same school that Harry and Olivia Potter were studying at. Supposedly Wormtail had been pretending to be one of the Weasley's pet rat. The only thing Sirius knew was that he needed to escape, for that was the only way to protect the Potter children.

    He was aware that he was irrational, that someone besides him would realize that the rat the Weasley kid was holding was, in fact, Wormtail. But he feared that no one would understand and that freedom would not come anytime soon. Not without his intervention at least. For some strange reason, he felt the need to protect Harry and Olivia from the Death Eater.

    So, when he gained enough stamina to transform into his unregistered animagus form, he escaped, causing the manhunt for his arrest to begin.

    He used his previous knowledge of Hogwarts to sneak in undetected. When he realized that his old friend Remus Lupin was teaching at Hogwarts, he went to speak to him. Obviously, the man hadn't been pleased but at the same time, didn't try to capture him. When Sirius explained the situation to his old friend, Lupin's tense posture slouched, and agreed to help. Only, Lupin decided to drop the bomb to say that Olivia wasn't attending Hogwarts.

    When he asked where she was, Lupin stated that he didn't know. In fact, no one knew that there was a second child and that it was kept secret. Sirius frowned at that, wondering what had happened to his goddaughter. He wanted to find out where she was, but he had to capture the rat first. There wasn't any way for him to help his goddaughter without clearing his name first.

    It took a bit of effort but with Danny and his friend's help, Pettigrew was arrested and sentenced to spend the rest of his old miserable life in Azkaban. Sirius was pardoned but forced to spend the next three months in St. Mungo's to heal from the damage the twelve-year imprisonment had caused him. After being released, he went to discover where Olivia was.

    He knew he needed to speak to the Potter's, so that's what he went to do. They apologized for not believing in him when he had been sentenced twelve years ago. When he asked them about Olivia, ignoring their pleas for forgiveness. They did, however, in a lower voice than usual, say that she was a squib and that they had decided to leave her with Lily's squib sister. He questioned how they knew she was a squib, confused, which led them to discuss Dumbledore's sad finding. Olivia had been supposedly born without a magical core, so she could not use any magic.

    So, they decided with difficulty to put her in a non-magical environment, where her flaws would not be noticeable. Sirius couldn't accept that because he remembered that the Potter's didn't believe in him. They had abandoned him, and now they had abandoned their own daughter. He was going to bring her back to the world she belonged in, even if she wasn't as magically potent as her family. He decided to leave his mission to himself and left the apologetic Potters to themselves.

    He already knew where the Dursleys lived, Lily's sister's home, so he went there to retrieve the lost daughter. Only to find out that there was no Olivia Potter, that they knew no Potters at all and that he should leave before they called the Muggle police. He wasn't the greatest Legilimens like Salazar, but he was decent in the trade. What he found made him want to murder the Dursleys with Dark Magic, Azkaban's second coming be damned.

    The mother had persuaded her husband to take Olivia in, but it wasn't out of kindness or familial duty. They had treated her like an Elf; no worse, a slave without any possible hope for a future. Even as she was barely a child, they forced her to complete any and all housework that was barely physically possible for her to perform. The brutal beatings, whenever she could not complete an impossible task, did nothing but reinforce the fact that she wasn't anything but a slave. They hadn't even bothered registering her with the authorities, meaning she hadn't even gone to any Muggle school.

    The last memory of her was when the husband in a fit of rage had sliced the girls face, causing the child to seemingly bleed to death. She had been shoved into her room, which was a small cupboard.

    When the two found Olivia dying, the two had panicked and had decided to put her body into a garbage bag. They then put Olivia in the trunk later that night to dump her like trash a few miles north in some abandoned warehouse.

    The memories of what seemed like a murder were too old for him to tell with certainty what had happened, but they had gone too far. Worse case, Olivia Potter was in a garbage bag in an abandoned warehouse, dead. Best case, she survived but without vision on the left side of her face. What disturbed him the most was the fact that she had only been barely six-year-old at the time.

    He had been tempted to cleanse the evil, as one would say but he wanted to leave it to Olivia if she was still alive. So, he spent the next several weeks searching all nearby abandoned warehouses up north to only find nothing. When he had almost given up the search, he remembered about the letters one would receive from any Wizarding school asking for attendance.

    With a little bit of persuasion and to be honest, his 'puppy eye' look, the Deputy Headmistress, McGonagall allowed him to use the Hogwarts Quill to find his lost goddaughter. When he got an address, it made him worried because it was the same address as the first warehouse he had searched. Meaning, she was still alive, still living in that abandoned warehouse that he had spent hours searching Olivia.

    Miss O. Potter
    Basement
    Magic Jack's Warehouse
    232 Founders St.
    Findleport, Wales

    He put the letter in his pocket, thanked the Deputy Headmistress and went on his way. Later, he disposed of the letter, making sure no one else would find it.

    He stared at the crumbling warehouse that housed his goddaughter in distaste before heading in the front entrance again.

    Immediately inside, Sirius coughed at the disgusting stench that reeked the air. It didn't technically surprise him mentally, but his nose didn't care for such things. He wasn't sure why Olivia was still living in this place, considering the relative environment. Then again, it didn't strike him as someone's favorite place to live if they had a choice. He sadly mused that the girl didn't trust any other human being and had decided to seclude herself from society.

    The place was big, enormous really but there were only a few rooms on the main floor. Sirius hadn't realized that there was an underground level last time he had come, but supposedly Olivia was living in the basement. It took him a better amount of ten minutes before finding a hidden staircase on the side that was covered with miscellaneous junk. He spotted a torn-up teddy that had seen better days, of all random things.

    The staircase leading downstairs was a bit sketchy looking, even if it looked like it was made up of metal. He hadn't brought any Muggle supplies to light up his path, so he used his wand to create a ball of light in front of him as he walked forward. Taking baby steps, measuring the amount of weight he put on each foot; it only took him two minutes to get to the bottom.

    The basement looked big, pitch dark and empty. It smelled much worse, and Sirius knew that the place stank of death.

    He didn't want to scare the girl, so he yelled out a plea.

    "Olivia, are you here?"

    She didn't respond, so he took a few steps to walk to what appeared the center of the basement. There didn't seem to be any other rooms, but he wasn't going to leave until he was a hundred percent sure that the girl wasn't here.

    Although there was a creeping fear building up, asking questions like 'why would she be hiding in a basement that smelled worse than death?' 'Why is there no light here, how can she... do whatever she did here? Is she blind...?'

    He stumbled over something, which made him almost fall, but luckily something caught him. When he looked up, there wasn't anything holding him. In fact, he was slowly being forced back up, to stand still. He tried to move but he couldn't and with each second, nothing happening, his heart rate rose.

    "Olivia! Let me go, I'm here to help you," he said confidently, trying to keep his anxiety hidden.

    The ball of light that had brightened the dark room, dissipated; which only made him try to struggle to move in a panic.

    When a new dimmer red ball of light appeared, he saw a dark figure staring at him a few feet away. One of their eyes, he wasn't sure which, lit up. He felt his wand come out of his hand by some unknown force. He wasn't sure if coming down the basement alone was a smart idea.

    "I… Olivia. Please, I'm here to-" he tried to say before his mouth was forced shut. He almost bit his tongue.

    The girl showed himself then and what appeared made him pause in shock. The girl had an enraged looking scar that ran from the top to near the bottom of her face. It didn't look like it had been slashed at by a surgeon but rather a butcher. The light glow of the girls right pale eye made him stare at it. Her long red hair hid none of her face, which allowed the burn-like scar to appear without hindrance.

    "Look into my eyes," the girl spoke with a slight lisp. It looked like she had fangs but that was ridiculous, so he put that thought aside. He had already been looking at them, but with that comment, he couldn't look elsewhere. It was an uncomfortable feeling because he couldn't stop looking at her eyes.

    "Who are you?" she asked coldly and for some unheard-of reason, he answered immediately without delay.

    "I-I am Sirius Orion Black, your godfather. I-I," he couldn't finish the sentence. It was of his free will had been sucked out of his soul. He couldn't stop staring at the girl, he couldn't close his eyes to blink.

    "Why are you here?" she asked, causing the back of my neck to shiver.

    "I'm here to help you- to ask if you would like to come back to my home. To-" he tried to continue, to explain further but he couldn't. He wanted to explain to her the situation in greater detail.

    "Are you going to hurt me?"

    "No-no. I wouldn't-" the man said in a panic.

    "Hmm…," she said out loud before snapping her hand. With that, the trance he had felt dissipated and he could finally close his eyes. A second later, he could finally move, which resulted in him falling on his knees.

    He wondered just how she had forced him to do what she had asked. That and the fact that she made him not be able to control his body somehow. He would ask her, but not now, only when he earned her trust.

    The dim light red shifted to a light-yellow tone and grew to become brighter than his previous light. He looked up to see Olivia frown at him like he was some sort of pest that she needed to deal with.

    "Olivia… I'm sorry. I'm so sorry," he said closing his eyes, while clutching his chest for a moment before standing up again, staring at the dissatisfied looking girl.

    "Now, explain to me how you found me?"

    "I-uh… wait, you can use magic. You can use magic!" he said, finally realizing that she had been using magic.

    The girl didn't respond, just looking at him like he was an idiot.

    "So, you know about the magical world?"

    She gave a tense nod, so he continued. "Well, that makes a lot of sense and makes my life much easier. I know who you are because, well, I was one of your parent's friends. That, and the fact that I'm your godfather."

    If he was expecting her to give any sort of reaction, he was sorely mistaken. She just continued to stare at him like he was some kind of moron.

    "You never answered my question. Do I have to repeat it?" Olivia asked tersely.

    He was going to tell her that she should treat her elders better but realized that it wasn't the right time to say such things.

    "Well, I asked about you… parents. Then, I found out that you were abandoned… and then that led me to use a school quill to see where you were. I... I think I came here a few weeks ago, but I hadn't noticed a basement in this place the first time."

    "School quill? And how come I'm meeting you now?"

    "Well… I just got out of prison," he replied shamefaced. This wasn't the way he wanted for her to hear about his previous life. Then again, he wasn't going to lie to the girl and make some make-believe story about some sort of adventure.

    "I see… you were caught? How disappointing…"

    Her reply wasn't something he expected. Just what in Merlin is she doing down here? Why are we still here? Should I ask her to come with me?

    "Yes… sadly, I was falsely imprisoned. The court assumed that I murdered Muggles and used dark magic. I recently escaped and found evidence to clear my name. The actual criminal was arrested."

    She sighed in even further disappointment. What, she wanted me to be a murderer or something? Dear god, just how messed up is she? She's not a Bellatrix, is she? I understand a bit of dark magic to survive...but...this reaction.

    "So, you're here for a reason. You wouldn't have put all that effort to find me for no reason. You need me to do something for you or what?"

    He didn't like the direction of the conversation, especially when she sounded like she didn't care a single bit. It was painfully obvious that she had struggled hard and had to survive on her own. Especially with the Dursley's practically murdering her and leaving her abandoned here.

    Why are you still here? He wanted to ask so many things, he wanted to question her sanity but knew that he should keep his mouth shut. He thought Azkaban had burned his soul deep, but the girl looked like she had suffered worse.

    "I... I'm here to bring you home, to my home, and I can… give you a proper home and have you magical trained."

    Her deranged laughter made him freeze. What's wrong now? Did I make some sort of mistake?

    "I don't need you to teach me anything, Mr. Black. But… I am curious. What's in this for you?"

    "There's no benefit that I would gain, I'm here to help you. Even if the people… in your old life didn't. I'm… not a monster like them."

    She didn't respond so he continued.

    "If… your as good as you say magically, then one of my conditions is that you attend Hogwarts," with one of her eyebrows risen he continued, "it's a magical school in Britain. It's one of the best really. Plus, you wouldn't need any money, I can provide you enough for your school supplies. If need be, I could arrange tutors over the summer to help you catch you up on any subject that you're behind-"

    "Like I said earlier, that won't be necessary Mr. Black."

    "Sirius," he said before realizing what he had said.

    The girl looked at him with a knowing smile.

    "Sirius then. I was educated by a witch from the time I was six years old until she died last year. I have since continued learning various things on my own. If Hogwarts still runs from eleven to seventeen, I shouldn't run into any risks of being behind."

    "Oh." Who in Merlin taught her? "In that case… forget I mentioned tutoring. My family has one of the largest magical libraries in Europe, which will be available for you to use."

    He knew bribing the girl was a bit dishonest, but then again, she appeared to be the Slytherin enough to recognize it.

    "Besides going to school, I don't really have any actual conditions other than trying to get along with the other family members. Who I should… start getting back in touch with," he mumbled the last part to himself, which made him look like a crazy person. He glanced at her, but she now looked neutral, most likely contemplating his offer.

    "There is one other optional thing… you don't have to, but if you want… I would like to adopt you. You would formally be Olivia Black and… your blood parents will no longer be able to take you from me."

    Olivia looked at him, giving him the most alarming smile.

    "Well, what are we waiting for then?"
     
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  19. Threadmarks: The Imperial Empire (Worm AU) - Chapter 1
    ShellOG

    ShellOG Not too sore, are you?

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    The Imperial Empire

    Corruption 1.1



    "Was it worth it?"

    "No..."

    "What did you learn?"

    "...don't...please..."

    "What did you lose?"

    "...everything."



    Today was turning out to be one those good days that humans liked to talk about. A cancer, a disease that had plagued the city designated as Brockton Bay had finally been neutralized. The infamous Baby Endbringer known as Lung was beaten and bleeding all over the cold concrete, unconscious of his surroundings. His reign of terror was conclusively over and the criminal organization known as the Asian Bad Boyz would be crushed without his direct fear-inducing guidance. Any of his minions that dared to take his spot wouldn't have as much strength as he did. Other criminal organizations like would smell the dead flesh and swoop in. Like eager little vultures, they will try their best to eat as much territory as possible.

    I hadn't been quite confident of the proposal to advance the strategic timeline that had been laid out, but my advisors had deemed this battle plan to be in our overwhelming favor. I had been aware that my Empire's technology was far superior than the current Earth Bet's technology, but it wasn't battle tested with Parahumans. Plans never went as forethought, it was, after all, a lesson that had been hammered into my old monkey brain. No one should ever be resolute with their decisions unless they secretly desired to fail.

    My avatar glanced around to see how much damage had been caused to the structures nearby but found the destruction to be minimal. The only thing that mildly surprised me was all the gore lying about, as every single ABB soldier that had been called to Lung's little meet and greet, had been slaughtered. The thugs weren't biologically important to any future tasks, so their fate had been sealed when they decided to go against me. While my knowledge of war had previously been established by movies and historical texts, my new framework presented me with greater knowledge on the subject of warfare. Even with the red ooze lying about, it did nothing but solidify the choice I had made to enact Exodus.

    Lung, however, had been purposely kept alive and it wasn't due to his charming personality. Rather it was the fact that he had a unique brain that no other human on this planet had. Something that my scientists had requested for me to preserve with minimal to no damage. It hadn't been easy beating a homicidal demon without damaging his body but with a sneak attack, he had gone down like any other human. Even though he was a Parahuman, he had a major weakness and it related to his buildup time.

    "General there appear to be several Parahumans en route ETA minus one. [Correction] As well as a local representative of the designation PRT ETA minus three. How do you wish for us to proceed?" her command droid asked via local encrypted verbal communication.

    My internal hud indicated that the mission was complete. I didn't want to expand the mission scope. Headquarters relayed the message to all of my droids, even the bodyguard droids that were hovering above me that were cloaked at all times. It wasn't as if my CSD unit was stored in my avatar but there had to be appearances. I couldn't afford anyone realizing that my avatar was inconsequential. They acknowledged the order with another scrambled message directed at my avatar.

    "There is no need to stay here any longer. Let the local government clean up the mess, it's time for us to head back," I ordered using the same communication line.

    One of my scout droids went up to Lung, injected him with another dose of Isotope-F32, a formula specifically meant for Homosapien. It would make sure that individuals under the effect would sleep with all of their motor functions paralyzed for a minimum of one hour. Unfortunately, the duration does not increase with a higher dosage.

    "Task #S8481-G39A has been complete. Let's go," the command droid said before my squadron went into incognito mode; a form of advanced invisibility. While the end result was the same as the droids above me, the technology and way it was done, was technologically approached differently. I glanced at the massacre one more time and followed suit, there was no point in reveling in the past.

    Today had been nothing but an opening move, a step towards galactic peace. A part of my central processing unit contemplated about how the local government would react, regardless of the prediction reports that dictated that The Imperial Empire, The Empire for short would be painted with a Villainous tone. Kings would kill potential usurpers, there was no difference in this case.

    My temporary forwarding base was located underneath the Boat Graveyard, underneath all the ships that the city abandoned. The previous base was at the warehouse had gotten overcrowded with all of the older mech-styled droids, so measures had been taken place. Miners had been tasked to create a larger base. It wasn't as if the space I was occupying would indefinitely supplement my needs, but it would do for now. Considering the fact that I had almost nigh-infinite resources to work with, especially for the current technology I was focusing on, nothing was going to stop me from expanding. The local authority barely patrolled the waters and when they did, it was practically a half measure. Not even bothering to investigate why some ships had missing interiors.

    Current technology including Tinker tech wasn't going to match the advanced cloak tech that I had strategically invested into. Even if anyone did discover the base, there were several safety measures put in place with all of my techs. The safety measured included all of the droids I had under my command. There were precautions put in place to retain their memory of course but that technology subset still needed to be improved. If scrubbing orders ever took place, the last thirty seconds of frontal lobe memory would be destroyed. I wanted to push into the technology tree that improved that sector as soon as possible but other trees needed some love. Such as the Immortalis project, which would allow all memory packets to be stored in a redundant way.

    It didn't take long to get back to base while we hovered across the rooftops. Not all of my droids had such advanced assault gear equipped. Heavy droids weighed too much to be able to be supported with the current plasma tech involved with transportation.

    Squadron J2, the one that I had tasked to deal with Lung went to deliver his body to the science department. I was curious to see why my science head, rank Lieutenant, had asked me to deliver Parahuman bodies to him.

    I could have easily ordered the droid to inform me of its intentions but I decided to be patient and focus on other tasks that required my personal touch. A leader was only as good as their droids after all.

    The science department had the largest funding within my Empire, as each upgrade took considerable time to implement. I wasn't lacking resources to build but I needed to be somewhat discreet. If I rushed things, built a large army without any proper technological advances, my Empire would be crushed before it got the chance to mature.

    Each droid within my army had to be upgraded manually, so there was no need to scrap them for resources to produce a higher tier droid. Each of them could self-repair and do soft-upgrades when the protocol was initiated to them over the SECR. It was less time consuming to modify the droids in a base, so I made protocols that forced that ideology when it involved upgrades and repairs. Until I had the city under my command, that protocol would stay intact for secrecy's sake.

    "General, the mission went well," Scyther stated, as it was nothing but fact.

    "Correct Lieutenant, HQ should have relayed that data cluster to all personnel. Now, why don't you explain to me why you required the subject in greater detail?"

    He took two seconds to process the request, to formulate a sufficient answer. Scyther hadn't led me astray yet, compared to several other N-AI that had been terminated for failing me. His blue-tinted lenses flickered green for a second before responding.

    "The reason is that the science department decided as a collective to investigate why some humans obtained powers, while others do not under stressful events. This would allow us to understand how to dampen their powers or be able to harvest it for our own purposes."

    Translation, he decided that it was a good idea to investigate how humans obtained powers.

    There was no democracy in my Empire, and not every droid had the privilege of being fitted with an N-AI. I was paranoid of dying, so until the Immortalis project was complete, I would be limiting the amount of "free thinkers" in my Empire.

    Scyther made sense if I supposed but I was worried about the sensitivity of the subject.

    "This is now classified as code "SS0-291898V07." All those that are working on the project will forever be detained in the main base. Scrubbing takes priority, even before tech cleansing. Communication of the subject must always be relayed via data clusters."

    "Acknowledged, may I ask the removal of the limitation of communication?"

    "Declined, the restriction remains," I commanded. I didn't need anyone figuring out what we were talking about. There was no need in making it easy for anyone to understand what was being discussed.

    I waved my hand, indicating for him to do whatever he wished. The droid didn't take offense at my manners, as he just gave a curt salute and went on his way.

    There was so much work that needed to be done and looking over the droids shoulder for updates would do nothing but slow things down. That and the fact that I didn't quite understand the majority of the things the droids communicated when they used their encrypted machine language. I could always force them to explain it to me in higher tiers of language but that wasn't necessary.
     
  20. Threadmarks: Harbinger (Worm AU) - Chapter 1 (Snippet)
    ShellOG

    ShellOG Not too sore, are you?

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    Harbinger (Worm AU)

    Chapter 1.1

    Carlos

    "Shadow Stalker, where do you think you're going?"

    Carlos wasn't in the mood to play any games, especially with all the Empire capes swarming their current position. They were fighting the Merchants for what appeared to be another territorial dispute.

    He was mildly disappointed with Sophia as she had been improving within the last few months. The number of complaints within the team had been reduced to zero. There hadn't been any more insults and she had been following orders to the letter.

    "What does it look like? I'm going to stop them," Shadow Stalker said confidently through his earpiece.

    "Console said that we should stay where we are and wait for the Protectorate."

    He was hoping that she would listen to him, only she shook her head.

    "No. You can either come and help me, or I'll go on my own."

    It wasn't as if he couldn't have subdued her but she could easily escape him. He also wasn't willing to leave her alone, to fight against Hookwolf, Cricket, and Mush.

    Dean Stansfield

    He woke up with a shock as if someone had been speaking ill of him. That didn't make any sense though because he was in the Wards living room and Vicky wasn't allowed to visit him here.

    It wasn't as if he didn't enjoy Victoria's company but she didn't understand that he liked to have some sort of personal time. She couldn't comprehend why he wasn't at her beck and call. It was one of the main issues about that rubbed him the wrong way about her. He had hoped their last break would have taught her not to be so clingy but recent events showed him otherwise.

    "Hey Dean, you alright?"

    He turned to the seemingly concerned voice and instantly knew who it was. Dennis was giving him a strange look and his aura was genuine enough to make Dean realize that Dennis was actually concerned about his welfare. Dean rubbed the back of his neck, a habit whenever he needed to calm down.

    "Yeah, just needed to get some rest before I go out on patrol with Shadow Stalker."

    He knew it was wrong to even hint that he needed to prepare himself before interacting with one of his teammates but he knew Dennis would understand.

    "Okay. Just... you looked like you were having a nightmare. I... Do you want to talk about it?"

    He must've been in a worse state than he thought because there was no way Dennis would want to talk about problems. His friend usually hid his pain behind his comedic persona, something only he and Carlos knew about. Dean looked at his friend's aura to see that he was concerned but reluctant, as if unsure how to proceed.

    "Nah it's okay, just had a bad dream is all."

    He wasn't sure why he lied but it was one of those little white lies. No one would punish him for not wanting to talk about his problems.

    "I'm on console duty today so if you need a break while on patrol, just say the word."

    "The word?" Dean asked, not sure what Dennis was talking about. Instantly he groaned, realizing that his redhead friend was busting his chops.

    "That's correct, the word," Dennis said with a smirk before walking away.

    Dean still had another twenty minutes before going on patrol, so he decided to wash his face and check his phone for any messages. Victoria had texted him about tomorrow's party, what he was going to wear and when he was going to pick her up. She hadn't even asked him if he was available which ticked him off. There were a few other messages but none of them important.

    Soon enough he saw his glum teammate enter the Wards area. She didn't say anything to him, just stared at him longer than he was comfortable with.

    It was as if she was judging him for some sort of crime but he knew who Sophia was. A judgemental and headstrong teen that needed some serious mental help. He hadn't noticed it at first but her aura had changed to a darker tone. Two months ago he had been concerned and had been tempted enough to inform the director but she had been behaving better.

    There weren't any more petty insults, threats or acts of violence when they went out patrolling. She was much quieter whenever prodded at, questioned him every so often and was actually following the rules to the letter. Besides her aura and mental shift, the way she looked at him gave him the chills.

    Missy had mentioned to Sophia one day about her acting less of a bitch in a somewhat joking manner and instead of calling the pre-teen a name, Sophia had ignored the comment. He had noticed the burst of rage escape her but she hadn't said anything.

    "You ready? We're on the blue route today."

    Every month we had several routes prepared for us and we needed to study them before heading out. Sometimes Carlos tested us on the route to make sure we were prepared.

    Instead of saying anything she just waved for him to go ahead as if telling him he was the leader and that she was going to follow. A month ago she would've just grunted at him and gone to the elevator, only now she was much more cautious. Something had changed and he wasn't the only one to notice. He knew Carlos and Missy were much more reserved with their jokes and whenever Dennis cracked one of his bad jokes, Sophia didn't even blink.

    For a split second, he thought about her being mastered but removed that thought for now. Something to bring up with one of the Protectorates in their meeting in the morning. He knew Armsmaster would do it, no questions asked, which would only cause Sophia to get pissed off at him. Unless she was mastered then, she would thank him once she was back in control.

    They were on the streets of Brockton Bay soon enough. While he was on the ground, Shadow Stalker was on the rooftops, watching over him. As if she was some sort of Angel waiting to smite evildoers. Several gangsters were wearing the colors of the Empire but they didn't approach us.

    The director had all of the Wards listen to her lecture, about what the Wards were all about, who they were meant to protect and what they were meant to do. If anyone had heard the conversation they could have summed it all up to "do nothing."

    Before he would have had to reign Shadow Stalker in but she didn't do anything anymore. Her green aura indicated neutrality but he did see hints of anger. If he had to make an educated guess, it had something to do with the fact that they weren't allowed to engage.

    "You coming?" Sophia asked in a bored tone through his headpiece.

    "Right."

    There was something wrong with her, something had to have happened. He wasn't sure what, but he was sure the Protectorate would know what to do.

    Hannah

    "As we all know the Empire isn't capable of pushing out Lung but with them not being challenged, it's suggested that they're going to make that push. We all know what would happen if they escalate without some form of resistance."

    Thomas Calvert was a wise man not because of his mental wit or appearance but his capability of being able to persuade the Director. Hannah knew that by tomorrow, at least a dozen PRT would be raiding the Empire, making sure that they knew their place. It wouldn't do much but annoy the gangsters but it would give Kaiser some pause.

    If Kaiser was wise he would see what the raid really was; a warning. If he didn't the PRT and Protectorate would set up several raids against his gang. Something that the Director wished to avoid if possible.

    Sometimes Hannah really despised these type of tactics but she was but a soldier following orders. If the director thought that the raid would help the city then that was that. Nothing she could say would be able to sway the Director.

    There was a knock at the door and with a twitch, her holstered knife became a shotgun on her lap. Internally she was annoyed at her twitchy response, especially when she was in front of company. Thankfully everyone was looking at the door and not at her, so she had enough time to swap the weapon back before anyone was aware.

    "Come in," Emily shouted at a moderate level, just enough for the person outside to hear.

    Hannah was surprised to see Gallant unmasked, with a somewhat humble posture. He hadn't ever sought to speak to the Protectorate in a documented manner before. She noticed Colin frown at the delay. He had been working on his latest project, a lie detector supposedly and this meeting had already been running longer than usual.

    Ethan looked like he was going to say something but got elbowed by his wife. Hannah could only shake her head at their antics.

    Usually, Emily would shout at someone disturbing the weekly Protectorate meetings but she knew that Gallant wouldn't be wasting their time. He was like Carlos, a dedicated Ward that followed orders.

    "I need to speak to you all... is this a bad time?"

    Gallant was nervous, that was plainly obvious by his tone.

    "That's enough Thomas, I'll authorize up to four squads. Send me the request tonight and I'll approve them."

    "Thank you, Emily," the man said crisply before gathering his folders and walking out in a timely manner.

    Gallant walked into the room, standing where Thomas had been, staring at us, to only realize that he needed to say something.

    "Right, well... I have some concerns about a teammate and I know protocol is to talk to the team leader but... I didn't want to cause any problems."

    Colin didn't seem to get upset about the fact that one of his Wards went over him to report an issue.

    "What did Dennis do this time?" Ethan said before Jamie bonked him on the head.

    "Ignore his comment. Continue," Emily said neutrally, not bothering to even reprimand Assault.

    "Well... Shadow Stalker... Sophia... she's been acting off... and... I think sometimes wrong with her."

    Emily looked at Colin, to which he only shrugged. Hannah wasn't sure what was going on but she would find out soon enough she supposed.

    "She hasn't done anything harmful has she?"

    Emily wasn't concerned, which gave Hannah some pause. Sophia had been acting different, much more reserved than usual.

    "No... I don't think so but..."

    "Thank you for telling us. Is that all Gallant?"

    Emily was acting stranger than usual. Usually, she would have called for Master and Stranger protocols on even the hint that someone was acting differently.

    "...Yes. Thank you for hearing me out."

    Dean closed the door behind him. Everyone but Colin was looking at the Director as if waiting for some sort of explanation.

    "Something happened in Shadow Stalkers civilian life. Nothing to be concerned about. You're all dismissed, but Armsmaster I need to speak to you for a moment."

    Colin grumbled for a moment before nodding.

    The rest of the Protectorate left the room and while she was curious to get the details about Shadow Stalker from Armsmaster, she knew the man wouldn't spill the so-called beans. Instead, she went towards the Wards living room, to either speak to one of the Wards.

    Missy was eating some cereal while watching some cartoon. When the girl heard someone from behind, she switched the channel.

    "Hey uh- didn't notice you there."

    Missy looked a bit red as if embarrassed about being caught watching a kids show. Hannah wasn't sure why the girl didn't embrace her childhood, especially when she was given the opportunity.

    "Good morning Missy, how are you?"

    "Okay," she said before putting another spoon of cereal in her mouth.

    She knew the girl didn't like going home and usually only went for holidays. Her parents were separated but getting a divorce, something that wasn't doing any favors for their child's mental health.
     
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