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Once and Future (WormxFate)

Discussion in 'Questing' started by Aldsan, Aug 26, 2023.

  1. Sat

    Sat Not too sore, are you?

    Jun 18, 2020
    Likes Received:
    [X] [Social] Victoria Dallon
    [X] [Social] Amy Dallon

    Amy obviously needs to talk to someone, but I don't want to ignore the possibility that Victoria needs help, just as often as there are people openly showing there pain, there are people that hide it from those around them trying to seem strong. I refuse to believe that Vicky would benefit at least a little from a social with us.

    [X] [Activity] Sports
    [X] [Activity] Charity

    I like Charity story wise but I really want to spend some time to focus on our physical stats, far to often are physical stats left by the wayside in favor of social or mental stats and then suddenly we have to fight something 3x stronger than we are and we're going to wonder why we're getting our but kicked.

    [X] [Heroism] Study your first aid.
    I want to go out and help someone but I like the idea of her becoming a hero by accident at first, rather than actively goin out looking for trouble without even understanding her own powers.
    NooneImportant likes this.
  2. NooneImportant

    NooneImportant Know what you're doing yet? Because I don't!

    Oct 30, 2022
    Likes Received:
    [X] Sat’s plan

    >[X] [Social] Victoria Dallon
    >[X] [Social] Amy Dallon

    >[X] [Activity] Sports
    >[X] [Activity] Charity

    >[X] [Heroism] Study your first aid.
  3. Aldsan

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Voting will close in 48 hours. The Activity and Heroism votes are both very close, so get your votes in now.
  4. Threadmarks: 1.3 - The Drawing of the Sword

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:

    My fist slammed into foam. I followed it up with a flurry of blows, exerting as much strength as I could. The self-defense class I had signed up for did not focus on fighting and instead concentrated on methods to escape and run away. That did not mean we hadn’t learned the basics. Enough that I knew how to throw a punch at least.

    The punching bag rocked back a scant few inches. I think it was safe to say that I did not have any sort of super strength.

    I let out a sigh and used the back of my arm to wipe sweat from my brow. I had already tried a few other tests just to see if I had any physical enhancements. I measured how high I could jump, how much weight I could lift, how fast I could run. Our home’s personal gym did not lack for equipment.

    The only thing left was to test my durability.

    I picked up a thin sewing needle from where I had left it nearby. The prospect of injuring myself was not a particularly appealing one, but this seemed the easiest way. I drew my lips tight and pressed the point against the pad of my finger. There was a moment of resistance before blood began welling up. Nothing that could not be explained by my hesitance and the needle not being quite sharp enough.

    Many people were smiling.

    It did not matter. I did not need powers to try and save people. It was reckless, perhaps, but… I could envision the task ahead. That which I could envision, I could make reality. There was already someone close to home who I could help, after all.

    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    “Thank you for having me.”

    “Hey, I’m happy to have you,” Victoria said, smiling brightly. “Can I get you anything? Snacks, a drink?”

    “No, I do not require anything,” I replied, glancing around the Dallons’ living room. It was quite a bit smaller than our own, but it was still nice. Family photos lined the walls, the furniture was well-made, a large TV hung on the far wall. It was only on a second examination that the oddities began to stand out.

    The doors had reinforced frames and heavy-duty locks. Thick curtains lined each of the windows, ready to be drawn and hide the inhabitants from the outside. A security system was primed and needed a code imputed every time the door was opened. This was a home of people who expected danger.

    “Oh, okay. Well, make yourself at home. I was a little surprised that you asked to come over – I don’t usually see you unless Dean brings you along. Are you doing okay, by the way?”

    “I am doing as well as could be expected, I suppose. There has certainly been some need to adjust, both physically and mentally, but I have been doing my best to manage it.”

    “Well, if you need anything, let me know, okay? Homework advice, making friends, hanging boys from trees – whatever you need, Big Sis Vicky is on the case.” She grinned brightly and winked at me, patting her bicep.

    A smile played about my lips. “Well, perhaps I shall take you up on that at some point.”

    Victoria put a hand over her mouth and faked a gasp. “A month awake and you’re already getting back into the dating pool? Who’s the lucky boy?”

    “Who said anything about a boy?”

    “Lucky girl?”

    “Yes, though not in the sense that you are thinking.” I let my smile fade, the humor of the moment fading. “I was hoping to speak with Amy.”

    Victoria froze, her feet slowly lowering to the ground. “Really? I mean, that’s great if so, I just didn’t think the two of you ever got along much.”

    “We have not in the past. Regardless, I would like to change that.”

    Victoria studied me, her gaze inscrutable, before she finally nodded, tilting her head towards the stairs. “Alright, follow me. I’ll try and draw her out for you.”

    I followed behind her, my shoes sinking into the plush carpet as I silently followed behind her. We passed Victoria’s room first, her door hanging open to expose it. Passing by, I spotted a desk with a laptop sitting open and a large bookshelf with several trophies decorating it. Victoria stopped at the next door and knocked.

    “Amy? You awake?” she asked, her voice soft. Hesitant.

    “What is it?” A muffled voice replied.

    “Could you come out? Elaine’s here.”

    “Just tell her I’m asleep.”

    “Amy, it’s three in the afternoon.”

    “Then tell her I’m not here.”

    “Amy, she wants to talk with you. Just come down for a bit?”

    “Well, maybe I don’t want to talk with her!” Amy snapped. “Just… just leave me alone, Vicky.”

    I pressed my lips tight. My patience with this petulance was growing thin. “Excuse me, Victoria.”

    “Ellie? What are you–”

    My foot slammed into the door. The doors leading outside may have been reinforced, but they had not taken the same precautions here. There was a crack and the latch slipped, the door banging into the wall as it flew open. Inside, Amy sat wrapped almost entirely in a blanket, staring wide-eyed as I came through the door.

    “What the hell?! Did you just break into my room? Are you fucking crazy?”

    The girl was paler than I remembered, the color drained from her skin from lack of sun, leaving a stark white to contrast with her many freckles. Her brown hair had grown long and tangled, wild from lack of care. And though she wore her blanket as a cloak, it parted enough that I could tell she wasn’t wearing much in the way of clothes. A large t-shirt and her underwear. I scowled down at her and she flinched back as I approached.

    “Get dressed,” I said, my voice as tightly controlled as I could keep it. “Your family may have indulged your cowardice, but I will not. I am taking you outside.”

    “I’m not going to–”

    “Get. Dressed.”

    Amy glanced to Victoria for a moment before looking back to me. Her jaw worked, trying to say something but unable to produce the words. Finally, she bit out, “Fine. But get out of my room. I’m not going to change with you watching, you creep.”

    I held her gaze, not looking away until she met my eyes. The pink of anger and embarrassment slowly invaded her cheeks and I waited until it was near a tipping point before I replied, “I shall hold you to your word.” With that, I walked out of the room, closing the door behind me. It failed to latch properly and began drifting open again.

    “Holy hell.” Victoria stared at me as though I were a stranger. “Where did that come from, Ellie?”

    “...Do you believe that I went too far?”

    “A bit,” Victoria said dryly. “I won’t complain if it works. I will leave you in a tree if you make Amy cry though, okay?”

    “Well. Far be it from me to tempt your wrath. You are welcome to come along, if you wish.”

    “Next time, maybe. I have the feeling the two of you need to have a talk without me acting as third wheel.”

    “I don’t think we need to have a talk, not that anyone asked me,” Amy said, stomping out of her room. She’d thrown on a pair of jeans and a hooded jacket despite the summer heat outside. She hadn’t bothered combing her hair.

    “Your opinion is noted,” I said. “However, I am choosing to ignore it in this case. Shall we?” I offered my hand only for Amy to glare at it as though it had personally offended her until I lowered it once more.
    “If we must,” Amy finally said.

    I met Victoria’s eyes and she gave me a sympathetic smile. It would seem I had my work cut out for me. “Then let’s go.” I led the way back downstairs. Dean had not been available to drive me today – I had needed to catch a taxi over here – but there was a bus stop nearby that ran close to where I was intending for us to go.

    “Where exactly are we going anyway?” Amy asked. “If it’s shopping, I’ll save us the time and hard pass now. I get enough of that when Victoria decides she needs to drag me out of the house.”

    “We are not going shopping.”

    “Good,” Amy said. “Maybe this won’t be a completely miserable experience then.”

    Well, one could dream, I suppose.

    A half hour later saw us at a set of batting cages down near the Boardwalk. It was part of a larger facility – there was a laser tag arena, mini-golf, an arcade, and other entertainment for children our age to busy ourselves with. Amy however, had not been happy with my choice.

    “Sports? Really? I take it back, this is already worse than shopping. At least then I only have to walk.”

    “Just hit the ball, Amy.”

    I followed my own advice, only to whiff the strike as my swing came in a bit too quickly. Amy scowled but followed suit soon after, a satisfying crack echoing through the cage.

    “Why did you decide on this anyways? You never struck me as the sports type before.”

    “I have been attempting to broaden my horizons since I woke up.” I swung again, this time managing to catch the edge of the ball. The force didn’t transfer properly however, and it simply bounced away. “Besides which, I had the feeling that this conversation would leave the both of us wishing to strike something.”

    “Well, that’s for sure.” Amy swung again. Crack. Another ball went sailing back and was caught by the cage’s netting.

    I shifted my grip. I had never done anything quite like this before, to my memory, yet it still felt somehow familiar. I swung again – the bat hit and the ball went flying upwards before falling back down behind the plate.


    “What?” I turned to frown at Amy.

    “Widen your stance. Spread your feet apart. Square your shoulders.”

    I furrowed my brow. “What do you mean?”

    Amy huffed and shut her pitching machine off before circling around to my cage. I shut my machine off as well, and she stepped in behind me and placed a hand on my shoulder and another on my back, pushing gently to straighten me. “I mean your stance is all wrong. You look like you’re trying to swing a sword around.”

    Raising an eyebrow, I followed her instruction. “You are better at this than I thought you would be.”

    “Vicky’s main sport was always basketball, but she’s dragged me to places like this before. She could probably give you better advice than I could.”

    I hummed and glanced back at Amy. “She seems like a good sister.”

    “...Yeah. She is. Better than I deserve.”


    “Hey!” Amy scowled. “You’re not supposed to agree with that!”

    “Would you prefer that I give you platitudes instead?” I asked. “Perhaps about how love does not care what you deserve?”

    “Ugh. No.” Amy shook her head and looked away. “Forget it.”

    Pausing, I tilted my head back, looking out towards the sky. “I called it a platitude, but that does not make it less true, Amy. Love does not care whether you deserve it or not. Your sister loves you. That will not change. It is simply up to you to live up to that love.”

    “Easy for you to say,” Amy scoffed.

    I sighed and set my bat down. “What is it that is eating at you exactly, Amy? My brother thought you were guilty over what happened to me, but that does not seem to be the case.”

    “Wait, is that what all this has been about? Because of Dean? He had no right to talk about me like that!”

    My eyes narrowed. “Amy. He was worried about you. Your sister is worried about you.”

    “Yeah, well, it’s none of their business, Elaine!”

    A frustrated sigh escaped me. One step forward and two steps back. “If not with them, then speak to me, Amy. Cease this tantrum and allow me to help you.”

    “Why do you care, even? It’s not like we were ever friends.”

    “Perhaps not. That need not stay the case, however.”

    “And what, I’ll just become a better person through the power of friendship?”

    I stepped forward into Amy’s space and drove a finger into her chest. I was shorter than she was, the top of my head only coming up to her nose. I tilted my head back so that I could look her in the eyes. “You think you are not worthy of their love? Fine. Then I will beat you into shape until you resemble an actual functioning human being again.”

    Amy’s eyes widened. “Er, when you say beat me into shape, what does that mean exactly?”

    A smile played on my lips. “I suppose that is for me to know and you to discover. To start, we will be making this sort of outing a regular thing. You are not allowed to simply hide away in your room any more. At the very least, you will join me in my self-defense classes so that you are prepared for any future trouble.”

    “...Fine. I can agree to that. For now.”

    “Good. Then let us hit a few more balls and I will buy us dessert on the way home. Is that acceptable?”

    “Well, that would require you to actually hit anything first,” Amy snarked.

    “Oh? Those sound like fighting words to me, Amy. Were you looking to make a competition of it?”

    “You know I’ll crush you, right? You haven’t hit a single ball yet.”

    “Ah, but I have received your instruction and taken it to heart. I am sure my fortunes are ready to shift.”

    “Well fine,” Amy grinned. “If you want to lose that badly. If I win, you have to give me your serving of ice cream after this. I get both, you get none.”

    I narrowed my eyes. A harsh penalty indeed. “I accept.”

    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    Nearly two hours later, Amy laid sprawled across the bus seat, groaning softly. “Ugh. I can’t believe how competitive you are.”

    I shifted uneasily and looked away. “Surely it wasn’t that bad?”

    “We played five games with thirty balls each game.” Amy grimaced and looked away. “You sulked when I beat you and asked for another rematch, only to get mad if I tried going easy. Not even stealing your ice cream makes up for this.”

    “...Perhaps I was a bit overly enthusiastic.”

    “You don’t say,” she replied sarcastically.

    I looked out the window and watched the city pass by, trying to ignore the heat that was burning my cheeks.

    “...Still,” Amy said after a moment. “I had fun. Thanks, I guess. Even if you owe me a new door.”

    “...I will see what I can do to replace it.”

    Amy laughed, a surprisingly gentle sound for how harsh her voice could usually be. Outside, the world passed by, idyllic as the Bay ever could be. Blue skies stretched as far as I could see, the Sun bright in the sky. A cloud passed and a second sun appeared.


    A series of popping sounds came from nearby – gunfire? Amy was starting to raise herself up in response to the noise when the Sun descended and the world disappeared in light. The bus was rolling, my arm wrapped around Amy as I tried to keep us in our seats. A thunderous clap came nearby and the both of us fell down onto what had once been the bus’s ceiling.

    I let out a slow breath as I slowly sat up. Amy and I were unhurt, thankfully, but I couldn’t say the same for the other people on the bus. A quick scan of the vehicle showed people who had broken bones while falling. Others who had fallen on shattered glass and cut themselves. Some were unconscious. Others were groaning in pain.

    Across the street I could see men dressed in garish red and green, guns aimed towards the sky. A dreadful roar shook the ground beneath me, dredging up terror from deep within my soul.

    There was no time to think. I had to act.

    It is June of 2010.

    You have been caught in the crossfire of a Parahuman battle. You need to respond and fast.
    [ ] [Battle] Attack
    You should get rid of those gunmen across the street. It will be difficult to evacuate everyone if it’s an active warzone.
    [ ] [Battle] Rescue
    Start dragging people out of the bus to try and get them to safety. This will take time and be difficult with a battle going on.
    [ ] [Battle] Hide
    Bunker down inside the bus and hope that help comes soon.
    [ ] [Battle] Flee
    Get yourself and Amy to safety. The others will have to fend for themselves.
    [ ] [Battle] (Write-In)
  5. Sat

    Sat Not too sore, are you?

    Jun 18, 2020
    Likes Received:
    [X] [Battle] Rescue
  6. NooneImportant

    NooneImportant Know what you're doing yet? Because I don't!

    Oct 30, 2022
    Likes Received:
    One day we will conquer dragons… this is not that day (yet)

    [X] [Battle] Rescue
  7. SSIntrinity

    SSIntrinity Occasional Poster of Intelligent Comments

    May 20, 2021
    Likes Received:

    [X] [Battle] Rescue
    Start dragging people out of the bus to try and get them to safety. This will take time and be difficult with a battle going on.
  8. Aldsan

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Vote closes in 48 hours. Get your votes in now if you haven't yet.
  9. Threadmarks: 1.4 - The Drawing of the Sword

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:


    “Whu–” Amy stirred on top of me and I gently shifted her to the side. “What happened?”

    “A Parahuman battle. We need to pull the people trapped here to safety quickly, before anything else happens.”

    “I–” Amy slowly pushed herself up and looked around. An explosion sounded off in the distance, the force and noise enough to send the bus rocking once more. “Where is even safe?”

    I drew my lips tight. There was too much noise. I couldn’t tell which direction the battle was in, if it was even moving away at all. “I do not know. I know that we cannot afford to stay here, however, and neither can these people.”

    “So what, we just pick a direction and go?”

    “We will not escape far with all of these people – but we can at least get them inside a building and out of the line of fire.”

    Amy chewed on her lip, her eyes frantically darting around the bus, before finally nodding. “Okay. Okay. We can do this. How do we do this?”

    Ducking down to look through the window, I surveyed the area before pointing to a bookshop. “We aim for that building. The heavy shelving should hopefully help stop any bullets that come through the walls. I will begin organizing anyone who is awake and uninjured enough to assist those who are hurt.”

    Amy nodded again and took a deep breath before rushing to the nearest person. Meanwhile, I scanned the bus. There had been eighteen people onboard prior to our crash. Not including Amy and I, there looked to be three relatively uninjured, with another two who could at least walk under their own power. That meant at least two trips, possibly a third to get everyone, and that’s assuming everyone helped.

    I stepped out into the aisle and raised my voice. “Everyone who is able – We must move everyone who is injured off the bus and into the nearby buildings swiftly! The longer we stay here, the greater the chance that we are caught in the crossfire!”

    “Fuck that!” A man swore. “I’m not waiting around for some Empire goon to put a cap in me! I’m getting out of here!”

    “Wait – These people need your help!”

    The man ran for the rear door, shoving me aside as he passed by. I hit the ground, the breath blown out of me, more stunned by the act than the actual force behind it. The other two uninjured people, a man and a woman, shared a look before following after him, a bit more slowly. One of them looked down at me as they passed.

    “Sorry kid. You mean well, but we just can’t risk it. Not with things this bad already.”

    Slowly picking myself up, I squeezed my hands tight. I could not fault them. They simply wished to keep themselves safe. Still, the taste of bitter disappointment filled my mouth.

    “Oh God. What are we going to do?”

    I took a deep breath and looked at the woman who had spoken, a woman with a very obviously broken leg. “We will do whatever we are able. My friend and I will begin carrying whoever we can, but we need you to stay calm in the meantime.”

    The ping of a stray bullet hit the frame of the bus and the woman flinched. “We’re going to die, aren’t we?”

    “No. Not today. Not if I can help it.”

    The woman broke into tears and I looked away. A part of me wanted to join her, but I could not afford that. Not now. For now, I locked those emotions away and focused on the task at hand. The people who had been knocked unconscious would have to be first. There was no chance that they would be able to drag themselves to safety. Amy could help those who only had broken limbs out of the bus at least. I performed mental triage and moved to grab my first rescuee.

    They were heavy. It wasn’t even that big of a person, yet I found my arms straining. I grit my teeth and bore the weight. Then I bore the weight of the next person. And the next. Even those who were twice my size, somehow I managed to walk. A mere eleven people to carry.

    The bookstore owner looked a frightened mess when I brought the first person in, but he was quickly ushering me through, helping take people from me once I got them to the door. I finally heard sirens in the distance as I left for the final casualty, though the sounds of explosions had not yet quieted. Extricating them from the wreck, I made it to the door when a thing made of twisted steel tore through the street.

    Its passage left the bus a twisted wreck, the gunmen who had been firing from nearby now a mangled heap. The thing stopped, turning to look at me for a moment, before continuing onwards, uninterested in a random civilian. A wolf made of jagged, cruel blades and barbs. Another Parahuman.

    This was the face of the conflict in my city. This cruelty. This indifference to the safety and happiness of its people. I shook, overcome with rage and fear and exhaustion all at once. I barely managed to get inside the bookstore before collapsing to the ground, barely able to draw in breath.

    “You okay?”

    “No. Not particularly.” I allowed my breath to slow before opening my eyes to look at Amy. “Is everyone safe?”

    “Yeah. I can’t believe we managed it.” Amy gave me a small grin and punched at my shoulder. “I didn’t think you had something like that in you.”

    “I just did what I could,” I said, glancing away.

    “Well, I guess what you could do was more than I thought.” Heat suffused my cheeks, but it was a pleasant embarrassment. Amy kept talking, having apparently not noticed. “I already called 911 and left a message with my family. They’re busy trying to contain this, but an ambulance should be on its way.”

    “Good. That’s… good. Do we know what caused this?”

    “No idea. That bright flash at the beginning though? That was Purity, the Empire’s resident Blaster.”


    Amy gave me a funny look. “Yeah, you know. Shoots beams and stuff. Did you never learn the Parahuman classifications?”

    I shrugged. “I was never terribly interested in them before… everything that has happened.”

    “Well… I suppose the classifications do change quite a bit, the science around it is still evolving, but Blaster’s on pretty much all of them. Vicky could tell you more, she’s a huge nerd about this sort of stuff.”

    “What are the others?” I asked.

    “Ugh. Give me a sec. How’d it go?” She began singing a small rhyme, “Mover, Shaker, Brute, and Breaker. Master, Tinker, Blaster, and Thinker. Striker, Changer, Trump, and Stranger.

    “That’s all of them?”

    “All of the ones currently in use. Like I said, there’s some older ones, or ones that don’t get used often any more. Like Shifter or Nuker.”

    I hummed thoughtfully and closed my eyes, too tired to truly engage with what she was saying. Darkness soon overtook me.

    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    A scream rent the air. The girl woke with a start, immediately moving to begin donning her armor. Her armor, but not her sword. She had drawn the Sword of Selection earlier that day. Not all had acknowledged it. King Lot had declared that he would never serve someone as young as her as King. Nor had he been alone. Others had left in discontent, murmuring of a child king. Yet, for every one that left, two had vowed their allegiance.

    The sword had been hung in Saint Paul’s Basilica. Proof for all to come and see that the sword had been drawn. The King had been chosen.

    And tonight, the very same night that the sword had been drawn, vandals had come to sack Londinium and steal the sword.

    She left her lodgings, with not the holy sword but instead one made of common steel in hand. A man covered in painted woad and wielding naught but a knife came screaming out of the night. A twist and a slash and he was cut down.

    Even without her holy sword none stood in her way. Pictish knifemen were cut down. Their spears were broken. Their shields shattered. And at the Basilica, she found loyal knights had formed a defensive line, keeping any from taking the sword.

    “You have each done well. Tell me your names, that I might know who has served me faithfully this night.”

    “My Lord, I am Lucan,” one youth told her. He was young, and could not have been a knight for long, only recently graduated from squirehood. A firm jaw lent him a dignified appearance however, even in the midst of this bloodshot.

    “My Lord, I am Griflet,” another said. This one was young – too young to have been knighted yet. He must still be a squire, and yet had fought on anyways.

    “My Lord, I am Bedivere,” the last said. A handsome face, perhaps a year or two older than herself looked back at her steadfastly, disguising the pain of his severed hand. Yet, even despite the grievous wound that showed hurried signs of wrapping, he had not been slowed in his defense of the sword.

    “Rise. I acknowledge each of you as knights of my household. You shall be proud. For each of you have obeyed your king’s command.”

    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    When I opened my eyes again, a day had passed. Someone had taken me back home while I slept, though I could not remember who. Vivid memories of dreams whirled through my mind as I slowly left my bed.

    A slew of messages had filled my phone while I slept.

    There were Victoria and Amy, of course, asking me to let them know once I had woken up. Mostly Victoria. Amy had sent a single message and had not bothered since. Victoria it seemed asked every few hours if I was awake yet. More surprising were Chelsea and Megan asking if I was okay and getting worried when I did not respond, and even a singular message from Erin checking on my safety.

    I sent a message to all five, letting them know I was well. That accomplished, I left my room.

    The house was strangely quiet. No maids here to clean. No gardeners outside taking care of the lawn. No sign of Dean in his room. It made the snatches of overheard conversation stand out all the more as I approached the living room.

    “--Need to get out of this city. How many more incidents like this do we need?”

    “You know it’s not that simple, Helen. Where would we even go? Boston? That’s even worse than here, they’ve got the Teeth running around causing havoc. New York? They have a new villain pop up every other week.”

    “What if next time she doesn’t wake up? Or what if next time it’s Dean who’s hurt?”

    “Look, these things never last that long. We can move up the vacation a bit, get them out of the city until it blows over.”

    “...Fine. That’s fine. Just… how did everything go so wrong in the world?”

    “I don’t know. Too many selfish people choosing to become villains.”

    I quietly stepped away, not willing to listen any further. A cold pit had formed in my stomach. It wasn’t just that people became villains. It was that not enough people stood up to them in response. Yet, here we were, fleeing in the face of adversity.

    There was not much I could do about that. Not at this point. However, I could at least use the opportunity to better myself, and return more prepared for next time.

    It is July of 2010.

    We have arrived at a rest period.

    First is to tally checkmarks.

    Next is training and practice. You may select any one of the following improvements:

    Please structure this vote as a Plan, i.e.
    [ ] Plan Name Here
    -[ ] [Training] Skills 1, Skills 2, Skills 3, etc.

    The next stage is to tally Glory and to receive Glory rewards.

    Next, you receive your monthly allowance. Given your status as a Wealthy Heiress, you earn $100.

    Remember, if at any time you wish to buy something from the shop, please do a write in as below, and I will add it to the next vote.
    [ ] [Shop] (Write-In)

    Now, for our actions going forward into next month.

    Your parents are taking you on vacation next month. Elaine technically doesn’t have any control over this, but you the readers do.
    [ ] [Vacation] New York
    [ ] [Vacation] Los Angeles
    [ ] [Vacation] France
    [ ] [Vacation] England
    [ ] [Vacation] Japan
    [ ] [Vacation] (Write-In)

    While on vacation, what will you focus on doing?
    [ ] [Activity] Sightsee
    [ ] [Activity] Talk with the locals
    [ ] [Activity] Hit the beach
    [ ] [Activity] Stick with what your family is doing
    [ ] [Activity] (Write-In)

    And finally a free time action. I’m going to leave this one entirely up to write-ins. If I particularly like a specific write-in, I reserve the right to also include it in addition to the write-in that wins the vote.
    [ ] [Free Time] (Write-In)
  10. NooneImportant

    NooneImportant Know what you're doing yet? Because I don't!

    Oct 30, 2022
    Likes Received:
    Man I’m stumped on this vacation time, so uhhh

    [X] Plan: Surfers Paradise?
    -[X] [Vacation] Los Angeles

    -[X] [Activity] Hit the Beach

    -[X] [Free Time] Try Surfing (A new experience/practice that can train your sense of balance.)

    Reminding people (including myself) that this is the SFW board, and being crossposted to SB, so remember: NO. HORNY. (Hides the stick I had to bonk myself with.)
  11. Aldsan

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Well, now I'm just curious what you originally said.
  12. NooneImportant

    NooneImportant Know what you're doing yet? Because I don't!

    Oct 30, 2022
    Likes Received:
    Bikini Standard Ecchi Anime Beach Episode Setup

    A SEABES, if you will.
  13. Aldsan

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Vote will close in 48 hours.
  14. Threadmarks: 1.x - Interlude; Sophia

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    “Come on, don’t scream. Just be nice and quiet and it’ll all be over soon.”

    The woman – girl, really – did not listen. The man sighed and pinned her to the ground, slapping her across the face to shut her up before wrapping a hand around her throat. Panicked, the girl tried to swing at him, her hand slapping ineffectually at the man’s head. It wasn’t enough to dislodge the man. It never would be enough. It was enough to annoy him however. More importantly, it was enough for the figure watching them from above.

    Sophia’s crossbow let out a twang as she pulled the trigger. Her bolt buried itself in the creep’s shoulder and he went spinning off of his victim in a spray of blood. The girl ran off, not even waiting to thank her savior.

    That was fine. Sophia didn’t care about getting thanked. She was just here to take scum like this off of the street.

    She hopped down off of the roof, her body dispersing into shadow, allowing her to land safely and reform, a second bolt already slotted into her crossbow. Walking over to the man, she kicked out, her boot finding purchase in the man’s ribs as she flipped him over onto his back.

    Blank, empty eyes stared up at her.

    Shit. That made another one. She groaned softly. That meant she’d need to hide the body. It was hardly the first time, but it was still a pain in the ass. She couldn’t call Emma to help her with this either. The last time she’d called Emma in to help with a dead body, her friend had freaked out. Emma might be a survivor, but she wasn’t as strong as she liked to think she was.

    That was fine. That was part of being a supportive friend. Sophia would help her get there. Eventually.

    Bending down, she yanked her bolt free of the body. Maybe she could widen the wound, make it look like a stabbing instead. Just another mugging gone wrong in Brockton. That could probably work. That girl had run off so fast she probably hadn’t even seen Sophia.

    Nodding to herself, Sophia drew her knife, a nifty little thing she’d gotten at a sporting goods store, more hunting knife than pocket knife. Perhaps it was a bit much for the job, but well, needs must. She placed it over the man’s chest and thrust.

    An iron grip closed around her wrist. Sophia instinctively tried to jerk away before she realized it wasn’t some third person who had grabbed her. It was the corpse. The man she had killed had reached up and grabbed hold of her. The shock held her in place long enough for the corpse to lunge upwards and sink its jagged fangs into her shoulder.

    She cried out and turned to shadow immediately, but the corpse had torn a chunk of flesh out of her. She rematerialized a few feet away and sunk another bolt into it, but it hardly seemed to even notice. It simply licked at its blood-stained lips, staring at her with eerie red eyes.

    “D-Don’t scrrream,” it gurgled wetly. “Just b-be nice and quiet. It’ll all be overrrr soon.”

    Yeah, fuck that. Sophia dashed backwards, but the creature was fast. It was ontop of her, bearing her down to the ground almost before she’d realized what had happened. The world inverted, shadows turning ghostly as she became insubstantial, slipping the thing’s grip again.

    Range. She had to get out of this thing’s range. She rematerialized just enough for her feet to meet the ground, jumping upwards. Her breaker state had all the mass of a shadow, and she soared upwards with the momentum she had generated, reforming to grab the roof’s ledge. She could just snipe this thing safely from above–

    A hand wrapped around her ankle and yanked her down before she could pull herself over the roof’s ledge. She hit the ground, hard, the air driven out of her, but forced herself to roll away, instincts screaming at her. The creature landed where she’d fallen a moment before, the pavement cracking under its feet.

    She stumbled, shaking her head. Things were getting blurry. The alleyway was covered in blood – her blood. The wound in her shoulder ran deep. She had to get out of here. She knew the creature would be on her in a second if she reformed, but she had to in order to generate momentum. She kept her momentum in her breaker state, but she had to leave it, even just for a moment, if she ever wanted to redirect herself.

    The world regained color for a brief second, her body physical again as she leapt for the wall. Claws raked across her side and she screamed even as she slipped into incorporeality once again and into the building, away from the monster behind her. She stumbled and reformed once she was inside.

    The other side of the wall was some kind of fridge. Those big walk in ones that butchers and some restaurants used, all steel and hooks and hanging slabs of meat. At least, she assumed that was the case. The lights were out, the room plunged into utter darkness. She bumped into something hanging and prayed that it was what she thought it was as she stumbled forward through the room, searching for the door.

    Part of her just wanted to lie down. To go to sleep. A deep lethargy had settled on her, her limbs growing heavier with each passing moment. She took that part of her and stuffed it in the trash where it belonged. She wasn’t dying here, in some restaurant freezer. She hit the opposite wall. No door yet.

    A loud rattle came from her side. Someone trying to open a locked door and failing. The door rattled again before suddenly banging open, blown off its hinges. A dark figure stood there, silhouetted by the light behind it. Sophia didn’t wait. She immediately jumped sideways at the wall.

    A scream ripped out of her as she hit a wire, live electricity racing through her entire body.

    She hit the ground, twitching, unable to move. Shit. Shit, shit shit. This is why she didn’t just jump through random walls. Was this really where it ended? She was supposed to be the predator, stalking criminals unseen until she struck, and now she was being hunted down? She squeezed her eyes shut, the sound of heavy footsteps approaching.


    Sophia cracked her eyes open, staring at the cobalt plated steel boots in front of her. “Armsmaster?”

    The man paused, looking around the alley, shifting his grip on his halberd. “Come on. Let’s get you out of here.”

    “Already… t-turned down your Wards pitch once, y’know?”

    “I think you might wish to change your mind. Unless you plan on bleeding out here in the alley?” Sophia shook her head minutely. “Good. Then come with me if you want to live.”

    Sophia groaned softly. “M-Movie references now? D-Didn’t think you were that corny.”

    He wrapped his arms around her and hefted her upwards, his grip surprisingly gentle. “What reference?”

    Sophia tilted her head up to look at his face. The grim set of his mouth seemed entirely serious. Damn it. This was her life now, wasn’t it?

    She let her gaze stray back to the alley as Armsmaster carried her out. For a moment, she swore she saw red eyes staring at her. Then, she blinked, and only darkness remained.
  15. Threadmarks: 2.1 - Echoes of the Past

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:

    The crowning of a King was no simple affair. The sword may have been drawn from the stone on New Year’s day, witnessed by God and man alike, but that was not the end of it. A new assembly of noblemen came from far and wide to witness the miracle on Candlemas, and once again, the sword was drawn.

    “Truly amazing, my Lord. To think that we would see a King over all of Britain again. After Uther fell, I thought our country was doomed for destruction, but I feel hope once again.”

    “You shouldn’t be deceived. This beardless boy is just a puppet of Merlin. You can’t trust a sorcerer, especially not that one. I, for one, will never swear to this pretender.”

    So it went. Some declared their fealty. Others their distrust. Again, more noblemen gathered on Easter. Again, the miracle was repeated. Again, noblemen stepped forward to swear their loyalty, but many left instead, believing it a hoax. On Pentecost, the miracle was repeated for a fourth time, and with it came the crown.

    “Stand firm, and hold fast from henceforth this seat of royal dignity, which is yours by the authority of Almighty God. May that same God, whose throne endures forever, establish your throne in righteousness, that it may stand fast forever.”

    She stared up at the Archbishop as he lowered the crown upon her head. It had been five months since she drew the sword from the stone. A part of her questioned the need for this pomp, but both the magus and Ector had insisted it was important. It was a necessary foundation upon which to build everything that would flow henceforth.

    “Rise, Arthur. King of Logres, and High King of Britain.”

    It was not true. Not yet. Logres may have bowed to her, but the rest of Britain had not. In just a few days, King Lot and his dissidents would assemble an army outside the city and she would have to spill the blood of her own countrymen. For now, for this brief moment, the people celebrated the coming of a new era.

    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    I jolted awake as the plane bounced, the wheels hitting the tarmac. The flight to London had been a long one, and at some point I had drifted asleep. Yawning, I stretched in my seat, the fleeting images of my dreams slipping away now that I was awake.

    “Finally here. Hate these international flights.”

    Paying only half an ear to my father’s complaints, I gathered my bags. We were staying here for a week. A week in which my parents hoped that the Protectorate would wrestle a lid back onto the boiling pot that was Brockton Bay. There was no hope that they would actually stop things entirely. The gangs had been embedded within the city for well over a decade. If they could have removed them so easily, they would have by now.

    The three of us moved through the terminal and out to where our rental car waited. Three, because Dean had not come with us. Something about his work being understaffed and needing all hands on deck right now. I wish I had been allowed to stay behind with him; this trip felt cowardly. Violence had erupted on the streets and I had retreated to another country entirely for safety. It had been my parents’ choice, not mine, but it was no less bitter a draught for that.

    It could not be helped. I would simply have to make the most of the opportunity.

    There was something here, in this land, that called to me. An urge that I knew not the name of. Something stirred in me, a desire to seek it out.

    Unfortunately, I did not know where to begin. I spent the first few days simply seeing the various tourist attractions in the area. Big Ben. Buckingham Palace. The Tower of London.

    It was when we visited Saint Paul’s Cathedral that I found my first hint of something.

    A sense of nostalgia welled up in me as I approached the Cathedral. For a moment, I saw not the large edifice that was there, but instead a much smaller church. Outside, there would have been a small, closed off yard, covered in snow that had fallen the night before. A large, flat stone would have sat in the center, a single piece carved into plinth with a sword driven into its center.

    No sign of it remained. Yet, I was certain that I had once stood here in my dreams.

    I took a deep breath. The air lay heavy here. This was an old place and memories were worked into the very stone beneath my feet. It may have changed from my dreams, but the core of the place had not.

    Inside, tall columns made of white marble lined the nave, the cathedral long enough to make it look narrower than it was in truth. There was an enormity to the place, a sense of sheer scope that left our church back home pale by comparison. Art decorated the ceilings, the walls, and was even carved into places in the floors.

    This was a building that no longer reflected the small island nation that had been beset on all sides, but instead the wealth of an empire that had conquered the world.

    “A miracle has a price. In exchange, you will lose the thing most important to you.”

    There was a time when the peoples of this isle fought to push the invading tribes from its shores. The Angles. The Saxons. The Normans. In the end, they had failed. This was no longer the land of the Bretons. Nor was it the land of the Cymric. It was England now. The land of the Angles. And just as they had invaded Britain, so too had their reach spread to the rest of the world.

    My heart clenched, a strange melancholy overtaking me. I could stay there no longer.

    “You doing okay there, Ells?”

    “Just a stomachache, I think,” I told my father. “If you do not mind, I may just stay in the park for a bit whilst you visit the museum.”

    My parents shared a look briefly. “Sure, I don’t think that’s a problem. Just stay in the park and don’t wander off. You’ve got your phone on you, right?”

    “Worry not. I have it with me.”

    “Okay. Don’t talk to strangers or wander off with anyone.”

    “I will be fine. Go. Enjoy yourselves.”

    “Alright, but call if you need anything.”

    “Go!” I laughed. Really, they worried too much. Shaking my head, I wandered into the nearby garden, enjoying the warmth of the sun upon my skin and the breeze at my back. As parks went, it wasn’t especially large. I could walk a circuit within a handful of minutes without effort. The trees made a barrier between the park and the rest of the city however, lending the space a bit of peace.

    Settling beneath a tree, I folded my legs under myself, simply taking the time to watch the other people in the park. There, a child walked hand-in-hand with their parents. Across the way, a pair of old men sat, playing chess. A young woman was using the path to jog. A couple was walking their dog, a tiny thing that did not even come up to the woman’s knee.

    Everyone was going about, living their lives peacefully. Everyone was smiling.

    A warmth spreading through my chest for the first time since I arrived in this land. If this was the result, I could accept the journey that had led to it.

    A series of gasps went through the park, people pointing upwards. I jerked my eyes upwards, taking a moment before I managed to spot a man flying past, dressed in vivid blue and red.

    I did not recognize him, but the surrounding voices seemed excited rather than afraid. A local hero then, perhaps. Even knowing it was safe, however, it still put a damper upon my mood.

    People in Brockton Bay would not have reacted the same. Even knowing that the parahuman was a hero, there was always the undercurrent of fear that their presence meant violence would soon follow. London had its villains as well, but it was safe in a way that Brockton Bay was not. Safe in the way that Los Angeles or New York were. Safe in the way where heroes ruled the streets, rather than villains.

    Britain may have been my home in my memories and dreams, but Brockton Bay was my home now. I could not – would not suffer to allow its people to live in fear.

    Elaine Stansfield was gone. That girl had died a year past. Yet, neither was I the woman in my dreams. At least, not yet. Every day, a bit more of who I was now was chipped away, replaced with the King who had once lived in this land. I knew I ought to feel dread at the prospect, but I did not. They were my memories, of this I was certain. I was simply reclaiming them.

    Most importantly, the woman in my memories had been a warrior. She would have had the power to do something about the barbarity that plagued our land. With her memories – my memories – I may have the ability to drive out the malefactors that plagued my city.

    “No way.”

    A voice nearby wrenched me from my thoughts. I looked up at the young Asian woman wearing a bright red shirt and white chinos. She stared at me in return, her blue eyes wide with surprise.


    “Rin,” I breathed, the unfamiliar name escaping my lips.

    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    “Sorry again, you really do look a lot like her.”

    I hummed thoughtfully, sipping at the tea the woman had bought for me. The two of us sat at a cafe just across from the park where we had met.

    “I take it you have not seen this friend of yours in some time?”

    “Yeah. It’s been, oh… about six years now? I didn’t really expect to ever see her again, so you caught me by surprise.”

    I wasn’t truly surprised to find out that I resembled the person from my dreams. Already, I had noticed details about my face shifting ever so slightly in the mirror. My cheekbones just a bit higher than they were before. My eyes just a hint more green. It was gradual enough that I doubt anyone would notice, not without comparing me to a photograph at least, but to someone who had known her, it must have been a shock.

    No, my surprise was not in my resemblance. My surprise was that a person in the modern era knew her. I could not remember Rin. Not yet, at least. Yet, there was an instinctual fondness that told me this was no coincidence. It had truly been my past life that she had known.

    “I apologize if it was an unpleasant discovery.”

    Rin waved her hand. “No, it’s not like that. It wasn’t unpleasant. It was just a shock is all. It’s strange though. You even talk a bit like her.”

    I pursed my lips. A part of me said that I could trust Rin. Perhaps if I could remember anything about her, I would be able to place my conviction in that feeling. However, I could not and therefore I would not. For now, it was better if I kept my cards close to my chest.

    “You said her name was Saber?” I asked. “Was she a cape?”

    “Cape? Oh, you mean a parahuman. Well, it was something like that, I suppose,” Rin said vaguely. “You probably won’t be able to find her searching online though.”

    “Why is that? Did she not gather any fame as a parahuman?”

    “Oh, she was plenty famous,” Rin said with a wry smile. “But that was back when I lived in Japan. Before Leviathan did a number on the city. I’d like to think we got along pretty well, but truthfully, I only knew her for a couple of weeks.”

    I blinked. “You lived on Kyushu?”

    “Not on the island itself, no. An island sinking is a big deal though. The rest of Japan caught a lot of blowback from that. Fuyuki was spared the worst of it, but it was still pretty bad.”

    I frowned and looked down into my cup. Every Endbringer attack was bad. The devastation they wreaked left scars in cities that would take decades to heal, when they did not destroy the cities entirely. Some attacks were worse than others however. Kyushu and Newfoundland. Twice, Leviathan had not been content with simply destroying a city and had instead sunk an entire island.

    Millions dead because of a monster’s whim.

    “Easy. You don’t want to break the cup.”

    That was true enough. I loosened my grip and set my cup gently on the table. “Is that why you moved to England?”

    “No, that was unrelated. I got a scholarship with a school here, so I’ve been working on that. I do visit back home sometimes though, and things are doing better these days.”

    “Oh? What is it that you are studying?”


    “That is… an unusual choice of major.”

    “Ahaha,” Rin laughed. “I suppose it is. I’ve always had a bit of a connection with gemstones though. Speaking of which, I’d like to give you something before I go.”

    “That is not necessary, Rin.”

    “I know. I’d like to though.” She reached into her purse, digging around for a moment before pulling out a peridot the size of my little finger. It had been shaped into a kite, likely intended to be fitted to a necklace or pendant, though the stone was still loose. “Take this.”

    “Rin. This is too much.”

    “It’s my money, I get to decide if it’s too much or not.” She placed the pale green stone into my hand and folded my fingers over it. “Take it.”

    There was energy trapped beneath the stone’s surface. A swirling vortex straining to be unleashed. A tempest that had been constrained to this small rock. “It’s warm,” I murmured.

    Rin’s eyes widened for a moment. “Yeah. It’s said that peridots are associated with healing and protection. So keep that close, and if you’re ever in trouble, maybe it’ll help protect you.”

    I hesitated for a moment before finally placing the peridot into my pocket. “Thank you, Rin. You are a good person.”

    “Hmph, don’t overthink it,” Rin said, turning her face away. “I’m not some hero going around rescuing puppies and kittens like a certain idiot I know. It just would have left a bad taste in my mouth otherwise. Consider it an investment. You have to live and pay me back some day.”

    A small smile tugged at my lips. “Then I will be certain to do so. You may rest assured that I will pay my debt in full.”

    Rin looked back towards me, her eyes soft again. “Yeah, I know you will. You really are just like her. It makes me wonder… Well, I can look into it later. It’s a good thing Shirou was visiting back home though. I can only imagine how he would have reacted if he saw you.”


    “Yeah, he’d definitely make something more out of this than he should.” Rin shrugged as if to say, ‘What can you do?’

    She stood atop a mountaintop, facing the rising dawn. The horizon shone in glimmering gold, banishing the night. The morning sun rose. The halted wind began again.

    “I see. Then our contract is at an end. I became your sword, defeated your enemies, and protected you. …I am glad to have fulfilled this promise.”

    “...Yeah, you did well, Saber,” a voice said behind her.

    “In the end, there is something I must tell you.” She turned to face him. “Shirou – I –”

    I clutched a hand to my chest, suddenly breathless. I did not know the name. It was unfamiliar to me. Yet, happiness swelled in me knowing that he was well.

    Rin studied me with keen eyes. My reaction had given something away. I did not know what. She nodded to herself however and stood up. “Well then, I’d best be going. I’ve got a paper to write for class and a bit of research to do. …Take care of yourself, okay?”

    “...You as well, Rin. I am glad to have met you.”

    With that, she left, leaving me alone once again.

    A quick bit of housekeeping. I am removing Politics and Science as skills. They felt unnecessary for this quest. The points in Politics will be added as a bonus to Intrigue instead. In addition, for the sake of making things a bit easier, I am also removing the Charge skill and combining it with Drive. You will now just use Drive as a limiter for Charge attacks. The points in Charge are added to Drive as a bonus.

    It is July of 2010.

    You have one last place you wish to visit in England before you have to leave.
    [ ] [Visit] A lake
    [ ] [Visit] An oak tree
    [ ] [Visit] A large standing stone
    [ ] [Visit] A grave

    After that, you will return to Brockton Bay. Choose someone to spend time with:
    [ ] [Social] Dean Stansfield
    [ ] [Social] Victoria Dallon
    [ ] [Social] Amy Dallon
    [ ] [Social] Chelsea and Morgan
    [ ] [Social] Erin Archelot
    [ ] [Social] (Write-In)

    Choose an activity to participate in:
    [ ] [Activity] Sports
    >You could use the exercise.
    [ ] [Activity] Hunting
    >Your father likes to go hunting in the woods outside the city every now and then. It hasn’t ever been your thing before, but you could give it a try.
    [ ] [Activity] Charity
    >You could do volunteer work.
    [ ] [Activity] Summer Classes
    >You may have gotten into Arcadia, but it wouldn’t hurt to get caught up more.
    [ ] [Activity] Modeling
    >It could earn you some money on the side if you do well.
    [ ] [Activity] Religion
    >Visit churches to try and find a new one.
    [ ] [Activity] (Write-In)
  16. Skitzyfrenic

    Skitzyfrenic Elves are for lewding.

    Dec 23, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Obviously, we should find God, as a good Christian knight would.
    Lucidum likes this.
  17. NooneImportant

    NooneImportant Know what you're doing yet? Because I don't!

    Oct 30, 2022
    Likes Received:
    [X] [Visit] A lake
    [ ] [Visit] An oak tree
    [ ] [Visit] A large standing stone
    [ ] [Visit] A grave

    As a (thoerised) choice between Strike Air, Avalon, Excalibur, or Shirou, I pick the most well rounded. Unless I have the wrong idea (don't tell me)

    After that, you will return to Brockton Bay. Choose someone to spend time with:
    [X] [Social] Amy Dallon
    Are- are we friends now?

    Choose an activity to participate in:
    [ ] [Activity] (Write-In) Motorcycling
    I can't find the video I wanted so I'm using this one
  18. Threadmarks: 2.2 - Echoes of the Past

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:

    I walked through thick fog, eddies swirling around my ankles. It had been warm out this morning, too warm for fog. The summer heat had burned off any that had remained in London. Yet, here, it seemed pleasantly cool, the fog thick enough that I could not see more than a few feet in front of myself.

    It was our last day in England. Tomorrow, we would return to America. All week, I had felt called to find… somewhere in Britain. Some place that I did not consciously know. It was only today that I had made an excuse about going shopping to my parents and left, catching a taxi to take me out to a lake hidden in the English countryside.

    At some point the ground had begun to feel smooth and even beneath my feet, as though I were walking on glass, though I had plenty of friction. It was only when I looked down that I realized that I was walking upon the water itself. My skin prickled, gooseflesh raising along my arms. The air hung still, the lake motionless, the world trapped in a moment of time.

    “What is this?” a voice hissed from the murk. “Some new jape of Merlin’s? Some new prank with which to torment me?”

    I let out a slow breath and turned towards the voice. “It is real enough. I am real.”

    A woman stepped out of the fog, her dress trailing across the water’s surface. Pale blonde hair, nearly white in the surrounding gloom, framed an eerily familiar face. How could it not be familiar? It was my face. Simply grown more mature, the face of a woman rather than a girl.

    She reached out, tracing fingers across my cheek, blue eyes staring at me in shock. “Thou art real,” she said in wonder. “It is truly thee. How is this?”

    “I know not the mechanism. Simply that I am.”

    “Thy body still rests. This cannot be thee in truth. So how…?” The woman frowned and leaned in, her face nearing so close to mine that our noses nearly touched. Her eyes roamed across my face, as though taking in every detail. “I see,” she finally said. “So that is the way it is. To think we had concluded our cruel fates only to see its thread reeled out once again.”

    Her hands rose to cup my face. A strange anxiety filled me, an urge to step back, to get away from her. Her hands held me in place, unflinching, her lips curving in a wicked smirk.

    “What are you–?”

    “Thou wert stolen from me once upon a time. Thou once took mine kingdom from me, and thine kingdom in turn took thee from me. Thou who shouldst have always been mine.” She leaned forward, pressing her lips against mine. For a moment, my thoughts fled, lost in the shock. For a moment, all I could focus on was how cold she was, as though I were being kissed not by a human but a sculpture of ice.

    My hands found her shoulders, pushing her away. She did not so much as stumble, but she released me, letting me fall to the water’s surface. The woman smiled down at me and my skin crawled.

    “How wonderful that we might have another chance. I see not the reason for your return, only the means. ‘Tis a simple enough trick, however. Yes. Simple enough that it may be imitated.”

    “Imitated?” I whispered, not trusting my voice.

    “Indeed. The Age of Faery hath ended. Magic hath faded from Britain. I cannot leave here anymore than thou couldst leave Avalon. Yet, something found a way to bypass that. A way with which to bring thee to the Modern Era. It galls me not to have done so first, but for something like this, I will make exception.”

    I slowly pushed myself back to my feet. “What are you planning to do exactly?”

    The woman simply smiled enigmatically and turned to leave, vanishing back into the fog. Only her voice remained.

    “I shall see thee again soon enough, Sister.”

    I awoke on the lake’s shore, the sun shining down bright overhead. It was a warm summer’s day, yet I found myself covered in a cold sweat.

    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    The flight returning from England was a long one, and I found myself unable to sleep the way I had on the way there. My stomach churned with unease and I kept my head bent forward, resting on the seat tray in front of me for much of the trip.

    Had I made a mistake? My memories were too scattered to say for certain. Yet, a creeping dread gnawed at me, insistent that this could only lead to ill.

    Even if I could not remember everything, I was not so stupid that I did not fail to connect my memories to the legends. The sister of the King had plotted his downfall and orchestrated it successfully in the end. However, she should not have been the one associated with that lake.

    Moreover, there were her final words. Did my carelessness result in the theft of someone else’s mind and body?

    I squeezed my eyes shut, tasting bile at the back of my throat.

    It was a great relief when we finally reached Brockton Bay. It felt as though I had tied myself in knots during the trip, and the source of my worries was not cured, but at least here, I felt like I could do something. Anything. I was no longer trapped in the air with nothing but my own thoughts to torment me.

    The experience had left me exhausted however, and I barely managed a brief greeting to my brother when we arrived home before departing to collapse in my room.

    A short series of knocks interrupted me before Hypnos could claim me. I let out a short groan before rousing myself and pulling the door open.


    My brother smiled at me brightly from the other side. “Hey there. I just wanted to check on you. You kind of rushed back here when you got home.”

    “It was a long flight, Dean. I wished to rest.”

    Dean frowned at me. “You know you can tell me if something is bothering you, right? You don’t have to hide it.”

    “I … Thank you. Truly. It is not something you can help with however.” I smiled at my brother and patted his arm gently before stepping back to allow him into the room. “Tell me how things went while we were gone. Is the latest battle between the gangs all over?”

    “It seems to have died down, at least,” he said, sitting down next to my desk. I only had the one chair in the room, so I simply sat on my bed. “The News said that Challenger and Armsmaster managed to arrest Panzer and the Empire retreated after that.”

    The name did not mean anything in particular to me, but it was good knowing that another villain was off the streets nonetheless. For a moment, I could picture the scene of a week ago. A creature of jagged steel and hooked blades tearing through the fallen bus where civilians had sheltered but moments before, heedless of the damage it caused. Someone had to stop them. I had to stop them.

    “What even started the conflict?” I wondered.

    Dean shrugged. “It’s hard to be sure. I think there’s some speculation that they were trying to assassinate Lung. They failed, obviously, because he’s still around.”

    Honorless wretches.

    “What of you? Were you safe during the week?”

    “Me? I’m perfectly fine,” he said, flashing me a bright smile. “Nothing too exciting at work. We got a new intern at the office. She’s still adjusting to the idea of working with a team of people, but her heart’s in the right place.”

    “I am glad. I was worried that something may have happened without me here to protect you.” I closed my eyes, leaning back into my bed. It was true. I was happy that my brother was safe. Yet, there was a strange, wistful melancholy mixed in with it. “Be sure to treat your new coworker well. If she has difficulties in adjusting, then be patient with her.”

    Dean let out a short laugh. “I’m the big brother. I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to be the one protecting you.”

    “Is that so? I suppose I should not lighten your duties, in that case.”

    Dean squinted at me, a troubled expression settling on his face. “I feel like I just got tricked into agreeing to more work.”

    “You will survive, I am certain,” I said with an amused lilt to my voice.

    Dean sighed. “Fine. It’s not like I could refuse you anyways,” he joked.

    “As you should not. I am the King of this household, after all.”

    “Don’t you mean Queen?” he asked.

    “I meant what I said.” I folded my arms and looked away, my cheeks burning.

    “Of course you did.” Dean grinned and gently punched my shoulder. I swatted his hand away, but that just widened his smile.

    “Begone knave. Your King requires her sleep.”

    “Very well, I am off, your Majesty. Is there anything else I can do for you before I go?”


    She shivered beneath a blanket, rain pounding on the window. Her brother sat at her bedside, idly whittling at a block of wood.

    “Hey brat. You had better not go dying on me. I still need you to haul my gear and polish my armor, you know. It would be troublesome for me if you were to die now.”

    She smiled gently, suddenly burning despite having been shivering just moments before. “I would not wish to inconvenience you, brother. I will get better soon.”

    “Good. I won’t lighten your duties, you know. But… Well, if it will help you get better, I’ll do just one thing for you. Anything you want.”

    “That is not necessary, Kay.”

    “Just pick something already. I’m not taking no for an answer here.”

    “Then… I wish to have a dream. A dream of a lion running across the plains.”

    “I suppose I would like to see a dream.”

    Dean frowned. “I don’t think there’s much I can do about that.”

    “...I know. Thank you, Dean, but I do not need anything else.”

    “Okay. Have a good night then, Ellie.”

    He left and I watched him before sinking down to rest my head on my pillow. A moment later, Kay (the cat) darted into my room and hopped up onto the bed to begin kneading at my chest before settling down to curl up on top of me.

    “Fine. A dream? You got it.” He focused on his whittling and eventually handed her a small statue that looked like a cross between a cat and a dog, though he looked inordinately proud as he placed it into her hands. “There, I made you a lion to accompany you in your dreams.”

    “This is meant to be a lion?”

    She hesitated, unsure if she should say anything. “Thank you, Kay. Though it looks more a dog than a lion.”

    Kay’s face turned stricken. “Really? I thought I did really well on it,” he mumbled. “It was supposed to be an old, dying lion. One that couldn’t even hurt a mouse. That way it wouldn’t hurt you in your dreams.”

    She laughed, the sound bright and pure, and reached out to squeeze her brother’s hand. “I shall cherish it, Kay.”

    That night, she dreamed of a lion running across the plains.

    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    The tall steeple loomed over me. I took a deep breath, staring up at it, before stepping forward to press against the large oak doors. The hinges were well-oiled, and the doors swung easily despite their weight, admitting me inside.

    I had spent the weekend investigating various churches in the area. Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, even some non-denominational establishments. Some called to me more than others, but I was intent on being thorough. Even if one “felt right” to me, I intended to make a survey of my options and how they differed.

    So it was that I entered the Catholic church. It was a relatively small chapel, though well-kept all the same. The pews were of rich oak and stained glass lined the windows. An unearthly quiet hung about the place, as though excessive noise would taint this holy place.

    A voice broke the silence.

    “Well, hello there. What brings you here, young lady?”

    I turned to the voice. The priest was older, nearly bald, with what hair was left long since turned gray. I nodded in his direction. “I suppose you could say that I am looking for answers.”

    “Well, I’d say you came to the right place. I’m Father DiMaggio.” The priest moved towards me and offered his hand. Despite his apparent years, his gait was steady and his limbs thick. Age had not yet withered him. I clasped his hand.

    “A pleasure to meet you, Father.”

    “So, what answers can I help you find?”

    “I…” I frowned, pursing my lips as I thought through what I wanted to say. “I am having something of a crisis of faith. I grew up in a church, but recently looked around myself and saw nothing but worldliness and self-interest. Nothing of what the church was meant to be.”

    Father DiMaggio nodded slowly and sat down on one of the pews. “I hope you will excuse me. My knees aren’t quite what they were anymore. However, as to your question, you would hardly be the first to come to a similar conclusion. At the end of the day, the Church, any church, is made up of people, and people aren’t perfect. It is hard to grow up idolizing the organization only to one day realize its flaws.”

    “That is not particularly reassuring advice, Father.”

    “It’s true though. We will never be perfect so long as we are on this mortal world. Only once our Father in Heaven claims us and purifies our souls and bodies and we are born anew will we be truly faultless.”

    Perhaps not even then. If man was already a flawed creation, would he become better for being reborn? Even if that were true, if all of man’s impurities were washed clean, could he truly be said to be the same creature?

    My lips grew tight in a pained grimace.

    “If it is advice you want however, I suppose you have a few options.”

    “What options are those?”

    “The first, obviously, is to decide the flaws are too much and to turn your back upon faith entirely.”

    I squinted at him. “Is that truly advice that you ought to be giving as a priest?”

    Father DiMaggio laughed. “Perhaps not, but I wanted to be frank with you. Besides, it’s just an option, not what I would recommend. If you were the sort to do that, I do not think you would be here asking questions now.”

    “Then what are my other options, as you see them?” I asked tersely.

    “The second is to continue doing what you are now. Moving from church to church in search of perfection, never quite satisfied with what you find. For, no matter where you go, you will always be able to find some sort of flaw.”

    “I take it you do not recommend this either.”

    “I do not,” he said. “It’s one thing if they are teaching false doctrine or the differences are simply irreconcilable, but you will never be happy if you’re simply seeking perfection.”

    “However bad the result, you can’t change what’s happened. Wanting to redo something because you couldn’t do it is just childish selfishness!”

    Was that what I was doing? Seeking perfection?

    “Your third option is to confront it. Go and be the change you wish to see in the Church. Lead by example, with compassion and love.”

    “I am surprised, Father. None of your options included joining your church.”

    Father DiMaggio smiled and waved a hand as if to brush aside my comment. “You are welcome here, of course. I just want you to be sure that you are making your decisions for the right reasons, not because you are running away from something.”

    “Thank you. I shall have to think over the advice you gave me.”

    “Of course. The world will hardly end tomorrow. You’ve got your whole life ahead of you. Take your time and make sure your decisions are the right ones.”

    A sinking feeling curled beneath my breast, some part of me warning that perhaps I did not have as much time as the priest believed. That eventually tragedy would strike. I was here for a reason. Something loomed on the horizon. Something I would be needed for.

    I turned to leave and Father DiMaggio called out to my retreating form. “Evening Mass begins in one hour if you would like to attend.”

    Stopping, I considered the offer. It would not hurt. I turned back into the church.

    You have activated my trap card. One of the odder parts of Type Moon lore is that Vivian and Morgan are alternate aspects / personalities of the same person.

    It is July of 2010.

    Choose someone to spend time with:
    [ ] [Social] Victoria Dallon
    [ ] [Social] Amy Dallon
    [ ] [Social] Chelsea and Morgan
    [ ] [Social] Erin Archelot
    [ ] [Social] (Write-In)

    Choose an activity to participate in:
    [ ] [Activity] Sports
    >You could use the exercise.
    [ ] [Activity] Hunting
    >Your father likes to go hunting in the woods outside the city every now and then. It hasn’t ever been your thing before, but you could give it a try.
    [ ] [Activity] Charity
    >You could do volunteer work.
    [ ] [Activity] Summer Classes
    >You may have gotten into Arcadia, but it wouldn’t hurt to get caught up more.
    [ ] [Activity] Modeling
    >It could earn you some money on the side if you do well.
    [ ] [Activity] (Write-In)

    Choose a way to advance yourself as a hero.
    [ ] [Heroism] Practice
    >You don’t have much in the way of weapons right now, but you should work on improving your ability to fight anyways.
    [ ] [Heroism] Design a name and costume.
    >You can’t just be X forever.
    [ ] [Heroism] Look into types of Parahumans.
    >If you’re going out doing hero things, you’re bound to run into them at some point. Knowing the difference between a brute and a breaker will probably be good.
    [ ] [Heroism] Study your first aid.
    >You might need to treat injured people in the future.
    [ ] [Heroism] Look for trouble.
    >You’re not a hero if you aren’t actually going out and saving people, right?
    [ ] [Heroism] (Write-In)
  19. NooneImportant

    NooneImportant Know what you're doing yet? Because I don't!

    Oct 30, 2022
    Likes Received:
    Time for Season 2
    [X] [Social] Amy Dallon
    "There's a hundred and four days of summer vacation
    'Til school comes along just to end it
    So the annual problem for our generation
    Is finding a good way to spend it..."
    - Phineas and Ferb intro.
    Like maybe! outside and away from the hospital!!! Amy.
    Because without Vicky and Ellie's input, Amy will never touch grass. Did her power even work on grass?

    [X] [Activity] Sports
    >You could use the exercise.
    Maybe one day, Elli-toria can be strong enough to princess carry a full grown adult in a suit of armor.

    [X] [Heroism] Study your first aid.
    >You might need to treat injured people in the future.
    If we need to study Parahumans classes, we could always bother Vicky or Amy.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2023
  20. Aldsan

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    So, I was going over some rulebooks and realized I made a mistake with regards to how daggers (and by extension the baton and bat) are handled. What I originally had pertained specifically to grappling rules, not just a general attack.

    Dagger - Does Brawling damage + 2d6. Right now that would be 4+2d6 damage.
    Baton - Does Brawling damage + 2d6. Right now that would be 4+2d6 damage.

    Bat - This is going to be using ablated weapon rules (i.e. blunted tournament weapons). This just means it uses your full melee attack, but deals half damage. If 2h'ing, this still works out to 3d6 effectively at the moment.
    quma25, DEADEND and NooneImportant like this.
  21. Threadmarks: 2.3 - Echoes of the Past

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:

    The tip of my sword cut through the air. Slash. Step forward. Bring the sword through in a reverse cut. Parry. My mind knew the motions, even if my body did not. I had to rebuild that instinct, to make myself more than I was.

    “Well, it was the only thing I was good at. You can train your body even if you don’t have talent as a magus.”

    A fond smile crossed my lips. I could not remember the source of those words, yet a warmth permeated my chest all the same. The sentiment was true however. Even if I lacked the power I had in my memories, I could still train my body.

    The image in my head faded. No longer was I practicing with a sword – a mere stick occupied my hand. The warmth of the summer sun beat down on me. Brockton Bay tended to grow humid during the latter half of summer, and the air clung unpleasantly to my skin, leaving sweat to soak through the t-shirt and jeans I had chosen to wear today.

    The week since we had returned home had seen me listless, with little to occupy my time. Worry gnawed at me. If my once sister were to appear in front of me now, there would be naught I could do to resist her.

    A flash of blue caught my eye. Our gardens were large. A number of flowers were planted across the grounds. A batch of blue tansies and purple pansies should be beneath my notice. The heady scent of floral perfume tickled at my memory, the sensation of cold fingers caressing my skin. My jaw tightened and I turned away.

    This could not continue. I knew that. I could not allow this paranoia to destroy my life. I could not ignore the threat, but I could not allow my fear to rule me. I would simply do as I had always done.

    I would arm myself. I would hone my skills. I would steel my resolve. I would vanquish my enemy.

    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    It was early the next morning that a clatter downstairs woke me. Repressing the urge to yawn, I pushed myself from my bed and padded down to our parlor, where I spotted my father dressed in camouflage, a rifle slung over his shoulder.

    “What are you doing?”

    He looked up from putting a pack together, surprise clear in his eyes. “Oh, good morning, honey. I’m just going out hunting with a few of my buddies. You can go back to sleep if you want.”

    “I am fine,” I answered shortly. I had been waking earlier of late anyways. A memory niggled at me of a time when I had slept only from dawn until the sun rose, and that time I slept was spent learning from the Magus in my dreams besides. The five hours I slept now was ridiculous luxury by comparison. “Is Dean not going with you? I thought he usually did for these trips.”

    “He was going to, but he got called in to work at the last minute. Some emergency or another,” my father grumbled.

    “His employer must rely on him a great deal to call him in on short notice,” I mused. “I did not think that was typical for interns.”

    My father hesitated. “It’s not. Dean’s been eager to prove himself though. I keep telling him he could just come work for me at our company and take things easy, but he won’t hear it.”

    “That is not a bad thing in and of itself.” The ability to stand on his own two feet would serve Dean well, so long as he did not take his independent streak too far. He would be expected to inherit the company some day – knowing how the company functioned would be important when that day came. “If you require extra company however, I do not mind acting as a stand in.”

    “Really?” My father straightened. “You’ve never shown much interest before.”

    “I am interested in trying new things. In having experiences that I did not have the chance to before.”

    My father’s eyes widened for a moment. “...Alright then. I’ll warn you now though, it’s mostly just a bunch of old men sitting around and drinking all day. You’ll probably get bored.”

    “Perhaps,” I said, “but that is still a valuable experience in itself.”

    “Fine. Go get dressed and you can come with.”

    I nodded my assent and returned upstairs to my room. Unfortunately, my wardrobe did not lend itself well to stalking about the woods all day. Most of it was thin, easily torn fabrics, chosen for fashion rather than practicality.

    In the end, I settled on a pair of overly soft boots, jeans, and a long sleeved t-shirt. I hesitated over what to do with my hair, before eventually settling on simply drawing it back in a ponytail. A baseball cap and a set of sunglasses and … this is uncomfortably close to what I was wearing when I rescued that man a month ago.

    It would have to do. The clothes were nondescript enough anyways. I doubted anything would come of it.

    Heading back downstairs, I joined my father in packing the rest of his gear into the car. The ride after that was quiet. I glanced over at my father, wondering if I should say something to attempt to connect with him. He kept his eyes on the road. Eventually, he turned on the radio and I turned my gaze out the window, watching the scenery go by until we left the city limits.

    I … no, Elaine did not have the same acrimonious relationship with her father that she had with her mother. That was because there was hardly a relationship at all. He was permissive and acted loving, at least, but for the most part she had gone unnoticed, passed over in favor of her brother.

    Eventually we turned into a campsite in the woods. Several other cars were already there. To my surprise, I recognized some of the men standing about. My father got out of the car and waved.

    “Max! I see you managed to rope Theo into things this time.”

    “It took some doing, but I managed. No Dean this time?”

    “No, work called him in at the last minute. Elaine volunteered to come though.”

    “Elaine? Now that’s unusual.”

    “Do not mind me. I was simply curious,” I said, having unbuckled myself and followed my father. “It is a pleasure to see you again, Mister Anders.”

    “Please, just call me Max. I’m sure you’ll pick things up quick enough.”

    Nodding, I said, “Max then. I ought to go say hello to Theo as well.”

    “Sure, you go do that. His girlfriend is here too, so it’d be good for you to meet her.”

    I raised an eyebrow. “I was not aware he had started dating. Good for him, I suppose.”

    Max laughed. “I know it can be hard to believe with the way my son is.”

    “Hm.” I nodded my assent and turned to search for the boy.

    Maximilian Anders was a tall, broadly built man with slicked back blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. For all of his bulk, it was clear that most of it was muscle. The man took care of himself. Theo, by contrast, had the same sort of height and bulk, but in his case it was mostly fat with little muscle to be found.

    I found him sitting in silence next to a blonde girl who did not particularly look as though she wanted to be there. The girl was scowling out at the woods, only to switch her glare onto me as I approached. “So who are you then?”

    I raised an eyebrow and silently looked at Theo, who looked embarrassed over the girl’s outburst, the tips of his ears turning red.

    “Hi Elaine,” he mumbled quietly.

    Looking back to the girl, I took a moment to silently examine her. Average height (which was still taller than I was) and thin, with long, straight hair that ran down to the small of her back. Her face slowly grew redder as I looked her over – perhaps she thought I was ignoring her? I decided to finally answer, “I am Elaine Stansfield. May I have your name, since you so rudely demanded mine?”

    “Tammi,” the girl bit out.

    I nodded my acknowledgement and turned my attention away from her, dismissing her from my mind. “Theo, it is good to see you well.”

    “Thanks,” he gave a small smile. “Um. I’m glad to see you’re doing better. I heard what happened.”

    “Thank you. I will not say it has been easy adjusting, but I have been managing.”

    “Great,” he said awkwardly. “I’ll look forward to seeing you at Arcadia then?”

    “Of course.” I glanced at Tammi, who didn’t seem particularly pleased with her paramour promising to see another girl. She glowered at both him and me in turn. “Will Tammi be joining us there?”

    “No,” she said shortly. “I go to Immaculata.”

    I tilted my head. Immaculata was a private all-girls Catholic school. Tammi had not struck me as the type – not with how tightly her jeans hung to her hips or how her shirt rode up to expose her stomach. Perhaps that was simply prejudice on my part in thinking that a ‘Catholic schoolgirl’ had to conform to a certain archetype.

    “A shame. You are religious then?”

    “Ugh. No. It’s just my uncle being a controlling asshole. Not that it’s any of your business.”

    An uncle. Not her parents?

    “If you would like to spend time together outside of school–” I began in a softer voice, only for her to cut me off.

    “Fuck off. I don’t know what you’re thinking, but I don’t need your pity.”

    “Very well. Theo has my contact information should you change your mind.” I would leave Theo to assuage her injured pride. I did not care to. “Until next time.”

    I turned away and left. For a moment, I thought I caught Tammi staring at me from a distance, but perhaps it was simply my imagination.

    Another three men had shown up – I actually recognized all of them, I realized, by face if not by name. Other than Max, only one other had brought a child, a ten year old boy who was occupied by his cellphone. Now that I thought of it, the fact that Max had brought Tammi was rather odd in itself. In the case of most children, bringing them along was meant to serve as a bonding activity. A paramour did not fit with that.

    I suppose it was none of my business.

    “This is a lot of people for a hunting trip, isn’t it?” I asked my father as I rejoined him.

    “Well, to be honest, we don’t do much actual hunting,” my father replied. “It’s mostly an excuse to socialize. We’ll split up later to see if we can spot anything though.”

    “Do you ever have much success?”

    “Not really. Actual hunting involves a lot more patience than a couple of drunk old men wandering the woods have. Ideally, you want to sit as still and quiet as you can for a long time, keep the animals from ever knowing you’re even there.”

    A simple enough lesson, though one that would likely be difficult to implement in reality.

    “I think I may leave you to socialize and take a hike through the woods for a bit.”

    “Alright,” my father said. “Don’t wander too far and get lost. You have your phone on you, right?”

    I didn’t. I had left it behind when I was dressing. No matter. I probably would not need it.

    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    I was lost.

    Grumbling, I walked through the woods. The sun was beginning its descent, so it must be past noon now, at least a few hours had passed. One tree looked much like another and they had all blended into each other some time ago.

    Vague memories of playing in the Forest Sauvage came to mind, but nothing that translated into actual ability.

    Surely if I simply picked a direction and traveled, I would eventually find my way to somewhere.

    There was no guarantee of that. The woods had a way of turning and twisting so that a person could think that they were heading in a straight path when they were actually walking in circles. Still, there was nothing for it. I had to make the attempt.

    A half hour later saw me no closer to finding civilization. The hair on the back of my neck had begun to prickle however. There was something odd here. Frowning, I looked around for any sign of my discomfort, but found nothing.

    Turn back.

    Something lay ahead. Something that rejected visitors. Something that did not want me here. I hesitated.

    The howl of a wolf echoed behind me and I stared back with wide eyes, my body already lowering itself to act.

    Time with Erin will be next chapter.

    It is July of 2010.

    A wolf is behind you, an unknown danger ahead.
    [ ] [Wolf] Fight
    >You don’t have much in the way of weapons or armor.
    [ ] [Wolf] Hide
    >You’re not very good at this, but you could attempt it.
    [ ] [Wolf] Flee
    >Something dangerous lies ahead, though you don’t know what.

    Choose a way to advance yourself as a hero.
    [ ] [Heroism] Design a name and costume.
    >You can’t just be X forever.
    [ ] [Heroism] Look into types of Parahumans.
    >If you’re going out doing hero things, you’re bound to run into them at some point. Knowing the difference between a brute and a breaker will probably be good.
    [ ] [Heroism] Study your first aid.
    >You might need to treat injured people in the future.
    [ ] [Heroism] Look for trouble.
    >You’re not a hero if you aren’t actually going out and saving people, right?
    [ ] [Heroism] (Write-In)
  22. NooneImportant

    NooneImportant Know what you're doing yet? Because I don't!

    Oct 30, 2022
    Likes Received:
    [X] [Wolf] Hide
    >You’re not very good at this, but you could attempt it.
    [X] [Heroism] Study your first aid.
    >You might need to treat injured people in the future.​
  23. Threadmarks: 2.4 - Echoes of the Past

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    The howl of a wolf echoed through the forest. Further away than the first, thankfully. Still, something I would rather not deal with. I took a step back, preparing to flee.

    Turn back.

    No, that was not an option. Gritting my teeth, I grabbed a branch from the forest floor and put my foot against it, forcing it to snap at a sharp angle. The resulting creation was a rough approximation of a spear. A very rough approximation.

    I eyed my sharp stick with some trepidation, suddenly unsure of trusting my life to this thing. Another howl, closer than before, forced me to put those doubts aside. I did not have the luxury of choice.

    Spear in hand, I leapt for the nearest tree, scrambling up to secure myself atop a branch even as a gray blur came barrelling through the underbrush. It slammed against the base of the tree in a rush of snarling fangs and snapping jaws, leaping after me to try and pluck me from my precarious perch.

    Invoke Passion: Honor: 3 | 15 = Success

    Elaine: Inspired (+5), Height Advantage (+5)
    Wolf: Height Disadvantage (-5)

    Elaine Melee: 2 | 12 (2+5+5) = Success
    Wolf Bite: 11 | 9 (14-5) = Failure
    >Elaine wins the contest.
    >>Damage: (3d6=11) (0 Armor Reduction) = 11 damage dealt to Wolf. (24/35 HP)

    Elaine Melee: 19 | 12 (2+5+5) = Failure
    Wolf Bite: 16 | 9 (14-5) = Failure
    >No Hit.

    Elaine Melee: 19 | 12 (2+5+5) = Failure
    Wolf Bite: 20 | 9 (14-5) = Fumble
    >No Hit.

    Elaine Melee: 5 | 12 (2+5+5) = Success
    Wolf Bite: 2 | 9 (14-5) = Success
    >Elaine wins the contest.
    >>Damage: (3d6=12) (0 Armor Reduction) = 12 damage dealt to Wolf. (12/35 HP)

    Elaine Melee: 7 | 12 (2+5+5) = Success
    Wolf Bite: 18 | 9 (14-5) = Failure
    >Elaine wins the contest.
    >>Damage: (3d6=8) (0 Armor Reduction) = 8 damage dealt to Wolf. (4/36 HP)
    >>>Wolf is rendered Unconscious and unable to continue.

    Most people do not realize just how large a wolf is. Those without experience often think of them as large dogs. They are not. Wolves are massive animals. They are predators that could easily take down most grown men through sheer size and weight. There is an instinctual fear when faced with them, a time calling back to when men feared the night and the beasts that roamed it.

    I could not afford fear.

    Without thinking, I stabbed downwards with my makeshift spear. I caught the wolf just below the neck. Not a fatal injury, by any means, but the wolf let out a yelp of pain before lunging again. Its teeth came within inches of my foot and I scrambled to pull my legs up further before thrusting down again.

    My thrust went wide, glancing off of the beast’s fur. I quickly thrust again, only for my spear to catch, not quite managing to pierce, but instead splintering along the handle as the pressure began to break it apart. I hurriedly retracted it, shifting my grip as the wolf snarled at me from below.

    A gunshot split the air. Too distant to be of help. The wolf jumped again. I was waiting for it. My aim was off however. Instead of a fatal blow, my spear buckled, piercing into the wolf’s side but a scant few inches.

    I felt a snarl of my own forming on my lips. What I would give for a proper weapon right now.

    Still, the strike had left the wolf on its last legs. Any normal animal should have retreated after that. This one did not. It kept lunging at me with unchecked aggression. Rabid – or something else? I did not have the time right now to find out.

    This time, I waited. I made sure of my strike. The wolf leapt and I placed my spear in its path. This time, I made sure the spear drove deep, leaving the wolf to bleed out on the forest floor.

    Far away, I heard another howl. Another gunshot. I itched to go and help – but no, the risk was not worth it. Not with no weapon. I instead took the opportunity to climb higher in the tree, out of the reach of any enterprising wolves.

    I sat there for a half hour before Max Anders burst into the clearing, hunting rifle in hand. He looked the part of some sort of action hero, here to save the day. Theo and Tammi, following in his wake, looked far less blase about the situation, looking nervously in every direction.

    They stopped as a group when Max spotted the wolf’s corpse at the base of the tree.

    “What the…?”

    I cleared my throat. Max’s eyes darted upwards to where I sat, still bloody spear slung across my lap. “I assume the area is clear of threats?”

    “Yes,” he said roughly. “You killed this wolf? With a stick?”

    “Yes,” I replied simply. “Was anyone else hurt?”

    “One of them took a bite out of Justin before we realized what was going on.” He shook his head and straightened, slinging his rifle over his shoulder. “I’ve never even seen wolves in this area, much less seen an animal act like that before. Your dad’s been going crazy with worry. He tried calling and couldn’t get a hold of you.”

    “I dropped my phone,” I said blandly. “Would you mind not telling my father about this? He will be worried enough as is – you can simply say you found me hiding in a tree.”

    “I can do that,” he responded slowly. He narrowed his eyes, studying me from below. “Would you mind explaining how you managed to kill a wolf all on your own? Are you a parahuman?”

    “I am not. I was simply lucky.”

    “A good thing then. If only we all had that sort of luck,” Max joked.

    “If only,” I said dryly.

    “Hey,” Tammi said, having circled around to nudge at the wolf’s corpse with her foot. “I think it’s still alive.”

    She was right, I realized. The wolf was undoubtedly bleeding out, but its chest still rose and fell.

    “A shame it wasn’t a clean kill,” Max said. He frowned and turned to look at his son. “Well, nothing for it. Theo. Put it out of its misery.”

    Theo had hung back, quietly watching our conversation. Now he was the center of everyone’s attention. “That doesn’t seem necessary,” he said quietly. “It’s already dying.”

    Max’s voice hardened. “I didn’t ask if it was necessary. I said to do it, Theo.”

    Theo hesitated. Max’s face turned thunderous. He strode over to his son, and for a moment, I thought he might strike Theo. Perhaps he would have if he did not know that Tammi and I were here watching. As it was, he grabbed Theo’s wrist and leaned in to begin furiously whispering to the boy.

    “Theo,” I cut in, my voice gentle. “It is already dying. There is no sense in prolonging its pain.”

    Theo finally nodded, his lips drawing to a tight line. “Fine. I’ll do it. Sir.”

    Theo stepped forward and unslung his rifle, placing the muzzle against the wolf’s head. Even from here I could tell his hands were trembling. He squeezed his eyes shut and turned his face away.

    The firing hammer fell.

    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    The walk back was an awkward one. Theo did not seem to want to look at any of us. Max still carried his anger like a cloud around him. The mood was tense enough that Tammi stuck to my side the entire way back, despite her earlier cattiness towards me.

    I stared at Theo’s back.

    Theo was a gentle boy. There was no disputing that. There seemed something deeper here however, some undercurrent that I was not aware of.

    What was I missing?

    “Um, Elaine right?” Tammi whispered.

    I raised an eyebrow and glanced at her. “Yes?”

    “Look. Sorry for being such a bitch earlier. I – Well, I didn’t really want to be here. You seem cool though. If you ever do want to hang out, just let me know, okay?”

    “Of course,” I said, smiling gently. “I would be happy to.”

    “Cool.” She raised a fist. I stared at it a moment, before realizing what she was after. Slowly, I raised my own and bumped my knuckles against hers. She grinned and said, “I’ll see you around then, Short Stuff.”

    I blinked.

    “What do you mean Short Stuff? You are only a few inches taller than I am!”

    “But I am taller.”

    “My height is completely normal!”

    “Whatever makes you feel better,” Tammi said, smirking.

    I made a noise of discontent. How was I to respond to this slander? Folding my arms, I turned away. Some battles were better left unfought.

    “What do you think made the wolves so aggressive?” I asked, changing the subject.

    “Who knows?” She replied, graciously allowing my diversion. “Maybe they were just hungry.”

    “In the height of summer? There should be plenty of animals in the area for them to eat.”

    “Honestly, I really don’t know, Elaine.”

    That was fair. I doubt she had ever even seen a wolf prior to this. Max had indicated they weren’t common to this area. That just made it all the more strange however. What had brought them here? What had stirred them up?

    “Look, there’s everyone up ahead,” Tammi pointed.

    So they were. We walked up to where the cars had been parked – several foldable chairs and coolers filled with beer had been unloaded in the time I was away. One man was sitting down, his arm a mess of bloody bandages. My own father seemed unharmed, but a look of immense relief crossed his face when he saw me approach.

    “Elaine! Oh, thank God. I was so worried that something had happened. Are you okay?”

    “I am fine. Truly. Nothing happened.”

    “It’s true, Mark,” Max cut in. “You’ve got a smart girl there. I found her hiding up at the top of a tree.”

    My father shuddered and hugged me close. “Thank you. I really can’t thank you enough, Max. I don’t know what I would have done if something had happened.”

    “Think nothing of it. What are friends for, after all?” Max asked, a wide smile crossing his face.

    “Of course. Let me know if you ever need a favor, alright?”

    “I’ll keep it in mind. You go ahead and take care of your girl for now.”

    “Right. Let’s go home, Elaine.”

    I nodded my assent and followed him to the car, though my eyes lingered on the injured man. There would inevitably be more injured people around me in the future. Even if it was the very basics, knowing how to treat someone in an emergency would be important. One more thing to study.

    One more, on top of everything else. I was starting to wonder where I would find the time.

    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    “Oh, this dress would look great on you! You should try it on.”

    After we returned from the hunting trip, things more or less returned to normal. Summer vacation continued to wind along, and I found myself staying at home for the most part. Still, I had at least one more social obligation to discharge. I had promised to spend time with Erin. Things had been delayed somewhat by my family’s sudden vacation, but it would do me no good to go back on my word.

    The problem however, was that I was unsure what to do with her. I simply did not know her well enough to make plans. In the end, I had simply called her and we decided on the common pastime that girls across America indulged in.

    We went to the mall together.

    “I am not sure the color would suit me,” I said, eyeing the pale green sundress a bit dubiously.

    “It will, trust me. Besides, half the fun is in trying things on, it doesn’t matter if it looks good or not.”

    “You truly know how to make a person feel confident in themselves,” I said dryly.

    “Who needs confidence?” Erin asked. “You’re just trying things on, not going out on a date. Now come on, quit stalling and go put it on.”

    I huffed amusedly and allowed her to push me into the changing stall.

    Disrobing, I caught sight of my body in the mirror. I was not… womanly by any particular stretch. I had not grown curves to enchant men. I did not have the long legs that modern fashion models prized. My training had resulted in the beginnings of muscles visible along my back – the muscles of a warrior instead of smooth skin of a beauty.

    Just as in my past life, I could convincingly pass as a boy if I truly wished it.

    I scowled at my reflection and pulled the sundress over my head. It is not as if I even particularly wanted to date anyone. There was nothing to be upset over aside from my own injured pride.

    “Well?” Erin’s voice came from behind the door. “How’s it look?”

    Not as bad as I feared. I would have preferred if it had sleeves to cover my shoulders at least, instead of simple straps, and the amount of cleavage the dress had was unfortunate, given that I did not have the assets to complement it. I stepped out of the changing room.

    “I still maintain that it is not my color.”

    “It’s not the worst,” Erin replied absently, her attention having seemingly settled on my chest.


    “Oh! Sorry, I was just thinking – where did you get that necklace from?”

    I touched a hand to the peridot that Rin gave me. After we returned from England, I had asked to have it set and strung on a chain so that I could wear it with me wherever I went. Normally, I kept it beneath my clothes, but the dress left it bare.

    “It is just something that I picked up in London. Why?”

    “You just picked it up? Nobody gave it to you?”

    “Erin,” I frowned. “What is the issue exactly?”

    “I – No, it’s nothing, sorry. Nevermind.”

    “Very well.” I stepped back into the changing room to switch back to my regular clothes. “It is getting close to noon. Did you want to continue shopping or head to the food court next?”

    “I could go for a pretzel.”

    I smiled. I, too, would most certainly enjoy a pretzel.

    We left the store and continued on our way together. On the whole, it was surprisingly pleasant. Not that I did not enjoy my social interactions with my other friends, but there was always a tension present in them. The knowledge that these people had been friends with Elaine – the girl she was, not the imposter who had hollowed her out and replaced her.

    There was none of that burden with Erin. She had not known Elaine, only the me of the present. That was a rare gift these days.

    I just wondered how much longer these days would last.

    The dice continue to be in your favor. Be very glad that I made Elaine climb a tree. That first attack would have hit her otherwise. I rolled damage just to see what would have happened and it would have taken her out in one shot.

    It is August of 2010.

    We have arrived at a rest period.

    First is to tally checkmarks.
    Next is training and practice. You may select any one of the following improvements:

    Please structure this vote as a Plan, i.e.
    [ ] Plan Name Here
    -[ ] [Training] Skills 1, Skills 2, Skills 3, etc.

    The next stage is to tally Glory and to receive Glory rewards.
    Next, you receive your monthly allowance. Given your status as a Wealthy Heiress, you earn $100.

    Remember, if at any time you wish to buy something from the shop, please do a write in as below, and I will add it to the next vote.
    [ ] [Shop] (Write-In)

    You have unlocked your first Adventure! At the start of each month, you can choose if you want to focus on investigating and solving the problem presented in the Adventure. If you choose not to, you will instead focus on normal street-level patrols and heroics.

    Please Note: Not every adventure is meant to be completed immediately when it unlocks. Sometimes it's better to wait until you are better trained and better armed to attempt it. That said, the problem won’t necessarily stay around forever either. If you take too long, it might get worse, or someone else might solve it.

    [ ] [Adventure] The Adventure of Aggressive Animals
    >The animals in the forest are acting strangely aggressive. It might be worth investigating.
    [ ] [Adventure] The Adventure of the Forbidden Woods
    >There is a part of the woods where you fear to tread. Maybe you should find out why.
    [ ] [Adventure] Focus on your duties
    >Do not engage in adventure this month.

    Now, for our actions going forward into next month. School is starting!

    Choose someone to spend time with (at school):
    [ ] [Social] Dean Stansfield
    [ ] [Social] Victoria Dallon
    [ ] [Social] Amy Dallon
    [ ] [Social] Chelsea and Meagan
    [ ] [Social] Erin Archelot
    [ ] [Social] Theo Anders
    [ ] [Social] (Write-In)

    You have several new classes at school. Which is your favorite?
    [ ] [Class] English Literature
    [ ] [Class] Math
    [ ] [Class] Biology
    [ ] [Class] History
    [ ] [Class] Computer Science
    [ ] [Class] Physical Education

    You have several options for extracurricular activities.
    [ ] [Extracurricular] Student Council
    [ ] [Extracurricular] Debate Club
    [ ] [Extracurricular] Journalism Club
    [ ] [Extracurricular] Baseball
    [ ] [Extracurricular] Part-Time Job
    [ ] [Extracurricular] (Write-In)

    Choose a way to advance yourself as a hero.
    [ ] [Heroism] Design a name and costume.
    >You can’t just be X forever.
    [ ] [Heroism] Look into types of Parahumans.
    >If you’re going out doing hero things, you’re bound to run into them at some point. Knowing the difference between a brute and a breaker will probably be good.
    [ ] [Heroism] Look for trouble.
    >You’re not a hero if you aren’t actually going out and saving people, right?
    [ ] [Heroism] (Write-In)
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2023
  24. NooneImportant

    NooneImportant Know what you're doing yet? Because I don't!

    Oct 30, 2022
    Likes Received:
    [X] [Adventure] The Adventure of Aggressive Animals
    >The animals in the forest are acting strangely aggressive. It might be worth investigating.
    If we equip SabErlaine beforehand, it will be okay.

    [X] [Social] Erin Archelot

    [X] [Class] Computer Science

    [X] [Extracurricular] Baseball

    Debate Club: Words can be a fatal weapon
    Baseball: So can a metal bat

    [X] [Heroism] Look into types of Parahumans.
    >If you’re going out doing hero things, you’re bound to run into them at some point. Knowing the difference between a brute and a breaker will probably be good.
  25. Threadmarks: 2.x - Interlude; Theo

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Theo hurriedly raised his arms to block the fist coming towards his face, only for it to plant itself in his gut a moment later. The air drove itself from his lungs and he fell over, wheezing, clutching at his bruised stomach.

    It was not the first such blow he had suffered today.

    “Get up,” Brad said. When he didn’t reply, the man kicked at him.

    Theo groaned and scrambled back to his feet. He barely managed to get his hands up when Brad’s fist blew past his guard and slammed into his face. He crumpled into a heap again.

    Brad just scowled. “This isn’t going anywhere. Fucking Tammi over there did better at this shit than you. Are you going to let yourself be shown up by a girl?”

    Theo opened one eye – the other was swollen shut – to stare across the room. Tammi sat there, typing away at her cell phone, completely ignoring the beating that he was taking. He slowly pushed himself to his feet again.

    This time, Brad split his lip.

    “Stop,” his father’s voice echoed across the empty ring. “This is going nowhere.”

    “Heh. I could have told you that to begin with. Boy’s too soft.”

    “Watch what you say, Hookwolf. He is still my son. He just needs tempering, as any good piece of steel requires.”

    Brad – Hookwolf – shrugged. “No skin off my back. You want me to keep beating him, I’ll keep beating him.”

    His father stepped into the ring, the clink of steel ringing with each step. “There is no need for that. I think he has learned his lesson. Haven’t you, Theo?”

    He lifted his head to stare at his father, clad in all his glory. Steel plate armor shone, intricately fitted to his father’s body. The joints held no gaps, only increasingly small overlapping plates that shifted and pulled with the man’s every movement. The helmet was all one piece, blades rising in a circle around it in imitation of a crown.

    Before him stood not Maximilian Anders, but Kaiser, the leader of the Empire Eighty-Eight.

    “Yesh, shir.” Theo mumbled, his words slurring together more than he would like.

    “Hm.” His father stood there silently, as if waiting for some further reaction. When none came, he turned away. “You can keep the bruises overnight. It will help let the lesson sink in. I will ask Othala to see to you tomorrow.”

    Theo nodded. He had expected as much. His father would probably force him to keep the bruises even longer if it weren’t such a potential problem for people to see him like that.

    “Hookwolf. I’m assuming that Rune told you what happened in the forest. What are your thoughts?”

    Out of the corner of his eye, Theo saw Tammi look up, suddenly interested in the conversation.

    Hookwolf scratched at his chin. “It’s not impossible she’s telling the truth. People can do some crazy shit when their lives are on the line. Still, killing a fucking wolf with nothing but a stick is pretty out there. I’d say chances are she’s a parahuman.”

    “I thought as much as well.”

    “No real way to tell what the powers are though. She actually used the stick, so probably not a Shaker or Master, but could be just about anything else. If you want, I could send a couple of my boys to rough her up. We’d find out what powers she has real quick that way.”

    “That’s a terrible idea,” Tammi interjected.

    There was a brief silence, both men turning to look at Tammi. His father finally asked, “Do you have something to add, Rune?”

    “Yeah. We want to recruit her right? Sending a couple of our own guys to attack her is just asking for her to develop a grudge. Pay off a couple of druggies – or better yet some chinks who are willing to wear red and green. Don’t send them directly after her, that’s way too overt. So soon after exposing herself in the forest, she’ll know one of us had to be involved. Target one of her friends instead.”

    “You’ve been giving this some thought,” Kaiser said quietly.

    “Hah,” Tammi barked a short laugh. “No. That’s just the obvious stuff. The hard part is convincing her to actually join.”

    “And do you have any suggestions on that front?”

    “Dunno,” Tammi said flippantly. “I don’t know the girl well enough. She’s offered to hang out though, so give me some time and I’ll figure it out.”

    “Hm.” Kaiser silently examined Tammi for a long moment. “I will admit, this is more initiative than I am used to seeing from you, Rune.”

    “It was just a thought. Take the advice or don’t.” Tammi shrugged, her eyes flicking up towards Brad. “No skin off my back.”

    “The idea is a good one. We will discuss the details later. Keep your nose clean in the meantime.”

    “Of course.” Tammi shifted, returning her bored stare back down to her phone.

    Theo knew it was the worst thing she could have done. It was as if she were the one dismissing his father instead of the other way around. His father wouldn’t make a scene of it – that would undermine his dignity. Instead, Tammi would probably find herself occupied with some sort of drudge duty in the near future as punishment.

    Hookwolf eyed the girl in exasperation, having apparently come to the same conclusion. Shaking his head, he looked at Kaiser. “We should probably talk about our operations up in Midtown. Had a few of our buildings burn down during the fight with Lung.”

    “We can rebuild. The Protectorate is still licking its wounds, and Lung has shown no interest in coming out of his hole.”

    “That’s not the point. If Purity’s gone off the reservation –”

    “She’s just being stubborn,” Kaiser said, turning to walk away. Hookwolf followed close behind. “She thinks she can do things on her own. Her failure is a good lesson in why that won’t work. She will come crawling back soon enough.”

    “How soon is that? How much damage does she do in the meantime?”

    “I have it under control, Hookwolf.”

    Their voices faded as the two left. Even after the door swung shut behind them, Theo waited a full minute before allowing himself to collapse. Every bit of him ached. Hookwolf had not held back. No – He had. If he hadn’t, Theo would be dead. Instead, he was just covered in bruises, every bit of him pummeled by the man in the name of training.

    After all, according to his father he was too soft. Too weak. Hardly worth calling his son at all.

    Theo grit his teeth and looked up. Tammi was still typing away at her phone, unconcerned with him.

    “What the hell was that about, Tammi?”

    “I’m not sure what you mean,” she replied without looking up.

    “I mean sending them after Elaine like that.”

    Tammi’s phone snapped closed. “I think you will find, Theo, that I convinced them not to attack Elaine. So why exactly are you upset?”

    “You could have – you could have convinced them that she wasn’t a parahuman. To just leave her alone.”

    Tammi scoffed. “If you believe that, then you really are as stupid as you look. Even if I was interested in sticking my neck out for a girl I just met, there was no stopping this.”

    “F-Fuck you.” He stuttered the curse word, unused to saying it. Shame ran through him, a part of him rebelling at the idea of speaking up. Of speaking out. Of using words he wasn’t supposed to.

    “You wish.” She stood and stretched out. “In any case, at least I did something. Meanwhile you just laid there like a useless lump. You can criticize me when you’re capable of actually doing something yourself.”

    Theo squeezed his hands tight, his fingernails biting into his skin, and looked away.

    “Yeah, I thought so.” Tammi said scornfully and walked off.

    The room fell silent. The only one left was Theo, his body battered and bloody. He was alone. They had left him here. His father had not even cared enough to see him home after the beating he had given him.

    Tears sprang from his eyes. He slammed his fists into the ground, trying to push himself up, only to fall back down, unable to support himself. Tammi was right. He was useless. Helpless. He had never accomplished anything worthwhile in his life.

    He laid on the ground weeping, cursing his own weakness.
  26. Threadmarks: 3.1 - First Steps

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:

    “King Nym. Your father once swore himself to Uther Pendragon, High King of Britain. Now, I, Arthur Pendragon, rightful heir of his kingdom stand before you. Will you honor your family’s vows?”

    Nym squinted down at her from atop his throne, turning the jewel-encrusted goblet that she had brought him as a gift over in his hands. The man himself was short, with an atrocious curling beard that he tugged on idly as he thought.

    “So,” Nym said, “a Boy-King seeks to take my armies and my lands.”

    The girl felt Kay stiffen beside her, but she kept her composure. She had no room to allow her own stung pride to intrude in this.

    “This gift is a good start. It is well that you see my value. I will not lead my men to their dooms for something so paltry however.”

    “Paltry?!” Kay burst out. She knew what he wanted to say, but the girl silenced him with a look.

    “I understand your worry, King Nym. Is there aught I can do to allay your fears?”

    “No. Everyone knows that you only have a scant few banners rallied to your cause. Lot’s army outnumbers yours. The Saxons outnumber both of you.”

    “Numbers did not bring Lot victory at Carlion,” Kay growled.

    “Kay,” she rebuked gently. “Enough.”

    “If you are so confident, then you do not need my men.” Nym looked her in the eyes and continued. “The Kingdom of Britain is dead. Let it rest in its grave.”

    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    “You have your schedule?”

    “I do.”

    “And your locker combination?”

    “Yes, Dean.”

    “And your books?”

    “If I did not, it would be somewhat late now,” I said, looking pointedly at the gate to Arcadia High School. The two of us stood out front, a good thirty minutes before classes were supposed to start. I had requested the extra time to acquaint myself with the building to prevent myself from getting lost.

    Not that there was much chance of that. The building was built to resemble an ‘H,” with two large wings to the north and south and a shorter cross-section connecting the two. It formed a natural courtyard as we approached the school.

    “You know you can come find me if you run into any problems, right?”

    “Cease your worrying. I will be perfectly fine, Dean.”

    “Okay. Good luck then, Ellie.”

    I sighed and watched him walk off. I had not even been hurt in the incident with the wolves, yet my family was back to treating me as if I were made of glass again. Undoubtedly, this is why modern heroes found secret identities so convenient.

    On that subject, I needed to put together an actual costume at some point. It was the social norm for those acting as heroes in this day and age. More to the point, there were different expectations for parahumans. Many of those without powers would immediately back down or surrender when faced with one.

    Violence was a tool that would sometimes be necessary. However, it was still better when conflict could be resolved without resorting to it. Peace was a rare thing in this world. All too often we human beings chose to live by the sword.

    The problem was that I did not know where to start with designing a costume. I would need armor, of course. I was not willing to sacrifice practicality to wear the skin tight suit that many parahumans favored, even if I were to put aside issues of modesty.

    Even putting that aside; however, it was a different sensibility from that which I was used to. Flashier. More concerned with bright colors and photogenic smiles than simple regality.

    Regardless, I could consider it later. Matters of secret identities could wait.

    I stepped inside, walking past rows of lockers without pausing. I had been assigned one of my own, but I did not feel any particular need to use it. A few books were hardly heavy enough to warrant storage. I could simply carry the load for all of my classes with me throughout the day.

    Even this early, there were already a few students on campus. Small groups were scattered about the building, simply spending time talking with one another. Walking past a window, I caught sight of the school’s football field. Athletes were already there, performing drills – though I knew the athletic teams were not official for the year yet. New students still needed their chance to try out.

    It spoke to a greater degree of motivation than I had expected. Where I saw these sports as mere games, an entertaining way to pass the time, perhaps they saw something deeper. Where I saw school as a passing diversion – important, certainly, but not something that would shape my life – they saw it as central to their identities.

    A strange sense of vertigo overtook me. I was fifteen. Many of the students on campus were older than I was. Yet, for a moment, they all struck me as so terribly young.

    I traced my fingers across the window and shut my eyes. The future was bleak. Crime ran rampant. The Endbringers picked off cities one by one. The world continued to burn. Hope was a feeble outpost, beset on all sides by thievery and misery and murder.

    Yet, these children still hope. Hope for their futures. Hope for themselves.

    How was I to respond to that with anything less than my all? My abilities were limited compared to my memories. I did not have the strength to repel the darkness of this world. Not yet, at least. However, I still had my voice. My voice, which I could raise as their advocate and their shield.

    My destination in mind, I moved back downstairs and walked briskly to the front office. A secretary looked up as I entered, a hint of exasperation in her eyes on seeing a student enter this early in the morning. No matter. I stepped up to her desk.

    “I am interested in joining the student council. How would I go about accomplishing this?”

    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    Apparently joining the student council was more complicated than simply asking to. Instead, I would have to advertise my candidacy and be elected to the position. Fie on the Greeks and their blasted Democracy. In my day people listened to the King and that was that.

    Jokes aside, I did not mind so much. I was not doing this for fame or recognition, so if the student body ultimately decided that the position was better suited to another, then I would wish them well.

    Unfortunately, in the meantime, I was left attending classes. Classes in which very little learning had occurred – Instead, we were going over the classroom syllabi.

    “--We’ll be covering expectations for the semester – starting with our attendance policy. I understand that sometimes emergencies come up, but generally speaking you are expected to be here. Unexcused absences will count against your grade.”

    My eyes glazed over. Did they doubt their students' abilities to simply read the sheet of paper they had handed out? We had to spend an hour going over how plagiarism was frowned upon? I did my best to maintain my attention, I truly did, but I was glad when the bell rang and I was able to make my escape along with the rush of other students.

    The teeming mass of bodies pushed its way downstairs, in pursuit of the cafeteria. I followed in their wake until I saw a familiar mess of brown hair sitting morosely at one of the tables. A part of me said to stand in line and get my food first, before anything else, but… Well, it is not as if it was going anywhere. I sat down next to Amy.

    “Hello Amy.”

    The girl lifted her head ever so slightly from where it rested on her arms so that she could glare at me with a single eye. “Ugh. You. Just leave me be.”

    “Well, you are certainly sunny today. What has you in such a temper?”

    “I was up late last night. This is my nap time. What do you care anyway?”

    I frowned, taking a moment to study the girl, as if I could find some hint from what was wrong simply from her slumped posture. I finally asked, “Have I done something to offend you?”

    No. What could have possibly given you that impression?”


    “No really. It’s not like you made a big deal of us hanging out only to then ditch me all month.”

    Ah. Well, I could see now why she was angry.

    “And that’s after you spent all afternoon trash talking me.”

    I did perhaps go a bit overboard in that conversation.

    “And you still owe me a new door!”

    I cringed back under the onslaught. That was… well, it was perhaps deserved. My once sister had occupied my mind since returning from England and I had allowed my promise with Amy to slip by the wayside. Cheeks burning, I cleared my throat.

    “You are right. I am sorry. I should have been more considerate.”

    Amy kept a baleful eye upon me for a long few seconds before finally sighing and looking away. “It’s fine,” she mumbled. “I get it. I’m sure you had other stuff to do.”

    “Even still. It was my mistake.” I placed a hand over hers. “Please allow me another chance.”

    Amy ducked her head down, hiding her face between her arms. “Fix my door and we’ll talk.”

    “I promise I shall do so this weekend. I am surprised your parents have not already done so, to be honest.”

    “I don’t think they’ve actually noticed,” Amy grumbled.

    I raised an eyebrow. I could not see how they possibly could have not noticed. If they truly had not, it raised some serious questions.

    “Well, regardless. I promise I will be there.”

    “Sure. Whatever. Now go away, I wasn’t kidding about this being my nap time.”

    “Very well. I shall keep quiet and let you sleep.”

    “...You aren’t leaving,” she said, rather than asked, her voice drained of emotion.

    “I am not.”

    Smiling fondly, I reached out to ruffle her hair. She swiped at my hand and glowered at me, but that was an upgrade to the glare she’d leveled at me before. Progress.

    “You’re a menace.”

    “Some have called me that before,” I admitted. “Putting that aside, were you… alright after what happened with the bus?”

    Amy let out a long-suffering sigh. “Perfectly fine, even if Vicky made a huge fuss. She wouldn’t leave me alone for days afterwards. Honestly, it's like she didn’t have bigger things to worry about.”

    That’s right. Victoria would have been more involved in the actual fighting, given her position as Glory Girl. “How exactly does your family respond to something like that? Do they just patrol more and hope to run into criminals shooting at one another or is there a more proactive approach they are able to take?”

    “Given that I’m the only one in the family not involved, I’m really not the best person to ask. I’m sure Vicky would be happy to talk your ear off at some point if you ask her. But yeah, basically. If the Protectorate gets a tip off about a location they want to raid and need the extra muscle, they might ask my family, but otherwise they’re stuck just pulling active crime off of the streets.”

    “How do they actually stop it then?”

    “They don't,” Amy said bluntly. “Most of the time all they can do is try and keep a lid on things and let the gangs burn themselves out. Big batches of violence like that don’t usually last very long.”

    I furrowed my brow. Nothing would improve if that was the case. You could not win a war fighting purely defensively. Eventually you would be worn down. No, if they were to win this war, then a strike would have to be made against the leaders of these brigands. Kaiser… and Lung.

    A shiver went down my back. The memory of a flash of light seared my eyes, of a distant roar that thundered in my ears. The memory of a peaceful day turned into a nightmare.

    I was not ready to face that. Not yet. My past self could have, but my body and my skills were not yet adequate. I would need to sharpen myself against the lesser criminals of the bay.

    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    That night, I snuck out of my house. A long scarf was wrapped around my face, hiding my mouth, while a baseball cap was pulled low over my eyes. As a costume went, it was not much. I would have to work on that. It would do for now however.

    The one improvement I had managed to get ahold of was the sword I had strapped to my side. It had been a rare moment of fortune finding one among the pawn shops near the Lord Street Market. I had simply been browsing for anything that might catch my eye at the time.

    The sword itself was nothing special. A simple longsword with a crossguard hilt. There was little to no ornamentation upon it. It carried no special powers. A nameless blade, the same as any other. Even still, it was well made and sturdy enough for what I would be putting it through.

    It just went to show that all sorts of odds and ends tended to appear in the markets here. Unfortunately, I doubted I would find anything quite as useful as actual armor. For that, I would likely need to turn to the internet.

    I had done some research and there were modern blacksmiths that sold historical recreations of such armaments – apparently the cape scene had given them a boom in demand as well. A surprising number of capes liked to employ medieval weapons or armor, whether for practicality or aesthetics. That led to cape followers and fans wanting their own copy as a collectible item.

    Cape followers were an odd lot, who I did not entirely understand, but it worked out in my favor in this instance.

    Thoughts of new equipment aside, I did intend to find criminals to dispatch tonight. The question, I thought looking at the empty streets around me, is where to find them?

    It is August of 2010.

    Where does Elaine patrol?
    [ ] [Patrol] North End
    [ ] [Patrol] The Docks
    [ ] [Patrol] Midtown
    [ ] [Patrol] Downtown
    [ ] [Patrol] Stratham

    You actually have to run for Student Council. What is your strategy?
    [ ] [Student Council] Speeches
    >Focus on giving speeches about your platform.
    [ ] [Student Council] Grass-Roots
    >Focus on speaking with students individually.
    [ ] [Student Council] Advertisement
    >Focus on advertising yourself with posters around campus.
    [ ] [Student Council] (Write-In)

    Time for our name and costume votes. This will have a couple of run-offs. To start, please submit names as a write-in. This is purely to generate names of interest, so feel free to submit multiple ideas.
    [ ] [Name] (Write-In)

    Same for costume, submit images or descriptions of what you want the costume to look like.
    [ ] [Costume] (Write-In)
  27. Index: Map of Brockton Bay

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2023
  28. Extras: 3.1 - Name Vote

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Alright, time for our first run off vote.

    For the costume, it sounds like there's general consensus towards Mercenary Knight as a mid-point and eventually transitioning into a canon design, so we'll go with that.

    For the name, it's time to vote:
    [ ] [Name] Pendragon
    [ ] [Name] Valiant
    [ ] [Name] Avalon
    [ ] [Name] Saber
  29. NooneImportant

    NooneImportant Know what you're doing yet? Because I don't!

    Oct 30, 2022
    Likes Received:
    [X] [Name] Saber

    Pendragon's cool and all, but your/Elaine's fate was sealed when you put Saber as a viable name. (Watch neither win.)
  30. Threadmarks: 3.2 - First Steps

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    The North End of Brockton Bay sat adjacent to the Docks and thus was hit the hardest when the Union Riots happened over a decade past. The district was littered with empty, abandoned warehouses that had once been filled with goods and now served only to house the ever growing homeless population.

    The larger gangs could not be bothered with the area – it was not worth the projection of force that would be required to hold it. However, the sad reality was that poverty bred crime. Minor criminals still fought over what few scraps remained in the area.

    On a more positive note, this did mean the area would be ideal for my purposes. I needed opponents to sharpen my skills against, and any criminals I caught here were unlikely to be members of any criminal organization with enough influence to actually retaliate.

    The problem of course, was with finding crime in progress. I did not have much in the way of experience as Elaine nor as the King in actually catching criminals in the act. I had rendered judgment upon thieves and malcontents upon numerous occasions, but rarely had I ever been involved in their actual capture.

    The streets remained quiet. Perhaps even brigands preferred to sleep this late at night, despite the stereotypes of thieves conducting their business under the cloak of darkness. I sat on an empty bench and blew the air out from my cheeks. Nearby, a dirty man slept underneath the bus stop’s overhang. Homeless.

    He was not the first such person I had seen sleeping out on the streets tonight.

    It was a problem that I did not know how to solve. Simply removing the criminals who preyed on these people would not grant them sturdy roofs over their heads nor warm food in their bellies. It was a necessary first step, but it was not enough. Nothing she had ever done was ever enough.

    Far above, the stars twinkled, distant and uncaring. Long ago, the Magus had taught the girl how to read the stars, to divine the future and read the strands of fate. She had not – I had not been the best of students. I had used the skill on occasion to divine if my path was the correct one, but I had often ignored the warnings of fate. Now, I was not sure I could read the stars even if I wished to.

    “You some sorta cape?”

    I looked towards the poor man who had awoken during my introspection and nodded. “I am. A Hero.”

    “Pull the other one. Heroes don’t bother comin’ all the way up here.”

    “It is precisely because others do not, that I felt I had to.”

    The man slowly sat up, combing his fingers through his scraggly beard. “Huh. How about that. Some white knight come down to save us poor folk, is it?”

    “To the best of my ability. Although, I admit, I have not had much success thus far.”

    “I suppose you wouldn’t. Ain’t much around here but drug dealers and pimps, and they’re already asleep by now.”

    I frowned, but it was not much different than I had expected. I slid my wallet out of my jacket’s inner pocket and placed a twenty in the man’s hand. “Thank you. I know it is not much, but I do appreciate the information.”

    “Ehh, I didn’t really tell you anything anyone else couldn’t have, Sonny.”

    Sonny? I shook my head. I spent a lifetime concealing my gender. I should not be surprised that it was so easy for him to make the mistake. “Even still. I am new to this, so any information at all is helpful.”

    The man’s face soured, but he folded the bill up and stuck in his coat. “Damn kid, you’re going to get yourself killed. Fine. There’s a couple of dealers that like to hang out in the alleyway two streets up. They’re part of some minor gang. Just big enough to keep anyone from tryin’ to rob ‘em for their stash.”

    “Hm. I did not think addicts would be so easily dissuaded.”

    “Even addicts know not to get their knees broken. The Merchants might be trash, but they’ll still kick your ass if they think you’re messing with their product. Look. Just remember you didn’t hear it from me. I don’t need any trouble, you hear?”

    “Of course.” I stood up and looked back at him. “My lips are sealed.”

    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    Approaching the alleyway the vagrant had indicated, I quickly made my way up a fire escape to a rooftop nearby to watch. True to his word, a trio of men had occupied the alley – one obviously in charge with two bodyguards, metal bats slung over their shoulders. The situation was obvious, but even still I waited, watching a few transactions take place.

    I had not doubted what the man had told me, but I needed to be sure. Over and over again, desperate people came, seeking their next fix.

    Decision made, I slipped back down to the street and advanced on the alley.

    They spotted me before I could get close. A shout of, “Cape!” went up and the dealer began sprinting in the opposite direction, while his two bodyguards shared a look, unsure if they wanted to actually fight me or not. I did not give them the chance to run as well.

    Invoke Passion: Heroism: 11 | 16 = Success

    Elaine: Inspired (+5) , Outnumber (-5)

    Elaine Melee: 20 | 9 (9+5-5) = Fumble!
    Merchant1 Melee: 16 | 8 = Failure
    >Elaine drops her sword. Gain a check to Melee.
    Elaine Melee: 15 | 9 (9+5-5) = Failure
    Merchant2 Melee: 15 | 8 = Failure
    >No Hit

    Elaine Evade: 9 | 17 = Success
    Merchant1 Melee: 13 | 8 = Failure
    Elaine Evade: 10 | 17 = Success
    Merchant2 Melee: 5 | 8 = Success
    >Elaine evades the attacks and picks up her sword.

    Elaine Melee: 8 | 9 (9+5-5) = Success
    Merchant1 Melee: 1 | 8 = Success
    >Elaine Damage (6d6) = 27 = (1/28 HP)
    >>Merchant1 takes a Major Wound and is knocked unconscious.
    Elaine Melee: 18 | 9 (9+5-5) = Failure
    Merchant2 Melee: 15 | 8 = Failure

    Elaine Melee: 7 | 19 (9+5+5) = Success
    Merchant2 Reckless Melee: 15 | 8 = Failure
    >Elaine Damage (6d6) = 18 = (10/28 HP)
    >>Merchant2 takes a Major Wound and is unable to continue.

    My sword struck. The two each hurriedly raised their bats to defend, their eyes widening as they realized what exactly they were up against. Their movements were clumsy however. Slow. Yet, by some chance, one’s wild flailing caught my blade with his bat and the force ripped my sword from my fingers. The sword skittered across the alleyway and I was left dodging these two thugs, their confidence suddenly renewed by my lost weapon.

    My cheeks heated in sudden shame. These two had no skill to speak of. Their swings were wild, easy to dodge. Yet, I still found myself on the backfoot simply because my own skills still had yet to catch up to my memories. No matter. I danced around their blows until I could scoop my blade back off the ground, quickly twirling it to parry one bat aside before driving the point into a thug’s shoulder.

    The man screamed. The other was panicking, swinging with all his might at me – How foolish. His blows had already proven clumsy. Forgoing his defense in favor of strength was only to his detriment. I allowed the bat to pass over my head and brought my sword’s edge across his thigh. I turned away before he had finished falling.

    Two down in mere seconds. That was how combat went. The long drawn out fights of Hollywood simply did not match what was often true of reality. However, this would still have been for nothing if I did not catch the actual dealer.

    I began sprinting after him. He had a lead on me, but it was clear that he did not often need to run. He was thin; however, it was not the leanness of a fit body, but the scrawniness of one who simply did not have excess fat. His breath came in short wheezes with each desperate pump of his legs.

    Elaine Grapple: 1 | 7 = Success
    Dealer Brawling: 16 | 8 = Failure
    >Dealer is grappled.

    He did not have a chance. I leapt upon his back, driving him down to the ground. He attempted to spin, to throw a punch, but I wrenched his arm behind him, quickly sliding a zip tie into place around his wrists. A useful invention of the modern era – certainly faster than tying him with rope would have been.

    “Fuck! Cocksucker! Skidmark is going to make you gargle your own shit for messing with me!”

    I frowned. The lamentations of the defeated were common enough for me to ignore, but I was off-put by the crude language. That was… new. “I do not know who this Skidmark is. You should cease your struggles however. You are only delaying me from treating your comrades’ injuries.”

    “Fuck those assholes. They couldn’t even buy me twenty goddamn seconds to run away.”

    “Please be quiet for the moment.” I finished tying his legs and dragged him back to the alley where his compatriots waited. The man who I had stabbed in the shoulder had passed out from the shock of the wound. The other, still-conscious man looked up at me, fear in his eyes – but he had not tried to flee. “You did not attempt to escape?”

    “Not much point,” the man with the leg injury said. “Not like I would have gotten far. Besides, I’ve heard what vigilantes do to runners. I’d rather go to jail than get stuck to a wall.”

    It seemed I would need to pull my blows better in the future – or find tougher targets. I pulled a roll of cloth bandages out of my jacket pocket and set to binding their wounds. “I have a few questions for you. So long as you stay put, we can keep things civil.”

    “Yeah, sure. Thanks,” the man said, though his tone was not particularly thankful.

    I focused on the man I had stabbed in the shoulder first. His wound was the more critical of the two. “The three of you are members of a gang?”

    “Yeah, we –”

    “You shut the fuck up! This shitstain doesn’t need to know anything!”

    Leveling a look down at the dealer, I said softly, “If you interrupt again, you will lose your speaking privileges.”

    Something about my threat made the dealer go pale and he edged away from me as best he could, pushing himself up against the wall. I turned my attention back to his bodyguard, continuing my treatment of the one I had stabbed.

    “The gang?”

    The bodyguard swallowed and nodded. “We’re just small-time dealers mostly.”

    “Your friend mentioned someone called Skidmark?”

    “He runs the Merchants. They sell to us, we cut them some of the profits.”

    “Where can I find him?” I asked.

    “I don’t know. Honest. He calls us up when he wants to meet.”

    I pursed my lips and examined him for any signs of dishonesty. If he was lying, I could not tell. Nodding, I turned my attention to the dealer. “And you? Did you have you aught to add?”

    “Fuck you!”

    “I thought not.” That only left one thing left to do.

    I called the police.

    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    A red blur arrived before the ambulance or the police managed to. It slowed to a stop in front of the alleyway, resolving itself into a man. I squinted at him a moment, trying to place him in my mind.

    “Hey there. Got a call about an arrest?”

    Hm. He was one of the city’s defenders, but I could not place the name. No matter. I nodded at him as he approached.

    “The three behind me. The one tied up was the dealer – the other two were bodyguards who attempted to attack me when I approached.”

    The hero looked back and forth between me and the men on the ground. “So you’re claiming this was self-defense.”

    “Not at all. Their attack forced me to incapacitate them quickly, before their compatriot could flee, but I still approached with the intent of apprehending these men.”

    “Well, that’s something,” the hero muttered. “Would you mind talking off to the side?”

    “As you wish.” I stepped forward to the edge of the alleyway, careful to keep the three prisoners in sight.

    “Look,” the hero – Acceleration? – said, “It’s great to see new heroes out here, but you might want to consider not using a sword.”

    “I am not sure I understand the issue. A number of heroes use weapons. Some of them are even among this city’s local Protectorate.”

    Momentum nodded. “That’s true. But people like Armsmaster train extensively to use their weapons safely. You can’t use excessive force. The lethal option should only be there in a life-threatening situation.”

    I glanced back at the three still-living men.

    Blitz let out a huff. “I get that you didn’t kill them. You have to admit though, this could have very easily gone badly. That’s the entire point of the Wards – to make sure that young parahumans like yourself have the training to use your powers safely. Training to make sure people you capture actually get sent to jail and don’t get let out due to a technicality too.”

    “Hm.” I mulled over his words. It was true that I did not have the skills that my past life had. Not yet, at least. An organization such as the Wards would be helpful in that sense. Not just for the training, but for the team support and the logistical support of actually finding crimes for me to stop.

    On the other hand, a more prideful part of me rebelled at the thought. Joining such an organization would mean ceding my own authority. I would have to obey orders that were given rather than moving to my own initiative. I would be shackled to the decisions of the Protectorate’s leadership.

    It also meant that my family would need to be informed. My family who had increasingly been treating me as if I were made of spun glass. Just what would the reaction be with this added on top of everything else that had happened?

    After a long moment, I nodded and said, “I cannot accept your offer tonight, but I will give it some thought. Do you have a way to reach out to you in the future?”

    “Sure.” Impulse gave me a broad smile and fished a business card out of a belt pouch. “The number on here will send you to an operator, but they should be able to direct you to a Protectorate hero who’s on duty if you need to talk to one of us.”

    “Thank you. I will be in touch. Can you handle these three from here?”

    “Of course. The cops should be here soon enough, I can watch over them until then.”

    Nodding my thanks, I turned to leave.

    “Hey. I didn’t catch your name.”

    A small smile crossed my lips. I had given my name some thought. There were a number of options I could have chosen. Perhaps those options were a better choice in some ways. They would have adhered closer to cape culture and expected norms for Heroes. They would have obfuscated my identity and my abilities.

    However, I had no need to hide away. If I was to be a banner of hope in this age, then I needed to make clear what I represented. I needed to make clear what I was. I needed to make clear who I was. Nothing less than my own name would do.

    “I am Pendragon.”

    It is August of 2010.

    You have been offered to join the Wards.
    [ ] [Wards] Join
    [ ] [Wards] Stay Independent

    How lethal should you be in the future?
    [ ] [Force] Lethal
    >You will not go out of your way to kill a defenseless enemy, but you will not hold back against those who bear arms against you either.
    [ ] [Force] Defensive
    >You will avoid killing enemies, but if your life is on the line, you will resort to lethal force.
    [ ] [Force] Merciful
    >You will avoid killing enemies whenever possible.

    Your cape identity could allow you to pass for a boy.
    [ ] [Gender] Male
    >Hide your gender and pretend to be male in your cape costume. This could help protect your identity.
    [ ] [Gender] Female
    >Make it clear that you are female if someone assumes otherwise.
    [ ] [Gender] Ambivalent
    >Allow people to assume what they will. It doesn’t matter to you either way.

    Choose someone to spend time with (at school):
    [ ] [Social] Dean Stansfield
    [ ] [Social] Victoria Dallon
    [ ] [Social] Amy Dallon
    [ ] [Social] Chelsea and Morgan
    [ ] [Social] Erin Archelot
    [ ] [Social] Theo Anders
    [ ] [Social] (Write-In)

    While campaigning for Student Council, students bring their concerns with the school that they want addressed to you. What are they?
    [ ] [Concerns] (Write-In)
    >This is just an aggregate, just fill in ideas, don’t feel the need to vote for someone else’s once it’s been suggested.[/spoiler]
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2023