1. For prospective new members, a word of warning: don't use common names like Dennis, Simon, or Kenny if you decide to create an account. Spammers have used them all before you and gotten those names flagged in the anti-spam databases. Your account registration will be rejected because of it.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Since it has happened MULTIPLE times now, I want to be very clear about this. You do not get to abandon an account and create a new one. You do not get to pass an account to someone else and create a new one. If you do so anyway, you will be banned for creating sockpuppets.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. If you wish to change your username, please ask via conversation to tehelgee instead of asking via my profile. I'd like to not clutter it up with such requests.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Due to the actions of particularly persistent spammers and trolls, we will be banning disposable email addresses from today onward.
    Dismiss Notice
  5. Welcome back to QQ. The search function will be unavailable for some hours until the index has been rebuilt.
    Dismiss Notice

The Skittering Chaos (Worm/Hazbin Hotel)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Thread Necromancer, Aug 7, 2020.

Loading...
  1. Threadmarks: Chapter 1
    Thread Necromancer

    Thread Necromancer Amateur Writer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2015
    Messages:
    637
    Likes Received:
    3,393
    The Skittering Chaos Chapter 1 (Rewrite)

    After some critique was brought forward about my extremely rushed piece The Skittering Chaos (did it in an afternoon) and I gave it some thought, I’ve decided to revise the piece to be more reflective of post golden morning Taylor, especially since I realised after that Taylor knew that the bullets were coming and all she did was make it more convenient for Contessa to kill her. Thank you megamiaouh for the critique and ToxinTurian for the information about Taylor during and after her time in the Wards and any others that have given me information since I wrote this note. While I am going to be keeping Taylor as a moth demon that doesn’t mean that she won’t be mistaken for something else. Look up the Metalmark Moth and you’ll find something interesting. Taylor won’t be a specific species of moth however but more a generalized moth demon. Also I’ve changed the perspective to first person as to make it more like a continuation of the final scene in Worm.

    Inspired by this post: WannaBee (Worm/Hazbin Hotel)

    Feedback is highly appreciated and I try to take it all into account.

    Edit: Broke up some of the larger paragraphs to increase readability.
    Edit 2: I've tried to fix up the tenses so that they are more consistent and to increase readability.

    <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

    I looked away.

    I looked up. My eyes were wet.

    So many stars. The universe so vast.

    We’re s- so very small, in the end.

    The first bullet hit me from behind, where my mask offered no coverage, and I slowly toppled. The second hit me before I could fall, before there could be any pain.

    <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

    I wake up. I’m facedown on some concrete and the first thing I notice is that I can’t feel my bugs. Mentally I search for them but I feel nothing. The second thing I notice as I start to get up, is that I’ve got something light laying over top of me, next, is that I have a pair of arms more than I did before, then finally, that my state of dress, or rather, lack there of. I touch the thing over top of me and realise that I can feel through it, and it jerks around as I grab it. I feel tugging at my back at two points. I flex muscles I didn’t realise I have and I feel the blanket, or rather wings, move. At a glance they look like moth wings, specifically female silk moth wings. My new wings are large, fuzzy, and white. Gingerly, as I get up, I wrap them around me like a poncho using a combination of my hands and flexing my new muscles. At least I'm now somewhat dressed, I look up and take in my surroundings.

    I've woken up on a sidewalk of some not-so-well-off neighbourhood. The buildings all around are either made of some dark red concrete or red brick. None of the buildings in this part of town reach higher than six stories but all were at least two. The windows of all the first and second floors in the neighbourhood are either smashed or boarded up. None of the street lamps are functioning and only about half of the neon signs above the shop fronts glow. All of the shop names are some sort of reference to hell or something evil. Some examples are; Demonic Groceries, 666 Laundromat, The Villain’s Pub, and Satan’s Pawnshop. Judging by the names, the large amount of red, the massive glowing pentagram in the sky, and the fact that not even five minutes ago I had just been double tapped, I am in Hell.

    I give a single note chuckle and smile a little bit. It’s funny how Hell looks a lot like Brockton Bay. Granted, in Brockton there wasn’t nearly as much red or references to Hell and Satan, but when you ignore those, this street could have been any old street in Brockton Bay…

    So... now I’m dead. What now? Everything I’d worked for was either achieved or I’d never finish. I curl my legs in and rest my head on my knees. The mission was over, the world is saved. All it had cost me was my chance to be with my friends again, my sanity, and my life. Obviously it didn’t make up for what I had done before in the eyes of God. That or there wasn’t a God and everyone just ends up here.

    It would make an unfortunate amount of sense. Wasn’t there supposed to be an apocalypse or something in the Bible? Maybe the apocalypse I had been trying to stop was the prophesied biblical doomsday. I remember once when there had been a preacher on the corner of one of the intersections in Brockton with a microphone and a speaker that was always talking. The preacher would talk about the bible, about God, and how it wasn’t too late to save your soul. He had always been annoying to listen to, especially since I was only in middle school when I had first become properly aware of him. The preacher would interrupt the music I would play when Mom would drive me to school on her way to the university. He had said once when revelations or something comes, all who have not accepted God into their hearts will be left behind by God’s light. I guess I’ve been left behind.

    Did that mean that Mom was in Heaven, or was she down here? We had never really attended church, beyond an Easter ceremony and other events like that. Church and religion had never been a central part of our family, especially to me. There was always something else of concern that mattered more than my immortal soul and where it would end up. I know I have sinned, everyone has, but had Mom sinned enough to be sent to Hell? I've done some terrible things in the past. I don’t regret them, not really. It's understandable though that from the perspective of some all knowing and all powerful deity, apparently my actions weren’t justified, considering that some of them I can't even properly justify myself. Why should I have to slave myself to another being's morality though? I accept my actions, I accept that I deserve Hell, and if given a second chance, I'd probably not change enough to get into Heaven.

    Mom though, Mom was a good woman, and a better mother. She had raised me, loved me, and we had been a nice and happy family. While Mom might have associated herself with some radical feminist types, she left the group before it became violent. Mom couldn’t have sinned enough to make it into Hell, unless of course, there was no Heaven and all. Perhaps thats all there is, Hell. Though if there's a Hell then it stood to reason that Heaven should exist, otherwise where did Hell come from? What is one without it’s diametric opposite? Maybe I can ask around? Find out if God and Heaven do indeed exist.

    I sigh heavily. Sitting around wasn't helping my situation, I should get up from this curb. I probably looked strange just sitting here. Just another minute though, then I'll go. I pull one of my four arms up, and note that I no longer have my white complexion; rather it's now a light grey. I feel some of my hair fall forward and luckily it's the same dark colour as before. Despite realising how irrational it is, relief fills me as it's still the same. I go to push my hair out of the way and then realise that I don’t have my glasses anymore, yet I can see fine. Apparently ending up in Hell fixes your vision.

    My perception of my surroundings has been slowly increasing while I examined myself. I can sense things, through something on my head. Consciously, I move whatever is on my head downward so that I can see them. In front of my face, are some massive feathered antennae. They look very much like moth antennae, specifically antennae from the same kind of silkmoths that my wings look like they come from. I move my feathered antennae back up and resume sensing my surroundings. Pedestrians walk down the sidewalks around me and I can sense them through a combination of scent and sound, but it has nothing on my now lost bug senses.

    I get up from my seat on the curb and join the flow of foot traffic. Quickly I find myself getting lost in the crowd. I use the time to explore my new sensory powers that my antennas have given me. They're definitely inferior to my bug senses. When using my bugs, I'd been able to create 3D mental maps of my surroundings just using bugs. That mental map would be a constantly evolving 3D image of the battlefield that I had continuous access to. I could also hear through my bugs and project my voice anywhere within my range.

    With my antennae on the other hand, I can hear out of them as well as smell from them. Both of them are much more sensitive than my regular senses and luckily work in conjunction with them. Drawing on my experience with the massive amount of cape powers I had at my disposal at the end of my life, I’m able to make better sense of my new sensory sensations. With my new senses I’m able to almost pinpoint most people within the crowd by using both the sound that they are making as well as their unique scent in order to get a clearer picture of what was going on around me. Weirdly enough, there's a sort of fuzziness I can't quite figure out that's more powerful closer to people than away from them. It doesn't interfere with my other antennae senses however, so I ignore it for now, I can test that particular sense later.

    As I practice with my senses, I notice that I feel something else as well. I feel that this sensation is more inside me than out, but there's a sort of feeling around me as well. Whatever is around and inside of me feels like the fuzziness that other people have around them. It isn't dissimilar to some of the powers that I had controlled near the end of my life. Some powers came with the sense that there was a well of energy that a cape would draw on to use their power. Not many of them had this going for them however. Most usually found that their power, if it came with a drawback, usually was some kind of cramping of hands, or the power would just stop working. I briefly think of tapping into the energy, seeing what would happen, but I shake my head at the thought. There is a time and place for testing out mysterious power sources; a crowded street is not one of those places.

    So I settle for continuing to walk along with the large, monstrously shaped, crowd. I continue to sense and pick out the various monsters and demons that are walking alongside me. None of them even appear to be human. The size and shapes of all the different monsters and demons varies from as tall as to tower head and shoulders above me, to as tiny as to come up only to my knees. The smells are strange too; some are wholly unpleasant, such as one that smells so strongly of sulphur that I've slowly been navigating away from the source, to the familiar smell of wet dog.

    Smelling that I feel my lips tug into a bitter sweet smile. I’m reminded of Bitch and all her dogs. I feel my heart throb as I remember what I had sacrificed so long ago. Rachel, Lisa, Brian, Alec, Aisha. They had all been my teammates and friends, I had loved them, still love them, and I had abandoned them. I didn’t even say goodbye to them when I left, too scared that they would try and convince me to stay and that they would have managed to succeed. Were I able to go back now, just to that moment, when I was deciding to give myself up, I’d have never have gone. There were more important things in life than needless sacrifice. What had I gained from sacrificing them, and consequently sacrificing my happiness? I had gotten a few new acquaintances that I barely spared the time getting to know, a few bits of Tinker tech and some Wards training. All of which I could have gotten without throwing everything away.

    In the end, it had never been worth it, had it?

    I let my mind wander away from my regrets and just follow the crowd. I sense around myself with my antennae, more for practice than anything else. I start to near a three way intersection when I notice the sound of gunshots and the smell of gunpowder coming fast towards the intersection from the street on my left. I stop walking and turn my head towards the oncoming sounds and smells, then move against the now light crowd towards the corner of a nearby building. Some others in the crowd are starting to perk up as well as I shout out.

    “Gun fight incoming! Left street!” Some monsters and demons hear me as a car comes, gunning it towards the intersection. Some demons and monsters are already running for cover, others are just standing in the open like idiots, pulling out phones and starting to make videos of the car chase. Fucking civilians were the same in every damn world apparently.

    The two vehicle chase has two demons in the lead car, one firing backwards to the pursuing car, meanwhile the pursuer is firing wildly with a submachine gun. Bullets fly from the vehicles hitting all around the street. Windows in dirty parked cars shatter and I see a bystander get hit with a few bullets. I can feel my face twist into an expression of aggravation at the idiot civilians that didn’t have the proper sense to actually move out of the way. I run out of my cover and grab the nearest idiot, pulling him hopefully out of harm's way. It's one of the demon looking guys.

    “Hey the fuck you doing!” the idiotic demon shouts at me as I pull him into cover behind the building corner. The lead vehicle enters into the intersection and tries to turn onto our street but instead skids and flips over, rolling into a store front. My view of the scene is blocked however as the demon guy gets in my face.

    “You bitch! You ruined my shot!” He grabs onto my wing poncho before I use my lower right hand to sucker punch him. While I knock the wind out of him I use my two upper limbs to pull his hands off of my wing poncho then throw him to the ground.

    “Would you rather I let you get shot?” I ask the gasping demon. The demon glares but takes a moment to regain his breath. While had knocked the demon guy out of the way the two people in the car being chased have pulled themselves out of the ruin that once was their car and were wildly shooting towards their pursuer, who himself had exited his own car. The monster looks like a jacked deer man armed with an oversized Tommy gun. He hides in cover behind his car's engine block and exchanges shots with the people he had been chasing.

    “What… the fuck… does it matter?” The demon gasps out at me. The demon watches my face and must see my bafflement. Realisation spreads across his and annoyance soon follows as he face palms.

    “Of course… you’re a fucking newbie. You can’t die in Hell… bug brain. So who cares…? I’ll heal… and then I’d have sold the vid to the news and made cash money. But you fucking ruined the shot!” The demon man seems to have recovered his breath now and was just glaring at me. Slowly as he had been talking I had started to hear more and more gun shots from more than just the original three combatants. I look around the corner and realise that a bunch of people had joined the fray while he had been raging at me. Some of the new combatants are shooting at the original combatants, some are shooting at each other.

    This… is getting too hectic for me, especially since I don't have my bug powers, and unless the demon is lying, no one'll actually die. Discretion would probably be the better choice over valour at the moment, especially since I don’t exactly know what the rules are around here. I quickly retreat from the ongoing gunfight and duck into an alleyway. I sense the demon getting up from his prone position and pull something from his jacket, the smell of gunpowder being expended quickly follows.

    <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

    The alleyways are a twisting mess of corridors and small little open areas. Fire escapes are rusted to all hell, gang signs and graffiti litter the walls of the back alleys, and gangs of large animals are prowling the deepest parts of them. I can hear through my antennae the chittering and yowling of a fight going on between a horde of rats and a gang of cats a few alleys over. In another alley I can hear someone running frantically from a pack of dogs. The fleeing person quickly ducks into a doorway, opens the door, and slams it shut as the dogs reach the door. The dogs let out a howl that even my normal ears can hear. I stop for a moment in the middle of one of the open areas. The place is fairly empty and would be a good enough place to test out this energy I had access to.

    As I walk, I concentrate on the pool of energy that I feel inside myself. Mentally, I command it much like I had my swarm. Pushing at it, pulling at it, and just releasing it. The energy seems to generate wind wherever I direct it. I'm only using a small amount so it does little other than push some dust around. I feel I increase the power to possibly make a stronger gust. So far it hasn’t done more than move a can around but just releasing some of the energy inside of me barely seems to drain my pool of energy, if there isn't a limit to it's output, or the speed of which I release energy perhaps I can make a powerful blast of force with it? A sudden strong gust of wind can topple an unprepared person, and if I'm able to sustain it, I could keep someone knocked down as I get closer and dealt with them.

    I smell a large amount of different scents coming from down an alleyway, like when I was in the first crowd of pedestrians. I turn down it and see someone at the entrance of the alleyway. The person is some sort of scantily clad butterfly woman who is touching up her makeup in a vanity set up in the alleyway. It looks like something that a high school drama class would have for their acting students to freshen up at, lights surround the mirror while the base is just a set of wooden shelves. The butterfly person looks over briefly before turning back to her make up.

    I stop releasing the energy I feel inside of me as I don’t want to disrupt her while she was putting on her makeup. I never bothered with it since before High school but that doesn’t mean I don’t realise that it would probably be hard to put it on while there is wind and dust flying around. As I get closer the butterfly woman seems to finish touching up her makeup, and then I feel the fuzziness around her coalesce into a familiar bit of power. I realise what that fuzzy feeling that others had around them had been. It's very similar to what I feel inside of myself. Unlike when I was just using it to generate wind however, the butterfly person is using it differently.

    The butterfly woman’s wings move inwards and she sticks her hands out towards it. I can feel what the woman is doing to her wings with her own power, and can kind of follow along with what’s happening. I watch as she uses her power to start to transform her wings. They quickly morph into a long pink coat that she adjusts a bit as it settles on her form. She ties a belt around her waist and starts walking towards me. As we near each other, she sneers.

    “Yeah yeah yeah, don’t get your panties in a twist bitch. My shifts over so don’t flare ya fucking magic at me,” before walking past. I look back but she doesn’t even spare me a glance. Magic? Was that what I was feeling what I'd been feeling this entire time? Magic… it leaves a strange taste in my mouth at first, it’s weird to be seriously considering that my powers might be magic. Though my power actually being magic made a fair amount of sense I guess. Demons are supposed to be mythological creatures versed in magic of all kinds. Mephistopheles from Doctor Faust comes to mind as well as the cultural references to deal making devils. I am in Hell after all; it would make sense that I’m now a demon what with my altered appearance. Considering I could follow along with what she was doing with her power and how similar it felt to my own, it could just be magic.

    Approaching the mirror I spare a glance at myself. The person that stares back at me isn’t a complete stranger. My face is generally the same, the same jaw-line, the same expressive lips. My eyes have changed though. They had grown larger than they had been before. They look curious and inquisitive while they take in all the details of my new face. My skin tone has darkened into a light grey, and I obviously have my feathered antennae.

    I flex my wings and unfold them from their poncho like form, and then I focus on my energy… my magic. Remembering what the butterfly person did, I start to manipulate the energy as she had. My moth wings start changing somewhat like the butterfly’s had, morphing from a pair of wings into a long coat. Unlike the butterfly’s coat however, mine is more like a very plush white fur coat. I wrap the fur around myself and just feel the coat on my body, enjoying the pleasant sensation as I ran my hand through it. So soft… The coat, other than being extremely comfortable and fluffy, is also much longer than my previous improvised poncho. Where my poncho was barely decent, this coat is a fair bit longer. The poncho had stopped mid thigh on me, where as the fur coat stops just above my knees. I turn street ward and make my way out of the alleyway.

    The street I enter onto is in somewhat better shape than the street I woken up on. There are more neon lights and they're all over the place; most of them belong to night clubs or other similar things. There's a large crowd of people coming and going as they walk the streets and cars blaze past at speeds that ruffle my coat. I cross my arms over my coat before I once more join the pedestrians.

    My thoughts return to my current situation. The afterlife exists and I am in Hell. Not only that but if I'm in Hell that means that everyone who dies goes to the afterlife, be that Heaven, Hell, or whatever else there might be. Everyone has to die some day. None of my friends have led charmed lives, very much the opposite in fact, same as me, and as far as I know they had never really been religious. So there would be little forgiveness from those who decided where they went, if there was someone deciding at all. So my friends will be dying eventually, and I’ll get to see them when they find their way down here to Hell. Though I hope they don’t end up here too soon. They should have the chance to live full lives up above before they come and join me down here.

    I guess that means I should get ready for them somehow. They will need a place to stay as they get themselves back up on their feet. Though how am I going to do that? I don’t exactly have many job prospects, especially since I never even finished high school. While I am smart, up on Earth that didn’t mean much if you didn’t have the paper proving you graduated. Funny how my job prospects only matter after I've already died. I can see about becoming a mercenary, or I can just become a villain once more. I had been very successful as Skitter, and considering that this is Hell, it probably wouldn’t be hard to find a person that could do with a shake up or a robbery. If you can't die in Hell then I wouldn’t even have to care about keeping them alive. I could just shiv them, take the money and be gone before they healed back up. I had done my fair share of silent take downs before during my times in the Wards, this would hardly be any different.

    Though would that be a good idea? Hell so far had the feel of Brockton Bay for sure but was that true? For all I know I had just been in the back ends of it, and the place overall was a lot less lawless than it appeared. Not just that but would it even be right? I'd be hurting someone who was probably just as desperate as me. Then they would be desperate and probably do the same as what I had just done. Besides, even if they some how deserved it, like being a mass murdering psychopath or a serial rapist, that doesn't make it right.

    I sense a group of three heading straight for me and I move to the side to let them pass, they don’t pass however. They have their full focus on me as three lizard demons slowly surround me. The largest one is to my front and the crowd is quick to scatter as soon as they notice what is going on.

    “Heeeeey baby.” The leader of the gang announces himself in a sleazy sounding voice. The large lizard is dressed up in a leather jacket that has a heart stitched to each of the sleeves. The other two lizards that are surrounding me are smaller than their leader. They both have jackets like their leader, though the one on my left has some lipstick and a pink bow on their head as well.

    “Hows about we step off the street for a while, you and the three of us. We’ll make you scream all night long.” Do they think that I’m a whore?

    “No thank you.” I say outright. The lead lizard however, doesn’t take my refusal with grace. He reaches forward and while I try to move my arms out of the way, they're in an awkward position for moving away and he manages to grab a wrist with ease.

    “I don’t think you understand ho. In case you’re blind, this patch here,” the looming lizard points with his other hand at the heart sewn onto his sleeve. “Means that we’re with Valentino, and since we’re with Valentino, and you're one of Valentino’s girls, that means you can’t say no. Kapeesh?” I begin focusing on my magic, ready to release it at a moment's notice. Knowing about gang land territory was essential in Brockton Bay so I already knew what was going to happen now that I had crossed them and their boss. Either I submit like they want, or I’ll have to beat them down. Despite being outnumbered, I'm confident enough with my close quarters training in the Wards and my practical experience in the field as both a villain and a hero to get me through this. I just have to hope that the leader isn't too high in this “Valentino” person’s organization to incur some kind of wrath upon me.

    “I’m not with Valentino.” As expected, the lead lizard man’s eyes widen for a second. The leader's eyes quickly narrow however, and the lead lizard starts baring his teeth as his smile morphs from a sneer of superiority to a malicious grin. The gang of lizards surrounding me all let out cruel sounding chuckles.

    “You must be a newbie if you’re trying to work in Valentino’s territory without being one of his ho’s. You see bitch, you’re either with Valentino, or you're going to be very soon. Now we’re going to take you to the boss, but first, we’re going to teach you a lesson, a nice long lesson on why you don’t come to other people’s territory and try to muscle in on their business. Mmmkay?” The lizard starts licking his lips in an exaggerated show of his intent. His two companions are giggling in turn; one is even rubbing his hands together in a stereotypical villainous way. I prepare myself to let out my magic power all at once to hopefully blast back the lizard trio, when I notice just behind the lead thug a dirty black van pulls up and a figure gets out.

    I can sense something with my antennae as well. Along with the person that got out there is the fuzzy feeling of magical energy at around shoulder height. Round and hollow, almost like a large tube that he is carrying on his shoulder. I hesitate, and stall my attack. I don't know what this new person's carrying, but when he had jumped out of the truck, it had looked a bit like a rocket launcher. I might have to bide my time for a bit if he's their back up.

    “Oh I can’t wait to get at dat ass!” The one on the right exclaims in a shrill and squeaky voice. I wince a bit at his unfortunate voice.

    “With a mouth that size I bet she’d make a great carpet muncher.” The lizard with the bow growls out in a deep smoker’s voice. These two… have rather unfortunate voices. With the feminine lizard’s comment I’m suddenly struck with how similar a situation this is. I've barely thought of Winslow since… How long had it been? It must have been when Mr. Barnes had accused me of putting Emma in a coma or something ridiculous like that.

    “Hey fuck sticks!” I hear from the person who had gotten out of the van. He's somewhere down the sidewalk behind the lead lizard. “Get a load a this!” There's a shunk, and then suddenly the lead lizard’s head explodes in a shower of gore. Wasting no time, I let out all of my magic at once and the two others fly back from me as if they were at ground zero of an explosion. I hear a grunt from the deep voiced lizard woman as she impacts against the wall, while the other flies out onto the street. As the lead lizard's body falls forward onto me I feel some sort of handle press against me from inside his jacket. I zip down the jacket and pull out from it a large bowie knife. Throwing the headless corpse to the side I stalk towards the lizard woman. She'd impacted against the wall hard and is groaning in pain. I don't know how the lizard man in traffic is doing so I have to end this quickly. Luckily, if that demon hadn’t lied, I can just slit her throat rather than have to resort to slicing up her limbs.

    I grab onto the lizard woman’s head, push it roughly back into the wall, and then slam the knife straight into the woman’s throat. There is a squelch and my knife stops as soon as it hits bone. I pull at my new knife and it comes out with a bit of resistance as it unsticks itself from the lizard woman. I'd probably gotten a decent bit into the spine. I turn towards the lizard that had been thrown into the street, planning on taking him out too but the van that had dropped off my mysterious ally slams into the lizard, sending him flying a few yards. With my antennae I can hear his wet gurgles as his rib cage has probably collapsed into his lungs from the vehicular assault. I swap focus from the now incapacitated enemy to instead focus on the man who had helped me.

    The man at first glance looks like a massive cockroach. His hair is shaped like a cockroach’s shell, and he has two large antennae, slicked back to follow along his hair. He wears a bandanna mask that only covers the top of his face, leaving the rest of it uncovered, displaying a brown skinned and stubble adorned chin. Other than that he simply wears a dirty white muscle shirt and some jeans. The man hefts what looks like some sort of home made rocket launcher on his shoulder, though instead of rockets, it looks like it had some sort of tube filled with baseballs that let gravity drop the balls into the firing chamber. The magic I had felt shrouds the front of the rocket launcher and the handle looks to be more like a lever, probably to push the baseballs into the magical field. The use of magic power, or at least the end result, is fairly familiar looking. The entire front of the lethal baseball launcher glows a soft blue. I file that away as simply a coincidence.

    “Wooooo! Holy mother fucking shit, god damn bitch, they bled all over yo ho ass. God damn, and that shit with the knife. Fuckin’ brutal! Hahaha! Anyways, come on girl, we need ta get outta here before more of them Valentino boys get here, ya dig?” The masked bug man shouts with a wide smile on his face, his adrenaline high likely contributing to his excitement. The door to the van is still open and the bug man runs over and hops in the back.

    While I'm walking over to the van I notice that on the side of the van there was some graffiti spray painted in the shape of an M with two horizontal lines striking through it. I stare at it while I make my way to the passenger’s door of the vehicle. I definitely know that symbol. The Merchants, especially after Leviathan, had become a major powerhouse in Brockton Bay for a short period until the SlaughterHouse Nine had shown up in the city. It's becoming increasingly obvious who had saved me at this point.

    As I get into the passenger side of the van, any doubt that I might have had, would have been washed away. The driver is extremely familiar looking, and among the three of us, probably looked the most like how she had before she ended up in Hell. She even dressed the same. Squealer, the buxom white trash vehicle tinker that was one of the only reasons the Merchants were even a player in Brockton Bay before Leviathan. Just like in life, she wears a dirty white tank top and tiny jean booty shorts. The only thing different that I can see is that her mouth stays in an ‘O’ even now, she also looked a lot healthier, and wasn’t wearing her Squealer mask.

    “Come on woman! Drive!” The man that is likely Skidmark shouts at Squealer.

    “I know Skiddy!” Squealer shouts back before her foot comes down hard on the gas. Squealer's mouth moves from it's 'O' as she speaks before returning back to it's more comfortable 'O' position. There’s the squeal of tires as the van tries to get traction and I instinctively grab a hand hold before we shoot off, despite that, I’m nearly thrown from my seat as Squealer drives over the lizard man she had hit before.

    “Woooo! Damn that was some good shit. You doin’ alright moth ho?” I ignore his foul language and derogatory name calling. Instead I focus on why I'm suddenly being saved by the Merchants of all things.

    “I’m doing alright all things considered. So why did you help me?” Looking back at him, I see Skidmark’s grin get even larger.

    “Well ya see, when I first saw ya, ya looked like a ho in trouble, but this is Valentino’s territory so we were about to drive on by. Rules of the place ya know? But then I saw that you ain’t even got shoes on. Who the hell walks around Hell with no god damn shoes on I wondered, then it hit me. You were a newbie! You probably hadn’t even woken up a damn hour before you fucked up. So I was like sheeeit.”

    ”She don’t want a play by play Skiddy, she wants to know why you saved her.” Squealer helpfully informs her boyfriend.

    “Hold ya god damn horses Sherrel, I was gettin’ there. Anyways, so what I’m saying is I knew you were new so I wanted ta help ya out. I scratch your back you scratch mine down the line, ya dig? Plus I was paying back an old dept. Ya see some old timer helped me out when I was new too, helped me find mah girl again, so I thought I’d do the same. Ya know, in his memory and all that sheit.” I hear Squealer mutter under her breath;

    “Fucking angel fucks” but she doesn't elaborate. She probably meant it more for herself than for me. I’d have to ask her what she means about that later.

    “I think I understand. So where are we going?”

    “We’re heading back to our shop a couple of streets over. We’ll let ya hang for a bit an’ you can decide if ya wanna stay or go. I’ll let Sherrel tell ya about the rest, I gotta make sure we ain’t bein’ followed.” With that Skidmark pulls his head from the front and starts making his way to the back, peering out of a back window of the van.

    “Yeah, like Skiddy said we’re heading back to the chop shop we got. I get some money from repairing vehicles and Skiddy’s got a drug operation in the back.” It seems like dying hadn’t been the end of the Merchants and their drug running operation.

    “Starting up the Merchants again?” I ask. Squealer… Sherrel does a double take towards me. I grip onto the handhold even tighter as Sherrel looks away from the road, but Sherrel doesn’t list to the right even a little. Her eyes return to the road before she starts talking.

    “Wait, you’re from Brockton? Holy shit haha. That was some crazy shit that happened there, right?” Sherrel’s face is alight with excitement as she realises where I'm from. I had seen it sometimes when I came across people from Brockton, more specifically those I had positively affected in one way or another during my time there. Those I had hurt during my Warlord days weren’t too excited to see me however.

    “Yeah, I was kind of in the middle of all that.” I say. Sherrel starts looking contemplative as I say that. She looks over at me once more, looks at my hair and antennae before looking back at the road.

    “I thought you looked familiar. You're bug girl ain’tcha? What was your cape name… uh, Skitter?”

    “That’s right.”

    “I never thought I’d meet another cape from Brockton. Hey Skiddy! This girl was bug girl, you know, from the Undersiders?”

    “Wait shit, really!?” Skidmark’s voice comes from the back and he pokes his head upfront again.

    “Damn girl I heard you took over Brockton ‘n’ sheit.” Skidmark is still grinning ear to ear. I note that like Squealer he's looking much better, and his teeth are fixed. “Well sheit, welcome to Hell, took ya long enough!”
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2020
  2. Threadmarks: Chapter 2
    Thread Necromancer

    Thread Necromancer Amateur Writer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2015
    Messages:
    637
    Likes Received:
    3,393
    The Skittering Chaos Chapter 2

    Taylor the Moth Demon has found herself in the presence of the demon Merchants and starts planning on how to use them to improve her and the situation of her friends when they arrive.

    I don’t very much like this chapter as much. It was hard to hammer out and it didn’t cover as much ground as I wanted to. Still, I feel it is necessary as a sort of introduction chapter into what is essentially the rest of the Arc. I’m now planning this story in arcs for now and will see how this goes for it.

    As always, any feedback, criticism too, is highly appreciated and will be taken into account.

    Edit: Broke up some of the larger paragraphs to improve readability.

    Edit 2: Went in and fixed some of the tenses to improve readability.

    <><><><><><><><><><><><><>

    Squealer, or rather Sherrel, is just as mad a driver as she was in life, and unfortunately, so is everyone else. Vehicles are zipping past at insane speeds, with my antennae I can hear car crashes happening and the screeching of tires as Sherrel rounds corners and speeds up down free ways. Three times in the last ten minutes we nearly hit some pedestrians and I don’t even want to think about how many times we nearly got into car crashes. I hold onto the hand hold I have on the van door and I can feel my eyelids trying to open even wider as we continue through traffic.

    “So what ya think of Hell bug girl?” Skidmark asks from the back. Somehow he can still stand despite all the twists and turns that the van is making.

    “It's… hectic.” I say, remembering the chaos that had followed just moments after I had woken up. Hearing with my enhanced senses, I can pick out similar sounds around the city, we would pass an alleyway and there would be gunshot sounds, we drove straight through two active shoot outs just getting away from our little fight, hell I can hear a few explosions going off somewhere in the city. It reminds me of Brockton Bay back when Bakuda was on the loose and the E88 were rampaging because their identities had been leaked.

    “Damn right it is. Like this all the time since just a few days ago. Everyone’s on a damn hair trigger, especially with all the newbies around making a fuss ‘n’ sheit. Wannabe heroes going ‘round trying to stop shit and then getting themselves shot. Then they go off to crack the skulls of the guys that shot ‘em and they start fucking each other up, then other fuckers get involved in sheit.” Skidmark looks contemplative for a moment. “Lota fuckers that showed up were heroes ‘n’ sheit. Got some bullshit ideas on how to handle stuff. Bunch a bull if ya ask me. All them heroes are a bunch a fuckin’ raiders.”

    “If “newbies” are such a problem, then why’d you help me? You said that someone helped you before, but from the sounds of it, these newbies are either different, or are just usually too much of a hassle to help.”

    “Nah, sheit. Lemme try again. Ya see, most of tha newbies these past few days are fine an sheit. It’s just there's a few of the different newbie fuckers, I think mosta them used to be capes ‘n’ sheit, learned how ta use magic ‘n’ sheit too quickly ‘n’ stuff. Kinda like you, only you ain’t tryna start shit, just sorta happened. Anyways, so the cape newbies start a bunch a shit, stir the pot ‘n’ stuff, and the little bitsa peace that are around in the city, fuckin’ crumble into a massive fuckin’ pilea bullshit as gangs start fuckin’ fightin’ each other ‘cause one thought the other was startin’ sheit or someone accidentally shot a fuck and all this fucking bullshit.” Skidmark sighs in frustration, and I think I sort of get it.

    “I hope none of those fuckers mess with any of the water or electricity.” Sherrel says offhandedly, focusing intently on the road, which I’m glad for.

    “I bet you some fucker does, probably try to hold it ransom and or some sheit, then Lucy’s kids’ll come out and fuck ‘em.”

    “How bad would that be?” Knowing who not to piss off would be a good idea, as well as what to expect just in case I manage to.

    “Bad as hell, unlike dear ol’ pappy Lucy ‘n’ Lilith, they don’t got their own personal power grid ‘n’ sheit. Mosta them are like minor royality ‘n’ sheit so they got a lot, though not all of ‘em got the money, power, or brains to actually get their own power grid for their place and their own water. So if someone fucks with it, then they get pissed and try ta kick whoever’s stupid enough to do that. And depending on the kid, the entire fuckin’ place gets fuckin’ levelled ‘n’ then people gotta deal with a pissed off demon prince. Not as bad as pissing off an Overlord though.” I'm about to ask who the Overlords were when Sherrel calls out “We’re here,” and I look over to see what she's talking about.

    The van slows down and pulls into a driveway in front of a warehouse. There's a white banner over a pair of large double doors that has MERCHANTS spray painted onto it with the M being stylized into the Merchant’s gang symbol. It reminds me of the warehouse that the loft was in back when the Undersiders were still small time crooks rather than city conquering Warlords. I never stayed long in the loft before everything went to crap, but it still felt like a home. Maybe it was because of how welcoming it had been, aside from first meeting Bitch, compared to my house, Dad’s house. While I still slept in the house, it had felt like it was haunted, and only eased on the haunting when Dad had started being able to properly function as a person rather than as just an automaton.

    Maybe it would have been better if the Undersiders were just small time crooks, and didn’t have a backer… though then I’d might have just spilled the beans on the Undersiders early, and I’d have never made any friends. I’d just be an outcast as I joined with the Brockton Bay wards and would find out that Sofia was a hero. Considering what I knew of the PRT and Protectorate, they’d probably have not only kept her on as a hero, but we’d be forced to work together despite any of my complaints about her. Add in the situation in Brockton Bay, Director Piggot would have probably tried to get as many of the Undersiders under her belt as possible.

    Having not only one of my bullies but also at least some of the Undersiders on the team, constantly ostracizing me, it would have been hell, and would have probably pushed me to ending my hero career, one way or another. Though if Tattletale was there, I’d probably have just ended up being convinced to become a villain. I sigh heavily as we drive into the warehouse’s driveway. My hero career was always doomed wasn’t it. Either leading to living a miserable life as one or being pushed to become a villain, my early hero career never stood a chance. By the warehouse doors, two demons were opening one of the double doors. Sherrel notices my sigh however and she looks over.

    “Something on your mind, Buggy?” I look over to Sherrel, a bit incredulous at her attempt at giving me a nickname. It was worse than just being called Bug at the start of my villain career, not that I care too much, but still. It sounds cutesy, or condescending.

    “What, no? Fine then, how about Skitty?” I continue to look incredulous at her but she's quickly distracted as Skidmark takes this as his opportunity to join us in the front.

    “Someone say my name?”

    “Nah I was just trying to think up a nickname for Skitter here, so I thought up Skitty.”

    “Ha nice, I like it. So welcome to our lil’ home in Hell, I gotta go check on somethin’ so I’ll let Sherrel show ya around.” With that Skidmark retreats into the back of the van before hopping out of the slow moving vehicle and starts walking into the garage.

    As Sherrel drives into the warehouse I note that the demons, one looking like some sort of feminine mouse while the other is some diminutive looking imp demon, were both in their small clothes and both were covered in white powder.

    Despite the obvious signs of drug production being plain to see on both of the demons, the only thing I can see are piles of mechanical and vehicle parts all over the garage, the piles of junk leaves only two spots open for vehicles to park at. Skidmark's calling to his gang members as he makes his way over to a door in the garage that likely leads to the rest of the warehouse, and the imp demon follows him. The mouse demon stays behind however and has lit up some sort of joint while I was paying attention to Skidmark. From the smell of it, it's some sort of weed. It smells stronger than the usual stuff as well as has a bit of a tinge of something else in it. As we get out of the van she waves at Sherrel while her bunt is in the other hand. We both get out of the van and I head over to Sherrel’s side of the vehicle.

    “Hey boss lady! Who’s ah, who’s your bloody friend.” I look down at myself and realise just how much blood is on me. I had felt it splatter across me when the lizard man's head exploded but I hadn’t checked how much had actually landed on me, too busy taking in the sights and sounds of “Pentagram City” and talking with the two Merchants.

    “This little lady here is Skitty, or Skitter. Skitty, this is Mimi.” Sherrel makes to wrap her arm around me but seems to think better of it about half way through, I'm still covered in blood after all. The mouse demon’s eyes went wide as Sherrel mentions my villainous cape name.

    “Wait, you mean, Skitter, as in the Warlord of Brockton Bay Skitter, that Skitter?”

    “Yup.” The mouse is looking me up and down now as she takes me in. Despite my coat I'm still feeling a bit self conscious about my state of dress and try to pull my coat a bit tighter around myself.

    “You know, I know you were creepy, but I didn’t think that under the mask you were that weird kind of creepy that could be cute.” What? “I mean your creepy as shit right now don’t get me wrong, but if we cleaned the blood off, you’d be kind of cute.” When was the last time someone had called me cute? I… can’t even remember. The suggestion that I'm cute catches me off guard, and I don't know what to say.

    “I’m not crazy, right boss?” Sherrel takes a good long look at me, probably trying to see past the blood that was covering me, before nodding. Did Sherrel think I was cute now too?

    “Yeah, I can see it. She’s got that innocent look with those big eyes going for her.”

    “Maybe if we got her into a cute lil’ cocktail dress, she could rock those legs.” I… this is getting uncomfortable. I hadn’t thought of Emma in years, and now the moment I’m in hell I’ve been reminded of her twice now. At least this time it was more light hearted teasing instead of the mean spirited bullying it had been in Winslow. I walk back to my side of the van, leaving the two to talk. Opening the door I grab my bowie knife. The knife's still a bit bloody. I walk back and Sherrel and Mimi are still discussing clothing to fit me into.

    “Maybe we could fit her into a cute lil' onesie~”

    “Ehem.” I interrupt them before they could go on. I can already feel some of the blood crusting up and clotting on my coat. I’d rather not let that stuff harden on my coat, or rather wings. Blood stains were hard enough to get out of white furs, I don't need it ruining my coat, though, maybe they would wash off easier if they were my wings?

    “Do you have a place I could wash off?” Mimi’s eyes are wide and she quiets right down, though I could hear her breathing. It quickened and Mimi takes a step back. Have I done something?

    “Oh yeah, sure. There’s a shower inside, I’ll show ya.” Sherrel says before walking towards the warehouse. I make to follow and Mimi calls out as I walk past.

    “Nice, ah, nice meeting you Skitty,” Despite how the conversation had reminded me of Winslow, it wasn’t the worst thing. They hadn’t really been trying to bring up memories of Winslow so I wouldn’t hold it against either of them.

    “You too,” I call back and hurry to catch up with Sherrel.

    The inside of the warehouse is something of an organized mess. Machinery is pushed up against the walls in favour of chemistry stations and potted weed plants with tubes drip feeding some kind of fluid to them. There's a little packaging area, and a few bricks of packaged powder alongside some baggies of leaves. Off in one corner, a spiral staircase leads to the upper floors and…

    “Is that a tank?” I ask, disbelief clear in my voice. It's a tiny little thing but it's still clearly some sort of tank, or armoured vehicle. The turret to it is sitting off to the side, having either not been attached or it had been sheared off.

    “Oh yeah that thing. Found it here with the rest of the junk. I was going to see about repairing it but the internals were blown to shit, so I was going to see about adding it to the top of the van after I armoured it and made it more stable.” I had seen something like that in videos I had watched of African warlords in active war zones. The ones that had less resources than the others would convert vans, trucks and other things into technicals and use whatever they could salvage from enemies to improve their forces. Considering the appearance of general anarchy on the streets of Pentagram City it makes sense that some of the more enterprising individuals would try to Mad Max their vehicles. Hell, Sherrel when she was alive had already been doing that with her vehicles, coming up with crazy vehicular death machines that the Protectorate, though usually other gangs, had to deal with all the time in cape fights with the Merchants.

    “Do you still have your power then?” I ask while Sherrel is admiring the inoperable tank.

    “Hmm? Nah, I just remember some of the more basic things, like maintenance on some of my simpler creations, granted I was something of a grease monkey before I got all fucked in the head and shit. I lost all that tinker shit when I died though. You did too right? I didn’t see any bugs flying around and when you blew those guys back.”

    “No, I don’t have my bug powers anymore. I just feel this energy inside of me that I can use. I used it to turn my wings into this coat, and I used a lot of it to blast those thugs back.”

    “Huh, transformation magic? I haven’t really heard a lot about it.” Sherrel turns towards the stairs and I follow behind her. “All I know is that some older people around here have figured it out. Mostly those who died before all this cape shit started happening. Actually most of us newer people haven’t even figured out magic yet. Like I can’t do shit with it or even feel it really, Skiddy only knows how to make his glowy areas and stuff because it’s, as he says, ‘vaguely the same,’ but other than that most people who weren’t capes or weren’t blasters and such need to be shown how to use it and such.” So it isn't just some universal thing that people can use, or maybe it's because of my advanced senses from my antennae. They seem to be finely attuned to magic since I could actually understand what the butterfly person was doing back in the alleyway. Maybe if this was all magic, I can copy Skidmark’s way of using his powers, or even other’s magical techniques?

    We climb up the stairs and enter into the loft of the warehouse. For a second I’m seeing the Undersider’s loft, but as we keep ascending I see more of the room and the false image of the loft disappears. I… Did I really miss the Undersiders that much? Granted, truth be told, despite it being the apocalypse, I think the last time I really could say that I enjoyed myself was while we were trying to fight Zion. Just during the down time, when I could sit with my old team. I think that over the past two years or so, I hadn’t smiled, really smiled and meant it until I got to see my friends again.

    Speaking of friends, Alec’s probably here. Somewhere in Hell. I could find him. I smile a real smile now. Despite how he was crass, rude, seemingly uncaring, and did his best to be annoying, he had endeared himself to me. Everyone on the initial Undersiders team had. They were my friends, and I would be able to see one now that I thought I would never get to see again. I’d have to find him. Though Hell is a big place, and I didn’t know where to look. Not only that, but maybe time between death affected where you showed up in Hell, or even if it didn’t, Alec's out there somewhere, probably having established himself, or more likely gotten himself in trouble or even just found a place to crash for a while. If Squealer and Skidmark could find each other, why shouldn’t I try to find Alec?

    My thoughts are interrupted by the sound of a baby crying in another room, and Skidmark comes walking through holding onto a small babe. The baby is red skinned and it has two bumps coming out of its forehead right above the eyes.

    “Sherrel, his horns are growing again. Would you be able to...” He says as he holds out the baby for Sherrel, who quickly takes him and starts shushing him.

    “Shhh shhh shhh, it’s alright, it’s alright Marky. Mommy’s here, mommy’s here. Don’t worry, it’ll be over soon.” The baby doesn't stop however and Sherrel starts making her way into another room. She has her free hand on her shirt’s strap so I could guess how she was planning on calming him down. It takes me a moment to process what I had just seen however. Skidmark and Squealer had had a baby. The implications. We're in Hell, yet these two had managed to either have or find a baby here. Wasn’t there supposed to be some sort of rule that only people who deserved Hell got sent down when they died? Though if only baptised babes got let into Heaven, did that mean that all un-baptised babes went to Hell? Or was Hell the only option.

    “He’s a lil’ hellion ain’t he?” Skidmark retorts. “Only ‘bout six months old ‘n’ sheit. We never exactly wanted kids, an’ we always had enough cash ta get Sherrel an abortion back up top, but down here? Shit ain’t work too well. Ya need some very expensive equipment and ya always run the risk of getting seriously hurt.” If you couldn’t die in Hell, that implied that the same could be said of baby’s conceived here.

    “Thing is we never woulda had the cash to do anything about it, plus I didn’t want ta loose Sherrel, not after findin’ her again. So we had ‘im. Not that I’m complaining. Really kinda put a bit ah perspective on life ‘n’ sheit.”

    “So you got your act together and made something of yourself?” I ask. Truth be told I had heard a story like this once or twice when I was going over reports back when I was in the Wards. A villain would have a baby and sometimes decided to try to end their villainous ways and join up with the Protectorate. Of the few times that they tried to join up, half the time they got shackled and hauled off to jail, their child disappearing into the government system. Usually the child re-emerged as a cape some years down the line, usually as a villain. Or the villainous parent got accepted into the Protectorate open arms because they had managed to gain some sympathy with one or more members of their local Hero scene. Generally the less the PRT was involved the more often these cases were successful at rebranding themselves. Granted that was the same with most capes.

    Thinking back, I was rather lucky that Dragon and Defiant had been there at the base. Had it not been for them, after I had killed Alexandria and Tagg, I probably would have been on a one way ticket to the Birdcage, or escaped. Though with Miss Militia there I would have just as likely been gunned down during my escape than live another day. I hadn’t exactly endeared myself to any of the Heroes there.

    “Yeah, somethin’ like that. Didn’t have any of this shit even a year ago, was still trying to get a hold of enough moolah to get our shit together when we realised she was preggers. Had a god damn panic attack ‘n’ sheit. Then I hit the ground runnin’. I knew how to do a bitta magic ‘n’ sheit so I worked protection, I ran courier jobs, hell I did dry cleanin’ ‘n’ sheit. Anything ta get me some cash, then one day I came across this old ass place. A fucking abandoned tank chop shop or something. I’m sure you seen that fuckin’ thing down there yeah? Fuckin’ crazy what shit people in Hell get up to.”

    “What happened to the original owners?”

    “Like hell if I know, probably got purged or some sheit. Anywho, you said ya needed ta wash off yeah?”

    “Yes, I’d rather not let it get too crusty. I’ve had that happen once. Not fun to scrub off.”

    “Yeah, crusty shit ain’t never fun to scrape off ‘n’ sheit. Shower’s just through that door, shitter too if ya need it. Don’t take too long though, Lucy’s hot water don’t come cheap!” With that, he walks off towards where Sherrel had disappeared with baby Mark. Following Skidmark’s directions, I head over to the bathroom to wash the blood off myself.

    It didn’t take too long to wash off all the gunk that had accumulated on me. When I performed the reverse of my wing transformation, most of the blood got displaced and quickly fell down the drain. The rest of the blood I scrub off before going through my regular shower routine. It was an extremely quick one, much quicker than the one I had when I was still living in Brockton Bay. I had developed it while in prison; we were only given a very short amount of time to shower so we had to make the most of it. Add in my own body consciousness, I generally was one of the first ones out of the shower. I continued the routine while in the Wards as well. The female Wards had this habit of getting into conversations while in the showers together after a patrol, and I had better things to do than make inane chit chat.

    There was always more training to do, more information to gather, more ways of thinking on how to stay effective as a fighter even with the latest mandate by PR. Perhaps it would have benefited morale if I had stayed and made conversation, but that was what Tecton was for. He was the team leader that kept everyone together, while I was the tactical leader. I took care of the Ward’s safety while in the field, and he took care of them outside of it. It had worked. Granted I had pushed them hard, but they needed to be pushed hard, and without my training, many more of them probably would have died. Though… I could have been nicer about it, or tried to use more of a carrot and stick approach to training rather than just the stick. I hear someone open the door briefly with my antennae before they shove something inside of the bathroom and close the door.

    I sigh, it wasn’t as if I would be seeing them, the Chicago team, again, and I had already apologized to them. I had done my job and they had done theirs, or tried to. I turn off the shower and look at the thing that had been shoved inside. A set of clothes were there; a plain white shirt and panties, some very long mismatched striped socks, and jean booty shorts. I stare unimpressed at what was probably Sherrel’s spare attire. Grumbling a bit I start to put on the clothing.

    Funny enough the booty shorts and panties fit fine. The long socks reach nearly all the way up to the booty shorts but stop just a few inches below them. The shirt however, I look down at the oversized shirt which reached just above my knees. It was less of a shirt and more of a dress. At least it was both clean and long enough to cover up the rather skimpy other things the two Merchants had left out for me.

    As I exit the bathroom, both of the Merchants and their baby are there in the living room, and both of them look towards the bathroom door as I get out.

    “Hey Skitty, sorry ‘bout the shirt, we don’t exactly have any other kinds what with spending it all on either Marky here or on the operation downstairs.” Sherrel says while bouncing her little demon baby on her lap as he gurgles happily. I smile a bit at the sight, my annoyance with the skimpy jean shorts abated for the moment, though I would have to get a hold of some different clothing. If there's a clothing store nearby, I can probably pick up some jeans and a hoodie.

    “It don’t look like a problem ta me. Oh by the way, I’m Adam, since ya new, ya probably gonna ta be staying with us a bit while ya get on ya feet. An’ if ya staying with us ya might as well know our names ‘n’ sheeee~ uh… stuff'' I notice Sherrel firing off a death glare at Skidmark as he began swearing, while Skidmark... Adam’s eyes had widened. She hadn’t minded when he swore in the van, so maybe no swearing around the baby? I’ll have to remember that.

    In regards to the names, should I give them it? Cape culture always had an aversion to giving out real names and such, even in the Wards. Half the reason people even knew my name is because it was packaged right alongside our cape names in the Wards. I would have probably been fine with just going by Weaver the entire time there. In fact, most of the time, I did.

    They had shared their names with me however. Did they just not care anymore? True, no one could die, but what if I ever found some other way to cause them hell? But then, what could I do? Attack their operation? Expose their names to the public in hopes that some vigilante came around and attacked them? Even if I wanted to, they were already proudly displaying that they used to be the Merchant gang from Brockton Bay, and attacking their stuff didn’t really require a name, just a place. So really, what did it matter if I had their names, or if they had mine? We were all in Hell together. Not just that but they had come and helped me out when I was in a tricky situation. When was the last time someone had come and helped me out in a tricky situation when it wasn’t a part of their job or benefited them in some way? The only people I can think of are the Undersiders.

    “Taylor,” I finally say before I over-thought things. We had each other's names now, for how little that mattered. It was like when I had discovered Sofia was Shadow Stalker after Leviathan, only without all the heavy baggage and bullshit that came with that discovery.

    “Aw man, I could have nicknamed you Taytay.” Sherrel pouts as she hugs her baby close.

    “Ehh… I like Skitty bettah, It’s like Skiddy, and I think it’s a better Merchant name.” Adam shifts from his laid back position to leaning forwards and towards me. ”Alright, so here’s the deal, we’ll help ya for a few days or so, but if ya wanna stay here ‘n’… stuff… ya gotta pitch in ‘n’… yeah, you get it.” Pitch in. From the sounds of it I was getting invited to join the Merchants. I almost wanted to say no on principle. Despite my long time away from Brockton Bay, I was still a Brocktonite. While not everyone had heard of the Merchants, many had heard stories of them and what they would do. Some would sell you tainted product, others would sell you stronger stuff than what they said to get you hooked fast, there were even stories of people being held down and forced to be injected with drugs to get them addicted. That last one however was fairly iffy and usually was able to be thoroughly debunked, usually.

    Still, working with the Merchants… considering this is Hell, and that they operated with impunity, probably meant that drugs were legal here, or at least, it wasn’t very well enforced. Granted I didn’t expect drugs to be illegal in Hell, Hell being Hell after all. I still had a few days to think it over though. I didn’t have to go in half cocked and unprepared like I had when trying to join the Wards, and admittedly, the Undersiders. I have time to find out what exactly was going on in Hell, some basic information, and even possibly find some alternatives to the Merchants. Maybe even find Alec and see whether it would be better to room with him.

    Though if Alec didn’t have much, and I wanted to get ready for when the rest of the Undersiders finally arrived, I would need resources so that I can support them as they orientated themselves, kind of like what the Merchants are doing for me now.

    “How long do I have to decide?” I ask. Sherrel was contemplative for a moment while Adam rubbs his stubbly chin.

    “Hmm, I’d say about two days after today. After that, if ya decide to stay, then you’ll be a part of the Merchants, otherwise, we’ll say our goodbyes and be on our merry ways.” So I had two days to decide. That sounded reasonable, especially considering that they were hosting not only a stranger, but also a villain and apparent warlord. Honestly it was extremely generous when you took the last two things into account.

    “That sounds more than fair.” It'll give me plenty of time to grill Adam, Sherrel, or the others about how the Merchants operate, what they're like, as well as the general gist of what's going on around Hell. I might even find Alec. This time I won’t just jump into something without looking first. I’ve learned since then.

    “Well alright then, we can find out what you can do to help out around here tomorrow. See if you wanna to join us ‘n’ be a Merchant.”
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2020
  3. VisV

    VisV Pool Lesbian has the right of it.

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2018
    Messages:
    2,178
    Likes Received:
    10,506
    Yes!

    this is good!

    I like the weirdly wholesome thing you've got with the dead merchants.

    I can't think of any criticisms right now, too tired to even try and find grammar stuff.

    But I'll definitely be rereading tomorrow, So i'll be sure to be on the lookout.

    Also i like taylor already thinking about how to conquer her own little slice of hell!
     
    hillo315, Illariai, Catter and 2 others like this.
  4. Thread Necromancer

    Thread Necromancer Amateur Writer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2015
    Messages:
    637
    Likes Received:
    3,393
    They way I see it, Taylor's became something of a problem solver during her cape career. She can identify the problem and works towards solving it. How do you stop anarchy in the streets? By calling in overwhelming government force, and if there is no government, then conquer, and make things better yourself. This was part of why Taylor maintained her territory after the goal of saving Dinah was achieved. Brockton Bay was still a shit hole and the government still hadn't fixed up even most of the city and she could do some good by maintaining her territory and helping her people.
     
    hillo315, Rikallyn, Ngamer11 and 11 others like this.
  5. Biigoh

    Biigoh Tanuki Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2013
    Messages:
    21,696
    Likes Received:
    67,051
    /me gives a like and follows~
     
  6. macdjord

    macdjord Well worn.

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    6,303
    Likes Received:
    13,633
    I'm loving this idea, but please decide whether you're writing in past or present tense and stick with it.
     
  7. Oddboy

    Oddboy Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2015
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    992
    Aaaand watched.

    It's kind of funny how going to hell has made Skidmark and Squealer better or at least more pleasant-to-deal-with people than they were before, but I like it.
     
  8. ElegiacCrown

    ElegiacCrown Neither grandly nor intoxicatingly innocent.

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2019
    Messages:
    1,196
    Likes Received:
    6,044
    I am loving this idea and am looking forward to the next update.
     
  9. TMTMTM

    TMTMTM Directed by Dick Wolf

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2017
    Messages:
    621
    Likes Received:
    4,028
    I really like this so far and am pretty jazzed that someone else is doing this crossover. Ravens' was fun, but honestly had no real substance much like pretty much all of his post OW crossover work.
     
    hillo315, Catter, VisV and 1 other person like this.
  10. Thread Necromancer

    Thread Necromancer Amateur Writer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2015
    Messages:
    637
    Likes Received:
    3,393
    I'm glad your enjoying it. I made this as sort of my own interpretation of how Taylor would interact with hell as well as a Taylor that was more in character than Raven's Taylor. Part of the reason I didn't just continue the Omake that started this all is because I didn't want to try to stay loyal to Ravens Taylor-in-name-only and was mildly annoyed at a few of them saying that Taylor was out of character from the fic Taylor.
     
  11. Knightfall

    Knightfall Nui Harime lover, Loyal Slaaneshi. Cynic

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2016
    Messages:
    6,014
    Likes Received:
    19,220
    I can't wait until Taylor tells every cape in Hell what she did.
     
    hillo315 and Thread Necromancer like this.
  12. ElegiacCrown

    ElegiacCrown Neither grandly nor intoxicatingly innocent.

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2019
    Messages:
    1,196
    Likes Received:
    6,044
    A lotta capes died in Gold Morning, even after Khepri took over. The story is bound to get out as people learn that Skitter is in Hell.
     
    hillo315, Chadster, doomlord9 and 5 others like this.
  13. Knightfall

    Knightfall Nui Harime lover, Loyal Slaaneshi. Cynic

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2016
    Messages:
    6,014
    Likes Received:
    19,220
    And they all shit themselves in fear and panic.
     
  14. Thread Necromancer

    Thread Necromancer Amateur Writer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2015
    Messages:
    637
    Likes Received:
    3,393
    Or they try to gang up on her... Or join her...
     
  15. Knightfall

    Knightfall Nui Harime lover, Loyal Slaaneshi. Cynic

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2016
    Messages:
    6,014
    Likes Received:
    19,220
    Probably join her after she beats the crap out of the strongest ones.
     
  16. goddess15

    goddess15 Getting sticky.

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2017
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    174
    i hope there is lewds but i love plot before lewds so i can wait hers hoping that taytay is bisexual
     
  17. Thread Necromancer

    Thread Necromancer Amateur Writer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2015
    Messages:
    637
    Likes Received:
    3,393
    At the moment because I also want to post this on Spacebattles there are not likely to be any planned lewds at the moment. That might change later however.
     
    hillo315, macdjord, VisV and 5 others like this.
  18. IsaacTheAutobot1229

    IsaacTheAutobot1229 Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2018
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    424
    I will find you, and when I do I will shake your hand. I am loving how this is going and I can't wait to see what you will do next. The fact that the Merchants found her and can be considered relatively decent was a heck of a surprise that turned out sweet.
     
    hillo315 and Thread Necromancer like this.
  19. Thread Necromancer

    Thread Necromancer Amateur Writer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2015
    Messages:
    637
    Likes Received:
    3,393
    I've always kind of looked at the Merchants with pity since I first was shown how they were in Worm. We never get much characterization about Squealer within the story and Skidmark is similarly missing in who he is in the past. They are relatively blank slates that I think could have done well with a kind of restart. Way I see it, the Merchants kind of know that what they were doing were ruining their bodies and lives, it's just addiction is a hard thing to stop when your hooked, add in that their lives are super stressful what with being capes in a weak gang, drugs seem like a good place to drown your sorrows and stress in. As I see it, when given a new demonic body, they may still have the intellectual craving for their brand of drug, but no actual physical sensation of needing it, it's a new body after all. So add in that they don't really have a way of getting the drug without breaking shit, and that the compulsion isn't very strong, it'd be easy to get off of the hard stuff that would ruin their lives again, and only really go for the mild stuff. Add in Demonic constitution, and I don't think drugs are as harmful in hell and need to kind of be upgraded to get the same effect on a demon as it would a human. Hence why the Weed had a strange tinge to it that Taylor could smell with her Antennae.

    Side note: I'm working on fixing the tenses, just my life is full of distractions at the moment.
     
  20. zarabg

    zarabg Not too sore, are you?

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Messages:
    418
    Likes Received:
    384
    Love the story so watched.

    Lewds can only be here maybe an omake labeled as LEWDS an stuff.

    Maybe hell is a multiuniverse expanding dimension meaning its every hell in every world, and I remember helluva boss pointing that the demons have, well the powerful older ones, have methods to return to the world of the living, but what if you can do crossovers? or be summoned by a mage in another setting? Be kinda cool for Taylor to suddenly be in Magic the gathering or something.
     
  21. Greatazuredragon

    Greatazuredragon Versed in the lewd.

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Messages:
    1,747
    Likes Received:
    6,481
    Nice start for the story.
    Good work.
     
    hillo315 and Thread Necromancer like this.
  22. Thread Necromancer

    Thread Necromancer Amateur Writer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2015
    Messages:
    637
    Likes Received:
    3,393
    I've gone over the two story posts and cleaned up some of the tenses, though I'm sure I missed some. In either case, there shouldn't be enough changed to bother looking over again just to see what changes I've made since 90% of them are just changing the past tense to the present.

    While that would be cool and could be the subject of authorial omakes, I don't plan on the main story ever really going into more cross overs since the more cross overs, the more rules of different universes I would have to follow as well as incorporate into the story, otherwise it's just frivolous fluff that isn't useful to the story. While my opinion might change on this, I don't expect to really include anything else other than Hazbin Hotel, and Worm with an eventual cross with Ward.
     
    hillo315 and ElegiacCrown like this.
  23. zarabg

    zarabg Not too sore, are you?

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Messages:
    418
    Likes Received:
    384
    Alright no massive crossovers, but how about just keep crossing over with worm?

    Like Taylor gets summoned by someone in worm who believed in the occult and the timeline is a year before her trigger, although reports saying Scion has gone missing, so it points to a world that didnt had the golden morning, but still has parahumans running amok.
     
  24. 24caratcoal

    24caratcoal Plotbunny Rancher

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2016
    Messages:
    6,790
    Likes Received:
    20,802
    And watching...
     
    hillo315 and Thread Necromancer like this.
  25. Thread Necromancer

    Thread Necromancer Amateur Writer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2015
    Messages:
    637
    Likes Received:
    3,393
    That's an interesting idea that I hadn't really thought of. Might be interesting and now I already have something of an idea. Stolas, a demon of the upper class in hell has access to the mortal realms and all that, why shouldn't Valentino?
     
  26. VisV

    VisV Pool Lesbian has the right of it.

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2018
    Messages:
    2,178
    Likes Received:
    10,506
    Wasn't this originally an omake of Wannabee that had demon taylor summoned by a khepri cult during ward to unfuck it?

    Thought that was gonna stick around.

    but Taylor getting access to the living multiverse before her summoning seems like it could be fun.

    Make deals with people on earth shin to try and kick out goddess, or some anti-theocrat resistance group on earth cheit.
     
  27. Thread Necromancer

    Thread Necromancer Amateur Writer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2015
    Messages:
    637
    Likes Received:
    3,393
    Oh it is, I was referring to before that. For example, who's to say that the demon Overlords don't have their hands in other pies elsewhere?

    Granted I'm still thinking over whether to introduce going to the mortal realm before that point. Though for the most part I can't see it without it just sorta being weird one offs that I'm not sure fit.
     
    hillo315 and ElegiacCrown like this.
  28. VisV

    VisV Pool Lesbian has the right of it.

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2018
    Messages:
    2,178
    Likes Received:
    10,506
    Hey hazbin demons get stronger by making deals, if Taylor is gonna fix hell she's gonna need a lot of power.
     
    hillo315 and Thread Necromancer like this.
  29. Thread Necromancer

    Thread Necromancer Amateur Writer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2015
    Messages:
    637
    Likes Received:
    3,393
    Do they? I was never sure, I sorta assumed but I've yet to make the time to get through the various streams the Viziepop has. Granted I've had less than a day to think this over so I've yet to fully make up my mind on it and how I might implement it.
     
    hillo315 likes this.
  30. ElegiacCrown

    ElegiacCrown Neither grandly nor intoxicatingly innocent.

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2019
    Messages:
    1,196
    Likes Received:
    6,044
    I thought that was just an alastor thing, did Vizy mention that in a stream?
     
    hillo315 and Thread Necromancer like this.
Loading...