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The Skittering Chaos (Worm/Hazbin Hotel)

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

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  1. Thread Necromancer

    Thread Necromancer Amateur Taylor Torturer

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    Since I am trying to make this sound realisticish for Hell, granted this may never even come up in the story but I think it would be reasonable that the Merchants on average pull off about roughly $11000 a month in revenue, possibly more possibly less depending on various factors, with a majority of their money coming from drugs but Squealer's repairs and such do help fund things on the side. This is of course not taking into account expenditures of the business that they are running, that being two employees, the cost of utilities, the cost to produce drugs, and various other things.

    Does this sound reasonable or have I really undersold how much the Merchants could be making?
     
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  2. VisV

    VisV Pool Lesbian has the right of it.

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    I know nothing about drug dealing or the economics thereof, but assuming the demand for drugs is high, and going by there current operation size... this doesn't seem crazy.
     
  3. Thread Necromancer

    Thread Necromancer Amateur Taylor Torturer

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    Going by just the average drug involved individual it's about halfish what just a single drug dealer can make if they are highish up in the dealing buissness where they are given a van and weapons to deal with local law enforcement. Pretty much what is happening here, I was going to low ball it but with Squealer doing armoured vehicle work on the side as well as them selling to a big corporation I eventually decided on about mid range for them.

    Edit: I also just realised that now every leader of the Hell!Merchants all have S names. People might start calling the three of them Triple S.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
  4. Catter

    Catter (Unverified Cat)

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    That sounds hilarious.
     
  5. Thread Necromancer

    Thread Necromancer Amateur Taylor Torturer

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    People who don't know the Merchants much and don't know Skitter might think she was always a Merchant, or that she's their eldest kid or something, considering that they have had Lil' Mark, why not Skitter, their obviously younger than them team mate?
     
  6. Knightfall

    Knightfall Nui Harime lover, Loyal Slaaneshi. Cynic

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    That and she's looking for Alec.
     
  7. Thread Necromancer

    Thread Necromancer Amateur Taylor Torturer

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    Probably won't change some people's view. But yes she is still looking to find Alec out there. Where he is, no one knows. Well I know but I mean it's bloody obvious for someone who knows about where Canadians go in Hell but it likely doesn't cross people's mind that nationality could matter in where you end up in Hell.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
  8. The Unicorn

    The Unicorn Versed in the lewd.

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    I don't have any thoughts on the specific number, but I think you're using the wrong model for them. It doesn't seem like the drugs they are selling are illegal, they need an armored vehicle and automatic weapons because people are liable to shoot anyone who is doing well to rob them. That means that the drugs would be a lot cheaper relative to stuff like say a loaf of bread, but demand for stuff like armored cars and the like would be a lot higher because a successful baker would probably want one to deliver bread.

    While Skidmark is selling drugs, I feel you should probably be looking at what a high class bakery, or a confectionery shop makes as a better analogy, with Squealer as a small garage specializing in custom body work.

    I think the profit margins for those would be a LOT lower than for drugs in RL which fits because there isn't anymore risk or upfront expenses getting into the drug business, in hell than there is setting up a bakery or news stand.
     
  9. Thread Necromancer

    Thread Necromancer Amateur Taylor Torturer

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    I'll have to look into it some more and take this into account as well as check how much companies make from selling to vending machine companies or something like that. It likely won't be a big thing as I might gloss over it a bit. I've mostly been doing this because I gave a rather concrete number this last chapter.

    Edit: So going by the same way I made BS calculations for some stuff, the average revenue of Skidmark and Squealer is about 6625 a week, making their revenue on an average month about 26500 a month. A decent revenue, however I still don't have their business expenses.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
  10. Gaming Geek

    Gaming Geek Tired of the random default stuff

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    ...a "decent' revenue?

    Good god what do you think a "good" revenue is? :D
     
  11. Thread Necromancer

    Thread Necromancer Amateur Taylor Torturer

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    Well thats just the money they make without living, or buissness expenses added on. I haven't had time to look into what theire various expenses are so their profit is much less than this.
     
  12. VisV

    VisV Pool Lesbian has the right of it.

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    Fun fact, apparently french people all go to hell by default.

    So, considering taylor's last name, it's entirely possible that she is in hell purely because of her french ancestry.
     
  13. ElegiacCrown

    ElegiacCrown Neither grandly nor intoxicatingly innocent.

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    Huh, you know what. That could be it. I think it might be the murders, justified though they were, but being French certainly didn't help and the knowledge that she would have gone there anyway is probably something of a comfort. After all, if you did everything right and still wound up in Hell, wouldn't that just make it worse?
     
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  14. VisV

    VisV Pool Lesbian has the right of it.

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    just more proof that she needs to smash the system and ATTACK AND DETHRONE GOD.
     
  15. Thread Necromancer

    Thread Necromancer Amateur Taylor Torturer

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    "This is Chet Youbetcha with breaking news! A local cultist and villain fanatic has began ranting and raving about a villainous Warlord of the past that was thought to have had a change of heart but eventually turned out to have much larger and more sinister plans, and how she should kill God! As if such a thing existed, lets play the clip!"

    "Hahaha, what a loon... heroes are now on the way to detain this man as he is suspected to be a part of the dangerous and fanatical Cult known as the, 'Rising Sun,' a splinter faction of the Fallen who worship the Warlord known as Skitter as a Saint for an unknown reason. So please citizens avoid Miss Militia Road and Alexandria Avenue and you should be able to avoid the current disturbance of the peace easily. Now, sports!"
     
  16. VisV

    VisV Pool Lesbian has the right of it.

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    Yeah we'll see how they feel about that when they die and they see that she's actually done it.
     
  17. The Unicorn

    The Unicorn Versed in the lewd.

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    Keep in mind revenue is not profit or income. 26,000$ with 25% profit (what appears to be a reasonable profit margin for confectioneries) means they have an income of 6500$ a month, fairly typical for a middle class two income household. If they make 72% profit (the highest I found for boutique chocolates), then yes they're doing a lot better, but they could also be making 10% profit.
     
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  18. Thread Necromancer

    Thread Necromancer Amateur Taylor Torturer

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    They are just starting out with this venture, maybe a couple months into actually doing things. Things are tight but they now are selling to a vending machine company which is why it is at least about 26 000 was lower than that before. Their profits will rise as they figure out where to get the best supplies for cheaper and where to sell their other stuff in more profitable locations. This however is a bit too slow for Taylor as she might not have the time to spare if the purge is coming and Alec might not survive this one, if he survived at all.

    Thus, expansion.
     
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  19. VisV

    VisV Pool Lesbian has the right of it.

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    Eh I'm sure someone she knows will tell her that Canadians go to hell canada.
     
  20. Thread Necromancer

    Thread Necromancer Amateur Taylor Torturer

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    Maybe, maybe not, it depends on how things go really. Sometimes I find that these chapters sometimes write themselves and start heading in a completely different direction than I was intending because it just made sense that this or that would happen.
     
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  21. Threadmarks: Chapter 7
    Thread Necromancer

    Thread Necromancer Amateur Taylor Torturer

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    The Skittering Chaos 7

    Right let's get into this before I start worrying about the various bits and bobs of gang stuff that is going on.

    You know with the kind of research I’ve been doing I think my government might think that I’m either a gangster or a terrorist, I must be on some kind of watch list or something because of the various amounts of research I did for this.

    WARNING! Just in case you for some reason still care about spoilers for Worm, there are spoilers for the end of Worm coming up so if you actually care about that, I suggest going and finishing up Worm.

    As always, any and all feedback is highly appreciated and I appreciate each and every comment left here.

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

    We are all gathered at Adam and Sherrel’s kitchen table, Adam, Sherrel, Mimi, and the imp man who I’ve since learned is named Felix. The meeting isn’t professional, but then this had been what the Undersiders had done before we had all gone off to be Warlords and started working directly under Coil.

    Humble beginnings

    That had probably been when things had been the best between all of us, just when everything had been nice and simple, we were thieves, there wasn’t a world to save or territory to defend from everyone, we could just be dumb kids.

    Maybe I shouldn’t do this? Things got crazy the last time I started getting into big things. Perhaps it might be better to just live a smaller, simpler life, as just some minor member of, so less a gang and more a small business really. The Merchants held territory, though it was just a single building and the sidewalks around it, and they didn’t even try to stop people from walking on it. In truth, a business was just the same. I could settle down and just live life easy while going out on weekends to try to find Alec.

    “Thank you all for coming.” I say, starting the meeting where we could work towards the expansion of the Merchants. All the doubts from before flying from my mind as the meeting around the kitchen table starts. Settling down for an easy life? Not when there is work to be done.

    “As myself, Adam, and Sherrel have discussed, it has come to our attention that we are not making as much money as we need to achieve some of our goals,” My goals truth be told, but Adam was all for the expansion of the Merchants, Sherrel was as well but she was more just wanting to support her husband than actually caring about expanding territorially, but she was all for expanding financially as it would allow her better tools to work on her “babies” as well as pamper her lil’ Mark. I wait for the other two, Felix and Mimi, to ask questions, perhaps like what our goals actually were, but they just look on, waiting for me to continue.

    “As such, we need to expand both territorially as well as financially. We’ve had a few ideas but I wanted to include you two as well since you two are employees here and it might be a good idea to get some second opinions on how we all move forward?”

    “Wait, you joined?” Mimi asks and I nod.

    “Working with the Merchants is the quickest way to achieve my goals, but to do that we need both money, territory, and since I don’t have access to my original bug powers, manpower.”

    “Well, why do you need anything from us? You took over the Bay, didn’t you have ways of making money.” The corner of my mouth twitches down a bit. Despite being able to handle the finances I was given, I wasn’t the main money maker. The money maker of the Undersiders was Lisa who had handled all of that, we just organised our territory while Lisa gave us the money we needed to keep everything running. I probably should have at least tried to help out with that, but with all the threats around the city as well as managing my own territory’s recovery with the money I got, I just left it to Lisa to figure out how to get us our money without depleting our new found riches.

    “I did yes but we also wanted to hear from you two as well. Adam, you know some of the formulas of various drugs.” Adam grins at that, looking much too pleased with himself.

    “Yup, I was sheeeot at all mah othah classes, but I knew chemistry, well, tha lab stuff that is, it’s like bakin’ and I knew how ta bake ‘n’… stuff since mah mamma taught me. She was like, Sun, I’z let chu do wat yous want, but by god I ain’t gonna have you eatin’ that Mahc-Dah-nahls sheit- gah!” Adam’s impression of his mother is cut off as I feel Sherrel’s leg woosh by my own legs and kick Adam hard in the shin. He doubles over and is grabbing his shin in pain as the others look with amusement. Mark, who was in Sherrel’s arms bouncing happily on Sherrel’s lap, giggles and claps as he watches his father’s pain. I wait until the giggling of both lil’ Mark and Mimi subside before continuing with the meeting.

    “As I was saying, Adam will be increasing his drug production so that we can possibly increase the amount we are selling to Vended Generics as well as to those that are willing customers.” It rankles my sensibilities to be selling drugs but with the extreme proliferation of them throughout Pentagram city I can’t do like I had in my old territory in Brockton Bay and just ban the dealing of them. Not to mention that things like prohibition, something I had learned about during the classes I took while in the Wards, only really increased demand for the substance. In fact it actually made the business more lucrative and thus more enticing to get into. With it legalised however, making drugs is more like running some kind of green house or a back alley drug store. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to let people ruin their lives before they realise they had fucked up. So long as they don’t start forcing it on people or taking advantage of their buyers, I’d have to begrudgingly accept the fact that drugs are a part of life here in Hell.

    “Sherrel here will look into offering custom body work, mostly pertaining to adding gun turrets and armour to light vehicles.” Sherrel had gushed at the idea of the technicals when I had gone into details on them. She was even happier when I told her how lucrative selling technicals in a lawless gangland like Pentagram city could be. I remember drawing out one from memory, where some African warlord had sent out a force of them to fight with another warlord. It had been a simple thing, just a truck with a machine gun mounted on the back, and immediately Sherrel had looked it over before making some modifications. She even started making her own rough technical drawings for various kinds of vehicles, like a van version, and even some kind of battle bus with turrets and other small arms strong points scattered around on it. While you could take the power from the Tinker, you couldn’t take the Tinker from the person. I’d left Sherrel to her own devices while I watched over lil’ Mark and experimented some more with my silk. If I could get this down I could finally get some clothes that weren’t a set of booty shorts and a t-shirt, as well as possibly create an additional source of revenue for ourselves that isn't tied to drugs.

    “I myself will be working on improving my abilities with my silk production as well as help handle the expansion of our territory into the surrounding neighbourhoods. For that I however will likely need to learn more magic.” I look first at Mimi, and then to Felix before asking. “Do either of you happen to have any sort of magical abilities that you could teach me?” The both of them shake their heads, with my antennae though, I hear Mimi swallow. I look back to her, but Felix speaks up before I can stare at her too long.

    “I don’t know nothing but my Dad might, he works on the outskirts for some gang. Mostly newbie and immigrant slaving and all that, not super magic heavy, but he might have picked up a thing or two.” I frown at that. Slavery. Not exactly surprising. Even in America there was plenty of slavery going on. From the ABB to Accord’s organisation, it wasn’t uncommon to find slavery and human trafficking rings operating in cities all over America and other countries. Considering that one of the main ways that the ABB made money in Brockton Bay was through human trafficking, both through sneaking illegal immigrants into America to exporting slaves to Asian markets to be enslaved, I’m surprised that a slavery ring hadn’t shown up in Brockton Bay where the rich and powerful were engaging in slavery to satisfy their perverse desires. The PRT and local police were certainly corrupt enough to have overlooked such a thing.

    “If you could that would be a great help to us. Now, to jump start this expansion, I believe that we should take a page out of the books of our raider and vigilante friends, and see about raiding them, and getting a hold of whatever short term gains we can while we prepare to expand.” Striking back at those that had attacked us being a possible bonus if we can find out what groups Snipes had brought together to attack us.

    When I had tried to find out through Brainiache’s phone I soon found myself kicked from the group chat they had set up, but I had noted a couple of names. Those being Aerial Ace, and Bigman. I’m guessing those were their cape names in life, and they had picked those as their demonic nicknames. There had been one last message by Snipes about how I may have Brainiaches phone, which I do, and then I had been kicked from the group chat.

    “Do you know where they are?” Sherrel asks. We had mostly gone over the economic aspects of what she could do, that and I hadn’t had the time to go through the various things on the phone, or even properly figure it out. All of my previous phones had been simple burner or flip phones. Dragon had gotten me a Dragon Phone one time and I had tried using it briefly, but it just eventually started collecting dust in my room as I continued to use the phones that the PRT provided since I didn’t want to damage it. Dragon never said anything but I noticed she had one of her mechanical suits turn its head slightly when I had been using the PRT provided phone. I’m not sure if she was disappointed or not, though she probably understood why I hadn’t been using her phone.

    “I don’t know where they are specifically, but I do know a few places where they have been, just by the pictures and the uncleared search history.” Brainiache had been rather lax with even the most basic of information concealment on his phone. Granted I was as well but that was because if I even attempted to hide anything I searched I would more than likely get my computer access revoked due to my probationary status in the wards.

    “So were we need ta go?” Adam asks, having finally recovered from the shin kick.

    “A small bar named ‘The Scrap Hole.’ It’s on the south side of Pentagram city. Brainiache and Snipes, the one that we killed and his girlfriend who you taunted, took a picture in front of the place.” I pull up the picture of the place on Brainiache’s phone, showing the two of them, Snipes looking up at the sign while Brainiache posed for a selfie, two feather-like fingers throwing the peace sign. I’d found the information of where it was already searched up in some kind of map app. The bar itself looks like a junk heap with scrap steel bolted haphazardly over the windows and the sign was a mishmash of different neon signs spelling out ‘The Scrap Hole.’ It looks like the buildings beside it have metal in place of windows rather than the usual wooden coverings. There is also a heavy haze in the air, like the place or somewhere near it was on fire. Considering that it’s Hell, there probably is a fire raging somewhere close.

    “So we's gonna go an f… uh get em buggers right?” Adam asks but I shake my head.

    “Not yet, we’re not prepared to go in there yet. I don’t even have a gun since I dropped them after Snipes knocked me out.” Mimi looks to my head where the bruise used to be. It had cleared up before supper time but it was still visible enough for Mimi to have seen when they had gotten back yesterday. “No we need to gather some information first. They gave away their intentions but they likely don’t even know the first thing about us. That gives us time to scout them out and figure out the best way to hurt them.”

    “So what are you doing at the bar then?” Sherrel asks, her head tilting to the side a bit.

    “They only ever saw me with my costume, so they likely don’t know what I look like outside of costume. Out of costume I can go in and ask around for information about the vigilantes, maybe get an idea if they frequent the bar. If they do, then it will be easier to get information on where their base of operations is and where to hit them so that it really hurts.” I explain my plan to them. None of them objected to the idea and Adam was nodding along. Though, I doubt they would be so willing to accept my idea if they knew my record for infiltration missions, that record consisting of one mission to infiltrate a villain group and ending up being converted into one of them. This doesn’t have the risk of me being converted however, considering that they are mostly after my blood.

    “So when are we doing this?” Sherrel asks.

    “After I test out a few things with my magic. I don’t want to go in there with just a pistol, but I also got my senses screwed up when Adam fired his gun, so I want to see if I can’t silence it a bit.”

    “How you’z gonna do that? I know you can make my barriers ‘n’ stuff for some reason but that’s just what I do. I don’t even know howta make ‘em quiet ‘n’ stuff.” Adam remarks, and I resist frowning for a moment. They will have to learn about my final moments at some point, and Adam already knows something was up considering Snipes’ ranting about mind control. I sigh before beginning.

    “As you can probably guess, the apocalypse fired off up stairs, killing billions, possibly trillions of people across multiple worlds. I along with some people tried to stop it.”

    “Some?” Mimi asks, her face concerned. “Don’t you mean all?”

    “No, I don’t mean all.”

    “But wouldn’t the end of the world, heck, all worlds, get everyone to work together, even just to save themselves?” I look to her with sympathy.

    “You would think, but not everyone thought that way.” I think back to all the fighting, all the people who wanted to get their revenge before the end, the people who were trying to take as much as they could before everything fell apart, all the petty squabbles that no one could put aside just this once to fight the good fight.

    “But that doesn’t make any sense. If everyone is going to die, why wouldn’t everyone want to work together? Even the nine would work together to stop the apocalypse, even if just to save their own skin!” I let out a one note chuckle.

    “Jack and his band were the ones that started the apocalypse. They wanted it, and they got it. Not that any of them survived long enough to really see it.”

    “So they’re down here?” I can’t identify the emotion in Mimi’s voice, it could be fear, or apprehension.

    “All except Jack and Bonesaw,” I pause a second. “Actually I don’t know about Bonesaw, she was the only one that actually helped us when everything started going down.” Mimi is silent for a long moment.

    “Did, did you win?” Mimi asks in a small voice. “Or… or is it still going on up there?”

    “We won.” I say. I don’t elaborate further. We had won, humanity was saved. Some would say that was all that mattered. I know better, but I don’t say it. Those words had been for Contessa as I had been slowly dying, or losing myself, nearing oblivion. I do believe them, but there’s no reason to antagonise Mimi.

    “Oh thank God,” Mimi breathes a sigh of relief, then looks up at me with curiosity in her eyes. “How did you win?” I grimace at the memory. That was not something I would like to experience again if I can help it. As I’m about to say how however, Felix interrupts.

    “Wait who were you fighting up there?”

    “Yeah that’s a good question, who was it, and why couldn’t Scion fight against whoever it was?” Sherrel asks.

    “The reason that Scion wasn’t fighting with us was because Jack said or did something, that made Scion go ballistic. He started destroying and killing people for fun, destroying entire cities, annihilating entire worlds for his own amusement.” Mimi, Sherrel, and Adam all had shocked looks on their faces, Felix was indifferent however, but he listens raptly as I talk.

    “At first there was a large meeting by anyone relevant to try to come together and fight him, but everything broke down and nearly everyone broke off and started fighting their own little battles against each other, to get some final bit of satisfaction before the end. Myself and a few others however stayed together to try to stop Scion and were running around trying to figure something out and keep things together. It wasn’t enough however. At the end, I had both Bonesaw and Panacea alter my connection to my power, to make it more powerful. I was able to take control of people at the end there. I, with the help of a cape named Clairvoyant and Doormaker started to mind control every cape we could find and fought against Scion… in the end there, I wasn’t there, I wasn’t the one in control. It was my power, who was in control of me, but we were both working towards the same goal, we were slowly becoming one in the same there. We did eventually beat Scion, and in the end I was scared of what was happening to me, so in my final moments, I let myself get executed.”

    “That’s, that’s not right.” Mimi says after I finish my story.

    “It’s al-”

    “No it isn’t alright!” She interrupts me, slamming her hands on the table. I wait to let her continue what she is going to say, better to let her say her piece than to try to talk over her. “It’s not right. You saved everyone, and they just killed you! They, it, it isn’t how the world should be!” I sympathise with her, I really do.

    “The world isn’t fair,” is all I say. There isn’t any point arguing about how the world should or shouldn’t be. The world just is, and despite our best efforts, life isn’t fair, just like how the afterlife isn’t fair either. She deflates after I say that. Her hands are in fists and her hair shadows her eyes. With my antennae I can feel a bit of magic stirring in her. I can kind of make out what is going on before she takes a deep breath and lets go of her anger. I wonder what that was? Perhaps her demonic form? Perhaps I can mimic that in some way?

    “It isn’t how it should be… it should be that the heroes after a hard fight come out on top, they win the day and beat the bad guy… kill him, jail him, whatever, they just are supposed to beat him, and then they get to have their happy ending…” I let a soft smile spread on my lips. I walk around the table and put both my hands on Mimi’s shoulders, trying to sooth her by massaging her shoulders. Her naiveté reminds me of how I used to be, back at the start of my cape career. Back when everything was so clear and black and white. The villains were the bad guys, heroes were the good guys, Scion was the world’s greatest hero, and the Endbringers were the ultimate evil. Unfortunately the world wasn’t like that, there was no white or black, only shades of grey, some darker than others.

    “I know it isn’t fair. But that’s just how things are. They are never fair, and they never will be. We just have to make the best of it and try to make the best decisions we can at the time. Just like we are doing now,” I’m not sure why I included that last parts. Maybe I’m trying to convince myself that I did the best I could with what I knew. Sure I could say that I could have made better decisions, maybe some things I did were stupid and idiotic, but that was the problem with hindsight, it’s always twenty-twenty. I let go of Mimi’s shoulders and walk back to my spot between Sherrel and Adam.

    “Anyways, as I was trying to say, because of how I was mind controlling everyone, I got to see how other people used their power and so far I have been doing that to figure out magic. It’s how I was able to pick up how to use your barriers, it’s relatively similar to the barriers that some other capes would put down. I never had time to practice much with them however so I’m still figuring things out. Once I figure out how to make your barriers silence things as well as accelerate them, I’ll teach you how to alter your barriers. Then I should be good to check out what is going on there.” I tell Adam.

    “Yeah, sure thing, makes sense. Is that all ‘cause I gotta make a call to my supplyah, he was supposed ta send a shipment ta me today and I ain’t got sheeeoot.”

    “That is it, unless either of you have any bright ideas on how to increase our revenue?” I ask Mini and Felix.


    “I know how to make pipe guns.” I raise an eyebrow at that. Makeshift guns, generally made with pipes or other kinds of cylindrical things, are generally speaking pretty terrible. I had come across a few of them while in Chicago. They weren’t so common there but every once in a while we could come across them. Sometimes in Brockton you would hear about how some Merchant had blown his hand off using a homemade gun out of parts he found in the trash. Most of the time they are unrifled and more used to just get a kill up close or used like a shot gun and firing off a spread of random debris. In fact, the demon with the scrap armour kind of looked like he was using one of those kinds of scrap blunderbusses.

    “If we can’t get many guns we could certainly use them to have our people, when we get them, use them to get a first kill and steal a gun. It would lower our initial hiring cost.”

    “We could use that sheeeeoooot for initiation. Have a newbie go out and pop off a guy for his gun ‘n’ stuff.” I frown at that. It was a good idea from a purely financial point of view, but that could cause a large amount of problems for us, as well as gain us too many enemies. Plus it would just make Hell worse rather than better.

    “Maybe, but I was thinking that they can bring their own gun. They get to care for their own and use the money from jobs and helping out to pay for their gun. If they don’t have a gun then we make and give them the pipe gun, but other than that, for now whoever wants to join just brings their own.”

    “So I guess you’re gonna need a pipe gun then?” Adam asks.

    “Maybe, it depends on how much you pay me for the protection I provided you yesterday.” I answer in return. Hopefully it’s enough to get a gun and a few bullets. I might be able to make do without a gun, but without my bug powers, I’ll likely need an edge if I’m going to survive long enough to learn enough magic that I won’t need one. Or I could make a worse version of Adam’s baseball gun.

    “Yeah, sure, you did good. Hows about I buy you a gun and a box o' bullets for your first payment. Sound cool?” I nod along with that. That was at least reasonable, and probably at the very least more than minimum wage, but then I don’t actually know minimum wage.

    “’kay, cool. Tell ya what, when the guy eventually tells me to come an’ get the chems ‘n’ stuff then we can take you out to get a gun ‘n’ stuff. ‘specially if you is gonna come out on our runs with us more.”

    “I will, I just won’t go out wearing my old costume again. That draws too much heat.”

    “Shame too, you looked good in it. Better in your old costume but your costumes always looked good,” Sherrel remarks.

    “Yeah, where did you get it done?” Mimi joins in as well.

    “I made them on my own. It took a long time to finally get all of my bugs to play nice and it took even longer for me to figure out how to weave my suit.”

    “Damn girl, how long did it take for you to make your suit?”

    “Since I triggered, it took me four months until I finally went out on my first night.”

    “Damn. I don’t think I coulda eveah waited that long to use mah powers.” There were nods around the table, even by Mimi, though Felix didn’t nod along.

    “Well that is everything I wanted to talk about, if no one has anything more to add, then we can all get back to work then.” Felix, Adam, and Mimi get up, Felix and Mimi head back down to the warehouse floor to continue their work, while Adam just walks off with his phone in hand dialling a number.

    “Oh hey Skitty? Would you be able to watch over Mark? I need to work on the van a bit but Mark’s been fussy, you didn’t need to do anything right?” While I was planning on experimenting with some of my magics, mostly Adam’s barriers and my own silk, neither was really prevented by me looking after lil’ Mark.

    “I can, but why me?” I’m sure that if Sherrel knew my past with children, she wouldn’t be so eager to let me watch lil’ Mark. As I’m looking at Mark, I almost see Aster, in the hands of Grey Boy. I knew it wasn’t them but like with the loft, I sometimes remember things and they simply overlay themselves over reality. When Mom died, I was seeing her for a week on other women, and I would have to do a double take and properly see them to confirm that Mom hadn’t come back from the dead. The same had happened with Regent, only I knew what was going on, so I wasn’t so extreme in my double checking. I would just see them in the corners of my eyes.

    “Well I heard how you handled yourself in that gunfight, watching out for my Skiddy so I thought you could help me out while I work on upgrading the van. Plus, if I’m going to be becoming a working woman, I’ll need a babysitter.”

    “What about Mimi?”

    “We already pay her to help us make drugs and stuff, and we don’t exactly have a lot of employees. Plus, we can consider this you pitching in. At least until we get the gang thing going properly.”

    “Alright then,” I don’t comment that whenever she would have an idea about modifying the van or making technicals she would rush off and I would just keep an eye on lil’ Mark for her. Usually she came back quick but when I first gave her ideas for the technicals she had spent a good half an hour drawing out rough plans.

    “Great!” Sherrel gets up, with lil’ Mark in her arms and holds him out to me. As gently as I can, I use my arms to hold him.

    “He has some toys in the living room, and if he starts getting hungry you can just call me up… Do you know how to change a diaper?” I remember back to a training course on babysitting that I had attended one year. I had never gotten to use my babysitting license since the only people I really knew were friends of Dad’s and the Barnes. With the work shortages in the Docks, most dockworkers had enough time for at least one parent to watch their kid during the day while the other worked whatever odd job Dad had been able to scrounge up for them. Because of that I never really got to do any babysitting, but I still remember some of the things we had to do, one of them being diaper a baby doll, one of those dolls that “really did poop.”

    “I know how to, yes,”

    “Okay great, We have the diapers in the top drawer of the dresser if my little Mark makes a stinky,” Sherrel grabs lil’ Mark’s nose and wiggles it a bit, much to lil’ Mark’s amusement as he giggles a bit at his mother’s antics.

    “Alright, I’m going downstairs so just watch over him a bit until I get back.” I watch as Sherrel heads downstairs. As Sherrel heads down lil’ Mark starts squirming and getting antsy in my arms, One of his arms is reaching out towards Sherrel and he starts letting out a wordless cry of longing as she heads downstairs. I start shushing him as I make my way into the living room.

    “Shh shh it’s okay Mark, let's get you some blocks to play with.”

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

    With a “shunk,” a wooden block flies from my acceleration field into a tower of blocks I had set up for Mark. With a crash the tower falls down and Mark lets out excited giggles and gurgles as he claps at the tower’s destruction. Had it not been plastered on my face for the past little while, I would have started smiling. Mark was a little devil and was easily distracted by destruction and cacophonous noises, especially if he could make them himself. I’d set up the field to entertain Mark while I tested some other kinds of fields with small balls of silk I made.

    I had managed to make a silencing field that also accelerates, but when I replaced Mark’s acceleration field he started to become distressed at how there wasn’t a “shunk” to go along with the sound of blocks falling. I hadn’t figured out how to do much more than a kind of shield and how to silence objects going through them. When I had a chance I should see about putting some fields down in a gun to see if my silencing-acceleration fields actually works well enough to keep a modified gun from stunning me while I have my enhanced senses up.

    Other than that I had also been able to figure out some of my silk. I haven’t been able to do anything really with it. While I was good at getting insects to weave my suits, actually weaving them was a completely different matter, especially since I both didn’t have any of the tools to weave any of the silk I made, nor had I ever weaved or knit anything in my life without just using insects. Mom had never felt the need to teach me and Grandma, who I heard was also a fairly good knitter, didn’t care for Dad or me so I never actually got to meet them.

    So I just made balls of silk to use as slight objects to test the fields on, as well as sometimes ammunition for Mark to use in his war against all wooden block towers and structures. They weren’t as satisfying for him to launch however, as they didn’t make as loud a noise as when he uses wooden blocks to fire them off at the towers.

    While Mark giggles and gurgles in his adorable little childish way, I hear something buzzing around inside of the room with my antennae. I look towards the source and see something flying around. It’s a bit larger than the regular bug, and is a deep red colour as well. The colour is probably to better blend in with the environment outside. I watch as it starts to come closer. I slowly raise my finger to the bug. Long had my fear of insects been dulled to the point that I didn’t even find them even a little unsettling. They just act on instinct. Eat, breed, flee. They come rather predictable in a sense. I can see the needle like nose as it starts to come closer, smelling it’s meal perhaps? It lands on my finger, and angles its long beak like nose towards my hand.

    I remember many of the master powers that had been under my control back during the end fighting Scion. One that felt most like the magic I wield now was a human controlling power, where the cape pushed energy into a person and focused on the person. Using the same principles, I focus on the bug, and push my energy into it, willing myself to take control over it, to control it like I used to control my insects back when I was alive.

    The beak like head of the insect dives for my hand, and it stops. I can see, in its beady little eyes, a small mote of light, as if deep in its eyes, was a small candle light. By my will it moves its head back, and it faces towards me.

    I grin.

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

    You know I kind of wanted to wait before giving Taylor her bug powers back but considering how smart a cookie she is and the fact that she knows that she could with enough practice replicate powers that she has used before it makes sense that she would try to get something resembling her power back. Thus, boom, Skitter’s back and better than ever.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2020
  22. VisV

    VisV Pool Lesbian has the right of it.

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    and with that valentino's fate is sealed.
     
  23. Gabriel Bouthot

    Gabriel Bouthot Making the rounds.

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    Hey, I just realized, but is Mimi Burnscar?
     
  24. Thread Necromancer

    Thread Necromancer Amateur Taylor Torturer

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    What makes you say that?

    Maybe, maybe not. Just having bug powers isn't enough to beat someone, especially if it's magic rather than Shard Clarke Tech since. with magic you have to worry about willpower and all that nonsense.

    If I decide to take it in the willpower way that is.
     
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  25. VisV

    VisV Pool Lesbian has the right of it.

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    Probably because burnscar's name is Mimi.

    And Thread Necromancer... lets be honest.

    It's Taylor with time to plan and build her power and study her enemy.

    By the time Valentino realizes that he is under threat it will be too late for him.

    Because taylor will have dethroned and transformed him into a fem moth prostitute.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2020
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  26. stads

    stads Not too sore, are you?

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    good to see the bug powers coming back in action
    will be fun to see the angels faces during cleaning and meeting the swarm :D
     
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  27. Erwidze

    Erwidze Getting sticky.

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    Nice chapter, it is good to see the reaction of Mimi to Taylor’s fate. Although, it is strange that to me that with that B/W view of cape life she joined Merchants, she seems like the type to go vigilante.

    It’s also cool to see the return of bug powers, even if they seem very much diminished.
     
  28. Dapperlurker

    Dapperlurker Making the rounds.

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    cape who died against Scion: Oh hell no shes here I got to stop her before it’s to late

    Random bay citizen who lived under skitters rule : I for one welcome the return of my glorious overlord
     
  29. Thread Necromancer

    Thread Necromancer Amateur Taylor Torturer

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    In regards to Mimi, I didn't realise that Burnscar's name was Mimi when I introduced her.

    She was a newbie and doesn't have many job prospects. Never had a job before and spent most of her time looking up to heroes and spending her time reading comic books and stuff. She is kind of just the go with the flow and she needs money. She doesn't exactly know many jobs and she's been wandering around for a bit. Eventually she got picked up by the Merchants and joined their happy little family.

    That and she doesn't want to get involved in the Vigilante scene. They scare her.

    I imagine they would be rather annoyed at all the little insects keeping them from being able to see three feet in front of them.

    Apparently the same could be said for the citizens of Boston as well as the civilian government. Though they never got to live under Taylor's Warlordship so I imagine they would be a bit hesitant but if they are optimists they may welcome it hesitantly.
     
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  30. Erwidze

    Erwidze Getting sticky.

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    Actually now that I reread the section about the bug control, it isn’t diminished like I thought (I skimmed a little too fast and got the wrong impression), it just changed a bit, cause now she can’t sense and control them the instant she sees them, so she has to master each bug herself but now she controls them permanently? I think that is the case, she probably doesn’t have a range as they have a part of her magic inside them. Probably can’t use

    Kinda feels like what second trigger would look like if Skitter was a single trigger cape.
     
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