1. Due to issues with external spam filters, QQ is currently unable to send any mail to Microsoft E-mail addresses. This includes any account at live.com, hotmail.com or msn.com. Signing up to the forum with one of these addresses will result in your verification E-mail never arriving. For best results, please use a different E-mail provider for your QQ address.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Due to the actions of particularly persistent spammers and trolls, we will be banning disposable email addresses from today onward.
    Dismiss Notice
  6. We have added another rule, please check the Rules post for more information.
    Dismiss Notice
  7. Due to some issues with Freenode, the QQ IRC Channel is moving. See here for more information.
    Dismiss Notice

Wyvern - Worm AU fanfic

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Ack, Aug 4, 2015.

Loading...
  1. Datcord

    Datcord Giggling menace

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2015
    Messages:
    556
    Likes Received:
    8,047
    Dammit, man, you can't call Vicky a "thing"! ...without asking to see if she's into it first.

    *puerile giggle*

    In his defense... so did everyone else's.

    Like FedEx, I ship it.
     
  2. Ack

    Ack (Verified Ratbag) (Unverified Great Old One)

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Messages:
    6,533
    Likes Received:
    46,468
    Wow, much more of this heavy breathing and I'll have to shift the thread into NSFW territory, just from the reader comments :p
     
  3. pepperjack

    pepperjack A Variety of Cheese

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    Messages:
    27,859
    Likes Received:
    71,232
    "NSFW: Ship teasing." Would that be a first, do you think?
     
  4. Ack

    Ack (Verified Ratbag) (Unverified Great Old One)

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Messages:
    6,533
    Likes Received:
    46,468
    With some of the fics on here, it wouldn't be a last.
     
  5. edale

    edale Versed in the lewd.

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2015
    Messages:
    1,807
    Likes Received:
    4,433
    Well to be fair, it's very obvious they've got a nice power-interaction going. I imagine Glory Girl can send a calming aura to transform her back into a human as well (IIRC she was under the effects of such an aura shortly before she became human again the first time, but to lazy atm to go back and check). So Glory Girl is the key to Taylor transforming -- both ways -- until Taylor learns enough to do it herself.

    And I don't think I've ever seen a serious Taylor/Glory Girl pairing before (plotless smut don't count. Sorry Ack, know you've done several Taylor/Glory Girl scenes in some of your NSFW fics, but no). In fact, I don't think I've ever seen any fic where Taylor gets an in to New Wave (social or 'business') through Glory Girl... It's always Amy she gets along with, and gets focused on; Glory Girl's usually more of a background character. Story-relevant friendship with Glory Girl is even rarer. Hell, Glory Girl is almost NEVER a main character, always a secondary character (she almost made it to main character in TanaNari's Amelia, but remained a secondary character throughout). It's actually quite refreshing seeing a fic start off like this.
    Size-wise I'd say she's closer to Ruth (the white dragon).
    Somehow I doubt she'll get much larger than that, or the story would be called 'Dragon', rather than 'Wyvern'.
     
  6. RoninSword

    RoninSword Sky God

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2015
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    1,612
    Wyverns, which she actually is even if people don't realise that, are typically smaller than dragons.

    Presumably Sarah was talking to Danny on the phone.
     
  7. pepperjack

    pepperjack A Variety of Cheese

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    Messages:
    27,859
    Likes Received:
    71,232
    Yes. I've said it before, but it apparently bears repeating.
     
  8. Prince Charon

    Prince Charon Just zis guy, you know?

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2014
    Messages:
    7,578
    Likes Received:
    26,339
    Poor Amy.
     
    Eryk, Glacium Frost, Chase92 and 4 others like this.
  9. solitare

    solitare Making the rounds.

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    206
    Firebird by Chibipoe on SB has a primary friendship between Taylor and Vicky (in costume and out). Amy is jealous of how much time Vicky spends with Taylor.
     
    Eryk, ShadowStepper1300 and Alayne like this.
  10. Starfox5

    Starfox5 Experienced.

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
    Messages:
    3,091
    Likes Received:
    20,273
    I was about to mention that myself. Good story.
     
  11. Firedon

    Firedon Experienced.

    Joined:
    May 17, 2015
    Messages:
    3,029
    Likes Received:
    6,264
    Size doesn't even play into it that much. Wyverns don't have the extra legs. Two legs+wings give you a wyvern. A dragon would have 4 legs and wings.
     
    Eryk, ShadowStepper1300 and Necrovore like this.
  12. Ragnarok

    Ragnarok Well worn.

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2013
    Messages:
    5,125
    Likes Received:
    39,608
    Y'know, I've never seen Victoria's pushy attitude actually get on Taylor's nerves. I mean, I'm more sociable than Taylor and if someone with the same attitude as Victoria pulled that kind of stuff around me, no matter how well-intentioned, I would avoid her like the plague.
     
    Eryk likes this.
  13. alethiophile

    alethiophile Shadowed Philosopher Administrator

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    Messages:
    6,226
    Likes Received:
    38,727
    Bear in mind Taylor used to be best friends with Emma, who I can easily see behaving in that sort of way to her friends. There's no reason to assume that introversion will necessarily cause someone to be annoyed at highly extroverted behavior.
     
    Eryk, Glacium Frost, Alayne and 3 others like this.
  14. Prince Charon

    Prince Charon Just zis guy, you know?

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2014
    Messages:
    7,578
    Likes Received:
    26,339
    A highly extroverted person need not necessarily be 'pushy', depending on one's personal definition of 'pushy' (Ragnarok may have a somewhat different definition than you do, for example), but otherwise, I do agree. Mind you, When Taylor was friends with Emma, at least until her mother's death, Taylor herself was somewhat extroverted (described as a 'chatterbox', IIRC).
     
    Eryk, solitare and Ack like this.
  15. SwiftRosenthal

    SwiftRosenthal Connoisseur.

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    Messages:
    19,858
    Likes Received:
    111,929
    This version of Taylor, as featured in Camp Cauldron Lake, is also described by the questers as genki as shit.
     
  16. AylorAivo

    AylorAivo Versed in the lewd.

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2015
    Messages:
    1,373
    Likes Received:
    1,829
    I'd just like to point out that 'chatterbox' != 'extrovert'. Introverts can be pretty chatty, especialy when happy and relaxed with small numbers of close friends.
    Small numbers (1) of close friends (Emma) describes Taylor pretty well pre-bullying.

    Even that fact that she makes a single very good friend (despite being best friends with the popular rich model) rather than a number of friends is a solid indicator that she was in introvert from the very begining.

    In conclusion (in my probably poorly informed opinion) Taylor goes from being a happy well adjusted introvert to a miserable awkward introvert, rather than from a happy chatty extrovert (with only one friend worth mentioning) to a friendless introvert.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015
  17. Ack

    Ack (Verified Ratbag) (Unverified Great Old One)

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Messages:
    6,533
    Likes Received:
    46,468
    In her phone call to Emma, she mentions how she's read all the books that she brought with her, indicating that she's happy to be on her own, but she also mentions the stuff that other people are doing (the swimsuit incident, for one) so she's participating, but she'd rather read on her own.
     
  18. Threadmarks: Part Four: Escalation
    Ack

    Ack (Verified Ratbag) (Unverified Great Old One)

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Messages:
    6,533
    Likes Received:
    46,468
    Wyvern

    Part Four: Escalation


    Danny Hebert pulled up in front of the address that he had been given. A two-storey house, it looked perfectly normal; the lawn needed a little bit of a trim and the frontage could have done with a touch of paint, but that was not exactly uncommon in Brockton Bay. Grabbing the plastic bag of clothes, he got out, locked the car, and hurried up the front path.

    As he did so, he heard the strangest sound; somewhere between a screech and a squawk, it reminded him of an angry parrot or perhaps one of those dinosaurs from Jurassic Park. More interestingly, it appeared to emanate from one of the upstairs windows. Taylor must be watching a movie, he decided. Well, if she's doing that, she must be all right.

    He knocked at the door; a moment later, Lady Photon answered the door. Up close, she looked just a little harried. Having two teenage superheroes in the household would do that, he figured. Even if you
    are Photon Mom.

    "Uh, hi," he greeted her. "I'm, uh, Danny Hebert?"

    "Sarah Pelham," she greeted him warmly, offering her hand to shake. "I'm pleased to meet you. Come in, please."

    "Thank you." Stepping past her, he found himself in a modestly-appointed living room; a man in casual clothing, around his own age, was sitting on the sofa. However, Taylor was nowhere to be seen.

    "Taylor should be down in a moment," Lady Photon – he had the hardest time thinking of her as Mrs Pelham – informed him as she moved past him. "She's just changing."

    "Oh, sorry," the man on the sofa apologised, standing and offering his hand. "Mark Dallon. You're Taylor's father?" Flashbang. This is
    Flashbang, and he was just now sitting on the sofa, watching TV.

    Danny marvelled that he'd never shaken a superhero's hand before, and now it was two in one day. "Uh, yeah," he managed. "You said she was okay? Not hurt?"

    "No, not hurt that I could see," Lady Photon assured him.

    "Then what aren't you telling me?" he asked. "When I spoke to you on the phone, you told me to bring clothes. And now she's having to change her clothes again? What's going on?"

    But even as she opened her mouth to answer him, he heard the noise again; an angry screech, followed by a teenage girl's voice. "Calm down. Come on, you can do it. He'll be here any minute now."

    There was another screech, or squawk, or whatever it was, and Danny turned to Lady Photon. "Are they watching a movie up there or something?"

    If anything, she looked a little more harried. "Uh, or something?"

    "What the hell's going on here?" he demanded, then raised his voice. "Taylor! It's me! Are you all right?" That got a reaction; there was another, more urgent, screech and a thumping sound. "Taylor?" he called again.

    Lady Photon put her hand on Danny's arm. "Mr Hebert, there's something you need to know. Something about Taylor."

    "What about Taylor?" He pulled free from her grip and started up the steps. She followed him up.

    "She might not be the same as you remember her." Her voice was urgent.

    Stopping, he rounded on her. "I thought you said that she was all right!"

    "I said that she wasn't hurt," she corrected him. "But she's ... undergone changes. She's a little different now."

    "Different how?" He turned away from her, and stormed up the staircase. "Taylor!"

    As he reached the top of the steps, a door opened, and something like a lizard's head, covered in red-gold scales, poked out. He had enough time to register that it was about the same size as his own head, and about four feet off the floor, before it turned to look at him. The eyes widened, then the mouth widened even more. It had a great many teeth, all very white and very sharp, as well as a startlingly-pink tongue. A crest atop its head erected at the same time; it made one of those dinosaur noises, apparently in alarm, then pulled back into the room.

    A moment later, a teenage girl with long blonde hair stepped out through the same doorway; she wore jeans and a T-shirt bearing the logo 'Daddy's Princess'. "Hi!" she greeted him cheerfully. "I'm Vicky. You're Taylor's dad?"

    "Yes," he replied grimly. "Where is my daughter, and what was that thing?"

    "Uh, yeah, funny thing about that." Her cheerful grin was still steadfastly on her face, but she was having to work at it. “They're kind of … one and the same?”


    What?” Her statement made absolutely no sense whatsoever.

    Okay, long story short? Taylor can kind of turn into a dragon. But she has trouble changing, and she has trouble changing back. Right now, she's a dragon. I've been trying to get her to relax so she can change back, and it's not working.”

    From within the room, there came another burst of the weird dino-screeching. Vicky – he had to presume that this was Victoria Dallon, aka Glory Girl – turned her attention to the doorway. “Okay, yeah, I got it. It was my fault. How was I to know that you couldn't change back as easily?”


    <><>​

    I made a grumpy noise and folded my wings again. It had been rather a shock to come face to face with Dad when I was still like this; I'd been trying to change back since Vicky had hit me with her fear-aura, and even curling up on her bed hadn't worked.

    “Wait,” Dad's voice came from the corridor. “That was … Taylor?”

    “Yeah,” Vicky told him enthusiastically. “You should see her flying. She's awesome.”

    “She can fly?”

    “Well, duh, she's got wings.” She reached out of my view. “Come see.”

    Dad came into view, stumbling to a halt, then stared at me. I stood up to my full height and unfurled my wings, spreading them out as far as I could in the confines of Vicky's room. Then, after I folded them again, I leaned my head toward him, my tail stretching out as a counterbalance, and made an inquiring noise.

    He blinked rapidly behind his glasses, and his mouth opened and closed several times.

    “Taylor?”

    I nodded.

    He looked at Vicky. “Did it … did she … just nod?”

    “Yeah,” Vicky assured him. “She's still in there, Mr H. She can understand English.”

    “Ah.” He looked back at me. “You're a … how did you become a dragon?”

    I gave him one of my patented shrugs and made a noise of exasperation.

    “She can't speak?”

    Vicky refrained from rolling her eyes. “Sure she can speak. She just can't speak English.”

    “Oh. Yeah.” A thought apparently struck him. “But how do you even know who she is? It's not like she can introduce herself.”

    “We were down at the Boardwalk. She wrote in the sand. With her wingtip.”

    When he looked at me, I unlimbered my right wing and pretended to write on the carpet with my index finger/wingtip.

    “Oh,” he observed. “I see. That's pretty smart.”

    “Oh,” Vicky repeated, her eyes going wide. “Oh!” She jumped to her feet. “Wait one! Got a great idea! I'm a freaking genius!”

    “What?” asked Dad, but she had already darted out the door. He looked back at me; I shrugged. I have no idea.

    We stared at one another for a long moment. “So,” he commented. “You're Taylor.”

    I nodded, letting out a chirp of agreement.

    “And you're a dragon.”

    Another nod, another chirp.

    “And you have no idea how you got that way.”

    I paused, then shook my head.

    “Wait,” he stated. “Is that 'no, I have no idea', or 'no, you are wrong, I have an idea'?”

    I had no idea how to answer that, so I made a questioning noise.

    “Okay,” he realised, lightly slapping himself on the forehead. “Left hand for 'I don't have any idea', right hand for 'I have some idea'.”

    I hesitated, then held up my right wingtip. Then, to make it clear, I reached across and tapped his right hand with what had once been my index finger.

    “So you have an idea,” he decided. I nodded, and chirped agreeably.

    “But you can't tell me, because we have no language in common. I speak English, and you apparently speak only Dragon, or whatever that sound is.”

    Once again, I chirped in agreement, slumping, my whole body drooping. I can't even talk to Dad. The thought was amazingly depressing. I'd give all this up, just so I could talk to him.

    “Hey,” he murmured, apparently reading my posture much more readily than he could decipher my utterances. “It's gonna be all right. We'll work this out. You're still my daughter.” Pulling the comforter off of Vicky's bed, he wrapped it around me, wings and all.

    It was warm, but that wasn't the best part of it. The best part was when he hugged me, his arms around the comforter, holding me close, his embrace making me feel safe and loved. I wished my wings were up to hugging him back, but then again, right at that moment I didn't care. Laying my head on his shoulder, I closed my eyes. Laying his head on my head, he apparently did the same.

    “Hah! Found it! Knew it was around here some – oh, come on! Seriously?”

    Dad and I looked up as Vicky re-entered the room, bearing a printed sheet of plastic, her expression altering dramatically from triumph to exasperation.

    “What?” he asked. And I echoed him.

    I was human again.

    <><>​

    Okay, what am I looking at?” James Doherty held up the readout and peered at it.

    The chemical makeup of those samples you sent me.”

    Doherty looked at the lab tech in some surprise. “This fast?”


    Hey,” she replied with a shrug. “A bomb going off in a school gets fast-tracked. Who knew?”

    Okay, so what do we have here?”

    Some really interesting results, I have to say.” The tech pointed at the readout with a pen. “Check it out. You've got some pretty exotic compounds here. Some of them, I've never seen outside of a lab.”

    Doherty frowned. “So, not the result of an explosion?”


    Oh yeah, definitely the result of an explosion,” she contradicted him. “But it's the type of explosive that's really weird. Not nitrate based.”

    Okay, that is weird,” admitted Doherty. He could think of ways to cause an explosion without using nitrates, but most of them involved an admixture of oxygen and one flammable gas or another. Not really something that could cause the localised detonation that had taken the locker door off. Though there was plenty of flame involved …

    He looked again at the readout. “So, the types of explosives we're talking about here … would your average high school student be able to get the ingredients for them?”


    A Tinker might,” she mused. “One who was based around chemistry or explosive making. Like I said, that stuff's pretty damn exotic. Also, expensive.”

    So that's a no for a student, then?”

    That's a no,” she agreed. “Unless the student was a Tinker, like I said.”

    Or, you know, could exude explosive compounds from their body at will,” he pointed out. “All of those compounds you've got, they're organic, right?”

    Organic, yes,” she confirmed. “Some of them would be pretty damn caustic in their original form, though.”

    I don't think that actually bothers parahumans,” he pointed out.

    You think that's how it happened?” she asked.

    That or the Tinker idea. Anything else is a little far-fetched, yeah?”

    Reluctantly, she nodded. “Great. So it's not a baseline crime after all. It's a parahuman thing.”


    Afraid so.” He shrugged. “Sorry.”

    And after all that work I did.”

    Buy you coffee to make it up to you?”

    Have to be some damn good coffee.”

    He grinned. “I know a place.”


    <><>​

    Vicky held the comforter around me while Dad discreetly retired from the room; opening the bag that he had brought over, I started getting dressed. Again.

    “Seriously, do not use that fear aura on me again,” I told her as I stepped into my second favourite pair of jeans (my favourite jeans had perished in the locker, alas). “Or I'll set fire to all your good outfits.”

    She wrinkled her brow. “Set fire?” Then her eyes widened. “Holy crap, you can breathe fire too?”

    “Well, duh,” I agreed. “Dragon, remember?” I wrinkled my nose at her. “I was just about to tell you, before, when you made me change back.”

    “Tell me what?” Her eyes were alive with interest. “You actually breathed fire?”

    “Wait one.” I pulled my t-shirt over my head. It was black, a little faded, a bit worn down on one side, but I liked it. “Yeah, how do you think I got out of the locker?”

    “Well, I had thought you went 'rawr, dragon smash' on it and just busted out,” she confessed. “But that's not what happened, I'm guessing?”

    “I tried to go 'rawr, dragon smash', but it appears that school lockers are tough enough that they don't have to worry about that sort of thing,” I admitted. “So I fireballed the fuck out of it.”

    Vicky blinked. “ … you what?”

    “Hit it with an exploding fireball,” I told her. “Before you ask, I don't know how I knew to do that. But I did. And it kind of blew the door clean off. Left me a bit dizzy too. But I still had all that shit on me from the locker, so I went outside and took off, heading for the ocean.”

    “Which is where I came in,” Vicky agreed. “Well. Wow. Holy shit. That beats the living crap out of my trigger event story.” She brightened up. “Can I see?”

    “See what?” I caught on a second later. “No. Hell no. Don't make me change while I'm wearing clothes. Not while my Dad's here. No. Just no.”

    She pouted. “Spoilsport. Okay, fine. You're all dressed now. Let's go downstairs. I'm pretty sure your dad will want to know everything you've been up to.”

    “Yeah,” I sighed. “That's what I'm afraid of.”

    <><>​

    Control to Armsmaster. Come in, Armsmaster.”

    Armsmaster here.” Colin banked his bike around the corner, heading for the Boardwalk. “What's up?”

    Got something for you to check on,” the PRT staffer on the floating base told him. “Explosion at Winslow High earlier today. Forensic techs have determined that it wasn't a standard IED.”

    So we're looking at a Tinker then?” He pulled the bike to a halt and parked it. Stepping off, he trod over the boards of the Boardwalk, then looked down toward the sand. At this time of year, the only thing inhabiting the beach were hordes of seagulls and other aquatic birds.

    That's a possibility. Or a parahuman who can create exotic explosives from nothing.”

    Great. One more thing we have to worry about. Do we even have any explosives Tinkers on the books?”

    Not that I know of – Tinkers specialising in explosives, that is. Any number of Tinkers who use explosives in their gadgets. Stinger, for instance.”

    Get someone to check for me. It might be important. Also, did the cameras happen to pick up a thing like a big red bat or bird flying over the Boardwalk at any time today? I'm tracking down some sightings. People said it was coming this way.”

    Just one second.” A pause. “While we're waiting, want me to squirt you the details on the Winslow bombing?”

    Go ahead.”

    As the files came in, he flicked them to storage, pulling crime scene photos aside to study at his leisure. A skim of them showed a metal locker opened like a flower, the ones on either side destroyed. Extensive fire damage; the locker door embedded in the far wall.


    Okay, I've got an answer. Yes, they did pick something up. Something red, with wings, flew in over the rooftops and dived into the ocean. And here's the interesting part. Glory Girl was hot on its tail.”

    Odd that she didn't at least call in the sighting.”

    She went into the water too. It would have destroyed her phone. But then they both came out of the water, landed on the sand for a bit, then flew inland again.”

    Where did they land? Relative to my position?”

    One second. Uh … hundred fifty yards south of your position.”

    Hundred fifty yards, got it.” He got back on to the bike and motored a hundred and fifty yards, as noted. Climbing off the bike once more, he descended the steps. It only took him a few minutes of searching before he found what he was looking for. The sand was firm and solid, and there were fresh footprints clearly visible in it. Also visible were what looked like the marks of claws, digging into the sand.

    His helmet cam took clear pictures of the claw marks, but then he saw the other things. Lines, drawn in the sand. Lines forming letters. Letters forming words. The everpresent sea birds had trodden over some of them, obscuring them, but he managed to make out the words 'my' and 'please'. Other words could be inferred, but not known for sure.

    He took more photos of the lines, both trodden on and clear, and then trudged back to the stairs up to the Boardwalk. “Control, give the Dallon house a call. See if Glory Girl went there. And if she's still there. I want to talk to her.”


    Roger that. I'll get right on it.”

    Let me know when you've got something.”

    Will do. Will you be taking on the Winslow bombing?”

    What's the name of the primary suspect?”

    The locker was used by one Taylor Hebert. She hasn't yet been located. Her home address is in the file I sent you. So is her picture.”

    I'll check her home first,” Colin decided. “Fugitives – especially children and teenagers – tend to run to familiar places. Home, for a start.” He kicked the bike into life.

    Understood.”

    <><>​

    “They shut you in your locker?” Dad was aghast.

    I nodded without speaking; Mrs Pelham had given me a cup of black tea, and I sipped it gratefully. On the coffee table, a plate of cookies was gradually dwindling under a determined assault by myself and Vicky.

    “So who did this?” he demanded. “I'll get them suspended. Expelled. God, I'll have them arrested.”

    “Dad, no, just wait a second,” I told him. “If it comes out that I was in the locker, I'll be outed as some kind of parahuman. And … this is Winslow. They don't care. I tried and tried to get someone to listen, and they just … don't. Or they've been told not to. I'm not sure which.”

    “Wait, what now?” Dad was staring at me. “You mean, this isn't the first time this has happened?”

    I shook my head. “No. Dad, it's been going on since I started there.”

    “But why didn't you tell me?”

    The shock on his face was killing me. “You had problems of your own, Dad. Mom had only been dead a year. You were still hurting from that. I was still hurting from that. I didn't want to add to your problems, not right then.”

    Removing his glasses, Dad scrubbed at his face with his hands. “Okay, I can kind of see that,” he admitted. “But why didn't you get help? Tell a teacher?”

    “I tried. But if you show up as a snitch, they ostracise you, so I stopped snitching. Not that it did any good. So I waited for the teachers to notice that it was happening. They never did. Either the ones that were doing it were always careful not to be seen, or the teachers didn't want to see it.”

    “Oh god,” he muttered. “You've gone through all this, and no-one's been helping you? Why didn't you ask Emma for help, to back you up?”

    I took a deep breath. “Dad. She's behind it.”

    And then it all came out; the harsh words, the subtle taunting, the physical stuff, the pranks. Dad listened, open-mouthed, to my litany of woes. Mrs Pelham and Vicky also listened; one with steadily tightening lips, the other with blazing eyes.

    <><>​

    The Hebert house was a little shabby, a little run-down. But it was in a shabby, run-down section of town. No car was in the driveway; Colin was willing to bet that nobody was at home. Of course, if Taylor had gotten back here, she could be hiding in her room, in the basement, wherever, and nobody would be the wiser, until her father got home.

    Any luck with contacting her father?”

    Not yet. We've tried the home phone, but nobody's answered so far. The person who we got on his work phone says that he was called away on a family emergency. No other details.”

    Does his wife work?”

    He's a widower. Wife died about two and a half years ago.”

    No other children?”

    None of record.”

    So a 'family emergency' would almost have to be his kid. Now, where would he have gone?”

    There is the possibility that after the Winslow incident, they just left town.”

    Colin shook his head, although the PRT operator would not be able to see it. “I don't buy that. If that was the case, they'd still be here, packing. I'm guessing that she went to ground, and then called her father. Probably he's trying to convince her to face up to what she's done.”


    So what are you going to do now?”

    Wait till one of them shows their faces. In the meantime, I'm going to follow up on these sightings of this big red bird. Any response from the Dallon household?”

    Yes, actually. We got Flashbang. He confirmed that Glory Girl was indeed home, but that she was talking, upstairs, with a friend.”

    Good. I'm on my way there now.”

    Understood.”

    <><>​

    “Dad, no.” For the fourth time, I tried to dissuade him. “Winslow doesn't care. If they care at all, it's about the fact that Mr Barnes is a lawyer. Emma and her friends get away with everything short of murder, there. If we go up against them, the school will take their side. They have every other time.”

    Dad shook his head. “I don't buy that. I can't believe that.”

    I tried again. “Look. They didn't start on me immediately. They took the time to get themselves established as the 'good' girls, the popular girls in our year. Emma makes friends really easily, and she made friends. A lot of friends.”

    I paused for a sip at my tea. “I'm just as happy being on my own as being with people, and Emma was keeping me at arms' length, so I pretended it didn't matter, and spent my time reading in the library or something. But then they started bullying me, but they always had excuses if I retaliated. Always the witnesses, always the agreed-on stories. I was the loner, I was the troublemaker. I was the one who got detention, told to behave myself.”

    Vicky moved to sit next to me, and gripped my hand. “That sucks.”

    I spared a smile for her. “Thanks.” Another sip at my tea. “Pretty soon, they were golden. If I said anything, I was already discredited. They had it all sorted out. Kids are pretty insecure; if there's something they can join in on for little risk, they will. That was the sport of bullying me.”

    “And none of the teachers are willing to help, to believe you?” Mrs Pelham sounded like she couldn't believe it.

    “Well, there's my home room teacher, Mrs Knott,” I told her. “She's listened a few times, but each time she's taken anything to the principal, she's been really quiet the next few days, and nothing's ever been done. So now she's nice to me in class, but that's about it.”

    “Dad,” Vicky spoke up. “Can I transfer to Winslow? At least on a temporary basis?”

    Mr Dallon looked up, somewhat startled. “Uh, why? From what Taylor's saying, Winslow's a really, uh, -”

    “Crappy place, yeah,” she agreed. “That's why I want to go. I'll get myself put into all of Taylor's classes, and see if those bullies want to try bullying her with me around. Fuck 'em.”

    “Language!” chided Mrs Pelham, but there was a glint in her eye. “In my experience, bullies tend to fold, once there's someone stronger there. In the meantime, Carol can approach the school with the threat of legal action unless Taylor is transferred out. After all, if the bullying is bad enough to trigger for super-powers … “ She paused, dwelling for a moment on something that only existed in her mind's eye. “ … then I would not want anyone to suffer it a moment longer than absolutely necessary.”

    “But … why would you all do stuff like that for me?” I protested. “You barely know me. Vicky, you only met me today. This morning.”

    Vicky let go my hand, but only so she could put her arm around my neck and give me a quick noogie. “Because you're awesome and you can turn into a dragon,” she pointed out, once she had let me go. “And you can breathe fire, and I so want to see that.”

    That got people looking at me from all around. A collective 'What?' followed that up, even from Mr Dallon.

    “Uh, yeah, it's kind of how I got out of the locker,” I pointed out. “I kind of blew the door off with an explosive fireball. That I breathed at it.”

    “Which the police have been questioning me about, kiddo,” Dad replied dryly. “I had to tell them about a dozen different ways that neither of us knows a damn thing about explosives.”

    “Which does raise the next question,” Mrs Pelham posited. “Taylor, you have powers. These powers are not entirely under your control. What do you intend to do with them?”

    Just as I opened my mouth to reply, there came a knocking at the door.

    Dad looked at Mrs Pelham. “Were you expecting visitors?”

    “Uh, no.” She frowned. “Let me go see.”

    Getting up, she went to the door. There was a tiny screen inset into it, which she tapped. An image came up, and she blinked. “Okay, what's Armsmaster doing here?”

    “Armsmaster?” echoed Vicky. “Taylor, you didn't buzz the PRT building or something when I wasn't looking, did you?”

    “Uh, no,” I told her. But I was pretty sure that whatever he was here for, I was involved. So I got up as well, and wandered over, standing off to one side from the door.

    Mrs Pelham opened the door. “Armsmaster,” she greeted the armoured hero. “What brings you out our way?”

    “I'm here to speak to your niece,” he replied bluntly. “Or rather, to whoever or whatever she brought home with her.”

    My head came up. Wow, holy shit. How did he find out about me? My heart began to pound.

    Mrs Pelham glanced sideways to me, and I nodded; she stepped aside.

    “You're in luck,” she announced. “Here she is.”

    I stepped into view of the doorway; Armsmaster indeed stood there, imposing in his silver and blue armour. In contrast, I was tall for my age, but anything other than imposing.

    “Hi?” I greeted him. His head came up, and I had the distinct impression that he was staring hard at me, despite the fact that his visor was opaque.

    “You're Taylor Hebert,” he announced, surprise in his voice.

    “I … yes, I am,” I admitted.

    “You blew up your locker at Winslow, damaged other lockers extensively, and set the school on fire.”

    “I, uh, did, I guess, yeah, but -”

    His voice was grim. “In doing so, you endangered the lives of your fellow students. People could have died. I'm going to have to ask you to come in for questioning about this matter.”

    I heard Mrs Pelham's voice off to the side, but not what she was saying. My blood pounded in my ears. This time, I felt the change coming on. No, no, no, no -

    Arms lengthened into wings, and membranes grew between my fingers and my arms. My t-shirt was gone, torn to shreds. My jeans – I was going through them at a phenomenal rate, just today – tore and split away from my growing tail, my changing legs. In just a few seconds, in my draconic form, I crouched before Armsmaster, mouth open and wings spread in an unconscious threat display. I couldn't roar, or perhaps I had not yet figured out how, but I was making a pretty loud noise anyway.

    He reached behind his back, there were several rapid click-click noises, and his halberd was in his hands. It was perhaps the most versatile weapon in Brockton Bay. Everyone knew that it could cut through steel like soft butter. And he was threatening me with it.

    “Stand down!” he shouted. “I will use all necessary force -”

    Flame roiled in my gullet, my head dipped low, and I spat fire. Not the explosive fireball that had opened the locker for me, but a tight, controlled burst. Blue-white at the core, blue around the edges; it illuminated the room with actinic brightness. Armsmaster ducked away, but it wasn't aimed at him. When he next looked at his halberd, the head was simply gone, with just a drooping blob of metal at the tip. Behind him, a line of globs of molten metal sizzled on the lawn.

    Stepping back carefully, I brought my wings in close to my body, and closed my mouth. Your move.


    End of Part Four

    Part Five
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2015
  19. Merior

    Merior Untested Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    Messages:
    2,559
    Likes Received:
    15,431
    Well, I do hope that there are laws concerning a lack of liability in regards to when a parahuman gains their powers (whether they specifically call it a trigger event or not). Regardless of that though I can't see Armsmaster being too popular with capes if he was seen as going after someone in those circumstances.

    Nor might it do his reputation much good if it came out that within moments of interacting with a new cape, who had been peacefully speaking with an independent hero group prior to that, he was threatening use of lethal force.
     
  20. Asheram

    Asheram Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2015
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    575
    Aaah! There's our Dragonette! :D
    Nice going, Wyvern!
     
    RomaniInfernius likes this.
  21. Asheram

    Asheram Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2015
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    575
    I'm 99% sure that there are canon laws about accidental destruction due to trigger conditions, just can't remember them right now.
     
    RomaniInfernius, Eryk, Scopas and 4 others like this.
  22. Ack

    Ack (Verified Ratbag) (Unverified Great Old One)

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Messages:
    6,533
    Likes Received:
    46,468
    They tend to go easy on new triggers. It's a matter of common sense. :D
     
  23. Ack

    Ack (Verified Ratbag) (Unverified Great Old One)

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Messages:
    6,533
    Likes Received:
    46,468
    Well, mind you, she did turn into a dragon.
     
  24. Asheram

    Asheram Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2015
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    575
    Oh, and seriously, did Taylor just
    blow a beam of Plasma on Halbeards halberd?
    I'm fairly sure he designed it to be Lung proof.
     
  25. SwiftRosenthal

    SwiftRosenthal Connoisseur.

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    Messages:
    19,858
    Likes Received:
    111,929
    Exceptions: Rachel, Bakuda


    Also, wouldn't it make more sense for Carol to enter lawyer mode wait, shit, Carol isn't there. Regardless, Sarah should've picked up enough of her sister's jargon over the years to tell Taylor to not say anything until Carol arrives.

    Armsmaster would still want to arrest Taylor, of course, but this way she wouldn't admit to anything without a lawyer present.
     
  26. RoninSword

    RoninSword Sky God

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2015
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    1,612
    Which would go to show you how hot her fire really is.

    Bakuda is a little different because as a tinker, it would have taken her some time to build whatever bombs she held the university hostage with. Time that she would have actively thought about what she was doing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2015
    solitare likes this.
  27. Ack

    Ack (Verified Ratbag) (Unverified Great Old One)

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Messages:
    6,533
    Likes Received:
    46,468
    Who?
     
  28. Ack

    Ack (Verified Ratbag) (Unverified Great Old One)

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Messages:
    6,533
    Likes Received:
    46,468
    She didn't expect Armsmaster to just come out with the accusation.
     
  29. Asheram

    Asheram Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2015
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    575
    Well, Rachel was a special case since everyone thought that she had control over the dog along with her enhancement of it.
    I'm not sure about Bakudas trigger though? She's a tinker and that usually reeks of premeditation.
     
  30. RoninSword

    RoninSword Sky God

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2015
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    1,612
    Halbeard is a nickname that Armsmaster has, since most people remember most the fact that he has a beard and that his preferred weapon is a halberd.
     
    RomaniInfernius likes this.
Loading...