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Wyvern - Worm AU fanfic

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

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  1. Monkey D. Funky

    Monkey D. Funky Getting sticky.

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    I was thinking more in the sense of pain happening, which Skitter didn't have to deal with as much, though here I suppose it could be shock.
     
    Snake/Eater, doomlord9 and pepperjack like this.
  2. edale

    edale Versed in the lewd.

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    It's probably wrong of me, but I laughed so hard when I read that.

    And I figured Taylor burned the hand off, and was wondering how it was bleeding... Then you said she ate it... and I'm like... This is New Wave's home, not a Hibachi restaurant.:p
     
  3. Ack

    Ack (Verified Ratbag) (Unverified Great Old One)

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    God, Taylor would feel so guilty.
     
  4. SwiftRosenthal

    SwiftRosenthal Connoisseur.

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    No, it's meant to be read as comedy - a completely-crosses-the-line type of comedy, but still.

    Did you miss the mention of copper and pork?
     
  5. edale

    edale Versed in the lewd.

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    Being Taylor is Suffering. So fit's pretty well with Worm, lol.
    Why yes, yes I did...
     
  6. edale

    edale Versed in the lewd.

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    relevant:
    o:40-1:07, though the whole thing is funny as hell.
    *edit- also 6:20-6:55

    As a side note, looking for this clip made me discover 7 whole episodes I didn't know about (I only knew 1-5).:D
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2015
    Eryk and pepperjack like this.
  7. Threadmarks: Part Five: Discussions
    Ack

    Ack (Verified Ratbag) (Unverified Great Old One)

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    Wyvern

    Part Five: Discussions


    Colin climbed off of his bike, and spent a moment re-straightening his spine. After ensuring that everything was in order, on the bike and on his armour, he trod up the path toward the Dallon house.

    He wasn't quite sure where this 'big red bird' thing would lead to. Probably a Case 53, with my luck. Talk to it, find out where it stood on the 'law and order' front, find out if it had useful powers. If it was a teenager – entirely possible, considering that Glory Girl had apparently befriended it – see about inducting it into the Wards.

    Such were his thoughts when he knocked on the front door.

    The door opened after a few moments, to reveal Lady Photon standing there. She must be visiting.


    Armsmaster,” she greeted him, cordially enough. “What brings you out our way?”

    No sense in beating about the bush. “I'm here to speak to your niece. Or rather, to whoever or whatever it is that she brought home with her.”

    Lady Photon glanced sideways at something out of Colin's view; after a moment, she stepped aside.


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

    Colin had just enough time to wonder She? before a teenage girl stepped into view. “Hi?”

    She was tall, skinny, wore round-framed glasses, had long curly hair … wait a minute. His head came up as he flicked to one of the file photos he'd been sent. He hadn't had time to do more than skim the notes on the ride over, but that face looked really familiar.

    And he was correct. The picture was a match, down to the T-shirt she was wearing. What the hell is
    she doing here?

    You're Taylor Hebert.” He couldn't keep the surprise out of his voice.

    I … yes, I am.” Her voice was nervous, uncertain. Time to press the advantage.

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

    I, uh, did, I guess, yeah, but -” He wasn't good at reading expressions, but that was an admission of guilt in anyone's book. The 'big red bird' could wait. She's the Winslow bomber.

    Time to let her know just how much trouble she's in. It might just keep her from trying to act out on the way back to base.


    In doing so,” he informed her, his voice as grim as he could make it, “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.”

    Uh, Armsmaster,” began Lady Photon, “I really don't think -”

    He began to turn his head to look at her, but then his attention snapped back to the Hebert girl. She was … hunching over? In pain? He frowned, trying to figure out what was happening. Was she having a fit or seizure of some sort?

    In the next second or so, his questions were answered, very dramatically indeed. He had seen animations of creatures evolving from lizard-like forms to mammalian forms; this was more or less the reverse, only it was happening right there in front of him.

    Her face elongated and became a muzzle; her arms lifted out from her sides, the bones stretching impossibly, the hands enlarging, the fingers becoming long and spindly. Membranes erupted from her skin, filling in the space between her fingers, between her arms and her body. In the process, her t-shirt was shredded, cast off from her body, which was now covered in red-gold scales.

    Christ. She's the 'big red bird'. Only, she's no bird. Not a Case 53 either. She's a Changer. Some kind of … dinosaur?

    Her jeans were likewise split and torn as her legs reshaped to become digitigrade, her feet growing wicked claws – he had seen the marks those claws made in the sand – and a long tail came out from behind. She was no longer human; those arms-become-wings, with their magnificently-coloured red-gold membranes, were stretched out to each side, held up to show the most amount of surface area. A crest arose on her head, displaying the same red-gold membrane, making her look taller, more fearsome. It was a threat display, simple but extremely effective.

    As she crouched before him, her mouth opened farther than it should have been able to. In the process, it managed to show off a startlingly pink tongue, as well as an inordinate amount of extremely sharp dentition. With those jaws and those teeth, he decided absently, she was quite possibly able to take off a man's hand and wrist, all at the same time. The creature that had been Taylor Hebert – is she even
    in there any more? -let out a long screech of pure menace.

    Colin Wallis was not one to put much stock in the concept of genetic memory, but this sight, this sound, bypassed his higher logic centres, ran down to his hindbrain, and started setting off all kinds of alarms there. Danger, his every instinct screamed. Danger danger danger.

    Even as his brain manufactured excuses – if she's still sentient, then she's deliberately menacing me. If she's not, then she may well see me as a threat and attack without provocation – he reached back and retrieved his halberd. It unfolded and opened out to its full size; however, he deliberately did not direct the spear-pointed head toward the creature before him. Instead, in his own form of a threat display, he held it up so that the head was silhouetted against the light coming in from outside. I have a weapon. Here it is. Attack me at your peril.


    Stand down!” He put all the force he could muster into that command. “I will use all necessary force -”

    Her head dipped low, her mouth opened a fraction wider, and something erupted from her throat, something that tore past his head, far too close for comfort. He was aware of actinic brightness, as of looking directly into a welding arc, even as his visor adjusted for the glare and he ducked away. Then he felt the radiant heat; his HUD showed hot spots in his left arm and shoulder, and the left side of his chin felt a little singed.

    The blast – what
    was that? Did she just breathe plasma at me? - had missed him, thank Christ. His left eye had been somewhat dazzled, but the orange spots were starting to fade. He had the extremely uncomfortable feeling that had she hit him in the head with whatever that was, he would now be missing his head. Was that a warning shot? Or is her aim that bad?

    And then the alarms in his helmet display caught up with him, and he turned to look at his halberd. Or rather, what was left of his halberd. The head was … gone. Melted, disintegrated, whatever. All that was left was a blob of cooling metal. Holy
    Christ. His head snapped back around to the … the dragon. There was no other name for it.

    But she was no longer threatening him; she had backed up, folded her wings, and closed her mouth. Her eyes – disconcertingly intelligent eyes, now that they were no longer blazing with fury, or fear, or whatever it had been – watched him unwaveringly.

    Before he could decide what to do next – call for backup, call on Lady Photon for assistance, pull out a secondary weapon – the decision was taken from his hands. A shimmering field popped into existence between him and the red-gold scaled creature.


    <><>​

    “Okay, everyone take a breath!” snapped Mrs Pelham as she stepped up. “Armsmaster, that means you, too!”

    Still holding the headless halberd, the armoured hero opened his mouth. The beard on the left side of his jaw seemed to be a little patchy, the skin there reddened. “I – but -”

    “But nothing,” Mrs Pelham told him, even as Vicky darted to my side. “Taylor did nothing wrong. She's just had her trigger event, today. Inside the locker that she blew up. Take a moment. Connect the dots.”

    “Holy crap, that was awesome!” Vicky enthused, as she hugged me, wings and all. “I can't believe that you just wrecked his halberd!”

    “I can't believe it either,” Mrs Pelham commented dryly, over her shoulder, even as she kept the force field up. “Taylor, I think you owe Armsmaster an apology, for melting his halberd.”

    I didn't think so – I had felt very threatened at the time – but as she was my host, I nodded. Raising to my full height – not so much shorter than Armsmaster – I dipped my head, and gave him my best attempt at an apologetic chirp. Vicky whispered in my ear – something about 'penis substitute' – and I found out that, yes, dragons can snicker. But they can't giggle. Which sucks.

    Mrs Pelham cast a sharp glance at us; we subsided. “And Armsmaster,” she continued in what I could not help but think of as her 'Photon Mom' mode, “Taylor deserves an apology for you just accusing her without actually asking her why she did it, or even how.”

    Armsmaster cleared his throat. “I, uh, may have acted precipitately,” he muttered grudgingly. “Perhaps I should have asked more questions before jumping to conclusions.”

    It was about the most backhanded apology that I had ever gotten, but I nodded magnanimously and gave him a chirp of agreement.

    “So we're not going to fight any more?” asked Lady Photon meaningfully. “Because I will put the both of you in time-out corners if I have to.” Oh yeah, definitely Photon Mom.

    I ducked my head in submission. No trouble from me.

    “I … there are definitely aspects to this case that I could stand to learn more about,” Armsmaster conceded. “If I may come in, I would like to discuss it with you, uh, Taylor.”

    Mrs Pelham glanced at me; I nodded. The barrier vanished.

    <><>​

    Armsmaster looked at each of us in turn. "All right, let's take this from the top. I will be recording."

    He and I were the only two not seated; him because the weight of his armour threatened the integrity of any ordinary chair in which he sat, and me because I had found that my tail got in the way of sitting normally. Thus, I crouched on my haunches with my tail as a prop, and found it comfortable. Not entirely by coincidence, I had situated myself between the armchairs in which Dad and Vicky sat; Mrs Pelham sat on the sofa with her brother-in-law, and Armsmaster stood off to the side where he could see us all. Most particularly me.

    That was fine with me; I was watching him just as intently.

    When nobody objected, he continued. "Taylor, I am told that you were in the locker that was blown up, and that you triggered there. Is that true?"

    I chirped agreement, and nodded my head vigorously.

    "Hm." Armsmaster seemed to be studying me. "You can't talk in this form, can you?"

    I shook my head firmly, while chirping a negation. No, duh.

    "Perhaps we should hold up while you go and change back?" He paused. "Why haven't you changed back, anyway?"

    I looked toward Mrs Pelham; she took a breath. "Because it seems that Taylor's Changer ability has a strong emotional trigger. She tends to transform, involuntarily, when placed under high stress." A pause, to let the words sink in. Yes, you're to blame. "The change back doesn't tend to happen unless she's calm, unworried, relaxed, and feeling totally comfortable. That is, no stress. Which I don't see happening any time soon."

    "Hm. This could be a problem.” For a moment there, I thought he was referring to my difficulties in changing from one form to the other, but then he kept talking. “We can determine 'yes' and 'no', but anything more complex ... "

    "Victoria told me that she's perfectly capable of writing," Mrs Pelham pointed out.

    "Not with a pen, surely," he commented, looking at my wings; even furled as they were, it was immediately obvious that I would never hold any normal writing implement with them.

    "Well, no," Vicky conceded. "With her wingtip, in the sand. Down at the Boardwalk."

    "Ah, yes, I saw that," he noted. "Well, we're kind of lacking anything to write in at the moment -"

    "Hah!" Vicky exclaimed, making me jump. "And I'm still a genius!"

    "Victoria?" inquired her aunt.

    "Back in a second," Vicky told her, bouncing out of her chair. "You'll see!"

    With that, she darted upstairs, leaving us mystified in her wake. Mrs Pelham looked at Dad, who shrugged. "I have no idea," he admitted.

    Moments later, Vicky reappeared, leaping from the top step to the bottom in a single jump. Mrs Pelham cleared her throat sternly. "You shouldn't be flying in the house," she admonished her niece.

    Vicky gave her aunt a cheeky grin. “I wasn't really flying. Just, you know, falling kinda slow. Anyway, check it out and tell me I'm not a genius."

    With a flourish, she spread out in front of me the sheet of plastic that she had retrieved from her bedroom. If I wasn't much mistaken, it was the same one that she had gone to get, just before Dad helped me change back the last time. I wondered if he could do it again. Or if I could change back under a nice soothing shower …

    “Okay, yes, I see where you're going with this.”

    At Mrs Pelham's comment, I brought my attention back to the present. The plastic sheet was obviously intended to be used for educating younger children; it held a complete alphabet, with upper and lower case letters, as well as the numbers from zero to nine. There was also a colour wheel, and a simple multiplication table. But it was the alphabet that got my attention.

    With a triumphant chirp, I reached out and tapped letters in sequence: Y-E-S-Y-O-U-A-R-E-A-G-E-N-I-U-S.

    Vicky grinned at me. “Told you.” She waved a notepad and pen. “I'll even keep note of what you've already said, here.”

    G-O-O-D, I tapped out, then I looked at Armsmaster. A-S-K-A-W-A-Y. Vicky scribbled the letters as I tapped them, mumbling to herself.

    “Very well,” he replied. “I've been reviewing the photos of the remains of the locker, and I found scratches on the lower part of the door. Was that you?”

    I nodded, and chirped an affirmative.

    “Understood.” He paused. “Do you know who put you in there?” I took a deep breath, and reached out to the plastic sheet. 3-B-I-T-C-H-E-S.

    “Can you tell me their names?”

    I nodded again. E-M-M-A, pause, B-A-R-N-E-S.

    “Wait, I've seen that name,” he interrupted. There was a long pause, during which he seemed to zone out. “Ah, right,” he noted at last. “Mr Hebert, you told the police that Ms Barnes was your daughter's best friend.”

    “I thought she was,” Dad told him helplessly. “I only just found out today that she's actually spearheading the bullying campaign on my daughter. Her father's been one of my good friends since forever.”

    “Hm,” Armsmaster commented. “Well then. Taylor, do you have other names?”

    I nodded. M-A-D-I-S-O-N. Tap-tap on the edge of the plastic. C-L-E-M-E-N-T-S. Tap on the number 3. S-O-P-H-I-A. Tap-tap. H-E-S-S.

    “Wait, that last name,” Armsmaster interrupted. “Are you sure of that one?”

    I nodded emphatically. B-L-A-C-K G-I-R-L T-R-A-C-K S-T-A-R R-E-A-L B-I-T-C-H.

    Armsmaster nodded. “All right. Understood. You're sure that they are the ones who put you in there?”

    I-V-E B-E-E-N B-U-L-L-I-E-D F-O-R A Y-E-A-R I-T-S T-H-E-M.

    “I see,” he murmured. “Okay, then. As for your getting out of the locker … “

    Bit by bit, he led me through the incident, up until I met Vicky. She was able to fill him in from there, cheerfully describing how she had failed to pull out in time, and ploughed into the ocean.

    “Can you do something about this?” Dad asked him, after we had gotten the narrative up to the point that Vicky and her aunt got me back to the house. “I mean, what those girls did, it's got to be a criminal act.”

    “I'm not the police, Mr Hebert,” he told my father. “I can subdue and restrain normal criminals, but I have to hand them over to the normal police. I can't arrest them, and I can't perform normal criminal investigations. The PRT and Protectorate have enough to do with parahuman criminal activity as it is.”

    “So what can you do?” Dad asked plaintively. “I'd go there myself, but apparently the teachers there have refined apathy to a fine art.”

    “I personally can't do much,” Armsmaster replied. “The information can be passed on to the school principal. However, I can't actually guarantee that any action will be taken, now or later.”

    “Emma's father is a lawyer,” Dad pointed out. “He might be the reason that they're letting her get away with so much.”

    “That could be the case,” agreed Armsmaster. “Taylor, if you want to take a break now, I need to check in.”

    I nodded, and chirped in agreement. As Armsmaster headed outside, I turned to Vicky and indicated the sheet; she readied her notebook. H-O-T-S-H-O-W-E-R-T-O-R-E-L-A-X, I tapped out, forgetting to add in spaces. However, she was on the ball, and nodded thoughtfully.

    “We can definitely try it,” she agreed. “I'll get you some more clothes.” A pause, and she grinned at me. “Try not to wreck these ones too, huh?”

    I made the rudest noise that I could manage.

    <><>​

    “So, are you still a dragon?”

    I tried to ignore her, allowing the hot water to cascade over my scaled body. It felt good; not as good as it did when I was human, for instance, but still good. However, the temperature seemed to be a little on the low side; with the aid of my wrist, I managed to move the lever in the direction that I wanted it to go. The water pounded on my upturned muzzle; I let my jaws sag open so that the steaming torrent could trickle hot and delicious down my throat.

    It was working, I could tell; the tensions were easing out of my body. Turning around, I let it cascade over my back; opening my wings a little, I could feel it drumming on the membranes between my body and my elbows. Standing forward, I moved my tail back and forth through the flow -

    - and abruptly, it was as though boiling oil was being poured over me. I yelped and ducked away from the scalding flow, feeling for the lever and slamming it all the way closed. The flow reluctantly petered out, leaving a stinging sensation across my backside.

    “Ah-ha!” Vicky's triumphant voice sounded from beyond the steamed-over shower cubicle. “I hear the sound of one Taylor yelping.”

    “Ow. Shut up. Ow.” I pulled open the cubicle door. “It worked, but apparently dragon me likes her showers in medium boiling.”

    “Ouch,” she replied sympathetically as she handed me a towel. “Where'd you get burned?”

    I turned around as I started drying my head and shoulders, to let her inspect the injured area. “Right on the butt. The universe hates me.”

    “Wow, that's red. That's not gonna be fun, sitting down.”

    “Oh, shut up.” I flicked her with the towel.

    “But at least you're human again.”

    “Yeah,” I agreed gloomily. “I wonder how long I'll last this time?”

    “What I'm curious about,” she added mischievously, “is what your body considers its natural form. When you go to bed, are you gonna wake up as a dragon or a human?”

    “And here I was thinking the day was looking up.”

    “Yeah, that's gonna happen.”

    “Shush, you.”

    <><>​

    Director Piggot speaking.”

    Armsmaster here, Director.”

    Armsmaster. I was just wondering where you had gotten to. Have you made any headway on either of your cases?”

    Actually, I've more or less solved both of them.” His voice held a perhaps excusable level of pride.

    I'm impressed. How did you manage that?”

    Because they both involved the same person. A new Trigger, with a Changer ability. She was locked in her locker at Winslow, and Changed into … well, into a dragon. Human sized. According to her, she blew the locker door off with an explosive fireball. Then she escaped the school, where she encountered Glory Girl, who invited her home.”

    I … see. What's your assessment of this parahuman. A girl, you said?”

    Yes. Taylor Hebert. She's the owner of the locker. She seems to be a reasonably balanced individual, but her Changer ability isn't necessarily under her control. And her other form possesses a great deal of destructive potential.”

    These explosive fireballs you mentioned?”

    Plus a plasma jet that melted the head of my halberd and gave me a sunburn on the left side of my jaw.”

    Piggot paused for a long moment. “You … fought … her?”


    It wasn't a fight, so much as things got a little out of hand, before Lady Photon stepped in. Nobody was hurt, and there was no property damage. Apart from my halberd.”

    I see. Well, what's the situation there now?”

    We're talking. I'm getting information. She can't talk, not in her Changed form, but we've found a workaround. But there is something that you do need to know.”

    The Director sighed. There was always something new. “Yes?”


    She has positively identified Sophia Hess and Emma Barnes as two of the individuals who forced her into the locker. Gave enough of a description of Hess that she can't be mistaken. Says that Hess has been bullying her for a year.”

    Sophia Hess,” repeated Piggot. “Shadow Stalker.”

    Yes. I thought you should know.”

    And she caused this girl to trigger.”

    Yes.”

    Christ. Right, leave it with me. One more thing.”

    Yes, ma'am?”

    What's your assessment of this girl's chances of assimilating with the Wards?”

    There was a pause, then he replied. “With a few minor problems ironed out, she could be a definite asset.”


    One of those problems being her erratic Changer ability?”

    Yes, ma'am. The other is that, immediately after she Changes to, uh, dragon form, she seems to act instinctively at first. I – she was under stress when we came face to face, and she Changed, and went directly into a threat display that nearly precipitated a fight.”

    And she attacked you with this plasma jet?”

    Not … as such. I had my halberd out, to demonstrate that I was willing to meet force with force, and she targeted it, and destroyed the head, utterly.”

    Do you think she was aiming for it?”

    I think it a strong possibility. Absolutely nothing else was hit. Including me. And I was holding it.”

    Can you replace it?”

    I have several spares. I'll just have to bring one of them up to scratch.”

    Good. In the meantime, keep me updated on this dragon girl. And work on a proper cape name for her. 'Dragon' is already taken, of course.”

    Well, it's not like there are many other dragon-themed capes around. I think she'll be spoiled for choice.”

    True. And if you think she's even vaguely suited for the Wards, try to get her in. We need the manpower. And we don't need more teenage independents roaming the streets. Especially ones who can melt steel by breathing on it.”

    Understood, ma'am. I'll keep you posted.”

    Piggot hung up, and ran her hands over her face.

    God almighty. Dragons in Brockton Bay. What next?


    <><>​

    Armsmaster was back inside by the time that Vicky and I descended the stairs once more. I was once more wearing the spare glasses Dad had brought over. The soothing cream on my butt seemed to be doing its job, but Vicky seemed to be unable to look at me without giggling. I knew what the joke was – as a dragon, I had melted Armsmaster's halberd. As a human, I had burned my own butt in the shower – but I really didn't think it was all that funny.

    “You're human again,” he observed, as I came into view.

    Thank you, Captain Obvious. “Uh, yeah. I had an idea about having a hot shower, and it worked.”

    Dad rose to come hug me; I returned the favour as Armsmaster kept talking. “So you've got the Changing problem fixed?”

    “Not necessarily a perfect fix,” I allowed. “Call it a work in progress. And we've still got the problem that I go through more outfits than, well, a Brute with anger problems.”

    “Hulk smash,” Dad muttered as he went to sit down again; I didn't get the reference.

    “Well, in any case,” the armoured hero continued as Vicky gestured me into her chair, and perched on the arm, “we need to talk about your powers.”

    “What about them?” I asked. “If I can stay out of high-stress situations, they don't activate. Unfortunately, one day at Winslow is all the Bitches need to set up something that will drive my blood pressure through the roof. And if I ignore them or don't react, they come back with something even worse, to force me to react.”

    “That's a problem that can be addressed,” Armsmaster noted. “But right now, I'm pegging your Changed form as Mover, Blaster and Brute. Exact numbers to be assigned later, with testing, if you're up to it.”

    “Wait, wait,” Vicky protested. “Mover, sure. Blaster, definitely. But Brute? She couldn't even rip her way out of that locker.”

    “You forget, I have all the files on that locker, right here,” he informed her, tapping his helmet. “She didn't burn the locker door off; she blew it off. With a fireball that exploded inside the locker, within inches of her own body, spraying fire in all directions, hot enough to damage the floor and set fire to the ceiling and the wall behind. She withstood the concussive blast within the locker, and the attendant fire, without suffering appreciable harm.”

    I raised a tentative hand. He nodded in my direction. “Uh, when I was having the shower,” I ventured. “As a dragon, I felt that the water just wasn't warm enough. I took it all the way up to as hot as it would go without feeling any particular discomfort.” I carefully didn't explain what had happened when I had gone back to being human, under that scalding spray.

    “Well, it makes sense that you would be resistant to heat,” he agreed. “It remains to be seen, however, whether you are resistant to any explosive effect, or just ones that you generate.”

    “Or maybe she just gets better,” Lady Photon observed. “Taylor, when I first saw you chasing Victoria, I shot you with a laser bolt. I haven't seen any sign of injury on you.”

    I frowned. “That stung for a little bit, then stopped. I kind of forgot about it. A lot's happened since.”

    “Well, in that case, some level of regeneration seems to be indicated.” Armsmaster nodded. “So, Changer with Brute, Mover and Blaster capabilities. So far, you've made use of two different types of breath weapon. Do you have any more?”

    “I have no idea.” I shrugged. “I didn't know I could do either one till I needed to. I guess I could work at figuring what else I can do with breathing fire, and see if I could make it work.”

    “Make sure you have a good solid backstop,” he advised me. “Actually, we have excellent facilities for just this sort of thing in the PRT building. It's designed for people flinging high-end attacks around.”

    I tilted my head. “Maybe. We'll see how it goes. Right now, my bigger problem is my unmatched capability for destroying clothes every time I Change. At this rate, I'll be all out by tomorrow night.”

    “The PRT has many contacts among the parahuman community,” he responded. “Say the word, and we'll find a Tinker who can do the job of creating clothes that you don't lose when you Change.”

    “And I'm guessing that the 'word' is agreement to join the Wards?” Mrs Pelham sat up from where she'd been leaning back. “Don't think I haven't noticed your hints.”

    “Yeah, nope,” Vicky protested, putting her arm around my shoulders. “If she goes into a superteam, it should be with us. Because we're awesome, and so is Taylor.”

    “The PRT can help you get a handle on your powers, Taylor,” argued Armsmaster.

    I shook my head. “No, I don't think so.”

    Dad turned to me, looking puzzled. “What? Why? It sounds like a great deal.”

    “I can't explain it, Dad,” I told him. “When we were on the beach below the Boardwalk, Vicky asked me if I wanted to go out to the Protectorate base, and they could investigate what's happened to me. But I don't want to be poked. I don't want to be prodded. And I've got this feeling that once I get signed in there, I can be ordered to allow them to poke and prod me.”

    “Is that true?” Dad asked, turning to Armsmaster.

    “She's a danger to the public as she is,” the armoured hero replied evasively. “All it takes is for one person to stress her enough to Change in public, and then her cover is blown. Not to mention the people who might get hurt, either through panic, or if someone in the crowd has been getting in her face, and she reacts automatically, and turns him into a charcoal briquette.”

    “I aimed at your halberd,” I informed him bluntly. “That threat display, yeah, that was me on autopilot. But the rest of it? All me.”

    “That was a very valuable piece of equipment,” he told me. “You're still liable for its destruction.”

    “You had it out, and you were threatening me with it,” I retorted, as steadily as I could. “I took care of the threat in as non-harmful a way as I could manage.”

    “You could have just surrendered to lawful authority,” he pointed out. “You would have been treated well.”

    “Hell with that,” I shot back. “I've had it with all this bullshit. You automatically assumed that I blew up my locker deliberately. You didn't ask why. Lady Photon asked why.”

    <><>​

    I still think that if you go into the Wards, the PRT can handle any legal problems, in case your powers cause some level of damage in public. Also, we have access to people with professional training in dealing with problematic powers.”

    She shook her head. “Poking and prodding. Not a fan.”


    Then where will you go?” he asked. “It's not a good place for an independent out there, right now. And you have the twin troubles that if you go out as human, you have to bank on being able to Change to dragon form at a moment's notice. If you go out as dragon, then it's really obvious as to who you are.”

    She paused, and he thought that perhaps she had seen reason. But then Lady Photon broke in. “That's easy. She can join New Wave.”

    Everyone looked at her. Even Flashbang stared at her for a moment.


    Oh, hell yes!” exclaimed Glory Girl. “We'll be the only team in town with a dragon! The others will be so damn jealous.”

    Lady Photon smiled gently. “That's not exactly the reason for the offer, dear,” she told her niece. “But it seems to me that Taylor might need a helping hand. Plus, her powers could be extremely useful at the right time and place.” She turned to the Hebert girl. “What do you say, Taylor? Want to join New Wave?”


    Uh, do I have to tell everyone who I am, and who my dad is?” the girl asked.

    Well, just show up in your dragon form, and you'll never need a mask,” Glory Girl pointed out cheerfully.

    Danny isn't a cape, and revealing your name would put his at risk,” Lady Photon mused. “And you're just as vulnerable when you're not in your Changed form. I think we can make an amendment to the rules for your case; you won't wear a mask, but you'll only show the public your dragon form.”

    Wyvern,” Flashbang commented unexpectedly.

    What?” asked the Hebert girl. “Uh, Mr Dallon.”

    Flashbang looked at them all. “A dragon with two legs and two wings is called a wyvern, not a dragon. It's a mythology thing.” He subsided back into silence.

    The Hebert girl looked at her father and shrugged. “It's as good a name as any. Wyvern it is.”


    I'll have to check to make sure that it isn't already taken,” Armsmaster pointed out.

    Well, if it is, I'll find something else,” she decided. “And yeah, I think I'd like to join New Wave. If the others don't mind, that is.”

    Glory Girl laughed out loud. “Mind? Ames will be so damn jealous that I met you first.”

    Lady Photon smiled, and reached out to take Taylor's hand. “Welcome to New Wave,” she told the girl.

    Director Piggot, Armsmaster knew, would not be happy. But at least the girl was joining an actual, established team.

    That had to count for something.



    End of Part Five

    Part Six
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
  8. Starfox5

    Starfox5 Experienced.

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    Nice chapter! That's some good thinking on all sides, some funny changing and changing back, and a smart way to communicate (until they can set up a tinkertech system). And Sophia's been outed.
    And Taylor's joining New Wave.
     
  9. Monkey D. Funky

    Monkey D. Funky Getting sticky.

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    Typo. You mean Taylor's best friend, not Emma's best friend.

    Well, nice to see things resolved peacefully, and for it to be conclusively established that Taylor's joining New Wave.

    Also, once again, THAAAAAANK you for more Wyvern.
     
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  10. edale

    edale Versed in the lewd.

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    Nice Omake reference.:D
    You know, I couldn't see any of the supposed 'Lung doesn't exist/is different' hints before. This just outright says it though.
    You know.... I actually expected Armsmaster to be the one to notice Taylor's a wyvern, not a dragon. Definitely didn't expect it to be Flashbang.
     
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  11. Ack

    Ack (Verified Ratbag) (Unverified Great Old One)

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    Eh, Armsy wouldn't be the one to go browsing dragon pics. I just thought that it would be amusing for Mark to pop his head up (having sat through the whole thing quietly) and make that observation before going back to what he was doing. :D
     
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  12. Ack

    Ack (Verified Ratbag) (Unverified Great Old One)

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    Found and fixed, thanks.
     
  13. OverReactionGuy

    OverReactionGuy The only Sane one left

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    It was amusing.
     
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  14. Asheram

    Asheram Know what you're doing yet?

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    :D Ack is best Ack!
     
  15. pepperjack

    pepperjack A Variety of Cheese

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    As long as Amy gets to ride her first, I think all will be forgiven.
     
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  16. Asheram

    Asheram Know what you're doing yet?

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    Suddenly All the girls want to ride Taylor. Somewhere Sarah is giggling without knowing why.
     
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  17. Chojomeka

    Chojomeka Kimochi~

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    I really don't see Amy being all too thrilled about Taylor at all, just another person who can do things with Victoria that she can't, worse Victoria and Taylor are strangely close to each other with how little they've known each other.
     
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  18. OverReactionGuy

    OverReactionGuy The only Sane one left

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    Plus Vicky keeps on stripping Taylor... man that would be an awkward conversation.
     
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  19. RoninSword

    RoninSword Sky God

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    I can understand her only going out in her wyvern form, but it seems to me that New Wave would try and commission a costume that can survive her change (mainly as a precaution to changing back to human form, regardless of how difficult that would be).
     
  20. Ack

    Ack (Verified Ratbag) (Unverified Great Old One)

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    You do realise that Taylor is human sized.
     
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  21. steamrick

    steamrick Matter: protons, electrons, neutrons and morons

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    Another reason for Taylor to join New Wave: It is rather unlikely that her identity will survive her first year as a cape. Something or other will happen that will lead to her transforming in public view.
    Whether that is a run-in with a villain, Emma's comback or just a particularly aggravating day, something will trigger the transformation sooner or later.

    Unfortunately, Glory will have to get the first ride to see if it's safe for someone without mover and/or brute powers.
    Plus, as Ack said. She ain't all that big in the first place.


    Question @all:
    How does the ABB survive without Lung to keep everyone else disinterested in a large fight?
     
  22. Xilph

    Xilph Well worn.

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    The same way every other city with strong villain organizations, the Protectorate and PRT. Note that they have more free rein here as well without Lung being there to fuck things up if they make any mistakes or accidentally start a gang war, although there are likely still several smaller gangs with the E88 as a large one. Without the presence of multiple factions that have the potential to defeat them though they should be doing much better, really just no Lung means they should be doing better as he alone caused significant damage to them.
     
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  23. pepperjack

    pepperjack A Variety of Cheese

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    Either that, or this setting's Kenta is Hive Mind*, and he's held the ABB together as its solo parahuman for years now with his terrifying arthropod control. He wins fights against the whole Protectorate East-North-East. No one fucks with Hive Mind.

    *or Swarm, or pick-a-Japanese-word-that-means-something-similar

    Yeah, yeah, I know. It might be a tight squeeze, but I think she'll fit. ...

    After all, Lois Lane never had any trouble riding Superman.
     
  24. abyssmal_kismet

    abyssmal_kismet Experienced.

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    I do wonder how the Japan Leviathan fight went without Lung. Did it go better because Lung wasn't there to infinitely escalate things? Did it go worse because Lung wasn't there to drive it off? Perhaps the island didn't sink, or maybe MORE of them sank.
     
  25. SwiftRosenthal

    SwiftRosenthal Connoisseur.

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    It is a euphemism.
     
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  26. pepperjack

    pepperjack A Variety of Cheese

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    Why, SwiftRosenthal, I am surprised at you! Just what could you be insinuating?
     
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  27. Garahs

    Garahs Soil Surveyor

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    I remember something about Oni Lee being in charge until Lung arrived to take over.
     
  28. Snake/Eater

    Snake/Eater Myth Maker of the North

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    Because Taylor bite off more then could she could chew. :D
     
  29. DieKatzchen

    DieKatzchen Know what you're doing yet?

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    I think you mean precipitously, unless he's falling out of solution. Also, wasn't expecting another chapter so soon. Loving it.
     
  30. jcogginsa

    jcogginsa Versed in the lewd.

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    By being a dozen different gangs
     
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