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Wyvern - Worm AU fanfic

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

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  1. OverReactionGuy

    OverReactionGuy The only Sane one left

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    Oh! My reading comprehension is failing tonight. I probably should head back to bed. >.>
     
  2. edale

    edale Versed in the lewd.

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  3. EJH

    EJH Know what you're doing yet?

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    I think Manpower might have something to say about that...
     
  4. edale

    edale Versed in the lewd.

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    Oh yea, just remembered why all the Danny/Sarah Pelham pairing fics happen after Leviathan...
     
  5. SwiftRosenthal

    SwiftRosenthal Connoisseur.

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    Ehh, Sarah might be down for a compromise. She always was the level-headed one of the two sisters.
     
  6. Datcord

    Datcord Giggling menace

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    "Dibs on being the little spoon!"?
     
  7. Datcord

    Datcord Giggling menace

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    Because people have no guts! Wimps!

    If having a thing for hot, badass women in teeny-tiny miniskirts is a fetish, then it's a fetish I wholeheartedly admit and embrace!

    Hey! I don't judge for things like THAT! I am ALWAYS willing to admit the possibility of "Fuck it, we're just gonna share." Maximum happiness for maximum people... via hot sex.

    Canon NEVER says that some of New Wave aren't secretly swingers! It's entirely plausible! YOU CAN'T PROVE IT WRONG!

    More importantly, you can't prove that Ack won't write it if we make a convincing enough argument!
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015
  8. Ack

    Ack (Verified Ratbag) (Unverified Great Old One)

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    Well, in NSW ... :D
     
  9. Atropa

    Atropa Getting sticky.

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    In NSW Wimps become Gimps? :cool:
     
  10. Threadmarks: Part Seven: ... For You Are Crunchy, and Go Well With Ketchup
    Ack

    Ack (Verified Ratbag) (Unverified Great Old One)

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    Wyvern

    Part Seven: … For You are Crunchy, and Go Well With Ketchup



    “Dragon.” Amy Dallon stared at me, eyes wide.

    I'm a wyvern, I thought crossly.

    Amy was obviously no telepath. “Dragon. Room. Why?”

    Vicky stepped over next to me, putting an arm affectionately around my neck. “Because it's awesome, that's why. Taylor, meet Ames. Ames, meet -”

    Thundering footsteps up the stairs and along the passageway interrupted her introductions; Amy moved away from the door just before it was flung open. Mrs Pelham was first through the doorway, followed by Dad, and then Mrs Dallon.

    “We heard screaming,” Dad burst out. “What happened?”

    Vicky grinned. “Well. Ames came in to say hi, and Taylor had sort of taken her clothes off … “

    “Why?” interjected Amy again.

    “Because if she's wearing anything when she Changes, she destroys it.” Vicky grinned at her sister. “Geez, try to keep up. So anyway, Amy was kind of surprised to find someone in my room without any clothes on … “

    “I think anyone would,” offered Dad. I nodded vigorously in agreement.

    “Yeah, I suppose me too,” agreed Vicky. “Anyway, Amy sort of screamed, then Taylor screamed right back, and Amy screamed again, and then Taylor Changed … and yeah, Mom, this is what she looks like.”

    Mrs Dallon stepped forward; behind her, I saw Vicky's father peering in through the doorway. I stood a little straighter as Vicky's mom looked me over, turning my head as she walked around behind me and stepped over my tail.

    “Taylor,” she addressed me, “can you understand me?”

    I nodded, and added an agreeable chirp.

    “That means yes,” Vicky supplied.

    “Thank you, Victoria, I think I got that,” Mrs Dallon murmured. “Taylor, may I see your wings?”

    Again, I nodded, then turned slightly so that I had the room. Unfurling my wings let me reach both walls before I got to full extension, but they still looked pretty good, I thought.

    “Wow. Seriously. Dragon. Big wings.” Amy seemed to be getting over her initial shock, although she still wasn't speaking in complete sentences.

    Dad cleared his throat. “I think we agreed on 'wyvern', actually.”

    “Huh?” asked Amy.

    Her father leaned over to her. “Dragons have four limbs and two wings. Wyverns have two limbs and two wings. It's a fantasy thing.”

    “Okay, right.” Amy looked at Vicky. “But why your room?”

    Vicky shrugged. “Because she needed someplace to Change.”

    “Argh. No. Sorry, I'm not saying this right.” Amy dug her hands through her hair. “Why did she have to be in your room, without anything on, with you there? Why couldn't she just Change on her own? And why was she just standing around like that?”

    “Oh. Right. Sorry.” Vicky looked enlightened. “She has trouble Changing. She needs a little bit of a boost to go from one form into another.”

    “And you may recall that I did suggest that you knock before entering,” Mrs Pelham reminded her.

    “Pfft, that's never gonna happen,” Vicky told her with an airy wave. “Ames and I barge in on each other all the time.”

    “Anyway, it's a stress based Change,” Dad told Amy. “I'm guessing the surprise of having you burst in on her is what tipped the balance in this particular instance.”

    “Oh.” She stared at him. “And who are you, exactly?”

    “Your aunt introduced us, remember?” He extended his hand. “Danny Hebert. Taylor's father. It's an honour to meet you, Panacea.”

    She shook his hand almost by reflex, or so it seemed. “Yeah, nice to meet you too.” Turning, she moved over to where I stood, re-folding my wings just so. “And you're … Taylor, right?”

    I nodded and made the same agreeable noise that I had given her mother.

    “And how long have you been able to Change into a … what did you call it? A wyvern?”

    I shrugged; Vicky leaned in. “She can't actually talk like that,” she explained. “As for how long it's been … well, today, basically.” She grinned broadly at Amy. “But how cool is this? She's joining New Wave!”

    “Wait, what?” Amy asked. “Joining the team? Is that a good idea?”

    “Yes, we think so,” Mrs Pelham told her. “She's a new cape, she's quite powerful in her own way, she doesn't want to be involved with the Protectorate, and she needs support in her Changed form.”

    “Yeah, you should've seen her melt Armsmaster's halberd,” Vicky added enthusiastically. “It was awesome!”

    Amy stared at me; I felt like putting my wing over my face again. “She melted Armsmaster's halberd? Wasn't he mad?”

    Vicky grinned and nodded. “But there wasn't much he could do about it … because, you know, she'd already melted his halberd.”

    “And she's got lots of teeth, and … yeah, I got it,” agreed Amy. “Wow. I wish I'd been here.” She paused. “How did she even end up here?”

    “Okay, you know how I just blew out of Arcadia? It was because I'd heard that a big weird red thing was flying over the city. Turns out it was Taylor here.” Vicky wrapped an arm companionably around my shoulders. “I went to investigate, we kind of fell in the ocean, I talked to her, and we came back here.”

    Amy nodded. “So basically, she followed you home and you want to keep her. Because dragon.”

    Vicky tried to look innocent, and failed. “Maayyybe? Anyway, since then, she's been popping back and forth between wyvern and human form. We've kind of got the wyvern-to-human part down, but the human-to-wyvern part is a bit more complicated.”

    “You said it's a stress-based change,” Amy noted; she was looking thoughtful. “Do you know that for a fact, or is it just a theory?”

    “Oh, it's pretty well established,” Vicky chuckled. “Like when I hit her with my fear aura. She changed pretty darn fast then.”

    “Which also caused her to destroy the clothing she was wearing,” chided Mrs Pelham. “Which you should have thought of beforehand.”

    Vicky waved that away airily. “It was in the cause of scientific experimentation. Besides, they were my old clothes anyway. I got more where that came from.”

    “If you think I'm going to just keep buying you new clothes, you're sadly mistaken,” Mrs Dallon informed her tartly. “But we do need to find a solution to both problems.”

    “What, the destroying-clothes-when-she-Changes problem?” asked Dad.

    “And also the Changing-at-will problem,” Mrs Pelham filled in. “Not so sure what to do about the second one, but I have an idea for the first.”

    I looked at her inquiringly; she seemed to interpret my interrogative chirp correctly. “I'm going to make a phone call, and then we've got a visit to make. Up for another flight?”

    While I was thinking about that, Vicky grinned. “Ooh, ooh. I know who we're visiting. Is it -”

    <><>​

    “- Parian,” Mrs Pelham, or rather Lady Photon, explained as we flew over the city. “Apparently, the name refers to a type of doll, which is apropos, given her costume.”

    I nodded. Yeah, I've heard of her. There wasn't much more I could convey, given my lack of language capability in wyvern form, but that seemed to satisfy the older hero.

    “She's a rogue,” Vicky went on from the other side of me. “Doesn't do the hero thing. Uses her power to make money. Which is a cop-out, if you ask me. I can totally see her using those animated stuffed animals to stop a bank robbery or something.”

    “Now, now,” Lady Photon pointed out, “not everyone with powers wants to fight crime. They're her powers; she's allowed to do whatever she likes with them.”

    “But I just don't get the whole asking for money for using your powers bit,” Vicky told her. “Being a hero's all about helping people because you can, right?” She gestured toward Amy, being carried bridal-style in her aunt's arms. “I mean, what if Ames suddenly started charging for healing people?”

    Amy looked taken aback. “I … never really thought about it before. Charging money … that's not really how we do it in New Wave, right?”

    Maybe you should think about it, I thought, but the screech I let out couldn't really convey that. Darn nonverbal form.

    “Well, this is true,” Lady Photon assured her. “We're heroes, dear, not mercenaries.”

    “But … doctors charge money, right?” Amy was still working her way through it. “And they do a lot less than me, and spend more time doing it. It's not like I'd be doing anything they don't do. Or even anything illegal.”

    “Wow, Ames, where did this come from?” asked Vicky, blithely ignoring the fact that she'd brought up the topic in the first place. “You're Panacea. You're my awesome little sister who cures cancer and heals people because it's the right thing to do.”

    “You're right,” Amy agreed. “Heroes gotta be heroes, right? Rogues get no respect.”

    I thought I detected the echo of Vicky's voice in Amy's words, but I was unable to make a comment at that particular moment. However, I didn't get to think more deeply about the matter, as gunshots sounded from below.

    “Where did that come from?” asked Lady Photon, her force-bubble popping into existence to cover herself and Panacea.

    “Down there, I think.” Vicky pointed and dived; almost instinctively, I followed.

    “Taylor!” shouted Lady Photon. “Wyvern! Stay back! You might get hurt!”

    I heard the words, but I wasn't processing them; a deeper, more primeval urge was pushing me on. Folding my wings back, I accelerated, straining to catch up to Vicky. Now I saw what she had seen; a car outside a shop, a police car across the street. Men shooting at the police officers. One officer was down; I growled, deep in my throat.

    Vicky whipped down out of the sky, slammed into the street on one knee. One fist planted in the now-cracked asphalt, the other arm held back up out of the way. It looked extremely badass; I wondered how long she'd been practising that landing.

    I spread my wings, slowing my descent, changing my plunge into a swoop; Vicky looked as though she had the situation in hand. Rising to her feet, she moved toward the three men behind the car. Bullets were fired at her; one or two might have struck, but to no particular effect. Even from where I was, I could feel her aura. For me, she was impressive; for the criminals, terrifying. I know how that feels.

    Moving with fluid ease, she vaulted the car and grabbed the nearest man; while she was thus occupied, the other two ran back into the store. Oh no, I thought. You do not get away that easily.

    My swoop carried me over the building and I rolled in midair; a fast loop bled off speed, and I spilled air from my wings to land on the building opposite the back door.

    Not a moment too soon; the door burst even as I did so, and the two tumbled out into the alleyway. Inhaling deeply, I unleashed a flame similar to that which had destroyed Armsmaster's halberd. The blue-hot jet traced a line across the alleyway that liquefied the corner of a dumpster, set fire to a stack of wet newspapers, cleanly bisected a trash can plus all of its contents, and scored a four-inch deep glowing red gutter in the concrete.

    Quite understandably, they halted, looking up at me and then back down at the line I had marked. If they wanted to get out of the alleyway, they would have to cross that line. Nonverbal I might be, but I was pretty sure that they got the message. But just in case …

    Flapping my wings once, I took off from my perch and landed on the far side of the line. Wings spread and jaws agape, I repeated the threat display that I had used on Armsmaster; my screech echoed between the walls of the alleyway.

    One of the men blanched and bolted back inside, while the other raised his pistol. I had no desire to see how bulletproof, or otherwise, I really was, so I spat an explosive fireball at him. Just a little one. Barely there at all. The detonation knocked him on his ass, stunned him, and removed all the hair from the front of his head. It also set fire to his shirt, but that went out a moment or so later.

    He was still sitting there, blinking, touching his face to see if it was still there, when Vicky came out into the alleyway. She took one look at my stance, then at the criminal, and burst out laughing. He didn't resist when she disarmed him and took him in hand, which was a good thing, because she was nearly helpless with giggles herself. I followed along behind them; it wouldn't be a bad thing, I figured, to be seen with Glory Girl.

    “Oh god,” she chortled after handing the hapless thief over to the police, “he looked exactly like a cartoon character after a bomb's gone off in his face.”

    I shrugged and nodded; that was more or less what had happened, after all.

    Lady Photon had landed, and Panacea was seeing to the wounded officer. I was introduced as 'Wyvern, our newest member,' which garnered startled looks from the other police officers. After a moment, they nodded respectfully in my direction, and I nodded back.

    After Vicky gave her statement – she helpfully explained that I didn't talk – we took off again on our interrupted trip. Fortunately, the rest of the journey passed without incident.

    <><>​

    I stood, wings raised a little and partly unfolded, as Parian walked around me. It was much easier for her to do so than it had been for Mrs Dallon, back in Vicky's bedroom; the loft we were standing in was wide and airy, with a high ceiling. It was sparsely furnished, with a worktable, a couple of chairs, and several dressmakers' dummies. Vicky and Amy were checking their phones, off to the side.

    Parian herself wore a sort of frilly dress that had been out of fashion in the real world for maybe a hundred years. She was covered up almost totally, even down to gloves to go with the dress. About the only thing that I could tell about her was that she was blonde; a mass of golden curls tumbled down her back from the totally-not-creepy porcelain doll's-face mask that she wore.

    “So what exactly are you looking for, here?” she asked. “I can make something up to fit Wyvern easily enough, but that's not a real challenge. Anyone with a sewing machine could do that.”

    “You're right,” Lady Photon agreed. “We're after a costume that will give her modesty once she changes back to human form. One that she can wear under her clothes when she's in human form, just in case.”

    Parian rubbed her chin under the mask. “Something that will fit her in both forms? Hmm. That is a challenge.” A measuring tape lifted off of the worktable and drifted over to me; I restrained the urge to snap at it as it wrapped itself around my leg.

    Lady Photon raised her head. “So can you do it?”

    “I won't know until I've seen her human form, and the Change in between,” Parian stated. She observed the measurement; beside her head, a levitating pencil took notes in a similarly floating notepad. I watched with fascination. “If she simply flashes from one form to another … “

    “She doesn't,” Vicky informed her. “It takes a few seconds. She actually alters from one form to the other.”

    “Well, that makes it possible, at least,” allowed the doll-faced rogue, as the tape took its measurements. “But I'll still need to see the human form, and observe the Change.”

    “Yeah, that's a bit of a problem,” Vicky noted. “Changing back only really happens when she's totally relaxed, and she won't be wearing anything when she does.”

    “Which is why you need the costume in the first place,” agreed Parian. She turned to address me. “Well, Wyvern, you understand that I don't want to make you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. But if we don't do this, then I can't help you with the costume. Yes?”

    I nodded and made my agreeable noise, then stood a little straighter and brought my wings around to cover myself.

    “Got anything we can wrap around her?” asked Vicky; she was picking up on my body language.

    “I've got changing screens over there,” Parian offered, pointing to a corner of the loft. “And a robe she can put on … she's not really buff, in her human form, is she?”

    “Pfft, hah, no,” snorted Vicky. “She's about your weight, but a bit taller than me.”

    Parian seemed to look her over. “Huh,” she observed. “On the skinny side, then. Good, that'll make this easier. I hope. Come on, Wyvern.”

    I followed her to the changing screens; they were taller than Parian herself by a good six inches, though in my normal form, I would just about be able to peek over the top. On the way, she grabbed a long silk bathrobe; gesturing me behind the screens, she draped the robe over the top. “Put this on once you've Changed,” she advised me. “Then we can see how your measurements have altered.”

    Again, I nodded, and gave her a friendly chirp. She nodded back as I sidled behind the screens, keeping my wings in so as not to knock them down. Because that would make my day just perfect.

    Okay, I told myself. Time to prove I can Change back. Nobody can see me, and I've got clothes right there. It won't be embarrassing this time.

    It didn't happen at once, which didn't totally surprise me, so I breathed deeply, trying to relax myself, get rid of the tension in my muscles. The first time I'd done this was when I had been drifting off to sleep on the sofa. Feeling safe for the first time. Closing my eyes, I tried to recapture the way I had felt. Safe … warm … no danger … comfortable …

    I opened my eyes. Nictitating membranes flicked across and back, a familiar sensation. I still had a muzzle, still had wings. I was still a dragon.

    Okay, let's try that again.

    The next time … Dad had wrapped me in the comforter, and had hugged me. I had felt so safe, so warm in his arms. So accepted. Even though I had become a creature out of fantasy stories, he had never hesitated to comfort me. Once more I closed my eyes, wrapping my wings around myself, trying to feel like that again.

    And … nothing. No matter how I tried to force myself into human form, no matter how I visualised changing back, I was missing something. Missing a vital key.

    “How you doing back there?” called Vicky.

    I replied with a frustrated snarl. There were no words in it, but then, the message was in the content.

    “Keep trying,” Lady Photon urged. “You'll master it. I have faith in you.”

    “Maybe I can help?” That was Amy. “Trigger the feeling of relaxation?”

    “Ames, you don't work with brains,” Vicky protested, even as I heard the healer's footsteps growing closer. “You can't.”

    “Relaxing has to do with more than just the brain,” Amy replied to her, now quite close behind the screen. “I can give, uh, Wyvern a sense of well-being without ever needing to touch her brain.”

    I let out a questioning chirp.

    “Wyvern?” she asked from just a few feet away. “I'm going to need for you to put your wingtip or something over the top of the screen, so I can get physical contact with you.”

    There wasn't much in the way of choice, so I did as she asked, raising my main wing-finger so that it protruded over the screen. Almost immediately, I felt her cool hand closing over it.

    “All right then,” she told me, “I need your permission to affect your body. It won't be permanent; I'll just temporarily adjust some hormonal balances, all right?”

    I chirped again, trying to sound agreeable.

    “That means yes!” Vicky called out.

    Panacea sighed. “Uh, a chirp for yes, a loud squawk for no.”

    I chirped once, then waited.

    “I'm going to take that as permission. Okay, here we go.”

    At first, nothing seemed to happen, and then I felt knots of tension just unravelling and draining away. The feeling of relaxation spread throughout my body like a steady tide, pushing all tension before it. And it worked; I began to Change.

    This time, I was aware of the Change as it happened, aware of the sensation of my body shifting and changing in various directions. In a word … it was bizarre. My muzzle retracted, my spine straightened, my tail retracted, as did the flight membranes. In just a few seconds, I found myself once more standing on human feet, not reptilian claws. And my hand was on top of the screen, with Amy Dallon holding my index finger.

    I cleared my throat as I pulled my finger free of her grip. “Okay, that's always weird.” Tugging the robe down from where it was draped, I put it on and tied the belt firmly around my waist. Parian needn't have worried; the robe could have gone around me three times.

    “Hi, it's nice to meet you in person,” Amy told me as I came out from behind the screen. She held out her hand.

    I shook it; we both grinned self-consciously at the formality. “Nice to meet you too,” I replied.

    “Thanks for letting me help you Change,” she noted. “I've never had the chance to see how a Change actually works before now. It's really fascinating.”

    “Well, thanks for kicking it over for me,” I replied. “And let's hope Vicky doesn't decide to fear-aura me again when it comes time for me to Change back.”

    “She really did that?” Amy paused, and nodded to herself as she eyed her sister. “Yeah, you'd definitely do that, wouldn't you?”

    Vicky grinned at Amy's tone as she came up on my other side, hooking her arm through mine. “Sure. It worked, didn't it?”

    “Seriously.” Amy rolled her eyes. “Brute force isn't the answer to everything.”

    “Is for me.”

    “Girls. Enough.” Lady Photon clapped her hands once, gently. “Let Parian get her measurements in peace.” She handed me my glasses, as well as a simple cloth mask; I put them on gratefully, and the loft came into focus once more. I noticed that Parian had been averting her eyes until my identity was concealed, for which I was somewhat grateful.

    Then I had to hold still as Parian took the same measurements that she had before. Her impersonal air, and the fact that the measuring tape didn't need her to hold it in place, made it a somewhat less embarrassing experience than it could have been.

    Finally, she was finished, and I was allowed to take a seat on one of the chairs. Amy sat on the other, slurping at a chocolate shake. Silently, she handed me another one; Vicky had apparently taken it on herself to go on a snack run. I didn't mind in the least.

    “Hmm,” murmured Parian, studying the two different sets of measurements. “This is interesting. I think I can do something with this, but I'm going to need to do one final set of checks.”

    “What have I got to do?” I asked; this sounded ominous.

    “I'm going to need you to Change back, but first I'm going to have to put marks on your body so that we know which way it's altering shape.”

    “Marks … on my body?”

    “Sure.” She crossed to the work table and picked up two markers; one black, and one fluorescent blue. “These should show up best against your scales.”

    “And where do these marks need to go?” I was getting a sinking feeling about this.

    “Oh, uh, around here,” she told me, gesturing to her body between her neck and thighs. Which was what I had figured.

    “Yay,” I muttered. “Wonderful.”

    <><>​

    She didn't want to do it immediately; instead, she bent over the worktable with Lady Photon, sketching on a piece of paper, and discussing options. I was happy to leave them to it, so I sat on the stool and chatted to Vicky and Amy. The latter was interested in how I had triggered; I gave her what details I could stand to give. Then Vicky gave a highly colourful account of how we had met, and subsequently ended up in the ocean; Amy came close to snorting chocolate shake out of her nose.

    We told her about how I had managed to ruin two changes of clothes after getting to the Dallon household; Vicky's description of how I had destroyed Armsmaster's halberd had Amy looking at me with a certain amount of respect. She nodded when Vicky mentioned the plastic sheet; apparently she recalled it as well.

    “I'm sorry for screaming when we first met,” she went on, “I was really, really surprised to see you in Vicky's room. I walked in, and all I could see of you was a lot of hair and a bare butt.”

    I snorted. “My butt's not that big, is it?”

    “Well, no,” admitted Amy. “But when you're not expecting to see one, it certainly draws the attention.”

    “Hah, true,” Vicky agreed, and began to tell a story about an epic costume malfunction that had made it online after a cape battle in Detroit. Amy and I were both giggling madly by the time Lady Photon and Parian came back over to us.

    “All right then,” Parian stated, holding up a piece of paper. It held a sketched silhouette of what I guessed was me. Lines were overlaid on it, in a rough grid pattern over the torso. “Once we trigger your Change back to wyvern form, I'll be able to compare these, and work out how to make your costume so that it fits both forms.”

    In the end, I allowed her to inscribe the lines on me, but we did it behind the screens, and I had her make me some underwear so that it didn't have to be totally embarrassing. I held up my arms as she traced lines around my ribs, and worked at not moving too much as the grid-lines took shape. Just above my butt, she drew a much tighter set of gridlines, which piqued my curiosity.

    “What's that for?” I asked, looking back over my shoulder.

    “Your tail,” she pointed out. “I'm going to have to put a gap in for it. This will tell me where.”

    “Oh. Right.” Having a tail was a relatively new experience; I was glad that someone was paying attention.

    Finally, she finished her latitude and longitude markings, as I privately thought of them, and retreated from behind the screen. “Any time you're ready,” she called.

    “So how's it look?” Vicky interjected.

    I looked down at myself. “Like some sort of motion-capture effect for the movies. Or really, really unimaginative body art.”

    “It's actually the same principle as motion capture,” Lady Photon pointed out. “So, are you ready to try to Change yourself, or do you need assistance?”

    “Gimme a few,” I requested. Taking off my glasses and mask, I hung them over the edge of the screen.

    “Okay,” Vicky called back, “but if you're not out in five minutes, I'm coming in with a camera.”

    I was almost certain she was joking, but I concentrated on regaining the Wyvern form anyway. It was there; I knew it was there. I could Change from one to the other without meaning to already; I needed to be able to do it on purpose.

    Stress, I told myself. Stress. I need to Change. I need to feel stress.

    And then I realised that I knew what I had to do in order to Change; I just didn't want to do it.

    Closing my eyes, I took a deep breath; before I could talk myself out of it, I delved into the worse memories of the last year. Everything that Emma, Madison and Sophia had done to me. All of the dozens of hurts, physical and emotional, that I had endured at their hands.

    The pain, the humiliation, the anger that I had swallowed, it all came back to me. I took another deep breath, and another. Distantly, I felt momentary constriction, but it loosened again almost immediately.

    I opened my eyes; nictitating membranes flashed across and back as true-lids blinked. Flexing my wings, I opened my jaws and let out a triumphant squawk. I'd needed to relive times that I really, really didn't want to go back to – even now, I was simmering with anger at the reminder of what Emma and her cronies had put me through – but I had succeeded in Changing voluntarily. The makeshift underwear had paid the price, but that was what it had been there for; the robe, on the other hand, was safe.

    Now, if only I could learn to Change back just as easily.

    I strutted out from behind the screens, head held high; Vicky grabbed me in a hug. “Wow, that was fast,” she exclaimed. “You must've been really worried about the camera.” I pretended to snap at her; she laughed as she danced away.

    “All right then,” Parian declared. “Let's see how well this worked.” Obediently, I stood still as she examined the markings, correlating them to the sketch she held. Occasionally, her measuring tape laid itself up against me, and she jotted down a number. Lady Photon watched the process with interest, while Vicky and Amy chatted with each other. The majority of their conversation seemed to have to do with school and boys, not necessarily in that order. Vicky was showing interest in Gallant, from the Wards and didn't care who knew it, while Amy was more reserved; she didn't seem to care about such matters.

    As riveting as the gossip was – Arcadia sounded vastly different to Winslow, in basically every way that mattered – I was glad when Parian's examination of the markings came to an end. “Okay,” she told me. “Go Change back if you can. I've got enough to go on with.”

    I made an enquiring chirp. “What does that mean?” asked Lady Photon, apparently of the same mind as myself.

    “It means that I'm ready to start making the costume,” Parian told us. I couldn't see her face, but she sounded quite pleased with herself. “Hopefully, it'll be easier than I thought it was going to be.”

    Once more, I traipsed behind the screens. My glasses and mask were still there, as were the destroyed remains of the underwear that Parian had stitched together to give me some modesty. The robe was also where I had left it, which meant that I wouldn't be left without clothing once I Changed back. It was amazing how reassuring that was to me, given the day that I'd just had.

    Okay, I can do this, I told myself. I can Change to a wyvern, so I can Change back to a human. Easy peasy.

    I closed my eyes and reminded myself what it felt like to be human. Two legs, two arms, no tail. No flame breath. Being able to talk.

    Closing my eyes, I took a deep breath and did my best to relax, to let myself slip back into what was (I hoped) still my natural form. I did my best to remember better days, the good times I'd had with Mom and Dad. But every good memory seemed to lead to a bad one; Mom dead, Dad distraught.

    I tried again; this time I focused on Vicky and Amy, on Flashbang and Brandish and Lady Photon. The acceptance they had shown me when they could easily have rejected me, turned me away.

    It gave me a warm feeling, a good feeling, but there wasn't enough of it. It was still too new; deep down, I wasn't sure if I could trust it. Too many good things had gone bad for me in the past.

    Eventually, I leaned around the screens and chirped to get their attention. Amy's head came up.

    “Do you need my help?” she asked.

    I nodded and chirped in the affirmative.

    “Okay.” Smiling, she hopped off the stool and strolled over; I went back behind the screens again, and extended my wingtip up and over. She was getting better at it; this time, it only seemed to take a few seconds before the Change kicked in. Once I was back in human form, I donned the robe, glasses and mask, and came out from behind the screen.

    Parian had not been idle; the costume was taking shape, with small razors shaping the cloth before needles and thread fastened it together. It was being assembled on an adjustable dressmaker's dummy that had been cranked to 'tall and skinny'. Lady Photon and Vicky were watching with some interest as Amy and I joined them.

    “It's fortunate that your wyvern form is relatively humanoid,” Parian informed me. “I've heard of some Changers who take on utterly weird shapes. I couldn't do this with them.”

    “There is some change in proportion,” Lady Photon commented, in what I considered to be masterful understatement. “Are you able to allow for that?”

    Parian nodded. “The fabric has some give in it; not much, but some. So long as it's not damaged in battle, it should supply Wyvern with sufficient modesty if she happens to turn back to human in public.”

    “Modesty is good,” I noted. “I like it.”

    Vicky snickered. “Says the girl who's destroyed her clothing how many times today?”

    I rolled my eyes. “Says the girl who was responsible for at least one of those times, and had far too much fun with the others?”

    She grinned at me; I stuck my tongue out at her.



    End of Part Seven

    Part Eight
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016
  11. nobodez

    nobodez Bringer of Context

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    I like the interaction between the girls, but I'd love to see Amy's perspective on Wyvern's biology.
     
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  12. Ack

    Ack (Verified Ratbag) (Unverified Great Old One)

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    That will come up.
     
  13. Starfox5

    Starfox5 Experienced.

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    Sweet chapter. Love the banter and interaction there.
     
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  14. pepperjack

    pepperjack A Variety of Cheese

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    Greatly enjoyed this. The robbery they just happened to fly over was a touch convenient, but it was worth it to see Wyvern stop her first petty crime.

    Only one bit didn't really ring true:
    Isn't that a huge cape faux pas? First rule of cape club: we don't ask about trigger events. Second rule of cape club: no asking about trigger events. "So hey, I heard today was the worst day of your life! Tell me all about it."
     
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  15. Asheram

    Asheram Know what you're doing yet?

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    Speaking of... Are we about to see a "mastered" love-triangle develop between three if Amy keeps having to give Taylor happy thoughts to make her change back? :D
     
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  16. pepperjack

    pepperjack A Variety of Cheese

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    Taylor -> Amy: "I can really relax around her, you know? And when she touches me, she makes me feel so good..."*
    Amy -> Vicky: "She's my sister, of course I love her. Who wouldn't? She's perfect."
    Vicky -> Taylor: "She's so cute when she's surprised! Next time I get her naked I should take a bunch of pictures."**

    It's a one-way traffic circle. My favorite kind of triangle.



    *"With her power, I mean! I didn't mean that like it sounded. She just relaxes all my muscles, and probably releases some endorphins or whatever, and ... okay, yeah, I've described it as 'bliss,' but it's not like what you were thinking! It's like a doctor giving you medicine or something. It's not like I'm special or anything; it's, like, clinical for her. She's not trying to make me feel this way ... er, well, she is, but not - you know what, never mind."

    **"...because it would be funny. I'm not some kind of weirdo. Really. I promise."
     
  17. Ack

    Ack (Verified Ratbag) (Unverified Great Old One)

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    "So, I hear you blew up your locker and set your school on fire. I'm kinda jealous." :p
     
  18. pepperjack

    pepperjack A Variety of Cheese

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    If it had been phrased like she was asking about the incident at the school or about what happened after Taylor triggered or about how she wound up running into Vicky, it wouldn't have set off my mental alarms. It sounded like she was asking about what made her trigger, though, which is both hugely insensitive and not a pleasant topic of conversation.
     
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  19. CptTagon

    CptTagon Prolific Writer

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    Rather sad to see that there aren't enough happy memories in Taylor's life to go back to human, but turning into a wyvern is no problem.
     
  20. GladiusLucix

    GladiusLucix Versed in the lewd.

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    It's also still the same day, so it could be less of a faux pas than asking a few months down the line.
     
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  21. edale

    edale Versed in the lewd.

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    Just to continue the running joke:

    So Taylor's gonna give Amy a ride, and Amy's gonna learn everything about Taylor's body in the process?:eek::D:p
     
  22. alethiophile

    alethiophile Shadowed Philosopher Administrator

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    Huh. The hormone-adjustment bit makes me think.

    Quite a few of the problems Amy didn't solve in canon, regarding brain stuff, could theoretically be dealt with on the level of hormones or nervous impulses in the body in general, without touching the brain itself. Mark's depression probably falls under that, though not the later brain damage. She could even probably brainwash Vicky that way, if she did it more slowly than the one-touch version from canon. (Probably pretty analogous to what Vicky unintentionally did to her over the prior years, come to think of it.)

    So, would this kind of thing trigger Amy's alarms? Or has she just not thought about it before, and now she gets to have a crisis of conscience about it? I can kind of see her rationalizing "but I'm not really changing her brain...."
     
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  23. nobodez

    nobodez Bringer of Context

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    CONFLICT!!!!!!

    I'd say Halping, but QA is with Kenta.
     
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  24. doomlord9

    doomlord9 Experienced.

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    I've had that idea in mind for a long time now. Everything except the actual structure and shape of the brain, the actual neurons themselves, falls under the classification of chemical messengers. All it would take for Amy to solve 60-80% of brain problems is to get the idea of making a new gland to alter the chemical balance to what it should be. A series of glands for more complex alterations with short term problems(swelling reduction, high oxygen content, and maybe some stem cells for a concussion, addiction removal, ect.) could even be done by a gland that slowly consumes itself as it does its job, meaning the patient doesn't have to come back in later to have her remove it.
     
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  25. alethiophile

    alethiophile Shadowed Philosopher Administrator

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    More to the point, Amy-who-never-touches-the-brain-proper can be almost as insidious a mind-controller as Amy-unrestricted, under the "mind is a plaything of the body" theory. If she notices that... best guess I can make is that either she panics and walls off anything potentially mood-affecting the way she currently does the brain itself (problematic, given that she's already shown the ability, and Taylor currently needs her help changing), or she has a much harder time resisting temptation.
     
  26. Asheram

    Asheram Know what you're doing yet?

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    I like you. You Understand. :D
     
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  27. Galeiam

    Galeiam Optimistically Asexual.

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    It Feels like this story was made to create the most annoying Glory Girl possible.

    Good story, if not a bit aggravating.
    Edit:

    Also dammit!

    Was hoping for a dragon!Taylor story that didn't erase Lung from existence.
     
  28. Ack

    Ack (Verified Ratbag) (Unverified Great Old One)

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    Also hilarious to write. Don't forget that. :p

    Really? Aggravating?
    Kenta is still there. He's just not Lung.
     
  29. Galeiam

    Galeiam Optimistically Asexual.

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    As in Vicky being aggravating

    <---is an introvert.

    Yeah I know Kenta is still present.

    But Lung the MurderDragon isn't, which always saddens me.
     
  30. Datcord

    Datcord Giggling menace

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    She really needs to do some hands on study, you know? Really get in there and check things out. Find some new ways to look at the subject at hand!

    *puerile giggle*

    "I swear, I was just talking to her and I just shifted all by myself! We weren't doing anything, honestly!"
     
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