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Wyvern - Worm AU fanfic

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

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  1. Prince Charon

    Prince Charon Just zis guy, you know?

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    Not surprising, though.
     
    Ack likes this.
  2. Ack

    Ack (Verified Ratbag) (Unverified Great Old One)

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    It is actually a problem for her. She doesn't like reliving those memories.
     
  3. pepperjack

    pepperjack A Variety of Cheese

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    I actually really like this three-way trio in New Wave: Vicky to unleash the dragon, and Amy to seal it away. It's almost mythic, in a way. If that makes sense.
     
  4. doomlord9

    doomlord9 Experienced.

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    Well Amy is technically a Princess stolen away by a barbarian tribe, so that whole 'Taming the wild beast' trope fits her decently enough.
     
  5. Datcord

    Datcord Giggling menace

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    *puerile giggle*
     
    Dragonin, Alayne, Chase92 and 4 others like this.
  6. Asheram

    Asheram Know what you're doing yet?

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    Glenn is going to tear his hair in despair. That's PR Gold.
     
  7. OGatsu10

    OGatsu10 Your first time is always over so quickly, isn't it?

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    The thing with using her memories like that, is that eventually she may become desensitized to them and they will stop working to trigger the transformation. In time they may even take on different meaning, those memories becoming associated with the success changing into her more powerful form.

    Sort of a "You tried to break me, instead you got DRAGON WYVERN" /laughmenacingly /RAWR

    Having that sort of anger in the forefront of her mind when she changes is likely not going to be healthy. Not healthy for other people that is, shes going to be just fine :p
     
  8. Ack

    Ack (Verified Ratbag) (Unverified Great Old One)

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    Oh, she's got a crapload of bad memories to pull up.

    And as she gains more positive experiences with New Wave, she'll end up with good memories as well. :D
     
  9. Datcord

    Datcord Giggling menace

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    *puerile giggle* I'm sure Victoria and Amy will be more than happy to help her with that! (You had to have done that on purpose.)
     
  10. pepperjack

    pepperjack A Variety of Cheese

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    You might even call them ... touching memories.
     
  11. Ack

    Ack (Verified Ratbag) (Unverified Great Old One)

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    (sigh). No, not on purpose.
     
  12. Datcord

    Datcord Giggling menace

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    Nice.

    I'm gonna pretend you did anyways. As a belated birthday present. Or an early Christmas present. Or something. Point is, you like me! You really, really like me! :D
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2015
  13. Threadmarks: Part Eight: All Dressed Up
    Ack

    Ack (Verified Ratbag) (Unverified Great Old One)

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    Wyvern

    Part Eight: All Dressed Up


    Parian's voice sounded from beyond the partition. “Okay, so how does it fit?”

    I hesitated, then called out, “Uh, there's not much of it.”

    “Just think of it as a swimsuit,” I heard Vicky respond cheerfully.

    “I'm not much into swimsuits, either,” I replied.

    “Are you decent enough for me to come back there?” asked the seamstress.

    I looked down at myself. I was covered. Besides, she saw more of me when she was drawing those damn lines on my body. “Okay, sure, come on back.”

    A moment later, she appeared around the screen. She paused to look over the swimsuit – that is, costume. “What's the matter?” she asked. “It fits all right, doesn't it?”

    I fluttered my hands over my body. “I guess I don't like the idea of running around in something that's this … uh, well, skimpy.”

    Her voice was sympathetic, even if I couldn't see her face behind the porcelain mask. “I can understand that. I feel much the same way. But there's not much more I can add that won't either hamper you or get torn the first time you Change.”

    I grimaced. “Something, anything. I feel kinda almost undressed here. Below the waist, it's like I'm wearing just underwear in public. And up the sides, it kind of gapes. If I bend forward -” I demonstrated, holding it in, “- there's a good chance that people will get a lot more than a glimpse of side-boob, if you know what I mean.”

    “Hm. That is kind of a problem.” She put her head to one side, resting her chin on her knuckles. “I had the idea that it would hang together more closely, but it's obviously not doing that. There are static-cling materials out there, but they cost an arm and a leg.”

    “Which I can't afford and I don't want to put that on you or Lady Photon,” I replied.

    “Wait a moment.” She snapped her fingers. “I have just the thing. How about zippers? Heavy zippers that can be pulled up the moment you change to human. And when you Change back, they get pushed down again.”

    “That could work,” I conceded. “But what about down there?” I gestured at myself. “I keep wanting to cover myself. And guys will be able to stare at my butt. Or rather, see how skinny my butt really is.”

    “Hm.” Her voice was serious, for all that I thought I heard a tinge of amusement there. “Well, okay then. Glory Girl wears a skirt over bike shorts. Why don't we put a skirt on this thing? Short enough that it won't hamper you when you're in wyvern form and long enough that it'll drape down and give you a little modesty when you're in human form.”

    Looking down at the costume, I thought about that. “Okay, we can try that.”

    “Well then,” she agreed, moving back to give me privacy. “Get back into the robe and I'll see what I can do.”

    <><>​

    “Well, what do you think?” I asked, stepping out from behind the screen.

    Parian's gaze was impassive, but the other three showed signs of interest. Lady Photon stepped forward and gestured in a circle. “Turn around,” she requested.

    I turned in a circle; as I did so, Vicky and Amy stepped up, checking over every inch of the costume.

    “Huh, I don't know what the fuss was all about,” Vicky snorted. “If that's a swimsuit, it's from about a century ago.”

    “Yeah, well, your swimsuits could be made from the off-cuts from this one,” Amy sniped cheerfully.

    “There were barely any off-cuts.”

    “My point still stands.”

    “Girls, shush,” Lady Photon chided them gently. Vicky stuck her tongue out at Amy. “Wyvern, how do you feel? Does the skirt work?”

    I looked down at myself, at the skirt that now hung from the costume. It only covered me down to mid-thigh – less at the sides – but there was now the illusion of modesty, backing up the actual modesty of the costume itself.

    “Yeah,” I admitted. “It does work. I like it.”

    “The skirt does kinda finish it off, doesn't it?” Amy mused.

    I think it'll look kinda funny when you're in wyvern form and you're still wearing a skirt,” Vicky pointed out.

    “Well, that's what we can find out now,” suggested Lady Photon. “Wyvern, would you like to Change for us?”

    “Sure,” I agreed. “One second, I'll just go behind the screen.”

    “Why?” asked Vicky. “You're wearing the costume now.”

    “Yeah,” I replied, “but what if something, you know, goes wrong with it?” I gestured. “Riippp.”

    “So what if?” She shrugged. “You'll be the wyvern.”

    “Hm.” I considered this. “Good point.”

    Putting the glasses on the table but leaving the mask in place, I worked at summoning up the dark memories. The endless tormenting. The flute. The locker. My blood ran cold, there was a lump in my throat and I wanted to cry.

    But I didn't. Instead, I found myself Changing, altering form. My arms grew longer, membranes stretching out to match my elongating fingers. The zippers on each side of the costume came into their own now, sliding down and allowing the wing membranes to form naturally. At the same time, my emerging tail poked out through the slit in the costume just above my butt.

    While my overall shape changed dramatically, my basic form did not; I ended the transformation still bipedal, still with two legs and two arms. My legs were wider; the material there and elsewhere had obviously been selected for its give. I checked as carefully as I could; nothing was torn, nothing damaged. The skirt, as Vicky had noted, looked faintly ridiculous, but I could live with ridiculous if it meant that I knew nobody could stare at my butt in a skin-tight costume.

    Opening my mouth, I let out a triumphant squawk. Turning in a circle, I spread my wings wide so that they could all see the costume.

    Lady Photon nodded. “Well, now. That works. It works very well.”

    “Hell, yes,” Vicky agreed. “And the skirt doesn't even look as silly as I thought it might.” I turned my head toward her and made a rude noise; she grinned at me.

    “Definitely, yes,” Amy stated. “I kinda like it.”

    Vicky elbowed her in the ribs. “Maybe we should get you out of that burqa and into something more form-fitting too, sis. Show off that bod for the boys.”

    “Yeah, no, I'll pass,” Amy demurred. “Me and my burqa are doing quite well, thanks.”

    “Your loss.” Vicky turned to me. “So, uh, Wyvern, now you got your costume. Wanna blow this popsicle stand and go scare up some trouble?”

    “Wait, wait,” Lady Photon interrupted before I could reply in any meaningful way. “We need to discuss options now.”

    “Options?” asked Parian. “What do you mean?”

    “Different colour costumes, for one.” Lady Photon pointed at the one I was wearing. “Basic black works well, but I was thinking of one in white, with maybe some sort of symbol, to fit in with the basic New Wave theme. Also, perhaps one that matches her scales.”

    Now Parian was nodding. “I see what you mean,” she agreed. “Now that I've got the pattern, that'll be easy.”

    “Also, because of her particular needs,” Lady Photon noted, “maybe a couple of pouches. One to carry a pair of glasses and one to carry a mask.”

    “Phone,” blurted Amy. “A phone, in case she needs to call home.”

    Lady Photon nodded to her. “Good thinking, Panacea. A third pouch for a phone.”

    Parian didn't seem to be doing anything, but a pencil was scribbling on her notepad in midair. “Can I make a suggestion?”

    “Of course,” Lady Photon agreed.

    “If we put the pouches on a belt, she won't need to worry about what's being held on which costume.”

    “A belt, yes, of course,” replied Lady Photon. “That should definitely work.”

    “Wow, geez, and I wanted to get out of here sometime tonight,” groaned Vicky in a distinctly exaggerated tone of voice. “How long's this gonna take?”

    Parian held up a finger. We couldn't see her smile, of course, but we could hear the satisfaction in her voice. “Give me ten minutes.”

    <><>​

    “That was more like twenty minutes,” grumbled Vicky as we flew away from Parian's workshop. I wore the costume, slightly adjusted to accommodate the belt which Parian had whipped up on the fly. My glasses reposed in one of the pouches and the cloth mask in another. The third lay empty, awaiting a phone.

    Lady Photon shook her head. “You do realise that patience is a virtue, right?”

    “Yeah, but not when there's bad guys out there just begging to be Wyverned to within an inch of their lives.”

    Amy, resting in Vicky's arms, frowned. “Did you just use 'Wyvern' as a verb?”

    “And what if I did?” Vicky adopted a stuck-up tone of voice. “'Wyvern': verb. To inflict upon one's foes the absolute terror that rightfully comes from understanding that you've just pissed off a fire-breathing dragon. Also, to breathe fire on objects in such a manner that absolutely destroys them and leaves no doubt that a wyvern was involved. Halberds belonging to overly pretentious superheroes, for instance. Occasionally used as a noun. As in, Dammit, the wyvern just melted my halberd.”

    I let out a screech of laughter, while Lady Photon smiled tolerantly.

    “Okay, yeah, I'll give you that one,” agreed Amy, trying not to giggle. “That's a good one. I like it.”

    “Okay,” Vicky decided briskly. “Once we've got you home, Ames, me and Taylor can go out and show Brockton Bay that there's a new hero in town.”

    “Don't stay out too long, dears,” Lady Photon advised. “It is a school night after all.”

    At the mention of 'school', I let out a disapproving screech. She must have picked up on it, because she looked over at me. “Now, Taylor, don't worry too much. Winslow will be closed for at least a day while they make sure that the building is still structurally sound. Maybe more time than that. In the meantime, you'll be working on your Change control, as Carol suggested.”

    Oh. Right. Yeah.

    “Hey, I got a great idea!”

    We all looked at Vicky. I wasn't sure what was going through everyone else's minds, but the thought that crossed mine was Uh oh …

    “And what is this idea, Vicky?” Lady Photon's voice didn't betray any trepidation at all; that made her braver than me. Or maybe she was just a really good actor.

    “Taylor can come to Arcadia with me and Ames,” Vicky responded enthusiastically. “She can meet everyone.”

    There was a long pause while each of us tried to fit our heads around the concept. I stopped flapping and glided for a few seconds.

    “Uh, Vicky …” That was Amy. “Taylor's going to kind of have a secret identity, remember? Bringing her to school is not the best way to maintain that sort of thing.” Gliding alongside, I nodded to show that I agreed.

    “No, no,” Vicky protested. “She can come to the school as Wyvern.”

    <><>​

    Staring at her, I let out a startled screech. Half a second later, the other two joined in; Lady Photon was a fraction ahead of Amy.

    “What?”

    “You've got to be kidding!”

    Lady Photon got her composure back before Amy did. “Victoria dear,” she began again. “How is that a good idea?”

    “Well, it gets people used to her,” Vicky pointed out. “She gets used to being the wyvern among people. I'll be there to slap anyone down who wants to be mean to her. But it'll still be just a little stressful, so she's unlikely to Change back in front of everyone.”

    “So it'll be more of a show and tell than actually Taylor attending classes,” Amy decided. “Admit it, you just want to show off the fact that we've got a dragon on the team.”

    “Wyvern but hell, yes,” declared Vicky. “I mean, seriously, Ames. Isn't this about the coolest thing that's ever happened to the team?”

    Amy sighed. “Yeah, it is pretty cool. I mean, I'm not as dragon-mad as you are, but I like them pretty much. And Taylor? I like you as a person too. Even if, the first time we met, I thought you were making moves on my sister.”

    <><>​

    There was a stunned pause, then Vicky started laughing. Taylor joined in, making odd screeching noises, apparently trying not to lose control of her flight and tumble from the sky. Aunt Sarah took the initiative and landed on a rooftop below; Vicky landed with me then let me go and bent over with her hands on her knees, still laughing. Taylor's arrival was more of a controlled crash; she sprawled on the gravel then rolled on to her back, still making those odd screeching sounds.

    My goodness,” Aunt Sarah commented to me as we watched the other two cackle with mirth. “You really thought that?”

    I flushed. “Well, yeah, kinda,” I admitted.


    I see.” Her eyes searched mine; not for the first time, I was glad of the scarf that I habitually wore over the lower part of my face as part of my costume. Still, she seemed to see something. “Hm.”

    What?” I asked defensively. Please don't ask. Please don't ask.

    “ … nothing,” she replied after a pause so long that my heart nearly stopped. “But Amy?”

    Uh, yeah?”

    Her eyes seemed to bore into mine. “If you ever need to talk to someone about anything, anything at all … you know you can talk to me, right?”


    I … yeah, okay. Thanks.” I turned away from her, not at all sure what she'd seen in my face, heard in my voice. I didn't know if I'd ever take her up on it. But the fact that the chance was there, the option to tell someone … I felt just a little of the hard knot of tension inside me loosening up, ever so slightly.

    All right then!” Aunt Sarah's voice cut over my thoughts as she clapped her hands. “It wasn't that funny, you two. Come on, Amy's still got to get home before you two delinquents go on patrol.”

    Tears were running down Vicky's face when she straightened up. “Me and Taylor talked about that, up in my room. But she was worried about me making moves on her, so I explained that I was a lot more interested in boys than in her skinny butt. It just sounded so funny when Ames mentioned it too.”

    Taylor – or rather, Wyvern, in that form – scrambled to her feet and nodded in agreement, adding one of her weird sounding lizard chirps. I had to admit, she was very cool looking indeed, especially when she spread her wings. I didn't know if I was as smitten with her as Vicky was – in a good way, of course – but I was a tiny bit envious that I hadn't met her first.

    Of course, I could never show this. For years I had followed Vicky around like a shadow, doing everything she did, until I realised how I really felt about her. So now I was trying to prove that I could have my own likes and dislikes, be my own person. Maybe if I didn't shape my world around Vicky, I could stop being quite so jealous when I saw her with Dean.

    Well, I could hope.


    <><>​

    Lady Photon and I took to the air while Vicky and Amy were still getting organised; they caught up shortly afterward, given that my top flying speed was nowhere near Vicky's, even when she was laden down with her sister. I felt better as I sculled through the air; having a good laugh was quite therapeutic in its own way.

    If I wasn't much mistaken, I was actually getting better at flying, too. As far as I could tell, I was getting where I wanted to be with less wasted effort, my wings moving more efficiently. I still wasn't much faster, but I'd be able to fly farther now. Which was definitely a good thing.

    Still, I had the obscure feeling that Lady Photon and Vicky were cheating somehow; while I had to expend actual energy to get up to altitude and stay there, they just cruised along effortlessly. On the other hand, I could use the large surface area of my wings to do things that they couldn't, at least not easily. Flaring my wings, I pulled a hard barrel roll, ending up on the other side of Lady Photon from her two nieces.

    “Hey, wow,” the healer exclaimed. “You never told me she could do that.”

    “Ignore her,” Vicky advised her sister. “She's just showing off.”

    “Showing off or not, that's quite impressive,” Lady Photon pointed out. “I suppose that because you have to work harder at flying, you think more about it and what you can do with it.”

    I nodded; that seemed to be about right. Plus, although I couldn't convey this, there seemed to be an instinctive flying capability that allowed me to pull off complex manoeuvres with relative ease. Or maybe I was just talented; who knew?

    We glided down to a landing outside the Dallon household; from above, it was easy to pick out the row of dark spots caused by my destruction of Armsmaster's halberd. I was torn between regret that I'd done it and pride that I'd managed to pull off something so impressive.

    <><>​

    Dad greeted us at the front door; he looked my costume up and down with some bemusement. “And this fits you when you're human?” he asked.

    I nodded, chirping agreement.

    “It really does,” Vicky told him. “It looks like something you'd wear to the beach if you had no sense of adventure. Or to the mall, even.”

    I shook my head. I would not be wearing it to the mall. Vicky, apparently divining my thoughts, grinned at me. “Wuss.”

    Ostentatiously, I ignored her, turning to Amy. Holding out my wingtip to the healer, I made an inquiring chirp.

    “Oh, you want to Change back?” Amy took hold of my wing, but waited until I nodded. Then she seemed to concentrate very slightly; I felt the soothing waves spreading through my body as the Change began. It went smoothly enough; when I was fully human, Amy let my arm go and I pulled the zippers up on either side of my body.

    “Thanks,” I told Amy, then turned to Dad. “See? It works.”

    “Huh, so it does,” he agreed. “I wasn't sure how it could, but Parian obviously knows her stuff.”

    “And get this,” I told him. “Belt pouches.” Opening one pouch, I pulled out my glasses and put them on, then opened the next one and showed him the cloth mask that Parian had made up for me. “See? All equipped and ready to go.”

    “Except for a phone,” Lady Photon reminded me. “We've still got to get that for you.”

    Dad nodded. “I can sort of see the reason why,” he conceded, turning to her. “I don't like mobile phones – personal reasons – but as a superhero, Taylor will probably need one.”

    “Well, to be honest, I won't even be able to use any of this unless I'm in human form,” I pointed out. “But if I am in human form, I'll almost certainly need it.”

    “And you'll be able to wear the costume under your clothing if need be,” observed Mrs Dallon; she had emerged from her study just in time to see the transformation. “That's good. Very useful.”

    “Oh, hi,” I greeted her. She was Vicky and Amy's mom and she was nice to me, so I wanted to be polite, but she still didn't come off as approachable as Mrs Pelham. “Thanks. I'm still getting used to it, but it seems to work. Parian says she'll be making a couple more in different colours.”

    “That's probably a good idea,” she replied. “Now, I'm going to need to see your log of events at Winslow before I can do any more preparation. And you're all going to need to not contact the Barnses or anyone else regarding the matter until I'm ready for the case to move ahead. Is that understood?”

    “Perfectly,” Dad assured her. “They'll probably be closing the school for a few days anyway, so Taylor won't even need to see Emma.”

    “Actually, about that,” I observed. “Vicky wants me to come to Arcadia with her and Amy. As the Wyvern, not as me.”

    He blinked, startled. “Is that really a good idea?”

    Mrs Dallon rubbed her chin gently. “Actually, it's not a terrible idea. Vicky, you know the Wards, right?”

    “Uh, yeah, some of them,” admitted the blonde. “The ones that go to Arcadia, anyway. I don't know who Shadow Stalker is yet. Or Vista. I think they go to different schools.”

    “Well, we can't have everything,” Mrs Dallon decided briskly. “If you weren't already thinking of doing so, you could introduce Wyvern to the Wards -”

    “Uh, wait,” I interjected. “I don't know if I'm comfortable with finding out their secret identities.”

    She shook her head. “You don't have to. Vicky has many friends at Arcadia; the Wards are a small number among them. Unmasking to you is their choice. But doing this will go a long way toward integrating Wyvern into the team as far as the Protectorate is concerned.”

    “Oh, okay.” That made sense. “Yeah, I can do that.”

    “Good. Excellent. Cool.” Vicky stepped up. “Can Taylor and me go on patrol now, please?”

    Mrs Dallon frowned. “I'm not so sure about this. She's a very new trigger. We haven't really explored the ramifications of her powers yet.”

    Vicky rolled her eyes. “Mom, she flies and she breathes fire. You should've seen how she dealt with those perps at the shop today. Scared the living crap out of them and only gave that one guy minor burns.”

    The frown deepened. “She burned someone?” She turned to me. “You burned someone?”

    “Uh, yeah,” I admitted. “He had a gun, so I hit him with a really weak exploding fireball. It knocked him on his ass and set his shirt on fire. It went out pretty quickly, though.”

    “Hmm.” She rubbed her chin again. “And nobody else got hurt?”

    No, Mom,” Vicky insisted. “Nobody else got hurt. Taylor's good at this. And you should see her fly.”

    I felt the beginnings of a feeling of love and awe toward Vicky. It puzzled me for a second, but then I twigged; she was using her aura, consciously or otherwise, to influence her mother. Clearing my throat, I nudged her; she blinked and the aura receded.

    Mrs Dallon showed no signs of having noticed it, though Dad was looking a little stunned. “ … fine,” she told Vicky. “Take her for a familiarisation flight around the city. If you see anything happening that you can't handle, don't assume Taylor's up to the task. Call the rest of us in. Do you understand?”

    “Yeah, yeah, got it,” Vicky agreed, nodding rapidly. “Okay, Taylor. Ready to rock and roll?”

    I took a deep breath. “Sure. Just give me a moment to Change first.”

    “I can help, if you want,” Amy offered.

    I shook my head. “No, I've got to learn to get this down pat. Thanks for the offer, though.”

    “That's okay,” she replied. “Any time.”

    Removing the glasses, I tucked them into their pouch, then made sure that the one holding my mask was securely closed. Then, taking a deep breath, I closed my eyes and concentrated. I knew the form that I wanted to be in; the Wyvern, strong and powerful. Nobody would tease or torment me in that form, for fear of my fire breath, my teeth, my claws. Nothing Emma or Madison or Sophia did would be able to affect me.

    As I touched on their names, I recalled things that they had done to me; small matters to them, no doubt, but big problems for me. Juice on my chair, causing people to make jokes about wetting myself. Being pushed down the stairs, causing me to break my glasses, but nobody was willing to say who did it. Being reminded of my mother's death in the cruellest ways possible. They had done all of these things to me and much more. Each incident had been another straw added to the pile on the camel's back.

    But now, things would be different. Now, I would be different.

    <><>​

    I opened my eyes; nictitating membranes flashed back and forth over my eyes. My wings flexed and opened slightly as my tail moved behind me, balancing my stance. I was aware of all this and more, aware of the fire roiling in my gut. For now, it was banked, but it would be easy to call on it when needed.

    “I think that was even smoother than the last time you did it,” Amy noted. “Though it looked kind of painful.”

    I shook my head; there was no real way I could explain the emotional trauma that I needed to recall in order to force the change. Instead, I turned toward Vicky and let out an interrogatory chirp.

    “Right, sure, let's go,” she agreed, moving toward the door.

    I followed her, pausing by Dad and awkwardly wrapping my wing around him in a kind-of hug.

    “Take care out there, okay?” he asked, putting his arm around my shoulders. I nodded and made what I hoped was a soothing noise.

    “It's okay, Mr H,” Vicky assured him. “She's tough. And I'll take care of her.”

    Letting go of Dad, I headed to the door; Vicky opened it and I stepped outside. It was early evening by now and the street-lights were just starting to come on. I spread my wings and took a deep breath of the chilly air. Mrs Dallon and Mrs Pelham came out on to the porch, while Dad stayed discreetly inside.

    “Come on then, slowpoke,” Vicky called to me, launching herself skyward. I flapped my wings, lifting off of the ground, gaining altitude and speed with every stroke. As on the trip back to the house, the costume moved easily on me, neither hindering me nor being damaged by my movements.

    Finally catching up to her, I moved alongside Glory Girl and we set out on our first patrol together.

    <><>​

    “You know the Boat Graveyard, yeah?” she asked as we soared over the mismatched collection of ships. Some were large, some were small and some were half-sunken at their moorings. All were showing signs of disrepair.

    I nodded and let out a screech, hoping to get across the meaning, Yeah, doesn't everyone?

    “Okay, I'll take that as a yes,” she replied. “But what you probably don't know is that there are people living in the various hulks. Some are capes, some aren't. Homeless people, villains who are new to town and yet to establish themselves, vigilantes looking for a convenient lair, people on the run from the law or from a particularly vindictive villain … of course, when everyone else has already taken up the good positions nearest the shore, there can be some pretty intense shoving matches. But they keep it down so the Protectorate and the PRT don't take much notice.”

    I tilted my head. Huh.

    “But nobody usually gets hurt, so I generally just do a flyby once in a while, let 'em know that we know they're there.” We swooped lower; I peered down at the ships, now cloaked in dusk. I thought I saw one or two people moving around, but I couldn't be sure.

    “Okay, so how are your wings holding up?” she asked. “If you're tired, we can land for a bit.”

    I shook my head and gave a negatory screech. To emphasise my point, I flapped harder, gaining a little altitude.

    “Okay, you're fine,” she conceded, easily matching me. “So where do you want to go now?”

    My screech managed to put across the question why are you asking me? fairly effectively; she grinned sheepishly. “I keep forgetting you can't talk,” she replied apologetically. “Let's see; the ABB are fun to play with, but Inago and Oni Lee are both raving mad nutcases and Aunt Sarah would make Mom ground me for a week if I even risked meeting them on your first patrol.”

    She paused, hovering in mid-air while she thought about the situation; experimenting, I found that I could hold steady as well. “The Empire Eighty-Eight are racist douches, but they've got some big hitters. I've heard rumours that Purity's split off from them, but I'd hate to find out that's wrong the hard way.”

    “I know.” She brightened. “Let's go roust the Merchants. They're douches and they don't have any fliers, so you should be pretty safe.” So saying, she turned in mid-air and started off.

    I followed, flapping my wings harder to keep up. From what I recalled, the Merchants were in the northern area of the city, so we didn't have too far to go, overall.

    And then, from below, there was a tremendous BOOM as the side of one of the rusting hulks exploded outward. Startled, I back-winged and looked down; Vicky stopped also.

    “What was that?” she exclaimed.

    I shrugged as best as I could while flying. My screech was intended to convey how would I know, along with it wasn't me this time. Finally, I thought, there was destruction in the vicinity and it wasn't my fault.

    “Well, whatever it was, there's something going on down there,” she decided. “Let's go see.”

    Suiting action to word, she dived. For a moment, I paused, wondering if this was the best plan of action. What the hell. I folded my wings and followed Vicky down.


    End of Part Eight

    Part Nine
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2016
  14. Asheram

    Asheram Know what you're doing yet?

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    Had a feeling something would show up tonight. :) Another excellent chapter.
     
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  15. pepperjack

    pepperjack A Variety of Cheese

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    *adds to the "evidence" column*
    Completely natural, nothing to worry about.
    Oh, a likely story.
     
  16. Starfox5

    Starfox5 Experienced.

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    Good chapter. I liked Taylor's reaction to the explosion - and her "fitting" scenes, though Vicky's and hers reaction to Ami's confession was best. Very entertaining.
     
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  17. edale

    edale Versed in the lewd.

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    Well... It's nice to know that when Taylor finally takes Amy for a ride, that she has instinctual knowledge of advanced flying maneuvers.:p:D

    Not 100% sure, but shouldn't those thoughts be in quote marks?
     
  18. abyssmal_kismet

    abyssmal_kismet Experienced.

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    Slow down there, Dresden.

    EDIT:
    Nah; they're thoughts, which have no defined punctuation form.
     
  19. Chojomeka

    Chojomeka Kimochi~

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    Today is truly a good day!
     
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  20. Ack

    Ack (Verified Ratbag) (Unverified Great Old One)

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    Normally I italicise them. But the previous sentence had italics for another reason, so I left them standard.
     
  21. Threadmarks: Part Nine: Stinger!
    Ack

    Ack (Verified Ratbag) (Unverified Great Old One)

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    Wyvern

    Part Nine: Stinger!


    “Oh, you have got to be kidding.” I put my hand over my eyes. Well, I put my power gauntlet over my helmet visor, but it came to much the same thing. “Seriously? What part of 'press red-red-green to disarm' did you not understand?”

    “Sorry, boss,” Winston babbled. “I musta heard wrong. I thought you said 'green-green-red'.”

    “Which is the firing sequence, you technology-illiterate australopithecine.” I gestured at the missile test rack, which was notably empty, then at the side of the derelict vessel, which was just as notably decorated with a large flame-rimmed hole. “And now, not only have you managed to waste a missile that was worth significantly more than your annual salary, but you've also sent up a huge red flag to any do-gooders that might happen to be in the area.”

    “That's, like, not too much of a problem is it, right, boss?” Winston looked at me hopefully. "I mean, Brockton Bay's smaller than San Francisco, right? Less heroes, yeah?"

    I sighed, not even bothering to correct 'less' to 'fewer'. “Winston. Please try to keep up. You are indeed correct that we're not in San Francisco any more. Being there would be an improvement. In case you weren't aware, this city has the seventh highest cape-to-normal ratio in the United States. If some hero isn't on their way to investigate right now, I will be extremely -”

    “Surprise!”

    The voice was bright and cheerful. It promised a very chirpy beating at the hands of the teenage girl who had just swept in through the flaming hole that my idiot minion had thoughtfully opened up for her. She paid no attention to the fire; that, and the details of her costume, clued me in that I was now up against Glory Girl, of New Wave.

    New Wave. I ask you. It's bad enough that Brockton Bay has independent capes patrolling the city, but an entire family of them? Whatever is the world coming to?

    In any case, I already had my right arm pointing at the hole – not entirely by chance, I assure you – and so it was a simple matter to send a welcoming gift her way. In this particular instance, I judged that a flash-bang with a good solid HE punch to it – sans shrapnel, thank you very much – would be just the ticket. Such a missile was one of four already queued up, once again due to foresight on my part. The carousel in my right-hand missile housing rotated a quarter turn, lining the missile up with the launch rails.

    Glory Girl, it was well-known, was an Alexandria package, so I had no qualms about shooting her with such a payload. After all, I may be a ruthless villain who can't see a bank without wanting to rob it, but I'm not a complete monster.

    The missile left the carousel and scorched off the rails approximately half a second after the teen hero made her appearance. I had just enough time to appreciate the look of startled shock on her face, transmitted via the tiny camera in the nose-cone. She tried to dodge, of course; unfortunately for her, I have redefined the term 'smart missile' several times since I got my powers. The missile followed her all the way, matching her every move with precision and grace.

    As intended, the explosion blew her back out through the hole in the side of the ship. With anything resembling luck, she would be stunned and deafened for the next few moments, enough to buy us a breathing space. I intended to make full use of that time.

    “Winston!” I snapped the order, and my minion looked around vaguely, shaking his head in an odd fashion.

    “What, boss?”

    I suppressed a groan. He had neither covered his ears nor looked away from the explosion, two extremely simple precautions which I had thought that I'd long ago drummed into his admittedly idea-resistant skull. As a result, as well as being hard of thinking, my idiot minion was now suffering from a ringing in his ears and spots in front of his eyes.

    Neither of which was bothering me, of course; my visor was designed to darken in the case of bright flashes of light, and the sound pickups had cutouts. As I said, simple precautions. But this had rendered Winston even more useless than he normally was, which I had to admit was quite a feat.

    Some may be asking at this point, why exactly do I keep Winston around? To even the most casual of observers, it would be plainly obvious that he is a millstone about my neck, an obstacle to the smooth execution of even the simplest of plans. Virtually any other villain would have given the boy his marching papers by now; indeed, some of the less ethical would have included a nine-millimetre lobotomy in the deal.

    There are three main reasons that Winston remains in my employ. The first is simple; a Tinker such as myself quite often requires a second set of hands. This may be to hold components in place while I apply the soldering iron, to fetch another tool when needed, or even to simply stroll to the nearest coffee shop and bring me back my chai latte. Whichever way, such assistance can be absolutely crucial at the right moment in time.

    The second reason is a little less obvious, but essential all the same. Once in a while, even such an outstanding mentality as mine needs a sounding board. Devising new schemes for extracting my unfair share of wealth from the financial institutions of California takes up a not inconsiderable amount of my time. In order for such time not to be utterly wasted by an overlooked error in the planning stage, I habitually run my plans past Winston before I set them in motion. If he can pick out a flaw that I cannot compensate for, I ditch the concept before ever setting it in motion. He does not find flaws in every single one, of course, but this practice tends to save me slightly more time, expense and aggravation than I suffer in cleaning up after his blunders. He is, in truth, rather like a not quite housebroken puppy, only less appealing.

    As for the third reason … well, I will merely say that his original employment was a favour to my sister to get him out of her basement, and leave it at that. May we close the topic now? Thank you.

    “Pack. The. Equipment. Away,” I told him, leaning close and increasing the output volume on my speakers. “I shall hold off the scary teenage girl until you are finished.”

    I was being sarcastic, of course. There were several more missiles queued up that would be perfectly satisfactory when it came to subduing even an Alexandria package. I doubted that she was in the company of the rest of New Wave; even as durable as she was, it was unlikely that the adults would have sent her in first. So, given that she was almost certainly flying solo this night, I foresaw little in the way of difficulty in keeping her occupied while Winston bumbled his way through the packing-up process. Especially given that there weren't any more live missiles on the test rack.

    A moment later, I was reminded of the old axiom regarding assumptions making an ass out of all concerned. For through the hole swept not Glory Girl, but something quite outside of my experience.

    What in the name of Einstein, Tesla and Rutherford is that thing? But even as my mind threw up the startled query, I was reacting.

    The creature was in no way human. It was … I hesitated to use the word 'saurian', but there it was. Lizardlike head with an erect crest, widespread wings, red-gold scales, and a long whip-like tail. Where it had come from, I had no idea, unless it was one of those Case 53s I had been hearing about. Opening its mouth to display an inordinate amount of undoubtedly needle-sharp dentition, as well as a remarkably pink tongue, it unleashed a threatening screech. I am neither a superstitious man, nor one given to baseless fears, but that screech ran straight to my backbrain and gave me chills all the way down my spine.

    Shoving Winston down so that he sprawled alongside the workbench, I ignited my flight pack and took to the air. The ship's hold in which I had set up my temporary base was not tremendously spacious, but I was able to fly around to a certain extent. Unfortunately, despite the fact that it needed to use wings, the aerial intruder also seemed able to manoeuvre freely within that space.

    As I had intended, my sudden movement drew the creature's attention away from Winston and toward myself. Even as it banked toward me, I designated it with the target pipper and fired off a containment-foam missile. My initial estimation was that one should do the job – the creature wasn't that large, after all – but I followed up with a second one, just in case.

    My precaution was proven timely as, just a moment later, the creature spat a small bolt of fire from its open mouth. Considerably surprised, I revised my earlier judgement. It's not a dinosaur. It's a dragon.

    The fire bolt was obviously aimed at the first missile; I allowed myself a confident smile, as there was no way that my missiles would permit themselves to be decoyed into just such a mutual-destruction ploy. Fulfilling my faith in my programming skills, the missile being targeted jinked aside so as to skim past the oncoming attack … which promptly exploded into a small but intense burst of flame, destroying it anyway. Oh, that's just rude.

    The second missile, having been given more lead time to respond to the dragon's fire breath – not a phrase that I had ever thought I would need to make use of – swung out wider, evading the perimeter of the fiery burst. Given the relative motion of the missile and its scaly target, the draconic interloper was through the area where the first missile had been destroyed before the second one had begun to swing back in.

    This was actually a good thing; by the time the missile reacquired its target, it was actually behind the flying creature, in a tail chase. Such a pursuit would be necessarily brief; manoeuvring space was limited, the missile was obviously much faster in straight-line flying than the airborne lizard, and the thing would have had to look back over what passed for its shoulder in order to target the oncoming attack.

    Still, I did not allow myself to become complacent; the creature had already surprised me twice, after all. Just a moment later, my caution was rewarded as it increased its speed, arrowing toward me, pinions beating faster than ever.

    My armour is almost certainly proof against its claws and possibly resistant to its fire breath, but if it engages, then we both get struck by the missile …

    That was a sub-optimal scenario. I popped a cloud of smoke and veered to the left so as to clear its path. My helmet switched to IR tracking, of course; for a flying reptile, the thing was remarkably warm. Behind it, the pursuing missile was a smaller, brighter spark.

    The dragon-thing plunged into the cloud of smoke where I might have expected it to fly around; to my astonishment, it swerved toward me. I flung out my arm defensively; there was a wrenching impact then it was gone, out the other side of the smoke. Warning messages began popping up in my HUD, even as I became vaguely aware that the draconic creature had altered its course to put me between it and the missile that was still gaining upon it. Its intent was clear; the missile was supposed to be decoyed into hitting me.

    Less than a second later, the missile whipped past me, following its own curving path to line up once more on the interloper. I permitted myself a brief smile – haven't heard of IFF, have you, brute? - but there was precious little to smile about in the messages on my heads-up display. On its way past, the flying reptile had latched on to the missile housing on my right arm and torn it completely off of my armour.

    By now, I was revising my initial impression of the dragon-like creature. It was in no way a dumb animal, appearances notwithstanding. By its very actions, it was fully capable of recognising a threat, acting to deny me of a weapon and even attempting to turn said weapon on me. There was a human intelligence at work behind that scaly brow.

    Talking of human intelligences, I turned my head to check on Winston. He was just at that moment pulling himself to his feet by way of the workbench, looking around dazedly to see what was going on. I watched as the draconic being swooped low over him, causing him to duck again. The missile, following the creature, also swooped low … and exploded, delivering its payload to Winston. Blobby yellowish foam scored a direct hit on my hapless minion, attaching him firmly to the floor and the workbench. Perhaps, in future, I would equip him with an IFF as well.

    With what I had no trouble in interpreting as a screech of triumph, the creature began a long swooping turn, obviously intending to get back to grips with me. And well it might feel triumphant; in its first pass, it had defeated two of my attacks, removed the launcher housing from my right arm, and rendered my minion hors de combat, using my missile to do so. However, I still had a few tricks that it had not yet seen; with a grim smile of my own, I sent the self-destruct signal to the missing launcher housing.

    The housing exploded, all the remaining missiles inside adding their propellant fuel to the detonation. Enveloped by the massive burst of flame that resulted, the interloper was flung through the air by the shockwave. It hit the deck plates and rolled over and over. I could not determine the extent of its wounds, but at that moment, I was not feeling particularly charitable.

    And then, yet another surprise occurred. As the dragon lay sprawled upon the deck-plates, it began to shift and Change. Within moments, an unconscious teenager lay there, skinny and lanky but undeniably feminine. She wore a costume not unlike a bathing suit in basic black; thinking back, I recalled seeing the black colouration on the draconic being and assuming that it was part of the creature itself. This was obviously not the case.

    The fact of her being human, at least part of the time, changed matters considerably; I began to descend toward the floor, to see if she was badly hurt.

    “Leave her alone, you bastard!”

    Too late, I recalled the other half of the equation; specifically, the Alexandria package known as Glory Girl. She came rocketing in through the hole in the side of the hull; I found myself suddenly overcome by fear and trepidation, quite unlike my usual sang-froid.

    With an impact that rang throughout my armour, she slammed into me and drove me across the width of the hold, toward the far bulkhead. I still felt the terror, but I seemed to recall that it was actually part of her powerset, to make her foes fear her. In short, I was being made to experience these emotions.

    I am my own man. I will not be made to do anything.

    At the last instant, I activated the side-jets on my flight pack, driving us around in a half-circle. She reacted too slowly, obviously driven more by emotion than careful planning. Before she could bring us to a halt, I had slammed her into the bulkhead, driving quite a respectable dent into it. To aid in keeping her off balance, I ejected a series of flares into her face before backing off.

    As I had suspected might happen, with her confusion came a slackening in the desire to run away and hide. It was still present, but not in the near-overwhelming levels that I had been feeling before. However, she still posed a not inconsiderable problem for me; someone who was able to make me feel emotions not my own, and also physically match up to me, was in no way my preferred opponent. With that in mind, I levelled my left arm, and the missile housing mounted on it, at her; a containment-foam missile, I judged, should suffice to immobilise her for long enough for me to collect Winston and vacate the premises.

    An actinic streak of blue-white plasma cut across my field of vision; my visor managed to block most of it out, but I was still left with a blob of orange in front of my eyes. This was not enough to block me from seeing the new error messages now popping up on my HUD; to my now-increasing annoyance, I saw that I had now lost the other missile housing.

    For variety, this one had not been torn off; instead, the plasma burst had cut it in half. In addition to loss-of-function messages from the housing itself, I was also getting excess-temperature readouts from the servos in the left arm of my power suit. That plasma blast had been hot.

    Looking around, I saw that the teenage girl was back in her beast-like form; crouching, she had her wings spread and her mouth open, aimed in my direction. Judging from the temperature readings I was getting from her throat, there was little doubt regarding the origins of that actinic plasma stream. Well, she's all right. That's a good thing – I suppose.

    I was beginning to regret ever having come to Brockton Bay. Not that I had been intending to commit any crimes here; given that the city held so many villains, I suspected that I would have to make an appointment to rob the local bank. As it was, my presence was more to do with making deals with some of the local criminal element. My overall aim had always been to return to San Francisco once my business in Brockton Bay was done; however, it seemed that said business was going to come to an end much sooner than anticipated.

    The time had arrived, I judged, to go from an offensive stance to a defensive one. With undamaged armour and free flying room, I believed that I would be able to match up to Glory Girl on her own. Against her draconic companion, I would have more of a problem, but at the very least, I would be able to outdistance the creature so long as my fuel held out; this was the advantage of flight pack over wings. But against both of them, lacking my primary missile launchers, I was at a severe disadvantage.

    With this in mind, I turned away from Glory Girl and cut in full power on my flight pack, heading for the hole in the side of the hull. I did make one slight deviation in my trajectory, to pass over Winston on my way out. As I did so, I sprayed him liberally from a nozzle secreted in the left arm of my powersuit. Within moments, the imprisoning foam would dissolve and release him to complete the evacuation procedures, as he had been drilled.

    Why, yes, I do keep a reservoir of containment foam dissolver in my armour. I, like the PRT, make use of containment foam; to have the means to counteract it is merely a sensible precaution.

    Knowing that I had done all I could on that front, I aimed for the hole. It really was quite impressive; I was heartened to learn that my calculations regarding the missile had been accurate. Now, all I had to do was reacquire the components to build it, and I'd have something capable of punching through the side of the average bank vault.

    Of course, to do that, I would first have to extract both myself and Winston from this predicament. Step one was to take the fight outside and away from him. Step two would be to either win the fight or evade both of my erstwhile opponents; I was not overly optimistic about the former, but reversals had been known to happen. However, the latter was always a good Plan B.

    Step three, of course, was to rendezvous with Winston at our prearranged location, so that I could forever shake the dust of Brockton Bay from my boots. Most of the heroes I was prepared for, but going up against a teenage girl masquerading as a fire-breathing dragon was not in my life plan. Especially since said dragon had already done a remarkably good job of disarming me of both primary missile launchers.

    This was not to say that I was entirely unarmed; even as I flew out through the hole into the night air, my secondary missile pods motored from their stowed positions on my back up on to my shoulders. Each held three missiles, which could be ripple-fired or independently launched.

    The upside of this confrontation was that both of my opponents seemed to be rather durable; I would not have to worry so much about pulling my punches, either figuratively or literally. The downside was that I had two opponents and six missiles to go between them. After the admittedly brief confrontation, I did not trust the capability of my missiles to perform a one-shot disable on either Glory Girl or the dragon. Moreover, with the dragon's flame-breath capability factored in, I was less than confident that I could even hit the creature, much less disable her.

    A lesser man would have chosen surrender at this moment, while a more stupid man would have chanced an all-or-nothing attack on them as they emerged from the hole. I did neither, having acquired a certain amount of respect for the both of them. Instead, I went for distance, not wanting to delay their exit. Winston would be free of the foam soon, after all, and the last thing I wanted was for them to realise this.

    Once more, I was proven correct. A tiny fireball emerged from the hole, travelling a little way before exploding with quite surprising force. Had I been waiting nearby to ambush them, I would have been caught in the explosion and accompanying fireball, quite likely to my subsequent detriment. It appeared now that the dragon girl was not limited to small explosive bursts, making her all the more formidable an opponent.

    As the fireball dissipated, the dragon emerged from it, not unlike a phoenix arising from the ashes. She let out a loud screech; in response, Glory Girl flew from the hole and rose to join her. From my vantage point, I targeted each with a flash-bang/HE missile, but did not fire as yet. I wanted to draw this out as long as possible.

    A screech from the dragon-like creature – I refuse to believe that actual dragons exist – alerted me to the fact that she was aware of my whereabouts. This was quite impressive, considering that I was at that moment crouching in the shadows behind a large winch on the deck of another ship altogether. I was right. She does have some kind of sensory enhancement. Her attack on my missile housing in the smoke had not been a lucky fluke, after all.

    She began to fly directly toward where I was concealed; Glory Girl quickly caught up, then flew ahead. I triggered both of my previously targeted missiles, then launched myself away with my flight pack.

    The missiles swiftly closed with their designated targets, but the dragon girl was swifter still. She banked aside so that Glory Girl was not in her line of sight, then unleashed another one of her fire-bolts. I had planned for this; both missiles detected the oncoming bolt and performed evasive manoeuvres. Glory Girl did not slow down; the fire bolt sped ahead of her and detonated, missing both missiles and dissipating just as she got there. But her missile was now streaking in from the side, and the other was still on course for the dragon girl. Who are you going to save now, yourself or your friend?

    For the longest moment, I thought that the answer would be 'neither', as the dragon girl merely banked sideways. Right up until the moment when she vaporised both missiles with a single actinic tongue of blue-white flame. Well then, that answers that question.

    One-third of my remaining armament having been disposed of with almost contemptuous ease, I decided to go with the adage of discretion being the better part of valour. Activating my terrain-avoidance software, I got down to deck level and aimed myself at the nearest large freighter.

    All three of us could fly, which negated that as an advantage. However, in order to capture me, they would have to catch up with me. If I made that too risky, then the chances were that they would break off the chase sooner or later. In the case of the dragon girl, I hoped for 'sooner', given that there was the distinct chance that she was still annoyed with me over the exploding missile housing.

    Glory Girl was close behind me when I reached the ship, with her draconic partner some little distance behind. We raced over the deck, between masts and containers and what-have-you, my terrain-avoidance software kicking in my guidance jets at just the right times. The teenager was less agile, but she was able to keep up through sheer recklessness and bull-headedness. Until, that is, I used one of my remaining missiles to target a winch. As I rocketed past, the end of the cable spool blew off, spilling coils of metal cable into a great tangle. I heard her curse as she flew headlong into the metal snarl, and I smiled to myself.

    As it happened, I was celebrating too soon. One of those all-too-familiar firebolts exploded on the deck ahead of me, forcing me to swerve hastily. With a loud screech, the dragon girl dropped in behind me, uncomfortably close. I tried to accelerate, but that overtaxed my terrain-avoidance systems; clipping a corner, I nearly flung myself into a wall, but managed to recover and correct in time. Despite the close quarters, the dragon girl didn't seem to be overly hampered; at least, the flapping of her wings behind me did not falter.

    I targeted my next missile at the base of a radio antenna; this should, I calculated, fall into the laneway behind me, blocking all passage, whether by humanity or annoyingly-persistent teenage dragons. At the triggering signal, the missile launched away, dead on target. The muted explosion showed that it was dead on target; the antenna began to fall.

    A firebolt shot past me, toward the a point above the toppling antenna. Her aim's off if she wanted to delay that thing from falling …

    Too late, I realised that her aim was precisely on target. The explosion propelled the antenna downward, blocking off the through-way to me as well as the dragon girl. There was just one place to go; upward. So I went upward. Right to where Glory Girl was waiting for me.

    “Hi,” she greeted me brightly. “Give up?”

    At this point in time, a stupid man would have kept fighting. I had been outwitted and outmanoeuvred; with a sigh, I raised my hands.

    I would be transported back to California, to face trial for my crimes there. On the way, there would undoubtedly be opportunities for escape. Winston, I was reasonably sure, would meet me at one of my safe houses, once I had freed myself.

    But there was one thing of which I was certain.

    You couldn't pay me to come back to Brockton Bay.

    <><>​

    Taylor

    “Well, that was fun,” Vicky declared brightly as the PRT officers loaded Stinger into the back of the transport van. “What did you think, Wyvern?”

    I let out a non-committal chirp, looking down at my now-tattered costume. While it wouldn't quite be indecent when I changed back, there was somewhat less of it than when I had started the night.

    “Oh, come on,” she chuckled, slapping me on the shoulder. “Costume damage happens. I lose my skirt all the time.”

    Yeah, but you wear bike pants underneath. My squawk wasn't quite as nuanced as that, but it got the message across.

    “I guess you have a point,” she agreed. “My force field protects my clothing pretty well. On the other hand, you're just tough. When that thing exploded, I thought you were really badly hurt.”

    The concern in her voice touched me; I put a wing around her shoulders. I had been knocked out for a moment, and had woken up in human form. When I saw Vicky in peril, my Change had been swift and immediate; I hadn't even had to think about it.

    “So anyway,” she went on, “that was awesome, what you were doing with your flame-breath. Did you figure all that out before you did it, or was it spur of the moment?”

    I shrugged and let out another chirp. A bit of column A, a bit of column B.

    She was getting pretty good at guessing what I meant. “Yeah, I suppose so. But anyway, one more question before we head home.”

    I tilted my head interrogatively, looking down at her slightly.

    “Didn't you used to be shorter?”


    End of Part Nine

    Part Ten
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2017
  22. Starfox5

    Starfox5 Experienced.

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    Very good action scene from a unique POV, and a nice revelation at the end.
     
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  23. Chojomeka

    Chojomeka Kimochi~

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    Huh was not expecting a villain only briefly mentioned in canon as the source.....nice.
     
  24. Asheram

    Asheram Know what you're doing yet?

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    I like this guy! Can we keep him?
     
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  25. SwiftRosenthal

    SwiftRosenthal Connoisseur.

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    Cite? I assumed this guy was a throwaway OC. A fun throwaway, but a throwaway none the less.
     
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  26. Chojomeka

    Chojomeka Kimochi~

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    Stinger was briefly mentioned in early canon as one of the 'insect' type names that were already taken, Stinger's a Tinker who focuses on missiles.
     
  27. Dragonin

    Dragonin Hugs Everything

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    Did I invoke something while rereading last night? Almost felt bad for Stinger there, loved his mentality about the dumb/smart thing. He even cares about his minion! :)
     
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  28. Firedon

    Firedon Experienced.

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    Huh, so she's growing? That could be interesting if it stays that way.
    Given that his minion's implied to be his nephew and he has good relations with his sister? That's not surprising.
     
  29. edale

    edale Versed in the lewd.

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    My god... He actually had someone with the intelligence of a 4-year old double-check his plans! I like this guy!

    And the line about getting Winston out of his sister's basement, priceless!
     
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  30. Asheram

    Asheram Know what you're doing yet?

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    Indeed! The gentleman villain who also sounds fairly competent.
     
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