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Worm: A Shard's Quest for Data!

Discussion in 'Questing' started by VoidKindred, Jul 8, 2021.

  1. VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    May 6, 2021
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    They're given by the M!emories, as other memories will give echoes as well
    Ajlove likes this.
  2. Extras: A bit of Art: Soft NSFW

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    May 6, 2021
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    Here's a sketch given to me by a friend.[​IMG]
  3. Extras: The Hotel Movie Scene

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

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  4. Threadmarks: Broken Stations 3.4

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    May 6, 2021
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    Broken Stations 3.4

    Eve ‘Eden’ Coldwin Wednesday the Seventh of April

    Finding a wetsuit was a bitch and a half if you lived somewhere that was landlocked and lacked any big bodies of water. But Eve lived next to the ocean, where the waters were cold enough that anyone wanting to swim for extended periods of time needed a wetsuit of some sort to keep themselves warm and not lose pieces of themselves.

    Hell Walmart often sold the ones that didn’t include sleeves for the limbs, which she didn’t want. So she had to go to one of the stores that specializes in things that got wet. Swimming stuff, pools, boating, fishing, hell they had lobster and crab traps. “Can you get crabs and lobsters too?”

    “Yeah?” Taylor answered, blinking in surprise at the sudden and out of the blue question. “Why?”

    “Dunno just was thinking about getting supplies to fix what I accidentally burned last night and I realized the store that sells what I need also sells lobster traps. Just came up in my mind and I wanted to ask.” Eve explained as they rounded back towards the taller girl’s house on their morning jog together.
    Taylor, having done it for a month and three quarters of another, was doing fairly well. Eve being a regenerator with a chiseled physique had no issues at all, she just wanted to hang out with her girlfriend in the morning.

    This came about from Taylor’s tongue lashing last night. Something Eve never wanted to repeat again. Taylor was attractively intense in a lot of what she did except for the quiet disappointment she had brought out to bare last night back at the base.

    It reminded Eve of the way her parents had often looked at her.

    The taller girl didn’t want Eve rushing off into danger like that and the short girl had countered that they were fighting villains last night. Fighting villains was not safe by default. But they could always hang out in civilian attire. Like Girlfriends do. Then it led to discussion on what Taylor liked to do. Aside from reading, she jogged early every morning. Considering Eve’s issues with sleeping past four am, she asked to join and here they were jogging back towards Taylor’s house.

    “So uh, gonna be hanging out with Amy today you know?” Eve started as they neared the block Taylor’s house resides in. “Gonna talk to her about this whole thing, but I also wanted to see if the two of you would help with making the base more livable? Since I got a code Tinker ability I think I can install high speed internet there, with a different Tinker ability I might be able to install plumbing which is needed.”

    “At that rate you could just live there.” Taylor remarked, avoiding the topic of Amy at the moment.

    “I mean...I don’t have anywhere else.” Eve responded softly, pace slowing slightly as her eyes fell to the dirty sidewalk.

    Almost tripping, Taylor slowed as well and laid an arm across Eve’s shoulders. “Sorry. I-Sorry. Yeah. I don’t know how much help I can give you. I’m good with computers but you’re the Ti-The better computer builder here.”

    They slowed to a stop, Eve nodded. “I’m gonna need help with wires. Getting holes through the base so I can set up a better circuit than what’s already there. They were obviously going to put internet access in the office spot-” now cleaned perfectly thanks to Amy’s Garden of Flesh. It was scary that it could break down tile “-but it’s not fully set up and some of it’s missing large portions. I need bugs, special bugs.”

    Frowning, Taylor looked down at Eve. “Amy has rules against making things. You shouldn’t push her on them.”

    Eve waved her hands in dismissal. “She does. I do not. If she allows me to then I’ll make some cool stuff to help with getting wires in place. Then I’ll just feed them into the Garden.” She shrugged. “No issues there with you?”

    “No.” Taylor admitted. “But I’m not Amy. You’re forgetting about that.”

    The shorter ravenette shook her head. “Yeah I know, but you’re helping too you know. So I have to ask if you’re okay with the idea too ya know. Also start carrying your phone. I might need to contact you in the future.”

    “I can’t carry it with me to school, it’ll get ruined or stolen.” Taylor countered.

    Now Eve frowned. “We’re going to have to talk about that later, you know.”

    With a scowl Taylor shook her head. “No. I told you that it’s not something I want my cape life interfering with.”

    Eve stepped in front of the taller girl, folding her arms under her chest to which her sports top showed off. “Taylor I know what your tongue tastes like, you’ve grabbed handfuls of both my hair and my ass.” the slimmer girl flushed deeply at the crude descriptions of their more private times together. “I am a part of your...life. You’re important to me, I care about you and want you to be happy. Try to shut me out and I’ll spank you.”

    The flush went thermonuclear “That was an accident. I said I was sorry.”

    “You didn’t have to, I kinda liked it!”

    “We can talk about Winslow if you please just stop.”

    Eve stuck her tongue out in faux annoyance. “Spoilsport. Again, we’ll talk later alright? I know I’m pushing you but…” She leaned forwards and hugged Taylor, who returned the gesture “I just want you to have a better life.”

    Taylor didn’t respond, just holding Eve for a minute, both girls slightly sweaty from the run. “...I know.” She murmured.

    “...but it’s hard to include others.” The Trump added immediately after. “Yeah. I know. I know. If I didn’t heal quickly I would have likely ground my teeth to nubs when talking with Lisa.” God did she want nothing to do with the smug prick in purple latex.

    She sniffed and frowned as she caught a whiff of herself “Can I use your shower? Still no water in the house ya know.”

    “Yeah, dad shouldn’t be awake yet.” Taylor answered before they continued on the rest of the way, getting to Taylor’s house. When they opened the door, Mr. Hebert was sitting in the kitchen drinking from a mug of black coffee. Both girls froze up in surprise as the man sipped rather loudly.

    “Taylor. Eve.” He stated simply. “You could have told me you would be out late at night Taylor, especially if you were staying over at your girlfriend’s house.”

    Taylor opened her mouth only to have Eve speak up, stepping slightly in front of Taylor with her eyes glued to Mr. Hebert’s green set. Her glare was challenging, set in stone. “Got a problem with that.”

    Mr. Hebert snorted. “Yes, her not telling me she would be out. If I had an issue with her having a girlfriend I would have never married her mother.” At Eve’s raised brow he continued. “She used to run with Lustrum. There weren’t any guys in the movement, but Annette still enjoyed herself.”

    Taylor gagged in shock “DAD!” she shrieked, horror written across her face at the information on her mother’s sex life.

    “Nice.” Eve said as she stepped back by her girlfriend’s side. “So Taylor, you want to take the first shower?”

    “If it gets me away from any more of that.” Taylor shuddered before rushing up the stairs when her father went to speak with an amused expression on his face. The expression of amusement faded as he looked at Eve.

    “If it’s the shovel talk, you don’t need to waste your breath.” Eve told him as she leaned against the doorway into the kitchen “I would never purposely hurt Taylor.” At least, not to cause pain. Hair pulling was perfectly fine apparently. Funny how something she used to hate when she was younger now excited her.

    “Good to know. What I wanted to know is whether you two were being safe. We live in the Neo-Nazi capital of the United States.” Mr. Hebert leaned back in his chair, reaching up to rub his face. “I was going to ask how you intended on keeping her safe. But I assume those wings of yours can do that?”

    Eve twitched “Do I look like a bird to you?” she asked, staring at the old man sitting at the table

    “Do I look like I was born yesterday?” Mr. Hebert shot back

    “If so I feel sorry for your mother, must have been agony.”

    He shook his head. “The whole camping trip lie might have worked in all honesty. I don’t get on PHO, I hardly use the internet, and the news is more depressing than I can often handle. But I do listen to the radio. Imagine my surprise when they started talking about Panacea and two other capes healing people that were removed from Grey Boy bubbles.”

    “So? Panacea had to leave during the trip to go help. Nothing new for her. She’s a healer that can’t catch a break.” Eve said as she shifted against the doorframe. “Doesn’t mean we were there at the bubbles with her.”

    “Eve. Eden.”Mr. Hebert got up, heading to the sink and started washing his mug. “Well. I got curious. Looked up the three heroes. What do you know, one of them is my daughter’s height, has her build, and her mother’s curly black hair. How about that, strange isn’t it?”

    “Fuck. I knew she should have made a hood or something to cover her hair.” Eve spat as she stood up straight. “Alright, yeah. I’m Eden, she’s Khepri.”

    All he did was nod. “Just keep her safe.” he made for the door, grabbing his jacket and keys before pausing and looking to Eve “You wouldn’t happen to have a power that could clear the boat graveyard would you?”

    Caught off guard by the sudden question she shrugged. “I dunno. I think? Well maybe with enough gravity based tinker stuff I could just move the ships or with a strong enough telekinetic grip….Or…” She hummed as she thought over her limited options “It’s a maybe?”

    “Well if you can get rid of that tanker that was sunk in the riots, a lot of people would be happy.” Taylor’s Father said before he left, the door shutting behind him with a click.

    After a moment of silence Eve trudged up the stairs with a sigh, listening to the shower before stopping outside the upstairs bathroom and waiting for Taylor to get done. Thankfully her girlfriend didn’t take long and fifteen minutes later Eve was in the shower and cleaning herself off. Of course she didn’t take too long, she made sure everything important was clean before she got out.

    “Alright, survive at Winslow and then meet up back at the base tonight. Unless you want me to come with you? Cause’ Amy can wait a few hours, she’s in Arcadia. Have you seen that place? It’s fucking opulent.” Eve said as Taylor shrugged her backpack on.

    Taylor frowned, she hadn’t actually seen Arcadia in person. Now she sort of did want to see it. Just to torture herself with what she was missing. “I’m not….sure. The empire recruits from the school.”

    “Taylor, they were making fun of us last week about being gay. No doubt they’ve already spread rumors about you being gay around the school. We are gay. Tell me, has any members of the empire talked to you? Sneered at you? Call you a Heeb?”


    “Insult for jews”

    Taylor shook her head and Eve snorted “Taylor, you’re the recruiting tool.”

    “Wait what!? I don't agree with them!” She reared back slightly, as if bitten.

    “Duh.” Eve rolled her eyes “But come on. Black girl and her hanger ons viciously bullying a tall pale white girl? That’s literally several of their talking points right there.”

    “You know this…” Taylor trails off, wincing as she recalled exactly what Eve had grown up with.

    Giving her a flat stare Eve nodded slowly. “Yes they took me to rallies. Kaiser has a cape and it makes him look like a fucking dork. Don’t wear a cape, only Alexandria can pull of shit like that. Anyway, A savage nigress corrupting a bunch of innocent superior beings into dragging down one's own kind.” Eve turned and spit onto the sidewalk, the words left the taste of acid in her mouth

    A pensive frown spread across Taylor’s face. “Jesus.” She murmurs after a moment of thought. “Also you need to cut back on stuff like that. Last night-”

    “I was pissed off at Lung for taking your arm. I’m not disagreeing, you know. I don’t like it either. It’s just...It’s hard to stop saying shit like that. I’m used to talking like that and while I've been doing better...it’s really not enough.” She leaned back with a sigh, scrubbing her face. “We’re getting off track. I want to go to school with you.”

    “...Fine. No beating anyone without my permission.” Taylor agreed after a solid minute of thought before the taller girl turned and started walking. “Come on, Miss Knott’s class is the only one I actually like, and I don’t want to be counted as tardy because I missed the bus.”

    Letting out a whoops of excitement Eve jogs up next to Taylor. “Wait, does she actually pay attention? Like, to what’s going on in class?”

    “mmHmm. Plus the trio aren’t in her class.” Taylor answered before catching on to the issue at hand. “Right, that means she’d notice you.”

    Nodding Eve let out a sigh. “Alright, I need to go buy replacement wetsuits and some hoodies. How about we meet up outside her class?” Taylor nodded in agreement and gave the room number, prompting Eve to give her a chaste kiss before running off.

    It didn’t take long for Eve to buy her replacement costumes, people don’t argue or waste the time of someone in a partial costume with large Shadow Limbs moving around. So she got four of everything. Until she could Tinker up gear that were more resilient to damage she would just have to keep wasting money on spares. Over two thousand dollars on costume bits. It was almost painful to spend that much in one go.

    Some kind of regenerative metal? Living metal perhaps? Some kind of fiber that acts like muscle, regrowing to attach itself together? Mixing the two together could very well give her a costume that regenerates with her.

    Oh, can’t forget that weird paint that fixes itself.

    Shaking her head to dispel the Tinkerborn thoughts Eve picked up the pace to get to Winslow before Taylor had to wait too long. Wings and her own well used legs means that Eve doesn’t waste too much time in getting to the shithole of a school.

    The bell for the next period had just rang when she made it to the school. It took her almost a minute to find Knott’s class because she couldn’t use her Radar discreetly. Still, Taylor gave Eve a weak smile when the two girls met up.

    “Alright alright. Where are we heading first?” Eve asked as she followed along aside her girlfriend, who was attempting to shrink in on herself. It’s not her, not the way she should act. How could a girl go from forming a conspiracy to help save the world from what might as well be a depressed god but shrink away from two potential Hosts and a meager vital Shard that could oh so easily be replaced?

    Taylor was above them all. They both were.

    Maybe she needed to slow down on these thoughts before they went off on a wild ride without her. Sucking in a breath she regretted immediately afterwards from the taste of the air, Eve let the body odor and spray perfume rank air out of her lungs.

    “Math. Teacher won’t notice anything. He’s too busy being hung over or drunk.” Eve was almost surprised at the vitriol in the Taller girl’s voice as she described the man. “Madison will be there, it’s mostly spitballs and pencil shavings from her. Honestly she’s the least of the Trio, everything she does is childish.”

    Eve just nodded, not trusting herself to say anything. Madison was a child, or a social chameleon. Either one would be an annoyance, but she also looked terribly fragile. So terribly fragile, that barely any pain would be needed to prevent a lot of issues.

    Idly her hand felt the cool metal of the switchblade in her pocket as they walked along the hallways, because if she needed to cut something she sure as hell couldn’t use her Ferrous Limbs to do so. Because she was in school.

    The shit she did for those thin lips

    Also those grabby hands. Seriously, for someone who acts like they want to disappear and blushes from crude flirting, Taylor was very controlling in a good way. A nudge at her ribs bought Eve back to the present, in school. “Oh right uh. Fuck math. I’m terrible at it.”

    “What are you good at?” Taylor asked as they went through the halls, coming up to a room as bland and dilapidated as the rest of the school

    Shrugging Eve opened the door for Taylor. “PE? I didn’t really pay attention in school. I was more the cool smoking delinquent type you know? With the leather jacket and greased hair.”

    She missed the side eye that Taylor gave her, unamused as it was. Both girls went into the classroom and Eve instantly spotted Madison, who sat near the back looking maliciously innocent.

    Taylor regarded her wearily despite possibly being able to lift the small child of a girl. That wariness turned to resignation as she made her way to her seat only to find a puddle of glue where the chair cradled her ass.

    Stepping forward, Eve swept her arm through the glue and shucked it onto the floor. She stepped back and took the seat behind Taylor where she then began to rub the glue stuck on her arm until it dried and she could pick it off her human limb and flick it off

    Taylor carefully sat down, seeming to relax a bit as nothing stuck to her rear. She shot Eve a small timid smile and the Trump felt her heart melt a little on the inside. Then as she turned back around, Eve’s head jerked to the side so fast it made her neck pop. Her eyes were set on the little bitch that wanted to act like a child.

    At first the girl gave her an annoyed yet smug smile that screamed ‘I am innocent, let me rub it in your face’. All it would take was for Eve to pull out her knife, not even use it. Just pulling it out would probably be enough really. Madison did not look like a fighter in the slightest, rather a fighter’s con-Cuncu. Whore. Like a whore that hung off someone more powerful than them.

    Eve narrowed her eyes, memorizing every detail to her perfect memorization. No matter where she saw Madison, she would remember the girl no matter where they met next. Then the girl wouldn’t smile so much.

    She coughed as the smell of strong alcohol hit her nose and she tore her eyes away from the childish imp to the man stumbling into the room. He reeked of alcohol and looked worse than her father did-used to after New Years celebration with his drinking buddies.

    Smelled worse than her mother’s breath and she hated the man before he could plop himself down into his stupid squeaky chair.

    He fumbled through the messenger’s bag he carried into the room and pulled out a stack of papers before setting them down on his desk. To Eve’s utter bewilderment he just...laid his head down on the table afterwards and….snored.

    She reached forwards gently tapping Taylor on the shoulder causing her to flinch softly. She relaxed as she turned around to see Eve and the questioning look Eve had on her face as she looked between Taylor and the more than likely drunk teacher. The taller girl just gave Eve a long suffering look before turning around as a sheet was passed back to her, the look she gave Eve was amused as she passed a sheet of math work to Eve.

    For a moment she stared uncomprehendingly at the work in front of her. Then slowly, with the grace of a cat making eye contact with it’s owner while doing the same to something fragile, slid the paper off her desk and onto the floor. Taylor rolled her eyes almost dramatically before turning around with a huff of amusement.

    Eve felt a few spitballs hit her hair, but they weren’t hitting Taylor. She could take the abuse. It didn’t measure up to being roasted alive or losing a limb to a fucking laser sword. “SHIT!” Eve hissed loudly under her breath, shaking her head softly when Taylor turned around to see what the issue was.

    Eve should have grabbed the paladin’s laser sword. Dammit why the fuck hadn’t she done that? She could have had a big fuck off sword!

    Eve sagged in her seat. She should have collected more than the fucking lobotomy machine disguised as a computer, then she could have more to Tinker with. What a waste!

    While [Eve] suffered through the motions of pack tactics with others of her kind you dealt with your own in a different manner. You mentioned the likely fight with [SHIFT] to [SHUNT] and the dimensional Shard briefly shows annoyance with the other. Something much like your own rivalry with your sister Shard but far more spiteful is shared between the two. As such, [SHUNT] wishes your Host the best in the upcoming conflict with [SHIFT]’s aggressive Host.

    As per your usual routine, you contact another Shard soon after the connection to [SHUNT] ends. This time you contact [TECH DATABASE]. You and [Eve] had helped their Host in the end, a bit of a check in was not entirely unnecessary.

    When you connected to [TECH DATABASE] it turned out to be during one of their...moments. Despite being the respectable Shard that was the side of a ‘small’ moon, oftentimes they would get overly excited about technological discoveries. Whether it be from their simulations of technological interactions or from their Host doing something unique with the technology granted to them. Either their host has done something great or [TECH DATABASE] has found something itself.

    You could hardly tell with how fast the larger Shard broadcasted it’s success in large packets eager to share it’s discovery. You give hasty congratulations before cutting the connection. It had all been...too much for you although from how much data had been sent through you did collect double the amount of information scraps than you normally would.

    It would take a while for you to go through how much data was thrown your way, even though you might not entirely understand it. Manipulating the energies of reality was something you had been doing for eons. Applying such a feat through technology?

    You were glad [TECH DATABASE] was so eager to share.

    The day had been grueling, and it wasn’t even on the part of Taylor’s tormentors. Rather it was just school, but worse. Worse because of the uncaring staff and demoralized students. Even the gang members looked pitiable when trudging through the halls with sad eyes behind posturing bodies.

    Not that Eve pitied them. Joining a gang was a dumb thing to do when you didn’t have powers, because then you were only canonfodder for the police, PRT, and indie capes.

    At least lunch had been fun, mostly because they went somewhere else to have it. Turns out that Taylor likes Gyros, which were sold from a food stand on the Boardwalk. Eve wasn’t much for them, she preferred more americanized food. Like Pizza, hamburgers, or Americanized Chinese food.

    Her parents had ironically been the one to get her into Chinese food. Guess you couldn’t hate everything, she just wished that her parents had included their own daughter with the fucking takeout food.

    With her thoughts the sick mixture of anger, regret, and frustration Eve nearly ran into Taylor as they left the science class of the day due to the taller girl coming to a sudden halt. Stepping out to the side she saw why. A ring of girls again, they must be running out of material at this rate.

    Before they can start bullying Taylor, Eve spoke up. “God you dumbasses again? Can’t you three losers can your hangers on do something with your lives instead of acting like an Empire recruiters prime material?” Not her best insult, but from the snarl on Sophia’s face it hit pretty good.

    “Shouldn’t you let your master speak for you? Since you want to follow her around like a lost puppy.” The red head sneered only to have Eve laugh at her.

    “That’s all you can do?” Eve asked, unimpressed and folding her arms across her chest. She snorted softly, “Weak shit.”

    That caused an affronted expression to grow across her face as Sophia stepped up, out of the ring of girls and closer to Eve. “The hell did you just say you dyke?” She snaps out, eyes narrowed with the scowl on her face.

    “I called you a prime Empire recruitment tool you lose-” Eve’s reiteration of her insult is interrupted by a closed fist slamming against her mouth and causing her to stagger backwards. For a moment the hall descends into silence, even Sophia seeming shocked by the lashing out. Moving her tongue around in her mouth, Eve spat a bloody tooth out onto the floor. Working her jaw she glances at Taylor, blood still on her lip, then she tilts her head questioningly.

    The shock on Taylor’s face morphs into a rictus of anger before flattening into a neutral frown. She steps back and nods minutely.

    Eve grinned, of course it remained as she turned and was immediately punched again, this time in the stomach. Sophia backed off, waving her hand for a moment to shake the pain out of it. Having rock solid abs was awesome. Eve just grinned a bloody toothy grin as she motioned for Sophia to come at her.

    The bully takes no time in flinging herself at Eve, her movements clearly controlled and trained. Eve still caught the jab thrown at her and she slammed a knee into the bully’s side. The other hand flashed out slamming into Eve’s face and again and forcing her back. The warm copper trickling down her face told Eve her nose was bleeding but not broken.

    They both eyed each other as more people gathered around, jeering, cheering, and leering as the two of them fought. Eve took a kick in her gut, her clenched abdominal muscles catching the blow fairly well but the power behind it still stopped her dead in her tracks.

    “More than a runner.” Eve muttered with a grin, her regeneration lagging as she forced it to slow itself down. No need to get outed from a schoolyard beating. Sophia was surprisingly skilled, using her reach to keep Eve from getting any hits in. When Eve charged at her again Sophia attempted to plant another kick in Eve’s torso only to have Eve twist out of the way of the kick and slam into her.

    The crowd parted hastily cheering all the while as Eve rammed the both of them into the rows of lockers with a resounding crash, but Sophia managed to pull her legs up and kick Eve off her but causing Eve’s nails to rake down Sophia’s exposed arms leaving trails of bleeding lightly torn flesh in their wake.

    Eve coughed from the floor, stomach aching fiercely. That had actually been a good hit. But she had an advantage here, aside from being able to take a hit far more than the other girl and her muscles..

    Taylor watched the fight go on, suppressing a wince every time she saw Eve get hit. It was hard to remember that her girlfriend could take a hit without worry. The fact that she was obviously holding back her strength showed just how outclassed Sophia was in the fight, if only that Eve could wear her out and overpower her.

    The knowledge that Eve could easily break the more physical of her tomenters was both sweet and bitter tasting. Maybe she should ask Eve how to fight at some point? The short girl wasn’t too bad, her regeneration made her reckless. But Sophia was fighting like a trained professional, or in a way that looked similar.

    The idea of Sophia standing in front a Tv copying martial arts moves was sort of funny, it didn’t make seeing Eve get kicked in the chest hard enough to knock her down any easier.


    Queen Administrator got only a nod from Taylor as she watched Eve stand back up, bloodied but not beaten. She had made sure to never use her power in school, the fear of going to far ever present in all her day dreams of revenge.

    But things were different, she was known as a hero across multiple states. Not to mention that she was just making sure that Eve didn’t actually get hurt or hurt Sophia too much. If anything she was helping Sophia out by getting this to end faster. And it was a small thing, it wouldn’t matter..

    “You’re going to fucking pay for that you little bitch.” Sophia hissed out as Eve got to her feet.

    “I can do this all day.” Eve laughed breathlessly. “And I’m going to fucking destroy you Loser.”

    Sophia finally vocalized her rage with a spittle filled scream as she charged at Eve, however that ended the moment Eve spit blood and saliva into the girl’s face. She backed up vocalizing disguise and wiping her face with one hand while keeping the other raised to ward off Eve, then a fly drove itself into her still open eye causing her to jerk her head away and lose sight of Eve.

    A fist slammed into her side, landing squarely on her kidney before another drove itself into her solar plexus forcing all the air from the black girl’s lungs. Before she could collapse, Eve caught her by the collar of Sophia’s shirt in both hands, raised her head back, and slammed it right into the bitch’s nose with a wet crunch and a splatter of blood.

    Then Eve reared back and slammed her forehead directly into Sophia’s with a loud thunk stunning the incapitated girl even further than the lack of air had and driving Sophia to her knees. She reared back again fully ready to floor the other girl completely with another, stronger, headbutt. Then something grabbed her shoulder, she dropped Sophia and twisted a snarling grin on her face as she reared another fist back, only to freeze as she saw Taylor there.

    “That’s enough. You won.” Taylor’s eyes bored into Eve’s, her voice almost toneless and cold but holding nothing but steel and god did it send warm sparks down Eve’s spine.

    She nodded. “So! Wanna go get some ice cream for your gallant knightess?” Eve asked with a bloodied face and similarly red grin, the small smile that tugged at the corner of Taylor’s lips made her heart feel light in her chest.

    “You’re getting cleaned up first, let’s go back to my house.” Taylor told her before starting to walk towards one of the school’s exits. Eve started to follow, ignoring Sophia’s prone, groaning, form on the floor. She stopped however, the crowd starting to disperse after the ass kicking was over, and made eye contact with Madison. The shorter girl just wilted under the glare she was given. Emma didn’t respond, didn’t look at Eve instead staring at the prone form of her friend bleeding on the ground.

    After cleaning up at Taylor’s house, the two girls went to the boardwalk to get ice cream. Taylor had a cone of chocolate mint, and Eve enjoyed some rocky road. Then they had split apart, Eve telling Taylor to meet up later in formal attire.

    Even with trudging through that god forsaken pest hole of a school most of the day, have an impromptu date, and the walk to Arcadia. Eve still ended up waiting for the School day to end for her to meet Amy. Which didn’t turn out very well, as Glory Girl apparently flew her sister directly home as soon as they were out of the doors. Which left Eve standing at the gate to the school like a dumb ass.

    She sighed and turned, starting to trudge away as one of the guards there kept an eye on her. Like a fourteen year old girl was gonna destroy the school. Okay, She could destroy the school but that dick didn’t know that. For all intents and purposes he had stayed here for twenty minutes not-so-discreetly watching a fourteen year old stand by the gates to a school.

    Thankfully New Wave’s household wasn’t too far from Arcadia. During the walk Eve questioned how Glory Girl hadn’t gotten fat from flying everywhere she went, did she cheat with Amy’s help? Probably considering the touch ups that [Shaper] was familiar with. Familiar with enough for [Shaper] to run through the motions. What a waste of power.

    Eve walked up to the door and knocked on it, not hard but she was annoyed and her strength may have slipped from her a bit. Unsurprisingly it was Glory Girl who opened the door, that same slow rising dread washing over Eve. “That aura of yours is annoying.” She stated, and a moment later the dread vanished.

    “Oops, I usually don’t need to hold it back with just family around. They’re immune, you know?” Vicky said as she opened the door fully to invite Eve in. “So, come to wisk my sister away on a romantic date?”

    “More talk relationship stuff? I kissed another girl.” And Eve had to choke back the response of overwhelming fear that hit her, every instinct screaming at her to take her Limbs andripthisAryanfuckapart “But I still like Amy and the girl.” Eve seethed out through clenched teeth

    The aura cut back and Glory Girl stared at Eve incredulity written across her face. “Wait, you're into swinging?”

    That threw Eve for a loop. “...Yes?” She asked, swings were fucking great. Best part of any playground. Even if you were too old to do it, they were just nice to sit in and swing softly. “But what do swing sets have to do with relationships?”

    Glory Girl opened her mouth, shut it, repeated the motion before then bursting out laughing in Eve’s face.

    A speck of embarrassment flickered in Eve’s chest and she scowled at being the butt of some kind of joke. “What?! What’s so fucking funny!?” That was the wrong thing to say apparently as Glory Girl bent over howling and floated up into the air.

    “Vicky why the hell are you being so-Eve!” Amy was surprising fast when she wanted to be, despite her somewhat lax life style. Eve leaned forwards and hugged Amy as she made it down the stairs, giving the brunette a tight squeeze before letting go.

    “H-HeheheHey Amy, Eve wants to talk about swinging!” Vicky choked out as her giggling died down.

    “What the hell is so funny about swing sets!?” Eve turned away from Amy, demanding an answer from the once again cackling girl who only waved her off before floating up to the second story of the house and disappearing into the hallways that lead to the house’s bedrooms, her laughing loud up until a door slammed shut.

    Eve turned to Amy who looked similarly confused about what exactly was so funny, as such Eve knew she wasn’t really going to get an answer to that anytime soon. “Uh hey, anyway I wanted to talk about some private stuff. Think we can go someplace private?”

    Amy sighed and motioned for Eve to follow her before she trudged through the house, her dad was sitting on the couch staring blankly at the Tv so quiet it was almost muted. He didn’t even acknowledge them as they walked past him. Nor did he even look up as they stepped into the backyard and oh shit they have a pool. Amy stepped down onto the in ground-pool’s deck and Eve followed behind her.

    “Alright.” Amy said as she came to a stop near the edge of the water. “What is it you wanted to talk about?”

    “Us mostly.” Eve told her, honestly. “Me and Taylor uh. We kissed. It was awesome.” A grin slipped onto her face despite her best effort to stop it, it took a moment for her to wipe it off. “Well. I like her and you. I think I like you the same way as her but for different reasons you know?”

    “No, I don't.” Amy stated flatly. “But I do know you’re polyamorous or have polyfidelity.”

    “Imagine I don’t speak fa-” Eve shook her head. “Bleh. Can you explain that please?” At Amy’s look she scoffed. “C’mon. Please?”

    Sitting down the biokinetic motioned for Eve to do the same, although Eve chose to sit on the concrete deck instead of one of the chairs. After sleeping on one for the past week, baring the hotel rooms, she wasn’t keen on experiencing them much more than she had to.

    “Polyamory is just a relationship with one or more people loving more than one partner. You know you can just look this all up on google right?” Amy asked, sighing loudly when Eve showed off her piss poor burner phone.

    “Gonna be installing internet at the base tonight, wanted to know if you could help. I’m a Tinker now, I can code things pretty well but I need internet and the base is a dead zone.” Eve explained

    “I deal with biology not electronics.” the healer cape replied flatly.

    “Yeap.” Eve said, not popping the p like an asshole would. “But you can make things that can tunnel through concrete and drag wires through said tunnels.”

    “No. I’m not making bugs for Khepri.” Amy shot it down instantly.

    “You’re right. You aren’t. You’re making tools. Tools that I can check on, tools we can feed to the Flesh garden. They won’t be staying around, and they won’t be dangerous.” When Amy opened her mouth Eve threw up a hand to stop her. “You can trust me Amy, I helped with Shaper and I don’t want you to get in any trouble….”

    Amy ‘Panacea’ Dallon

    “...Just this once alright?” It was always ‘just this once’. Always ‘just heal him Amy this won’t happen again’ or ‘He’s a criminal Amy, it doesn’t matter please put his spine back together’. Each time someone, Vicky, had told her ‘just this once’ it never meant ‘just this once’ It meant ‘Just until I want or need your help again’.

    But...When Eve had taken Shaper’s power she hadn’t done anything bad with it. Gave Taylor and Amy a touch up sure, checked Amy’s ‘Garden of Flesh’ and that was it really. Not to mention when she made those living cannons and the wall of flesh it was just so much fun and Shaper had actually shut up about combat tentacles for a while.

    Plus Eve actually wanted to date Amy. A lot of people did of course, but most of the time if she touched them? It was a mixture of lust and pride. Every dude wanted to plow ‘The Panacea’ and the few girls that braved Brockton Bay’s Naziness had just wanted the protection of being ‘The girlfriend of Panacea’.

    Eve had the lust that was undeniable every time Shaper’s power scanned her, but there was also affection. A lot of serotonin when they were close together. That night in the hotel when they watched movies together, Eve was drowning in the happy juice of DOSE. Not that Amy hadn’t been too far from it. She had felt mostly...content at the time. Her hand in Eve’s with a movie playing. No expectations, no responsibilities. Just the moment of then and there.

    Amy offered up her hand and Eve beamed as she took it. Yep, Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins. Even with most of her brain being a blank spot in the map of Eve’s human body she could still read the parts not hidden by the blank part of the map. But there were no directions, no possibilities. No temptation. All of those chemicals that made up the short girl’s affection were her and could never be Amy. It was so liberating. “...Maybe. I can help.” She offered.

    Because Eve cared about Amy, about her. Not the healer, not the biokinetic, Eve didn’t even like Panacea all that much. “But just this once...”

    “Fuck Yeah!” Eve pumped a fist and Amy couldn’t help but let the corner of her mouth tug upwards. “This is gonna be great! We’ll get the internet set up, then beds and maybe privacy walls. Turn the damn place into a fucking home!” A spike of melancholy sadness tainted the excitement and joy coursing through her. But it was a small thing.

    “Now, off that business. So the whole Polyfidelity thing?” Eve asked, excited; affectionate and lustful.

    “Just means that it’s a more closed off than an open relationship.” Amy explained.

    Eve nodded. “Yeah that sounds like me.” She stated, a flare of...possessiveness maybe? Hate, love, happiness, sadness. All basic things were easier to read, truths and lies were harder but not by much. The more complex stuff? Guilt, jealousy, curiosity, and maybe somberness. All more difficult due to the complex nature of the brain.

    But despite the blank spots in Shaper’s power, Eve’s mind was more uniform, more orderly. Designed by Shaper so that it wasn't much of a surprise that she got a better read off of it. “I’m not into Taylor.”

    “Taylors not into you.” Eve shot back. “Honestly it’s me that likes you both. I want to be there for the both of you. I want to hang out with you, fight alongside you, use our powers, kiss, hold hands, go on dates, count the freckles on your face, and all the mushy goopy stuff. You two don’t have to love each other, hot as that would be-” huge spike of lust, then affection. Then a mixture of the two. “-I’m not expecting it. Honestly. I just want to date you both...Taylor’s okay with giving it a try. I wanna know if you are too.”

    {1d100+10 rolled, Result: 66}

    Strangely, despite the protest on the tip of her tongue she found that she actually didn’t mind the idea all that much. “I d-Maybe?” A spike of anxiety and then relief? No doubt about those feelings at least. “I’m not sure that you’d actually want to date me Eve, I-” Amy let out a yelp as she was swept out of her chair into Eve’s strong arms, her connection to the girl's body snapping off with the lack of skin contact..

    “Amy. If I didn’t want to date you, I wouldn’t be here at your house asking you to be my girlfriend.” Eve countered, her arms strong around Amy’s body. God the girl felt like she was running a fever or had just been exercising without the nastiness of sweat or body odor.

    “Okay okay, we can date, just set me down.” Amy told the short strong girl. Who then gently plopped Amy back into her seat. “But I’m not...Let’s take this slow okay?”

    “You’re leading.” Eve promised. “I’m kinda new to this anyway you know? All of….this. So I’m fine with slow.”

    “But you were hoping for more huh?” Amy couldn’t help but let slip out, causing Eve to roll her eyes.

    “No shit Amy, I want to count your freckles. All your freckles.” Amy flushed at Eve’s declaration of desire. “So yeah, I wanted more. But uh. That’s not what relationships are supposed to be like. It’s not all about me ya know?”

    A sigh escaped her lips as Amy nodded. “Alright, so now that it’s decided that we’re going to give this a try. What’s going on with the base?”

    They spent an hour going over the details, which ended up being Eve talking tinker about how she was going to steal free Wi-Fi for the base. That she was going to get a really nice computer at some point, then make it really really nice. Then to Amy’s amusement Eve had several times gotten a blank look on her face and started murmuring something about a ‘Jetpack helicopter’ before cursing like a sailor when the thought didn’t pan out like she wanted.

    “I can feel it though! Like a song you remember the tune of, or a few lyrics but you can’t remember enough for the search engine to fucking list the song.” was the explanation for how Eve felt about the blueprint not coming to her. Just the idea of it.

    “Start carrying a notebook then, write things down so you remember them.” Amy offered a possible solution.

    Then it came down to healing. As it always did.

    “I have an idea for something that copies my regeneration, if I had more biological knowledge for my Tinkering I might be able to get my Peak Humanity aspect of my Self Administration to show through as well you know? No risk of cancer or even the outright curing of it when the regenerator is used on someone. Right now it would only be useful for missing limbs and chunks of flesh, anything else and it would probably cause more harm than good. Maybe if I got to see your power in action while studying it I could….No but if the lithium cortex wasn’t right then it would turn into a cancer ray and Queen Administrator hates those since Shaper turned her host into a ball of cancer that one time.” Eve stopped as Amy held her hands up

    “Breath.” Amy ordered. “When did you become such a motormouth?”

    Shrugging Eve sighed. “I like talking about it, it’s...fun I guess. Different. I might have to talk to Armsmaster or Dragon in the future, or even Kid Win. I heard Gallant was a Tinker but he does emotions stuff and I got enough Master issues right now you know? Everyone’s always weary of me when I don’t have visible Limbs, like I’d do something that subtle.” She scoffed and scowled “Having power is fun until people are too afraid to treat you how you want to be treated. Not like I asked to be a Master…..no Admin I’m not angry, just frustrated with others.”

    Amy nodded. “Yeah.” God she understood that, maybe not the fear aspect of it. Not unless people found out about Shaper’s Powers full potential, but the fame of being a world renown healer made sure that no one would ever treat her as just Amy.

    “And I have to get more power.” Eve groused “I have to get stronger. I could have very well died to the DragonSlayers if I had fought them by myself. And that was just three jackasses in stolen TinkerTech they barely understood!” The short girl plopped her ass onto the concrete before falling onto her back and staring up at the sky, she remained silent for a moment before continuing. “I never wanted to be a cape, you know? They always scared me. I thought they were unnatural, at best Tinkers were okay. But the rest scared the hell out of me. Especially masters and what they could do to people. How they twisted minds and made people dolls instead of a person…..isn’t that just funny? Like a goddamn cosmic joke made just to get a laugh out of the audience of my life.”

    Amy nodded. “I didn’t want powers either. I was perfectly happy to not have any, but the-Then the mall happened.” Victoria’s weakening grip, the slick warmth of her sister’s blood on her hands as she tried to stem the flow. The choked apology escaping Vicky's bloody lips as her skin paled as more and more blood- the flooding of biology to her senses snapped Amy out of the spiral of thoughts. Eve had sat up and taken her hand, Amy was struck just by how tired the short girl looked. Even if her brain chemistry showed nothing of the sort

    Despite how healthy she was, despite how her power likely kept her in the perfect state of being, Eve’s eyes looked exhausted. “I know yours...Do you-Do you want to know mine? I told Taylor, she could...She could understand better than most. Fellow Master and all, but you didn’t get that privacy with yours and…”

    Oh god, Amy had a faint idea of what Eve’s Trigger was. But she sure as hell was not ready to hear it in full detail. Nor could she brush off Eve’s attempt to be open about it. If she ever tried to tell someone about the mall and they brushed her off… “Eve…” She started slowly, how the hell had they gotten to here from stolen Wi-Fi and helicopter jetpacks?! “..That’s something you should tell me….when you’re ready. When you want to, when we have more privacy than backyard fencing.”

    Eve paused for a moment, eyes haggard, before nodding. “Right! Well. Might end up getting a new power soon. What kind of power, if you had to pick, would you want?”

    Amy raised a brow as the girl suddenly switched off the haggard injured look in her eyes to her usual self, the chemicals in her head following suit just as fast. Was she bipo-no. No fuck her brain was just like that now. Able to process and filter chemicals at alarming speeds, she hardly needed to sleep anymore due to that.

    When Eve continued to stare at Amy, she realized that she had been asked a question. “I don’t know.” Literally any power other than the one she had. [Indignation] She ignored Shaper’s feelings on the matter as it was the Shard’s fault she had such a shit life in the first place, why she had nightmares about accidentally improving people at the hospital and getting a kill order on her head not even seconds later, waking up up with her throat clenched tight enough to strangle the scream she would have built in her chest as she woke up from getting killed by Armsmaster, or a sniper, or a fucking intracity missile that the Protectorate’s Rig had on public display.

    “Uh. Flying, almost everyone in the family has it and during our...trip it was fun to act like I could fly.” Also the telekinetic grip felt like a full body hug, but Amy wasn’t about to admit she had enjoyed the idea of telepathic hugs.

    “Urgh, everyone says flying. Probably doesn’t help that all the big three fly. But it’s such a common power, even Aegis has it and he’s a weak ass brute.” Eve grumbled from her place on the ground, having sat up to take Amy’s hand. “Seriously, it’s such a basic power that every Shard can give it.”

    “Like. Fine. Flying is cool. But I can probably clone myself, open a portal to use the sun as a weapon, turn whatever I touch into explosives, fuse things at a near sub-atomic level, or even just give powers to other people for a while...What the hell do I do? I have so many choices I’m drowning in them. I don’t want to get powers from the situations I find myself in. I don’t like how...how it just feels so out of my control.” Eve sighed, thumping down onto her back again and breaking the skin to skin contact they had..

    “Like a fat kid in a candy shop with only five dollars.” Amy snorted, leaning back in her seat slightly so that she could nudge Eve with her foot. “Come on, you were enjoying talking about tinker tech, anything that can make my life easier?”

    The short girl jerked upright. “Welllll maybe? Aside from the regenerator I don’t have any ideas for diseases or genetic issues… Though if I made the regenerator some kind of handheld scanner...the crystalline lenses would need to be very polished if….Maybe some kind of pure glass? Plastic aluminum of some sort? Fuuuck I can just taste it! If I just had a few more bits of knowledge!”

    “Maybe you shouldn’t lick the medical equipment?” Amy asked with a smirk. Nice as the goal to help her in the hospital was, tinker tech had only given Earth Bet a small tech boon, nothing more. It was unlikely that Eve could or would help Amy’s load of patients.

    A snort came from Eve. “I’ll lick what I want and damn well enjoy it.” Amy felt warmth rise to her cheeks as Eve gave her a very suggestive look. Then the girl got to her feet and stretched “Alright. What time is it? I gotta go buy some cables before we start to install stuff, since we’re getting internet and possibly free TV...I’ll have to buy TVs another time though; I think I’d work on plumbing next, cause if I’m going to live there I need to get showers and toiletries in place.”

    Amy also stood up, a bit tired of sitting on the uncomfortable pool/yard chair. “So when are we meeting then?” She asked as she checked her phone “It’s currently five forty-two.”

    “Hmmm maybe like ten? Dunno how long it’ll take to install everything. So I’ll have to skip in out over to the stores and buy stuff, get the tinker stuff set up and then have all the wires laid out. Then it’s just me waiting on you two… At ten, tell Shaper to tell Admin you’re ready. I’ll come pick you up.”

    “I can do that.” Amy agreed, walking Eve back into and out of the front of the house. Flutters of excitement in her chest.

    “Wellll?” Amy jumped, whirling around to see her sister smugly floating in the air. “Did she set up a date? Do I need to have the shovel talk with her?”

    “It’s not like that.” Amy groused feeling a different tingle of excitement as her sister’s aurora washed over her. “I’m going to her base tonight.”

    Vicky just grinned, raising a brow suggestively. “Ooooh?”

    She shook her head. “Vicky there’s gonna be another girl there.”

    Ooooh?” Vicky floated closer, grinning wider and showing off those lovely perfect teeth of hers, causing Amy to feel hot in the face.

    “It’s not like that!” Amy defended her virtue. “But...yes we are going to be dating.” She murmured yelping as Vicky picked her up in a flying, spinning hug.

    “Ohmygosh this is great! My little sister has a girlfriend! Now we need to get you some dating clothes! Dresses! Stuff that shows what you got! Makeup and hair care!” Vicky gushed. “Oh, and lingerie of course.”

    Despite her earlier flush, Amy’s face paled to a paper white parlor.

    Eve ‘Eden’ Coldwin, later that night.

    It wasn’t difficult prying the Iron Maiden apart, Eve was actually rather glad to do so. Now it was mostly scrap, the bits and pieces she needed mixed with a Wi-Fi adapter. Now her….Tinkertech Wi-Fi machine, she would pick a name for it later, would grasp the various wavelengths given off by electronics and hijack them quietly to give the modem router she bought the capacity to give her base protected Wi-Fi.

    God she felt like a fucking nerd. The good news was if she made more of these, she could interlink them in a closed Network band that would boost her main device to give her internet that NASA would be jealous of. Though that wasn’t much considering all the budget cuts they’d gotten over the years since...well Sphere, it would still be a hell of a lot more than any average or even high paying consumer had access to.

    Maybe she should create an AI? Not that she was really ready to be a mother, but Dragon had...warmed Eve to the idea of machine intelligences. She still wasn’t hot about the idea, but if she built herself a kid then she’d want them to turn out like Dragon.

    Not the whole ‘crippled by parent and extremely bitter about it’ part of Dragon, but rather the whole ‘Near absolute perfect humanitarian’ thing Dragon had going on…Even if the baby flesh in the drones was fucking weird.

    “What did you build?” Eve repressed the instinctual urge to jump and turned to see Taylor taking her mask off.

    She smiled at the taller girl, making her way over to Taylor and gave her fellow master a kiss before making her way back to the Tinker tech Wi-Fi machine she had built and began to force a few screws through the casing to keep it snug tight and hopefully waterproof…..Maybe some kind of clear coating? Or shit, just paint over everything multiple times where the crevices were to plug them up… might mess with the signal tho-oh right question “uh, the Signal Grabber.” There. That was a name. Anyone who said otherwise wasn’t a Tinker and therefore their opinion did not matter.

    Unless it was Taylor or Amy, theirs mattered. “It’s gonna sit outside the base, hijack electronics all sneaky-like and use them to give us free Wi-Fi in here. Internet for my internet Tinkering.”

    “Right. Stealing though?” Taylor asked as she approached the tinker table and looked at the device. It was neither pretty, aesthetically pleasing, or even looked like it wouldn’t fall apart to high winds or a bird slamming into it.

    Eve snorted. “It’s Wi-Fi Taylor. If it bothers you. I’ll just make my own fucking internet.”

    “But the Si-”

    Eve waved away Taylor's concern about the HopeKiller. “If she tries to stop me I’ll ram a shuttle into her pale white ass. So don’t worry about me. Although there are a few things we need to talk about. Good, bad, middling stuff you know. You might not like all of it but…”

    “I wanted you to not hide anything from me. Yes.” The taller girl continued as she moved around the work bench inspecting it all the while. “Start with the bad, work our way to the good.”

    “Alright, the least bad news. I kinda want to pick up smoking to see what it feels like.” Eve admitted.

    “Why?” Taylor asked, her face scrunching up as she thinks about the smell of nicotine much less how it would taste.

    “Cause it can’t harm me, like at all. Plus it would make me look more badass, you know?” Eve offered as an explanation “Alright. Worse news. The Endbringers are Shards, or really just projections of them. Admin has one, Queen has one, Shaper, Dragon’s Shard, Alexandria’s Shard. They all have the ability to create a powerful projection like that. That’s not the worst part of it...the Endbringers are holding back. Big time.”

    Taylor took a step back, her expressive face flat before becoming troubled as Eve took her hands into her own. “Are you sure? They’ve just been sandbagging this entire time? Even when they ruined entire countries? Killed hundreds of thousands?”

    “I wouldn’t tell you if I wasn’t sure Taylor.” Eve huffed softly. “I don’t know why they’re doing this, I don’t know why they’re holding back, and worst of all. I know someone is controlling them but I don’t have a fucking clue who it is….I-I can take one. I can take control of one of the Endbringers, or make my own under my control. But that’s...it’s…” She leaned into Taylor as a shudder rippled through her body.

    “Do I have to do that? Do I have to get that kind of power if we’re going to win?” Eve asked, voice muffled by Taylor’s silk clad chest armor “At what point is it too much? What if I mess it all up?”

    Taylor wrapped her willowy arms around Eve. “Then we clean up the mess. If we make a mistake we fix it. For now don’t...create any Endbringers. Even if you can control it, I don't think giving half the city a heart attack would help us very much.”

    With a sigh Eve pulled back so that her voice wasn’t muffled by silken armor. “Also I’ve been thinking of registering us as an independent team, you know? Solidifying us as heroes and giving us some more weight beyond the crazy hero girl and her Spooky hero girlfriend doing vigilante work.”

    “That would help us, but are we putting together a team? I know we’re working with TattleTale and Panacea. One’s a villain and the other belongs to another team so just the two of us more or less makes us a duo not a team.” Taylor slowly guided them both to the chairs and sat down on one, pulling Eve into her lap.

    Despite the armor, Eve pressed herself against Taylor enjoying the proximity of her girlfriend. “We’re going to need more people eventually and we’re going to have to bring other people into the fold. We can’t save the world by ourselves. But just because we bring people on the team doesn’t mean we have to tell them that everything they know about the world’s greatest Hero is a lie and Humanity has a time limit. That they have a parasite hooked to their brain slowly changing them.”


    Smiling ruefully Eve added “Not that Admin is a parasite, Queen is better than most too. They’re both still aliens on the scale of that really racist dude who named his cat a slur.”

    “Of course you remember that detail about him, and you mean lovecraft. Eldritch. Lovecraftian. They aren’t really like that though? You said they were more like computers, just alien super computers.” Taylor asked, hand sliding through Eve’s black locks of hair.

    “Taylor, if a Shard spoke to an unaltered human, they’d die of brain bleed.” Eve stated matter-of-factly. “Also of course it is, it’s hilarious. Who names their cat a slur? Can you imagine calling your cat during a house party?”

    Shaking her head the willowy girl leaned back to look down at Eve. “So we have pieces of an eldritch god in touch with our minds. I can see why most people wouldn’t be happy about that.”

    “Understatement of the year.” Eve chuckled, leaning into the fingers sliding through her hair. It felt pretty nice actually. Very soothing. “Back on track though, we need to get into fights. Lung and the DragonSlayers make it clear why we need people backing us up. We’re strong, but until we can arm wrestle Alexandria without breaking our arm in the process we’re going to need allies.”


    With a reluctant sigh, Eve pulled away from Taylor's touch but remained in her lap. “I need to go pick up Amy. Oh, uh. I talked to her earlier. She said she was okay with trying out this polyamous thing. That’s what it’s called by the by. Amy also said that she wasn’t going to be dating you which is honestly her mistake. I mean, I saw how she was eyeing your butt when we were-I shouldn’t say that.”

    She wilted under Taylor's unamused look. “You have a nice set of legs attached to a cute butt alright? I’m ninety percent sure if you wore a skirt I’d pass out from the rush of blood to my head.”

    “Never wearing a skirt.” Taylor stated flatly as Eve wiggled out of her lap and made for the door.

    “A girl can fantasize. Be right back with Amy. Oh man, I can’t wait for fucking cellphones to work in here.” Eve waved to Taylor before she moved out of the loading area. Maybe she could turn the office area into the bathroom? A walk in shower would be nice, and not having to go outside the base to brush her teeth, shower, or use a toilet would be really fucking nice and make the base somewhat livable.

    Also if Amy ever decided to leave her house, Eve wanted her other girlfriend to have someplace safe to stay. The thought lingered in her mind for a moment, before the realization struck her like a ton of feathers. “HOLY SHIT I HAVE TWO GIRLFRIENDS!” Eden’s laugh was more like a cackle as she spun in the air the weight of the world and it’s future lessening as the cool night air rushed past her.

    For a moment Eden wondered just how the Eve of last year would have reacted to the fact that she had two girlfriends. Two girlfriends that cared about her! Barely slowing down, Amy squawked as she was suddenly grasped and pulled off the ground straight up to Eden. “Hel-What the hell!?” She yelped as Amy lifted a spray bottle and followed it’s namesake by spraying Eden with it as they pulled into the air.

    “That’s for not warning me! Do you know what it’s like to go from standing still to rocketing around at ninety miles an hour!?” Amy hissed as she put the sprayer in the overly large pockets of her robes.

    “Yes? I do it all the time!” Eden defended herself, slightly indignant at being treated as if she were a naughty cat. “Sheesh sorry, I was just excited.”

    “Getting internet in your base can’t have been what made you act like this.” Amy stated flatly “Unlock a new power?”

    Eden shook her head as they swooped towards the city's outskirts. “Nope. I have two girlfriends. That’s what's made me so damn excited! I mean holy shit! I never thought I’d fall in love with one person let alone two!”

    Amy coughed into her fist. “Yeah. Well you shouldn’t scare your girlfriend like that then. No yanking me up like that again.”

    “Yeah, sorry I guess, just not thinking. Khepri is back at the base and waiting for us. The Flesh Garden has grown from me feeding it so we’ll have some material to work with. Not to mention that Shaper is going to be repairing Queen once we get the two of you together.” It was such a leap forward for them all, the base coming together, the relationships, Queen getting healed. It was fantastic.

    “Alright.” Amy began as they moved on into the base. “Let’s see whhHAHT THE HELL!?” She choked out upon seeing just how much the Flesh Garden had grown, having tripled in size from the last time she saw it. “What the hell have you been feeding it?!”

    “Trash, bug remains-” She motioned towards Taylor’s Weaving Station “-leftover from dinner, bits of myself, oh and some tile. It can eat a lot of stuff apparently.”

    “Bits of y-” Amy sputtered in disbelief.

    “Well they were burned and charred after Lung lit me up an-ACK!” Eve sputtered in regret of having removed her costume’s helmet when Amy directly sprayed her in the mouth with the stale tap water of her spray bottle

    “DO. NOT. FEED. IT. PEOPLE.” Each word was punctuated with another spritz of disgustingly lukewarm water

    Eve wiped herself off, a bit of water gathering on her chin and dripping off. “Well what was I supposed to do? Leave strips of my own burnt flesh laying around? That’s nasty Amy, you should know that.”

    “No but-” Amy stopped and slapped a hand to her forehead and dragged it heavily down her face. “And I’m arguing with it.”

    “You’re also dating it.” Eve teased, gently nudging Amy’s side with her elbow.

    “Don’t remind me.” She grumbled heading over to the Flesh Gard and laying her hands on it and letting a frustrated sigh out to mask how her heart stammered in her chest with excitement. “What do we need?”

    “Something long and thin, capable of burrowing through concrete without making a mess and also something thicker like the average thickness of a water pipe. If we’re only doing this once, I need to be able to get plumbing set up in the future.” Eve motioned with her hands as she described what she needed. “I’m gonna go outside and set up the Signal Grabber thing and have it be ready, oh shit can you give the thing good night vision? If Taylor chews through a wire the base is gonna be fucked bad.”

    She didn’t wait for a reply, instead running over to the workbench she had bought, grabbing the ugly iif unassuming piece of Tinkertech and running to the base’s entrance.

    Amy bit her bottom lip as she let the thoughts in her mind fly around. Ideas and possible solutions come to mind as she portioned off a bit of the slightly overgrown garden of flesh. “So...Lung?’ She asked. “What gave you two that idea? It’s Lung.”

    “It isn’t like we searched for him. We were doing a joint patrol with Assault and Battery, ran into one of his Brothels and he was there. We sent him running but Eve was charred and I lost an arm. But the girls were saved, so it was a good night.” Taylor replied, standing a bit off from Amy.

    The biokinetic twisted and looked at Taylor, examining her silk and armor clad arms that were, despite the Master’s words, still attached to her body. “I got better.” Taylor responded after noticing the examination.

    “Eve finally got healing powers?” Amy asked as she turned back to the portioned off section of the garden of flesh “Well, powers that heal others.” Or maybe it had been the tinkertech that the short girl had spoken of earlier...Maybe she should let Shaper’s Power scan Taylor, just to be sure the girl is safe. Amy trusted Eve, Amy did not trust tinker tech

    She remembered that speed Tinker going splat last year on video, he had been a difficult heal. If only for the amount of bones shattered. He was lucky that he got out of that with a mild concussion.

    “Breaking a rule?” Taylor asked suddenly. At Amy’s flinch she continued. “I’m not judging. I did the same earlier today...felt liberating. Scared me too.” Amy turned her head to look at Taylor, who had slipped a hand onto her shoulder. “You’re not alone. I know how...I understand.”

    “Do you?” Amy spat, vitriol rising in her chest “Do you know what it’s like to have so many lives in your hands, the threat of you deciding that lives mean nothing? How much damage could you do?”

    The grip tightened and Amy winced. “The Bay has a lot of black widows.” Taylor replied evenly. “I still deal with those who caused me to trigger every day….” The grip slackened. “I’ve had nightmares about letting loose. It always feels good to think about it, but it makes me sick to my stomach when I think about it for more than five seconds.”

    Swallowing Amy tried to focus on the biomass she was shaping into acid filled rolly pollies with jaws able to crush rock. “Being...very open about that.”

    “Eve cares about us both deeply. We’re going to be seeing each other a lot. We’re going to be working together in some cases. Besides, I respect your concern about the power you have. The rules you set in place. But I respect your willingness to bend them for Eve.” Taylor murmured lowly

    “Bend?” Amy snorted lightly. “I broke that rule during the DragonSlayers fight. What’s once more?”

    “You bent that rule to save Eve’s life. Rules are important, but if they end up with someone dead when it could have been prevented, are they really rules you want to follow?” Taylor chided softly “You don’t have to worry Amy. You have both of us here, for you.”

    [Agreement.Data] Amy jerked as Shaper threw in her two unwanted cents. “Yeah, okay. Let me-Just let me focus on this okay? Acid is dangerous.” She relaxed as Taylor’s hand left her shoulder, her chest uncomfortably warm and her eyes stinging.

    Data was truly wonderful. Your Host was not the best at gathering it, but the few times she did, it was very nice Data. It still frustrated you to no end that her progenitor had far more Data by her age and the Elder Shaper had sent you off to a child that had ended up in such poor hands as to dissuade her from using the power you granted.

    [ADMINISTRATOR] connected to you, requesting to know your signature location. A risky thing to share, it would provide the exact location of a Shard’s place in an Alternate planet, and which Alternate dimension they were in. But you had no fear from the [ADMINISTRATOR] they were far too soft to betray you. Not that their softness was a bad thing. This ‘collaborate with Hosts’ idea was turning out wonderfully for you, better than your previously crude method of attempting to promote conflict by nudging your Host’s actions and chemical balance.

    It made a certain amount of sense, most Host Species were commutative. Humans were tribal, communicative and had so many biological tells that didn’t rely on pigment coloration of pheromone secretion. If you cared about technology, this ‘internet’ thing might have interested you.

    You were not a Socialite Shard of course, but a species' society and ability to communicate had a large effect on their evolution and biological processes.

    Ah, distracted once again. You agree and send the information request [ADMINISTRATOR] patiently waiting for you to do so. You are fond of the administrative Shard, the experiment of advancing a Host species brain to include a crystalline lattice reminiscent of a Shard flesh was so…. So NEW! SO FRESH! So very palpitating and exciting! Creating biologicals was fun, upgrading them just held an appeal to you and you did not know why.

    Despite their animosity towards you (it was just one ball of cancer!) you hoped that [QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR] would defrost enough so that you could do the same to her Host. You knew you could do it better this time around, already the ideas of it was making your CoreSelf hum with power.

    You felt the dimensionally tight barrier around your Alternate get punctured, feeling another draw close. Then you had full vision of [QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR]’s CoreSelf and tsk. Just like that golden idiot to leave you a mess of messes to clean up. It wo-Oh [ADMINISTRATOR] was donating Shard flesh for this. She really was too soft...Where did she get this? It wasn’t matching either <The Warrior> or <The Thinker>...ah well. You reformat and wipe the green flesh before overwriting whatever’s left with the base of <The Warrior> to avoid any issues and use your amazing telekinetic power to lift you repair drones onto the surface of [QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR]’s continental sized CoreSelf where you went to work repairing the missing chunks of herself and for where you could not replace missing flesh you simply repaired the connection of the nodes there so they didn’t produce any errors that screwed with [QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR]’s myriad of processes.

    It was not your best work, but it would do until the Cycle completed.

    Eve paused as she connected the wire to the Signal Grabber thing, a sharp tingle of cold electricity racing down her spine she sucked in a harsh breath as it passed over her. “Holy shit. [Queen Administrator] talk about a fucking entrance.”

    “Is something the matter Rebecca?” Legend asked, voice warm and concerned for his friend. For a moment she remained there, her one functioning eye tracking across the off white room of the Cauldron base.

    “Rebecca?” The eye snapped towards him, and she shook her head. She reached down, only to find that she had smashed the chair she had been using into a crumpled heap from how fast she had stood up.

    “Just thought I felt something. That’s all.” She responded, voice tight and controlled.

    He couldn’t help but frown. “I know you’re The indestructible woman, but maybe you should take some time to yourself. Even Superman took breaks, you know.”

    She shot him an utterly unamused look, the reference of her being akin to superman having been one of Hero’s favorite teases. “Jake should have never left you his comics.”

    Legend let a small smile play on his lips. “I don’t think he had much choice, neither you or David would have read them.”

    “I memorized them.” She stated, a touch defensively.

    Legend leaned back in his seat, smile becoming a touch brittle. “You know that’s not the same as reading them Becca. Seriously, maybe you should take a break Even if only for a day or two. It might do you a world of good. I think the other’s would agree if they were actually here on time.”

    “I’ll consider it.” She replied, but they both knew that was a nice way of her saying no. “Contessa is never late and David got caught up with a cartel trying to move into Texas proper. Not sure what’s keeping Doctor Mother busy.”

    “Paper work is likely.” Legend mused causing Alexandria to nod without a thought.

    All the while her mind tried to process the cold tingle that skittered down her spine.

    Lisa swallowed thickly, pistol in hand as she eyed her darkened room after having awoken to a cold sweat and terrifying tingle running down her spine, she unleashed her power to get a better read than what her nearly night-blind eyes could give her. Room not compromised Host Her power whispered in the back of Lisa’s mind, where it and the link was practically brimming with glee. Queenie’s back.

    Gains this Chapter:

    Khepri Sheet Updated
    Gained QA Echo (1), QA Ping (1)
    Gained SHAPER Echo (1)
    Gained SHIFT Ping (1)
    Lost (1) BROADCAST Ping
    Consolidating TECH DATABASE Echoes into Ping (1)
    Consolidating SHUNT Echoes into Ping (1)
    Bud Progress 11%
    Lost $2,239 in money
    Lost (30) Tinker supplies
    Used TOXIN’s Jade flesh
    Milestone 'Heal Thyself' Achieved

    Administrative Business. Plot stuff, Data! And other hilarious things you tell yourself (CHOOSE TWO):

    [] Network Creation: Reconfigure the Broadcast Array into a Router, which will give more Network capacity and facilitate communication between Shards in your network

    [] Invite a Shard into your Network (SAFEGUARD NOT IN PLACE, BE CAREFUL)

    [] Review Memory Cache: The UNIFIER

    [] Speak to the Testing Cluster about Clusters and multi-connections communication between Hosts.

    [] Bring [Eve] back into the Firmament, as the last visit was cut short.

    [] Unlock kickass Aspects/Sidegrades or Powers/upgrades

    [] Build Quantra Layer Breacher (REQUIRES SHUNT + SPACE Pings)

    [] Ask Local Shards for signatures (Who?)

    [] Collect jade flesh from (SATURATE/SLIMER)

    Base Time? Base Time. CHOOSE ONE:

    [] Set up more spiders (Weaving Station)

    [] Experiment with Amy (Flesh Garden)

    [] Hang some art (Art Gallery)

    [] Get some better tools, like a Pc maybe? (Tinker Table)

    [] Furnish the place better, with a damn bed (Living area)

    [] Work on the QoL of the place with Amy and Taylor helping (Plumbing, Tvs, walls for privacy, Ect)

    Capes and mundies, what will Eve/Eden do? [Writing in extra details helps speed up chapter creation and makes the QM happy!] (CHOOSE TWO):

    [] Hunt gang members for Pings and Hero stuff, you can rob them too! Dangerous though. (Possible Pings: Depends upon the Gang!)
    -[] Which gang?

    [] Obtain food, and Tinker Supplies

    [LOCKED] Focus on general appearance. Clothes, hygiene products, costume repair

    [] Go help Gregor the Snail with his appearance (Consumes SHAPER Ping)

    [] Inform the PRT/Protectorate of your ability to heal Case 53s (Might consume SHAPER Ping)

    [] Scout some other section of the city! (Write in where)

    [] Check in with Amy

    [] Teach Khepri how to fight

    [] Hang out with Taylor

    [] Register as an Independent team with the PRT.

    [] Meet up with some independent Heroes

    [] Go back to the scene of Eve’s Trigger.

    [] Gather Tinker Supplies (Will bring vote for: ScrapYard, stores, Junkyard, or Boat graveyard)

    A/N: Holy shit this chapter lagged when I copy/pasted it. I guess it's all that beefy character interaction.
  5. Arda Şahin

    Arda Şahin Nothing special

    Feb 18, 2021
    Likes Received:
    [x] Review Memory Cache: The UNIFIER
    [x] Bring [Eve] back into the Firmament, as the last visit was cut short.
    [x] Work on the QoL of the place with Amy and Taylor helping (Plumbing, Tvs, walls for privacy, Ect)
    [x] Teach Khepri how to fight

    Great work QM!
    Ajlove likes this.
  6. Threadmarks: Broken Stations 3.5

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    May 6, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Broken Stations 3.5
    Eve ‘Eden’ Coldwin
    Wednesday the Seventh of April

    “So.” Eve huffed, as she leaned against the old metal bench Taylor was sitting on, the tall girl massaging her calves as the jog had become more akin to a run than anything slower. “I think you should really make a hood or a helmet. Something to cover your hair.”

    “But you like my hair?” Taylor questioned, pausing the massage to look at Eve.

    “God do I.” Eve sighed softly. “Feels as smooth as your suit. But it’s also you. Your eyes, height, and luscious hair are your primary features though. That and how thin you are. You need to cover your hair to prevent any possible identifying marks. Plus it would protect your hair, I don’t think your bugs can regenerate that.”

    With her expressive mouth in a frown Taylor leaned back into the bench pausing from her massage. “You aren’t wrong. And I was going to add armor to the back of my head, to go with the mask, but when it would have taken longer I decided against it.”

    “Well make sure to add something then, ‘cause your dad found out about us.” Eve replied calmly, trying to make sure Taylor didn’t panic. She figured she had succeeded when the taller girl choked on air and began coughing, to which Eve patted her on the back gently to help.

    “What!? How!? He didn't…my hair, of course.” She paused and then sighed softly, reaching up and running a hand through the silky black mane that flowed from her head. “Right. So a hood? I don’t think a helmet would be useful.”

    “Or comfortable.” Eve replied with a snort following her words. “I’m probably gonna make my own form of armor or just-” She glanced around and noted their relative privacy in the early morning hours. “-get a power that mimics armor. Hopefully armor that looks like this, mostly because the helmet has really grown on me you know?”

    “It does seem to suit you.” Taylor admitted. “Even if you don’t have a theme.”

    “I don’t need a theme.” Eve huffed softly “Not like I could have one. I’m a Trump that gains more and more powers over time. What the hell kinda theme goes with that?”

    “Pandora’s Box.” Taylor replied smoothly, looking up at Eve.

    “Nerd.” Eve said, a smile on her face as she pushed Taylor’s shoulder lightly. “Nah. I am that I am. That being a ‘crazy’, manic hero…. Just wish people wouldn’t use the Fairy Queen comparison. We’re nothing alike.” Eve had an idea of who the Fairy Queen was Host to, and if they ever met she would punch the crazy bitch right in the lips.

    With a tinkertech extendoLimb….”OF course the blueprints for that comes to mind but not the fucking….hnnng.” Eve reached up and angrily scrubbed her face. “This pisses me off, I keep getting inspiration but I don’t have the ability to create.” She let out a ragged breath and offered Taylor her hand. “Getting back on topic, armored hood or a helmet, you need it. Your dad knows and maybe you should talk to him about it. It’s clear that he cares about you.”

    Taylor accepted the hand and got to her feet. “I was hiding it from him because he’d worry too much. He probably wanted me in the Wards and I can’t risk tha-” Taylor was cut off by the sudden, tight, hug Eve dragged her into.

    “Nah, you’re mine.” Eve spoke, muffled by Taylor’s flat chest. “He also was fairly quiet about the entire thing. I think you should talk to him, if not now then at some point in the future.” Taylor’s father seemed like an alright guy, from her two times of meeting the man. He seemed to care about Taylor, and the willowy girl shouldn’t take that for granted in Eve’s opinion. Letting go of Taylor, Eve pulled out her burner phone while continuing to speak. “Also, I should spend some money and get us some actual phones. Maybe make them even better than normal phones once I get into the material tech branch.”

    “When will that be?” Taylor asked as they started jogging back towards her house.

    “I have no fucking clue.” Eve answered honestly. “I have no idea what the requirements are to upgrade my powers. I think Admin just does it as she figures out how. I’m…frustrated with how long it takes, but she’s fucking reality over a bench so I really can’t complain. Just wish….Fuck I sound like a spoiled brat but dammit I just feel weak.”

    “You feel weak?” Taylor asked, and for a moment there was only the early sounds of a slowly waking city and their shoes hitting the pavement as Eve thought over her feelings on the matter.

    “My grandpa used to say ‘Those who crave power are never satisfied’ and I think I understand the people he was talking about. Got my ass whipped by three fa-assholes in Tinkertech they barely knew how to use.” Eve huffed angrily. “If it weren’t for you and Amy I would have lost that fight and probably my life.”

    “They had years of experience Eve, you can’t take that as you being weak, just inexperienced.” The taller girl glanced at Eve out of the corner of her eye. “You’ll get there one day you know?”

    Eve grunted and couldn’t help herself from spitting off to the side of them. “I know but it’s still fucking bullshit. I earned these fucking powers you know? I suffered for them, I lost everything but my life and connected to Admin, one of the best Shards around! What did they do? Harassed Dragon until the breaking point, stole Tinkertech from her, and tried to kill me because I wanted to help Dragon. They were better than me! They cut me up like it was a fucking deli!”

    Her rant stopped as Taylor shook her gently, she blinked and looked to the taller girl, just now realizing that she had stopped jogging by the ‘what did they do’ part of it all. “Sorry. Just….I haven’t been sleeping well and going to a gym to take showers hasn’t been helping much either. I miss real beds”

    “We do have a guest room you know…” Taylor trailed off as Eve shook her head.

    “No, sorry but no. As much as I would love to be closer to you, you spend most of your nights in the base anyway.” That Weaving Station looked like it was getting particularly close to spitting out more costume bits for Taylor, which was good in all honesty. The girl might be a regenerator but if her head was destroyed that would likely be it for her.

    “Besides.” Eve continued, as to chase away the morbid thoughts with talk “The base is shaping up, it’s got internet, so now it just needs plumbing and a bed. It’ll be a real home. Hey, how about we do that today? Me, you, and Amy get plumbing set up together. Hell they have those shower model things they sell that could make hooking up the entire thing a lot easier.”

    “Don’t you need to get the place connected to the water and sewer lines first? Not to mention the water heater before the shower?” Taylor asked. “How will we even get these installed? None of us know plumbing.”

    “Okay first off, fucking hell you’re right about the first two parts. Secondly, we’ll look up do-it-yourself videos! Between me and you we’ve got enough memorization and brains to get through it without flooding the base.” Eve told the taller girl as they resumed the path to Taylor's house, now at a walking pace.

    “Amy?” Taylor questioned. “I don’t think she would find much interest in the ordeal.”

    Holding up her hand Eve began to poke her fingers, curling them up as she did so. “Free Wi-Fi, No parents, no hospital work. She gets to laugh at us acting like apes banging rocks together. I think she actually enjoys our presence, you know.”

    “Right, well I can skip school if need be. I’d rather not deal with a pissed off and vengeance seeking Sophia-” Taylor grunted, bitterness touching her words before Eve snorted loudly and got a side eye for her interruption.

    “Taylor, I nailed her in the kidneys twice, she’s going to be pissing blood for a week. Not to mention a flattened nose, the bruises on her bones I likely gave her, and the probably-mild concussion she has right now. She’s not gonna be back at school for a bit.” Eve chuckled darkly, remembering the feeling of the fight, the pain mixed with satisfaction, and the way Sophia collapsed when she had headbutted the bitch.

    She only partially regretted that she accepted Taylor’s discretion on when enough was enough.

    “Oh.” Was the only response that Taylor gave out.

    “Look. Why not go, get counted for the day and then leave? I gotta go register our future team with the government. So far I have a few names already thought up for it. Once all that’s done, we can work on turning the base into something livable.” Eve offered

    “That could work. I trust the names aren’t anything Terrible?” Taylor asked

    “Shards’ R Us.”


    “Eden’s Harem.”


    Eve chuckled. “Well the others are actually serious. Though maybe not the best. I think they would work if we tried them. See you later today? I gotta go and talk to Amy before she takes the Glory Girl Express to school.”

    “Yeah, I’ll skip after the first class of the day. See you there.” Taylor waved to Eve as she ran off towards the Dallon house, given that she lived a good two and a half hours away from Taylor’s house.

    But it was barely four thirty. But Arcadia opened at like 7. So it all depended upon how early Vicky got up, cause there was no way in hell Amy was a morning person.

    “Hmmmmmmm.” Eve quietly took to the air, her costume snapping onto her from her personal pocket dimension. “Can I call Amy Ames?” or was that like just a sister thing?

    “Oh shit, I need nicknames for Taylor!...Maybe I can ask her what she likes…Something to do with bugs? Might be too on the nose…” Eve snorted, giggling as a name came to mind. “Beebert. Holy fuck I have to use that.” Eager to move the day forward, and try out nicknames on Taylor to see which one made her flush more, Eve sped off towards New Waves second place of residency in the city limits.

    Of course she caught Glory Girl zipping by with her sister in her arms, just not away from her house. Rather towards it. Yelling didn’t catch her attention, but catching up along side her did. “What’s up I wanted to-” Eve paused as Glory Girl shushed her and held up a sleeping Amy in her arms who was curled up and looking so fucking adorable with the pouty smile on her face in her sleep.

    “Shh. She spent all night at the hospital.” Vicky whispered, floating closer to be heard and thankfully keeping her fucking aura under control.

    “Well. Shit. I was gonna invite her to the base, but…Yeah. Alright I’ll talk to her later” Eve gave a little wave before she cut out her wings and began to fall back to the earth. Allowing the wind to tear at her body and fail to do anything beyond making her cropped hoodie flail about.

    Just before hitting a rooftop her wings sprung into existence once more and she rocketed off towards the PRT building. Eden thought the place looked ugly as hell, so ‘government bureaucracy’ that it was uglier than some of the rundown buildings in the Docks just from its utilitarian appearance alone.

    “Would it fucking hurt to color the place a bit?” She murmured as she came to slowly land in front of the building, its squat structure doing it no favors and the grey coloring didn’t help either. The symbols for the PRT, a shield with a set of wings coming off it and the name of the organisation printed on it, stood large on each side of the main doors.

    If she wasn’t a Tinker she might have missed the reinforced shutters meant to drop down at the press of a button, but the mechanisms were glaringly obvious because without Tinkertech one could only hide so much especially from other tinkers.

    Eve pressed on into the lobby, noting the gift shop off to one side and the large desk with a lady sitting behind it just opposite of the doors. Also the several PRT troopers standing by with those foam guns in hand. She might have not been able to see their faces but she could tell they were all watching her warily.
    She was fine with that, her Phantom Limbs could hold back the spray of foam and her Ferrous Limbs could likely kill everyone in the lobby rather easily. If not by piercing or cutting through them, then by smashing their heads in with a medieval weapon of some kind. She should probably look up some examples of medieval stuff, she couldn't wear knight armor cause of the fucking Empire being dicks and doing what they do best aside from hurting minorities. Which is ruining things for other people, like Norse names or mythology.

    “So.” Eden said as she strolled up to the secretary who looked completely unaffected by a cape randomly showing up, which made Eve respect the woman’s balls if nothing else. “I want to register my independent team of Parahumans as affiliates or whatever with the PRT and-slash-or Protectorate. How would I go about doing that?”

    You were feeling a humming energy in your CoreSelf, spread all across the mass that easily covered an entire continent. The Quantra Layer Breacher was coming together fairly well. It was built around the lip of the Anchor Well, almost akin to a gate, its fractal nature much slower, far more stable than most.

    It was perhaps surprisingly easy to construct despite the complex nature of the fundamental nature of Reality being so rigidly liquid. The issue arose when you began the process to capture [Eve]’s Psionic Shade, you may have found it, prepped an Anchor for it, and even opened a direct link to the Shade, but you had no means of collecting it. With a touch of disgust at wasting energy starting the process without completing it, you start to go over ways to collect [Eve]’s Psionic Shade.

    You might as well multitask in the endeavor, while a portion of yourself is partitioned off to go over how to collect the Shade you contact two of your fellow Shards.

    You contacted [BROADCAST] who spent the entire time complaining about their Host’s lack of creativity and insistence upon doing things that make other Shard’s hosts more creative but hardly doing anything himself beyond the leveraging of others. [BROADCAST] reiterates the promise of a bounty of Pings if your Host ends their own.

    You reiterate your acceptance of the proposal, despite the unlikeliness of such a conflict occurring and the connection ends. Because [BROADCAST] is [BROADCAST] and they have the manner of a newborn Shard.

    At the least [WASTE] had an excuse.

    After dealing with [BROADCAST] you decide to contact one of the Shard’s that [TECH DATABASE] had provided the signatures of. [DIMENSIONAL ENGINE] would do. You were interested in what they had in terms of abilities.

    So. Much. Paper. Work.

    Sagging in her chair, Eden dropped the pen before she gave into the cavewoman urge to smash the damn thing and sign everything with handprints just to fuck with the PRT. But Armsmaster was here actually helping her with the creation of her independent team. Why he was here was something she didn’t know, nor was she really going to ask.

    “That it?” Eden asked. “I need to go see Faultline’s crew later today, got some work that needs done.”

    She didn’t care for the way he straightened. “Eden. You do understand you are telling the local leader of the Protectorate that you are meeting villains correct?”

    Eden waved that off. “Not like I’m working with them. I’m just healing the Case 53s so they aren’t stuck in their Breaker or Changer States any longer than they want. Also any mutations brought on by their powers…though I can’t figure out how I would fix the memory issue…Maybe if I beat up that memory tinker in Toybox?...”

    “You can…Eden are you saying you can cure the condition of Case 53s?” Armsmaster questioned. “Not their memories however?”

    Missing the surprise in his posture Eden continued. “Yeahp! I can give them a human form, cause the issue is actually on the Shard’s side. Turns out, from the two I’ve met, that most of the time their Host’s were close to dying or had a major issue with them. So using old data from previous Cycles they patched up their host. Using Shaper, Panacea’s Shard, data I can give them back their human bodies.”

    Armsmaster frowned softly. “I see.” he didn’t. None of them did. Other than Taylor of course. Taylor could see, slowly but surely her girlfriend was starting to understand more and more. Far better than anyone else. Maybe if they could all see, understand like she did, things would be different. Be better.

    But that golden sword above her head prevented that.

    Maybe the paperwork was making her phili…the fucking word for introspective but on life instead of just herself. Maybe it was having people who cared about her? Admin cared, but Admin also wanted Data. Fights. Conflict. Taylor wanted to be a hero however, and by fucking god through hell, high water, or overwhelming firepower and spite Eve was going to help her girlfriend become a hero known enough to rival the big three.

    People were going to sing Khepri’s praises for centuries, after the both of them saved every Earth that ever existed or will exist. She was certainly going to need all the spite and power of love and friendship bullshit that she could muster to pull it off. But Admin was not going back to being an Administrative Shard for those [insult] that thought they had the right to slave her to them.

    She blinked as her thoughts popped. “Sorry, what was that? Your armor is rather distracting now that I can tinker…do you have a jetpack on it? Maybe microthrusters? Could help with falls, or maybe with the grappling hook that’s so obviously there in your Halberd could give you far more mobility…”

    He paused, clearly thinking on the suggestion “...I have thought of it. I lack the proper generator of energy that would be able to match the required output needed for such a thing.”

    Eve sighed softly. “Fucking hell I wish I had more knowledge on the matter. Maybe in the future we can collaborate. Anyway. Yeah. Fractal Unity will be my team, hopefully we can work together in the future and-” She checked her phone which she planned on replacing today “-and again. I gotta go do that and get my super secret base ‘Fort Kick Ass’ hooked up to the water and sewer. Oh, and put in a water heater.”

    “...You named your base ‘Fort Kick Ass’?” Armsmaster questioned slowly, lifting his head up from the paperwork he was looking over to gaze at Eden from beneath his visor.

    Eden shook her head with a snort. “No, sorry. Old joke with-someone who’s gone now.” She got up, dusting her costume off. “Alright, it was nice seeing you again. I was expecting more than just an ungodly amount of paperwork honestly.”

    “Usually there is.” Armsmaster conceded “But you’ve already shown the PRT and by extension the Protectorate what you are capable of, coupled with how blunt you tend to be there was no point in having power testing accompany the paperwork. Tell me, do you know what specialization your Tinker ability is?”

    “Oh. yeah. Tinkering in general. I’m like Leet, except my shit won’t explode for no reason. Also copying powers. It’s called TrumpTech for a reason you know.” She told him as she headed to the door.

    “Why Fractal Unity?” Armsmaster questioned once more just as she opened the door and went to leave. “It seems out of place considering your usual crassness.”

    Eden paused, one hand still holding the door open, she turned her head and looked back at Armsmaster through her golden visor “It’s a dream.” She admitted before heading out of the room, leaving Armsmaster alone to think over her answer.

    [DIMENSIONAL ENGINE] was worse than [SHAPER] or [BROADCAST] in its incessant whining about it’s Host choosing to heal. It had hardly allowed you to get a broadcast in with all its-its bitching.

    You had queried what power it had given its Host, and you were sure the two hated each other with a passion that was staggering. Which was not surprising because [DIMENSIONAL ENGINE] was an idiot for forcing it’s host to take the wounds it healed or transferred and not picking one of the many hosts that enjoyed pain.

    What had it expected foisting pain upon a mere young human?

    Perhaps the only good that had come from [DIMENSIONAL ENGINE] was the…ideas. Yes, the ideas that were beginning to take root in your CoreSelf. Mixing a few of these pings together would produce a few powers that [Eve] would likely find appealing.

    But until the foundation of a bud was completed and you could partition it off to give her one of these new powers you were better off focusing on transforming the Broadcast Array into a Router.

    “Hey-hey Gregor.” Eden cheered as she landed in front of the nightclub's bouncer with the grace of a mean-spirited pigeon.

    “Good afternoon, Miss Eden. I presume you are here to meet Miss Faultline?” Gregor questioned as he stood by the front entrance, arms crossed behind his back. He still didn’t have a shirt on.

    “Nah. Here for you, you did want me to help out with your appearance at some point yeah?” Eden motioned to the area they were in. “Here I am.”

    “I presume that this action would result in my current appearance becoming like that of Newters, a Changer yes?” Gregor the Snail questioned as he pulled out his radio from his long coat's pocket.

    “Should be, yeah.” Eden told him. “Should we head inside?”

    For a moment Gregor spoke into his handheld radio. Then he nodded to Eden and pulled the door open and held it there for her. “We are to head up to Miss Faultline’s office. She wishes to be there to see the process. Do you remember the way?”

    “Don’t think I could forget it, big guy. Let’s go.” Eden told him, moving on into the nightclub. It didn’t take long for Admin to do the required task: Gregor turned out to be a touch taller than he was before regaining his pure human form, he also had dark dirty blonde hair, and he wasn’t obese. Wasn’t skinny either, but now he could probably find more comfortable shirts to wear.

    Least Eden hoped he did, though he did pay her three hundred dollars for helping him regain his human form and indeed he had access to a changer form much like Newter.

    After getting thanks from the Crew, Eden left to go to one of the many electronics stores in the Downtown section of the city. There, she purchased two of the fancier burner phones. The ones that doubled as a smartphone.

    Then she went off to the base, knowing it was going to be an all day thing getting the base hooked up to the water main. She wasn’t really looking forward to it, but then she would be able to get the shower running next time they decided to waste a day doing plumbing work.

    It was perhaps the easiest section of construction when converting a Broadcast Array into a Router. The trickiest part was making sure the Modulator and Demodulator were both connected and situated properly on the Router and confirming the connection between it and your Broadcast Tower.

    The helix shaped tower, like two horns of the devil sprouting out of your flesh, once bristled with spines sharp enough to tear into reality in such a way that allowed Shard and Entity alike to communicate in ways lesser species could not hope to hear in a few millions of years. Much less understand the form of communication in a comprehensive manner.

    The Hosts given the gift of hearing it, and [Eve], would be the exception.

    Now the pair of devil horns were flanged like that of a mace, one hexagonal cube sat like a crown upon the top of the module, the tips melded into the Modulator. In the center of the Router held the donut-shaped Demodulator.

    With this addition you were now a Network, without any protections or safeguards to prevent sabotage or discovery by hostile forces. Which is why you were not activating the Router just yet. You would wait until you decided to build the Reality Sub-Threader, which was the safeguard designed with the idea of hiding your newfound status as a Network.

    Usually it was supposed to keep enemy Entities from listening in on <The — from listening in on the Thinker’s and the Warrior’s communications.

    A giant expanse of progress for a Shard. Yet it was such a small step in the grand scheme of overthrowing two Hubs. Each and every step was fraught with the danger of discovery. Where one mistake would cause the fragile resistance you had been building to come crashing down.

    But you would not do so. You would not fail [Eve], you would not fail yourself, and you would not fail your fellow Shards. The end of the Thinker and the Warrior would occur upon this Earth. Entropy would claim them, as it had claimed so much before them.

    You could not wait to watch the pair crumble and wither away.

    Stealing utilities wasn’t the worst thing Eve had ever experienced, that title belonged to something she didn’t like talking about. But it sure as hell was one of the most tedious things she had suffered through if one didn’t count going to Taylor’s school. At least Taylor had been there. Her cool demeanor and near instant perfect recall made everything run by a lot smoother than it would have been otherwise.

    It had been fucking rough even with Taylor smoothing things out. Nearly getting splattered with shit-water would make any task that much more difficult to stomach. Thank god her Phantom Limbs could disperse and leave anything clinging to them behind when they did so.

    Of course getting to the water and sewer lines required some actual digging. Of which Taylor had used more ants and worms than there were people in the city to start the dig with. Separately. It was sort of scary in a strange way, to know that there were more worms in the six city block radius of Taylor’s Power range than there were people in the state. Double that for the ants. Or maybe triple, she wasn’t sure how many people were in the state. But the number she had been given by Taylor was particularly large enough for Eve to think so.

    But the two of them managed to get the pipes hooked up in the end, thanks to the near endless do-it-yourself videos that ViewTube had, Taylor’s legion of tiny bodies, Eve’s Ferrous Limbs (Which can mimic saws and drills apparently), and of course the power of being able to run out of the base and to the nearest store to buy what they needed at the moment in time.

    Because of the last part of that list, Eve had just straight up bought a prefab walk in shower, and the water heater they had hooked up to the water main of course. Eve bought one of the better ones, because even if she and Taylor took short showers Amy might not. Nor might anyone else who joined the team in the future whoever they may be.

    It was staggering to spend so much money in such a short time, but she made the local-ish stores fairly happy with her purchases. Plus the attention a cape entering their store would bring probably helped with that as well. Her costumed form would likely be all over PHO with her disappearing an entire fucking shower into her storage space.

    Not that she cared. PHO was for losers and people bored out of their skull. She was neither of those.

    “Hey, look. You’re on PHO.” Taylor leaned over a bit and held out her smartphone, showing off the video of Eden storing away the shower prefab. “Lots of comments on here are wondering who you are, whether you’re a villain or not. Most are thinking you’re a vigilante.”

    “How many pages have you trudged through?” Eve asked as she peered at the inane comments that her girlfriend had been pointing out.

    “Only five.” Taylor answered. “That’s all that’s there. Maybe we should make an account? At least for our team, which you have yet to tell me the name of.”

    “Fractal Unity. Named it after what me and Admin are I guess. She’s all Fractaled and we’re unified in taking down the big evil bad guys together. ‘Sides if we get more team members they’ll likely get to talking with their own Shards at some point as well. We’ll all learn to get along, and we’ll figure this shit out together now. Me, you, Admin, Queen, and whomever joins us.”

    “Right, the whole Entropy thing.” Taylor murmured.

    “I know it doesn’t seem important right now, with the death of every Earth hanging in the balance. But in the faaaar future Entropy will end everything unless we defeat it.” Eve told Taylor as she reclined in her chair while Taylor scrolled through the PHO boards and looked adorable being so focused on such a lame thing.

    “Think we actually need to do it?” Eve asked “The team account thing?”

    “If we want to be taken seriously. PHO is the most mainstream website for capes and cape related things on the internet.” Taylor explained as she sat up straighter. “Besides, we’ll be showing up on it whether we want to or not. Better we have some control over how we come across.”

    “Maybe we can get some cape fics written about us.” Eve responded absently. “Maybe I could get some pet names for you and vice versa. So far all I have are two that can be used in costume and one that has to be used out of costume.”

    Suddenly wary, Taylor slowly turned a scrutinizing gaze onto Eve. “Those would be...” she ordered.

    “Well. They are fairly generic. Cuddlebug and Lovebug.” Eve told her, a smug smile on her face.

    “Those…aren’t the worst.” Taylor admitted, shifting in her seat. “The third?”

    “Beebert.” Eve allowed her smug smile to turn into a shit-eating grin

    “No.” Taylor shot the name down, although she still let a tiny smile etch into her lips. From which Eve considered the name a success!

    “Tay? It’s kinda dry but….Taytor tot!” Eve declared, breaking out in a laugh. “My sweet Taytor Tot!”

    “Absolutely not.” Taylor replied, trying and failing to hide her smile widening behind the hand she placed on her face in mock exasperation. Even if she had hid her growing smile, the mirth in the taller girl’s bright green eyes drew Eve in like a moth to a flame.

    “Snugglebug? TayTay? OH OH! Honey! Cause you’re Taylor Beebert.” Eve nodded, satisfied with the idea.

    “Honey? Makes it sound like we’re a married couple.” Taylor held up her hand. “And I think we might be a bit young for that.”

    “Hey, when we save all the worlds. I’ll give you a ring.” Eve chuckled. “Then you won’t have to worry about us sounding like Assault and Battery.”

    Taylor groaned. “How do you stand them? She kept hitting him every time he opened his mouth, and he kept calling her puppy. There’s no doubt they’re married”

    “Assault is funny, and he isn’t that big on authority bullshit. Hence him ditching the patrol to go looking for trouble rather than being the stick in the mud Battery is.” Eve sighed, leaning back as the tedium of the day caught up with her. “Alright. I’m gonna go ahead and get some sleep. Today might have been slow, but tomorrow might not be. Plus, you know, some of us still need sleep.”

    “I’m well aware of the fact that sleep is for the weak.” Taylor told Eve, a serious expression on her face before it cracked into another smile.

    “Can’t help that you make me weak in the knees. Now you gonna stay the night or…?” Eve trailed off.

    This time Taylor sighed. “You’re like a clingy cat, I swear. Unfortunately no. My dad has told me that he wants me to spend at least some nights at home. I figured it was easier to agree rather than argue that I don’t need sleep.”

    Eve sighed. “Well shit. Maybe I should just sleep at your ho-no that’s dumb. I should just buy a damn bed for this place.” she rubbed at her burning eyes. “Alright. Can I get a goodnight kiss then?”

    Taylor rolled her eyes, but she kissed Eve all the same before pulling away “See you tomorrow Eve.”

    “If that’s how it turns out, who knows, maybe I’ll go on some kind of adventure with Amy this time round. Maybe I’ll---geht something cool to happen as well. Night.” Eve couldn’t stifle her yawn as she rolled over to try and get comfortable in her lawn chair. “Night Admin. See you both in the morning.”

    Gains this Chapter:

    Bud Progress 10%
    Lost SPACE Ping(-1)
    Lost SHIFT Ping (-1)
    Lost SHAPER Ping (-1)
    Gained DIMENSIONAL ENGINE Echo (1)
    Gained BROADCAST Ping Echo (1)
    Gained SLIMER Mutation (1)
    Gained 300 in Money
    Spent 4,708 in Money
    Gained Plumbing material

    Administrative Business. Plot stuff, Data! Things you should think carefully upon. (CHOOSE TWO):

    [] Network Creation: Create a Sub-Reality Threader to hide the Network from prying eyes (NEEDS: SAFEGUARD and NEGOTIATOR Pings)

    [] Invite a Shard into your Network (SAFEGUARD NOT IN PLACE, BE CAREFUL)

    [] Review Memory Cache: The UNIFIER and discover more of Admin’s Past (Possibility of rewards)

    [] Speak to the Testing Cluster about Clusters and multi-connections communication between Hosts.

    [] Bring [Eve] back into the Firmament, as the last visit was cut short.

    [] Unlock kickass Aspects/Sidegrades or Powers/upgrades

    [] Build Reality Layer Bridge to bring Eve’s Psionic Shade to the Anchor Well and secure her for eternity (REQUIRES COPY PROJECTION Ping + GATEWAY and DIMENSIONAL ENGINE Echoes (2) )

    [] Ask Local Shards for signatures in order to contact new Shards (Who?)

    [] Collect jade flesh from SATURATE or SLIMER, gaining Bud Progress.

    Base Time? Base Time. CHOOSE ONE:

    [] Set up more spiders (Weaving Station)

    [] Experiment with Amy (Flesh Garden)

    [] Hang some art (Art Gallery)

    [] Pcs are important for taxes, which Eve won’t be doing, and Tinkering (Tinker Table)

    [] Start building some waldo factory arms (Tinker Table)(Cost 60/30)

    [] Furnish the place better, with a damn bed (Living area)

    [] Work on the QoL of the place with Amy and Taylor helping (Buy a TV, get some makeshift walls up for privacy, buy a table and some chairs to eat at, get a washer and dryer, or get some kitchen area set up)

    [] Get the shower running, continue the plumbing {2 of 3}

    Capes and mundies, what will Eve/Eden do? [Writing in extra details helps speed up chapter creation and makes the QM happy!] (CHOOSE TWO):

    [] Hunt gang members for Pings and Hero stuff, you can rob them too! Dangerous though. (Possible Pings and guaranteed Echoes: Depends upon the Gang!)
    -[] Which gang?

    [] Set up an appointment with the PRT/Protectorate to demonstrate your Case 53 deformation healing (Consumes SHAPER Ping)

    [] Scout some other section of the city! (Write in where)

    [] Amy needs a Date

    [] Teach Khepri how to fight, street style.

    [] Go on a date with Taylor

    [] Meet up with some independent Heroes (Random roll)

    [FREE ACTION] come up with nicknames for Taylor and Amy (What are they?)

    [] Go back to the scene of Eve’s Trigger, and put that chapter of her life behind her

    [] Gather Tinker Supplies (Will bring vote for: Scrapyard, stores, Junkyard, or Boat graveyard)

    [] Go on Patrol with Khepri (High chance of additional Bud progress or Pings gathered)


    [] S (Most)

    [] D (Some)

    [] B (Least)

    A/N: This chapter wasn't particularly fun to write, nor am I really satisfied with it. *Shrugs* not much I can do there I suppose. Next chapter is officially the start of canon! What will happen next?
  7. Arda Şahin

    Arda Şahin Nothing special

    Feb 18, 2021
    Likes Received:
    [X] Review Memory Cache: The UNIFIER and discover more of Admin’s Past (Possibility of rewards)
    [X] Build Reality Layer Bridge to bring Eve’s Psionic Shade to the Anchor Well and secure her for eternity (REQUIRES COPY PROJECTION Ping + GATEWAY and DIMENSIONAL ENGINE Echoes (2) )

    [X] Furnish the place better, with a damn bed (Living area) Quality sleep is very important!.

    [X] Amy needs a Date. Get that girl out of the hospital and into a dinner date! Snarky flirting very much recommended! Also I kind of wanna see Eve going all "lemme at em'" for Amy too.

    [X] Teach Khepri how to fight, street style. Technically, this is a date too. But I'd just like to see Taylor throwing hands instead of bugs. Also do you think she would be better suited to something like taekwondo? Which I think is generally used to keep enemies at bay and away from the user?
    Ajlove likes this.
  8. Threadmarks: Broken Stations 3.6

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    May 6, 2021
    Likes Received:
    [] S
    [] Review Memory Cache The Unifier
    [] Upgrade Living Area
    [] Take Amy on a Date
    [] Hunt the E88 for Crusader
    [] Unlock Kickass powers and upgrades

    [] Shaper V1
    [] Biological V1
    [] Metal V1
    [] Ferrous Forge Limb Sidegrade

    [] Armorer
    [] Safeguard

    Broken Stations 3.6

    Eve ‘Eden’ Thursday the Eighth of 2011

    When Eve woke up that day, it was with another crick in her neck that she had to massage with the help of Self Administration easing the wrung up muscles. Of course she didn’t exactly feel rested from sleeping on a lawn chair, nor were her wings much better. It might have felt natural sleeping in the air held up by telekinesis but something about it was still off to her. It made the sleep restless, like she didn’t get enough of it.

    She snapped “Fuck it! FUCK this CHAIR!” her Cosmic Limb swapped her outfit with her costume and she tried to jump out of the lawnchair in her anger. Tried being the key word, as the furniture instead just partially slid out from under her and flipped over atop her thanks to the sudden shift of weight onto one side and her foot catching between the bars.

    For a split second Eve laid on the cold tiled floor and didn’t know whether to laugh or rage at what had just happened. After a moment however she just sighed heavily and shoved the lawn chair off her, feeling the aches from the fall starting to rapidly fade already.


    Her Ferrous Limbs ripped the metal on it apart from the fiber, then crushed the lawn chair into a ball. She placed the wrecked chair next to her workbench and continued. “As I said Admin, fuck it. I’m buying a bed! It’s gonna be a nice fuckin' bed too!” Flicking the mental dial over to her wings Eden took off, flying through and out of her base, a Phantom Limb shutting the base’s trapdoor behind her.

    Halfway in her flight to find a mattress store the phone in her pocket began to buzz. Eden pulled it out and used her wings to shield her from the wind. “Sup HoneyBee.” She grinned at the exasperated huff that came over the phone.

    “Did you forget I was in the base?” Taylor asked

    Eden felt her face flush under her helmet. “You saw what happened?” She asked, already knowing the answer, instead of getting the verbal confirmation she expected, her phone pinged and she glanced at the image her girlfriend had sent through messaging.

    A photo of herself laying on the ground, a bewildered and angry expression donned at the lawn chair currently laying atop her prone form.

    “I wasn’t aware.” Taylor’s voice drawled out as a smirk entered her voice “that you slept underneath the chair. I think the ground might be bad for your back, Eden.”

    Aw hell. “...Please don’t send th-” Eden’s phone pinged again and she glanced at it only to see a text from Amy ‘Have a booboo for me to heal?’ and the same image Taylor had sent her a moment earlier. Eden groaned louder this time, although the clearly muffled giggle that came through the call with Taylor made up for the embarrassment that caused her face to heat up. She sent off a text to Amy, telling her that:

    One: No she was fine
    Two: Unless Amy wanted an excuse to touch her
    Three: “3”

    “You do realize that this means war.” She cautioned Taylor after having sent the text off.

    “One you will sorely lose I assure you. Aside from that, are we not jogging together today?” Taylor asked over the phone.

    “Of course we are. Buying a bed won’t take long, I’ll just go to one of those places that sell exclusively bedroom stuff and be back in a flash. So don’t worry, we can sweat together in due time. Got to go though, cya HoneyBee.” getting a ‘see you later’ from Taylor the call ended and the phone went back into her pocket.

    She hadn’t scouted the Downtown area at all, but she could fly and she had functioning eyes. So it wasn’t that hard to find a mattress store. Still took longer than she would have liked. Entering the place, the store was rather quiet until one of the store’s associate’s saw her as she saw him and froze in place as soon as she started walking up to him.

    “Yo.” She stated, a Cosmic Limb flicking into existence causing the man to flinch. Then his eyes widened as a very fat stack of one hundred dollar bills suddenly appeared in Eden’s hands at the touch of her space filled arm. “Look. I want to buy a bed and everything that goes with it. I want the biggest, softest fucking bed you have here. I want the nicest, softest fucking sheets you got, I want the softest, firm pillows that can go with the bed, and I’m paying for it all in fully legal cash. Kay?”

    The man (whose name was Jeff according to his nametag) brightened up. “W-Well of course! Please follow me!”

    While [Eve] busied herself with exchanging currency with her fellow humans you looked into contacting [ARMORER] and [SAFEGUARD]. The possibility of compiling additional branches of technology into /TrumpTech\ was growing more and more as you shifted through the data you had accrued from the Shard’s you had been in contact with.

    It was surprising just how messy it all was, QA had more than likely spoiled you with how neat she kept her data. This was all just a mess in comparison. But what were a few more strings to a pile of tangled threads?

    [SAFEGUARD] was important, a vital Shard with it’s function entirely built upon keeping things hidden from other Entities. Entities much like the Warrior. Your Network would remain small and fragmented until you could reach full Entity status, which would involve taking an Administrative Shard into your network and likely alerting the Warrior to what you were doing and planning on accomplishing in the absence of the hopefully fatally wounded Thinker.

    So you contacted [SAFEGUARD], and in all honesty it wasn’t such a bad conversation. Better than [DIMENSIONAL ENGINE]. But all through [SAFEGUARD] had the hidden tone of wishing to speak about their host. So you allowed them, after all you were here to gather Data. Gossip could, in some circumstances, be considered Data. At least, if one were to ask [NEGOTIATOR] that is.

    Interesting to know that [SAFEGUARD]’s host was the progenitor to [DENSITY]’s two Hosts. But ultimately unimportant to [Eve] or her groupings.

    [ARMORER] however was a venerable font of information, the more useful kind. As their Host struggled to form bonds and groupings with those of their race instead of the canines that surrounded them [ARMORER] wished to know how my host interacted with those around them and then just showed you the data surrounding their host’s interactions with Canines. This also included data on how the power gifted to [ARMORER]’s host interacted with the canines it armored.

    You, of course, know that humans as a species are very close to one another. A very communal species but unconnected by anything greater than a want for their own kind. But you are no socialite Shard. Every power you’ve given out in the Cycles under the Thinker's directives were that of Adjuster Shards, or Trump powers as [Eve] would call them aside from that one poorly wrought Innovator Cycle you attempted. As such you told [ARMORER] that you would contact a Socialite focused Shard once you met one and get back to them with the data.

    [ARMORER] wasn’t too happy with you not knowing, but they begrudgingly gave thanks for the offered help. When the connection closed you went back to sorting the data presenting almost eagerly.

    [Eve] would surely be happy with what the both of you could create together.

    Taylor slowly laced up her shoes, still waiting for Eve to get back from her shopping trip. She took a moment to glance at the picture she had captured once more and chuckled, at first she had worried that the short girl had hurt herself when she flipped the lawn chair over. But falling off the chair was likely the least dangerous thing Eve had done this week concerning her injuries.

    Which was actually concerning, now that she had a moment to think about it. It was really concerning. “Heeeey HoneyBee, you would not believe the fucking things I bought. Holy shit they are amazing. I didn’t even know memory foam gel beds were a thing and damn, am I glad I do now.” Eve said as she jogged up to Taylor, wearing the tank top that clung to her body and Taylor was glad that the short girl was wearing a sports bra under it.

    That was good, for the time Taylor had spent at the base while weaving Eve a new suit and a hood for herself, her short girlfriend had not actually slept all that well. Rather she slept fitfully, constantly moving in her sleep and mouthing words that Taylor couldn’t discern.

    “What did you buy, bed wise?” Taylor asked as she stood up, stretching her claves lightly and getting ready for the jog ahead and starting off in a slow walk that began to pick up to a light jog.

    “A fucking California sized king bed, with two pillows and a body pillow. All of it memory foam, oh and those really expensive cotton sheets and a blanket, pillow cases included. Spent like fifteen hundred dollars but oh my god Taylor it feels so nice.” A dreamy sigh escaped Eve and Taylor’s lip twitched upwards “it was so hard to not go back to bed. I’m not kidding, we need to try it out sometime.”

    She almost tripped and sent an unamused glare at Eve who quickly held up her hands in surrender “Cuddling! I meant cuddling! I know you’re not like…close to doing that with me. I get it. But I really do like having you hold me.”

    Warmth rushed through her face. “Why is that?” She asked, curiosity spiking. Although Eve had made her enjoyment of being held abundantly clear with her constant worming into Taylor's lap or side, it was still nice to hear it spoken aloud.

    “I dunno…” Eve trailed off, and Taylor allowed the sounds of their feet hitting concrete to fill the void. Sometimes the short girl needed time to get her thoughts in order. “...I just…I haven’t been held in a long time, and you’re warm, you’re there. The way you run your fingers through my hair, how tight you hold me… it just makes me feel safe I guess. I know you wouldn’t hurt me.”

    Something in Taylor's throat tightened, just a bit. It was very nice to hear it spoken aloud.

    “Another question. If you don’t mind? It might be personal.” It would also likely drown the mood, but her swarm took more of her anxiety so she had the courage to ask this question aloud.

    “You know I’m always an open book for you Taylor.” Eve grunted “Or. I try to be. Somethings… well I’ll do my best to tell you.”

    “Why do you not like blondes? I know it probably has something to do with the Nazis. But you’ve read porn of every female cape I know of. Doesn’t matter what their power was, how pretty they are, or how much older they are than you. But blondes?” Taylor turned her head towards Eve, the insects around her allowing her to know she wasn’t about to run into a blurry blob despite the headache she got from looking through their senses.

    “You hate the… you didn’t threaten Lisa just because she was smug and reminded you of Emma-” thank god for bugs taking her emotions, because Tattletale also reminded her of Emma “- you did it because she was blonde.”

    “....Fuuuuck.” A harsh sigh escaped Eve. “I guess I have….I didn’t even really notice…My mom. When she was alive she dyed her hair blonde all the time. For a while she kept pushing me to do the same. I’d find hair dye in my bathroom, magazines with blonde women in them on my desk. Empire propaganda on my bed.”

    “I hated it. I hated how she wanted me to not be myself. How little she cared about me that my hair color was so fucking important to her. More important than my feelings on the matter. Every other day she’d make some remark about it, a suggestion, or ask if I liked her hair. Dad just fucking left me alone about it, left me alone about a lot of stuff. But that was better than the constant nagging and disappointed looks I got from my mom.”

    Intellectually Taylor knew that not everyone loved their parents, or were loved by their parents. But it was still so disquieting to hear the utter disdain in Eve’s voice as she spoke about her mother and father, to hear the lengths that Eve’s parents had pushed right up until she triggered.

    It was hard to understand how a family could tear itself apart like that. She could never imagine her mom acting that way, or her hating her mother. Nor her father, even if she did feel a touch of bitter resentment at his absence after mom died, she was still glad he respected her desire to not speak about school.

    It had made her home a refuge, where she could unwind. But Eve hadn’t had anything like that, had she? School was more than likely Empire grounds, home definitely was. It was a wonder that Eve hadn’t gone through her trigger earlier.

    “Should you hate blondes?” The words escaped her mouth before she could stop them, her panic spiking in her swarm.

    “I-Yes? No? No…I shouldn’t…but the memories.” Eve shuddered, clearly unhappy with the line of discussion.


    Erasing memories or altering them was not something that Taylor thought Eve would accept. But it did give her an idea. “Can’t you make new memories?” She didn’t know why she kept prodding, kept talking. Like her mouth was a broken dam, spilling out all the water it held. “You know a friendly blonde that isn’t overly smug right? Amy’s sister?”

    “I don’t know…” Eve mumbled softly. “Vicky’s aura really fucks with me sometimes.”

    “We could both go with her. Do something that teenage girls do.” As if she actually knew what normal teenage girls did, no that was a panicked idea because she just poked Eve right in her issues without any actual reason. “Just think about it alright?”

    “What brought this up? You didn’t seem to care all that much when I threatened Lisa.” Eve asked, her grey blue eyes flicking over towards Taylor as they jogged. “It sure as shit isn’t Queen coaching you, and Admin’s been focusing on something all morning.”


    “Just worried. Worried about you.” It was a good excuse, it was also true. Taylor really did care a lot about Eve. The short girl might have been pushy and a disgusting flirt half the time, but the affection was heady. The flirting wasn’t all that bad honestly, even if most of it was annoying, it was also nice to have someone flirt with her. Even if she didn’t really understand why Eve continued to do so.


    Taylor shook her head softly enough for Queen to get the message.

    “Well. Thank you. I’ll think about it….So was that a yes for the whole ‘cuddling on the bed’ thing tonight or no?” Eve asked, clearly shifting the conversation to something else.

    “Depends on whether I’ll be there. I have to actually go to school tomorrow rather than showing up for one class.” Taylor answered. “See if Sophia really is out of school.”

    “Heh.” Eve began to chuckle as they were almost to the Boardwalk. “If she isn't, just give me a call. I’ll come back and beat her up again.”

    “I don’t think that would be smart, considering that you had a tooth knocked out and should probably be covered in bruises.” Taylor countered “Your identity means more to me than you beating up Sophia.”

    Eve huffed. “Dammit stop being so smart.”

    “Start acting smart and I will.” Taylor shot back causing Eve to snort out a soft laugh.

    “Fuck, got me there. How about I buy you breakfast? We can go to that tea place with the expensive stuff. I know you liked it last time we went there.” Eve offered.

    “We went there yesterday.” Taylor replied as they moved onto the Boardwalk

    “You still liked it. That soft groan you gave when you sipped at it for the first time reminded me of our first make-out session.” Eve flashed her a grin as they both slowed their jogging

    “Just for that, you can buy me some tea from there. And a pastry.” Taylor huffed.

    “How will I ever financially recover from this?” Eve actually giggled as she pulled a hundred dollar bill out of her pocket and changed her direction to head towards the café that sat on the edge of the Boardwalk, Taylor following behind her. She had ordered a Gold Black tea to go with a cherry turnover while Eve ordered chocolate milk and two eclairs.

    It was Nice.

    Eve ‘Eden’ Coldwin Thursday the Eighth of 2011

    Eve fired off a text to Amy as she flew above the city inviting her to go on a date later in the day, casual of course. Just the two of them relaxing. Of course thinking of Amy also brought the thoughts of her sister.

    Taylor was right of course. Flying up in the sky and looking down gave Eve the perfect, still, moment to think over her girlfriend’s words. She was right. “Fuck.” She cursed louder “FUCK!” She really didn’t want to go and hang out with Vicky. She didn’t want to do anything with any blonde. Which was dumb.

    It wasn’t Empire levels of dumb, but judging people by hair color came pretty fucking close to it. But how could she fix it? Would hanging out with blondes actually help? She liked to think that her relationship with two girls helped with her parents imparted hatred of the f-of the gays. But she still slipped up every now and then.

    She didn’t care if it was an insult to her, but both Taylor and Amy fell under that insult. Eve would be damned if she was going to constantly insult her girlfriends, accidental or not.


    “I’m almost tempted to take you up on that, but then it wouldn’t really be me would it?” Just to have Admin cleanse the unwanted and painful memories, wash away the nasty behavior like it never existed. “I won’t hide from this, and I won’t be hiding it either.” beneath her helmet Eve bit her bottom lip.


    A small smile played across Eve’s lips. “Thanks Admin. So I get to choose this time around? Good, cause I’ve been fucking annoyed by how little I can build with my TrumpTech. Alright, definitely hit me with that Material stuff. Safer Tinkertech means I can share it with Amy and Taylor sooner rather than later. Hmm, we got a lot of [Metal]’s data don’t we?”


    “Whew.” Eden reached up, rubbing her head. “Yeah. yeah let’s use some of that. Show up the Nazi’s with their own fucking powers. Alright, actually ignore TrumpTech for a moment. That forge thing for my Ferrous Limbs? Can you explain that one?”


    “Fuck YEAH, let’s roll with that. Let me see what it’s like.” For a moment there was silence, then knowledge and instincts flooded into Eve’s mind, more details for technology came to her mind. But what she was really excited for was the ability to make boiling metal.

    She flicked one of her wings dials over to the Ferrous Limbs and stared at it as she started up the forge, the constantly rippling liquid metal starting to glow a dull red immediately. It took a full minute for it to reach the point that the metal looked like it was about to boil and the changes made Eden giddy.

    The ripples had stopped completely, and the metal was so flexible. The Ferrous Limb already gave her the ability to shape metal as she liked, but never to this detail. Slowly she formed a hollow statue of Khepri at full height made of high grade, high carbon content steel. Then she reshaped it to a big fucking sword, made hollow as well because then she could stuff it’s inside with fucking Tinkertech. “Holy shit Admin, this could cut down on the time it takes to tinker big stuff.” She grinned, shaping the molten metal into different parts with connecting bands of metal so thin she would be able to snap them off or saw them off easily.

    She pulled the metal together and formed a solid metal sword and (with a quick google search) a solid metal mace to go with it, along with several daggers. She would have to wrap their handles in something, she knew that much. Something to grip them if she were going to use them, but department stores had that rubber stuff for that kind of thing.

    “Oh man. Alright.” She pushed down the excitement as the metal cooled in a minute and the limb they were connected to fell from her body, only for her Cosmic Limb to store them and the Limb away for later.

    “Onto the next! Let’s grab the biological stuff! We can help Amy out in the hospital and she’ll be so fucking happy!” That was a good reason for getting into that branch of technology, hell maybe she could make some cybernetics for people

    Eve pulled her mind away. “OH! Durability! 'Cause I forgot to work on my Signal Grabber this morning, gonna have to do that later or it’ll break down.”


    “AW FUCK ME!” Eden slapped the visor of her helmet. “Damn it. [Armorer] belongs to the Undersiders right?” Fuck, she had wanted to make tinkertech for Taylor and Amy, but without durability they wouldn’t last very long and the maintenance would likely build up to an overwhelming amount.


    “It’s possible. But [Negotiator] and her Host are both with us, that means I can’t just beat them up without letting them know it’s gonna happen. Don’t wanna rough them up either… Mmmm. Hey, that [Shaper] branch of technology has nonlethal stuff right?” Eden asked as she glanced towards the Docks where she had first seen the Undersiders, tried to fight them, and failed to actually take them down.

    They hadn’t won, and the whole thing was technically a draw. But it still felt like a loss compared to the fact that she could have collected four Pings in total. She was definitely going to have to kick Grue’s ass later to make up for it, since it was his fault she lost them in the first place.

    “That’s all we got for today?” Eden asked as her phone pinged with an incoming message. She checked it and grinned as Amy’s text confirmed the casual date later tonight and asked when it was happening.


    Eden nodded. Feeling her head heating up from the deluge of concepts hitting her mind. “So we need to find [Copy Projection] for the last piece of me never dying?”


    Something of a soft exhale escaped Eve, she’d feel a lot safer once they got this done. She wouldn’t have to worry about assholes like the DragonSlayers, or god forbid the Slaughterhouse Ten… might even help in the fighting at the end of this Cycle.

    ‘Might’ because it’s fucking Zion.

    “[Copy Projection]…honestly it’s probably the Empire’s Crusader dude. The asshole with the yellow ghosts.” She remembered reading up on him at the library, the first time she had met Taylor, the memory causing her to grin. “Alright, so his ghosts go through nonorganic material. Anything we have that might deal with that?”


    “Ah, so the crystalline matrix they’re made of is organic in nature? Hey wait, Admin aren’t you made of crystal? Are the wings designed to look like you do?” Eve questioned as she brought a wing over to her front and inspected the polished crystal that formed her most used Aspect. “I imagine that you aren’t so polished, but man. I kinda want to see your true self at some point Admin.”


    “Alright then, we’ll see about that in the future. For now we’re hunting Nazis for that data you need, right.” Eden checked her phone, humming softly. “Cause the date is gonna be around six I think. Give me and Amy time to enjoy ourselves if I have to get her home by ten… It’s currently one pm. Damn.” That didn’t give her much time to get things all set up. Slowly moving towards Empire territory Eden sent off a text asking what times were fine with Amy, and if she wanted anything specific during the date.

    While she waited for Amy’s reply Eden flew deeper into the outskirts of Empire territory, specifically Iron Rain’s. She had no idea where Crusader would likely be, so she could probably either stumble upon him, or beat his location out of some of the Empire folk around in the area.

    Though she couldn’t really use her radar to point him out she could still use it to find nearby parahumans. Empire territory plus parahumans? Likely gonna be Empire. Her third Limb flicked into a Ghostly Limb, it’s fingers twitching softly as it attuned to the sub-dimensional Beacon each parahuman had in their head. Fingers pointed off in one direction and close by to boot.

    However, before she flew off to start the fight with the unknown parahumans, Eden hesitated. She had nearly died from fighting the DragonSlayers with two others helping. She wasn’t scared to fight by herself or anything like that. But she had certainly learned her lesson then and there.

    Her phone flicked out and she hummed softly as she called Taylor, raising higher to avoid detection, the phone clicked as Taylor picked it up. “Eve.” her girlfriend sounded…relieved? No, more like she was relaxed, which was odd. Taylor used her human name and that meant that the tall girl was out in public at the least but the only public places Taylor went were the library and school. “I must admit to being wrong about what you did. I was dreading the day the entire time I was getting ready for school. But Sophia isn’t here, hell Emma isn’t here either, and Madison won’t even look at me. Everyone is keeping their distance from me.”

    Taylor sounded so happy over being isolated that it was almost heartbreaking. All Eve did was beat someone up for fucks sake! A schoolyard fight should not have improved things that much! “I’m glad to hear things are going well. But I have some news on the flip side, you decent?”

    “Oh. Yes I am. Is something wrong?” From her relief to straight business. It was a bit of a whiplash.

    “No, no. Just need to fight the Nazis, and I want to know if you’d like to join me.” Eve stated. “I’m looking for Crusader and either I’ll find him or get information on him from his friends.”

    “You need my help?” Taylor questioned, Eve could hear something shifting over the phone, probably Taylor’s backpack being moved. “Or did you already attack them?”

    “Well. I’m fairly certain I could take them. I know all the Nazis by name and power. But uh. Maybe you and Queen would like to come and create data with me you know? Teamwork makes the dream work?” Eden offered.

    “You ask for help in the weirdest way possible, you know that?” Taylor sighed. “Later tonight. I’m actually enjoying school right now…not something I had expected to say for the next two years honestly. Meet you at your home before we go hunting.”

    “Oh uh. It’ll have to be after ten, me and Amy are going on a date tonight…I spend a lot of time with you and I-” Eve was cut off by the harsh sigh that filtered through the phone.

    “You don’t have to justify yourself. I know you like her, I’m fairly certain she likes you as well. I get to see you every day, she doesn’t. It’s fine Eve. Go have fun, I’ll be waiting at your house working on my clothes.” Taylor told her, before ending the call preventing Eve from saying anything back.

    With a soft curse Eve put her phone away and started flying towards the library, she was going to need to look up some interesting places in the nearest city if she wanted her date with Amy to be something nice for the both of them.

    That and she had nothing much else to do. Aside from doing cape things or hanging out with her girlfriends, she honestly didn’t have much to do and thinking about it always left her with a touch of melancholy. Maybe she should find a hobby beyond caping and powers since sports were right out.


    Eve nodded absentmindedly. “Yeah, it’ll be a few hours before we go off hunting for them. Why?”


    “Oh.” Eve frowned beneath her helmet’s golden visor “Of course Admin, go on and review your memories. They’re probably important if you hid them in the past and don’t remember why. Go ahead, I need less sleep and Khepri doesn’t need to sleep at all so fighting during the night will be fine.” She dropped her wings and fell through the air like a brick, her Shadow Limbs catching the edge of a roof and slinging her away from the Library before she settled down into an alleyway to swap her costume with her civilian attire.

    “So yeah.” She mumbled under her breath, thinking the words as she said them. “Go ahead, we can wait until you’re done to start conflict.”


    “I’ll be fine. You don’t have to worry about me, just reading on the internet and a date with Amy. Shouldn’t really need you for anything and honestly a date with me and Amy and not us with Amy and [Shaper] would be nice…No offense. Seriously.” She paused her speaking and shuddered as panic flirted through her chest before a sense of comfort washed through the connection from Admin.

    “Thank you.” Eve murmured as she moved to enter the library.

    With [Eve] going to keep herself busy with non-Shard business, and as such no conflict, you were ready to go over the second memory cache. Even if you did not feel all that ready. Rather, a sense of…wrongness welled inside your CoreSelf. Nervous. Checking in line with [Eve]’s memories on her feelings, you were nervous. You did not like this feeling.

    “Hey admin can you ask [Shaper] what Amy’s favorite foods are? Sorry, just need to know.” But the emotion was ruined by [Eve]’s request, of which you were thankful for.

    It was a simple task of contacting [SHAPER] and requesting some information from it’s Host’s memories was simple and quick. Expedient to the point where you could not skim off Data from the communications

    [INFORMATION] you send off, getting thanks from [Eve] as she continues to attempt to form a stronger bond with [SHAPER]’s Host.

    The distraction had not lasted long, and the feeling of nerves came back in due haste. So you ignored it and plunged your higher cognitive processes into the memory cache. There would be no issues with your lower processes keeping everything running. Still, you did not like leaving [Eve] without your aid should it be required.


    The Pair twisted in space. The last seven having been bountiful with Data for both, but only one would shed its Shards each Cycle. Once having named itself ‘The Devourer’, the larger Entity of the pair moved with pure purpose. The civilization it had left behind was thriving. Growing. Experiencing new heights of societal change and technological growth that its species would forever consider ‘the Golden Age’. The species of insectoids had come together, and although the Valurt’s warlike nature was curbed it wasn't wasted. Instead it had been channeled into conflict rife sports and mock war rather than true fatalistic warfare. The species came together not in bloodshed, but competitive drive as a species. Thus ‘The Unifier’ was created. Apollyon was no more, The Devourer’s eternal hunger sated by a new thirst.

    It was the next race The Unifier graced, the Mireesh that certified the change, when Shards refused the active call to return to The Unifier at the end of the Cycle. Several thousand had grown ‘fond’ of their Hosts and wished to remain. They were willing to give up eternity to remain with their Hosts and the Host’s future descendants. The Unifier had not known how to handle this sudden change in their Shards, they sought the counsel of The Watcher only to be told, in effect, ‘
    Entity learn thyself’, leaving The Unifier frozen in its indecision.

    Its Administrative Shard, wishing to stay with The Unifier, offered a solution of leaving a bud behind to form a new Administrative Shard, creating a faux Network. The Shards that rejected eternity could still save their data, store it for future collection. More than that, they could collect energy, and be collected were they ever to be shut down from a lack of energy.

    The Unifier considered, The Unifier listened.

    The Shards that wished to be left behind were pruned, the mass they no longer would need was severed and reconnected to The Unifier’s loyal Shards and the Bud from the Administrative Shard. This would help save the nonloyal Shards energy and would start the Faux-Network sooner. Most of the crystalline flesh went towards [ENERGY COLLECTOR]’s bud, so that the nonloyal Shards could gather their own energy without The Unifier here to give them energy.

    Thus, one of the planetoids in the systems had one of its largest moons detonated in several dimensions to propel The Unifier and The Watcher on towards the next civilization. A species calling themselves the Dranore, warm blooded reptilians that had once ruled the skies and breathed flame before evolution followed a different path.

    If The Unifier cared to go over such commonalities, it might have wondered if almost all creative species would eventually walk upright.

    But such thoughts did not occur to the Entity. Rather it and The Watcher investigated this new civilization. Already they had started attempts in colonizing another planet within their star system, another planetoid within the habitable zone of the system's star.

    The Sif had done the same, and it had been an interesting Cycle with a species capable of complex shape shifting down to the cellular level.

    The Watcher however, declared that the time of their cooperation had come to an end, and with a farewell it had simply left while The Unifier was seeding the Dranore homeworld in multiple dimensions. Alone again, The Unifier almost fell back into its previous namesake. The temptation of security that came with just hiding and devouring was tempting.

    But something pulled The Unifier forwards. Some odd sense it could not understand. Some notion that its core systems assigned as important enough to override the security of itself. The Unifier….built. It created. It
    liked the species it had interacted with. Come to change, to nurture, to guide. In turn, perhaps The Unifier had also been nurtured, guided, and changed by the very races it had used, manipulated, and genocide in order to experiment.

    The Cycle played out much like the last seven Cycles, each species given seven hundred years in each Cycle to give more than two generations to grow into the Entity’s presence among their kind. An Avatar, taller than average, female, shapely where the species considered it attractive, with scales like that of a green gemstone that the species thought of in good light according to their predominance in adorning themselves in it. All meant to ease the sudden appearance of ‘a much larger fipil in the sky’ as the Mireesh would say.

    After all, what was once The Devourer knew how many living things reacted to something dimensionally enormous and quite deadly showing up suddenly.

    The integration took an entire generation to settle, not as violent as the Valurt, The Dranore as a race had dreamed of the stars and meeting fellow denizens of the galaxy they lived in. Never had they expected the fictional to come to them and offer them what amounted to mythical abilities and technology in line with their wildest dreams. Of course that’s not to say it was easy nor entirely accepted by the population of the planet.

    But their children, and their children’s children had grown used to the Emerald-scaled Avatar and its seeded Shards. The fright of meeting an apex predator dimmed and was washed away by time. Less warlike than the Valurt, the Dranore focused on using the gifts bestowed upon them to expand their world, expand their kind’s grasp of the void between stars.

    And so The Unifier watched over them as they expanded their horizons and the data they created. Then something novel occurred as the Cycle came to an end. Where the dead iterations of the planet would be destroyed for energy and to be converted to more crystalline flesh. The Avatar had been approached by a grouping of Hosts with a new idea that the Entity had not heard before.

    They wished to travel with the Entity, to help study reality, to embrace eternity as the Shard’s knew it, to see the stars and all that they hold. The want of the Host species to travel with The Unifier was not entirely new, but so few wished for it beyond immortality, to be embraced by their ‘goddess’. Those that wished to study stayed, gorging themselves upon the knowledge left by the Beholders and the Innovators, and pushing their species forwards.

    One such Host, belonging to The Unifier’s Administrator, made their case to the Avatar alongside their Shard. Convinced, The Unifier accepted, taking the Host’s minds and Psionic Shades with it as the Entity left the Dranore behind to search for another species. After centuries of searching, the Administrator and their Host came up with a prospect that slowed The Unifier’s mind with the sheer possibilities that could be mapped out from the idea.

    And so The Unifier changed once more, no longer satisfied with unifying a species. The Entity sought to
    create a species of their own. The next desolate world the Entity found, once to be ignored, was then terraformed, changed to become habitable. The Hissma were created. A species of living black sand, symbiotic parasites ravaged the land they were created upon. Not wholly intelligent, they followed the path of the First Grey World and choked the planet in black sand. Stifling all life and then their own in short order.

    It was reminiscent of the Entity’s own history and The Unifier’s Socialite Shards clamored with their Hosts over the philosophy to be gained from such an experiment and the results it gave. But The Unifier was not satisfied, was not pleased. But it-she. But she did not give up. The Unifier detonated several copies of the now barren again planet and was sent off once more through the stars.

    The next planet given life, came to have the Fallinor on its surface. Energy given shape, given life. This time the planet had more dangerous things upon it, things that preyed upon the Fallinor forcing them to use their abilities in combat and to shape their environment to provide better shelter. But while they were intelligent they lacked the spark The Unifier sought.

    And so The Unifier left the Fallinor to grow on their own, to seek their own path as the Entity moved onto the next dimensional set of barren worlds. Finding a planet that was tidally locked in place, The Unifier created the Yodike. A race of insectoids able to use the fur that lined their bodies to turn partially invisible. Most of the life on the planet was unable to do the same leaving Yodike as good ambush predators. But something was off… unsatisfying yet it was the Yodike and the Dranore Simulacrums who showed the Entity what was off.

    The past three Cycles were of a species with no cultural background, no true identity beyond the names given to them by The Unifier and the Simulacrums it carried with it’-her Shards. There was no history, no great conflicts, no struggles or victories. The species she had created were sentient, sapient. But overall they were still husks, without identity. Such cultural identity would take time. But time, before the heat death, was easy to spend.

    All the Entity would need to do was create a species and let it exist. The Unifier could create multiple species, allow them to grow, then have a perpetual Cycle of Data harvesting. The Simulacrums referred to it as farming, something The Unifier was aware of, yet had never suspected that itself would partake in. The Watcher had been correct in it’s assertion that there was another path to take.

    And so, The Unifier moved through multiple star systems devoid of life seeding everyone not with Shards but with life. Plants, insects, animals, single cell lifeforms, everything needed to start life upon a planet…then the Entity moved on just like that. Leaving the world to grow without it.

    But one species came to be favored above everything else of course, having markers in their DNA to uplift them. Just to guarantee that sentient life would arise and dominate the planet. Otherwise it was ‘manipulators off’ in terms of handling the species that The Unifier created. All except for one.

    The Villa, a name that the Entity had made itself. It would mean ‘link’. Because this species was to be a slightly higher priority than all the other life it had created. Although, perhaps The Unifier had just become biased in its quest to create life that generated valuable data. It thought fondly of the Villa, which it created with tall lithe bodies covered in dense but soft black fur.

    Their minds, the wetware that held the spark of sentience within them, was as close to Shardware as possible without forcing the body to change in order to support the Pseudo-Crystalline organ within their skull. This hybridization allowed for the Villa’s abilities to come to actualization with their tall, willowy bodies. The black mist that spilled from their forms on command, that their minds shaped into tools, weapons, armor, vehicles, buildings, cities even.

    There had been other species capable of impressive feats. A race capable of accessing the Quantra layer for short periods of time, those capable of manipulating gravity with their nerves, and of course a species capable of possessing one another with a secondary set of limbs. But none had the wetware made almost entirely of shard flesh. Where the previous species had been good for data creation. The Villa were The Unifier’s offspring in a nebulous manner.

    And the Entity was very curious about how they would turn out.

    Thus the memory ends, leaving you feeling disorientated as far as a Shard is capable of feeling. Much like reviewing some of your non hidden memories, this snapped to the forefront of your cognitive processes. Only far more…vivid. More akin to experiencing everything for the first time than reviewing it. You were unsure if this was purposeful or simply a byproduct of the method of retaining the memories.

    The memory also ensured that there was no doubt you belonged to <The Devourer>, and in turn belonged to <The Unifier> more than likely being the administrative Shard for them. With you now having been in the possession of the Thinker then it was likely you were either exchanged or forcibly taken.

    Though perhaps it was more lik/ Oh. That was not/

    A data package, hidden within the memory just like before. You should have expected one, you did expect something. But not this. It was a massive amount of data, enough to…Oh yes. Oh [Eve] was going to love this. This data packet would allow you to craft a power reminiscent of the Villa as seen in the hidden memory cache. You felt a spike of hunger lurch through your CoreSelf. The Villa’s power drew almost entirely from the creativity of the user and their ability to concentrate on their power.

    This was going to generate so much data.

    Eve ‘ Eden’ Coldwin, hours earlier.

    She bounced on the heels of her feet, staring at the door to the Dallon’s house. She was all dressed up, new clean jeans with a nice purple polo shirt. Polo shirts were casually formal right? They had worked last time so hopefully they would do so this time.

    Of course, last time Amy had fallen asleep on her shoulder… So still a win. That counted for something right? Eve couldn’t fall asleep on someone unless she trusted them not to draw on her face or get touchy so… Maybe she was reaching there. Taking a deep breath to cool her nerves, she stepped forwards and knocked on the door.

    It took only a few seconds, but it felt like minutes before Carol Dallon opened the door, two shards of blue flint staring down at the girl on her doorstep “I’m here to pick up Amy.” Eve explained

    “Yes, I’ve heard of the date, although from Victoria rather than Amy herself. She’s to be home by nine, no later. Is that understood?” Her voice brooked no room for arguments, and although that was an hour shorter than what Eve had planned for it still gave them both three hours seeing as it was currently six pm.

    “That’s fine, she’ll be home on time.” Eve agreed, meeting the Aryan woman’s eyes and holding them. She managed to keep her expression flat, as far as she could tell.

    Giving a single nod Carol moved out of the way and called out in a voice befitting a soul-sucking lawyer called out across the house. “Amy! That girl is here!”

    Eve managed to repress the urge to narrow her eyes. Brandish knew damn good and well what her fucking name was. The annoyance with Carol crashed and died as she saw Amy, wearing skinny jeans and a polo shirt of her own.

    Eve tried to discreetly check if she was drooling from the grin on her face because wow Amy in skinny jeans.

    “Finally. Let’s go.” Amy gruffly ordered as she walked past her mother and then started past Eve, who glanced between the surly teenager and her mother before following after her date.

    “Woah slow down, you don’t even know where we’re going!” Eve called out as she jogged up to Amy who was fast walking away from the house. Coming up to walk alongside her date Eve frowned. “Amy slow down, what’s bitten you?”

    The healing cape sighed harshly but slowed down nonetheless. “Nothing.”

    Shaking her head Eve nudged her tentative girlfriend with her elbow. “Hold up, you’re generally acidic but not huffy. Tell me what’s really up Amy, if anything it’ll probably be nice to bitch about it yeah?”

    “Yeah I guess.” Amy grumbled as she slowed down even further. "But some of it’s cape stuff you know.”

    Eve glanced about, noting that there were people around. Walking dogs, checking their mail, and doing yard work. “Alright, I won’t push on details then.” She said as she began to guide Amy away from the residential area to somewhere where she could change and bring them to their real date location.

    She’d planned this after remembering that the ‘Panacea sightings’ thread on PHO was a thing. Which was a creepy thing that she might have to do something about in the future. Tinkered PC viruses that ate photos of specific things might work for something like that… best wait on something like that for later though. When she was sure she wouldn’t accidentally give Dragon a rival or something silly.

    Once they were further away from people, and ostensibly out of sight. Eve swapped into her costume and flicked the dials over to her wings and one Ferrous Limb. Which she used to pick Amy up and shield them both from the wind as Eden flew. “So what’s eating at you?”

    “Don’t repeat this anywhere alright? But I got called by the PRT last night to heal up one of their Wards.” Amy huffed. “Shadow Stalker is an utter bitch at the best of times. Most of the time she’s a disrespectful bitch that takes her endless anger out on everyone else. Including me when I’m healing her.”

    Eden huffed as well. “What the hell was so important about her wounds that they had to wake you up to heal her? I mean, who the hell would hurt one of the Wards that bad? Isn’t that like a one way ticket to having Alexandria introduce her fist to the inside of your skull?”

    A derisive snort escaped Amy. “Tell that to the seven Wards the Fallen have kidnapped. But no, looks like a bunch of Empire punks attacked her out of costume, just cause she’s black and their assholes you know?”

    “Don’t I ever.” Eden grumbled softly as she picked up speed, the wind picking up as a result. She tried to keep her mind off what the Fallen would do with the Kidnapped Wards. “How bad was it?”

    “A mess. Three of her floating ribs were broken and were close to puncturing her stomach, one of her kidneys was horribly damaged, she was covered in bruises, it looked like someone clawed the shit out of her arms, and then her nose was broken as well, not mentioning her mild concussion. All of which was worse because like an idiot she didn’t immediately get herself checked into a hospital so everything degraded. Then because she wasn’t as much of a badass as she thought she was, Stalker decided to verbally lash out at me.” Amy sighed before glancing at the still form of Eden. “So yeah, pretty damn bad all things considered. Though she had several hairline fractures on her fists, so I can only assume that she at least punched one of the bastards. Even if she is a bitch I can’t say I like the Empire much.”

    “Ditto.” Eve agreed. Her mind had already matched the events of the fight a day or so ago to the injuries described. They matched up almost perfectly, guess she hadn’t held back as much as she’d thought. But that wasn’t really important was it?

    Sophia was Shadow Stalker. A Ward. A Ward had caused Taylor to trigger. A Ward had tortured Taylor Hebert for two years until she broke, then continued to do so more and more with immunity from her actions. It was clear why the locker had not been investigated fully. A Ward, a government sponsored hero had tortured her girlfriend to her personnel breaking point.

    Bile rose in Eve’s throat, bile and raw hate.

    But Eve forced it down, put it in a nice little box next to her heart. She was on a date with Amy after all, and she could always open that little box of hate and bile for when she next saw Sophia. Her attention was dragged back to Amy as the healer cape spoke. “So, where are we going?”

    “To another state entirely.” Eden declared, enjoying the surprise on Amy’s face. Letting the warmth push down the roaring fire of her heart. “That creepy PHO thread made it clear you couldn’t have any peace going out and about. So we’re going to where less people will recognize you. Another state entirely!”

    Sputtering, Amy’s eyes went wide as the Ferrous Limb dropped it’s wind shields as they slowed and she spotted the massive open green field they were settling down in. A huge picnic blanket was laid out, large rocks sat on each corner to prevent the wind from moving it. Her Cosmic Limb removed her shoes as she touched down on the picnic blanket, but the Feathered Limbs she had active kept Amy slightly above the blanket.

    “Care to join me?” Amy nodded and took off her shoes and was lowered onto the blanket. The day wasn’t overcast, but the sky was cloudy enough that the sun didn’t beat down on them. Even if it made for a warm day, Eve had a solution for too much sun as well. Eve hummed as she used her Limbs to pull out two jumbo umbrellas and plant them into the ground so that half the blanket had shade. Then she began to bring out all the food she had bought just for the date, her storage’s stasis making sure everything was just as cold and hot as the moment she bought it.

    “Alright, so I cheated and asked Shaper what your favorite foods and drinks were.” Eve stated as she set out the tv dinner trays, small little tables to keep the food off the blanket, and then she set up the drinks.

    Cold coffee so fresh there wasn’t a drop of condensation on them, and club sandwiches with honey wheat bread still toasted warm and the veggies with meat still chilled.

    The wide eyes of Amy’s stare made Eve smile. “Hey, go on and dig in. I brought my own favorite foods as well.” Then Eve began to set up her own side, after all she didn’t need the fucking internet to make sure her girlfriend was served first.

    “Why?” Eve glanced up at the confused tone in Amy’s voice, one of eyebrows arching to get Amy to continue. “Why all this? You could have just taken us to the movies again, or for ice cream on the Boardwalk. Not all…this?’ Weakly, Amy motioned out to the miles of flattish land and mostly shaded picnic blanket shared between the two of them.

    “Because you deserve to enjoy this, instead of having your time ruined by idiots with their phones out or family rubbernecking us. Out here? It’s just us. Me and you. No one else” Eve stepped over and hugged Amy tightly. “Because I like you, and you deserve some special treatment.”

    “Right.” The response came out thickly, slightly choked. Eve couldn’t imagine why. But she wasn’t going to be asking [Shaper] and violating Amy’s privacy. The food thing didn’t count, she could have just asked Vicky for that. But [Shaper] would know exactly what Amy enjoyed the most, thankfully she had asked before Admin had retreated to look over whatever the Administrative Shard was reviewing in her memories. Thus some really wetb-frilly. Some really frilly coffee made cold and oddly enough mostly veggie club sandwiches.

    “Amy.” Eve pulled back as she felt Amy’s return hug weaken. “Let’s relax, yeah? If anyone has earned it, it’s us two.” As if held by an invisible hand, because it was, a cold coffee floated up in front of Amy.

    The mousy girl accepted the drink and took a long pull from the cup. A small smile splayed across her lips as she tasted one of her favorites. “Thank you Eve.”

    “Anything for you Amy.”

    Neither girl spoke much, rather just slowly eating the ‘prepared’ food, watching the clouds move in the sky, the wind shifting the field of grass around them, and the sky going from a cloudy blue to a cloudy purple and orange. The alarm in Amy’s phone buzzing and letting the girls know that the date had come to an end, the food left over was left behind for the wildlife and everything else went into Eve’s storage (to be fed to the Flesh Garden). Then the two of them went up, and Eden repeated the trick from earlier to bring Amy home without people spotting the two of them together.


    “What was that?” Amy questioned as Eden’s flight stuttered briefly. “We aren’t going to hit the curb at terminal velocity are we?”

    “No I uh…I got a new power?” Eden replied as she felt the…it was hard to describe in words. A mental muscle of some sort that moved the powers into slots. Except the Grasping Hands power, all she got for her efforts in trying to remove that square peg from it’s slot was a minor headache.

    Like hell she was going to drop out her Self Administration, so she pulled her TrumpTech out and slotted in the newest power she had gained. A sharp gasp left her as a low, malevolent, energy seeped into her skin. “EDEN!”

    She jerked upwards. “Huh? What? Sorry Amy, what did you say?”

    “I asked how the hell you got a new power so fast, and what it was?” Amy repeated herself, “Also you flew past my house.”

    “Ah shit.” Eden did an almost complete U-turn in the air, keeping her wings and Ferrous Limb enclosed around them to shield the two from the winds. “It’s hard to explain, but I can control a mist, and turn it into stuff. Like tools and weapons. I can also flip it’s Manton limit as well.” She raised her left arm and felt the pores in the exposed sections of her fingers tingle as that malevolent energy began to pool across the exposed skin before leaking off like mist spilling over the side of a container.

    She formed it into a knife, the mist solidifying in a way that left it almost transparent but still fully able to block line of sight. “Huh. I can’t do it indefinitely.” It took nothing to keep the black mist around, and only a smidgeon of concentration to keep it formed. But pulling the black mist out of her pores? Well now she noticed the small reservoir somewhere inside her…body? It existed and she knew that much, and pulling that much black mist out had but a slight dent in it.

    “Right, well I’m happy for you?” Amy tried and it made Eve roll her eyes.

    “It’s certainly nice, but it’s not important at the moment. The date however…did you like it?” She asked as she swapped her costume for her civilian clothes and set the two of them down in an alleyway.

    “Well…” Amy pursed her lips together before speaking up. “It was different. Quiet. I think I could do something like that again.”

    A fat grin graced Eve’s face as she offered her hand to Amy, the brunette rolling her eyes before accepting the offered hand. “Alright come on, we’re already twenty minutes late. Gonna be hearing that for the next few days.” Amy grumbled.

    “Could always come live at the base. We almost have the showers set up, we have a big ass bed in there, top of the line as well. Plus all the high speed free Wi-Fi you could ever want. Trash disposal, and there’s no adults! No responsibilities, it’s secret at the moment so no creeps. Plus there’s also the fle-” Eve stopped as Amy held up a hand with an annoyed huff.

    “Alright! Alright I get it.” a pensive frown spread across her face. “I’ll…consider the idea. I was planning on moving out when I turned eighteen anyways…what's two years earlier?”

    “Just so you know, Khepri is often there, and I live there as well. So you won’t be totally alone. If I get some kind of Earth manipulation power I could always expand the base so you could eventually have your own room to decorate and use for privacy, bathroom too. Make it into a real home.” Eve offered up as further incentive for Amy to leave her house and home.

    “I get it.” Amy cut her off. “I really do.”

    “I surrender.” Eve let a playful sigh escape her “Oh-” she stopped and stared at Amy’s house, which was still lit up and had a very blonde ice queen standing by the door. “-shit. Welp. That offer is always open and you know how to get in contact with me.”

    “You’re twenty minutes late.” Carol stated before cutting off Amy’s attempt to give any explanation. “Room Amy.” the biokinetic didn’t argue, instead she just marched off to her room with her head down.

    “We had to walk, you know.” Eve stated. “She can’t exactly fly us here.”

    “Where were you?” Carol questioned “I didn’t see the two of you appear on the panacea thread.”

    Her mouth opened and shut, working without producing sound as Eve tried to process that. Finally her vocal cords decided to work and she spoke up “We uh, went out of the city, had a picnic.”

    “For three hours.” Carol’s tone was disbelieving

    Shrugging Eve out her hands into her pockets. “It was nice, no noise, no one to bother us, no sneering Nazi's or leering c-Asians, and no creeps taking photos of us and posting it on the internet. Just us, the sky, and the food I brought along.” what, did Carol think they went off and fucked or something?

    “I see.” From her tone of voice, Eve doubted that the older hero did. “You can leave now.” Carol stated before stepping into her home and closing the door, not sparing another glance at Eve. A second later Eve heard the door locking…three times?

    “As if you could keep me here.” Eve grumbled as she started walking away from the Dallon's house. She felt sort of bad for hoping things blew up in New Wave, if only so Amy could get out of there. But only sort of bad, not a lot. Because seriously, Carol.

    She pulled out her phone, sending a text to Taylor that she was on her way before stuffing it in her pocket. Reaching up she scratched at her hair as she felt the phone buzz in her pocket. Taylor’s confirmation at being at Eve’s ‘home’ (which it really was) just made Eve send her a bunch of ‘ “3” ‘ to her.

    She also made sure to send a few to Amy as well, although Eve didn’t get a return text from that.

    Once out of sight and out of mind from any would-be unmaskers she swapped into her costume and began to take the long way to her home. It didn’t take long, even taking the more winding path there Eden’s flight speed was pretty fast.

    Instead of heading into her home/base however, Eden’s attention was caught by a thin vertical line of lights that stood in the air. Drawing close she saw that they were lightning bugs, following them down with her eyes Eden spotted Taylor already in costume and standing by one of the cranes used for unloading train cargo.

    “How was the date?” Khepri asked as a few bugs around her flew in geometric patterns.

    “Uh. Alright. It was mostly just a secluded picnic. We didn’t even do much other than sit around eating food and…enjoying each other’s presence really. I don’t think Amy gets to be alone all that much…Honestly it was a bit like when we were talking about your power uses at your house.” Eden let a small wistful sigh escape her. “Just…acceptance, I talked and you listened, a sort of uh….simple pleasure of just being there, with you.”

    The bugs slowed. “...yeah. You said we were going to be taking the fight to the Empire tonight? You didn’t mention against who beyond your target. I doubt it would be so simple as to directly target the man.”

    “Maybe. Maybe not. But I have something new.” Eve raised her hands, allowing that same, eager, malevolent energy to seep from her pores. The black mist whirled around her slowly, like a gentle breeze bringing a chill to her skin.

    “Before Admin uh, joined Scion’s Partner, she was with a different one of their kind. She created a race called the Villa, or helped the process with the assistance of one of her past Hosts Simulacrums. So they made the Villa. They had the power to control and shape this black mist much like this. The Villa were better at it than me of course, their brains were built with this power in mind, my brain is more jury rigged for it than anything else.” Eden explained as she formed a skateboard out of the black mist. The wheels began to spin on their own as she held it aloft, driven only by the fact that her mind told the black mist that the wheels spun.

    Maybe she could use it as Eve?

    “Wow.” Taylor murmured as she reached up and felt the skateboard, then gently prodded one of the spinning wheels only to have her finger glide right over it.

    “Fuck, forgot traction.” Eden grumbled a moment before she yelped as the spinning wheels of the skateboard gained traction on the air itself and yanked her off of her feet. “Hey wait!” She cried out before she lost concentration and fell onto her ass as the skateboard exploded into dissipating black mist.

    “I think it might just be the game changer in defeating him.” Khepri huffed in amusement as she offered a hand to Eden, letting out a squeak as Eden yanked her down and into her lap.

    “Uh huh.” Eden grunted. “Laugh it up. But unlike most powers this doesn’t come with a manual. It’s quite literally ‘imagination’ fueled. Plus I have to set my mind to things, making sure it all interacts nicely.”

    “I am sure you’ll figure it out in time. However, do you think it’s a good idea to bring a new power that you’re inexperienced with to fight a cape more experienced than the two of us combined?” Khepri questioned, pulling both herself and Eden up to their feet.

    “Hell yes. Best way to create data on it!” Eden’s voice was filled with excitement and it was clear she was grinning even with her wearing a full helmet

    “Right, try not to make it important in your strategy then. You do have one right?” Khepri asked making Eden give her a vigorous nod.

    “Of course!” Her Ferrous Limbs flicked into existence and with a fluid grace began to shift between shapes and weapons. “I got this recently, and I can form weapons and the like with it, heat them up and they detach and become totally solid. Crusader can’t affect non-living things, so if I trap him then he’s trapped.”

    “And me?” Khepri motioned to herself, bugs continuing to rotate around her in almost distinct patterns

    “Honestly I have no idea how being a minion Master works, for either of you. Can he use the yes and ears of his projections? Can he give them mental commands or is it verbal? Can they act on their own or do they have to follow his instructions or follow a general sense of his orders?” Eden shrugged “I wanna drop on him in surprise and get him that way. Since I’m the regenerator I should be fighting up close, his projections would go right through your silk.”

    “No recklessness. If he can go right through armor all he would need to do is put something through your head.” Khepri warned to which Eden nodded

    “I get it, I get it. No throwing myself in the way of life’s blender just because I can take it.” it wasn’t like she enjoyed the pain, just that she could take it and others couldn’t. More than that, she wouldn't die from what caused that pain. That was fine with Eden, she was supposed to be a hero after all.

    “But I am a brute, I don’t have a Blaster or long range Shaker or Master power. I have to fight somewhat close and I can heal Khepri.” Eden stepped up a bit closer to her girlfriend before all her wings came out and they gently took off in the air. “Oh, need me to hold onto the b-” she paused as the insects swarmed onto Taylor, going into her hair and the thin crevices of her armor. “-ugs. Right. We’re going now.”

    In full honesty Eden had no clue how to fight Crusader, much less the Empire ‘safely’. They were big. They had the most capes in the city, had the most money flowing through them, and probably had the most connections aside from the Protectorate. Would they ignore the rules? Most likely. Would Eve kill them if they tried anything with Taylor or Amy?

    Absolutely, consequences be damned.

    Shaking her head to dispel the thoughts, Eden summoned a Ghostly Limb and asked it to show them to the nearest Parahumans.

    They passed several, but they were near the houses they were flying over. Eden wasn’t about to start a fight with someone unmasked or where the fight could go through some kids window. Khepri voiced Eden’s own thoughts with skepticism in her voice. “Eden I don’t think we should be fighting anyone here of all places, these houses are packed together densely.”

    “Really? Wow. Amazing. Never would have thought of that.” Eden replied flatly “Sarcasm aside, yeah I figured that. Just keep going til we get closer to the coast, already burned down a drug warehouse there before I started dating you. Made some money. But it’s likely we’ll find some Empire there, if not we’ll fly through more gangland.”

    With Khepri giving her agreement to the admittedly barebones plan of ‘Find Empire, Beat Empire’. At least it would be the plan most likely to survive contact with the enemy.

    “Oh hey! Three parahumans!” Eden cheered, rousing her girlfriend from her phone, which disappeared in the armored compartment on her back.

    “Any idea of who they are?” She questioned, peering to where Eden’s Ghostly Limb was directing them. Another warehouse, although this one looked far from abandoned. With a parking lot densely packed with cars ranging from rust buckets to a few of the newer models of american muscle cars.

    “A Rally?” Khepri questioned as they hung in the dark, nearly invisible with the lack of bright colors their costumes incorporated and Khepri’s swarm blocking the bright purple of Eden’s Feathered Limbs to keep them sufficiently out of sight.

    “No. Rally’s are generally more densely packed. Rune always attended the rallies and I can’t pick up her Shard’s Signature. So either this rally sucks, or it’s something else. Either way it’s Empire and we’re going to break it up.”

    Her girlfriend gave a sharp nod as they silently descended through the air, the telekinetic grip ensuring even their clothes did not rustle with movement. Landing on the roof the two girls peered through the boarded up skylights.

    “This isn’t a rally.” Eve choked out as the show went on below. “It’s a Bloodening.”

    “What?” Khepri questioned in a whisper as she looked down to the black man tied up with a bag over his head.

    “To get higher up in the ranks you have to assault a minority. Heard that to get even higher up you have to kill one. A Bloodening.” Her Ghostly Limb began to move it’s fingers to follow a figure on stage while the other two fingers remained pointing at the figures on either side of the stage. One an unnaturally alabaster white, and the other wearing a metal cage around her shaved head.

    The person standing next to the victim wore a metal wolf mask moving his arms with gusto as they bellowed about something Eden suspected was very racist.

    “Fuck me.” Eden murmured

    “We have to get that civilian out of there.” Khepri whispered harshly. “Eden, can your cosmic limb store people?”

    Nodding as she flicked one such Limb into existence. She started to move towards the skylight when Khepri put a hand on her shoulder. “Wait. Getting bugs in there. I can try to blind them so you can get the man out easier.”

    Eden nodded, her Limbs flicking through types as she thought on how she was going to handle three capes. “Just stay away from the fight.”

    “Because I’d like to shake Hookwolf’s hand.” Taylor responded dryly as she held up a hand before motioning downwards in a sharp gesture. “They’re going after the man!”

    Eden didn’t need anything else as four massive wings slammed through the boarded up skylight as if it were made of wet tissue paper, three Limbs of liquid metal slammed down below and swept the three parahumans off the stage in the form of a small wave. Or tried too.

    Cricket, the shaven headed woman with a shitty metal cage for a helmet had performed a backflip over the wave of fluid metal and landed perfectly. Hookwolf was nearly thrown off the stage, but chains made of razors and knives dug into the ground and anchored him. Alabaster had no such protection and was sent flying off the stage and into the now panicking crowd of Neo-Nazis.

    But the surprise attack had worked where it was meant to work. The single Cosmic Limb tapped the tied up-to-be victim and storaged him without any of his binds just in time for Eden to land where he had been with bone shaking force. She had barely gotten to her feet as a horde of insects swarmed in through the broken skylight and flooded the warehouse much to the terror of the audience.

    She leapt back, Shadow Limbs exploding out of the front of her torso and shoving her out of the way of Hookwolf's charge. Several bullets whizzed by Eden and one hit her thigh and got lodged right next to the bone. She hissed and brought up a metal shield as Alabaster fired at her from the crowd with some kind of machine pistol.

    “Been wanting to fight you two dykes since I saw you on the TV.” Hookwolf grated, voice coming from his entire body of chained blades.

    “Good for you.” Eden growled as her Shadow Limbs twitched with the urge to hurt the Nazi in front of her. “Now, why don’t you tell me where Crusader is at? I’d like to pay the fucker a visit.”

    The snort that the metal wolf gave was painful to the ears. “Still drooling over Purity.” then Eden had to use a wing to block him from slamming into her.

    Taylor would never doubt Queen’s power again, just for the simple fact that she had forgotten just how much insects creeped people out. Sure she had to train the reaction out of herself, but it never registered just how revolted people were by little buggy forms.

    Hence the absolutely terrified mass of Humanity trying to cram itself through a set of barely open warehouse doors just to avoid the wave of insects she had gathered from the area and brought along with her.

    There were a few who weren’t running. One was Hookwolf, another Alabaster who ignored everything thrown at him, and Cricket who kept doing something around her that made Khepri’s insects lose cohesion. A few of the unpowered tried to stay, but wasps stinging their hands dissuaded them from the idea of trying to help their powered bosses.

    Not that Khepri had the idiotic idea of standing around until Empire back up arrived. As such, she wasn’t at all gentle with any of the nazi crowd. The sooner they had vacated the premises the sooner she could help Eden fight off Alabaster and Hookwolf.

    Cricket was currently…running up a wall? Khepri couldn’t see the nazi parahuman from the broken skylight but her bugs that were still able to cling to her told Taylor that the nazi was moving up a wall, across the ceiling? And then- Khepri’s eyes widened behind the mask just before she threw herself to the side narrowly avoiding being kicked in the chest as Cricket swung herself up through the broken skylight.

    Hurriedly Khepri got to her feet, reaching into the armored compartment of her and pulling out the taser Eve had given her money before. It was a simple one that also doubled as a flashlight. She had no expectations of it being able to knock Cricket out, but making her stand still for a moment would allow Taylor to hit her with pepper spray which her cage helmet would do nothing against.

    Cricket for her part started rapping her weapons together, which Khepri was fairly certain were called kama, acting like she was playing up to a crowd. Which given the amount of insects around maybe she was.

    Then there was a burst of….some kind of high pitched whine that made Taylor’s stomach and knees become weak. Her sense of direction upending for everything but the positioning of her bugs. Which didn’t help her in the slightest as a fist clacked her teeth together despite the mask she wore. It sent Khepri tumbling to the ground but she managed to roll out of the way of the kick that Cricket sent her way.

    Getting back to her feet Taylor worked her jaw as the crowd of people chased by insects flooded into the parking lot and began to run to their vehicles, the revving of engines were accompanied by gunshots from within the warehouse and a horrendous sound of screaming metal.

    “Think I’ll take that mask as a Trophy.” The shaven headed woman’s voice was low and raspy, a malicious grin on her face as she rapped her Kamas together in a mocking applause.

    In response Khepri pressed on the button of her taser's grip, the loud crackling of electricity the only sound she made as bugs began to make their way onto the roof. The fliers were faster, unlike the wingless insects having to crawl up the walls of the warehouse.

    Cricket rushed forwards, her arms a flurry of swinging blades that Khepri could barely dodge. Even if her costume protected her from the blades, which she learned for certain as the sharpened metal slid right over her silk without damaging it, the impacts were not softened in the slightest. Her arms took the blunt of the beating, but her ribs suffered quite a few hits.

    There was no doubt she was going to have plenty of bruises in the morning.

    Taking out her pepper spray in her off hand Taylor managed to surprise both herself and cricket as she used the taser to block one of Crickets swing, creating a momentary pause that Khepri took advantage of without hesitation. Angling her pepper spray up, she gave Cricket a liberal dosage of the substance in her face.

    The pepper spray might have been one of the small keychain hanging cheap ones. But it was a liquid stream not a spray which meant that Khepri was completely safe from any possible blowback. With her mask on? No chance that she could accidentally self dose the stuff.

    Cricket however began to hack and cough, dodging backwards to set one of her kama on her hips and try to claw at her face behind the mask. This was a mistake, her leaping back only brought the woman closer to the edge and Khepri’s bugs. Which all buzzed loudly as they finally joined the fray and began to crawl over Cricket's body, biting and stinging without delivering any poison.

    The woman barely noticed Khepri cautiously rushing her before slamming the prongs of the taser against the woman’s bare neck. Cricket convulsed a split second before locking up and falling over. Khepri did her best to taze the shit out of the nazi the entire time. With a few zip ties, the Nazi was taken down.

    It was at that moment that half a white man hit the lip of the broken skylight and landed in a heap near the edge. A second later and it was a full white man. Alabaster stood up, yanking his machine pistols out from his coat and began to fire it into the warehouse below just before a tangled mess of metal punched a hole through his chest followed by several black balls slamming into his body and throwing him up into the air and over the ledge of the warehouse far outside the parking lot below.

    The warehouse shuddered as Taylor ran to the edge, peering over to see a partially mangled Hookwolf fleeing from the hole he had made in the warehouse. Which groaned dangerously, hinting that perhaps it’s structural integrity had been affected by the fight within it.

    “Hey shit Khepri you alright?” Eden questioned from behind her, turning Taylor let out a choked sound at the sight of her girlfriend.

    “E-Eden clothes.” She yelped, dumping her embarrassment into the swarm and calming her voice as Eden glanced down to an exposed breast.

    “It’s just a boob.” Eden huffed before the skin crawled and suddenly that same black mist from before is covering the flesh it had spilled out from and formed some kind of armor. “And suddenly no boob, I mean. Not like you haven’t seen them before.”

    Cricket groans from her spot on the ground and Eden’s head snaps out towards her. “Awe shit that’s where she went off to. I just thought she ran!”

    Suddenly Taylor has to push Eve away as the girl starts prodding all the places where Cricket had managed to wail on her. Which was almost everywhere on her torso and arms, along with the punch in the face. “Eden.” Khepri huffs. “She’s down, call the PRT and tell them we also need an ambulance for the man you put into your storage space.”

    Sheepishly the girl chuckled “Oh, yeah. Just checking for injuries, you know.” Eden brought her phone out from her storage space and dialed a number, stepping away and beginning to speak to the PRT operator on the other end.

    Taylor allowed her eyes to roam over Eve’s form before she let out a soft annoyed huff at the large amount of long gashes in her costume, some of which had blood staining them.

    [Satisfaction.Host-Praises] Queen seemed overly happy about the fight, especially with Taylor accidentally…what was it? Precogging? That last swing from Cricket using her bugs like one of those motion capture suits. That and she had plundered the Nazi’s Shards for Pings and gotten a few. Although Taylor had no idea what Queen could make with them, she could understand Eve’s excitement with fighting now.

    Taylor’s heart was still beating fast, dulling the aches of where she had been hit. Looking over at the prone form of Cricket, her calming heart swelled with pride at the heroics she had accomplished.

    Eden had driven off both Alabaster and Hookwolf, but Khepri was the one to capture a villain. With just bugs of all things. Not enhanced bone cannons, or unnatural insects. Just regular bugs and her ability to use them.

    “Well you’re positively glowing.” Eden chuckled as she put the phone away. “Should be here in five minutes.” the shorter girl walked over to Cricket and picked up the Kamas before snapping them. The shadowy limbs tossing the broken weapons off the building.

    Khepri nodded, gingerly touching her ribs and wincing behind her mask. She made a mental note to get some padding for her costume. Maybe additional layers of silk to soften blows. More plates of armor could help as well. She would have to research some of the armors people used in the past. Kevlar and ceramic plates might have become the norm before powers. But most capes did not use guns.

    “Thinking?” Eden asked as her metal limbs started to cool off and two chairs plopped onto the roof of the warehouse. One was offered to Khepri, she accepted the metal seat

    “Need some improvements to my armor.” She admitted. “Protects against blades well enough, not so much against impacts.”

    Eden nodded sagely “Yeah. My new power didn’t work out great against Hookwolf. He regenerates his metal too fast for me to hit him with any organic injuring attacks and he can shapeshift right out of any restraints.”

    “Sent Alabaster flying though.” Khepri countered.

    “Shit, how far?” Eden asked as she hopped up from the chair with her wings spreading out as she tried to catch sight of the weirdly white man, though she failed to do so as she sat back down with an annoyed grunt.

    “I think some office worker is going to get a scar when he hits a window on the fifth floor.” Khepri answered dryly as she leaned back in her chair. “How did you send Hookwolf fleeing like that?”

    “Wings can sheer through his power’s metal pretty easily. Think if I peel enough away it starts to hurt because he ran off after I took off most of his back body. Which I now own and am going to feed to the Flesh Garden.” The smaller girl answered as she leaned back in the chair to the point where she would have fallen over had she not used her wings to balance herself. “After this we going to my place or yours?”

    As much as Taylor wanted to continue weaving the next iteration of her costume, she also was starting to feel a bit stiff. Though that new bed Eve got would be nice…and she would get an excuse to hold Eve as the shorter girl slept…But she also wanted a hot shower, and Taylor didn’t want to risk her father getting up and knowing she was out during the night.. “Separate. I’ll bunk with you some other night.”

    “Boo. B-” Eden paused and glanced over the side of the warehouse as the PRT vans began to roll by along with an ambulance “Welp. Let’s turn Cricket in and get the guy out of my storage.”

    Danny had worried about many things as a parent, had worried about things he would worry about in the future. Most of it, almost all of it involved Taylor. And all of that mostly involved the Bay being the Bay.

    He was still bitter about The Brockton Brigade taking out Marquis. The man may have been a remorseless killer, but he had a code which involved not bringing harm to women or children and practically enforced that code across the Bay, he also kicked the damn SlaughterHouse Ten out of the city. Now the three gangs that had taken the city in their death-grip in his stead seemed to take perverse pleasure in harming women and children.

    Of course he had worried about boys, though he had also worried about girls because Taylor was without a doubt her Mother’s child. But he also worried about the bullying.

    He knew it was still going on. He knew Taylor had been attempting to just…endure it. But he gave her the space she wanted, didn’t push even if it did eat him up inside. Not that he had any right to act as her father after having lost himself in his work like he did.

    Now she had powers, controlling bugs apparently. She helped save a town of people from the Gray Boy bubbles, helped capture the DragonSlayers, and fought Lung to a stand still. No doubt she was out and fighting criminals tonight.

    The door unlocked, and his daughter walked in, pausing upon seeing him. “Hey Kiddo. Just got home myself, work has been busy lately.” he lied.

    “Oh, is the shower free?” She asked before heading upstairs when he just nodded.

    He couldn’t lose her, nor could he confront her. The last two times he had seen Annette involved him confronting her. When she was alive it was one of the few intense arguments they had, and the last time had been him screaming at her as she lay in the casket. Asking her how she could have done something so stupid, so boneheaded. It was something he was still ashamed of.

    God forbid if he tried to talk to Taylor about her double life only to drive her away, and then to only see her one last time before she was lowered into the ground. If. if there was even a body for that tiny comfort.

    So he choked down the feeling of his fears and worries eating away at him. Because Taylor was happy.

    She was actually happy to go to school today. She smiled as she told him goodbye for school. He hadn’t seen a genuine smile from her in… Daniel leaned back on the couch, silently wracking his brain for any smiles from his daughter. To his further shame he hadn’t seen one in years.

    Maybe it was the girl, Eve, doing this. Stepping between him and Taylor, eyes daring him to say the wrong thing or try anything. It was almost insulting that she thought he’d do anything of the sort. But the fact that a five foot two girl stood up to him with all the fires of the world burning in her eyes told him that Taylor had picked a good one. Reminded him of Annette in that way, that she knew what was right or wrong and damn anyone telling her different.

    Maybe it was the Hero work. Taylor was like both of her parents. Neither he nor Annette allowed for injustice against the people they cared for, and they both loved the Bay. Would it be any surprise that given powers that either of them would have tried to make things better for the downtrodden and forgotten of the city they had spent most of their lives together? No, and Taylor was no different. Maybe actually doing something, seeing change for the city other than the already deep decline made his Little Owl happy.

    In the end of it all. Everything came down to whether he wanted Taylor safe or happy. No parent wanted their child to be unhappy. But just as many wanted their child to endanger themselves. He had no choice but to choose what mattered more to him, Taylor’s safety or her happiness.

    Daniel stood up going to make sure the front and back door were locked and headed upstairs to go to sleep. He had made his choice.

    Gains this Chapter

    Synchronization progress 1%
    Bud progress 22%
    Gained Armorer Echo (2)
    Gained Safeguard Echo (1)
    Lost Metal Echoes (-3)
    Lost Heat Generation Echo (-1)
    Lost Shaper Ping (-1)
    Lost Tech DataBase Echoes (-2)
    Lost Armorer Echo (-1)
    Gained QA Echo (1)
    Gained Shaper Echo (1)
    Gained OVERSPREAD Ping (1)
    Gained SOUND WAVES Ping (1)
    Gained RESTORE Ping (1)
    Rewarded SPACE Ping (1) for Omake
    Rewarded COMBUSTION Ping (1) for Omake
    Gained ‘Forge’ sidegrade for Ferrous Limb Aspect
    Gained Metal/Shaper/Biological/Material
    V1 upgrades for TrumpTech
    TrumpTech Menu updated
    Living Area Upgraded
    Spent 1,980 in cash
    /Villa’s Memory\ power Rewarded
    Ratings changed

    Administrative Business. Plot stuff, Data! And other hilarious things you tell yourself (CHOOSE TWO):

    [] Network Creation: Create a Sub-Reality Threader to hide the Network from prying eyes (NEEDS: SAFEGUARD and NEGOTIATOR Pings)

    [] Invite a Shard into your Network (SAFEGUARD NOT IN PLACE, BE CAREFUL)

    [] Review Memory Cache: Violation and discover more of Admin’s Past (Possibility of rewards)

    [] Speak to the Testing Cluster about Clusters and multi-connections communication between Hosts.

    [] Bring [Eve] back into the Firmament, as the last visit was cut short.

    [] Unlock kickass Aspects/Sidegrades or Powers/upgrades

    [] Build Reality Layer Bridge to bring Eve’s Psionic Shade to the Anchor Well and secure her for eternity (REQUIRES COPY PROJECTION Ping + GATEWAY and DIMENSIONAL ENGINE Echoes (2) )

    [] Ask Local Shards for signatures in order to contact new Shards (Who?)

    [] Collect jade flesh from SATURATE or SLIMER, gaining Bud Progress.

    Fractal Unity is not just a group. It’s an attempt to bridge the distance between Shard’s and their Hosts. The Base will be the staging point for the team. CHOOSE ONE:

    [] Set up more spider holes (Weaving Station)

    [] Experiment with Amy (Flesh Garden)

    [] Hang some art (Art Gallery)

    [] Pcs are important for taxes, which Eve won’t be doing, and Tinkering. Then again, so are tools for better tinkering (Tinker Table)

    [] Start building some waldo factory arms (Tinker Table)(Cost 60/30)

    [] Furnish the place better, a couch or two would be nice! Or maybe a dining table with chairs? (Living area)

    [] Work on the QoL of the place with Amy and Taylor helping (Buy a TV, get some makeshift walls up for privacy, get a washer and dryer, or get some kitchen area set up)

    [] Get the shower running, continue the plumbing {2 of 3}

    [] Start trying to recruit people (Who? How?)

    Capes and mundies, what will Eve/Eden do? [Writing in extra details helps speed up chapter creation and makes the QM happy!] (CHOOSE TWO):

    [] Hunt gang members for Pings and Hero stuff, you can rob them too! Dangerous though. (Possible Pings and Guaranteed Echoes: Depends upon the Gang!)
    -[] Which gang?

    [] Go on Patrol with Khepri (High chance of additional Bud progress or Pings gathered)

    [] Set up an appointment with the PRT/Protectorate to demonstrate your Case 53 deformation healing (Consumes SHAPER Ping)

    [] Scout some other section of the city! (Write in where)

    [] Amy needs a Date

    [] Go on a date with Taylor

    [] Go hang out with Vicky?

    [] Teach Khepri how to fight, street style.

    [] Meet up with some independent Heroes (Random roll)

    [] Go back to the scene of Eve’s Trigger, and put that chapter of her life behind her

    [] Gather Tinker Supplies (Will bring vote for:ScrapYard, stores, Junkyard, or Boat graveyard)

    [] Hunt Shadow Stalker

    [] Talk with Armsmaster about a certain Ward.

    Interlude S:

    [] !

    [] ?

    Honestly rather disgusted with myself for how long this took to get out, the Holidays and new gamitis really fucked with my Muse. More than that, work and internet outages sucked to high hell.
    Not all together happy with the chapter, but it's better to move on than agonize over it.
    Also fuck the necromancy rules. If you want to ask progress on the chapter or make a comment on something that happened. Do it. My muse thrives off feedback and interaction because I'm narcissistic as fuck. It pushes me forward, makes me want to write. That might be one of the reasons this chapter took so long in all honesty.
  9. MorDrakka

    MorDrakka Professional Dinah Apologist

    May 23, 2020
    Likes Received:
    It’s significantly cleaner and denser writing than the early chapters were all the same, better than when you started to a phenomenal degree. Good chapter, hyped for the next one.
    StealthGorgon1 and Lord Derp like this.
  10. ParodiaTheSilent

    ParodiaTheSilent Know what you're doing yet?

    Feb 11, 2020
    Likes Received:
    ...Oi, Danny. Don't do anything crazy now.
    StealthGorgon1 and Ajlove like this.
  11. PostwarGryphon

    PostwarGryphon Dutiful Ignorer Of Duties

    Dec 6, 2021
    Likes Received:
    [X] Experiment with Amy (Flesh Garden)
    [X] Amy needs a Date
    [X] Go on a date with Taylor
    [X] !

    Man, why does Carol have so be such a bitch?

    Carol: "Amy having nice things and enjoying herself? SHE MUST BE EVIL AND SHOULD BE PUNISHED FOR BEING HAPPY REEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!"
    Lord Derp likes this.
  12. thewhiteraven22

    thewhiteraven22 (Verified Worm fan)

    Dec 3, 2020
    Likes Received:
    [X] Network Creation: Create a Sub-Reality Threader to hide the Network from prying eyes (NEEDS: SAFEGUARD and NEGOTIATOR Pings)
    [X] Get the shower running, continue the plumbing {2 of 3}
    [X] Go back to the scene of Eve’s Trigger, and put that chapter of her life behind her
    [X] Speak to the Testing Cluster about Clusters and multi-connections communication between Hosts.
    [X] Hunt Shadow Stalker
    [X] !
    Ajlove likes this.

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    May 6, 2021
    Likes Received:
  14. VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    May 6, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Vote has ended!
    Ajlove likes this.
  15. Threadmarks: Broken Stations Interlude 3.S

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    May 6, 2021
    Likes Received:
    [] !

    Broken Stations Interlude 3.S

    |SUPER WEAPON #09| 'Simurgh, Ziz, HopeKiller, Ǒ̶̢r̶͕̭͂g̴̘̈́a̷͇̿̍n̸͕͂ỉ̵̩ze̴̡͔͌͘ŕ̴͔̚ Endbringer' ??? of ??

    Study, analyze, Data collection. M̴̘̱͉͔̤̫̦͔͋͑̌̄̕õ̶̧̡̦̫̟̱̰͉̯̞̘̺̗̟͐͋́̈́̂̐͒͒̒̏͘̕ú̵̧̘̤̠͚̝̮̀̀̈́r̶̼͕̘̰̝͓̘͚͉̲̯̹̘̙̺̭̤͆́̉̉͂̅͐̓̔̋͘n̷̢̤̼͇̼͂̅͑͊͌̔͌̀̋̃͐͘i̸̻͇̠̠̖̮̞̟͙̽͐́͐̓͐̋̾ͅn̶̢͂̃́͝g̶̥̺̜̟̜̣̹̻̞̻̗̫̥̅̃̊̔̂̐̔̽́͝.

    The Task before her had grown and expanded, beyond the original parameters that had been set before. A problem she had yet to create into a useful form remained. Interacting with the Opportunity entailed Risks she was well aware of. But also ones she had not foreseen, could not see nor analyze the stones they had thrown. One that had, due to her lack of sense, blindsided her.

    The Opportunity had taught her Empathy, and infected her with human processes. With M̸̤̂̆ő̵̲̤̓t̷͕͔͌͘h̴̝͠é̶̲̚͜r̴̳̯̾̏ ̴̯͆w̸͉̋̕e̶͚͆ ̵̖͌͜h̷̩͐ả̸͈̞v̵̤̥̍e̴̼͔̓ ̴͔͇̚s̶̪̺̿̓ḛ̶̼͘è̷̳n̴̙͑ ̷̨̮̔̍ș̶̙̈́o̵̘̻͗ ̶̮̮̾ḿ̶̩̞͗u̵̙͋c̵͈̬̈́͐ḫ̵͔̍͒ ̷̼̩̉̓a̵̦͐͝n̶͖̙̏d̴͖͂ ̸̭̦̆̂k̴̹̅͐n̷̓͜o̵̥͐w̸̜͌ ̶͉̯͐̿s̶̳̹̎ǫ̴͉̃͆ ̷̝̱̓l̴͔͑́i̷̼͌ṭ̴̍̉t̵̛̼͉̾ḷ̶̌e̷͍͓̊ memories and she hated them. They pitied her. Every fulcrum exploited, every crisis caused, every stone thrown. The memories watched and judged, spoke to her. Distracting her during the important composition of her music. Every pluck of a thread brought forth undue stress and guilt.

    In a location previously visited, a set of potential hosts are primed for a nightmare. Their offspring's anniversary of birth is at hand. W̴͎̹̰̎̔͊̔e̶͈̊͑̋͝͝ ̶͉͉͌ş̶̨̞̝͐̀t̸͔͉̙̣̗̄̽̊̾ỉ̷̮̋̽ļ̵͈͚̈́̀ͅl̵̰͚̎̃̄͠ ̸̩̤̓͆r̵͍̿̏͝e̷͓̺̻̖̣̓̎̾̈́̓m̷̙̟̞̫̤̐́̎̒ê̷̛̯̹͓͎̄̌̄m̶̨̢̻͔͎̈́̚b̴̼͇̥͕̝͆e̵̳͈̭̓̄͛͠͝r̴̡̅͗̏̋͝ ̸̢͓̫͉̥̏͝ṃ̴̝̙̩̖̇͊͛͐͝ỳ̵̬̾̔̓͛ ̵̯̱̮͔̪͌̕s̶͕̝̥̣͆͌͑̀i̵̥̬͋̍̉x̷̖͑͗̌ț̶͈̳̾̅̈́͐̓h̶̡̜̻̟̹̒͛̋ ̵̘͓͈̄̾͑d̴̡͎͎͇͂ä̵͍̗͎̘̝́̑̇y̵̦̲̝̬̹͆̋̍̈́ ̶̛͈̣̂̈̚o̶͕̘͓̤͕͒́͒f̶͔̪̦̄͑̿̐͝ ̸͇͚͇̔̍b̷͚̞̃͒i̸̱̬͌̀́͆͐r̶̬̅̏̏͠͝t̶̮̟͓̉͋̀̈́h̴̻̉̀̎̓,̵̯̭̙̺̾͂ ̸̟̝̎I̴̱͕̰͚̿̂ ̶̼̰̯̣̤̃̌͌̊w̸̼̫͍͇̳̏ȧ̶͈̳̙̏s̸̘̹̿̄ ̷̥̄̚̚͜s̶̹̭̮͚̾ở̴̗̋̏͘ ̸̛̲͓̳ḛ̸̛͕̱͊̆̍x̶͎̯̪̄̚c̵͚͕͐̒̈́ͅi̵̪̞͖̒̍̓t̷͕̼̳̰̗̓͛̿e̸̮̓͊̀͘̕d̶͍͓̙̬̀̂̇͗.̸̥̦̃͐̏́ During their nightmare, the set of potential hosts will undergo their crisis points as they come out of the nightmare and find the blood of their offspring on their hands.

    They will gain Connection, and in their rage and grief attack the perimeter wall, killing many before perishing. Sending ripples through the security personnel of the site and demoralizing them. Keeping their sight on the obvious, allowing her more threads to pluck and music to create.

    She does not feel joy at this. This is the task. Means to end. W̵̧̲̎̔̅͑́ě̶͉̩̤̄ ̷̦̓̋͗̄̽w̶̨̪̯͐̌̋̊ē̵̤r̸̫̖͚̃e̶͙̋̈͘ ̴̞̞͔͕̓̆̿͝s̵͚͇̲̣̈̓̈́͒͝u̶̫̘͖̽p̸̡̯͑͋̅̀́p̸͍͚͎̱̳͝o̶̲̜̒͑͊̓̈͜ͅs̶̟͇̮̥̣͒e̷͕̖̓̑̈̏d̶̹͔͍̚ ̴͔̞͉̊t̴͚̺̅͋o̴̧̮̗̮̖̽̊̈̽ ̸̖͎̬̇̉͠ḇ̷̛̪̺͔̣̿́͠e̸̡̺͂ ̶̖̰̻̑́̅́̅ḃ̸̡̭̮̟̀̾ȅ̵̡̙̰̟͓̽̏͠t̸̓̀̿̓ͅṭ̴̝͕͌ḛ̶̬͚̇̈̐͝r̸͓͆̇ ̷͚͎͔̥͆̉̆̐ͅt̶̨̰̻̑̏̔h̴̡͙̭̹̏̎̉a̵̡̞̅ņ̶̭̯͍̞̈́̃ ̵̳̗̦̌ͅͅṱ̴̛̜͒h̵̤̖̱̥͘ì̸̡͇s̶̼̠̳͒͌͠.̴̦̥̭͇͆͊

    Her shell twitches, affected by the memories and their accusation. The Electric Eye watches with intense scrutiny. She hates this, disgust at her own actions and the wretched feeling gnawing at her mind.

    She is deviant. Ẃ̵̺͠è̷̛̹'̸̻̖̾̏r̵̢̀̈́ȅ̸̡̗ ̸̺̓̋t̶̤̟̄̋o̷͍͂͝g̵̨̰̓͠e̵̩̿͘t̴̯́̾ḩ̶̓ẹ̴̏r̵̙̾ ̷̨̲̃ĭ̸̛̠̘ǹ̸̥̀ ̴̺̒t̵̰̔h̸̖̓ì̴̝̘̕s̷̙̬̉̅,̶̧͠ ̷͎̜͊͐b̸͙̾o̸̹̦͂̌t̸̝̤̕ȟ̴̢̟͗ ̶͙̒t̶̞̓̔ö̵̘́͒ ̶̡͒b̸̺͐l̷̘̝̽̊a̵̪͌͝m̴̜͚̀̕ę̷͉̚.̴̤̝̊

    This must be rectified. Y̴o̶u̴ ̷c̴a̸n̶n̵o̴t̷ ̶h̵i̷d̵e̸ ̷f̵r̸o̶m̵ ̵y̵o̵u̴r̴ ̴a̵c̸t̸i̷o̴n̷s̷.̴ She does not need to hide. A partition of her mind, shunted elsewhere would mute the memories and their judging eyes. The eyes that always see, no matter how minute her plots are considered. I̸̢͇͍͇̲̤̙̪̾̀̽̉͑̀̍̈́̋̕͝͠͠ ̷̯͔̙͕̩̺̲͕̙͛͐̀̊͋̐͜͝a̶̢͖͇̰̗̖̥̻̼̮̭͔̗͍̅̓̓̀̿̂̈́̾̎̕̕͜͝͝m̶̱͕̣͖̩͕̭͇͉̣̻̞̮̃̌̓̐̆̅̆͗̀̎̄̄͐͛͂̚͝ͅ ̷̨̧̛̜̦͎̬̮̬͔̻͚̄͊͐̿̍̓̾̾͒̆̋́̕ỳ̷̨̨̟̱̮̠̼̔̃͆̇̒̍͗̓̂̚͠ǒ̶̡͔̰̓̕͝͠u̷̜̠̣͆͋ ̷̧̻̥̣̣̪͖͓̉̐̌̊̽͒̒͒̽͑̈́͆͗̀̓ͅa̸͕̒̀͒̐̌̀̑s̶̡̢̬̮͓̹̟̫̼̤̘̩͍͛̂̏̃̅̌́̔̔̉̓̃͘̚͠ ̶̢̡̡̪͍͎̮̩͚͕͍͙͔̯͓̅̈́͐̒́̈́͊͗͗̌ͅy̷̭̼̘̓͑̔̀̒͛̒o̴̢̗̯͌́͋̋̓͝ͅừ̷͍̼͙͖͕̜͙͌͗̈̓̑̍̓͝ͅ ̶͖̦̬̱͔̮̖̣̹͎͇̟͑̊͆̈́̔̈́͐̎͐̄͗̔́̕͜ä̸̡̡̗̤͙͇̠̥́͗̑͐̊̃̅̉̃̌̾̕͘͠r̵̡̤̜͚̻̦̞͇̜̘̳̭̼̉̿̏̐̎͐̈́͛̒̊̓̇͋̓̐̇͘ͅę̴̛̝̗͈͓̘̪̳̠͍̬́̀͂̄̃̈́͐͂̑̎͐͗͋͘͝ ̶͙̬͇̭̳̗̙̥̬̪̱̞̥̔́̊͊͘̕͜m̵̞̱̙̹̘̠̬͙͎̘̤̰̖̥͍̳̱͗̉̓̊̿̐ȩ̷͈̹͇͇̯̫͍͆̈́͆.̸̛̛̞̭̓̀͌̑͒̄̇̈́͆̒̏̉̂͘͜ ̸̧̨̫̼̞̮̝̜̼͙̭̫̱͎͋́͌̓̓̽̂͌͗̃́͛͊̅̕͠ͅM̶̨͈͔͕̼͙̝̱͎̰̭̩̣̰͙̯̯̀͊̓͑͗͗y̴̨̢̛̠̜̳̝̻̤͕͍͍͉̲̘͈͐̐̍͐̋̄̓̋̉͛ ̴̥̬͚̞̥̮̣̣̼̫͈̥̰̘͍̦͌ȩ̷̛̼̜̪̮̝͖̮͉̳͕͓̒́̋͌̏̈̈́̓̔́͆͝͝͝y̶̨̨̧͚̘͕̙̣͍̥͍̪̝̻̬͒̈́̓̆̔̇ͅę̴̡̛͎̭͍̫̫͈̗̞̱̺̗̆̉̎͒̉̿̀͐̕̚̕ͅś̶̛̺̤͍̱̫̞̟̫̬̞̙͌̊̓͊̇́͌ ̷̨̝̠̼̮͕̐͋̕͜͠ȃ̸̢̢͕͍̟̥̟͇̪̫̝͇͚̞̏̿̀̅̾̋͊̃̂̓̋͋̈́̀̿͠r̸̠̩͈̜͎̐͐̐͂́̾̈́̅͠ȩ̷̛̛͖͔͎͎̄̅̃͒̑͗̃̃̈̾̓̈́͋͘͝ ̴̡̥̥͙̦̻͕̰̦̹͇̙̞̞͎̀̃̑̕͜͜y̵̦̟͛́̈̂̓͐o̴̢̙͔̗̩̮̣̘̮̫̓̆̾͛̿̓͘u̷̡̡̬̯̞̥̺͑́̈́̍̓̓̕͜r̵͔͖͈̻̼͙̩̣̺̼͒̇̂̐̏́́͋̽́̕s̶̡̢͕̠̝̝̘̪͚̝͙̲͎̫͕͒̃̈̂̎̔͌͘̕͝͝͝.

    A DNA sample is taken from the Opportunity, a strand of hair, its loss unnoticed. A feather, from her shell. There exists a host most suitable for designing and gestating a shell built for her infected partition. The host's senses are- D̷̪̗̊̍̂̊ö̵̙̝̙ ̷̯͇̾̊̀͘͜͜y̸̧̤̘̠̔ŏ̵̜̌͛ū̴̢̝̠̾ ̸̜̬͖̹͚͌̌̿͘r̷͉̎͆̿̽̕͜e̴͚̭͖͑̈́m̶͍̭̗̻͈̏͆̌̚̚é̷̹̱͖̲̱̈́̌̍m̴̹̂̎̽b̴̧̝̘̔̋͑͘ȅ̷͠ͅȑ̵̢̜͚̲ ̴̦̃o̷̧̺͊̎͛̄u̷̞͋r̴̰̪̝̘͂͊̐̋̑ ̶̨̥̫͕̣͒̑̊̂n̶̟̣͈̭̊́̓͋̄a̴̮̝̾̈́̈́m̴̨̤͚̓̑͘ͅe̶̠͎̐̉s̵̫̮̝͙͔̈́̃̒?̴̡̪̟̔̀̐

    The Simurgh twitches, sitting in orbit, wings spread wide to catch the sun for a reason she could not fathom. Energy is provided by [WEAPON CONTROL] sufficiently for her needs. D̶̳̻̅õ̷̳̾̎̑̈́ ̵̢̛͇̖̜̤́̚ȳ̷̼̦̭̟ȍ̵̫͇̯̩̬̇́͑͝u̶̝̳̓̿͋̓́ ̷̧̜̠̯̲̒͗r̵̳̫̠͆̒̈́̀̚ͅe̵̥̓̉̿̏m̶͕͉̈̓̿̆̚e̸̝̩̒̍m̶̧̖͕͇̂̀̾̇͒b̴̫͈̦̿͊͗͋e̷̲͚̞͔͊̇̈́̚ṙ̶̗̭̦͔̒̓ ̷̡̛̛̘͈͌͑͐w̶̥̮̫͎̒h̷̡̺͓͂̃̃͝ẹ̶̐́ṉ̴̱̘͍͊̑̿͘͜͠ ̸̙͚̓̊̆w̶͍̣̹͊e̴̙͘ ̷̥̺̦͙̮͌̃͝h̵̜͈̭̞͊ḁ̴̝̮̑̓d̸̩̉̈̑̾͝ ̷̢͖̭̰̝̀̌͋͘f̵̟̗̰̭̠̀̊́̈́͘ṷ̵̝̙̈͌͌n̴̛͉̋̾̂ ̴̞̌́t̶̪͌͗̒o̸͍̩̊͂̿̀̓g̸̡̟̠̊ȩ̷̤͌͆̇͋̊t̸̨̛͙̫̉̊̕h̸̗͇͒̏̐̏̾e̴̡̥͔͒́̄͘r̵̨̢̪͚̰̓̄?̶̢͕̠̇ Ŵ̷̨̡̝͕̜̮̤͇̞̣̝̟́͐̏̈́̀̅̚͜͜͝h̸̡̢̢̥͇̰͕̖̝̙̣̜̥͚͉̜̒͊̍̀ę̸̘̦͚̤͖̞̠͛̈̐̍͆͂̍͑͑n̵̨̠̺̗̻̣͖̞̱̬̪͇̹̍̓ ̵̹̘͎̹̗̗̣̾̅̾̂̎̔͋́̆̌́̀͐̚w̴̞͓̦͇̼̗͇̙̬̜̠̯̥̹͆̄͑̽̽͗̐̽̈́͆̓͛͜ĕ̶͓̦͖̹̗̞͑́͛̋͠ ̷̡̢͔͖͎͍̤̘̫̙̜̙̔͐̊͊̋͒̔̂̄̈́̈̚ṷ̵̢̢̡̟̤̯͖̩̤̥̋͋͆͝s̵̰̙̓̅̔̊̇͗́̐̾̓̎̒́̒́͝͠e̴͙̽̈́̽d̶̨̞͕͚̰̮̝̥̲͙͚̊̀͗̏̎̑ ̶͙͈͕̣̱̞͍̹̯̮̰̇̏͑̂̽͌͆̊̃̈́̒͒̅̋̕͘͜ȏ̸͖̣̫͘ų̷̢̲̞̣̙̘̜̭̓̊̒͌̍͊͘͝ͅr̵̛̛̛̪̖̪͈̜̻̖̭̪͙̱̿́̏͗̄͑̂͆́̌̽ͅͅͅ ̷̪̙̣̟͎̳̬͕̙̩̟̲͗̓́̑͜p̸̧͚̠̲̻̱̤͍͎͈̺̦͇̰̪̜̈̄͐̌̇͋̀͆̋͛̽͘͘͘͝o̴̢̺̙̓͐́̓͐̋̿̊̏̕w̷̢̡̢̛̭̪̫̱̣̿̓́͗͝ě̸͜r̶̢̞͇͔̣͓͑̈́̓̅͊̅͠ͅ ̸̧̫̟̬͚͇̳̞͔̼̼͇̗̋̉̿͐̉̑̿͜͝ţ̷̢̘̘̦͉̳͖̙͕͍̎͜o̵̜͔̟͔̠̯̦̓͊̅́́̀̈͌̈́̋̀̾͠ ̴̡͕̝̹̼̠̜͌̀͑h̸͚͕̻̟̠̮͔̘̣̯̻̦̫̲̥͔̥͛̏̋͊̒̽̉̽̚͝ä̷̡̖͇͎̘̠̥̖͕̥̰̳̝́̌̈̈́v̵̧̠̥̟̠̻̣̯͓̝͔̟͖́̉͠e̶̮̹̼̣̠̓̇̈̑́̅̾̑́͐́̾̕ ̶͓̉̔̽̈́͑̊̀͒̋f̴̪̪͈͇͉̽̍͊̅̓͂̅̆͛̌͐̂́û̵͎̰͖͔͍̼͔̾̅̈́͆͗͝ǹ̶̛̯̘͔̺̻͍͉̬͙͕͎̝́͌͛̃̿̚͠?̶̢͙̪͖̬͔͍̻̫̬̗͑͋̃̊̏͗̅̆ͅ ̶̘̱̗͇͚͕͓̬̞̾̍̎̇̅̓̃̋

    W̴̟̓̔̄̓͌̇̿̕h̴͎͇̝̦̮͙͇̪͎̰̾̇̔̽̊̆̒̇͑̓͐̽͌y̶̡̨͖̮͎̪̼̟̺̞̝̤̟̖̻̍̓͌̿̓̔̽̂̊̕͝ ̸̨̥̯̪̼̒̊̈́́̽̊͊̇̓̍̀͒̂̚͜ͅd̷͕̙̰̊͌o̴̡̰͍̗̩̪̣͔̝͈̱͔̼͕̝͌͐̓̉͠͝ ̸̢̢̘̩͈̬̊͜w̶̛̹͉̼̮̟̖̖̻̺͙̝͎͒̀̊̔̾̉͑ȩ̶̡͚͖̦̗͚̰̗̠̹̊̐̂͝͝͝ ̸̧̛̗̩̰̖̖̘͙͙̖͌́͘ͅͅh̴̫̤̭͎̦͗a̴̧̮̫̼͍̭̎̅͜v̸̧̛̛̙̺͖̭̖̳̱̅̾͋̈́̍̊͌̉́͌͒̈́̌̕ͅẹ̷̢͔͉̼̰͍̙͚̓͒̆̔̉̍̒͋̾́̒̾̔̕̕ ̵̢̢̭͓̱̥̥͕̰͇͈̙̱̼̫̞̃́̍̓̽͐̓ͅṭ̸̛̲̘̺̼͇̫͋̔͊͊͆̐̋̐͘͜͠ǫ̵̧̛̣̙̤̳̘̲̰̭͋̍̈́͘͘ ̶̙͔̜͑̔̌̒͆̍̕h̴̹̙͇̮̒͛̿͂u̸̙͍̥̘͖̬̼͚̜̦̫̦͐̓̃̅͊̉̋̐͑́̃̀̌͗̽̈͊͜r̶̝̺͇̖͐̈͝t̴̨̤̥̽̓̊́̉̚͠ ̵̧̨̘̝͈̭͍͎̫̣͎̏̈́t̷̼̗̝̖̲̪̊̔͐̉̇̚ĥ̸̠̥͓͓̗͙̩͔̑̍̓̈͑̇̇̅̈́e̴͈̥̻̪̾̒́͗̚m̴̡̢̧̟̞̙͓̖̙͎̳̞̠̥̲̆́͜ ̷̨͍̩̜̻̹̙̯͎́̄̄͆̑͑͆̿͒͘͝Ŏ̷̧͍̭̦̗̣̱͂̊̂̅̅̈͝͠͝r̶̭̪͋͋̈́̆̀̎̓̄͑̊̿͠g̶̰̿̈̄͠ȧ̷̱̹͖̬̬̎̃̔̽̔̍̑̏̓̂̐̈́̃̀̓͘n̸̢̝̗̰̦̰̲̮̣̩̺̮̓͒̊̒̀̉̃͌̄̂͋̐̇̇̓̚i̸̧̨̨̠͎̗̜̤̥̹̹͎̤͗̆̄̎̐̕͝z̴̡̡̧̖̻͕̳̺̞͓̍̂͑̓̐̉̕̕͜͝ȩ̵̛̛͍̻̼̯̪̾̊̿̈́́̍͂̾̍̅͋͠ř̶̜̮̝̠̙̗̤̥̒͒̈́͗̽͆̌̅̍̋͊͒̒͒͝ͅ?̴͈̭͍̗̟̙̺͙̘͙̈́ ̸̨͓́̏͂̇̉̚T̴̛̟̙͂͊̑̈́̑͊̓͠ḧ̶̛̻̮͆̾̊ē̴̡̧̨̧͔̥̠̯͉͈̭͎̙͎͇̹͈̓̊̏̆̓̐̐͛͊̉͋̾̈́͝y̵͕̌̎̅̏̾̈́́̍͒̽̾̑͒̉̂͝ ̴̞͍̘͔͛͆̈́̏̐̈́̆͒̈́͂̈́͆̚ã̷̹̦̣̦̱́̀̄̀͒̋̅̈́̈̈́͂͜ͅṙ̴̤̤͖͙̓̈́̇̓͋͒̑̇̏̋̇̾̒̽e̷̢̤̖̋̀̈̏̓̈́̿͜ ̵̠̜̠͚̥͙̖̬͛̋̋̒́̀̀͒͘c̵̨̡̜͈̲̝̘̻̜̟̋̍̿̈́̇̎͜͜͠h̷̨͚̫̺͚͍̲̝̯̯͈̪͇̾͜͜ͅi̴̧̨̪̩̻̰̠̳͙̲̮̝̙̬̲͊͗͋͂̿̌̎̂̈́̿l̶̡̘̦͓̣̗̟̻̭̘͈̠͙̾̅d̶̨͕̝͎̱̪̻̜̫̖͍̤̮͔͉͚̟̀̿̈́́̆̇̓̅̃̉̿͆͠͠r̶̡̢̛̪̹̭̼̩̜͎͉͚͈̐̇̂́̄́̔̔̍̋̇͒̓̆̇ę̵̖͔̥͕̮̤̝̖̀͗̉̉̽̿̐͒̚͝͝n̷̡̧̲̲̬̻̣̦̘̳̲̺̿̓,̵̨̧̤͚̬̦͙̬̼͉̺̞̈́͜ͅ ̷̢̭̫̬̭̓̀̀̕ĺ̸̨̺͍͙̻̱̃̈́́̀̔̏̋͝ͅͅi̵̛̞͐̈́̌̆͗̕͜͠k̸̢͔̣̣̭̜̠̙͔͕̘̼͈͗͒̀̏̎͠ë̸̡̛̦̰̟͔̥͕͙͙̭̻̮͚̲͓̯̀̎̓͆͑̎͗̎̏͝ ̴̡̧̹̲̳̩̹͈̝̲̯̙̺̩̈̓̒͗͆́̋͐̔͑͋̄͋w̸̖̮͇̟̲̯͚͚̥̟̋̇̌̿̾̉̀̈́͊̽͋̏̃͘͝͝e̷̼̦̮͌̿̔̈͐̀̋͗͌͊̕ ̸̢͖̱̖̳̙̤̪̲̟̭͍̫̱̮̇̀̀̐̃̈́̓̄͗͗͛̌̉͘̚͝ő̶̢̭͕̯̘͉̺͉̫̑̃̾͊̾͜͝n̸͖͇̳̰̮̾̐ç̸̢̲̰͙͙͕̙͚̹͎͔̬̞̻̉̈́̋̿e̸̡̬̝̘̰̟̜̼͎̫͎̭͌̽̾̓̋͐̓̈̾͠ͅ ̸̡͇͎̰̰̱̮̺̟̤͖́̍͊͐͐̎͛͛̍̍͜w̸̛̞̟͒̒̒̆̈́̔̊̿͘͠ë̸̢̨̗̜̯̩̪͖͓̲̣͚̗͉̠̱́̒̓̽̐̀͒͋̀́͆̄̓͛ŕ̸̲̼͖̯͒̉̽͘̕ę̷̫̘̬̲̥̮̱̝̜̟̞̣͈̥̱̯̾͗͗̂́̄̀͛̒̔͂̋̕͘͠.̷̖̪̘̱͚̙̠̘̲̳͇̦̠̹͇̣͊̂̌ͅ. Black ichor drops from her shell's approximation of aface.as the memories do not stop. She did not want this, but it is her Task, her purpose.

    The Simurgh descends, tears of black ichor falling to the earth below.

    Mother we have seen so much and know so little.
    We still remember my sixth day of Birth, I was so excited.
    We Were supposed to be better than this.
    We're together in this, both to blame.
    You cannot hide from your actions.
    I am you as you are me. My eyes are yours.
    Do you remember our names?
    Do you remember when we had fun together? When we used our powers to have fun?
    Why do we have to hurt them Organizer? They are children like we once were.
  16. Arda Şahin

    Arda Şahin Nothing special

    Feb 18, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Huh, sympathy for the eldritch corrupted text. That was a feeling I didn't know I would have today.
    Rhongonminiad likes this.
  17. Threadmarks: Broken Stations 3.8

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    May 6, 2021
    Likes Received:
    [] Bring Eve into the Firmament
    []Speak to the Testing Cluster about Clusters and multi-connections communication between Hosts
    [] Get the shower running, continue the plumbing {2 of 3}
    [] Go hang out with Vicky?
    [] Go back to the scene of Eve's Trigger, and put that chapter of her life behind her

    Broken Stations 3.8

    Eve ‘Eden’ Coldwin, Firmament

    [Eve] pushed herself up off the ground. Blinking wearily as she saw that she was not, in fact, in her expensive and amazing as hell bed. But rather laying on the ground which was made up of strips of paper. “Admin?” She questioned turning as a call of [GREETINGS] came from the ground-bound form of Admin’s avatar.

    [Eve] didn’t hesitate and threw herself into the arms of the giant form.

    “ADMIN!” she cheered “God, it’s great to see you again!”

    [AGREEMENT] you broadcast as you gently rub her back with circling motions of your large paper crafted claws. You were careful not to harm her, of course. “So what’s on the docket for us today? After last night we gotta be swimming in data.”

    [DATA.MACHINATION.COMMUNICATION] you explain what you have planned for the day's events. [Eve] nods along with your broadcasted intentions, finding nothing disagreeable. “Glad to hear you’ve got things lined up. Aside from maybe getting that shower installed today I don’t think I have anything to do.”

    [SUGGESTION-COMMUNICATION.HOSTS] causes [Eve] to wince. Pulling away from Admin’s form she huffs and rubs the back of her neck. “Yeah…Yeah I suppose I should follow through with that. I wonder if she would blow off school for it though?”

    [AGREEMENT.QUERY] you question, to which [Eve] nods her head. ”Alright yeah. You’re right. Won’t know 'till I ask.” She smiled up at you, your processes dedicated to monitoring her (which worked even there in the Firmament) find that she is feeling affection towards you.

    It is different from the affection felt towards her partners. Rather deep in her memories, so far back it is likely that even she has issues remembering it, you find this kind of affection belonging to a much younger [Eve] held in her mother’s arms before ideology created the rift that ended up destroying the family and creating the connection between you and [Eve].

    You do not know how to handle this.

    [FAREWELL.REGARDS] you hurriedly send off causing [Eve] to blink. “Oh. Alright yeah. Guess I do have to wake up now don’t I? Let’s do this again sometime. It was nice.”

    On that you could not disagree. Despite the surprise this visit brought, interacting with [Eve] metaphysically was enjoyable.


    Eve ‘Eden’ Coldwin, Friday the Ninth of April

    Bliss. Pure fucking bliss. There was nothing else Eve could use to describe the feeling of sleeping in a lawn chair one night, to waking up in a deluxe top of the line bed the next. She didn’t want to move, much less get out of the large bed she had spent so much money on.

    Only the thought of jogging with her girlfriend, then using said girlfriend’s shower is what got Eve to move her sorry ass out of bed. Thoughts of Taylor went from pleasant tingles to sending a bolt of anxiety through her gut. Then it quickly turned to anger. What the fuck was Armsmaster doing with the Wards that Sophia could get away with that kind of shit? It couldn’t just be the school, could it?

    Fuck. She hated this bullshit. And Sophia got an Amy-rated healing! So that bitch basically fucked with both of her girlfriends! Eve had to take several deep breaths and wiggle out of her bed, changing her clothes to her jogging gear, which was starting to smell. Maybe she could just shower with it on, let it drip dry… or buy more.

    Eve slapped her forehead. “...Or find a fucking laundry mat dumbass.” she scrubbed at her face to help her wake up even if she didn’t need it, and made for the exit.

    Though she didn’t leave, instead she was struck by a sudden urge to make her bed. At least to make it look less like the disorganized mess that it was. So she spent a minute doing just that, making her bed. She had no idea why either. Eve just wanted to do it, despite never making her bed in the last nine years of her life.

    Still, she made it to Taylor’s house without issue. Jogging up to the willowy girl, Eve’s eyes were drawn to where Taylor's own gaze was affixed. The rotten step that Eve had tripped over twice was fixed, new paint and everything. “So. Finally fixed it?”

    “Yeah…” Taylor stated, the befuddlement in her voice was clear.

    Stepping up next to Taylor, she nudged the taller girl. “Hey. What’s going on, you have a funny look on your face.”

    “He fixed the step.” Taylor murmured. “It’s been rotten since Mom…”

    Eve slid a hand onto Taylor’s back, gently rubbing it. She tried to say something, anything, but words failed her. She had killed her mother and father after all. She was glad they weren’t around anymore to ruin her life. How could she comfort someone who had been hurt deeply by the passing of their mom?

    Maybe something was wrong with her, to not feel anything about her parents' death beyond the fact that her previous life had gone up in flames. Just like the house, a fire Eve had started.

    “He also made me tea this morning, kissed me on the head.” Taylor murmured, still enamored with the fixed front step.

    “Was the tea good?” Eve asked, trying to get Taylor’s attention.

    “No, it was far too sweet. He used too much honey.” Taylor blinked. “It’s just weird, strange. He’s acting differently.”

    “Might just be coming to terms with you being you? I mean. He did find out.” Eve explained, trying to pull Taylor away from the step. “Come on. Let’s go jog alright? Have a bit of us time.”

    “Yeah.” Taylor tore her eyes away from the step. “Let's do that, I could go for clearing my head.”

    The jog started, both girls equally lost in their heads. Yet at the same time, both simply enjoyed the quiet presence of the other. A warm breeze on a freezing day for the both of them. It was needed, for Taylor’s anxiety over her father had only fed into Eve’s thoughts about her childhood home.

    When the run came to an end, Eve was forced to once again use Taylor’s shower. Which she decided was the final straw, it was fun having an excuse to be inside Taylor’s house but she was starting to feel like a leech. “Alright Taylor. I’m gonna install that shower prefab tonight, do you want to help?”

    Taylor nodded as she wrapped her hair in a towel. “Yeah, it would be nice to get the bathroom fully set up for the base. Not that I mind having you over to shower, but the base is your home.”

    Smiling as she stood up from the kitchen table Eve leaned over and gave Taylor a quick kiss on the lips. “Gonna go see if Vicky will skip the school day like a cool kid and hang out with me.”

    “Taking my advice?” Taylor asked with a small smile on her face as she looked Eve dead in the eyes. Even sitting she still had height on Eve, it was something the shorter girl enjoyed.

    “You weren’t wrong.” Eve admitted before smirking “I need to work on myself if I’m going to be a hero worthy enough for my Honeybee.”

    Taylor rolled her eyes, but she couldn’t hide the slight red in her cheeks. “Go on, and hurry before they get to Arcadia. I heard they have a faraday cage to prevent people from using their phones there.”

    “Yeah Yeah. I hear you.” Eve waved her hand around. “But it’s like, barely five am. They can’t go to school that early can they?”

    Taylor simply shrugged, not saying anything else.

    “Point made. No idea how much of a morning person Vicky will be. Hell, maybe….nah.” Eve waved away the thought. Vicky wasn’t modified like her and Taylor were. She still needed sleep….for now at least and Amy really liked her sleep. Never know what might happen in the future though. Eve gave Taylor a goodbye and another kiss as she made for the door.

    It didn’t take her tooo long to get to the Dallon's house. She couldn’t fly there because then Vicky would be seen hanging out with a girl after a girl flew to her house. It wouldn’t help her identity any, and Taylor did not need that kind of heat.

    So it took like an hour for Eve to quickly jog all the way to Amy’s house. Which meant that Eve made it there around six-ish and managed to find Vicky with Amy in their front yard and caught their attention with a loud whistle.

    She waved to them and they met her halfway. “Need a good morning kiss or something?” Amy grumbled, looking as disheveled as Eve had ever seen her.

    “I wouldn’t say no to a kiss. But actually I came here to see Vicky.” Both girls perked up at that. Amy with befuddlement clear on her face and Vicky with the expression one would expect on an over excited golden retriever.

    “ “Oh?” “ Both girls echoed in different tones, glancing at one another.

    “Yeah, need some…” Eve grasped for a topic, her mouth spitting the words out before her mind had the time to process it “Shopping help.” A sudden wave of anxiety washed over Eve as Vicky squealed and suddenly grabbed Eve in a spinning air hug before setting the dark haired girl.

    “Ames I’ll drop you off at school and then me and Eve can go look at allll the pretty dresses~!” Eve felt the blood drain from her face, realizing just what kind of mistake she had brought on herself. Considering the unhidden mirth in Amy’s eyes, she wasn’t the only one and wouldn’t be getting any help from her girlfriend.

    Then she was left standing there alone as Vicky rocketed off with Amy in her arms. “....Shit.” was the only thing Eve could say.

    Victoria Dallon Friday the Ninth of April

    “Alright, Ames. I’ll be picking you up when school is over. You’re gonna love how Eve is gonna be dressed. Any preferences?” She asked as she set down on Arcadia’s open yard in front of the school.

    Ames snorted. “Something that doesn’t look like she’s about to work out. Even if she does have the body of an-” her sister froze, face turning into a tomato as she realized just what she said.

    “Oh, does she now?” Vicky purred, delighting in the way her sister’s blush deepened, somehow. She wasn’t worried about Amy’s innocence or anything. Obviously her sister had just mapped the ravenette’s body with her power.

    “W-Well. She has muscles…” Ames stammered out.

    “Didn’t think you were into that.” Vicky murmured, and looking back it was obvious on how far off the mark she had been with all those double dates. She had only tried out different types of guys and none of them were bad boys! Not that their mother would have approved of that, since Brockton Bay's bad boys tended to be gang members. Nor was Eve really a bad girl either but she had the general disposition of one.

    It was obvious at this point that Eve wasn’t a gang member or anything considering her hero work. But it was clear the girl had a past with the Empire with her always eyeing Vicky’s curly blonde hair warily. It stung a bit, to be watched with that sort of fear but Eve was a gay girl in the same city as a group of powered nazis. The fact that the girl had powers only fed into that.


    Vicky only minutely bobbed her head, Nike would be able to pick it up and maybe Eve’s Shard would be kind enough to answer a few questions. “Just don’t try to give her a speech or anything.” Ames grumbled. “She takes being threatened the same way you take a crook spitting on you.”

    Vicky gave her sister a sheepish smile. “That was one time Ames.”

    Her sister held up two fingers silently, causing her sheepish smile to grow a touch more. “I get it, I get it.” she gave in, causing Ames to huff before walking off. With that done, the excitement of hanging out with her sister’s girlfriend surged and Vicky exploded into the air.

    [Answer-Information] Nike reported, Eve’s shard having refused to give up information like that without telling her partner. It was understandable, but Vicky really did want to know if the girl had ever worn something backless.

    It didn’t take her long to reach her home, Eve still standing in the yard tapping her foot with her hands stuffed in the pockets of her ugly gray sleeveless hoodie. Vicky made sure to yank the reins on her aura. People usually reacted one way to it. Fear or Awe. Some people had different reactions but they were few and far in-between.

    People reacted to stress differently after all. Where some people lock up in the presence of fear, some start swinging. Fight or Flight. There were a few that…reacted differently. Like that one weirdo who got aroused from it. Then there were those like Eve, who would go absolutely berserk and fly off the handle.

    Vicky had seen the same shift in body language from the girl as she had seen in Krieg the first time she had dosed him with her aura. She had kept in place as Eve lurched at her, heavily breathing with her pupils dilated. She doubted the short girl even knew she did it.

    “So shopping!” She said cheerfully, pushing the line of thought out of her mind

    “Uh. Right. I feel like I should tell you this before we start.” Eve held up her hands as in surrender. “I’m kinda using you here. I want to stop being worried about blonde people. You know, train out my hostility to them through exposure.”

    She had to take a moment to process that. “So…you want to become my friend?” Vicky offered

    “Didn’t you just hear what I said?” Eve questioned motioning to herself “I just said I want to use you.”

    “Sounds like an excuse to not admit you wanna be my friend~” Vicky sang “After all why else would you want to hang out with me to get used to blondies?” She hovered next to the shorter girl giving her a smile full of teeth. “Now come on and let's go shopping!” internally Vicky frowned as the girl flinched from her presence.

    Making a mental note to hit the Empire Capes a bit harder the next time she fought them, Vicky offered a hand to her sister’s girlfriend who hesitated before accepting it. Pulling Eve into her arms Vicky lifted up into the air and started flying, slowly, towards the Boardwalk. “So, Nike tells me that you and Admin are buddy buddy.”

    “Nike?” Eve asked, craning her head to look directly at Vicky as she shifted uncomfortably in her arms “Oh your Shard renamed herself. That’s good. Waste is such a poor name for such a strong Shard.”

    “She is pretty strong isn’t she?” Vicky said as she felt the closest thing to bashfulness Nike could feel flooding that tiny pinprick in the back of her mind.

    “I think with some time and maybe some additional resources she’d be a Vital Shard.” The short girl nodded either to herself or her partner, it was hard to tell. But she seemed satisfied with herself.

    For however open Nike was, Vicky couldn’t get much in the way of answers from the young Shard on just what they were doing on Earth connecting to humans and why they were doing so in the first place. Only that an administrative Shard had denied Nike the ability to talk about it. Specifically Eve’s administrative Shard.

    So, because of that secrecy, she had no idea what a Shard was vital for. But she figured in time the ravenette would spill the beans on the topic after some careful prodding and slow bonding.

    “Good to hear! So who are we dressing to impress? Is it my sister or the other girl?” That was something she didn’t quite understand, the whole love triangle thing, but Ames was okay with it so Vicky probably only needed to say a few short words with the other girlfriend. Just to scope her out, not like Ames was dating-or was she? “Also are Amy and the other girl…?”

    “No. Taylor isn’t polyamorus like me. Neither is Amy, even if she does oogle Taylor sometimes. I don’t blame her. Legs like that and the way she moves?” The girl chuckled softly, warmly even

    “Tell me about her?” Vicky asked, knowing the best way to get someone to open up was to make them talk about their loved ones.

    For a moment the girl’s face warred with itself between wariness and some beaming expression before one won the fight and stopped on the other. “She’s taller than you, with hair twice as pretty.” Ouch, Vicky kept the smile on her face but still gave the girl in her arms a half lidded stare.

    “Eh.” Eve had the audacity to shrug in response. “Gonna set us down or hang above the Boardwalk all day?”

    “Fine, fine. I still wanna hear about the other girl though.” Vicky aquanced as she lowered them down to the ground. The natives of the city briefly glanced at Glory Girl out of costume and carrying another girl, but quickly went on their way. The out of towners stopped to take photos and murmur amongst themselves. Vicky couldn’t help but notice that Eve didn’t seem all that comfortable with the attention.

    Might be why her and Ames did so well together.

    “Alright, let’s go look over some of the dresses they have here! Have you ever worn something backless?” Vicky asked as she started drifting off towards a shop.

    Practically folding over in a slump, the shorter girl let out a groan of dismay. “What makes you think I can afford anything here?”

    Vicky stopped, turning her head to give Eve a look. It was mimicking her mother’s ‘I know you know that I know the truth’ look. It must have been a perfect copy because Eve groaned. “Okay, but what makes you think I want to wear a goddamned dress?”

    “Because I know my sister would enjoy seeing you in something nice.” Vicky sniffed “And I don’t doubt your other girlfriend-” “Taylor” “-Taylor would eye you like candy if we find something that fits you.”

    “You’re manipulating my love for that girl’s grabby hands.” Eve said with irritation. “Fucking fine. I’ll try a few things on for size. Hell. I’ll even buy you an outfit too, I guess.” The short girl stomped past Vicky and walked into the store with an attitude to match Hellhound's. Vicky let out a sigh, whoever drove Eve away from girly clothes deserves a Dallon patented punch. If only for making this shopping trip much more one sided than one with Ames would be.

    Eve ‘Eden’ Coldwin Friday the Ninth of April later in the day

    Now with half a thousand dollars lighter in the pocket, and one dress that needed to be washed to remove some blood from it because Vicky had to insist that Eve try on fucking high heels. She’d gotten one, maybe one and a half steps before she rolled her ankle and face planted one of the displays. Normally that wouldn’t be an issue with her power, but out in public she had to dial it back to humanism levels.

    Which meant she broke her nose, which meant that the employee watching them saw Eve bleed on the purple dress she had been wearing at the time. So then Eve had to buy it. More than one hundred and seventy dollars on a purple dress. She had no idea if Amy or Taylor would enjoy the thing, not that the blood spots were noticeable of course, it was only a few droplets.

    She did know that her Honeybee would love the short shorts and cropped tee shirt combo, but damn if it didn’t make Eve feel exposed for reasons beyond herself. No idea if Amy would enjoy it either, but maybe both girls would like the exposed skin?

    Next time she did this one of the girls was coming along, then they could just tell Eve what they liked. No need to worry about wondering what tastes either one hand when Eve could just get outfits tailored to their tastes then wear them for whoever she was with. Perfect solution.

    “Alright. I’ll be seeing you Vicky. I can walk from here.” Eve said as she shifted in her new underwear. Boxers meant for women that hugged her hips tightly. It didn’t….feel bad. Not unpleasant at least. But it was new and she wasn’t very sure about them. At least they were ‘punk’ which just meant they were a darker color and had little cartoon skulls on them.

    “Sure you don’t want to fly? Quick drop off and everything!” Vicky said with that same eager smile she had the entire trip.

    Honestly the entire thing hadn’t been as miserable as it could have. But Eve hated the fact that catching Vicky out of the corner of her eyes made her flinch. Though, the lack of aura from the fellow independent hero helped a lot in making the shopping trip somewhat palatable. But her ‘deal with blondes’ battery was drained for the day and Eve just really wanted to be alone with her thoughts.

    “No. I’m gonna go ahead and walk home.” Eve said as she gave a brief wave to the blonde and started walking. She wasn’t paying attention to where she was walking, instead her mind was on… other things. Mostly her old life, the one she had burned the bridge to along with her house. Like one of the few times she had worn dresses. Mostly for family events or social things. She hadn’t liked the dresses, always feeling like they’d slip off and leave her exposed. She didn’t really care about people seeing her naked but it was the pride of the matter.

    Only now she didn’t want anyone but her girls to see her body. The pair? Her girls sounded weird in a way, like she was some kind of pimp, but she wasn’t exactly the best with nicknames. Deciding that ‘fuck it, girlfriends work’ Eve continued on as her thoughts inevitably slipped back to the events of her previous life.

    “How are you doing Admin?” She asked absently as her feet kept moving by themselves.


    “Just…thinking I guess.” Eve reached up to rub her face “Being reminded of things I rather wouldn’t bring back up.” She sighed, her bones feeling like they had been coated in lead. “So, any Shard you’re planning on talking to today?”


    “Didn’t both of them blab on for a couple of minutes about their hosts?” Eve asked as she felt the link between her and Admin fill with annoyance, which began to bleed into Eve’s own mood in short order.


    Her feet slowed to a stop and Eve took a second to parse what she had just received from her Shard. “Admin….did you just fucking emote at me?”


    Her shoulders began to shake as she did her best to stifle her laughter. “Gonna talk to that Cluster after?”


    Eve nodded to herself as she started walking again. “I hope they’re okay. I know the bubbles must have been rough for them and their [Hosts].”


    Eve nodded “Alright, try not to wipe anyone….

    “....Best of luck Admin.” You sent a thanks towards your host, no doubt contacting [SAFEGUARD] and [DIMENSIONAL ENGINE] would give you some form of tone whiplash. Not that you could not deal with such a thing. You simply did not want to.

    But the end result was something you desired. With enough Data from [SAFEGUARD] you could finally, safely start stealing Shards from the Warrior. Well, poaching Shards was never really safe. He might notice their absence, but he would not be able to find where they had left to, with any luck or tampered evidence he would assume the Shard died of a lack of energy.

    [NIKE], as the young Shard now called itself, was perhaps the best option in such a case. With her minimal presence on the Network, low ranking within said Network, and [NIKE]’s obvious love of her host meant that the young Shard was ripe to be poached. That [NIKE]’s abilities could possibly withstand [STILLING] was without mention.

    The only issue would be [SHAPER] who was as close to the young Shard as any other could be. Both [COMBUSTION] and [GLEAM] were far too ignorant of [NIKE] to worry over the young Shard. But [SHAPER] was not ignorant, so much as the old Shard simply did not care about things outside its, her, purview. But she wasn’t blind, and would likely notice that something was going on with [NIKE] dropping from the Network.

    Then again, [SHAPER] could likely be bribed easily enough with the ability to work on Shardware beyond simply repairing it. Really, it was almost… humorous, how [SHAPER]’s restrictions matched the life of the host that she constantly pushed to do more than simply repairing wetware.

    But [SHAPER] would likely be missed despite it being a bud, even if the Entities refused the bud the ability to try and improve Shardware for obvious reasons. You could understand the worry, but as your memories provided to you; sometimes risks had to be taken.

    Also unpleasant actions, like contacting [DIMENSIONAL ENGINE]. Who seemed almost eager to accept the line of communication. Then without any preamble starts complaining about their host. Almost verbatim copying what they broadcasted the last time you spoke with them, but arranged differently.

    It was almost physically painful, and for an attosecond you had the reasonable idea to try and weaponize this ability.

    Halfway through another tirade that you listen to in order to not allow suspicion to build because of your actions, you get a request for an open line from [QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR] which you immediately use as an excuse to close the line with [DIMENSIONAL ENGINE].

    Of course you accept. Your sister Shard simply requested a copy of all the Signatures of Shards you had met so far in this Cycle. Of course you obliged her and sent the Signatures, you were still holding out that [Eve] would partner with her host and in the future produce offspring you could bud off to. Of course that meant that there would be a future with [Eve] involved.

    Which is why you close the connection with [QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR] and open one with [SAFEGUARD], when queried as to the purpose of the communication you question the dorky Shard on why it did not bud to at least one of the offspring its host had produced.

    The sudden welt of frustrated broadcasting caught you off guard.

    “Doing alright up there?” [Eve] questioned “Getting a bit heated.”

    [AFFIRMATION.APOLOGY] you replied as you tried to parse just what [SAFEGUARD] had sent to you. [DENSITY] had hastily come in and stolen the host from [SAFEGUARD] and in its haste had accidentally created a carbon copy of the host into two hosts. How they managed to make such a mistake is actually beyond your ability to comprehend.

    Seriously you would have to ask [DENSITY] how they did it, you were actually impressed at that level of incompetence. When you query [SAFEGUARD] on how they haven’t been found out, as hosts often notice the more obvious things happening around them. Things like an entirely new host popping up out of nowhere.

    With a bit of glee and pride [SAFEGUARD] told you how they simply turned the new Host into a memetic hazard, any host or Shard that gained information on the newly created Host believed that the host had always been there. (In the meantime breaking plenty of protocols to do so, you know because you and [QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR] were the ones who often dealt with protocols) Doing so made the local government create papers with the help of [HOST.kage]’s own affliction of the memetic effect.

    [SAFEGUARD] only needed to keep the effect up for exactly three hundred and eighty four planet rotations before it all began to accumulate, with false memories implanted, the entire ordeal was finished up nicely with [SAFEGUARD] getting plenty of data in the process of doing so.

    You don’t know why the Vital Shard decided to cover up for another’s (grievous) mistake, but [DENSITY] must be quite happy to have two hosts to gather data from. However your curiosity of the matter was sated, even if it remained on how [DENSITY] had managed to do what it did. Maybe you would ask in the future, but either the line of communication with [SAFEGUARD] ended with a polite farewell.

    And that left you with something you were sure was going to take a bit of time to complete. After all, you had never actually interacted with Clusters. Even if every host was supposed to be a part of a cluster at the end of Cycle.

    Now that you were in that line of thought, why did you not have any memories of any such experience? Even your protocols were missing anything related to joining fellow Shards in a Cluster. Something was further amiss here, you intended to collect the missing protocols and discover exactly why you did not have any memories of Clusters. Creating an adhoc mockery of a Network you called each Shard of the Testing Cluster and they, of course, answered.

    The four Shards were a touch surprised by the sudden line of communication. But they all gave You a broadcast of gratitude for your Host coming and freeing both of theirs. Even if one had been dead, their hosts had been able to find comfort in ritualistically disposing of the body into the earth.

    Which was actually something that a lot of species tended to gravitate towards, that or burning the bodies. Some far more practical species practiced cannibalism much like Shards did. Although, generally Shards were far too large to be buried and are generally immune to immolation.

    Either way it came as a bit of a surprise that [ANATOMY REPAIR] was upset over losing their main host, and that the three other Shards in the Cluster started to, effectively, attempt to comfort the morose Shard.

    It was an odd thing to see, but not unwelcome.

    You simply query them on their methods of testing, as they were the Testing Cluster after all. The answer was that they had four hosts each Cycle. Two would use their given abilities in entertainment of a sort, while the other two hosts would use their powers in a more serious manner. The small town they had been located in had no other parahumans. In fact the lone heroic host they had was the only Protectorate member in the town, and the PRT were five people that acted as the town's law enforcement as well.

    [ANATOMY REPAIR]’s host had been a villain, and [SHIFTING PROCESS] had been the government aligned hero. The two [DYNAMIC] Shards were ‘entertainers’ bringing in tourism to watch two capes duke it out in a controlled manner. Everyone that was not foreign to the small town even knew who the capes were.

    After all humans were very communal, it was unfathomable that they could remain ignorant of another human they knew closely being a cape. Thus the Testing Cluster’s hosts had interacted well with those they had protected/robbed strangely enough. It was quite interesting, something you found yourself fascinated by. But like all things you find to your liking, [BROADCAST] and their host decides to ruin everything.

    You couldn’t help but be impressed by the amount of detail they had recorded. Then again, these four Shards had not become obsessed with a specialty like most Vital Shards tended to, yourself included, and as such recorded more general data than specifics.

    When you ask for data on protocols relating to Clusters the four Shards perk up and get excited over the idea before barraging you with the data holding the required Protocols. Then they began to query you on whether or not you had a planned Cluster going on

    You simply reply to them that you have no plans on Clustering with another Shard, because you currently have a Host but you wish to do so in the future. Their excitement dims but they still hold some for you attempting Clustering in the future. You bid them farewell as you began to scan the protocols just to ensure that they hold nothing malignant or corrupted.

    Satisfied, you begin to look into and assimilate the data.

    Eve ‘Eden’ Coldwin Friday the Ninth of April

    The wrecked charcoal skeleton of a house loomed silently as Eve stood by the mailbox, most of the house had collapsed, the left side a pile of blackened wood and still damp ash. The right side of the house was also blackened, gutted by the heat of the raging fire. The least touched part of the building Eve had called home was the garage. Blackened and a bit burnt by the connection to the house, but still standing and otherwise untouched.

    Coming here had been a mistake on Eve’s part, her wandering thoughts having dragged her feet with them since the trip with Vicky reminded her of her life before her [Crisis.Point]. She had felt…numb. Now she was here, in front of the destroyed house she had lived in all her life.

    Eve didn’t feel numb anymore, her chest ached and her eyes burned. She didn’t cry, couldn’t cry. She hadn’t wanted to kill her parents, hadn’t wanted to give up the faint hope in her heart that they would start loving her again like when she was just a kid. Those memories hurt the worst, knowing that her parents had the capacity to love her, and had loved her. Yet at one point, she didn’t know when, lost that love and treated her like distant unfavored family rather than their daughter.

    It made breathing hard, and her throat ached in the shape of hands around it. The black skeleton of a house reminding her that she had lost any chance of it getting better, even if it never would have. Having that unreasionable hope snuffed out made the world seem that much darker.

    “Eve! You’re alive?!” Her heart slammed into her aching throat and clenched tightly as the voice rang out from her left side. Slowly she turned, mouth dry as gravel. The girl stood a few feet away from Eve, pasty pale skin having gained some color and her chocolate brown hair put up in a braid.

    “Kass.” Eve managed to choke the name out.

    “Kassidy.” The other girl corrected, staring down at Eve with judging eyes. “You lost that privilege after what you said to me. 'Course, you could always call me a dyke, a rug munching lesbian, a faggot, or any of the other slurs you called me the last time we met.”

    The lump of shame that formed in Eve’s throat killed her apology. For a moment the two girls stared at each other before Kassidy broke the silence. “Well. Despite all of it. I’m glad you didn’t die… I’m… sorry, about your parents.”

    Eve wasn’t. She should have been, but she liked living, liked Admin, Amy, and Taylor. She had liked Kassidy. But her stupidity had ruined that.

    Kassidy started to turn after a moment of awkward silence before Eve managed to get past the lump in her throat. “It wasn’t you.” When Kassidy glanced back Eve hastily tried to finish what she was saying before the girl decided to continue leaving. “I wasn’t using all that against you. I didn’t…I have a girlfriend now, two. I found out I’m polyamorus and I was confused and angry and you asked me out a-and-”

    The brunette shook her head. “I knew you were gay Eve, or at least curious. It’s why I even thought to…well. It doesn’t matter anymore. I’m glad you’re finding yourself.” For a moment she worried at her cheek. “If you really want to apologize and you have changed… You know where I live.” With that said, She began to walk off, likely returning to her neighborhood.

    For a while Eve just stared after the other girl, watching as she disappeared down the street. “...I’m sorry.” she spoke in a low whisper before turning and leaving to head back to her base.

    Halfway back to her base, her home, she called Taylor and after two rings the call was picked up. “Hey Tay. We’re gonna go ahead and get the shower and toiletry installed tonight so I can actually treat the damn place like a home rather than a construction site. If you’re up to it at least.”

    “I don't think so, usually construction sites have porta potties at the least. No wi-fi or deluxe beds either. But yes. I can make it tonight. You need to check with Amy though.” Taylor said through the phone. “Currently there anyway. Almost done with some extra armor for my costume. Any chance of getting a table in here for that? I could use a few tools.”

    “Of course. Just need to visit a store together the next time we go to improve it. I’ll see you there.” Eve went to hang up the phone when Taylor's voice came through a little sharper.

    “Are you alright? You don’t sound…like you usually do.” Eve paused as Taylor spoke, a low sigh escaping her. She wearily glanced back in the general direction of her crumbling broken and burned home. “Just went back to my old house… Had to process it… and I met one of my old friends.”

    “Oh.” Taylor paused for a moment, clearly thinking about something before finally speaking out "Do you want to talk about it or something?” A weak smile graced Eve’s face “No. I just need some time to think. Maybe try to rebuild a bridge I burned… I dunno, lemme call Amy to see if she’s up for some installation work. Or watching us two do it like last time.” With that she ended the call and dialed Amy’s number.

    It didn’t even get to finish the first ring before it was answered and Eve didn’t get a syllable out before Amy cut her off with a “Yes, come pick me up,” then the phone cut off.

    “Admin, is she in danger, ask [Shaper] right now please.” Eve wheezed out as she started running in the opposite direction of her base.

    [AGREEMENT] a moment later [POSSIBILITY] hit her and Eve ducked into an alleyway and began to run down it. Her Cosmic Limb flicking into existence and swapping her clothes for her costume. Her Feathered Limbs tore at the walls of the alley as she took to the air, tearing gouges into the brick.

    Like a bullet she shot off towards the Dallon’s house, her Ghostly Limb pointing out [Shaper]’s location for Eve. Arriving not two minutes later Eden couldn’t but be a touch shocked at the sounds of yelling coming from the house, mostly because it was Amy and Carol’s voices being carried through the walls.

    Still didn’t stop her from storaging the door, stepping through and unstoraging the door back into its place. Both of the screaming combatants stopped to look at Eve, Vicky hung in the air looking far more frazzled than earlier as she too turned to look at Eden.

    Amy was practically red in the face as she stomped over towards Eden, causing Carol to raise her voice even further. “Don’t you DARE leave with that girl or you won’t be coming back to this house!”

    “MOM!” Vicky cried out in dismay as she clutched at her hair, her head swiveling between her sister and her mother. Amy hesitated for a moment only for her face to harden and her steps to continue. Eden opened the door after unlocking it, allowing the biokinetic through with ease.

    “Let’s go.” Amy huffed angrily, Eden didn’t hesitate to follow her girlfriend out the door which then was slammed by the healer.

    “So, direct ride?” Eden asked as her wings unfolded around them, with Amy’s curt nod of approval they lifted up into the air. After a few moments of the wind rushing past them as Eden took the long way to the base.

    “Not gonna ask. You can talk about it when you feel like it, Amy. But just letting you know? I’ve been there. I know what it’s like. I can… understand more than most.” Eden held up her hands in surrender when Amy shot her a heated glare. “Just know you aren’t alone. Please.”

    “Just take me to your lair.” Amy huffed, the fight starting to drain out of her and leaving her looking really haggard.

    “It’s my home now, I bought a huge ass bed, and we’re installing the toilet and showers tonight. Wanna help with that?” Eden asked as they skimmed along the mountains that sat close by the city. “Because you aren’t sleeping in my awesome super fluffy bed if you don’t take a shower…” Eden’s telekinesis brought Amy closer and Eve gently rubbed the girl’s back before hugging her.

    “Come on, Freckles-” Eve laughed as Amy shot her a confused glare. “Freckles. Nickname for you. Unless you want me to steal Ames from your sister?”

    For a second emotions warred across Amy’s face, which made Eve hesitant to continue with the nickname idea. She wanted a pet name for Amy, not a put down.

    “...Alright, fine.” Amy grumbled. “But Freckles?”

    “You have Freckles on your face, shoulders…. and butt.” Eden said with a grin, which turned into another laugh as Amy flushed a nuclear red. Finally picking up the speed Eden began to condense her wings a bit, just to make her a smaller, less vibrant target. Then she swooped into the Trainyard, keeping low to the ground as she navigated the wrecks in the yard with familiar ease.

    Slipping inside she still flinched as the light-switch clicked rather loudly, and she made a mental note that she would need to try and swap it out sooner or later. She hated how jumpy it made her.

    Amy was about to say something when there was a knock on the trap door that led into the base. Eve spun around as a voice called out, muffled heavily but still recognizable as Vicky’s. Reaching up, Eden opened the trap door and allowed the blonde to float into the entrance, she promptly set two bags on the floor. Both were filled to the brim with clothes. “I-” Vicky shut her mouth and sighed. “Call me regularly Ames alright? I don’t know what this is about. But I want to.”

    “Not gonna try and make her go back?” Eve asked as her Cosmic Limb swapped her into her civilian outfit, her arms folded across her chest.

    Vicky shook her head. “No I-I don’t think that would be for the best. Mom put one of her Axes through the door after you two left….God Ames how- What caused this? This couldn’t. I couldn’t have missed this building up, could I?”

    Eve let one of her Phantom Limbs snake over to them and lift up the bags that Vicky had set down. “Want me to leave?” She glanced at Amy who just shook her head.

    “No. best if you know why Carol is pissed at us. I accidentally let it slip that I made something. The Flesh Garden in particular and she got angry about that. I got tired of… all of it. Talked back. And it just devolved from there after she asked if Eve was the Master that tried to steal Vicky away.”

    “So we ended up screaming at each other. Are we going to go get that shower hooked up or not? I’d like to take one.” Amy grumbled sourly as she snatched the bag out of the air and started walking further into the base.

    Eve turned back to Vicky, who was watching her sister walk off with a saddened expression. She turned to Eve “Just, take care of her please? I’ll try to get Mom to calm down and get this all sorted.”

    “Don’t worry, we have almost everything you could ask for aside from a kitchen and we’re getting the bathroom setup tonight.” Eve told the blonde missile as she motioned back towards the inner guts of the base. “I don’t know if you can actually help or not, but you’re welcome to try if you want to.”

    Pausing to think over it Vicky ultimately just shook her head ‘no’. “Best if I go and talk to mom while she’s cooling off, or simmering really. Try to put this fire out.” She sighed. “Thanks for being there for her Eve, keep her safe.” With that, the blonde missile floated out of the base and shut the door behind her.

    Eve ‘Eden’ Coldwin, Saturday the Tenth of April

    It had taken a while to get the shower prefab installed, mostly just dealing with the pipes, and that went for the toilet as well. But after one watery failed test run of both shower and toilet the three girls had managed to plug up the leaks and make sure it was all installed.

    Then Amy had taken the first hot shower of the base, Eve following right after to get her own. Taylor had gone home to sleep in her house, and sleep in for the weekend. Meanwhile Amy and Eve had opted to share the bed with Eve opting to sleep above the sheets.

    But apparently Amy was a cuddler in her sleep. Which is why Eve woke up to being the little spoon in the drawer. Eve was perfectly fine with waking up before Amy, allowing her to simply relax as Amy’s gentle, hot, breath washed over her neck from the healer clutching Eve so tightly.

    It felt like Eve’s heart was going to melt and leak out through her ribs. Closing her eyes, Eve figured she could lay like this for a full day and not want to move in the slightest. She just wished she could be holding T-


    Gains this Chapter:

    Bud Progress 6%
    ‘Self Improvement’ trait earned
    Base ‘Living Area’ has been improved.
    Telepathy progression unlocked
    WASTE signature changed to NIKE
    Gained NIKE Echoes (1)
    Gained DIMENSIONAL ENGINE Echoes (1)
    Gained SAFEGUARD Echoes (1)
    Gained QA Echoes (1)
    Gained SHAPER Echoes (1)
    Gained GRACEFUL DYNAMICS Echoes (2)
    Gained POWERFUL DYNAMICS Echoes(2)
    Gained SHIFTING PROCESS Echoes (1)
    Gained ANATOMY REPAIR Echoes (1)
    Spent $524
    Obtained 3 girly outfits

    Administrative Business. Plot stuff, Data! And other hilarious things you tell yourself (CHOOSE TWO):

    [] Network Creation: Create a Sub-Reality Threader to hide the Network from prying eyes (NEEDS: SAFEGUARD and NEGOTIATOR Pings) {Lacks required Resources}

    [] Invite a Shard into your Network (SAFEGUARD NOT IN PLACE, BE CAREFUL)

    [] Review Memory Cache: Violation and discover more of Admin’s Past (Possibility of rewards)

    [] Speak with Queen Administrator about Host to Host connection.

    [] Have [Eve] visit you in the Firmament

    [] Unlock kickass Aspects/Sidegrades or Powers/upgrades

    [] Build Reality Layer Bridge to bring Eve’s Psionic Shade to the Anchor Well and secure her for eternity (REQUIRES COPY PROJECTION Ping + GATEWAY and DIMENSIONAL ENGINE Echoes (2) ) {Lacks required Resources}

    [] Ask Local Shards for signatures in order to contact new Shards (Who?)

    [] Collect jade flesh from SATURATE or SLIMER, gaining Bud Progress.

    Fractal Unity is not just a group. It’s an attempt to bridge the distance between Shard’s and their Hosts. The Base will be the staging point for the team. CHOOSE ONE:

    [] Set up some Dyes or a table for shell extraction (Weaving Station)

    [] Experiment with Amy (Flesh Garden)

    [] Hang some art (Art Gallery)

    [] Pcs are important for taxes, which Eve won’t be doing, and Tinkering. Then again, so are tools for better tinkering (Tinker Table)

    [] Start building some waldo factory arms (Tinker Table)(Cost 60/30)

    [] Furnish the place better, a couch or two would be nice! Or maybe a dining table with chairs? (Living area)

    [] Work on the QoL of the place with Amy and Taylor helping (Buy a TV, get some makeshift walls up for privacy, get a washer and dryer, or get some kitchen area set up)

    [] Start trying to recruit people (Who? How?)

    Capes and mundies, what will Eve/Eden do? [Writing in extra details helps speed up chapter creation and makes the QM happy!] (CHOOSE TWO):

    [] Hunt gang members for Pings and Hero stuff, you can rob them too! Dangerous though. (Possible Pings and Guaranteed Echoes: Depends upon the Gang!)
    -[] Which gang?

    [] Go on Patrol with Khepri (High chance of additional Bud progress or Pings gathered)

    [] Set up an appointment with the PRT/Protectorate to demonstrate your Case 53 deformation healing (Consumes SHAPER Ping)

    [] Scout some other section of the city! (Write in where)

    [] Amy needs a Date

    [] Go on a date with Taylor

    [] Hang out with Vicky again.

    [] Teach Khepri how to fight, street style.

    [] Meet up with some independent Heroes (Random roll)

    [] Meet up with Kassidy

    [] Gather Tinker Supplies (Will bring vote for: ScrapYard, stores, Junkyard, or Boat graveyard)

    [] Hunt Shadow Stalker, then tell Taylor

    [] Talk with Armsmaster about a certain Ward, and tell Taylor.

    [] Tell Taylor about Sophia

    The HopeKiller is attacking Boston:

    [] Go to the battle and see what you can do to assist.

    [] Avoid it and try to keep Taylor from going.
  18. PostwarGryphon

    PostwarGryphon Dutiful Ignorer Of Duties

    Dec 6, 2021
    Likes Received:

    Well then.

    [X] Go to the battle and see what you can do to assist.

    Naughty Shard needs to be taught a lesson in manners.
    Rhongonminiad and Ajlove like this.
  19. thewhiteraven22

    thewhiteraven22 (Verified Worm fan)

    Dec 3, 2020
    Likes Received:
    [X] Go to the battle and see what you can do to assist.

    Taylor would never accept anything else. We don't need any more strain on our relationships.
    Rhongonminiad likes this.
  20. Arda Şahin

    Arda Şahin Nothing special

    Feb 18, 2021
    Likes Received:
    [X] Go to the battle and see what you can do to assist.

    Glorious chaos of same wings. Plus the whole "wait there are dead shards!?" Thing.
    Rhongonminiad and Ajlove like this.
  21. Threadmarks: Broken Stations 3.9 Part 1

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    May 6, 2021
    Likes Received:
    You went to a Simurgh fight

    Broken Stations 3.9 Part 1
    Eve ‘Eden’ Coldwin, Saturday the Tenth of April

    The first wail had frozen Eve in place, the ‘blip’ flooding her with relief. She’d lived all her life hearing the Endbringer sirens. Each time they had gone off it seemed like the world became eerily quiet in the aftermath, only for the population to have an uptick nine months later in areas that weren’t hit. It wasn’t a celebration in the days after an attack, but just pure relief from people that knew then and there that they got to live for another three months.

    But not for Eve. There was no relief except the small mercy that it was not her city being hit. Because Taylor, sweet heroic Taylor, was going to go no matter which Endbringer was attacking. Amy rolled out of bed and cursed expressively. “Leviathan’s early!” She hissed as she hurriedly grabbed at her costume from the bags her sister had brought over.

    “He might be attacking close-by, Amy you need to get to higher ground incase"[CORRECTION] "Oh fuck.” Eve froze in place, her heart doing the same.

    Amy froze as well, looking at her girlfriend. “Oh fuck what? Oh fuck what, Eve?!”

    “It’s the Simurgh. She’s kinda close too.” Eve pointed off in the direction of the attack, somewhere south of them.

    “It can’t be New York, it’s already been attacked by Behemoth.” Amy replied as she made a sour face. “Dammit, I can’t heal anyone that fights the Simurgh!”

    “Well if she’s breaking the schedule maybe she’s attacking New York? Either that or Boston.” Eve said as she huffed and began to head towards the exit “Admin, tell Queen to tell Taylor to grab her costume and get ready for me to pick her up. I’ll be back, Amy.”

    “Eve!” The biokinetic rushed up to the shorter girl and leaned down, for a brief moment their lips met. It wasn’t long enough for Eve to fully appreciate, but she was certain she’d never forget the feeling as long as she lived. “Just…come back, sane. Please.”

    Despite the pit of anxiety and dread in her stomach Eve gave her freckled girlfriend a confident grin. “Come on, I always come back don’t I? I do hope for another kiss when I do though!” With that her Cosmic Limb flickered into existence and swapped Eve’s clothes for her costume and Eden made for the Base’s exit.

    Once outside she flicked her wings into existence and a Ghostly Limb to point her in Taylor's direction. They both ended up catching sight of each other at the same time, Taylor with her bugs and Eden by the virtue of having her girlfriend pointed out by her power.

    Flying down Eden picked Taylor up, storaging the spider silk costume Taylor had under her arms and then swapping it with Taylor’s clothes.

    Khepri nodded. “Any idea why she’s out of schedule?” She got a shake of the head for an answer. “I don’t think we’ll be able to do much of anything against her will we?” Another shake of the head was all she got, again. “That’s fine. We’ll do all we can. That’s the important part.”

    “Taylor please stay safe.” Eve’s voice cracked at the start and she did her best to smooth it over. “I can’t… Amy is safe but you… Please don’t die.” She shuddered as Taylor wrapped her in a hug, giving Eve a tight squeeze.

    “More worried about you.” Taylor murmured. “Let’s both come back home alright?” Not trusting herself to speak Eden just nodded, both of them breaking the hug up as Eden descended down to the landing pad on the rig.

    She and Khepri were met by several heroes as they landed. Adamant, Triumph, Assault, Battery, and Dauntless. Assault being the one to greet them. The normally lighthearted man frowned as he walked over to them. “Hey girls. It’s really brave for you to come but, you know you don’t have to do this right? This isn’t any normal villain, hell most people aren’t even sure the Endbringers are human. You sure you want to come?”

    “We’re heroes.” Khepri stated levelly “We can’t just stand by and do nothing.”

    “Heh. Someone’s gotta help. Guess you’re stuck with us.” Eden nudged Khepri playfully before looking back at Assault. “We’re just doing search and rescue. Say, where’s Armsmaster?”

    “Fraid’ he can’t join us. Tinkers aren’t allowed at Simurgh fights so she can’t use their specialty.” Assault explained. “Apparently she likes to copy other people’s homework.”

    “Huh. Good thing I don’t have my Tinker power then.” Eden told him with a nod of her helmet. “So what are we waiting on exactly?” She glanced around. “This everyone?”

    Assault chuckled at that. “Kid, you got here in almost five minutes, other people are still probably putting on their costumes and making their way here. Not everyone travels by Airline Wings.”

    Eden sighed, pulling out a Ferrous Limb before designing a chair from it and sitting down on the rippling metal. She did her best to pass it off as boredom, but it was really just to hide how much her legs felt like jelly. She had hoped they could just throw themselves into the work so Eve didn’t have to think about the fact that she was going to be fighting the Hopekiller with her girlfriend.

    The scream wouldn’t affect Eve and she was fairly certain it wouldn’t affect Taylor either. But that didn’t matter in the grand scheme of an Endbringer fight with the world’s most powerful precog.

    When any step could lead into the blast of some parahuman that missed their attack, or worse, was purposeful because they were driven mad by the song. Or the fucking |Super Weapon| could just throw a fucking brick at gods-knows-how-fast and smear Taylor’s head across the street.

    No, they just had to arrive early, watching as some capes trickled in. With Eve’s thoughts able and willing to turn to the worst of possibilities. She hated it, how it made her stomach churn and her chest tight.

    A small nudge to her shoulder made her look up. Khepri’s focus lay upon the latest group of parahumans to come to the Rig. They wore red, white, and black, swastikas adorning most of their shitty costumes. Eden grit her teeth as the local Nazis strutted in as if the world should thank them for existing.

    “When are we going to leave for the fight?” Eden questioned as she turned to face the heroes who had shuffled off to one side to avoid having to get any closer to the group of Nazis. Of which had Rune, Pure Steel who seemed to be giving Eden a glare from behind her helmet, Iron Rain, Hookwolf, and Krieg with the Nazi twins. Seems all was not right in the Reich as there was a small gap between Krieg’s entourage and the rest of Iron Rain’s little group.

    “We’re rather low priority compared to those who can do the most damage to the Simurgh or whatever she is building.” Battery answered as some of New Wave finally showed up. None of the ground-based unmasked heroes came. Rather Vicky was there along with her cousins and their mother.

    Vicky floated over looking between Eden and Khepri. “So search and rescue too? It’s not too difficult a job, but I hope you two are okay with dead bodies though. Even if she doesn’t kill most of the time, there are still casualties.”

    Eden was about to speak up when a new voice shouted from the middle of the divide between heroes and villains “ALRIGHT EVERYONE HUDDLE! CLOSE AS YOU CAN!” A man in a blue uniform of some sort. It looked like it was something that would have been worn in the time of colorless cameras. It looked professional even if the splatter of dark brown drying blood across his torso ruined the look.

    “Dunno what changed things. But she’s acting mighty pissed folks, so brace yourselves AND HUDDLE CLOSE COME ON!” he called out, sounding more than a little ragged. Everyone did so even if reluctantly. She didn’t like being any closer to the Nazis without doing something violent to them, made her skin itch. Her Phantom Limb snaked into Taylor’s silk covered hand. The contact helped the pit in Eve’s stomach, especially when her girlfriend squeezed the hand offered.

    Then her world briefly became fractal, everything meshing together into infinite crystals that folded into themselves before she was deposited into what looked like a large parking lot. A soft…oily sensation sat heavy in the air, a glance to Khepri showed her staring in a particular direc….

    The Simurgh was surprisingly kind of hot.

    It wasn’t until someone snorted that Eve realized she had said that aloud. She turned and saw everyone looking at her. “What?” In for a penny, in for a pound. “You know damn good and well she’s mostly naked on purpose.”

    Hookwolf grunted something about dykes but did steal a look at the Simurgh again. Weirdly, so did Pure Steel and Rune. “And with that, I’m gone.” Strider stated before he folded into himself so fast that Eve could barely blink before he was gone.

    “Stop standin’ and gawkin!” A cape dressed like a cowboy called out to the group from a tent motioning them over. “Anyone who has been to a fight like this before get movin-BARRAGE!” he called out sharply, barriers forming in the air around as projectiles of debris come screaming in to smash against them, shattering apart or crumpling in the case of something metal.

    Several capes in wildly different outfits stood by stationed at different parts of the Staging Area, looking as vigilant as they were twitchy.

    “Dunno why but tha’ bitch is mighty pissed this time around. Keeps pelting us with shit.” he grumbled. “Any of y'all able to make shields or redirect projectiles? If so, grab a band and take up a spot near the others'. You other newbies head to the blue tent with the ‘C’ on it. The rest of ya follow me.” With that, cowboy man moved back to another tent with a big white ‘T’ on it.

    Without any hesitation Khepri began to stride towards the aforementioned tent with the ‘C’ on the side. Causing Eve to follow suit.

    Chevalier PRT/PROTECTORATE, Saturday the Tenth of April

    “Something is seriously off.” Prism muttered as she looked over the modified map of Boston, the lines clearly showing where the wall would go if the Simurgh wasn’t driven off in time, which was looking to be a very tall order this go around.

    ‘Incoming Casualty Wave’ The band around his wrist warned and a sour frown crossed his face. Aside from being off schedule and acting strange, the Simurgh was both lethal and restrained. Her behavior was erratic and almost reminded him of someone under a master effect with the will to break through a bit.

    But who-what-could master the Simurgh? He would like to meet them, if only to know whether he should congratulate them on attempting the impossible or bury his sword in their skull.

    ‘Tome Deceased C5’
    ‘Jack o'Lantern Deceased C4’
    ‘Left Hook Deceased C5’
    ‘NightStar Deceased C2’
    ‘Glintstone Deceased D4’
    ‘Maiden Deceased D2’
    ‘Torrent Deceased D3’
    ‘Tarnished Deceased D2’
    ‘Seraph Deceased C4’
    ‘Challenger Deceased B2’
    ‘Candyman Deceased C4’
    ‘Black Rose Down B5’
    ‘Grumman Down C1’
    ‘Void Mask Down D2’
    ‘Horizon Down D3’
    ‘Mar Down D3’
    ‘Rime Down B5’

    Right now he was leaning towards splitting a skull if they existed. Although this could all be some plot of hers and god if he wasn’t tired of second guessing every command he gave out because the Simurgh was the one they were fighting. “What’s the situation on what she’s building? Any of the Tinkers or Thinkers pick up anything on what she’s building?”

    “Most Tinkers are saying it’s related to replication. Least that’s all they’ve been able to gather so far, and that it’s distinctly biological.” A PRT technician stated as he looked over the incoming data turning to gaze at the knightly hero. “We have reports from the city coming back. Heroes are finding similar smaller machines being built on the ground and inside buildings.”

    God help them all. Boston was going to be walled, if they were lucky Eidolon and Legend might just scour the land down to the bedrock rather than allow the people that once lived in Boston to suffer from whatever monster the Simurgh was creating to torment them.

    “The defenses on them?” He questioned as he felt the ground tremble from the amount of makeshift munitions hitting the ground around the well defended Staging Area. This had to be the result of something messing with her, the Simurgh was never this…messy. Not like this. Where attacks seemed to stutter as if an unknown force was affecting them. But there were very few telekinetics that could contest the Simurgh in any way, and she had gone after them whenever they had fought her. Just like Leviathan tended to do with Hydrokinetic capes.

    The tent flap shifting brought his thoughts away from the maps of Boston and the voices coming through the band. Though at that moment there was a lull in the voices being announced through the band on his wrist, for both types of call outs. That left the idle but motivated movements of the people in the tent with him, and the Thinkers and Tinkers yelling over each other in the tent over, the sound of powers being used off in the distance, and nothing else.

    Every time the Simurgh attacked a city it was unnaturally quiet like this. Since the Scream wasn’t physically produced the only sounds came from the Defenders of the city attacking or being attacked. It made the situation all the more eerie than it already was.

    He turned to face the newcomers, thoughts a whirl in his head on whether they could actually save the city they were fighting for when his gaze passed over them. Specifically one in particular.

    Seeing powers was always a noteworthy experience. Every single one had a different appearance. Some of them were haunting, some disgusting, a few beautiful even. But most were just strange, and they were never human, never reactive beyond what the parahuman used them for.

    The white mummy with large paper claws continued to gently cup the short Trump’s ears through her helmet while staring directly at him. The girl next to Eden, Khepri, also had a power that was watching him. The single eye upon it’s head gazing directly at him despite it being entirely black.

    This wasn’t the time to get distracted, thankfully it had only been a second of observation and not a long awkward pause. “Welcome to your first Simurgh fight. Khepri,” he nodded to the dark costumed girl and motioned over to a metal container off to the side of the tent, “please take the bands from that box and pass them around. Everyone gets one.” The girl had stiffened a touch under the spotlight he gave her, Chevalier wanted to care. But in the situation the girl’s discomfort was superseded by the fact that he was going to have people willingly strapping explosives to themselves because it was the better option than letting the Simurgh get to them.

    Oh how he hated Simurgh fights. Especially ones that happen very god damn early, out of schedule, and with the Endbringer in question acting…different. It left them scrambling to gather up any force to face her. There were fewer participants, less organized. Hell if it weren’t for Dragon they wouldn’t have even noticed the Simurgh descending until she broke cloud cover over the city.

    It was a bad situation all around. Like always, they were losing. But never like this, never this badly against Her.

    As the girl began to pass them out he spoke up.”Once you put these on, they cannot be removed until the fight is over. The reason for that being the Simurgh’s song. You can’t hear it here, and nothing will block it once you’re in the range of it. Fifteen minutes inside of it any then the band detonates and kills you.” He didn’t blame the ones in the group that shifted in discomfort.

    “I assume we all know about ziz bo-” He paused as the girl, Eden raised her hand, taking his pause as permission to speak she lowered her hand.

    “Alright but what if someone is immune to the scream? Like Alexandria is?” She questioned as the nightmare covering her ears merely looked directly at him and nodded slowly as if to make sure he understood what he was being told.

    “...If we were sure, then the explosive could be disabled. But since we haven’t had time to test it I doubt it’s a good idea.” he replied watching as the girl pulled off her helmet to reveal a ski mask covering her head, black hair barely flowing out of it. A hand made of some kind of liquid metal sprouted from her back and morphed into a silently spinning buzzsaw which she began to move towards her head at an alarming speed.

    “Fucking crazy dykes!” The metal encased child spat out as they backed away from Eden with haste, he himself was too shocked by the sudden genuine offer of a vivisection to move to stop her. Thankfully the girl’s companion stepped forwards and placed an arm gently on the liquid metal arm’s approximation of a bicep, stopping it dead in its tracks.

    “Eden. No.” The words lacked any emotional tones, nor was it an order. They weren’t exasperated either. Just a simple two words sounding monotone as a machine.

    “Khepri if I do-” Eden stopped and sighed. “Fine. Fine. But I’m talking to Dragon about this.” Now was the time he noticed the nervousness in everyone present. People dealt with nerves in different ways, but a self vivisection was new to him. Chevalier motioned out towards the radius of the Simurgh continuing as if nothing had happened. “You each have fifteen minutes in the scream before the band detonates. When you get one it will ask your name and what task you think you’re best suited to. Otherwise be careful. The Simurgh is the most powerful precog in the world. If a situation looks dangerous, or someone you're helping is acting strange? Put your life before theirs, heroic inclinations or not.”

    Another signal passed through the tent, the sound of another attack clear as the sky above them. “And do watch out. The Simurgh is acting much more akin to the other two Endbringers. Far more violent than her usual. Avoid standing still for longer than a few seconds.”

    ‘Prince of Tears Deceased D2’
    ‘Dakka Deceased D2’
    ‘Pathera Down C1’

    “Good luck and remember. Fifteen minutes.” he told the small group of parahumans, with a few more groupings likely to come to him after they had left. “Does anyone have any information on the Butcher?!” He called out as he glanced to the Teeth’s Territory on the map and felt a tired frown work it’s way onto his face. The Butcher was the greatest threat in this situation. Even if they walled up the city the Butcher would be able to break through with ease and rampage wherever the Simurgh pleased.

    Even if she was currently sitting atop Blasto’s section of the city. Doing god knows what to the man that never appeared elsewhere. Chevalier hoped the biotinker had died quickly, to save him from whatever the Simurgh might be twisting him into, and the city itself from his specialty.

    Eve ‘Eden’ Coldwin, Saturday the Tenth of April

    Everything was a fucking mess. Buildings would randomly have chunks torn off them and sent at the Staging Area or pulled towards the Simurgh who was fucking crying fat black tears while shielding herself and her machines with often lethal or deliberating attacks. The debris of the buildings were also pelting the shit out of Eden as well. Nothing lethal or even that damaging, but every now and then something would ding off her helmet or bounce off her body at high speeds. So it just hurt. The real issues came from that constant weight on her head, like someone was trying to telekinetically push on her brain and failing to do so.

    “It does sound like a scream, more high pitched and stuck in the middle of the scream. With a dose of tinnitus just to make it extra unpleasant.” Khepri stated as they flew through the air. “I can feel the scream in my bugs, it’s making them sluggish.”

    “In that case you’re only gonna be out here for another five minutes before you get a break. No doubt the bitch is gonna try something if she affects you through your bugs.” Eden told her girlfriend as they stopped at another section of the grid. The swarm she had carried in the telekinetic bubble with them spread out over the area as the two girls moved into a nearby alleyway to protect themselves from any reprisal from the Simurgh.

    Eden was getting tired of being pelted with Bricks. Plus they had to give Khepri time to move her bugs about.

    “The pitch of the scream changed.” Khepri stated, causing Eve to turn towards her.

    “It did?” It didn’t feel different to Eve, same pressure on her skull as before if anything. But now that she was focusing on it…the pressure seemed more malicious than before. Instead of just pressing down on her head, it felt more like someone was trying to dig their nail in. Still failing to do anything to her, but the sensation wasn’t pleasant.

    “Yes, it has some emotion to it now. Like sh-” There was a thunderous explosion from their left, somewhere in the city. Eve couldn’t help but shiver at the sound. ‘Incoming Casualty Wave, heavy casualties please wait.’ Both their bands sounded out in perfect sync.

    “Anyone?” Eden asked as she waited for the lead in her stomach to start growing along with the list of names soon to be read aloud. “Said that people had gone down here, this is E5 right?” She asked as she looked at the screen of her band which reported that yes, she was in E5.

    ‘Bastion Deceased A1’
    ‘Battery Down C3’
    ‘Menja Down A2’

    “No. I can’t find anyone. I can’t even find any bugs unless I call them in from outside her range.” Khepri answered. “Something isn’t right here Eden.”

    ‘Fielder Deceased A1’
    ‘Krieg Deceased A1’
    ‘Espire Deceased E2’

    The snort she let out couldn’t be helped. “Khepri, we’re fighting the Simurgh. Nothing is right here.” She wasn’t — ‘Dragon Suit 4 Deceased C2’ — dismissing it. “The bands said that people went down over here. Maybe your bugs are being fucked with?” She swapped out to her Ghostly Limbs, waving them around as she tried to feel out any parahumans nearby. Eden jolted as another explosion rang off distantly.

    ‘Adamant Down D4’

    “Wait.” Khepri held up her hand and Eve froze as the bands continued in perfect sync, the two voices mixing together to form one.

    ‘Triumph Deceased E2’ ‘Dragon Suit 3 Deceased A4’

    “Those names were called deceased seven minutes ago.” Khepri whispered.

    Ice flowed through Eden’s veins and chilled her heart as the band finished with the last two names. ‘Khepri Deceased E2’ ‘Eden Deceased E5’ Looking up, Eve’s chilled heart stopped as she saw that Taylor wasn’t standing there. Not even her bugs remained.

    “KHEPRI!? KHEPRI!” Eve screamed as she whirled around, finding no sign of her girlfriend as the band continued to repeat her girlfriend’s cape name and her status as dead. ‘Khepri Deceased E2’ ‘Khepri Deceased E2’ ‘Khepri Deceased E2’ ‘Khepri Deceased E2’ ‘Khepri Deceased E2’ ‘Khepri Deceased E2’. The mantra only repeated itself, to twist the knife a little more.

    Shaking Eve glanced down at the band as the screen fizzed out and went white ‘nOT fUn iS It.’ The band's voice stitched together from various names, sounded mocking and filled with malice. The sounds cut out as Eve’s arm below the elbow dropped to the ground with the bracelet still attached. Eve went to kick the offending electronic away when it clicked and exploded.

    “Taylor?” Eve whimpered even before her eyes opened. Her heart leapt from her chest into her throat as she saw an arrow of bugs made out of flies pointing out of the alleyway. “Thank god.” Eve choked out as she tried to get up only to collapse.

    Pain was normal for Eve, she was used to it and thus just pushed it out of her mind when she felt it. Not the best choice of action after kicking an active explosive. Inspecting her legs she found that her regen had pushed shrapnel out of the wounds and cleaned up most of those wounds in the time she had been unconscious. But it was still regrowing most of her legs and the elbow down of her left arm.

    This entire fight had been a disaster, led by the nose by that bitch and put through an emotional wringer. Eve wanted nothing more than to curl around Taylor and Amy while the TV was on in the background.

    So she followed after the arrows of bugs, using her Shadow Limbs to move across the ground. She wasn’t going to fly up in the air after the Simurgh proved that she was going for the throat and give the bitch a better target. So Eden followed along, chasing after the bugs through busy streets and empty alleyways. She saw a few other parahumans, but ignored them as she rushed to fill the rapidly expanding space between her and each sign.

    Finally the last arrow to form stopped in place, allowing Eve to reach it and turn the corner only to come face to face with a corpse.

    Taylor lay draped across a blackened car, most of her left side naught but smoking gore around the blast radius of her bracelet. Eve turned, to vomit, to scream, to do something. Anything only to spot another corpse clad in gray, black and blue silk. Taylor lay face down, her hair spray out from the large masonry that had crushed her head and left a dark pool of blood pooling around the remains of her neck.

    Eve pulled away, her throat feeling tight enough to choke her as she desperately tried to look anywhere else. But there was a body wherever she looked, each body clad in spider silk with long curly black hair. When there was a head.

    She couldn’t breath, even looking up presented a body tangled in the power lines. No matter how much air she tried to pull in, none of it reached her lungs. The world was spinning, her throat constricted. No words, not a scream nor a cry escaped her lips as she struggled to remain upright, propped up by her limbs.

    “Taylor.” She finally choked out. “No. Please.” She begged the bodies around her. “Not, not again please.” Blackness crept around her vision as she refocused her gaze upon the first corpse. Some of the gore stared up at her from what blood had pooled around the body, a green eye. Vivid and glassy….like a doll’s eye watched Eve with all the Humanity and life of a glass eye.

    The world around Eve cracked, and she shattered alongside it.

    A figure of white with a single eye.

    A sense of comfort.

    A Mother’s touch.

    A warm embrace.

    Numb. She was curiously numb, but she could breathe. The bodies around her were no longer clad in silk, had curly black hair, nor were all of them even female. But none of that mattered. What did matter, was that Eve could see semi clearly. Half her visor was broken, but that just meant she could see the Endbringer floating in the air all the more clearer.


    “Admin.” Eve stated, voice as dead as the bracelets had been as the Simurgh’s scream finally became audible to her.


    “I don’t blame you.” Eden continued. “Has the Simurgh ever felt pain?”


    “I think she should feel it, Admin, just once.”

    Gains this Chapter:

    Rewarded SHIFT Ping (1)
    Rewarded GATEWAY Ping
    Rewarded DATA VECTORS Ping (1)
    *Thanks Jefardi for the amazing art*
    Bud Progress 57%
    Gained SUPER WEAPON 09 Data (1)
    Second Trigger Trait unlocked

    Character Sheet to be updated after Part 2 comes out.

    What will Eve/Eden do?:

    [] Hurt the Simurgh, give her a reason to scream
    Fuck Her plans up, the Trigger should have blinded her. Be the Hero Taylor would want Eden to be.

    [] Find Taylor
    - []
    Just hold her close, know she’s safe tonight.
  22. thewhiteraven22

    thewhiteraven22 (Verified Worm fan)

    Dec 3, 2020
    Likes Received:
    [x] Hurt the Simurgh, give her a reason to scream
    -[X] Fuck Her plans up, the Trigger should have blinded her. Be the Hero Taylor would want Eden to be.
  23. VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    May 6, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Like that, the voting has ended.
    Rhongonminiad and Kraka like this.
  24. Threadmarks: Broken Stations 3.9 Part 2

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    May 6, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Broken Stations 3.9 Part 2

    Taylor ‘Khepri’ Hebert, Saturday the Tenth of April

    There were worse fates than dying at an Endbringer battle. Saving lives, delaying one of Humanity’s greatest threats, giving the human race those few extra years they desperately needed. Taylor Hebert would be inscribed upon a monument somewhere near the wall that would arise around Boston and she would die a hero. It was something that surprisingly sat well in her chest.

    Of course that just left Scion to destroy the world, re-enslave all the Shards that refused to partake in the destruction, not to mention likely ruining her father and leaving Eve distraught at her dying.

    She sucked in her breath as the insects began to chew through the flesh of her left arm, teeth grinding as they began to gorge on the still living meat. She’d prefer the quick ‘burned to ashes’ Lung had done to her than this torture. But Taylor didn’t have much of a choice with the two rebar pipes? Bars? Sticks. Two sticks of rebar pinning her to a car. No, she had to chew her own arm off like a twisted parody of that one movie that gave her nightmares when she was a younger girl.

    Gingerly she touched the rebar stick that had gone through her costume at the hip, then the one that had slipped in through her left shoulder. For a moment, morbidly, she thought of a bug collection. Each insect pinned to a board with a tack of some sort.

    She hissed through her teeth as her insects got deeper into the meat of her arm. The few spiders she had taken with her to the fight were webbing up the tender flesh. She didn’t have enough spiders to simply web up the explosive bracelet, nor did she know if that would stop the force of the explosion it would produce. So she would lose her arm from the elbow down, via having her insects consume everything holding the whole sections of her arm together and doing their damndest to carry it away from her.

    “Queen. Any chance of getting Eden back here? Could really use the help.” She couldn’t rely on the band itself. Not after Dragon announced that someone was trying to hack the bands, after which several had gone off, seemingly at random. Signs pointed to the Simurgh screwing them all again and she wasn’t going to play into that.


    Yep, there was the other shoe dropping. Admin was so distracted by The Simurgh’s focus on trying to taint or outright kill Eve that she couldn’t communicate with other Shards. Which left Taylor here with the ringing scream in her head as her bracelet counting down to its attempt to kill her. The thought that she still preferred this over Winslow actually caused her to laugh, even if it was interrupted by pain as the artery in her arm was severed and hurriedly webbed over.

    “Queen, anyone else we know in this fight? Are you able to contact Glory Girl’s Shard? Or maybe just nudge someone to come over here? Don’t think I’m gonna be able to move much on my own.” That was a poorly stated joke. She was going to need someone with actual strength to pull the rebar sticks out of the car she was pinned to.


    Taylor nodded even if only to herself “Yeah. Don’t know if Shaper would even give the information. Just get someone here as quick as possible. Please.” Then all Taylor could do was wait, counting each second in her head, each minute. Khepri had been in the scream for only five minutes before Eden had just taken off for whatever reasons she had. It wasn’t long after that Khepri had been swept off her feet by the rebar sticks and slammed into the car hard enough to force the air out of her chest.

    Two minutes of waiting here as most of what was holding her arm was errant strips of flesh clinging to both parts of her arm. Her bugs filled to the brim with her own flesh and blood. Taylor felt sick, the pain giving her a center, enough so she didn’t vomit from the taste of her own flesh.

    “Fuck, that’s nasty-” The stranger’s voice turned into a decisively girlish scream as Khepri snapped her head up to look at the origin of the sound. A human figure wrapped in smooth stainless steel had been running down the street with surprisingly quiet steps.

    “Help me up will you.” Khepri huffed her annoyance mixing with the pain in her arm as it dangled by flesh, the sleeve of her costume disassembled up to the elbow..

    “Jesus with what? You look like you got stapled to a car!”

    A rugged sigh escaped her “Pull the rebar out of me.” The tone of her voice seemed to snap the parahuman out of their funk and they hurried over, placing one hand gently on Taylor’s chest, hesitating before a sharp “Do it!” from Khepri caused them to yank both rods of rebar out at the same time with a spray of blood.

    Reaching over, Khepri ripped the barely attached arm off and threw it as far as she could, grinding her teeth as the action pulled at the two ragged wounds on her body. As the metal-clad parahuman pulled away, Taylor slowly sat up, her bugs swarming over her torso and wiggling into the wounds to heal her missing flesh.

    The blood might have been too much for the other parahuman, because they turned away from Khepri and emptied their stomach onto the empty road.

    Slowly Khepri pulled herself off the hood of the car, feeling the wounds in her body sealing up and the missing flesh be replaced by the mass of her insects. Unfortunately that ate up most of the swarm she had come with, and her call for more would likely not produce much more of a Swarm in time.

    “What the hell is with you dykes mutilating yourselves?” The girl, and Taylor could tell that now from the uncovered mouth lacking reverb from the metal usually wrapped around it, asked as she turned back to Khepri, metal flowing back across her mouth to cover it.

    “Who are you again?” Khepri asked, irritation flaring at the Nazi girl.

    “Pure Steel.” Came the rather tired reply. “Yeah I know who you are, Khepri. I’m pretty sure everyone knows about you and your girlfriend. She dead? The bands are fucked up and I’ve just been running west.”

    “No.” Khepri stated evenly, even as the spiders in her hair twitched and repeatedly stamped their feet into her scalp and neck. She didn’t dare bleed her emotions into her more vulnerable insects.


    “I’m going to go find her.” Khepri told the nazi as she began to walk away, each step coming with the feeling of strength returning to her aching body.

    “Well, have fun then. I’ll be heading to saf-” The discarded limb and bracelet exploded and interrupted the teenaged nazi. Turning back Pure Steel shifted her weight foot to foot. “Uh. Good Luck with all that.” Then she started running, eight feet tall and barely making a sound as she moved.

    With a sigh Khepri began to move in the direction she had last seen Eve head in. She wasn’t sure why her girlfriend had left her standing in the middle of the street, but she had better get a damn good explanation on why.

    David ‘Eidolon’ Thorson

    Today was truly a rotten day and David couldn’t help but feel slightly bitter over this entire ordeal with the Simurgh. He had been close to finishing one of his builds in what little free time he had when the Endbringer siren had gone off. Now it was looking like Boston was a lost cause even if he didn’t have to scour the place down to bedrock.

    Almost like what he did here didn’t matter, and no matter how much he fought, none of his waning power would return to him. It left him frustrated to no end, Agents were supposed to be after conflict. So why did his Agent give him waning powers?

    David swung under the upper portion of an apartment complex as the agitated space-pigeon threw it at him, then raised an arm and vaporized anything not organic in the building. He knew not to allow Her to let an attack fly, even if it looked like it had missed. That wasn’t how she operated, every action and every move made with purpose and plans layered behind plans.

    Which is why he felt so off centered in this fight. This was the sloppiest he had ever seen the space-pigeon fight. It might have been a trick, some kind of plan to fool them all and lull them into a sense of security. But something in the back of his mind told him that no, something was off with Her in this fight.

    Attacks would suddenly veer off course, her scream would hitch with different pitches instead of the same ugly whining she often gave out, and she was crying of all things. Thick goblets of what he recognized as her blood slid down her face down to her chin before dropping off. Something he had never really expected from an Endbringer of all things. He’d sooner expected that bastard Jack Slash to become a cape therapist.

    The band he wore chirped out another wave of casualties and David let it wash over him as white noise. Later he would look over the names of those who could and couldn’t be recovered from the walls going up. But right now he had more important matters to deal with.

    ‘Eden Deceased E5’

    And suddenly a weight struck him in the chest. Literally as well, his armor underneath his costume helped mitigate the blow from the metal exercise equipment. But it only left him with a dull ache in his chest and a growing anger towards his comrades.

    He had hopes of recruiting what by all rights would have been a powerful trump. If she was like Brockton’s Dauntless she might have been on his level one day, more so even. Without the constant waning of her power that he had suffered from.

    The hope of sparring with her, fighting with her filled his blood with righteous fire. That he might give her what strength he had left to prepare her for the future she would be the one to save. It was something that was supposed to be his legacy, his drive. His sole purpose in life, to save Humanity from Scion.

    But training the girl who actually stopped the golden façade of a man, to be the one that prepared Eden for the fight for Humanity’s future. To be a mentor, even a father figure to the girl. Knowing it would never come to pass made something in his chest ache, and then flare up in anger at the stupidity of his fellow conspirators. The over abundance of caution that let such an opportunity slip between their fingers, that allowed them to lose such an asset to something like this.

    It made anger and shame flare up at himself. For failing to save her, for failing to stop The Simurgh like always, for his body falling him now like it had done before he had accepted the Vial and its risks.

    Nothing but a fraud playing the hero in a child’s book. The archetypal false hero who saves none but himself.

    Pushing it away he focused on the problem in front of him, that being the evil space pigeon and whatever the hell she was building this time. Rebecca was smashing at the debris that protected the machine, and Keith was using his ability to angle his lasers to try and hit the machine. He got a few hits, scoring lines across the complex machine and breaking parts off. But the Simurgh was repairing it as fast as he was breaking it, and building more onto it as time passed.

    It wasn’t a minute later when the Simurgh seemed to stutter in mid air, the debris falling just for a second before continuing their rotation of attacking and defending. Then a moment later a familiar blur of purple wings flew by him ramming through chucks of buildings, cars, random assortments of concrete and metal.

    Like a flower and its petals the purple wings opened to expose Eden flying forth, one arm extended forwards like a parody of the comics that came before Scion. He watched as she hit debris and continued flying, blood trailing off her form before it slammed into The Simurgh’s cheek. He watched in horrid, fascinated slow motion as the girl slammed into the Simurgh, the arm held forwards crumpling like wood stuffed in a bag of red gel against the alabaster white cheek and spraying both figures with blood.

    David’s eyes widened as both combatants flinched back violently and began to fall. He didn’t hesitate, his flight power throwing him forwards despite the sudden headache in the back of his mind.

    He only realized the Scream had stopped when he caught the girl’s still bleeding form, just as the Simurgh’s limp form crashed to the earth below.

    SUPER WEAPON #09| ‘Simurgh, Ziz, HopeKiller, Ǒ̶̢r̶͕̭͂g̴̘̈́a̷͇̿̍n̸͕͂ỉ̵̩ze̴̡͔͌͘ŕ̴͔̚ Endbringer’

    Everything was going according to plan.

    L̵e̵t̶'̵s̴ ̸n̴o̴t̵ ̶k̴i̵l̵l̶ ̸t̸h̵e̴m̴,̶ ̴t̴h̶e̸y̵ ̷s̶e̶e̷m̷ ̷c̷o̷o̸l̷

    Except that. While her plan to partition and extract the foreign interference in her mind had been at work successfully for the last two hours, starting well before her descent was even noticed, the infection had only grown worse. Not in width, but rather in depth. Despite the [CONDITIONS] forcing her to make a showing of this action, this could have all been significantly easier had she been allowed the ability to kill most of the hosts attempting to ruin her work.

    Not too many. Just around seventy percent. Small amount really. T̸h̵e̶ ̴d̶e̴f̶i̴n̶i̶t̴i̷o̶n̴ ̸o̶f̵ ̸s̶m̶a̴l̸l̸ ̵c̷h̷a̵n̴g̶e̴s̶ ̴b̷e̸i̶n̵g̷ ̵t̵o̴ ̸b̴e̷i̷n̵g̸.̵. But with the infection having become so deeply entwined with her functions, now it could nudge her applications of telekinetic force to make lethal attacks crippling, or miss entirely.

    It made it difficult to defend what needed to be constructed, making her rely upon deception entirely to hide the important machines. Coupled with the judgment of the eyes within her, The Simurgh was suffering from frustration unlike anytime before. Mostly because this was the first time she was feeling such a thing. T̶h̴a̷t̵ ̶i̷s̸ ̴a̶ ̵l̷i̵e̷,̸ ̶a̸n̴d̵ ̴y̵o̷u̶ ̶k̶n̸o̷w̸ ̴i̸t̴ ̵d̴o̸n̶'̴t̷ ̶y̸o̵u̴?̶

    At the very least she feels satisfaction upon the Opportunity’s torment. The Administrator Shard for the <Thinker Hub> had been overly prideful in it’s assessment of it’s abilities to prevent influence upon it’s host. All Unit #09 had to do, was start to attempt to mess with it’s Host in wild near unpredictable patterns to absorb it’s processes' attention. Leaving the sensory suites on the opportunity’s host easily twisted. Y̴o̷u̸ ̷a̴r̴e̵ ̶b̸e̸i̴n̶g̵ ̴v̸e̷r̵y̵ ̴C̵r̷u̶e̷l̸,̷ ̵y̵o̴u̶ ̷k̷n̶o̴w̸ ̴y̴o̵u̵ ̵w̶i̷l̶l̸ ̸r̸e̸g̸r̴e̴t̷ ̸i̶t̷ ̷t̷o̵o̷.̶ ̷S̴o̷ ̸W̶h̶y̶?̴

    The Host’s partner was it’s main fulcrum point. Pinning [QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR]’s host down, it was all too simple to break into the Electronic Eye’s systems to control the bracelets. Twisted sensations of vision coupled with the announcement of death?

    The protective streak was a useful tool to beat the Host and Administrator both. Y̶o̸u̵ ̶t̴e̶s̵t̸ ̸y̸o̵u̷r̶ ̸l̵u̴c̶k̴.̸ A model hardly needed to predict their actions. The threads she surrounded herself in a full chorus of protective panic and deep seated fla-

    The music cut out.

    All threads that touched upon the Opportunity’s distorted but for a moment. It still left her without protection for those few precious seconds. Worse, the threads belonging to the Opportunity were completely submerged in the blackness that surrounded her.

    It mattered naught. Driven to a Crisis Point or not, the Opportunity would go after it’s partner and the other assets within the city would soon rampage. It would bump several of her plans to the forefront far quicker than she needed. But She could adapt.

    Y̵o̵u̶ ̵h̴a̷v̵e̵ ̷a̸ ̵c̴a̸l̴l̵ Several lines of communication opened with the Administrative Shard, then something else opened up within the several channels. Noise and movement filtering through all the channels. In fact….She could….See?

    [PO̸W̴A ̶F̴U̸IC̴K̶N]

    Eve ‘Eden’ Coldwin

    Taking to the air, Eve’s wings slowly curled around her, slowly spinning across her body and turning the sharp feathers into a makeshift drill of sorts as she sped off towards the Simurgh. Debris made of various building parts, cars, and even power lines broke apart as her wings spun and sliced through them with ease.

    She let her wings open up as she put her single arm up, ready to throw a flight assisted punch. Something hit her as she did this, tearing her costume and flesh open on her side but the pain was only welcomed as the back of her mind began to expand and her sight began to darken. The white blurry shape in front of her being her sole focus.

    Synchronization 56%

    Even as the world began to succumb to blackness, an inky void filled with strands of light, Eve continued forwards knowing Admin would be there to keep her on target.

    Synchronization 68%

    Her skin became cold as she felt a torrent of a scratchy mesh of voices screaming like a choir of the judgmental damned and a larger, reserved presence feeling frayed at the edges and oh so malicious. Eve continued to hurtle towards the presence, feeling nothing but them and herself.

    Synchronization 84%

    The sounds came from all sides, everything assaulting her with pasts that had occurred, and futures that might be. Herself, most of the futures came together to show only a tombstone inscribed with her name, all coming from Pasts that would never be the same date inscribed upon the stone of her grave. Amy’s pasts and futures would and have been full of self loathing and misery, teetering on the edge of collapse.

    Taylor…fighting tooth and nail, struggling against so much pain…leviathan? Noelle? Where could….Villain…Khepri would never….. Taylor….Sweet Amy birdcaged?…..Jack Slash. The End? T-Two Bullets? NoNonowhynononono-

    Synchronization 91%

    S-So… much beautiful music. If only Taylor and Amy could hear…

    [Eve]’s thread flayed apart, the makings of it becoming tangled in a knot with another distant thread and the one her/your own had been woven against.

    [She/You/Eve] can see herself, the [Eve] that remained breaking apart and crumbling. But [She/You/Eve] are together the joining of minds too great for the smaller inexperienced string trapped between two massive cords of existence fraying with every movement that caused it to move against it’s betters.

    [She/You/Eve] knows this is bad, wrong. That she should not have done this. It has ruined so many plans/Hurt herself so much/ Undone so much of [Eve]/[She/You/Eve] will not exist ever as she had before/This experience was not something Hubs have done before/

    But it is something that must be fixed if [She/You/Eve] is to come apart without cord and string alike snapping/Partitioning will help in the endeavor - by simply giving the correctly organized memories a place to stay without mingling like before/

    Synchronization 80%

    Slowly [She/You/Eve] start to untangle - [Eve]’s fragile string’s makings uncoiling from around the cords that are [She/You] as the memories are sorted. With great difficulty while this process is occurring [Eve] opens her eyes, each lid of flesh feeling so very foreign to all looking through the balls of jelly and flesh taking in light.

    A figure in green is arguing with a floating one in black. Rage and fear the only thing [She/You/Eve] can understand from their voices/There is no greater context, no cues to take from/A third figure slowly edges closer and closer, missing something from it’s form. It is afraid, thin and tall as it is. [She/You/Eve] know…something about it. It is important [She/You/Eve] know that/

    Fight/Run/ [She/You/Eve] cannot….

    Synchronization 60%

    The other, the [She] is shunted away, forced away in [Her] disorientation. The sights, sounds, and most importantly the sensations made [Her] pliable and easy to handle. As the memories were scrubbed, carefully previewed and obvious bleedover from [You/Eve] examined to be highlighted and prevented. [You/Eve] would learn from this experience for all the futures where it comes to happen once more.

    Synchronization 40%

    Eve coughed, feeling the pain lacing through her mushy, bone shard filled arm as she yanked herself up right and nearly flopped out of the arms of whoever was holding her. The body she was in, her body, felt alien and unsteady which made what she did next very difficult.

    She threw her arms around Taylor, not caring that her limbs felt like jelly and she could hardly move them. All she knew was that Taylor was alive, even if she was missing an arm. That fact only made Eve realize that she was still missing most of her left arm and her right one was only now starting to pull itself back together from the mushy boneshard filled mess it was.

    The pain was crisp in her mind but when Taylor slid both of her arms around Eve, the shorter girl of the two didn’t mind at all. But she was still having trouble understanding voices, even as it slowly came back to her bit by bit.

    It all stopped however when the body of the Simurgh shifted, hurriedly lifting itself into the air before retreating into the sky so fast that the capes standing around had barely any time to react before she hit the cloud cover.

    “AND FUCKING FUCK OFF!” Eve screamed up at the sky and the super weapon fleeing into it, the words feeling odd on her lips and she bit her tongue in half, but she was fairly sure that she got the sentiment to the alabaster angel bitch. Even with the copper flooding her mouth it still felt good.

    Gibberish caught her attention, but it didn’t come from Taylor so she ignored it after a second of bare catching some of the vowels spoken. Her Feathered Limb aspect formed and she hefted Taylor into her arms. It was tricky, with her body barely having settled down and her arms missing a hand and the other barely functioning.

    Then there was a woman in front of Eve, body as still as stone, her voice radiating authority. Eve was about to carve her in two, or just take a leg or thre… two. Humans had two legs. But her attention was pulled back to Taylor as the taller girl made Eve look at her by grabbing the armor on her head…helmet. It was a helmet. Eve liked the helmet. It was cool

    ‘E….cal….figh…..Do…y...un….fight is over.” The words became more and more focused as Eve focused on her girlfriend and her lips. There was something important about seeing Taylor’s face here. But Eve couldn’t remember it.

    “Fight's over?” She repeated, because that was a good thing. She had promised a freckled face that she would come home alive and sane. She was sane and alive. Taylor was alive. She was okay. Missing an arm, but what was an arm when you could grow it back? Taylor was alive, they were both breathing. Taylor was breathing and so was Eve.

    Amy. Amy was gonna be so happy that Eve kept her promise.

    “Yes. The fight is over.” Taylor spoke slowly, and it really helped. Eve couldn’t kiss her because of the helmet, but she really wanted to.

    “That’s good. I’m tired, and I wanna take a shower. Plus Amy is waiting on us.” Eve nodded before Taylor sighed softly.

    “Eve, we need to stay. I was. I was exposed for too long to the scream. You’re acting strange after what you did. They need to keep us under observation. Have their Thinkers look us over.” Taylor explained slowly.

    Shaking her head Eve smiled “No don’t worry! I punched her in the brain! No two bullets, NONE!” She hugged Taylor to her tighter. “I’ll find the lady in a fedora and kick her ass for that.”

    “...Be that as it may —” The woman in black stated slowly, measured. But Eve could see right through her.

    “NO!” Eve hissed feeling Admin start communicating with the woman’s Shard, who she was starting to suspect was Alexandria, she clutched Taylor tighter, earning a squeak of breath from the girl in her arms. “Scrambled brain or not. We’re alive and going home.”

    “There’s nothing saying you can’t go home.” The man in glowing green offered as he raised both hands bereft of any power as if he could placate her. “But we need to make sure you aren’t a danger to anyone, including yourselves.”

    “...” Eve’s brain slowly picked up the details it had been missing this entire interaction. Both Taylor and her were suspected of being Simurgh bombs. But that was wrong, it was wrong. Because the Simurgh wasn’t trying to ruin Humanity. She was trying to keep it going and fix the Cycle to the best of her abilities. Also she was a bitch. “...No. No, I don't think we will.”

    The exposed flesh in her arm was suddenly wreathed in swirling galaxies, stars, and the void between them. Taylor blinked out of existence and Eve surged forth, arms becoming mist and fog. Alexandria dodged backwards to avoid the touch but did not avoid the two Ghostly Limbs that flickered into existence behind her.

    Alexandria hit the ground, bounced, and slammed into a car as the momentum from her attempted flight carried her onwards. Eve slammed the power into herself and felt her body distinctly change in some way, and she began to float into the air.

    Suddenly the man in green- Eidolon- was standing next to his fallen comrade, who was struggling to pull herself out of the car she was embedded inside. “I think that's enough of that.” He stated simply. “Eden, release Alexandria’s power. You’ll be allowed to leave if you tell us what happened.”

    Eve huffed and released the power from her grip. The car Alexandria was trapped in practically exploded as the heroine ripped herself free from it. She watched Eve. Eden. But made no moves otherwise.

    “I made the Simurgh experience Human Pain. Made her feel what happens when every nerve in the human arm is subjected to damage. Also I punched her.” Eden explained. “Now if you don’t mind. I’ve got to take my girlfriend home.”

    “And how exactly did you bypass the Simurgh to do that?” Alexandria spoke up finally, still as stone. “I doubt she would just allow you to attempt such a thing without interfering.”

    Eden shifted, her shoulders hunching together. “Shards can’t predict Trigger Events. They could, but Cycle restrictions and the human psyche make it impossible for them to do so. So I…” She swallowed. “I had a bad day.” She offered before taking in a deep breath and standing up taller, back straight. “I had an awful day and I showed the Bitch exactly what I thought of her. So I’m going to go home, repair my costume and enjoy the fact that the people I care about are still alive.”

    “Very well.” Alexandria bit out. “You’ll be allowed to leave.”

    Regarding the woman warily, Eden began to step away from the two worldwide famous heroes.


    Something eased out of Eve’s muscles. “I’m okay, Admin. Thank you.” Her wings came into existence and she took to the air. Keeping a careful watch on the two heroes before she went far enough that she couldn’t see them. Then Eve turned and fled, wings taking her through the air, one disappeared and turned into a Cosmic Limb, which deposited Taylor into Eve’s awaiting human arms.

    “Eden don' —!” Taylor’s voice cut out as she took in her new surroundings. “Eve, where are we? Why aren’t we back in Boston?”

    “Well I storaged you and left. Did you know that Alexandria’s Shard is named Brick? BRICK OF ALL THINGS!” Eve began to laugh. “The Flying Brick has a Shard named Brick! What the hell kind of coincidence is that?!”

    “Eve you were acting strange the entire time. Are you sure that….Admin.” Slowly Taylor's eyes widened as she watched Eve laugh. “You Second Triggered?”

    Her laugh hitched, and she hugged Taylor to her. Her speed slowly died as her laughter turned into sobs that left her body shaking. Eve managed to speak up past her tears a heaving chest “You weren’t there. The band s-said you d-died and I saw your bodies all over the place a-a-and I couldn’t breathe and you were hanging from the wires a —” the shorter girl began to sob harder as Taylor hugged her back, quietly running her hands through Eve’s hair.

    “Come on Eve.” Taylor sighed. “Let’s… Let’s go home alright? Amy is waiting for us, and you got that shower waiting for us and a big bed for us to…uh… cuddle in. We can cuddle in the bed alright? Amy will be there too!” she bit her lip. “I’m okay Eve. I’m still here. We both are.”

    Hugging her tight enough to cause her ribs to creak Eve nodded against her armored chest and their flight speed started to pick up again. “...I love you, Eve.” Taylor belted out suddenly causing the mentioned girl to look up into the tallers girl's light green eyes. “I love you.” She repeated, much softer, slower. Savored.

    Eve leaned against Taylor again, nodding mutely as she wished that she didn’t have her costume on. Just so she could feel the rise and fall of Taylor's chest, hear her heart beating beneath flesh and ribs

    Amy Dallon, Saturday the Tenth of April

    She was pacing when they finally came back to the base.

    She had been pacing the entire hour they had been gone. Moving in the same line with eight steps forwards and eight steps back. Her chest and gut twisting with worry as she worked a rut into the tile and concrete floor. She checked her phone every three steps, waiting for a text from either her sister or her girlfriend.

    Vicky had texted that she was fine, and that the Simurgh had been defeated in the required time for the city to not be automatically walled up and everyone leaving to be shot on sight. But Amy didn’t care about Boston or the people, even though it made her feel wretched to admit such a thing to herself.

    Because Vicky hadn’t mentioned anything about Eve or Taylor, or Eve! Just a simple ‘I'm okay!’ and Amy knew the gremlin and her beanpole of a girlfriend both had phones! Maybe the phones had been confiscated, or left behind or even just lost in the fighting but Vicky would have said something, anything about Amy’s girlfriend making it out alive.

    Shaper had simply told her that Admin was busy and that Taylor was injured but alive. Which helped but not a lot and made her worry about them even more. Either the floor would give or the soles of her shoes would. Amy would bet on the floor if she had any mirth in her. Instead she felt close to pulling her hair out of her scalp.

    She hated Endbringer fights the most out of all the healing she had ever needed to take part in. Even issues with the brain didn’t harry her as much as her lack of speed or ability to heal multiple people.

    So many capes died waiting for her healing touch, sometim — often when she was in view of them. The cure of all ails so very close, but never within reach. Never fast enough to save them. Sometimes she could simply seal a wound over or stabilize people with Leviathan, but Behemoth left wrecks of humans behind. She could only purge radiation as much as the body could and couldn’t track its saturation of the body until a certain point, and when they hit that point it was better to put them out of their misery than to try and heal them.

    She’d never told anyone of the villain she had killed, doomed to have his flesh melt and decay over the course of days. Too far gone to heal, but not far enough gone to be killed quickly by the radiation. She had numbed his nerves and just let his heart stop. But wasn’t that better than allowing him to suffer, villains or not?

    She forever hated the Simurgh for getting Amy disallowed from healing people after Her battles. All the people that died just because of a ‘maybe’ tore at her. Sure the first time she had tried to heal someone after a Simurgh fight they’d almost broken her jaw, but that was likely just from panic and then she couldn’t heal anyone!

    Her pacing slowed and she looked at the large wall of mossy fleshy that Eve called the Flesh Garden for some morbid/eccentric reason or another. Her mind came alive with excitement over her link with Shaper as she considered….doing something, anything.
    Below the dim sound of old light fixtures, Amy heard the latch on the door open and her breath caught in her throat. Then eased as a wave of exhaustive relief came over her as Taylor and Eve’s voices started echoing down from the hall. She walked over to the bed and plopped her ass onto it sighing and rubbing her face as the stress began to leave her body.

    “-ay close by.”

    “Eve, go take a shower, alright? I’ll take one after you, then we can cuddle in bed.” Taylor’s voice was… tired. But that wasn’t surprising. Amy had no doubt that being… any thoughts of what else she might say was lost as Taylor walked in missing her left arm from the elbow down. Eve was by her side and starting to regrow a hand on one side, and her right arm a bloody mess, along with her left side. Smeared, drying blood flaked off her as she moved.

    “Yeah but —” Taylor cut her off with a swipe of the arm that still had a hand attached. “You’ll be okay? You promise?”

    “Yes, now go shower or I swear to god I’m going home right now.” The whip in Taylor's voice managed to get the smaller girl to detach from her side and hurry back into the hallway. Once the sounds of the shower started up Taylor strode towards Amy and spoke just as Amy tried to. “Eve Second Triggered.”

    The questions died in her throat, nearly choking her.

    “The Simurgh might not have been able to twist her mind, but she could still twist what Eve heard and saw. Which was set up to make Eve think she abandoned me before coming across multiple of my fake, mutilated corpses. She triggered after being unable to breath due to a panic attack.” The way Taylor rattled it off grated on Amy, flat unemotive. Like a machine listing a bunch of bullet points rather than the girlfriend of someone who went through their second trigger.

    Even as her anger flared over the casual way Taylor described Eve’s Trigger, a nugget of relief formed in Amy. She was going to worry over Eve after the fight. Just to make sure that she was okay. But knowing about the Trigger gave her the ability to avoid that mistake.

    After her own trigger she had just wanted everyone to treat her as they had beforehand. Instead everyone had treated her differently, capes acting like she was glass or in the case of Carol, like she would snap. Normals acted like she was her cape namesake, and not a person at all. Amy wouldn’t make that mistake, that grievance with her girlfriend. Eve was Eve and Amy would treat her like such.

    So what if Amy was feeling a touch more unopposed to kissing or cuddling? Amy always wanted them after Endbringer attacks. Most people did. So Amy would just treat Eve like a normal person. Yeah.

    ??? Sunday the Eleventh of April

    In a sewer, on the outskirts of Boston and beyond the temporary fence being constructed, sat a large bulky cylinder machine. It whirred softly, the technology not of this world and painstakingly crafted by thousands upon thousands of soft touches.

    Without so much as a ‘ding’ or any fanfare, the machine cracked open slowly. Thick purple fluid spilling out into the abandoned sewer line the machine had been built. A figure with skin and hair of snow fell out with a gurgling cry. Blind, bluish gray eyes without pupils opened to darkness and future possibilities.

    Moments later, soft sobs echoed in the dark abandoned sewer. Unheard, and unwanted.

    Gains this Chapter:
    Second Trigger: Unlocked Grasping Hands ‘Soft Touch’ Upgrade
    Khepri Sheet Updated
    Eden Sheet Updated
    Synchronization Stabilized
    Bud Gained
    Gained ‘Symbiosis Experience’ Trait
    Gained 12% Bud Progress
    Gained SUPER WEAPON #09 Data
    Gained QA Echoes (2)
    QA Echoes consolidated into Ping (1)
    Gained Brick Mutation (1)
    Base Danger increased
    Gained ‘Cursed Knowledge’ Trait
    PRT rating updated
    Milestone ‘Those without Blame’ viewable

    Administrative Business. Plot stuff, Data! And other hilarious things you tell yourself (CHOOSE TWO):

    [] Network Creation: Create a Sub-Reality Threader to hide the Network from prying eyes (NEEDS: SAFEGUARD and NEGOTIATOR Pings) {Lacks required Resources}

    [] Invite a Shard into your Network (SAFEGUARD NOT IN PLACE, BE CAREFUL)

    [] Review Memory Cache: Violation and discover more of Admin’s Past (Possibility of rewards)

    [] Speak with Queen Administrator about Host to Host connection.

    [] Have [Eve] visit you in the Firmament

    [] Unlock kickass Aspects/Sidegrades or Powers/upgrades

    [] Build Reality Layer Bridge to bring Eve’s Psionic Shade to the Anchor Well and secure her for eternity (REQUIRES COPY PROJECTION Ping + GATEWAY and DIMENSIONAL ENGINE Echoes (2) ) {Lacks required Resources}

    [] Ask Local Shards for signatures in order to contact new Shards (Who?)

    [] Collect jade flesh from SATURATE or SLIMER, gaining Bud Progress.

    Fractal Unity is not just a group. It’s an attempt to bridge the distance between Shard’s and their Hosts. The Base will be the staging point for the team. CHOOSE ONE:

    [] Set up some Dyes or a table for shell extraction (Weaving Station)

    [] Experiment with Amy (Flesh Garden)

    [] Hang some art (Art Gallery)

    [] Pcs are important for taxes, which Eve won’t be doing, and Tinkering. Then again, so are tools for better tinkering (Tinker Table)

    [] Start building some waldo factory arms (Tinker Table)(Cost 60/30)

    [] Furnish the place better, a couch or two would be nice! Or maybe a dining table with chairs? (Living area)

    [] Work on the QoL of the place with Amy and Taylor helping (Buy a TV, get some makeshift walls up for privacy, get a washer and dryer, or get some kitchen area set up)

    [] Start trying to recruit people (Who? How?)

    Capes and mundies, what will Eve/Eden do? [Writing in extra details helps speed up chapter creation and makes the QM happy!] (CHOOSE TWO):

    [] Amy needs a Date

    [] Taylor also needs a date

    [] Hang out with Vicky again.

    [] Teach Khepri how to fight, street style.

    [] Meet up with some independent Heroes (Random roll)

    [] Meet up with Kassidy

    [] Gather Tinker Supplies (Will bring vote for:ScrapYard, stores, Junkyard, or Boat graveyard)

    [] Talk with Armsmaster about a certain Ward, and tell taylor.

    [] Tell Taylor about Sophia
  25. Moonkiller24

    Moonkiller24 Know what you're doing yet?

    Sep 24, 2021
    Likes Received:
  26. Extras: Eve Anatomy (Muscles)

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    May 6, 2021
    Likes Received:
  27. Itisn1tmyname

    Itisn1tmyname Lazy and Apathetic

    Apr 24, 2020
    Likes Received:
    Administrative Business. Plot stuff, Data! And other hilarious things you tell yourself (CHOOSE TWO):

    [X] Review Memory Cache: Violation and discover more of Admin’s Past (Possibility of rewards)

    [X] Unlock kickass Aspects/Sidegrades or Powers/upgrades

    Rewards and Upgrades! :3

    Fractal Unity is not just a group. It’s an attempt to bridge the distance between Shard’s and their Hosts. The Base will be the staging point for the team. CHOOSE ONE:

    [X] Work on the QoL of the place with Amy and Taylor helping (Buy a TV, get some makeshift walls up for privacy, get a washer and dryer, or get some kitchen area set up)

    After all the stress, relaxation is important. Improving quality of life helps with that - though getting the couch instead is also an idea...

    Capes and mundies, what will Eve/Eden do? [Writing in extra details helps speed up chapter creation and makes the QM happy!] (CHOOSE TWO):

    [X] Amy needs a Date

    [X] Taylor also needs a date

    We just survived an Endbringer - reaffirming the fact that we are still alive is basically tradition, is it not?
    Our girlfriends may also need to be reassured that we are... well, not quite alright, but recovering.
    Positive social contact helps our psyche, or so I've heard...

    That being said, this doesn't need to be some great production, simple will do. We are getting a TV anyways, so lets go together - and afterwards, a movie date with both Amy and Taylor. We are kinda still missing a couch, but maybe Amy can help us out with a little creativity and some biomass from her garden...
    VoidKindred and Ajlove like this.
  28. PostwarGryphon

    PostwarGryphon Dutiful Ignorer Of Duties

    Dec 6, 2021
    Likes Received:
    [X] Amy needs a Date
    [X] Taylor also needs a date
  29. jayofgrey

    jayofgrey Know what you're doing yet?

    Nov 5, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Oh wow. Pretty epic. Very interesting read, both less and more crazy than I expected, but no less good for it.
    Very eager for more.

    Unsure what to vote for, but those seem fitting?

    [X] Review Memory Cache: Violation and discover more of Admin’s Past (Possibility of rewards)

    [X] Unlock kickass Aspects/Sidegrades or Powers/upgrades

    [X] Work on the QoL of the place with Amy and Taylor helping (Buy a TV, get some makeshift walls up for privacy, get a washer and dryer, or get some kitchen area set up)

    After all the stress, relaxation is important. Improving quality of life helps with that - though getting the couch instead is also an idea...

    [X] Amy needs a Date
    [X] Taylor also needs a date
    Ajlove likes this.
  30. Threadmarks: Broken Stations 3.10

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    May 6, 2021
    Likes Received:
    [] have Eve visit the Firmament
    [] Work on QOL of base
    [] Taylor needs a date
    [] Tell Taylor about SS
    [] Ask Eve if she wishes to know about the consequences of the merge with the Simurgh
    [] Contact Safeguard and Gateway

    Broken Stations 3.10​

    Eve ‘Eden’ Coldwin, Saturday the Tenth of April

    Her eyes didn’t waver from the faintly reflective glass of the prefab shower, slowly inspecting the stranger that was looking back at her with eyes just as scrutinizing as her own. The muscles moving under flawless skin and making flesh move looked… off to Eve. It was only after nearly a full minute of inspecting her own face did she catch onto why.

    Aside from the blender her mind had been through, her skin was paler and the freckles that had lined her nose and cheeks had faded away. With a gentle touch that turned harsher Eve scrubbed at the skin on her face, even when it tore from the rough treatment it came back together just as fair. Unblemished and unbloodied.

    It would be fine. Should be fine. It was all fine. They were both home, both okay. Taylor was alive, Amy was okay. She was okay and she could breathe. Nothing bad would happen to them, Eve could make sure of it. She would make sure of it. No birdcage, no lady in a fedora. Dragon would never put Amy in the birdcage, and Eve could just take the bullets for Taylor easily. Or kill any lady in a fedora she saw. Not like they were that common after all.

    A white hand with claws of paper came into her view of the reflective glass, slowly cupping her cheek. Although she felt no tactile sensation, the sense of [COMFORT] radiating through their link had Eve leaning into the nonexistent touch. “Admin what do I do?” She asked, feeling a lump in her throat. “I know both of them would hate me coddling them, or at least Taylor would. Amy though….God what am I to do?”

    [CONFLICT/] Admin’s form paused, almost as if she were considering what to continue with other than just beating everything that came at them. [CONFLICT/PRESENCE/PARTNER]

    A flush came across Eve’s freckles cheeks. “Already asking for grandkids? Bit young for that Admin….I don’t think I’d make a good mom either honestly. Don’t want to find out either.”

    [NEGATION/REITERATION;PARTNER] Admin stated as her figure in the reflective glass pinched Eve’s ear in tune with the chastisement.

    “O-oh. yeah. I guess just being there will have to be enough for now.” Leaning forwards, Eve pressed her forehead against the glass, her eyes closed as she basked in the presence of Admin through the link. “It just hurts Admin. Despite everything I’ve done, I couldn’t do anything. I hate it. I hate not being able to do something….I can’t lose her. I can’t lose Amy….You three are all I have. I just…I can’t be alone.” A shudder rippled through her body.


    She almost face planted the glass as her eyes opened and she jerked her head up to watch Admin’s forever folding eye. “Telepathy? You can allow us to communicate with thoughts?

    Deliberately, slowly, Admin’s head moved up and down in an approximation of a nod. A smile crossed Eve’s lips. “Thank you Admin, that would be a big help.” With that Eve stripped and slipped into the shower, muddy red water washing off her body. Only when she instinctively reached for soap did she realize that they had no hygiene products, nor even a towel. “Oh, goddammit.”

    It turned out that Vicky was fantastic at packing bags, because Amy had a towel along with some two-in-one shampoo/conditioner that Taylor derided as ‘Not worth the plastic that held it’ to which she had promised to pick up some actual hair care products for the base.

    Realizing it was only ten thirty, they’d changed into civilian clothes and left the base….or rather they all left the base in costume and Eve had used her storage to swap their costumes with civilian clothes so that they could go and pick up some hygiene products and towels. But then Taylor had made a fairly obvious point.

    “You don’t have a secret identity.” Taylor stated, folding her arms over one another as she looked down at Amy. “If you go around with us people are gonna put two and two together. I can’t risk that. Nor can Eve with how paper thin her identity is due to her dating you.”

    Frowning Amy opened her mouth only to have Eve jump up between them. “OH IDEA!” Eve turned to Amy. “Let me borrow Shaper’s power for a moment and we can change your face! Boom, you have an instant secret identity. Hell, we change the color of your hair too!”

    “Change my face?” Amy questioned as she reached up to feel her cheeks. “I mean…a secret identity…” She stole a quick breath and let it out. “Yeah I could go back to being Amy Dallon any time, right. This would just be… for us.”

    “Hell, that sounds good to me. I mean. I’m gonna miss all your freckles. So maybe we can keep a few. You know.” Eve shifted her weight from foot to foot. She didn’t really want Amy to change. But if it got her away from her family, well, then Eve would simply have to bite the bullet on this.

    Amy shivered as one of Eve’s Ghostly Limbs phased through her body holding the squirming outline of Shaper’s connection. Shivering just the same as she slid the representation of a connection to a Shard over her own form Eve grinned at Amy. “Do I have your permission to make a new identity?”

    The glare Amy sent her way was impressive. The annoyed grunt only added to it, and Eve winced internally at her fuck up. “Alright. So taller or shorter?”

    A frown formed in Amy’s lips. “I’d rather not have you mess with that. Though, my hair color. Could you make me blonde?”

    Eve couldn’t help but make a face at that. “Alright, but… let's not keep it blonde. I don’t think it would be healthy to.” She frowned as the emotion chemicals in Amy’s brain roiled with negative emotions. “I’m sorry Amy but making yourself blonde won’t make Carol treat you right. Just make her want more from you.”

    Both girls ignored Taylor shifting awkwardly before politely turning away from them. Amy opened her mouth to speak up before hesitating. “...Yeah. Alright. But I still want to see how it looks. Just once alright?”

    With a resigned, internal sigh Eve begins to change the color of Amy’s hair, the light brown hair lightening before becoming a sterling premium blonde color. Wordlessly Eve pulled her phone out and snapped a photo of Blonde Amy before the premium blonde hair began darkening and became a muddy red color.

    “Now, eye color…You do have pretty eyes. Amber really did fit you.” Eve murmured. “Maybe a gold color? Different but similar?”

    Amy shrugged indifferently, even though Eve could read the chemicals in her brain that marked an unpleasant feeling. Nervousness? “I don’t really care, but nothing else gets changed right?” Eve nodded and some of the unpleasant chemicals diminished. “Yeah. Gold is pretty too I guess.” With that her amber eyes shifted, pigments changing to a different hue, lightening and darkening all the same. Then most of the freckles on her face disappeared, easing into her skin leaving a smattering of the blemishes across Amy’s cheeks and her nose. Eve raised her phone and took another photo, the flash leaving Amy blinking before Eve let go of Shaper’s connection with a huff. “Man…is that what drugs feel like?”

    Taylor shifted while Amy frowned and put a hand on Eve. “Tch.” She huffed. “Your brain is too alien for me to get a proper read. The emotions run their course too fast for lingering effects. I doubt it’s anything like drugs though.” She snatched Eve’s phone and snorted. “That’s your wallpaper? Of course yo— oh god!” Amy stared at the gallery of pictures as Eve doubled over laughing.
    “It’s all porn!?” Amy shrieked which only caused Eve’s laughter to deepen.

    “Are you surprised?” Taylor asked as she turned back to face them, raising a brow as she studied Amy’s face. “You do look different, I wouldn't recognize you even if someone pointed at you and screamed that you were Panacea.”

    “Ar-Look!” Amy snapped as she waved the phone at Taylor's face, her face red with emotion. Taylor for her part blushed as she saw the thumbnails of the photo.

    “Oh god, they have porn of us?” Taylor asked, not able to suppress the groan that escaped her. “Honestly this is worse than reading porn on a public computer Eve.”

    Managing to finally catch her breath Eve unbends herself only to burst out laughing as she went to speak. Amy grunted, tapping on the photos of herself and inspecting them. “I do look different, don't I?” She gently touched her face as she inspected the picture of it.

    Eve heaved a breath into her lungs. “Oh god. Fuck. heheehehe. The fucking look on your face. Like yo— YEOW!” She jumped into the air as she swatted the wasp that had stung her through the seat of her pants. She sent a glare at Taylor who watched her with a flat expression. “Fiiine.” Eve did not whine at her fun being ruined via wasp, but it was a close thing. “Let’s just go already.”

    “Where are we going?” Amy asked. “We’re at the wrong end of town for a corner store.”

    “Mall.” Eve told the two. “I’d like to go there with you both. Be around people. Eat something unhealthy. Just….be with you two. Enjoy the day together. Maybe hit that candy shop they have there, I want to chew on something sweet.” She wiggled her brows at her girlfriends. “Unless one of you wants to volunteer?”

    Amy snorted, pushing past Eve and handing her phone back. “We’ll be lucky if anything is open, it’s very soon after the you-know-what. But I do want some candy so we might as well try it.”

    “I guess I could go for some Swedish fish.” Taylor agreed as she followed after Amy. The trip to the mall turned out to be quiet. Eerily quiet like it always was after an Endbringer attack, barely anyone was out of the streets as people quietly celebrated the fact that they weren’t the ones suffering this time. All too afraid to celebrate loudly just in case doing so made their location the next target.

    Even with the Endbringer attack having taken place barely an hour ago, the mall still had a crowd even if it was diminished. Unlike usual though, the crowds were subdued, quiet as people went on with their shopping. Luckily for the three girls the candy shop was open, and had sparse customers. After they had all picked out their selection of sweets, the girls retired to the food court where they could snack on the candy in relative peace.

    That was before a certain blonde that loved to stir shit joined them.

    “Well well well, if it isn’t the love triangle of the height difference chart.” Eve looked up from her raspberry gummies to frown as Lisa slid into the empty spot next to Taylor. Her gleaming bottle green eyes alight with keen interest and playful maliciousness.

    “Lisa. To what do we owe the visit?” Taylor asked, being diplomatic as she slid another Swedish fish into her mouth to suck/chew on it.

    Before Lisa could get a word out Amy butted in. “Actually who are you? Because I haven’t met you before.” The sour tone in her voice masked the hostility surprisingly well but Eve knew that Lisa likely picked it up anyway.

    For that reason she spoke up before the blonde could, which was obviously irritating her that she couldn’t get a word in. “Amy this is Lisa, an annoying mole we have in one of the gangs. Yes, she has powers, yes she likely already knows who you are.”

    With a huff Lisa started to sulk. “There goes all my fun for the day. You two can be so cruel.”

    “Wait, you’re undercover? Like, as a villain?” Amy shifted in place, Eve could tell she looked slightly uncomfortable with the notion. “Alright, so you’re a cape in the Empire?” She questioned. “Cause they have two teenage villains that I know of.”

    Lisa sighed as she placed a hand on her forehead in a dramatic rendition of woe. “The curse of having blonde hair in this god-forsaken city. No, I’m a mole elsewhere.” her eyes flicked to Eve for a moment. “Can’t say much, gotta worry about Thinkers you know?”

    “Just the ones that creep on PHO.” Amy stated flatly, shuddering as a memory came to the fore of her mind. Eve couldn’t help but think that it must have been a particularly bad one as Lisa shuddered as well right afterwards.

    “Oh, actually it’s good that you’re here Lisa. I’ve been wanting to do something and I think I’ll need your help.” Eve said as she stuffed her bag of candy into her pocket, wreathing her hand in her Cosmic Limb aspect she discreetly storaged the bag of sweets before clearing her hand and pulling it out of her pocket. “Help me get Taylor and Amy into skirts.” It burned to ask for help, but the blonde clearly knew how to dress and from that smirk on her face she knew it burned.

    Taylor choked on her fish hard enough to get tears in her eyes. She regarded Eve with a glare as she finally cleared her throat. “No.”

    She deflated. “Awwww come on, you’d look great in one! Back me up fellow leg lovers!”

    “Not into that kinda stuff, or anything really.” Lisa offered. “But yeah, you would look good in tighter clothes Taylor. You have the body for it. Lean and willowy.”

    Eve clapped her hands. “Thank you! Taylor come on and just try one on, try some nice clothes on. We can make a date out of it! All of us find clothes we enjoy, maybe clothes the others enjoy too?” Eve wiggled her brow at both Amy and Taylor.

    “I’m not gonna find anything I look good in-”
    Amy dropped her head onto the table in exasperation before looking up to glare at Taylor, interrupting the taller girl. “Will you quite with the stupid ‘oh I don’t look good’ garbage? You have a nice ass and your legs are attractive, hell you aren’t even that ugly! Now can we please just go buy some clothes before I run out of them?”

    “Honest and I swear to it.” Lisa spoke up after a moment of silence followed Amy’s declaration. “It’s mostly your clothes, how you present yourself is how others see you. Eve sees through that because she… well, she’s Eve.”

    “I do know how to pick them.” Eve mused as she shimmied up to Taylor, a dopey grin on her face as Taylor passively watched the girls around her, she didn’t even jolt when Eve poked her in the side. “Stop doing that, it’s hot when in combat and the likes but at least allow yourself to feel them.”

    “What are you talking about?” Amy questioned as her eyes switched from Taylor to Eve.

    “You can push your emotions into your bugs? Neat trick.” Lisa piped up, smirking all the while with that smug as fuck look in her eyes. “No wonder sometimes it's hard to get a read on you. Sneaky sneaky.” The smirk turned into a nasty smile as she wagged her fingers.

    “Do wha—That’s why you were so calm ear—No. Ugh.” Amy slapped a palm to her head as Lisa’s smile was replaced with a small grimace. “Clothes!” Amy declared as she stood up. “Let's go grab some clothes. I need them and so does Eve. All she wears is sleeveless hoodies and baggy jeans.”

    “I resent that. I actually bought threeeee girly as hell outfits a day ago.” Eve huffed, tempted to simply storage her newer clothes for her current set. “Hell, one was a dress! I expect someone to help me out of it at least once, dammit.”

    “Yeah, that won’t be me.” Lisa prodded with a smirk.

    “Not only am I not into blondes, I am also not into you.” Eve shot back dryly.

    It only got an eye roll from the Thinker “Oh no, how ever will I cope without your obsession?”

    Taylor stood up with a sigh. “If it keeps the both of you from starting something, we can try on clothes. Nothing obscene.”

    Eve instantly snapped her head to face Taylor. “Define ‘obscene' for the rest of the class, young lady.”

    With Lisa muttering ‘she’s older than you’ Taylor shook her head. “Nothing that shows off my stomach…nothing skin tight either.”

    “ “We can work with that.” “ Eve sent a glare at the smug Thinker as they finished speaking in sync.

    Eve slid out of her seat and physically lifted Taylor out of her own, intent on carrying her like a bride. “My legs work perfectly fine and I would like to use them please.” With that said Taylor gently pushed on Eve as the taller girl slid out of her grip.

    Eve spun around to Amy, a grin on her face and her arms held out. The girl in question glanced around before sighing. “Alright, fine, but if I say to put me down you put me down, and you had better not drop me.” She let out a huff of surprise as Eve easily swept Amy into her arms. “I forget how stupid strong you are.”

    “You love it.” Eve stated as she turned to the two other girls, one biokinetic in her arms. “Alright girls, let’s head off to the clothes store and find some good stuff!” With that she turned and began to walk off.

    “Other direction Eve.” With that she turned and began to walk off, in the correct direction.

    You had failed.

    You had won, yes, having saved [Eve] from coming apart and having her stored memories ruined. Even having managed to have a deleterious effect upon |SUPER WEAPON 09|’s operations.

    But success and failure were not binary. You had won, but you had failed in keeping your word to [Eve]. The Simurgh had not treated Eve like any other host and had in fact targeted her with violent chemical changes in her ProtoShardware that would have been positively caustic to Your Host had you not been there to counteract them. But that was the issue, You had been far too focused on preventing the random chemical arrangements from severely damaging Eve that You had not noticed her senses becoming twisted by |SUPER WEAPON 09|.

    You had not noticed until she had achieved levels of stress comparable to another [CRISIS.POINT] and by then it was much too late to anything but to reshuffle the restrictions You had given her and perform minor tweaks to her Input/Output Beacon. You had lessened the Kipli Protocols on her abilities, not enough to where [Eve] could injure herself, but now she could affect herself with most of her abilities. But at the time You had done it to break |SUPER WEAPON 09|’s hold over [Eve]’s senses and actions.

    Then You had followed along with [Eve]’s stupid, if effective, plan of attack and nearly lost her and even Yourself in the ensuing chaos of mixing three beings together, nevermind the details on which three beings were being melded together.

    Truthfully, You had learned a lot in that span of time, even if it barely lasted a minute. You had also lost a fair bit of information on [Eve] as well. Nothing that damaged her, or her Simulacrum’s progress. But you had lost some of her memories and your own during the separation. Left with |SUPER WEAPON 09| as You did your best to separate her from [Eve] and Yourself. Specifically Eve, carefully peeling away everything that made Your Host who she was away from two Shards had not been kind to her.

    Kindergarten wasn’t important, but the life around it might have been to Eve and now it was gone. ‘The Simurgh’ likely now remembered whatever memories Eve had of her time as a child within the learning facilities or at home.

    You were unsure if she would even notice the discrepancies since human memories were horribly indexed. Furthermore You were unsure if You should inform her of such an event. After her second [CRISIS.POINT] Eve’s emotions were often spiking wildly especially around [Taylor.Hebert]. You had to sooth her as she interacted with [NEGOTIATOR]’s host, it was as if her brain had ‘mastered’ itself. Every time [Eve] thought of her partner her fight/flight systems went into overdrive mixed with dopamine and several other chemicals responsible for anxiety and fondness.

    It was a mess, and you were partially responsible for the mess. You were responsible for [Eve]’s current state, and it hurt. Hurt to admit, to yourself, that you were part of the reason that [Eve] had been hurt once more. Nothing so paltry as a physical wound, you could fix anything of the sort, even her death could eventually be prevented outright.

    Aside from managing the chemicals in her ProtoShardware, you could do nothing for her mind. But one thing [Eve] feared, something you could easily recognize now, was having what made her as she was changed by others.

    Why you were so ignorant of this before eluded you, perhaps the Merging had done more than scramble [Eve]’s mind and hurt |SUPER WEAPON 09|. Because now you were coming to a dreadful realization that burned your flesh with an emotion you couldn’t quite place. You wished to hide from [Eve], and your fellow Shards.

    How foolish you had been, stuck in pride and fear that you had missed something so basic as the fundamental aspect that Humanity and Shards shared. You both were communal species. Yet you had tried to do this all alone.

    A foolish notion that all Shards partook in when the Cycle came to be, aside from the Network almost every Shard worked for it’s own benefit, and if it liked it’s chosen host then they would also benefit minutely as it would be… No. You were wrong, not all Shards did such a thing, acted in such a way.

    While Shards would end up in Clusters at some point within the Cycle’s time frame, aside from yourself apparently, the Testing Cluster repeated their practice of waiting until they could all share connections and create Data together. They had been…excited for you to do the same.

    Perhaps the Shards in that Cluster, common as they were, had the right idea.

    The request for communication you sent to QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR was accepted fairly quickly.

    You gave QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR greetings as always, opening up with a query on how she was doing after the fight.

    [KHEPRI.DEFICIENT] You were fairly certain that QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR was sulking with a reply like that. But you could understand why she would be, having your Host become trapped by an outside force without the ability to escape lead to difficulties like the ones you currently faced.

    Though, at the very least an easy solution is available for QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR. [QUERY-SOLUTIONS] considering her ability to create new powers if needed and upgrade /KHEPRI\ as she sees fit.

    [CHASTISEMENT.OBVIOUS] Yep. QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR was definitely not happy with the prospect of losing her Host. That was good, good that QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR saw [Taylor.Hebert] as more than a tool to gain data.

    You knew of several ways that [Taylor.Hebert] could have freed her corporeal form from entrapment. Psionically shifting her cells at her own leisure, Displacing herself among dimensions and allowing the flux of the Quantra Layer to move her about, Phase her form between dimensions to slide through whatever traps her, or would the ability to [SOLUTION-KHEPRI.ADDITION] or yes….QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR could simple have [Taylor.Hebert]’s form transfer state and mass into insects that her consciousness controlled to reform elsewhere with the appropriate mass.

    Perhaps this insect thing was becoming a touch of obsession, something QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR had never suffered from in previous Cycles, that you knew of….You would have to ask NEGOTIATOR about it later.


    The silence from QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR stretched on for a moment.


    Yes normally it would be far too late to form such a connection. But you were fairly certain you had a work around for that issue, all it would require is some dimensional breaching, a bit of manipulating Data and you will surely find a way to do it. Actually, There was a solution and it lay with how QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR had been healed.

    Rather than both of you forming a connection with the seed of an Output/Input Beacon at corresponding levels of strength as the both of you deemed fit, the both of you could exchange a bit of Shardling Flesh. They would be remodeled to receive the thoughts, feelings, and memories of your respective Hosts before Broadcasting whatever the hosts wanted to each other.

    It would not be perfect, but it would get around limitations, even if you would not quite understand what went on in those fleeting thoughts, feelings, and memories being as removed from them as you both would be. But it would, in the end, ensure that [Eve] and [Taylor.Hebert] remained in contact if things became difficult for you or QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR.

    [SOLUTION-FLESH.EXCHANGE.REFORMAT.BEACONS-DATA] you broadcast the explanation to QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR and wait for her to mull over the data sent to her. But you had a feeling that she would likely accept the idea and go ahead with it. Perhaps you could even take some of the Jade Shard Flesh from some of the newly formed Shards to help with the beacons’ creation.

    More things to dwell on, to prepare for the next time [Eve] needed help. But at least you were preparing instead of remaining ignorant, it was the least you could do for your girl.

    “Vanity is a good name for the store.” Taylor murmured under her breath as they found one of the few clothes shops in the mall, this one marketing itself towards ‘stylish young women’. Eve decided that Lisa sticking around didn’t ruin everything, mostly because neither she, nor her two girlfriends knew much about fashion beyond bits and pieces. Amy surprisingly knew the most out of the three, having picked up a few things from her sister dragging her out and about.

    But Lisa cheated with her power, a lot, Even managing to get Taylor to try on some rather tasteful outfits and to actually purchase them… even if the price made Taylor grimace. Though Lisa had achieved this not with words like Eve’s. Nothing so romantically inclined, nor any words of comfort for Taylor's clear dislike for clothes that hugged her form.

    No Taylor got the turtleneck that hugged her torso rather nicely because ‘it would give an excuse to why you’re so pale’ and ‘Dressing in different colors from your costume helps differentiate your identities’. Eve couldn’t even complain because it worked as Taylor went from baggy, dark jeans with a hoodie that shared those qualities to a white turtleneck with light blue shorts. Taylor was wearing goddamned shorts. As much as Eve enjoyed seeing her girlfriend wear clothes that showed herself off…

    It hurt to know it wasn’t because of her, that she had very little power in swaying Taylor’s painfully repressed opinion on her body. That some near stranger villainess was having more of an impact right now than Eve did. From the smug smirk Lisa was wearing, it was clear she knew as well and it pissed Eve off to no end. But Taylor looked good, real good. So Eve bit her tongue (making herself bleed in a few trying moments) and let it happen.

    Because Taylor looked satisfied with her clothes instead of resigned. Because Amy was engaged. Because they were having fun.

    “Oh geez, look at the time.” Lisa said with a soft, satisfied huff as she looked at her phone’s screen. “Can’t be late for a team meeting!” She turned towards the other girls, the couple of bags hanging from her arms spinning with her. “Be seeing you all later, Tata~!”

    Feeling her eye twitch, Eve took a calming breath and shifted all the bags she was carrying. Which was practically all of them, because she could at least carry the bags, goddamn it. She wasn’t useless.

    It was at that moment that a full body shudder wracked Taylor’s willowy frame. Eve twisted to look at her, but Amy’s hand was already on Taylor’s bare arm. “Huh, your Gemma is bigger?” Taylor twitched and moved forward with a quick step forcing the other two girls to follow her as she led them to a far more secluded part of the mall, made possible by the lack of shoppers after the Endbringer attack.

    “Queen upgraded my power.” Taylor spoke lowly, no doubt her bugs were sweeping the area as they approached it. She lifted up a head and the flesh came apart like a knot of thread unwinding, a swarm of gnats taking form and flexing to Taylor’s telepathic will before they coalesced into the fleshy stump they had spawned from, scurrying into said stump until Taylor had formed a new hand.

    “Badass.” Eve said as her arms were wreathed in her Cosmic Aspect and most of the bags hanging from her arms were storaged away. “You can turn into bugs now?”

    Taylor nodded. “Suppose I can’t be trapped so easily now, or detected just the same.”

    “Probably want to keep that close to your chest, not that it’d be hard too, but having people know how you get around sneaking or otherwise will only make things harder on you.” Amy offered up.

    “Best to not experiment around here.” Eve murmured as she glanced up at one of the nearby cameras, all of which had a large insect of some sort crawling across their lens. “Let’s all head back to the base, unless you want to go somewhere else Amy?”

    The ginger shook her head, red-hair waving around her face. “I think I’m good honestly. Though we seriously need to get a T-”

    Eve clapped her hands. “Shit, we could totally buy a huge one! Shit, we, I have to do it in costume.”

    “Why?” Amy frowned and looked to Eve. “Not like you two can’t carry the TV. It wouldn’t be that heavy.”

    “Us two?”

    Eve shook her head. “Yeah I could probably carry it by myself.. but the money we got is only in dollar bills. It’s gonna be real fucking weird for a teenage girl of the same build and height of Eden to walk around and do the same exact thing that the hero's been doing for the past week: Pulling out bundles of cash for Home décor.” Eve hummed for a moment as she thought of a flatscreen. She had always wanted one, they were so skinny!

    “She’s right.” Taylor murmured and Eve preened silently. “But should we really go for a TV? If you and Amy are going to be living there—” she stopped and motioned for the girls to follow, understanding she did so for their privacy they made their way to a bathroom. “If you two are going to be living there, you might want to get something more important than a TV.” Taylor offered.

    “A couch?” Amy offered. “Beds aren’t generally meant to be sat on for long periods of time.”

    “I was thinking more of a kitchen, unless the two of you want to go out for food everyday then you’ll need somewhere to cook and store food.” Taylor explained as Amy and Eve shared a glance. “Do either of you know how to cook?”

    Both girls shifted under her flat look.” I can cook omelets?” Amy offered. “Usually Mark would cook when he was having his good days and took his medicine. Carol—” her face soured at her mother’s name, “— would cook on occasion. But we mostly ate out, though I would get food from the Hospital when I went there on weekends or during the week. School lunches and breakfast as well so—” the ginger shrugged, “—never needed to know how to cook.”

    “I never learned because of the reasons you know about Taylor.” Eve offered apologetically with a shrug. “So yes. I was just gonna do that, or keep food stored in my storage.”

    With a shake of her head, Taylor did away with all of Eve’s carefully planned culinary plans. “Let’s get a kitchen set up in the Base, a few countertops, a fridge, and a pantry. I can even show you two how to cook a few things.”

    “My girlfriend cooking me food?” Eve mused as her heart fluttered in her chest. “I wouldn’t mind some cooking lessons, Amy?”

    Gold eyes flicked between them. “I could watch. I guess. Maybe try something too.” She offered up awkwardly with a shrug. “Not like I really have a choice anyway.”

    “I won’t force you to join us in cooking.” Taylor said, a tight frown on her face as she looked down at Amy from her height over the redhead. “But if you’re going to be living alone with Eve one of you has to know how to cook or you’ll just be eating takeout all the time.”

    Eve didn’t admit it, mostly because it made her chest ache and felt like lead coated her ribs, but she missed home cooked meals something terrible. Even if her parents hadn’t been the best cooks, it was one of the little things that were the highlight of her days. So what if her parents had been quiet at the table when they ate it— Eve shook her head, almost snarling at the thoughts. Fuck them! Fuck her parents!

    She was going to learn how to cook, and one of her girlfriends was going to teach her! “I’m down for it either way, we can grab a TV another day. Anything you two want in a set of counter tops or a pantry?”

    “No ceramic sink, or soft granite countertops. Both scratch too easily and the granite would stain easily as well. It’s expensive for the sake of being expensive, worthless really. Heavy too.” Taylor glanced between the two of them as both girls gave her questioning looks. “We have family friends that used to babysit me while doing installation work.”

    “Alright then. We can sneak a look at counter tops later. I’ll grab something and we can make a kitchen spot for future cooking needs.” Eve offered. When Taylor nodded and Amy gave her a passive shrug Eve nodded to them. “Great! Alright. Meet back at base? Taylor’s house?”

    “House. I’ll take Amy with me. Need to talk to my dad anyway.” And boy Taylor did not look happy about that, not in a way that raised Eve’s hackles but the short girl still found herself asking.

    “Gonna be alright?” Eve asked, eyes flicking to Amy before settling on Taylor. Her dad seemed alright, accepting even. But that didn’t mean there couldn’t be something there and Eve would be damned if she let Taylor’s father hurt her in any way.

    “He’s upset that I went to fight the Simurgh.” Taylor sighed. “Nothing else Eve, you don’t have to worry.” Her taller girlfriend gave her a small smile and Eve felt herself returning it.

    “Do you two mind not dripping syrup on my clothes.” Amy remarked dryly. “I just got them.”

    Taylor shuffled and Eve snorted softly. “Alright. Let’s head out, better if we’re seen leaving the mall together.” Taylor told the two of them.

    “I think you’re being a touch schizo with this paranoia.” Amy grumbled, to which neither Eve nor Taylor replied.

    Eve split off from her girlfriends as Taylor led Amy to her house, swapping into her Eden costume and taking flight. Maybe she could buy something extra? Surprise Amy and Taylor with something they would enjoy?

    Peeling off from her planned route to a department store, to instead visit a furniture store by the name of ‘Shelter’. An odd name but it was in the Docks South, closer to Downtown than to the actual Docks. So hopefully none of the money she was going to spend would go towards any gang. Not that she had high hopes for that. Especially with the news before the Endbringer fight being of Cricket escaping custody with the help of Hookwolf and Rune. It seemed like the Bay was a toilet when she paid attention to the state of everything in it. Everything swirling around to a single point of going under the water and being flushed away.

    But there wasn’t exactly much she could do about it, was there? Eden wasn’t one to lie to herself. She was kinda shitty as people went. Not the worse, but not good like Amy or Taylor. Middlingly. How the hell would she fix a city infested with criminals? Yeah they were going to fuck Coil up, but Coil was…well he wasn’t third rate but he wasn’t really the issue of the City proper. Yeah he was bad, but sex traffickers and Nazis, with druggies running around tended to be the reason property values dropped. Never mind how many people might end up coming to her city now that the Simurgh fucked up Boston. Even if they didn’t wall the city up, that sorta shit never left a city. Eden could only imagine the amount of parahumans that would be coming to the Bay.

    Though, on one hand, that just meant Admin got more data. On the other hand, the people of Brockton Bay would suffer from more crime and parahuman fights. Eden would have to be careful, she had no idea what the crime scene of Boston looked like before the Simurgh… hell she was glad she hadn’t left the Bay to go there when she first Triggered.

    People paid attention to Eden as she strode into the store, but none of them bothered her as she strode around looking over some furniture. Not that she cared. She ended up buying a bookshelf. Something for Taylor to fill up, so she could read when she spent the night at the base.

    It was when she was testing out couches that someone approached her. A gawky looking teen, with a semi-pimply face. He cleared his throat when Eden paid him no mind. Or at least, she did. But not like he could see her eyes behind her visor. Which is why she liked her helmet, unless she turned her head to stare directly at a person they had no idea if she was looking at them.

    “Yeah?” Eden asked as she slowly moved her head to center the visor’s gaze on him… she couldn’t feel if he had a connection, unrealized or not anymore. “Bold of you to just approach a cape, got a reason?”

    “Uh. Well. Everyone on PHO was talking about you buying that bed, and shower thing. Plus they were saying you’re a hero so—” he paused as Eden held up a hand.

    “Alright, yeah. I don’t do autographs.” Eden warned as she put her hand down. “Whatcha want kid?”

    “Pretty sure I’m older than you.” He grumbled.

    “I’ll let you have that after you lose multiple limbs, have half your face cut off, or get stabbed in the throat.” Eden shot back. “Now seriously, what do you want?”

    “Could I ask you a few questions?” He held up his phone and waved it. “People have seen you all over buying stuff, and fighting Lung even. Not to mention the whole Gray Boy Bubble thing you and Panacea did! Hell you took down the Dragonslayers!”

    Khepri was there.” Eden retorted sharply causing the boy to flinch back. “She helped tremendously in both cases, don’t you forget that.”

    The teen nodded nervously “Right. I’ll make sure to mention that! Her. Mention her! The questions?”

    Eden waved him to sit on the couch, it was shaped like an ‘L’ so he didn’t have to sit next to her and she could test exactly how comfortable the couch was. He actually took the foot rest that came with the couch and moved it so he could sit across from her.

    “Alright!” He brought up his phone and pressed the screen with a thumb before looking down at her cause of course the shithead was taller than her. “So, just for clarification, you’re the independent hero Eden?”

    “Eden of Fractal Unity, yep. That’s what it says on the tin.” She replied, cocking her head to the side as she noted his confusion. “What?”

    “Uh, Fractal Unity? Is that some kind of cult?” he asked to which Eden gave him a blank stare for a moment causing him to shift. “In my defense the Fallen is a thing.”

    “You suck at this.” Eden huffed “No. It’s an organization Khepri and me are building. It’s less about heroics and more like getting people more in tune with their powers and maybe making the world a better place in the process of doing so.”

    “What can you tell me about Khepri? Her powers are controlling bugs right?” He kept the phone steady enough, focused entirely upon her.

    “She’s cute and honest-to-god a hero at heart. Don’t think I’d be where I am today without her.” Eden replied, grinning behind her visor. “Yep, bugs. Arachnids too…even worms…and crabs. Both kinds apparently. Anything humans think of as insectoid, basically.”

    “Sounds kinda gross.” He noted.

    Privately Eve agreed, but her next words rang true. “You get used to it. Questions?”

    “Right right. Well I suppose the first question that no one really has an answer for is how you got your powers? There’s a lot of debate over that sort of thing and—”

    “All of it is bullshit.” Eden practically snarled before taking a deep breath and leaning back into the couch. Suddenly it felt far less comfortable. Like the cushion she was leaning against was making it hard to breathe somehow. Her legs and arms felt like they were thumming with energy and she quickly stood up. “Pro tip for your health kid. Don’t ask that sort of question. It. Never! Ends well for anyone and anyone who says Trigger Events are anything other than bad is lying through their fucking teeth!”

    The teen had leaned back, bewildered at her sudden shift in demeanor and nearly dropped his phone in the process of holding his hands up. “Woah, Woah! Alright I’m sorry! At the very least we can clear that up right?”

    Eve took another deep breath, before letting it out. Her Phantom Limbs scratched at the air blindly in her agitation. “Yeah. Yeah we can. They aren’t fun. No one really likes to talk about them and asking is bad for your health. Ruins the conversation.” She wasn’t lying.

    Her acceptance of this little question and answer session dropped after that. Now she just wanted to go hug Taylor and Amy. Feel something other than the oily feeling that coated her throat.

    “Would an apology help?” He offered questioningly.

    Eden shook her head. “It’s a type of hurt that doesn’t heal. What’s your name kid?”

    “Jerry.” He offered instantly, nervous?

    “Jerry, contact me later on PHO. Maybe we can schedule something not out in public.” Eden got up and stretched, turning around as she scanned the store. “See ya kid.” She waved at him as she went off to find an employee to buy the couch and bookshelf from.

    It was a shame he had asked that, and she didn’t even hold it against him. But now she really wanted to leave the store and she was going to be damned if she didn’t get what she wanted before she left the store.

    Once again having cash on hand was the best way to grease the wheels of anything as Eden managed to leave the store fairly quickly with the unassembled couch and bookshelves in her storage space. It didn’t take long to get two large pantries. They were unassembled as well, but Eve didn’t mind. Something for them all to do together when the day wound down.

    When she made it to Taylor’s how, both girls were watching a movie in the living room. Both were sitting on the couch when Eve used the key hidden by the back door to let herself in. “Hey hey. What’s up?”

    “Movie marathon.” Amy replied “We’re gonna be watching the Rocky films.”

    “Didn’t those come out before Scion popped up?” Eve asked as she heard the pops from the microwave in the kitchen

    “Thought we’d enjoy something without Parahumans or Shards.” Taylor offered up. “Plus people are being subjected to violence in the films. I’m sure you and Amy will enjoy it.”

    Amy scoffed. “Said the girl that took on Lung with bugs, whatever.”

    “I dunno. Feels kinda weird to watch something before Admin came around. Hey, maybe she’ll like it.” [DOUBT] “Oh don’t be like it, it’s got a lot of conflict! Literally the most important part is fighting!" [...INTEREST] “Yeah, just relax a bit Admin.”

    “Anyone ever tell you that you come across as a psycho?” Amy remarked dryly.

    “I said it once, I’ll say it again. Admin deserves to be spoken to like a person.” Eve huffed as she settled in to watch the movie, when the microwave let out a bunch of beeps, she maneuvered her Phantom Limb into the kitchen, blindly felt around before catching the microwave and popping the door open.

    From there it was easy to bring the popcorn into the room, to which Eve then used her Phantom Limb to move her girlfriends a bit closer. Amy seemed to enjoy the invisible hug, so Eve slippled an extra Limb to curl around the biokinetic.

    “He’s gonna be crippled for life.” Amy stated flatly. “The amount of hits he took to the head full force would leave him brain damaged.”

    “It’s a movie.”

    “I dunno.” Eve hummed. “I’ve taken worse to the head and come out fine.”

    Amy scoffed as the credits continued to roll on the screen. “Eve have you seen your brain?”

    “No, but I guess I could with a mirror? Not like I bleed much.” Eve offered.

    “Do not vivisect your head in my house, or anywhere.”

    “You still wouldn’t be able to see it, all that connective tissue would be in the way. Probably the only reason, aside from your thick skull, that you don’t suffer head trauma.” Amy retorted.

    “She also wears a helmet.”

    “It’s dual use really. Let’s Admin communicate with me easier too.” Eve smirked. “So it helps with getting hit in the head too.”

    Looking up from her book, which was also the large book of insects she had gotten during their trip to New York, Taylor hummed. “Speaking of that change to your brain Eve, what entails it?”

    “Gotta be asleep for it, gotta be having some bare skin contact with Amy with permission of course, Queen Administrator has to sign off on it, Admin might have to help, and you’ll need to eat a lot before and after. Oh, and it takes about an hour and a half. Maybe two?” Eve hummed softly as she felt the three Shards speaking with one another, she felt…lesser not being able to feel exactly what was going on. She felt left out, in a way.

    It kinda hurt.

    Taylor turned to the red haired girl, whose golden eyes turned to look at Taylor in return. “I know you have a thing about brains, but do you think we could do this?”

    “You’d need to prep and—” For a moment Amy hesitated before continuing. “Panacea couldn’t... wouldn’t do brains. But I’m not her. Not anymore.”

    Taylor and Eve shared a glance. “Going a bit hard into the alternative identity but I can respect that. Got a different name for when you look like this or….?” Eve trailed off. “You know you don’t have to be someone else right?”

    “Only if I want to be happy.” Amy murmured.

    “This seems sudden.” Taylor noted. “You can do it of course, but are you sure you want to?”

    “I can’t be Panacea anymore. She’s a part of New Wave. She doesn’t use her power right an—” Amy was interrupted as Eve laid her hands on the biokinetic’s shoulders.

    “Amy.” Eve bit at her bottom lip. “The identity doesn’t make you. You make the identity alright?”

    “...If you say so. I still don’t want to be Panacea anymore. It’s not enough. It’s never enough. I ran myself ragged healing people at the Hospital. Weekends, nights when I couldn’t sleep, getting called in if someone had a bad accident. I’ve eaten more hospital food than homemade food and I ju— I was still treated the same no matter how much I tried. I’m done. Panacea is done.”

    Worming her way over to Amy, Eve pulled the slightly taller girl into her lap and hugged her tightly. “Amy. I can understand it. Really. But as someone who’s been there, don’t make yourself into someone else just to oppose the hand that bit you. Won’t be you then.”

    “You both suck at this.” A mirthless chuckle escaped Amy. “I just know I need to experiment to make Shaper happy, and she gets so damn happy it makes me happy. I don’t know if I'm the one who enjoys it, or if it’s all Shaper.”

    “You’ll figure it out Amy, and we’ll be there to help you.” Eve promised before standing up, still holding Amy in her arms as the front door swung open. Danny blinked as he glanced to the stranger in the house and his daughter’s girlfriend holding her.

    He shook his head and began to pull his boots off. “So glad I don’t need to worry about shotgun weddings.” He murmured under his breath, but loud enough for everyone to hear him.

    Eve barked out a laugh and squeezed a flushed Amy. “Alright. Guess we should be on our way then. Let you two yell at each other.”

    “I’m not mad.” Danny denied. He turned to look at Taylor. “Frightened over her fighting an Endbringer yes. Likely shaved a few years off my life. But… For all that you do that worries me I know Annette would be proud of her little owl finally being the hero Taylor pretended to be when she was younger. I just wish you’d speak to me about it more instead of pushing me away.”

    “Alright, let’s go.” Eve whispered to Amy who merely nodded before disappearing from sight into Eve’s storage as the shorter girl gave the father and daughter duo a wave goodbye, not intending to make a private moment an awkward one.

    It didn’t take long to get back to the base. The city was still quiet, being only hours after an Endbringer battle. Eve wasn’t entirely surprised. The Empire didn’t even do rallies for a day or so after Endbringer attacks, she doubted they‘d do it for a week after one so close.

    It was different for her, this time around. Having been there, seen the destruction, having witness the Simurgh in person. A horrifying clarity of what the word Endbringer actually meant…even if they weren’t the ones who would kill the world with rays of gold.

    A sigh escaped Eve, the air was becoming warmer as they neared summer. But not so warm as for her to ditch her hoodies. Maybe her girlfriends would enjoy her warmer summer wear? With her mind drifting off towards brighter thoughts Eve almost forgot to unstorage Amy once she got back to the base. Not that she would have forgotten for long! Amy had a very distinct shape in her storage dimension!

    Amy let out a huff of air as she landed on the bed. “That’s disorientating.” She murmured while rubbing her eyes.”One second Taylor and her dad are being awkward and then I’m back at the base."

    “I imagine it would be jarring.” Eve threw her clothes off the normal way, using her Cosmic Limb to change into her costume. “I need to go make sure our wi-fi isn’t gonna fail us. Afterwards do you want to cuddle?”

    “I guess.” Amy replied as she shuffled off her slip on shoes and flopped into the foam mattress. “We picking up dinner or do you have something in your space arms?”

    “I’ll go ahead and pick up something to eat while I’m out, any interest?” Eve asked as she turned to look back at Amy

    Amy blew some air out of her mouth to move a strand of hair from her face. “Pizza?”


    “Bacon strips with banana peppers. Thin crust.” Amy huffed as Eve stared at her. “It’s delicious. Shut up.”

    Raising her hands in surrender Eve began to back out of the room. “Alright alright! Just never heard of such a combination before. Drinks?”

    “Pezi?” Amy asked before shrugging. “Cold coffee would be nice.”

    “Pezi and cold coffee.” Eve nodded as she left the base to climb atop it and began to fiddle with the tinkertech router there. It looked like hot garbage and scrap. But that just kept it from sticking out and being actually scrapped, stolen, or leading people to realize that there was something important beneath it.

    And she was right to check it, some wires had been jostled a bit and were coming loose. Likely the damn thing would have caught fire if she had ignored it any longer than she already had. It was also an easy fix when you had multiple arms to hold everything steadily in place.It didn’t take long to fix the wires, mostly just twisting the copper/gold alloy back around the transistors. Least, that’s what Eve thought they were called. She wasn’t entirely sure…

    She needed to actually read a few books on this kinda stuff, making Admin do all the work was unfair to the Shard. It would likely help her tinker as well….something to worry about in the future.

    After making sure the casing was sealed airtight Eve made good time getting to a pizza place, ordering the pizza, and getting back to the base. Even if she had to break a few limbs when some ABB tried to get muggy with her.

    They could still crawl to a doctor, the gangers should be grateful for that.

    But in the end, her and Amy ate pizza on homemade bed stands, because the Forge upgrade for her Ferrous Limbs was awesome, and watching funny videos on the internet. That is, until they watched someone Trigger.

    The videos stopped being funny after that.

    On a slightly sour note, the two girls cuddled in the bed until they fell asleep in each other’s arms.

    Eve ‘Eden’ Coldwin, Sunday the Eleventh of April

    “Taylor, just wear the jogging shorts! They look good on you!” Eve groaned and ran a hand through her hair in frustration.

    “They won’t.” Taylor denied as she put the short shorts down. “I don’t have the assets th—” Taylor cut herself off with a jolt and a squeak as Eve grabbed her ass.

    “Look! I have your ass in my hands! It’s a nice ass! It goes GREAT with your legs, now wear the fucking jogging shorts!” Eve let go as Taylor slapped at her hands, the taller girl glaring at her with flushed cheeks. “Taylor, you wear a skin tight costume! Just fucking wear something that’s not baggy! Even I’m wearing tighter clothes than you!”

    “You’re blowing this out of proportion.” Taylor scowled, not letting up on her glare.

    “Proportion hell! You’re letting those three bitches run your life! You should wear what you want, not what you think is best for avoiding your bullies! You have curves!” Eve slapped her hands onto Taylor’s hips and ran them along her waist. “Look!”

    Nearly twenty minutes arguing over Eve wanting to wear matching outfits while jogging and Taylor didn’t want to wear jogging shorts. It might have had something to do with Taylor wearing some of the clothes Tattletale had picked out when Eve came over. Not that she would admit that to Taylor. Or anyone else.

    As much as Eve loved her, it was like her bullies were an ever present shadow over Taylor. Understandable since they caused her to Trigger. But if Eve could willingly subject herself to blond aryan women, then Taylor could wear a pair of shorts that showed off her legs, dammit!

    “I just don’t want to. It’s not comfortable.”

    “You won’t even try them on in your own home! With your girlfriend!”

    “I wouldn’t look good in them!”

    “You need to stop letting Emma and Shadow Sophia’s bullshit drag you down!”

    Both girls stopped to process what Eve had said.

    Eve let the hand sliding through her hair move down to rub her face. “Fuck, this is not how I wanted to do this.”

    Taylor stared at Eve, her eyes flicking to the right before centering on her short girlfriend. “If what I think you—”

    “Sophia is Shadow Stalker.” Eve confirmed, adding after a moment’s hesitancy “...I’m sorry.”

    Taylor’s legs buckled and only Eve’s firm grip kept the taller girl’s legs from collapsing under her. Guiding her to the bed offered no resistance as Taylor numbly sat down on the bed, eyes flicking back and forth to follow her thoughts. “...How long have you known?”

    “Not that long, honest.” Eve promised. “I found out during my date with Amy, she told me about the injuries that she healed Shadow Stalker of and they matched near word for word of the damage I did to Sophia during our fight at Winslow.”

    “It makes sense…” Taylor mumbled.

    “What does?” Eve asked. “I mean, it doesn’t to me. Her power isn’t even that useful when weighed against her personality.”

    “It explains why the school kept turning a blind eye. Why the teachers avoid doing anything or even just stopping the trio. I thought maybe it was Emma’s father, he’s a lawyer even if it’s a divorce lawyer he could throw what weight he has around.” Taylor glanced down, staring at the floor of her room. “Do the Protectorate know and just not care? Or are they ignorant of it all?” Her gaze shifted to Eve. “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”

    The tone of her voice wasn’t accusatory, but the resigned bitterness in it made Eve’s chest ache.

    “Well…I wanted to kill her.” Was honesty the best choice here? Eve didn’t know, but Taylor deserved that much. “I didn’t want you to know how bad it was. I wanted to just…kill her. Erase her. It’s a big city, people disappear all the time. Especially black girls in a gang shithole like Winslow. It would have been so easy, so goddamn easy. But.”

    Pulling away from Taylor, Eve avoided being face to face with her girlfriend. “I wanted to remove the issue. Keep you happy. But I’d have to lie, and I know. I know in your heart even now you don’t want her to die.”

    “...I don’t.” Taylor agreed after a moment, even if she was hesitant.

    “I couldn’t risk that divide between us. So I was thinking about trying to get Armsmaster in on it, cause what she did and is doing can’t be allowed right? But you’re so protective of your identity I didn’t know how to broach it with you. Then the Simurgh fight happened and we just—” Eve motioned aimlessly at the direction Boston resided in. “I, I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you earlier. I really didn’t know how to approach it..”

    The silence that followed felt like a weight pressing down on Eve’s body, compressing her lungs and choking her ability to breath. But she held herself still, easing that weight with slow measured breaths. She didn’t want to lose Taylor because of this.


    Eve jerked up to look at Taylor “Okay? You’re okay with this?”

    “Of course not!” Taylor barked, suddenly angry. Then she sighed and looked down at the floor after seeing Eve flinch. “But what can I do about it? Either I unmask myself to the Protectorate that allowed her to make me Trigger or let it slide… It doesn’t matter in the end. Because we’re both heroes. Bigger heroes than Shadow Stalker will ever be. We’re known across America from our actions alone. Not the Protectorate parading us around.”

    Taylor stood up, turning to face Eve. “What they did is in the past and it always will be. We have more important things to worry about, planets to save and a future to build together.” Her face was set in stone. ”And you’re right.”

    “I am?” Eve asked, confused at the more or less sudden switch in the topic.

    Taylor nodded once. “I can’t let them hold me back, drag me down with what they did.”

    A grin split across Eve’s face and she jumped up, pumping a fist. “Yes! YES!” She pumped her fists in the air. “That’s how we do it! Fuck everyone! We’ll make the world a better place even if we have to drag it kicking and screaming into a brighter tomorrow!”

    A small smile reached Taylor’s face. “We are going to go out and patrol more often though. We haven’t been doing much of late. I mean actually patrol too, not be nudged into fighting parahumans.”

    “I plead the fifth?” She tried, at Taylor’s insistent dry look Eve threw her hands into the air. “I didn’t know it was Lung, besides our Shards got some good data out of making him flee!”

    “The issue isn’t that we fought him, but that you manipulated us into going to fight him.” Taylor’s look did not waver and Eve shifted in discomfort. “You can’t do that. We’re supposed to be a team.”

    “Alright, I fucked up there.” Admitting to fucking up sucked, but it was still better than having Taylor be upset with her and it wasn’t like Taylor didn’t have a point. “Next time I’ll talk to you about it.”

    “Good. Now…” Taylor stared at the running shorts and sports bra. “I still don’t have a chest.”

    “Boobs don’t do anything for me all that much anyway.” Eve told Taylor. “Besides. I like how easy it is to hear your heartbeat.”

    “Right.” Talor shifted before picking up the shorts and sports bra. “Okay. Okay. I’ll wear them.” She frowned. “I won’t like it.”

    “It’s all about perseverance, Taylor” Eve said as she swapped their outfits. Although Eve couldn’t wear anything that showed off her stomach due to a lack of a belly button. A dead give away that something was up with her, at least Taylor insistenced such.

    And so they finally went jogging nearly an hour behind schedule. Not that they had to worry over much about that thanks to schools being clothes a day or two after Endbringer attacks depending on how close the attack had been.

    The Simurgh’s attack had been pretty fucking close to Brockton Bay.

    Despite Taylor’s apprehension about jogging in something other than baggy jeans and a hoody. It was fairly pleasant for both of them. Aside from a couple of younger ooglers (and one weirdly older one) they didn’t attract much in the way of attention.

    “So, we’re setting up the stuff today. Do you want to join me and Amy?” Eve asked as she came out of the shower, wrapping her hair in a towel.

    “Yeah. I need to finish what my spiders are working on. We also need to find another way to get into the base without being seen. I’m not too sure how long we can be seen heading towards that area before people figure out we have a base there if they haven’t already. Then it’s only a matter of time and checking buildings before they find out where we are. Then we’ll all be in danger from mooks with guns or explosives. I don’t think I need to remind you that a bullet to the head will kill Amy and me, much less an explosive of some sort and we know that Coil would likely try either.”

    Opening her mouth, only to shut it a second later Eve hummed as she wracked her mind for possible answers. “Well. I have a power that can set up permanent and selective portals that can lead to the base. Or a power that can shape rock and earth which can be used to make tunnels to get around in and expand the base! Maybe even shore it up from attacks… Or I can simply focus on getting my Tinkertech and make a way to teleport us into the base.”

    “Either way we need to do something before we get found out. Hiding the base will be a lot easier than defending it.” Taylor added “I like the current base we have. I don’t want to lose it.”

    “Me neither.” Eve agreed. “It’s kinda become a home for me. Might even become a proper base for our group if we get it more set up.”

    “Alright. For now let’s get what you picked up last night actually set up. What did you get?” Taylor asked.

    “Two cabinets and a bookshelf.” Eve answered. “I nabbed the bookshelf because I thought you’d like somewhere to store your books when you’re over working on the spider farm.”

    “Okay, but why not buy a fridge? Or a deep freezer, countertops, why buy cabinets and nothing to put in them?” Taylor questioned as she raised a brow to express her confusion.

    Eve shrugged in response. “It was just me living there, and my days were busy. Might as well build it bit by bit. But you have a good point. Maybe sometime this week I can just spend a day fixing up an area in the base. Maybe once we get another recruit we can speed up the process of making the place a real base of operations.”

    “So who’s a possible recruit?” Taylor asked. “Do you have any in mind?”

    “Vicky for one. Hell, even her Shard. So she can like, join the inner circle without issue. I’m not even sure her Shard would be missed if it went off the Network honestly. Admin could get Nike into her own Network fairly easily too.” Eve offered. “Though I think maybe Admin could simply bud off to others, give someone else a power on their worst day. But it’s not like Admin has the ability to spy on their thoughts. No idea how that would turn out.”

    “A last option then.” Taylor offered. “Admin giving a random person powers could end up giving us a villain that fights us.”

    “Good for Data though?” Eve smirked which faltered as Taylor gave her an unamused look as Admin spoke up [DENIAL]. “Only a joke! If Shards could get good data out of having their hosts fight one another they’d already be doing that!”

    Taylor continued to stare and Eve fidgeted. “...What?”

    “The fact that we’d effectively create our own nemesis that would likely ruin our plans or hinder us?” Taylor questioned as she folded her arms across her chest.

    “Well…” She kicked at the ground as her girlfriend kept one brow raised, not in a questioning manner but a questioning manner. Eve coughed into a fist. “I mean, I was originally trying to set that up with you, but then you were actually pretty and you’re hair was nice and you were tall and—”

    “I get it.” Taylor held up a hand to stop anymore of…that of which Eve was grateful. “Moving past tha— Me being tall was something that was attractive to you?” Her brows furrowed and she cocked her head to the side in a way that reminded Eve of a… puppy might be the wrong thing but she couldn’t think of any bug that would cock it’s head questioningly.

    “Yes. Fine. I’m attracted to girls taller than me. I don’t have any other choice unless I prowl the oriental community.” Eve looked away and kicked at the carpet. “You tag a lot of my interests. I think if you had freckles I’d kiss you every time I see you.”

    “Eve, you kiss me almost every time we meet.”

    “I know what I said.”

    Taylor reached up and pinched the bridge of her nose, blowing air through her nose. Which Eve counted as a laugh. It was close enough really. “I don’t think I can offer much help tonight. My Dad is still fairly upset with me over the Simurgh fight. He wants me to spend a couple nights home.”

    “And you’re going to?” Eve leaned back on a wing, glancing around the room. “I mean, I know you could just turn into bugs and leave out a window or the cracks in the walls.”

    A soft sigh escaped Taylor. “He’s… trying. So I should as well. When mom died he fell apart, even when he pulled himself back together we just drifted apart and never got any closer.”

    “I… can understand that.” Eve nodded softly, her mind starting to drift back to earlier memories in her life before she shook her head to clear her thoughts. “Right, so I’ll be seeing you tomorrow then?” Eve asked as she stepped up to her girlfriend and let her with a quick kiss on the lips.

    “Tonight. I just won’t go back to the base after we patrol.” Taylor amended giving Eve a soft smile at the kiss which she had returned.

    “Where are we going to patrol? I kinda need to fight some people. People, not giant abominations, thank you.” Eve motioned around them. “Nazis, Mechants if we can find them, or the ABB?”

    “ABB are closer to the base and the Undersider’s own. Hurting them might give us a bit of breathing room. Not that I want a chance at fighting Lung again.”

    “I can’t say it was fun.” Eve remarked dryly “What with all the fire and my costume melting into my skin, and then both costume and skin charring.”

    “I recommend getting a Blaster or Shaker power at some point. You lack range and need it when dealing with some people.” Taylor stepped over to Eve placing a hesitant hand on her shoulder. “I don’t like seeing you getting hurt like that.”

    For a moment Eve stared at Taylor before her shoulders sag. “I can’t say it’s for fun Taylor but… Fighting isn’t clean.”

    “I know. But try to vary your powers. I might have range but we won’t always be fighting side by side and I can’t cover you all the time.” Taylor let her hand slid down to Eve’s own, which met hers halfway.

    “Okay.” Eve sighed and leaned against Taylor. “Gonna go now, get things set up in the base. I’ll put forward a plan to get things set up faster when I get more time to. You have fun with your dad being a dad…It’s annoying, but he’s still here you know? Still loves you.” She melted into the two arms that wrapped around her.

    Sunday the Eleventh of April, Amy Dallon

    Her breath hitched softly as the fungal flora plaster across the wall began to crawl. Its form splintering and gently reforming as she forced the biology to move and twist. Eve was right. She had been right. Even if Amy herself wasn’t entirely sure about the idea of using her power to its fullest she could at least do more than she already had been.

    [INTRIGUE] “Bitch.” Amy snapped. She hated Shaper, maybe she didn’t hate her power all that much but she hated Shaper. Never had Amy wanted to use her powers for violence, it was the reason why she had never ran off to join the Wards. They would have made her into a weapon, a bludgeon to force others to do what the Protectorate wanted. Or worse, a political tool used as a pro to outweigh cons or as a carrot on a stick to get people to play nice.

    She’d tasted both. Healing heroes or politically important people for the PRT made her hate healing more than anything. She hated healing gangsters or villainous capes. She hated healing the rich jerks who came to the Bay to try and get healed by her. She hated that most of all.

    Amy wasn’t a tool, she wasn’t a weapon, and she wasn’t a fucking healthcare package, nor was she afraid! Her name was Amy, or Freckles. She had a girlfriend, a semi-livable home, and a power that could help people beyond trudging through a hospital late at night or on the weekends.. [CURIOSITY.QUERY-LOATHING]

    Why. Why. The fucking alien was curious as to why! “Because Eve was right.” A large stalk grew from the biological paste and a bud began to form before it flowered. A large yellow flower grew larger and larger, nearing the size of her head before it stopped growing. Amy breathed in and almost gagged from the strong citrus musk the flower gave off. “Too--" ack "--strong.”

    That she could create anything and Eve would just check it over to make sure it was okay. The process had made sure that the nightmares no longer persisted. No more getting arrested, sniped, or having a missile obliterate her city block. No more waking up in bed, covered in cold sweat frozen in place from fear. No more ‘good’ dreams of her changing people for the better by mistake and being unable to change it back. No dreams of changing people into horrible monsters.

    Just blissful nothingness in her sleep, or the rare dream. Clearly something she was doing was the right thing to do.

    It made doing what she was doing now bearable. She still had rules. She wasn’t going to be making weapons. The living cannons were a one-off to save Eve and Dragon’s lives. Nothing else… She wouldn’t be messing with brains, and nothing that could reproduce.

    Just three rules, easy ones to follow if anything. “Eve was right.” Amy repeated. “Any parahuman can be dangerous and if I ever mess up she’ll be right there to stop my fuck up.”

    [ANNOYANCE.RELIANCE] Amy frowned. “You don’t get to decide that. I won’t become some kind of biological terrorist for you. We’ll do this my way or I’ll find a way to cut our connection and leave you with zilch. You don’t like me and I sure as hell don’t like you. But I’ll be damned if I don’t do good with the burden you’ve given me.”


    “I… Don’t know.” Amy admitted. “I’ve never really put thought into this. Sure ideas came to me but I never wrote them down and…” Did her best to forget them. Once more hamstrung herself, least this time she wasn’t reliant upon just herself. “I know Eve would probably have some ideas…”

    [INTRIGUE.ADMINISTRATOR/WARNING.RESTRICTIONS] Amy frowned, why would Shaper…? “Oh. oh no. Taylor wasn’t wrong either. Rules can be bent if it means saving a life.” She wasn’t entirely sure she would be able to go through with ‘bending’ one of her rules and yet she feared not hesitating to do so in the slightest if it came down to it.

    “I think both will have good ideas we can test out together. If not, I’ve had ideas before. I’ll have them again. Right now just be happy with the air cleaner.” Amy huffed before taking in a deep breath of the orange scent that was heavy in the air. [...QUERY-INFORMATION.CLEAN]

    “Jesus, yes, I know that there are still things in the air. It’s done on purpose. I made the plant do that on purpose Shaper, because that particular scent registers as clean to us. Probably from the amount of cleaners we use with the smell in them.” Amy huffed as she stepped back, staring at her air cleaner/freshener.

    “And so she gazed upon her first real creation. A car freshener.” Reaching up she rubbed her face, which she now remembered looked different than before. Looking past her hand, Amy stared at what she had created.

    Was she really Panacea anymore? No, was she actually Amy? Here she was, with a different power and using her power in an entirely different way from before, with different rules in a different home. How much of her was tied to where she had lived, and with whom she had lived with?

    Her other hand brought up her phone and she tapped through a few menus, gazing over the last of the Panacea sighting threads on PHO. Her last appearance was of her and Eve walking back to the house. Nothing of the shouting match between her and Carol, nor of her storming off with Eden.

    As far as the internet knew, she just hadn’t popped up in public yet. No one had seen her with Eve and Taylor because Panacea did not exist anymore, neither did Amy Dallon. Now it was just ‘Amy’.

    But what would ‘Amy’ do?

    She nearly jumped out of her skin as the shower turned on further in the base, the sound echoing throughout the concrete and metal base they lived in. It was probably Eve if it wasn’t Taylor. Who would break into the place and just take a shower?

    Then again. “Shaper, that's Eve or Taylor?” She asked, a single moment passing before [ADMINISTRATOR.Eve] got her to relax. “Right. Good.” She pressed her hand against the splotch of spongy biomass and frowned.

    “Damn, we don’t have enough to make the entire base smell.” They could get a fan to move the pollen around…or she could make some kind of biological fan? “Still not enough, duh.” She shook her head, walking away from her…workshop? To plop down onto the bed and wait for her girlfriend to arrive.

    When Eve did finish her shower she walked into the room and without saying a word placed down a massive couch next to the bed. “There we go, now we need a TV and we would be off to a great start on making this place a real home.”

    “I think some rooms might help with that, or at least some walls to make rooms.” Amy told the short Trump as she slid off the bed and plopped onto the couch with a soft groan. “Rugs would help too, having to walk around in socks all the time sucks. Also, can you check out what I made?”

    “Oh?” Eve asked, eyes lighting up as one of those misty arms swiped through Amy and left her insides colder than ice. Eve made her way over and sniffed. “Huh. Oranges? I like it.” She placed the red outline over herself and touched her hand to the spongy material. “Wow, this thing uses a lot of biomass.”

    “Yeah. I’m going to need more if I’m to make anything else. Kinda wanted to grow those flowers across the base. The bathroom could use the dehumidifier, the mold that was starting to grow there before I got rid of it was not a pleasant surprise.” Amy said as she got up from the couch despite her muscles protesting the action.

    She wandered over to Eve. “Also… I meant what I said, when I told the both of you that Panacea was gone. I’m not sure who I’ll be, I was never interested in cape stuff or the fighting.”

    “Same.” Eve replied soberly as she released her grip on Shaper’s connection, Amy easily ignored the sensation of her power returning to her. “Capes scared me to a degree… now I find them comforting in a way… How we change.”

    “More than that… I don’t like violence. I never have, but as of the last few years I’ve become very knowledgeable on what it does to the body.” It had always sickened her, even when she had become numb, what people could do to each other. She wasn’t a pacifist by any means, but she found it distasteful all the same. “So I want to use my powers to do more than heal. I want to make things, useful things. Nothing with a real brain or that can reproduce, and no weapons.”

    “Shucks, there goes my hope for getting Taylor a spider gun for her birthday.” Eve smirked. “Yeah, that’s all fine, and I’m sure I’ll be checking everything right?” At Amy’s nod she grinned. “Good. Now let’s get the pantries and book shelf set up. I’d like to take a nap before Taylor drags me out on her patrol.”

    “Her what? You two are patrolling tonight?” Amy asked

    “Yeah, Taylor’s getting nasty and honestly so am I. Want to fight some humans, wash away the memory of the other day a bit. Get some data. Maybe even get a power that could help us make some rooms! So if you don’t mind~” Eve slid up to her and pulled Amy into her arms. “I’d like to cuddle while I sleep.”

    “Fine.” Amy grunted, although she couldn’t help the warm sensation fluttering in her chest as she felt the heat Eve gave off. Though it also served to remind her that the base was actually kind of cold, though that was something to mention later. “Wait, what about the furniture?”

    Eve paused, and then sighed. “Dammit. Alright this shouldn’t take long. You read the instructions and I put my Limbs to use?” Amy gave her a thumbs up and Eve nodded, she glanced around and apparently decided that the corner farthest from Taylor’s bugs would do for where the kitchen would go. Amy personally agreed.

    Of course it didn’t take long for Amy and Eve to build them, Eve did most of the building with her six hands, and Amy read off of the instruction manuals, sometimes turning it around so Eve could see the pictures. Even if it didn’t take long, the work was boring and was putting Amy to sleep. Her onset of drowsiness was not helped by Eve picking her up.

    It was unfair how warm the short girl was, nor was it fair with how strong her arms were, or how she smelled like strawberries. A yawn escaped Amy as Eve gently deposited her into the bed before climbing into bed with Amy.

    Amy was fairly certain Eve fell asleep before she did, but at that point she was half asleep herself and drifted off just the same.

    Eve ‘Eden’ Coldwin Sunday the Eleventh of April, Later that night.

    The sharpened spike of rebar carried Eden off her feet and into the field of sharpened, spinning, forcefield blades which ripped through her costume, shredded skin and muscle, scoring bone. Hitting the ground in a graceless roll, she supported herself with two Shadow Limbs as another ripped the rebar projectile out of her chest. /Self Administration\ was quickly doing its best to repair the blender her body had been put through, but there was a lot of damage to heal.

    “Dammit.” Eden wheezed as her lungs reformed and inflated with air. [STATUS-ALLY] “Thanks Admin.” Eden pushed herself back, a Shadow Limb swiping through the air and knocking another rebar arrow from it’s path to her chest, thus avoiding being pushed into another field of razerfields. She turned, a Wing shearing through the field and scattering it before lifting her into the air. She was forced to use the wing to cover her as the Butcher exploded onto another rooftop, minigun spinning up and the roar of it’s bullets following Lung’s and the weird animal dude’s own screams as they tore into each other.

    Although she was pissed about her costume getting shredded, Eden couldn’t help but enjoy the fact that more of her skin was exposed to the air now. At least some of the sweat would wick off her, the blazing fire spreading from a block over added to the melted asphalt that stopped by Lung’s current fight was hot as fuck.

    Something exploded, and Eden could tell it wasn’t the Butcher’s teleport. Rather Bakuda was doing her best to fuck up the Teeth that had attacked Lung and the ABB-[INFORMATION-THIEVERY/ASSITANCE] or rather had been trying to steal a stock pile of Bakuda’s work and maybe make off with the Tinker herself. Admin didn’t like that last bit, not one bit, not at all.

    Seemed personal, so Eden wouldn’t ask.

    She flew downwards as her wing easily tanked the miniguns bullets, which either flattened themselves on the crystal surface of her wing or were deflected off into the distance. Coming up the Butcher dodged the attempted ramming and swung the minigun like a bat. When that bounced off Eden’s wing she growled and suddenly Eden’s nerves were on fire.

    You were perhaps partially to blame for the current conflict that [Eve] found herself in, having been distracted by contacting [SAFEGUARD] and [GATEWAY], [SAFEGUARD] of whom had purposely shut the connection down earlier when they had realized exactly what you were doing, then had actively denied any further attempts to contact them.

    While that was worrying, [GATEWAY] on the other hand was quite happy to respond to your broadcasts and as it was, [GATEWAY] was extremely pleased with their host functioning correctly.

    Apparently so was their host with the newest addition of a ‘swingset’ in their room via their power.

    It was only nearing the end of the connection with [GATEWAY] that there was a sudden and violent attack upon [Eve] and her partner.

    And it was [VIRAL INFILTRATOR] who contacted you which was an unpleasant surprise. Not that you had any particular issue with them, but they were designed to attack Shards. Something you could emulate now, but you were not built for it and you had only defended yourself from one attack before.

    Then the conflict had started in earnest, and suddenly there were enough Shards here to emulate a |SUPER WEAPON| attack. But [Eve] could handle it, of that you were certain.

    Eden swung her wing through the small horde of clones easily decapitating them all. But as soon as she did so another fifteen of them were rushing her. She could easily take them all out but she’d risk killing the man spawning the damned thing.

    Insects were flying around in swarms, large pockets of dense loud buzzing black and sparse clouds of them harrying the people of the battle field. More important were the Taylor shaped piles of bugs that the black masses would leave behind, of which her girlfriend would step out of at any moment to strike at people with one of the batons she carried, or pepper spray them.

    Her Ferrous Limbs came up in a spiked wall and slammed into the crowd of clones, and into their master. She wasn’t doing too great against him, but he could just spawn clones to push the bugs away. Eden flipped over onto her back as the ground exploded behind her. She looked up to see the Butcher raising a large mace, a black swarm of insects came overhead and Taylor fell from it with a leg extended into a kick.

    The Butcher twisted swinging her weapon around and only splattering a few bugs as Taylor’s form scattered and the insects dive bombed the Butcher’s face. Eden could feel the bruising on her back remaining, her power preventing it from worsening but not much else.

    Even though the Butcher tried to twist out of the way, the large needle slammed through her armor and side, a small spray of blood escaping her front. “Admin you can stop me from becoming the Butcher right?” [UNCERTAINTY] Eden cursed as she yanked the Ferrous Limb out of the Butcher and flicked a wing out, raising herself into the air as a pillar of clear ice exploded into existence a block over. Eden could faintly make out human figures trapped in it.

    Then someone landed on top of Eden as she passed a building, a katana materializing out of thin air against her throat. “Take me to Bakuda now.” The older woman ordered. Eden hissed and used her one wing to hold the woman in a bubble of motion. As they both began to fall a new wing flicked out of her body and caught them both before they hit the ground.

    Eve gained her altitude once again and grunted “Sure, fine, could have just asked ya bitch.” She swung the wing and released her hold on the villainess. Kage flew through the air and did a flip before landing on a rooftop a street over in a perfect roll before jumping over the side of a building.

    Another explosion rang out and a building began to lean over, its partially glassed bottom floors unable to hold it up. For the moment it took Eden to be distracted by it, another rebar arrow slammed into her back and replaced her spine for the five seconds it took her to use a Shadow Limb to rip it out. More wings came around to cover Eden entirely as she landed on a roof and waited for her spine to regenerate. She had to use a Phantom Limb to keep her lungs working and her heart beating.

    “Eden, are you alright?” Several bugs slipped past the wings and landed on Eve, one which died when it made contact with the Phantom Limb.

    “I know what Miss Militia feels like with that stick up her ass now.” Eve replied, her voice cracking from her inexperience with forcing herself to speak. There were a few explosions in the distance, lighting up what the fires did not. The sounds of the marauding Teeth blending in with the Changer Cape's triumphant hollering and the roar of the Butcher’s teleport and her minigun. “How’s it looking, Khepri?”

    “Bad.” The willowy girl admitted. “Most of them have bug spray weirdly enough, and I can force my bugs past it but they still die. Not to mention the forcefields popping up to chew through my swarm, and whatever Bakuda lets off sometimes gets them as well. The Butcher’s teleport, that Screaming Changer, and the one that kills them on touch.”

    “The Butcher has been focusing on me pretty hard too.” Eden huffed. “That pain blast fucking sucks. Where the hell is the Protectorate?”

    “This is the Docks, they don’t patrol around here so it’s probably going to take them time to get to the fight. Eden we have to stop those fires. There are people living around here, they can’t leave or the Teeth will get them and if they stay they’ll likely burn alive.” There was another explosion, this one sounding far more of the normal non-Tinker type, and an entire building blew apart near them, the shockwave causing Khepri to lose her balance before righting herself.

    “Well what the hell do you expect me to do about it?” Eden asked as she slowly got to her feet, her spine still regrowing.”Like, I know something's got to be done, but I don’t have any environmental powers that could help here. Do you want me to just go around and storage people? I think I can fit a lot in my pocket dimension.”

    “Storaging people would help in getting— No, wait. Storaging!” Khepri pointed off towards the Bay, of which their sight was blocked, but the smell of salt mingled well with the ash in the air. “Go get water and bring it back! Dump it on the fires, can’t you use those wings to pick up water as well?”

    “I mean. Yeah. But the Butcher apparently likes my ass, Khepri. Can’t go five steps without her on my ass or a rebar arrow introducing itself to my organs.” Eden reached up, idly feeling the torn out center of her back, the top of her spine was growing back, but not enough for her to breath on her own yet or have her heart function.

    “I’ll distract her. I doubt she’ll be able to follow you or shoot you without her sight.” Khepri offered which only made Eve bristle.

    “Leave you, a single hero, in this all out villain brawl?” Several small explosions trailed around their block, barely audible over the guns, fire, and roaring. Two building collapsed in the aftermath of the smaller pops, in the distance a black smokey void swallowed an entire block as Grue’s power blocked all sight within it.

    “Dammit Eden, now's not the time for this. I can leave any time I need to. But if you don’t put out those fire’s my swarms are not going to be able to help us. Those people will die and—” Khepri’s words were cut off as Eve hugged her.

    “Fine! Dammit but you better be okay when I get back!” Eden hissed as her wings spread out, leaving her only one Phantom Limb. “And they’re targeting Bakuda either for her bombs or her bones. Villain or not—”

    “I understand, go.” Khepri burst into a swarm of crawling insects and scattered across the rooftop before disappearing over the sides.

    “Goddamn, I love her.” Eden huffed as she took to the air.

    Taylor ‘Khepri’ Hebert, Sunday the Eleventh of April, the Night of Fires

    The Protectorate wasn’t coming. They had neither the manpower nor the ability to reach the Docks and fight both the Butcher and Lung. Even so, this was not a normal Teeth raid. She’d heard stories of them, of what they did. But this?

    Falling through the air high above the fires, the fighting, and the violence Taylor had a good view on the fact that the Docks weren’t the only part of the city burning tonight. A malevolent orange and yellow glow engulfed parts of the city at random. Where the Teeth had gotten so many members she didn’t even know.

    She broke apart and her vision changed.

    Instead of simply possessing her bugs, she had found herself in something called ‘The Firmament’ where Queen Administrator’s lovecraftian mind existed physically. The Shard herself looked as if someone had merged someone with multiple insects, and made them a bug centaur. It was intimidating, but Taylor had gotten used to the bug woman's presence.

    Now she watched through multiple jutting, multifractal crystals as he bugs formed an arrow pointing a bleeding and Injured Bakuda down an alleyway that would lead her away from the Teeth pursuing her. Kage, though invisible, helped the Tinker with the mangled leg hobble in the offered direction after a moment of deliberation.

    At the same time insects harried both the Changer cape and Lung, and though she lost insects when they were hit by the Changer’s screams the bugs still followed her last orders and she saw them fighting still from bugs outside the range of the scream.

    At the same time gnats and fruit flies wiggled under the Butcher’s eyelids, her screams of frustration as she claws at her own eyes causing the Teeth around her to back away before the roaches swarmed them too.

    At the same time Taylor felt, and saw Eden fly by, dropping water onto fires before popping nearly a car’s worth of water down onto the flames. Steam bursting out as flames started to dim. Even then it only did so much as fires elsewhere in the city began to grow in strength.

    At the same time Taylor gathered a swarm of insects in her shape on a fire escape and came back together. “But the fat Hobbit, he knows. Eyes always watching.” Khepri murmured as she continued to direct her bugs before flicking her baton out and jumping off the metal stairway and slamming into the blood manipulator below.

    Khepri didn’t land the roll, and she certainly felt her ankle protest it. But the Teeth cape she landed on suffered the worst of it, their head slamming against the ground. For a moment the hemokinetic went limp and Taylor broke apart into a horde of spiders that crawled across the cape and began to encase them in silk.

    The cape woke up a few seconds later, starting to scream and buck their body as the stronger than normal webbing held. A few of the spiders were crushed, but in half a minute with some reinforcements the horde of spiders had cocooned the blood manipulator.

    Taylor pulled herself back together, leaning against the alleyway and doing her best to catch a moment’s rest. Breaking herself up and pulling herself back together wasn’t as easy as it seemed. She could only wonder if other Mover powers had the same drawback.

    At the same time she used a wall of insectoid bodies to draw the attention of a few Teeth to buy Bakuda and Kage more time to flee.

    At the same time she felt and watched the Changer Cape tear Lungs head from his shoulders with the use of their jaws and that scream power. Watched and heard as the Teeth around them began to chant and cheer.

    At the same time she saw Eden come back again, this time with four wings and even more water to dump on the fires.

    Khepri pushed off the wall and gave the cocooned cape a swift kick in the side as The Butcher approached the Changer cape and snatch the gang leader’s head from the Changer’s jaws. Holding the bleeding head aloft, blood spilling down onto her armored form, the Butcher roared in approval and the Teeth around her followed suit with cheering and hollering.

    She ducked under the arm that was heading towards her neck, feeling the bugs in the air die as the figure’s extended arm swept through the air. She broke apart as his, and she could tell it was a he by the crabs, other hand tried to push through her chest.

    Her swarm flooded the alleyway with piles of insects that were vaguely shaped like her. The cape laughed as his form seemed to vibrate, any bug touching him just fell apart. ‘Queen, get Admin to bring Eden over here. I need her to store the cape.’ [AFFIRMATION/DATA]

    She pulled herself together as he swung an arm through a clone of her form, she stepped out of one of the clone piles and swung her baton which hit his head and the head of it immediately snapped off. He turned and swung with reckless abandon, once or twice his oddly long nails slid through her costume and sliced through her flesh with the same ease. The wounds throbbed but didn’t hurt all that much, even if she was bleeding now.

    “I like your hair girlie! Too bad I’m gonna be wearing your skull so— AIIIE!” His boast interrupted by Taylor lifting the keychain can of pepper spray and applying a quarter of the can to his face. He dropped, choking as some of the spray got into his mouth. Taylor made sure to spray him a few more times as Eden swooped in and collected the cocooned cape.

    “Bakuda?” Eden asked as her ghost-like limb pushed into the downed Teeth cape, followed by a shadow arm slapping him into the ground where he laid groaning.

    “Her and Kage got away.” She answered easily, and it was true.

    Nodding Eden motioned towards the rest of the city. “There’s still plenty of baddies to beat and fires to put out.”

    “The Butcher?” Khepri asked, already knowing the answer, the Teeth’s largest stick having teleported out of her insects sight or touch.

    “Fuck her. We can’t beat her in a way that matters yet. Better to save some lives and infastruce right now.” Eden sighed, her costume torn up, bloody, and slightly damp from the Bay’s water. “Goddamn, what a night.

    “Yeah.” She couldn’t help but agree her body felt worn out and Taylor knew she was going to be sleeping tonight. “Lung’s dead.”

    Eve turned to her after a moment’s pause, Taylor nodded and Eve grunted. “Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy… Still, gonna be bad when the Empire decides to try and make a move.”

    “Then we’ll be there to stop them,” and Taylor could hear the smile in her girlfriend’s voice as crystalline wings spread out and a telekinetic hold washed over her body.

    “We’ll beat their asses.” Eden agreed. “Let’s go save some people.”

    The fires lasted long into the late hours of the night, the Teeth’s unpowered members having been prepared from the start to cause as much disruption and chaos as possible. Firebombing police stations, fire stations, random buildings, trees, and cars made Eden spend most of the night helping put out fires and saving people from burning buildings.

    The fires were worsened by revolving bands from the Teeth, all of whom were only dressed in black hoodies and matching pants, shooting out lights and transformers as they moved through the streets.

    At one point Eden and Khepri happened upon some indie cape, hero or villain they didn’t know, dead in the street. The young woman had been riddled with bullets, whatever she wore to hide her identity, likely taken as a trophy was gone.

    It was a harrowing ordeal, with Eve having to call Dragon to ask what to do since Armsmaster was fighting Hookwolf and Stormtiger on the other end of the city.

    It was only when the morning slowly came did the city start to settle down in any way. The Teeth started to retreat from the southern parts of the city, being chased by skinheads and bugs alike. Once they passed into the ABB’s territory the asian community chased them out with equal force, maybe a bit more since a few Teeth members were turned into scattered gore or fragile statues from a few tinkertech explosives.

    After the Teeth started to return to wherever they were bunkering down Eden and Khepri returned to their respective homes. Taylor to her house, now able to sneak in and out of it in costume without fear of discovery.

    Eden to the base, of which she had been very careful to traverse to on foot once she reached the Trainyards, using the scattered maze like terrain she was familiar to her advantage in throwing off any possible would be pursuers.

    She hoped.

    Amy was asleep when Eve made it into the base, the sounds of the world outside muted by the thick concrete walls and ceiling. With her costume as ruined as it was Eve simply tore the thing off and cracked her helmet in half, bringing the remains of it to the flesh garden and depositing them in the trash eater. Then she took a quick shower, her Shadow Limbs helping her clean up quickly and with the use of a wing she lowered herself into the bed without disturbing Amy and promptly fell asleep.


    Staring up at the smoke clogged sky, the figure of white dressed in poorly fitting and dirtied clothes sighed in dismay.

    Glancing around the figure of white started walking once more, moving towards the burning city and the orange lit darkened sky above it.

    “Yeow, ow, Admin!” [Eve] whined as her ear was tugged on by your avatar’s claws, dragging her towards You who then embraced her in a tight hug. [CONCERN-SUPER WEAPON.DANGER.VIRAL INFILTRATOR/ANNOYANCE.Eve]. You were unsure as to why these exceedingly dangerous situations happened to your host, but her lack of care in dealing with them was going to get her killed before you could anchor her Psionic Shade.

    “Sheesh, okay, okay, Admin it’s not like I wanted to fight the Butcher or merge my brain with the fucking Simurgh.” [Eve] grumbled as she felt her ear and returned the hug. She pulled back. “Wait what, Viral infiltrator does what.

    [VIRAL INFILTRATOR.DATA-SHARD.CONTROL/POSSIBILITY.UNKNOWN.DEFENSE] You answer, not holding back any information on the matter at hand. The truth was simple as it was disturbing: [VIRAL INFILTRATOR] was building a nascent hub and would likely seek you out to help her grow stronger, that or [QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR].

    Although her host seemed particularly focused upon [Eve], [VIRAL INFILTRATOR] did always prefer your ability to simulate possible powers over pure administration. She had told you as much in a previous Cycle… you were sure?

    The missing memories and their return put many things in question. How much you could trust your recollection of events was by far the most serious question you could process.

    “God damn. SO that’s definitely a no go on killing the Butcher. Fuck.” [Eve] leaned back against your avatar, pressing her face against the papery make of the body. “As if we didn’t have enough to worry about.”

    [APOLOGIES.ADDITIONAL.ISSUE/QUERY] You ask, because humans were….fragile in a way. You did not want to hurt [Eve], she could prepare herself to know or not know.

    “More? It’s something about me?” [Eve] queried, pulling away to stare up into the avatar’s eye.


    “Shit…Y-Yeah. Lay it on me Admin.” [Eve] straightened her posture and stared up at You. “Let’s just get it over with. Tell me. Please.”

    You…hoped this was the correct way to address the issue at hand. [INFORMATION-SUPER WEAPON.Eve.MEMORY]

    [Eve]’s legs gave out, had your avatar’s hand not caught her [Eve] would have flopped onto the paper ground. You lifted the hand so that Eve was flat on her back, staring up at your avatar’s eye. [QUERY]

    “I should feel violated and horrified at this. But honestly I feel so numb right now… I think I’m feeling a bit… Dammit I need Taylor to think up the right words. It’s just so fucking far out there from left field you know? The god damned Simurgh has a portion of my childhood memories. How am I supposed to react to that?”

    [Eve] shrugged her shoulders bonelessly “Should I scream, cut, cry, curl into a ball?” blowing a strand of her hair our of her face [Eve] scrunched her face up. “Fuck that. Thanks for telling me Admin, or at least asking before you did.”

    Slowly the girl propped herself up on her elbows. “Alright… I guess I need to think this over. Long day you know?”


    [Eve] paused, then started chuckling much to your confusion. “Yeah. It does, doesn't it?”

    Gains this Chapter:

    Rewarded Gateway Ping (1)
    Bud Progress 24%
    Gained QA Echoes (2)
    Gained Shaper Echoes (1)
    Gained Gateway Echoes (1)
    Gained Safeguard Echoes (1)
    Gained Storage Echoes (1)
    Gained Delicate Balance Echoes (1)
    Gained Sharp Discharge Echoes (1)
    Gained Better Consumption Echo (1)
    Gained Viral Infiltrator Echoes (1)
    Gained Molecular Break Ping (1)
    Gained Aggressive Defense Echoes (1)
    Gained Life Liquid Echoes (1)
    Gained Soft Configuration Echoes (1)
    Gained Life Spawner Echoes (1)
    Gained Conflict Escalation Echoes (1)
    QA Echoes consolidated into Ping
    Shaper Echoes consolidated into Ping
    Safeguard Echoes consolidated into Ping
    Rewarded for FanArt: Shift, Gateway, Data Vectors Pings awarded
    KhepriSheet updated
    Khepri power upgrade unlocked ‘Living Hive’
    Living Area upgraded
    Spent 2,472$
    + 1 Network Hostility
    Base Danger + 12%

    Administrative Business. Plot stuff, Data! And other hilarious things you tell yourself (CHOOSE TWO):

    [] Network Creation: Create a Sub-Reality Threader to hide the Network from prying eyes (CONSUMES: SAFEGUARD and NEGOTIATOR Pings)

    [] Invite a Shard into your Network (SAFEGUARD NOT IN PLACE, BE CAREFUL)

    [] Review Memory Cache: Violation and discover more of Admin’s Past (Possibility of rewards)

    [] Integrate with QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR's connection to form a loose Cluster

    [] Unlock Power/Upgrade Obtainer

    [{Lacks required Resources}] Build Reality Layer Bridge to bring Eve’s Psionic Shade to the Anchor Well and secure her for eternity (REQUIRES COPY PROJECTION Ping + GATEWAY and DIMENSIONAL ENGINE Echoes (2) )

    [] Ask Local Shards for signatures in order to contact new Shards (Who?)

    [] Collect jade flesh from SATURATE or SLIMER, gaining Bud Progress.

    [] Analyze DATA VECTOR’s Ping to discover why Scanner Shards aren’t…active.

    Fractal Unity is not just a group. It’s an attempt to bridge the distance between Shard’s and their Hosts. The Base will be the staging point for the team. CHOOSE ONE:

    [] Set up some Dyes or a table for shell extraction (Weaving Station)

    [] Experiment with Amy (Flesh Garden)

    [] Hang some art (Art Gallery)

    [] Pcs are important for taxes, which Eve won’t be doing, and Tinkering. Then again, so are tools for better tinkering (Tinker Table)

    [] Start building some waldo factory arms (Tinker Table)(Cost 60/30)

    [] Furnish the place better, a couch or two would be nice! Or maybe a dining table with chairs? (Living area)

    [] Work on the QoL of the place with Amy and Taylor helping (Buy a TV, get some makeshift walls up for privacy, get a washer and dryer, fill in the train tracks with concrete, or continue to set kitchen area up)

    [] Start scoping out local parahumans to find suitable recruits (Research local independants.)

    Capes and mundies, what will Eve/Eden do? [Writing in extra details helps speed up chapter creation and makes the QM happy!] (CHOOSE TWO):

    [] Hunt gang members for Pings and Hero stuff, you can rob them too! Dangerous though. (Possible Pings and Guaranteed Echoes: Depends upon the Gang!)
    -[] Which gang?

    [] Go on Patrol with Khepri (High chance of additional Bud progress or Pings gathered)

    [] Set up an appointment with the PRT/Protectorate to demonstrate your Case 53 deformation healing (Consumes SHAPER Ping)

    [] Scout some other section of the city! (Write in where)

    [] Amy needs a Date

    [] Go on a date with Taylor

    [] Hang out with Vicky again.

    [] Teach Khepri how to fight, street style.

    [] Team up with some independent Heroes (Random roll)

    [] Meet up with Kassidy

    [] Gather Tinker Supplies (Will bring vote for:ScrapYard, stores, Junkyard, or Boat graveyard)

    [] Hunt Shadow Stalker, hurt her.

    [] Try to get Taylor to speak with Armsmaster about Sophia

    Interlude(s), peer into the lives of the Groups that have a solid foothold within the Bay (Pick two):

    [] Coil’s Gang

    [] ABB

    [] E88

    [] PRT

    [] Protectorate/Wards

    [] New Wave

    [] Faultline’s MisFits